Thursday, November 18, 2010

Freezer Friendly... Batch cooking revisited.

Do y'all remember a while back when I posted on batch cooking?  I accidentally deleted it when I was doing some blog housekeeping.  Oops.  Oh well, I've got a few fun items that freeze really well, and wanted to share them with you.  You're welcome. (giggle) First up, Bacon and Baked Potato soup.  This one had me at, "Hello."  I'm not lying.  Well, actually, it had me at "Bacon." My family flips out for this soup.  You can also double this recipe if you want to feed a small army, and it's really pretty with a few baked potato garnishes on top.  (Also.  And don't tell anyone this, but I often add leftover mashed potatoes right into this soup at the end.  It's sooooo good!)

Bacon and Baked potato soup.  
Dice up 2-4 peeled potatoes.
4 c water
1/4 c. chopped green onions (or 1 small onion if that's all you've got.)
salt and pepper
*Place above into a large soup pot, bring to boiling.  Then simmer over medium high heat, about 10-12 minutes, until potatoes are soft and mashable.  Use a potato masher to lightly break up some of the potato pieces, leaving some larger chunks. Place lid on pan, remove from heat, and set aside.
*In a separate saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter, add 1/4 cup flour, stirring until smooth.  Then slowly add 2 cups milk into the pan, and whisk until smooth.  Cook and stir, over medium hat until thickened.  Add 2 cups of shredded cheese, and 1 jar of bacon pieces.  
*Add cheese mixture into potato mixture, and stir.  Serve immediately or freeze in small containers.
Breakfast Burritos.  These babies don't last very long in my freezer, because no matter how many I make, people keep eating them!  You can make a big batch at once, wrap them individually in parchment paper, and then pop them frozen and wrapped, right into the microwave, for a couple of minutes. I don't even really have a recipe for these, they are that simple.

Breakfast Burrito, non-recipe: 
Package of burrito sized, flour tortillas
*Place the following, into a large bowl: 
One dozen eggs, scrambled
One package of ground, mild Italian sausage,  cooked
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice
Optional add-in hashbrowns, cooked. 
*Mix all the above, then spoon evenly, into tortillas, fold sides in around mixture, then roll.  Wrap in parchment paper.  Store in large ziplock bag, freeze, and microwave as needed.  (Substitutes for sausage, could be ham, bacon, or sauteed veggies. Yum!)
Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I love my home made meatballs.  They are so good!  I posted but deleted this recipe by accident too, so I'll give it to ya again.  After you've made some tiny sized meatballs, (1") cook some pasta, place it into a greased pan, then layer on some spaghetti sauce, straight from the jar, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Press meatballs randomly into the pasta, cover and freeze.  Then when you want it, thaw, pop into the oven, and heat for 20 minutes or so, until hot.  Incidentally, one batch of my meatballs can make a few pans of this, as well as some meatball sandwiches.  (Just purchase some hoagie rolls and cheese slices and place into the freezer, alongside a bag of meatballs in the leftover jarred spaghetti sauce.)

My Meatballs: 
pkg ground turkey
pkg ground Italian sausage
TBSP Italian seasoning
1 chopped onion
2 eggs
1 c breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
2 crushed garlic cloves
1-2 grated carrots (optional, but good for picky eaters!) 
*Mix and shape into 1" or 3" balls.  Bake at 350 20 or 30 minutes, depending on size of balls.
Did you know rice freezes well?  Well, it does.  I cook 2 cups of jasmine rice, and 3 cups of water, for 14 minutes, stirring halfway through, in a Tupperware microwave steamer and I love it.  Once cool, I put it into a freezer ziplock bag, and scoop it out as needed, microwaving for just a few minutes, until hot.  Often, I chop up a few chicken breasts, and add some Teriyaki sauce over them.   Then I freeze this in a ziplock bag, and it takes only a few minutes in a hot skillet to serve alongside of the cooked rice. 

Anyway, these are our favorites, and preparing and freezing them in advance, keeps me sane, and saves me precious time.

Do you have any quick and easy meal ideas that serve your family well?  I'd love to hear about them!

(P.S. Happy 15th Anniversary big man.  I love you every day.  You are my knight in shining armor. You always have been. Always will be.)


Charon Benton said...

So...I did a BATCH of cooking about a month ago and I LOVE IT!!! I did some "mexican chicken", which is where you put a whole chicken in a crock pot with 1 packet of Taco Seasoning mix (1 packet per pound of chicken) and cook it on low for several hours. When you pull it off the bone, you've got enough for 2 meals worth of chicken tacos, enchiladas, etc. Any type of mexican dish!

paige said...

these are all great!!!
never thought about making up a big batch of the buritos. but i will!
bacon potato soup & your meatballs on the dock for next week :)

Alison said...

I make breakfast burritos for the freezer all the time now since my 11 year old son eats them like candy. Thanks for the recipes!

Holly said...

No, I had no idea that rice was freezer friendly. I love the smell and taste of jasmine rice. This will make meal times so much easier. Thanks

Jboo said...

Oh yum -- thanks for sharing!! These look delicious!


Amelia Marie said...

Oh, I've never tried to freeze rice. I'll have to try that one. One of our old standbys is black beans with yellow rice. Just warm a can or 2 (I'm feeding 6 so we use 2 cans) of undrained black beans with a little lemon juice and cilantro. Cook a pack of Saffron "yellow" rice, and serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese. My family eats this up. And until my youngest showed an allergy to pineapple we would also include canned pineapple chunks with cilantro in this meal. It's a really easy meal.

Love your blog!!!

Bekah said...

So, Im really really wanting to make that first soup, but are there more ingredients? I missed the first post, so maybe I just missed the ingredients, but...wheres the bacon? What cheese mixture? You cant dangle bacon and cheese in front of me and not tell me more! Aggggh!

Bekah said...

Bahahaha I just re read it and its totally there. This is why I am a horrible cook! I cannot follow simple directions!

Lissa said...

I have never seen a more perfectly wrapped burrito... For some reason that just totally stuck out to me.

Angie said...

Mmmmmm...all those recipes are right up my alley!
But the soup takes the cake. I love a steamy bowl of soup with potatoes!

Mandy said...

Thanks for sharing!!!!

The breakfast burrito idea is fab.

Stephanie said...

Oooh that soup sounds good! I did some batch cooking recently to last us a couple of weeks after our baby is born, boy does it take some work!

Shannon said...

Yum, these all look so good and those breakfast burritos! Now I'm hungry again :)
Thanks for sharing with us

Farmgirl Paints said...

You are so generous! I have got to get going on those recipes. I think you know I hate to cook. This might be my solution. It all looked soooo yummy. If you lived here we could batch cook together. I'm just sayin'...tell Adrain I NEED you:)

Cheryl said...

great recipes. thanks for sharing!
Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby.

kindred spirit said...

Thank you for sharing! My kids will LOOVE the breakfast burritos.

Laughter is Contagious said...

I will definitely use these, such great ideas. I especially love the breakfast burrito idea. I love to cook and never thought of this! Thank you for sharing.

I love reading your blog!

Courtney Walsh said...

oooh, I need a new potato soup recipe without milk and this looks like the winner!! thank you!!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Thank you for taking the time to post these recipes! I am excited to try them! I think I am going to make ALL of them this weekend and make extra to give to my sons for their homes!
Have a pretty day!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Thank you for taking the time to post these recipes! I am excited to try them! I think I am going to make ALL of them this weekend and make extra to give to my sons for their homes!
Have a pretty day!

Mrs M said...

Just stopping to say hi! I love your new hair cut (oh - I have also become a pony tail mum.... should I have it cut???).... and loved reading your bio - I was so encouraged by your comments about depending on the Lord. Great is His faithfulness.... Blessings! :)

MrsJenB said...

Wow, such great ideas. I looove the breakfast burritos, this is something that would serve me very, very well and save the money I spend on a whim, usually at Starbucks! Sad, sad, sad.

And freezing rice? I never heard of such a thing! So, when you heat it up it's just like if you ate it right out of the cookpot? Because I have some picky rice eaters around here, including myself! Please, let me know if you can, because this would be a lifesaver for me!

Natasha said...

We tend to do more crockpot cooking than freezer-batch cooking. One of my absolute faves is to simply place a roast in the crock, add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and a can of coke. (seriously!) I know it sounds like the strangest ever, but the gravy you get is AMAZING! We actually have it as our Christmas Eve meal every year. TO make the meal even easier, you can add chopped potatoes and/or onions to the crock as well, and just serve with some steamed veggies. Yum!

Stephanie Stremler Photography said...

Made the soup today - so yummy!! Glad I made a double batch so that I can freeze it. Thanks!!

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