Freeze-A-Thon Part III - Execution

March 22, 2010

Execution Step 1: Gather Supplies

Take out all of the tools you will need for your recipes including mixing bowls, large spoons and measuring cups & spoons. Also take out frequently used ingredients like salt & pepper, diced onions, etc. Next, grab your storage containers and sharpie markers and get them ready to go. You may choose to pre-label your containers by writing meal name and simple cooking instructions onto foil sheets or ziplock baggies.

Grab some sweet tunes. This process is supposed to make your life easier, but the process itself should not be torture. Grab your favorite upbeat music, like the kind you might work out that really gets your but shaking and just begs to be sung along with. Set up a stereo in the kitchen and shimmy and shake your way through your Freeze-A-Thon.

Execution Step 2: Assemble and Store

Remember my game plan from last week's post?

1. Meatloaf (raw beef)
2. Hamburger Patties (raw beef)
3. Beef Tamale Pie (cooked beef)
4. Shepherd's Pie (cooked beef)
5. Beef Quesadillas (cooked beef)

Thoroughly clean work area

6. Creamy Italian Chicken (raw chicken)
7. Thanksgiving Casserole (raw chicken)
8. Crisp Chicken Burritos (cooked chicken)
9. Chicken Parmesan (cooked chicken)
10.Chicken Quesadillas (cooked chicken)

So, I would start with beef. I would portion out the raw ground beef needed for the meatloaf into a large bowl. Add the other meatloaf ingredients into the meatloaf bowl (be careful not to touch the raw beef at this point) and set aside. Now portion your hamburger patty beef into a separate bowl. Add salt, pepper, Worcester sauce (or anything else you like to add into your hamburger mix) into the bowl.

Now you have a bowl of unmixed meatloaf ingredients and a bowl of unmixed hamburger patty ingredients in front of you. Tear of multiple sheets of wax paper and lay them on the counter. Now put your hands into your hamburger mix, mix the ingredients and form into individual patties, separating and staking each patty with a piece of wax paper.

No need to wash your hands just yet, now dig your hands into the meatloaf mixture to combine ingredients. Once mixed put raw meatloaf mixture into the pan(s).

Now wash your hands.

With your hands clean, label and cover the meatloaves and put them in the freezer. Wrap stacks of hamburger patties in plastic and then foil. Label and store in freezer.

Next, put the rest of the beef into a large non-stick pot with some diced onion and salt & pepper and brown.

The rest of your beef entrees use already browned ground beef. Lay out all of your aluminum pans and start assembling your remaining meals. Portion out the cooked beef into each recipe from the pot as you go. Once finished, label, cover and freeze. Clean work space thoroughly, wash your hands again and begin your chicken dishes.

Chicken dishes should also be sub-categorized into chicken meals prepared with raw chicken (washing area and hands thoroughly when finished) and those using already cooked chicken.

Execution Step 3: Accept what you did as a job well done

If you didn't get it all big deal. If everything was not as smooth as you had hoped....shake it off. Maybe, despite your careful planning you found yourself missing an ingredient or losing a recipe...that's fine.

Remember that ANYTHING you get accomplished signifies and entire evening you saved yourself slaving over a hot stove or simply staring into the fridge wondering what to make for dinner. It's not a tragedy if you spread this over two days instead of one or you simply give up on a meal you ran out of room for in your freezer.

And once you start eating your meals from your freezer you will learn a lot as well. What worked for you, what your family loved, what they didn't love.

Each time you do this process it will get easier and more streamlined until you are a PRO and you start your own blog and push mine to the bottom of the heap...wait, don't do THAT. As the amount of meals in your freezer grow, so will your confidence, competence and knowledge.

That's it.
You're ready.

Now, my good friends...

ALL posts in this series...
Freeze-A-Thon Part I - Organization
Freeze-A-Thon Part II - Preparation
Freeze-A-Thon Part III - Execution
Freeze-A-Thon Part IV - Utilizing Your Frozen Foods


Marjorie March 22, 2010  

I love your Freeze-A-Thon walkthrough! So organized and it gives me the courage to actually try freezing a meal other than soup, lol! Your blog is amazing ;)

Jewelle March 22, 2010  

Thank you so much for this series. One question {and I know this will vary} but do you have a approximate cost for ingredients it takes you to do a freeze-a-thon? Just curious before I dive in :D

Stef April 24, 2010  

this website is AWESOME! I did a recipe chain via email last week and a lady I've never met directed me to this site. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thank her (or you) enough!

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About This Blog

A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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