This is a guest post by Susan author of Frost Bite eBook
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.
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:
- Try out the fantastic variety of freezer recipes on The Organised Housewife
- Here are tons of ideas on which sandwiches are suitable to freeze
- And lots of non-sandwich ideas for sweet and savoury foods for the lunchbox
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
- 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
- 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!
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.
Frost Bite eBook – available in my shop
Make-ahead recipes to eliminate mayhem at mealtime. With life busier than ever, finding a spare moment to prepare a meal can be a bit of struggle.
With three cookbooks already under her belt, Susan Austin is no stranger to the many benefits of make-ahead recipes. And whether you’re a working parent with a hungry family, or a single or couple just looking to save some time after work, it won’t be long until you’re enjoying all those benefits as well.
From dinnertime delights to sensational sides, each of Frost Bite’s 40 savoury recipes are tailor-made to be kept for later – saving you time and money (and more than a little bit of sanity!)
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.