Freezer Cooking The Easy Way

Regular Contributor, Calvalyn Day, shares tips to ease your busy schedule with Freezer Cooking.

Freezer Cooking The Easy Way

Simplify Your Life with Meal Prep

 

I don’t know about you, but with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I am always looking for ways to simplify my life and save my sanity.

So, today, as a special Christmas gift, I am going to give you my number one mommy tip for simplifying life–Meal prep is the way to go!

Have you ever heard of Freezer Cooking? Basically, you spend an entire day, or days, prepping, shopping and cooking for a whole month; and then, you eat from your freezer instead of having to cook every night. I have done marathon freezer cooking days in the past, but honestly, now, an all-day cooking fest is more than I can manage in a tight schedule. So, here’s my easier version for when I’m too busy to help myself be not busy.

Most of us carnivores eat at least some ground meat in our lives. Whether you prefer beef or turkey, it’s a versatile way to stretch a family budget. Now, with this trick I’m going to share it’s also a way to stretch your time. I batch cook my ground beef and freeze it for quick meals like tacos, sloppy joes or spaghetti. It’s unbelievably easy, perfect for freezer cooking, and saves me from having to wash a pan every night that we need ground beef.

Here’s how it works:

 

Start with at least 2 pounds of ground beef. I have been known to do 5-10 pounds if there is a great price. Several times per year, most stores will offer ground beef for a couple dollars per pound, and that’s a great time to do this. I add chopped veggies to my pan in the cooking process (more on that in the tips below), but this is a completely optional step.

 

 

Next, select your seasonings. This is your general seasoning, and I like seasoned salt, pepper and garlic for mine. You can choose your own combination or none at all. When you turn your ground beef into a meal there is generally some seasoning at that point, but I find that it makes things go even quicker this way.

 

 

Two pounds at a time, add the seasoning, ground meat, and any veggies you choose and brown until your heart is content! When you’re done, drain, cool and add to meal size portion storage containers or bags. In even the tightest freezers several frozen bags will lay flat and keep for at least a month with no loss of flavor. Up to 3 months is even suggested by some sites.

 

Here’s your finished product.

How to Use Your Frozen Meat:

When you’re ready to eat, if you’ve used a storage container, you can sprinkle taco seasoning, and microwave without thawing for a meal that’s quicker than the drive-thru. Or, you can cut down on prep time for a home-cooked spaghetti dinner by throwing the frozen meat in the pasta sauce while it simmers on the stove!

Tip Time:

Now, for the tips I mentioned. Included here are a few tools that I like to use (with affiliate links that you might enjoy adding to your holiday wish list), as well as a few things I’ve picked up along the way.

Mix and chop. I have a direct sale version of this, but I paid way more than this price. It really is much better than the wooden spoon and this version is dishwasher safe.

Strainer. This version is a little quicker than the bowl type, but either will do the trick. If you want to rinse your meat to take away a little more of the grease after cooking, this bowl version is what I use.

Vacuum sealer. Zipper style storage bags are completely reasonable for this process, but if you have one of these electric sealers from infomercials of long ago laying around this is the perfect use for the bags.

Get the kids involved. Kids as young as 3 or 4 can handle scooping the cooked meat into the containers after it has cooled, and older kids can measure the meat for an impromptu math lesson as well.

Adding veggies. When my older kids were younger, hiding veggies in food became all the rage. I did it long before any of the books came out, for a while it was even a running joke in my house, but it is another way of stretching the budget and upping the nutritional value of your food. Onions and green peppers are aromatic staples in my cooking, but I have used steamed broccoli and carrots when I make tomato based meals and my kids never noticed. If you have a mini chopper or food processor it helps, but you can honestly use a blender as well.

I hope these tips make the after school dinner rush a little less rushed for you. Have some other ideas to save time in the kitchen? Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

Have you ever done any Freezer Cooking?

Happy Holidays,

~Calvalyn

Visit Calvalyn at her blog, Indy Parent Coach!

 

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2-Hour Turkey for Thanksgiving – Printable Recipe

Learn how to cook your stuffed Turkey in just 2-hours! It is easy, delicious, and super moist. You’ve got to try a 2-hour turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Let’s Talk 2-Hour Turkey!

Quick and Easy – Delicious, Tender, Moist

Do you hate waiting around all day for that Thanksgiving turkey to roast in the oven? How much would you love it if you could pop that bird into the oven and take out a beautifully roasted, stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey in just 2-hours? It can be done. I’ve been doing this very thing for 24-years.

My 2-hour turkey comes out moist, tender, and incredibly delicious. There is no fuss, no muss, no incessant basting… just put it in the oven and forget it. Everyone raves about my turkey, so I thought I would share it with you.

Here’s my secret…
2-Hour Turkey for Thanksgiving!!!

Isn’t that gorgeous? What great color!

2-Hour Turkey Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Fresh Sage
  • 1-2 Sticks Butter
  • 1-Bunch Celery Stalks
  • 2-3 Yellow Onions, halved
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Stuffing
  • String
  • Turkey Injector
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Aluminum Foil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 500° – 550° F (I set mine at 500° and my convection oven reduces the temperature)
  • Clean the Turkey very well, and pat dry
  • Turn Turkey Wings to the back
  • Gently run your fingers between the skin and the meat to separate the skin from the breast, while leaving the skin in tact.
  • Place whole sage leaves between the skin and the breast meat.
  • Salt and Pepper both sides of the Turkey
  • Melt the stick of Butter with some Sage Leaves.
  • Spray Roasting Pan with Non-stick Cooking Spray.
  • Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with whole Celery Stalks and Halved Onions (this will keep the Turkey from sitting on the bottom of the pan)
  • Inject the Turkey with the Sage Butter (reserve some butter) (if you don’t have an injector, use a baster to get the butter under the skin)
  • Place Turkey in the roasting pan
  • Use Celery Stalks cut in half and line the cavity of the Turkey
  • Fill the remainder of the cavity with Stuffing (if you’re not using stuffing, fill with cavity with celery and onion)
  • Truss Turkey Legs with String
  • Pour reserved butter over the Turkey
  • Cover the Turkey with Aluminum Foil (I use two long pieces of foil. Fold the foil at the long edge to join the foil together. Place it over the turkey with generous space above the turkey, so the foil does not sit against it. Be sure the foil is crimped to the pan.)
  • Bake for 2-Hours (if you have a really large turkey, you may want to give it 2-1/2 hours)
  • Check color of turkey skin, if you want it a little darker, open the foil and give it a few minutes longer.
  • Remove Turkey from roasting pan, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before carving.
  • Remove onions and celery from pan and make your gravy!

5 from 1 reviews
2-Hour Turkey
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Learn how to cook your stuffed Turkey in just 2-hours! It is easy, delicious, and super moist. You've got to try a 2-hour turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
from:
Type: Main
Ingredients:
  • Turkey
  • Fresh Sage
  • 1-2 Sticks Butter
  • 1-Bunch Celery Stalks
  • 2-3 Yellow Onions, halved
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Stuffing
  • String
  • Turkey Injector
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Aluminum Foil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 500° - 550° F (I set mine at 500° and my convection oven reduces the temperature)
  2. Clean the Turkey very well, and pat dry
  3. Turn Turkey Wings to the back
  4. Gently run your fingers between the skin and the meat to separate the skin from the breast, while leaving the skin .
  5. Place whole sage leaves between the skin and the breast meat.
  6. Salt and Pepper both sides of the Turkey
  7. Melt the stick of Butter with some Sage Leaves.
  8. Spray Roasting Pan with Cooking Spray.
  9. Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with whole Celery Stalks and Halved Onions (this will keep the Turkey from sitting on the bottom of the pan)
  10. Inject the Turkey with the Sage Butter (reserve some butter) (if you don't have an injector, use a baster to get the butter under the skin)
  11. Place Turkey in the roasting pan
  12. Use Celery Stalks cut in half and line the cavity of the Turkey
  13. Fill the remainder of the cavity with Stuffing (if you're not using stuffing, fill with cavity with celery and onion)
  14. Turkey Legs with String
  15. Pour reserved butter over the Turkey
  16. Cover the Turkey with Aluminum Foil (I use two long pieces of foil. Fold the foil at the long edge to join the foil together. Place it over the turkey with generous space above the turkey, so the foil does not sit against it. Be sure the foil is crimped to the pan.)
  17. Bake for 2-Hours (if you have a really large turkey, you may want to give it 2-1/2 hours)
  18. Check color of turkey skin, if you want it a little darker, open the foil and give it a few minutes longer.
  19. Remove Turkey from roasting pan, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before carving.
  20. Remove onions and celery from pan and make your gravy!
3.5.3218

 

Well, there you have it, Thanksgiving Turkey in 2-Hours! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Count your blessings, give thanks, and enjoy!

Will you be cooking your turkey in 2-hours?

Do you have any turkey or Thanksgiving secrets?

 

 

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Share using our Hashtag!

 

Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!

...

~Lorelai

 

Sign up today, and don't miss anything! Enjoy EXCLUSIVES, FREEBIES, and FUN.

 

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Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com