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Making your freezer work for YOU

This is a guest post by Susan, from the blog Frost Bite.

As women or homemakers we are juggling all day, every day and quite often we put ourselves last in the list of things to do.  So I was thrilled to hear that The Organised Housewife is focusing on YOU this month.

So what has the freezer got to do with YOU??  Well, let’s think about the times in the day when we are most harried, when we run around non-stop and never take a breather. I’m sure I could tell you that the freezer can come to your rescue at those times.

Morning Chaos

Do your mornings fill you with dread?  Do you force yourself out of bed and move in a daze because it’s so darn early?  Do you hate making school/work lunches day in and day out?  I have two options for you to make the mornings just a little bit easier.

Why not make some lunchbox items and store them in the freezer so that they can be whipped out in the morning, add a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks, and the lunches are DONE!  Here are plenty of ideas to get you started:

So that’s lunch sorted, but what about breakfast?  If you’re sick of your standard breaky you might like to freeze some muffins, pancakes, waffles, banana bread, croissants, sweet or savoury loaves, and all can be quickly defrosted for breakfast.  Or if you have a long commute to work, why not grab one of these items from the freezer to eat en route to work?

Using the freezer in the morning may buy you 15 minutes more sleep time, or a long, luxurious shower.  Stop and cherish those little luxuries, you will start the day in a better frame of mind.

Arsenic Hour or Witching Hour

Many parents know the horror of 5-6pm when the children are hungry, parents are exhausted and there are many mouths to feed.

The freezer can be your saviour at dinner time however most of us stick to the same old bolognaise or casseroles when it comes to freezer food.  Our generation needs to be re-educated as there is a HUGE variety of foods that can freeze, we just don’t realise it.  Did you know the following types of food can be frozen?

  • casseroles and stews
  • curries
  • soups (including creamy soup – just give it a good stir when you defrost)
  • pasta sauces
  • pasta bakes or lasagne (you can freeze them cooked or uncooked)
  • sang choy bow filling
  • taco filling
  • nachos filling
  • homemade pizzas
  • savoury tarts
  • quiche
  • fried rice or pilaf
  • meatballs and meatloaf (you can freeze them cooked or uncooked)
  • hamburger patties (cooked or uncooked)
  • meat or chicken pies (or if you’re short on freezer space you can freeze the pie filling and assemble the pie at the last minute)
  • you can marinate meat and freeze it, then simply bbq it when it’s dinner time
  • you can prepare skewers of meat and freeze them for the bbq or grill

Cooking should be enjoyable, not a chore.  Why not change your routine and cook when it suits YOU, when you’re not rushed.  I like to cook on the weekend or when the children are asleep.  I’ll put on some music and cook at a leisurely pace (often with a glass of wine to make it even more enjoyable!).  Then I’ll pack all the food into ziplock bags or plastic containers and freeze it for when it’s needed.

Other times I’ll cook dinner on the day it’s going to be eaten, but I’ll make a double/triple batch and freeze the leftovers for another day.  Either way, I now have a spare freezer that’s brimming with a huge variety of foods.  So when we come home late from Guides or netball practice I simply reheat dinner and stay sane.   Bliss!

Other times

The mornings and evenings are the most obvious times when the freezer can work for YOU but there are plenty of other occasions:

Birthday parties: I like to prepare and freeze the foods for my daughters’ parties so there is no stress on the day.  Happy mum, happy party.

Entertaining: I love to entertain but our Saturdays are crazy-busy so I normally make and freeze one or two courses in advance of a dinner party.  That way I can swan around like a domestic goddess during the dinner and there is less washing up too (yay!).

Holidays: If we are going to a holiday house I’ll take a few gourmet frozen dinners with us so that I don’t need to think about meals and we can enjoy some amazing food while away.  Mums rarely have a proper holiday, I say it’s the same crap just in a different location.  If you can eliminate some of the food preparation while on holiday then you may actually have a break.  Imagine that!

So the moral to my story is: make friends with that big white appliance that is in every kitchen, make it work for YOU, find time for yourself and EAT WELL.

About Guest

Susan Austin is the mother of three gorgeous girls and the author of “FROST BITE: Easy Cooking for Your Freezer”, published by New Holland.  FROST BITE shows how everyday, delicious food can be frozen including detailed freezing and defrosting instructions for each recipe.  The chapters cover brunch, lunch, dinner, sweets, dessert and finger foods as well as chapters especially for children: baby purees, kids lunchboxes and kids parties.

Find our guest: Blog | Facebook | Twitter:  @frostbitefood

This post was written by a guest contributor. If you are interested in ‘being my guest’ please visit Be my Guest page for more details.

 

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  • Love this article! I’m never sure what I can or can’t freeze. This has inspired me to try againReplyCancel

  • I wish! The Bloke is a trifle picky and really doesn’t like to eat reheated frozen meals. And after an unfortnuate incident involving a steak dinner and a bad oyster – he also refuses to eat casseroles. Ever again. Even chicken ones. This makes me roll my eyes a lot, and also makes me a fairly epic failure at meal planning.

    However, for the next few months, our relative work hours are going to be VERY conducive to him being in charge of dinner during the week (he will be home at 3.30pm compared to my normal 6.00pm) So, come Saturday morning, I will be sitting him down and asking him what he’s planning to cook us for the next week! {insert evil laughter}

    School lunches involve me whacking together eight vegemite sandwiches, chopping half into bite sized pieces for the gummy kid and the rest go in whole for the big kid with teeth, and bunging the whole lot into the freezer. Then, if I am feeling charitable toward the wee monsters, whip up a batch of muffins or cupcakes and that’s lunch done for the week! They get a lunch order once a week because I can only fit 8 tupperware sandwich keepers in my freezer! ReplyCancel

  • Di4mk63

    This is excellent! I have just converted my mother to freezing left-overs! As my Dad has just passed away, she is still learning to cook for one, so the idea of having a meal ready in the freezer is great, for those days when she is too tired, too hot, or been out in the garden too late! Thanks for the great post!ReplyCancel

  • Sarahlouise_perry

    I love it, especially the part about swanning around like a domestic goddess! I have just boughtSusan’s book, looking forward to putting into practice!ReplyCancel

  • Mel

    Great post! Am just tracking down the book now. I need to expand our repertoire of freezables for those days where the toddler, baby and I are all decompensating and a freshly cooked meal just isn’t going to happen.ReplyCancel

  • I have been finding mornings so much easier now I have a freezer full of baked goodies. Hubby used to take frozen meals (mostly curries) to work for lunch, but now he is making himself salad wraps. Thankfully he makes them himself so it doesn’t add to my morning stress. ReplyCancel

  • I’m a big freezer fan. I live in a unit but still have my little freezer attached to the fridge and another bar freezer. I couldn’t live without them! ReplyCancel

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