Freezer Cooking for the Holidays

The following post is from Jessica of GoodCheapEats and LifeasMOM:

photo source: Life as MOM

I’m not sure where I would be without my freezer. It’s a kitchen tool that I regularly use to help me get a little ahead of the game. Not only do I use it to stash a surplus of sale meats and excess veggies from our produce co-op, but I also use my freezer to store pre-made meals and meal components for quick bites any time of the day.

And the freezer (whether it’s a deep freeze or the one attached to your refrigerator) is never more helpful than during the busy month of December. Between evenings out and family get-togethers, meal times would be a harried affair. But, they don’t have to be. Use your freezer to help you and yours enjoy a happier holiday.

1. Bake someone happy.

Last year I baked twelve different kinds of cookies that we were able to enjoy from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, thanks to freezing. One weekend of batch baking resulted in weeks of sweet treats. You can pull this off, too. Check out Shaina’s tips for freezing cookies to make the most of chilling out.

2. Have dinner ready in a flash.

Preparing taco meat, lasagna, chicken pot pie, or enchiladas to store in the freezer can help you serve a homemade meal in short order. There’s an unbelievable list of freezer-friendly foods. You’ll be amazed at the variety and the ease with which you can fill your freezer.

photo source: Good Cheap Eats

3. Make the feast in advance.

Even special occasion meals can be made in advance and frozen for later use. Mashed potatoes, butternut squash puree, cranberry sauce and gravy are all accompaniments that freeze well. Brisket and roast turkey can even be made ahead and enjoyed later. Cakes and pies and, of course, cookies, freeze and thaw exceptionally well. Develop an easy, make-ahead menu for your holiday feasts.

4. Break the fast with little effort.

Christmas and New Year’s mornings are two delightful occasions for a tasty morning meal. Make the morning relaxing for you, too, by preparing a freezer-friendly breakfast or brunch. Raspberry Baked Oatmeal, Bacon and Spinach Quiche, and Cinnamon Rolls are three easy and delicious make-aheads. Just add a coffee and hot cocoa bar and some fresh fruit.

Freezer cooking is not rocket science. It is an easy and affordable way to have delicious convenience foods to help you enjoy your holidays a little more.

How do you make the most of mealtimes during the holidays?

A foodie at heart, Jessica Fisher has learned to reconcile a tight budget with her love for great food. As a busy mom of six voracious eaters, she regularly shares healthy, delicious and budget-friendly recipes at GoodCheapEats. She also writes at her parenting blog, LifeasMOM.