The Longest Post Ever Written About Freezer Cooking

Tresia recently suggested having a freezer cooking day, which I was 100% in favor for.  I thought it was time to break out the new cookbook and try a few new recipes.  So last weekend we gathered at Bev’s for some meal-making.

Here are the recipes we picked:

Tresia – Meatballs, mashed potatoes

Bev – Spaghetti Pizza Casserole, Cheesy Hashbrown Meatball Casserole

Jen – Pizza, Chili, BBQ Porkchops

PS – this was the temperature according to the pickup when I left the house at 8:00 a.m.:

The first thing I got to work on was the dough for the pizza crusts.  It was a yeast dough that needed to rise for 1 ½ hours, so I used bread machines for two crusts and made the other 4 by hand.

I was also super excited to use some new Tupperware: I am IN LOVE with these mixing cups and spoons.  Here’s why: the spoons are designed to sit on a flat surface like a countertop, so they stay put without spilling all over and making a huge mess.   The thing I love about the cups is that the set includes 1/3 and 2/3 cup sizes, and they nest really well for storage.  My other two sets of measuring spoons and cups are so going into the garage sale box in the basement.

Tresia started off with the meatballs – I think she wanted to make between 125-150 meatballs.  Holy piles of meatballs, Batman.

Bev’s first dish was the Spaghetti Pizza Casserole, and I don’t know if she tripled or quadrupled the recipe, but there was a LOT of it.  It was like a never-ending pile of spaghetti.  I think we each ended up with at least 4 containers of this casserole, but that’s 100% ok with me – we had one for supper this week, and it was de-lish.

I moved onto chili next, because it basically consisted of throwing everything in a pot and letting it simmer for 1 ½ hours or so.  This recipe was awesome.  Super, super good.  I put our portions in small bowls that we can just take them out for lunches.  I guess I must have been a bit distracted at this point, because I didn’t get any pics of the chili.  We were short on stovetop space at this point, so Bev taught me to do something I’d never done before (and didn’t even realize was possible): I browned the hamburger for the chili in the microwave.  Fab!  We just cooked it for five minutes at a time, then took it out, drained it, and repeated this cycle til it was browned.  I am so doing this for the rest of my life.

Tresia got started peeling potatoes, and we all chipped in to help whenever we had a few down minutes since she had about 30 pounds of potatoes to peel.  To each batch of potatoes, she added a couple of eggs, cream cheese, and butter.  Yum!

Once the dough had risen, I pressed the crusts onto the pizza pans.

Dave and Kara introduced me to this seasoning when we had pizza night at their house – it is my new favorite seasoning.  They said they use it on just about everything.  And they actually sell it at our local grocery store, which about made me faint in happiness. So I sprinkled some of this on the crust before adding toppings.

Next I added cheese and the other toppings – we had pepperoni, hamburger, ham, green peppers, and mushrooms.  The trick with this recipe is to put the pizza sauce on top of the pizza…this helps keeps the crust from getting soggy on cooking day.  This was my first time using the pizza sauce I canned this summer, and it was pretty tasty.

Then you just flash freeze each pizza for 30 minutes before covering it, and you’re ready to roll!  I am so making pizzas again the next time we freezer cook.  Super easy and super yummy.

Bev finally finished the twelve hundred pounds of spaghetti pizza casserole and got started on the cheesy hash brown casserole.  She mixed frozen hash browns and a cheese sauce together, and then added some of the meatballs that Tresia made earlier.

Last thing I worked on was the BBQ porkchops.  First brown them on both sides, then make the sauce, using ketchup, honey, olive oil, bbq sauce, brown sugar and catalina dressing.  The sauce was mmm, mmm good, so I whipped up an extra batch of that to freeze and use with Tresia’s meatballs.

Then just simmer the chops in the sauce for 15 minutes and you’re done!  I freeze these individually in ziplock baggies.

And done!  In about 5 hours.  I’m getting more and more addicted to freezer cooking.  How did we get along without it?!

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2 thoughts on “The Longest Post Ever Written About Freezer Cooking

  1. Did you have to stir the hamburger meat in the microwave when you browned it? How did you flash freeze the pizzas? Jen, this is so awesome, I really wished you lived closer!! You’ll have to send me the pizza recipe because we eat tons of frozen pizza and this would probably save us a lot of money!!! Love ya!

  2. I SO wish we lived closer, too! It would be a blast to do this with you…hmmm, maybe Tresia and I need to plan a road trip to visit/cook for a weekend! Yes, I did stir the hamburger each time I pulled it out and drained the grease. To flash freeze the pizzas, you just assemble them and then pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes just so they harden up some, then pull them out and cover them with press and seal and foil. I’ll get the recipe posted here this week. Be in touch – let me know what you think of it! Hugs!

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