As my list of projects to complete before the princess arrives has dwindled, the task of stocking the freezer became a higher priority. I didn't want to make food too early, but last week was the time to do it. I literally feel like my belly button might pop off so I'm really glad I finished it. I have been making lists and researching and thinking about what food we will really eat for a long time now and I finally narrowed it down. I think the most important thing is to make food that you want to eat. If you make a lasagna to freeze, but you or your husband (or significant other or whoever) won't eat it, there's no point. Just because it is "freezer friendly" doesn't mean it is friendly for your family.
These pictures were taken before I was completely finished stocking up, so there is some empty space, but you get the picture. It is FULL.
When people think of freezing meals, they generally think of soups, casseroles and other "convenience" items. I'm not about to stock my freezer full of TV dinners, so I made my own. I made sure to make portions manageable. I didn't make a pot of soup big enough for a family of four because there are really only 2 of us that will eat an actual portion of food in this house.
When preparing food, consider the season. Chili in summer would probably not be desirable, but in the winter, it's a nice comfort food which is exactly what new parents need.
I should have taken pictures of all the food, but I am totally anal and would have been freaked out if I couldn't style it perfectly and I really just wanted to get it frozen rather than waste it on pretty pictures.
Here is a list of what I stocked in my freezer:
-2 pizza doughs
*sort of a staple in my house anyways- we love homemade pizza and the process is too easy not to do.
*I think there are 12. I just seasoned some meat like I would if I were making burgers, made the patties and stuck them on a cookie sheet lined with freezer paper, covered it in aluminum foil and let freeze. The next day, I put them in a freezer bag.
-homemade macaroni and cheese
*will just need to top with a little extra cheese and panko bread crumbs
-whole wheat pancakes
*healthy and my recipe hardly tastes like health food, serve with fresh fruit
-spanish breakfast wraps
-pasta e fagioli
*ravioli and tri-color tortellini
-sugar cookie dough
-chocolate chip cookie dough*
If a food has special instructions, I made sure to write that on the packaging. For example, my pasta e fagioli greatly benefits from some fresh parmesan and crumbled bacon so I wrote that on a piece of paper stuck to the container. Some specifics just can't be forgotten. There is also a lot of frozen chicken, a couple frozen pizzas, a Stouffer's lasagna (hey they're pretty good), a pie crust and frozen chicken nuggets. I like to eat mostly fresh food, but I would never lie and say that we don't take advantage of some convenience foods. There are also a few Eggos left in there and frozen fruit and vegetables. I don't really consider those "stocked" though, because we use a lot of frozen fruit for smoothies so it's something we consistently buy at the store.
In addition to making a lot of food for my freezer, I also made an enormous batch of homemade Chex Mix and some granola. These are in covered glass containers on my counter. I can already tell that these are just a major hit for my family so they will probably become a regular thing. I have been trying to make GOOD homemade granola for a while and I finally decided to stop using recipes and to just use my gut to make it the way I would like it. I nailed it this time. My Chex Mix also has a little spin- instead of all Chex, I used Rice Chex, Crispix and Cheerios. Yum!
When I read this article on Marta Writes, I quickly realized that I just could not skip dessert!*
If you've got any questions or want a recipe, let me know!