On cook day, I went right over to my friend's house, after school drop off. I had my bread maker and a few ingredients needed for the day.
We chopped the cauliflower and got it roasting in the oven first, since it needed 90 minutes to cook and assemble, for the soup.
We then set up our bread makers to get started on the first of 2 batches of pizza dough. The bread makers can be set up on the floor by a plug in, so your not taking up valuable counter space. It's a good idea to start with the recipes that will take the longest or need to rise, like pizza dough.
We made copies of our recipes and set up stations on the kitchen table with a recipe and all the needed ingredients around it. We opened all the cans at once. Then we just worked through each station, assembling the meals in freezer bags and straight into the freezer. To save space, we made each bag flat, so they could be stacked.
We printed up labels for each bag with the recipe name & instructions, so our husband's or kid's could pull it out & get it cooking without having to try & find the recipe.
It was helpful to have a sink full of soapy water & we took turns washing up our utensils and measuring cups as we needed them.
We used a Vitamix which was handy for mixing our sauces quickly, & pureeing the soup. A blender would work just fine.
We also cooked six pounds of ground beef, to have ready for nachos, tacos or soup. Having ground beef cooked and frozen, makes it convenient to just grab a cup or two as needed.
Our recipe list for each family
- Pizza dough x2
- Cauliflower soup x2
- Chicken Cacciatore x2
- BBQ Meatloaf x2
- Cantonese Chicken x2
- BBQ beef x2
- Beef Stroganoff x2
- Sloppy Joe's x2
- Cooked ground beef x3
Our soup was done by noon, so we stopped for lunch and then froze the rest.
As each batch of pizza dough was finished, we wrapped it in plastic and then put them in freezer bags. Make sure to refrigerate your dough right away, so it doesn't continue rising.
The meatloaf was shaped into loaves inside tinfoil pans and then put into freezer bags.
The ground beef for the Sloppy Joe's was cooked, cooled and then frozen in bags. Ground beef cooked in a crock pot, can have a strange texture, so we opted to cook this recipe before freezing.
All the other recipes were assembled raw in bags and frozen.
A helpful tip that I read, was to have a meal ready for dinner the day that your cooking. This was an excellent idea, as we both had meetings to attend later in the day, and really didn't want to use our freezer meals that evening.
I needed to make room in my freezer anyway, so we had frozen pizzas for dinner.
And after 4.5 hours, let me tell you, the last thing you want to do is cook another meal!
That's all there is to a freezer cooking day! Neither of us felt rushed, we had time to sit and eat lunch and we managed to assemble 18 meals in 4.5 hours.