Freezer Cooking Guru

You may wonder why my email signature sometimes says, “Freezer Cooking Guru”.

I like to call myself this because I have read several cookbooks about freezer cooking, that is, cooking for the freezer. I’ve been cooking for the freezer since I started trying to make baby food for my first born child 10 years ago. The best way to cook for the freezer is to cook one meal-size recipe times 5 or 6, so you can eat one meal tonight and freez the rest. If a recipe that says “serves 6” always feeds your family twice, you only have to multiply by 3 or 4.  If you have only one child or a couple of toddlers, you only need to multiply your recipe by 3 to achieve the same effect.

If you choose one day a week for freezer cooking, you will only have to cook ONCE A WEEK! Within 6 weeks you can simply pull meals out of the freezer to reheat. How would you like to have an extra hour of your day back? What could you do with an extra hour in your day? Would you find time to exercise? Would you play with your toddler or rock your baby? Would you clean the kitchen or fold the laundry? Would you just sit and read a blog or put your feet up with a good book?  Maybe you’d write a blog or even write a book! Stay tuned or visit www.MealPlanningJean.org and register for the email loop that will discuss freezer cooking and forming Freezer Cooking Clubs in Denton and Collin counties of north TX.

There are several cookbooks on the market that discuss freezer cooking. In another post I’ll have to list the simple guidelines for knowing which recipes will freeze well. But the #1 way to know if a recipe will taste good after being cooked, frozen, thawed, and reheated is to take 1 serving of this recipe and freeze it. Pull it out a week or two later and eat it. This will tell you if the texture or taste degraded in the freezing process.

These are the freezer cookbooks that I own and can pull recipe for you.

  • Mega Cooking by Jill Bond
  • Dinner’s in the Freezer by Jill Bond

    

I’m at your service!
The Freezer Cooking Guru

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Why do you eat at home?

As a family of 5 with the youngest at age 5, we were still eating at Sonic twice a week and some weeks going to a family restaurant once also. That’s $20 per visit to Sonic and $40 per visit to the family restaurant. Oh! And we bought pizza delivery on Fridays also for another $20. Did you do the math on that? That is $100 per week eating out!

In December we bought our first house, and while the mortgage and electric are affordable, we’re also trying to build our savings. We’re following the Dave Ramsey plan and we’re to the baby step where we need to build our Fully Funded Emergency Fund. I’m also working on a “savings snowball”. Like his “debt snowball”, I thought of “envelopes” that needed a certain amount in them for a rainy day. Some of them are:

  • Car repair $600
  • Car replacement $15,000
  • Home Owners Insurance deductible $1,800
  • Medical Bills $800

There are several more that I’ll talk about in a Dave Ramsey post soon, so this $100 a week eating out had to go!

So the Dave Ramsey “savings snowball” is WHY we eat at home. To switch it up, I made a general meal plan. As surprising side effect was the kids didn’t argue about not wanting to eat this or that, they read the meal plan and pitched in to get the meals on the table. Cool! I chose the meals based on our busy family activity schedule.

 Breakfast:

  • Monday = fruit & bagels
  • Tuesday = fruit & cereal
  • Wednesday = fruit & cereal
  • Thursday = fruit & egg & cheese burritos
  • Friday = fruit & eggs & toast
  • Saturday = fruit & biscuits & eggs
  • Sunday = fruit & cereal or toast

Lunch:

  • Monday = Quesadillas or Burritos
  • Tuesday = PBJ – when we pack lunch for Bible Study
  • Wednesday =Lunchmeat Sandwiches – when we’re on our way to Homeschool Club
  • Thursday = Hot Dogs & Mac ‘n’ Cheese – on Stay Home Thursday
  • Friday = Tuna or Grilled Cheese
  • Saturday = Left over pizza
  • Sunday = Planned Left overs

Dinner:

  • Monday = Spaghetti – for Cub Scouts night
  • Tuesday = Planned Meal from freezer – after Girl Scouts and on kid’s bath night
  • Wednesday = Rice & Veggie dish – after Homeschool Club and on church night
  • Thursday = Lizzie cooks freezer meal – Stay Home Thursday and kid’s bath night
  • Friday = Homemade Pizza – Family Movie night
  • Saturday = Freezer meal – Family errand and kid’s bath night
  • Sunday = Noodle & Veggie dish – after kids Choir

So tell me, “WHY do you need to eat at home?”

8 Meals and Success as a Mom

I have used a few Homemade Gourmet products over the last several years and I’ve always loved their mission of “encouraging families to gather round the dinner table”. DH often doesn’t make it home in time for dinner and because he has such a long, hard work day, sometimes he has to take his “before dinner nap” before he can eat. So the kids and I eat together every evening, but after years of mac-and-cheese and pizza, I was ready to start eating some more healthy food.

Homemade Gourmet has a HG Preffered Club where customers order $50 a month and gets a 20% discount. This isn’t something you have to add to the family budget, it is groceries. And I found they have a featured bundle of the month, which is a meal plan and grocery list for 8 family pleasing meals. In March we enjoyed 8 meals using the Grandma’s Sunday Roast seasoning, but we didn’t have to eat roast all month! We had Burgandy Beef tips, pork roast, soup, and tater tot casserole. The kids loved all the meals I served, even the casseroles! And it made me feel so successful as a mom. As moms we don’t get very many kudos, so I really feel this is an important thing that other moms need too.

Next month the featured bundle is 8 pizzas that you can make for breakfast, dinners, or snacks. It’s going to be so fun! You can make your own bread or use the store bought pizza crusts. You can use low fat and low sodium ingredients or whatever you already have. I hope to share this pizza idea with many, many friends. You can read more about it here or sign up to join the HG Preferred club here.

The Homemade Gourmet Preferred club has given this mom the joy back into the question, “What’s for dinner?”  May God Bless your family’s dinner hour!

My Many Hats

many hatsI think I need to write a bit about why my friends have dubbed me “The Resource Queen”. I think it started when I was in school and I decided on a college prep high school course load. You see, I never read a book that wasn’t assigned for school. When I graduated from college I suddenly discovered the concept of “pleasure reading” but I got hooked on NON-fiction. I started with self help books, moved to sales training books. Years later, as a new mom and wife, I approached my marriage and parenting as the engineer I’d been previously, and I read over 20 books the first year as a wife and mother. A couple years later, while my first child was two, I discovered “homeschooling”. I quickly read over a dozen books on “how to” homeschool. Plus, I read cookbooks, especially cookbooks about freezer cooking. I know I have at least 5 … I’ll list them for you sometime soon.

So when topics arise in discussion with friends and acquaintances, I can almost always report something about the topic that I’ve read. At this point the friend turns to me mouth agape wondering how I knew that.

So here, in no particular order, are the hats that I wear …

Your Educational Consultant ~ I’ve been selling Usborne Books At Home for the last 4 years.

Successful Christian Parent ~ for 11 years now. My children are 11, 7, and almost 6.

Freezer Cooking Guru ~ I’m been reading and practicing freezer cooking for over 5 years, since my second child started to EAT!

Resource Queen ~ I keep finding people asking me questions and I always seem to have answers or advice, but I try not to be a know-it-all.

Personal Meal Planner ~ because I want to share the answers that I’ve found, I recently became a distributor for Homemade Gourmet. I can help you plan meals for your family and save you time and money. I’ll write more about that later too.

Other titles on my resume could include…

  • Homemaker
  • Home Teacher
  • Civil Engineer
  • Domestic Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Technical Writer
  • Party Planner
  • Budget Manager
  • Mentor, and don’t forget
  • Chauffeur

Image by Maia C

The Resource Queen

Homemade Gourmet Cook-off Event

After 16 years in and out of direct sales and MLM, I’ve decided to join Homemade Gourmet as the solution to my family’s meal crisis. In March, I used their Preferred Customer Package of 8 meals plus leftovers. We just did what we usually do for the other meals during the month. I loved how in charge of my dinner time I felt. I felt like I was a Successful Mom.

So in April, I decided to join the company! Great timing too! The kit was free and I received products valuing over $1000 for less than $550. So now I’m ready to have my Cook-off show tomorrow night with a dozen people tasting the newest HG recipes. I can’t wait to have the April meals in my freezer ready to cook for my family. At the show my director will make up 4 Meals in 4 Minutes and teach the guests how to do the same for their own freezers. I can’t wait to share this and many more meal planning concepts with you and my friends!

Welcome to The Resource Queen

Welcome to the Resource Queen

I’m going to share ideas that I’ve had and things I’ve learned so you can learn them faster than I did.