If you follow me on Pinterest, then you probably know my little secret.
No, I don’t mean the secret that I love junk food.
No, not the secret that I am (apparently) obsessed with Halloween décor.
No, not the one where I can’t decide how I want to decorate any room in my house.
Clearly, Pinterest gives away a lot of dirty little secrets.
I’m talking about my current obsession with freezer meals.
You see, with my current 8-5 schedule at work (I used to work 7-4 which was amazing), and the commute home, I don’t get home until around 5:45 these days. I used to get home at 4:30 at the latest. And that one hour + some? That is a precious hour to lose! An hour that I could have spent with Cooper. So, now that I get even less time with him before his 6:45 bedtime, I refuse to spend it rushing around the kitchen cooking a full dinner (and yes, I do want to cook dinner every night). I had a hard adjustment to all of this when we moved and I started my new job. Which I know may sound ridiculous, because it’s only an hour less and most working parents face this every single day. But, it was new to me and I was trying desperately to figure out a solution that would enable to me to get dinner on the table AND spend some quality time with my baby. (Cooper doesn’t eat what we eat for dinner, mostly because he eats so early and goes to bed often before dinner is even fished.)
Pinterest to the rescue!! I started seeing pins of freezer meals. Some with pictures of freezers stocked full of pre-made, ready to bake, dinners. I couldn’t pin those fast enough! Once I pinned, and eventually followed the link (is it just me, or do y’all obsessively pin but never get around to clicking through to the link?), I was hooked. This was totally do-able! I decided that I would cook several meals once a week, or a couple times a month, on a weekend. That way, we would have dinner mostly made and I could just pop it in the oven, on the stove, or (nest of all!) in the crock pot and then I could enjoy my precious time with Cooper.
I actually ordered a book, Don’t Panic Dinners in the Freezer, which has some great information on how-to’s and some really great husband-approved recipes! For us, it’s not really sensible to make a TON of freezer meals, just because we simply don’t have the freezer space(although in unrelated discussions, we do want to eventually get a second fridge or freezer only for the garage, so maybe in the future that would be a possibility). I also do worry about keeping things in there for too long, one of my main concerns with this whole idea is that the frozen meals won’t taste very good, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that. Anyway, I decided to start small and just make one weeks-worth of meals last weekend. But, I made two of each meal, to save for another time. I got the idea from the book. Genious!!
So last Sunday, I made 2 casseroles, enough meatballs for 3 meals, enough marinated chicken for 3 meals, and enough pork chops for 4 meals. All of that, in less than an hour and a half! Seriously! And, because we don’t usually eat an entire recipe, some of the recipes, as you can see, made 3 or 4 separate meals for us. And? I did it all while Cooper was napping :) I had told Lee my idea, and he didn’t understand how it would really save time, but once I told him everything I’d made in that amount of time, he took back his negative comments! And this way, Lee can even cook his own dinner sometimes, because it’s pretty easy (even for him) to pull something out of the freezer and put it in the oven. (The poor man can’t cook)
I have to be honest and say that we have yet to eat a frozen meal because our schedule has been a little weird this week, but I’ll be sure to let you know how they all turned out!