REALLY excited to share some of my dearest blogger friends with you today! Please meet Rachel and Polly from the incredible site Thriving Home. These friends are passionate about encouraging moms and equipping families with easy, healthy recipes. Polly and Rachel are getting ready to release their debut cookbook called From Freezer to Table which is about freezer cooking (the perfect way to handle back to school season meals!) and GUESS WHAT?! One of MY family’s favorite recipes is going to be featured in this cookbook! You will have to buy your own copy to find out which recipe made the cut (hahaha!). Take it away, girls!
Polly and Rachel here. We have been blogger buds with Julie for quite some time now and are thrilled that she’s giving us the chance to get in front of you today. Let’s kick off with a funny story, shall we?
As Julie mentioned above, we are releasing our cookbook, From Freezer to Table this September. As part of preparing for the book launch, we have been reaching out to various media outlets for publicity. A few days ago, we had just made our freezer cooking pitch to a magazine when we got copied on an email that I’m pretty sure we were NOT supposed to see. It was an exchange between two editors and it went something like this:
“Like, I get why this is helpful but ugh IDK “freezer cooking” just sounds so yuck.”
So. Stinking. Hilarious.
We’ve had some great belly laughs over this. We are pretty sure someone is hiding in a corner hoping we might have missed this email that was accidentally sent to us.
BUT, this is such a great reminder to us that most people out there have a few stigmas about freezer cooking. We get it. We aren’t offended by this. But we want to help people see past some of the false assumptions that they may have and show them the time-saving, money-saving, and sanity-saving benefits of freezer cooking.
We are always looking to help just one more person experience the end result of enjoying a delicious, homemade meal around the table with their loved ones. And, that’s really why we decided to write our cookbook called From Freezer to Table. (Psst, if you pre-order our book now, you’ll receive several fabulous freebies by the way!)
We get it. You’re hesitant to give freezer cooking a go, right? We’ve even been in your shoes, but it’s time to get some facts straight. So today I want to clear up the top three freezer cooking myths we’ve heard from our “nose-turner-upper” pals. 🙂
Myth #1: Freezer meals aren’t fresh tasting. They are usually mushy and boring.
My husband and I LOVE good food and claim to be “foodie-wanna-bes”. Mushy, boring, beige meals are what I avoid most when cooking. What I’ve learned is that freezer meals can taste just as good as fresh meals when prepared correctly. They can be full of vibrant color and complex flavors, too. Check out a few examples (and, yes, these are freezer meals)…
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal – I could eat this fall-licious baked oatmeal for any meal of the day. I love have an 8×8 pan on hand in the freezer for school mornings or when house guests stay. Serve warm with a little milk on top. Yum!
Szechuan Steak Stir-Fry – This was one of my freezer club’s favorite beef meals. The sauce is to die for, plus all those veggies make this a one pan wonder.
Farm Fresh Quesadillas – Here’s a quesadilla with a spin. Try eggs, bacon, cheese, and spinach on a whole wheat tortillas for breakfast or dinner. Double the batch and save one for later!
Honestly, our blog, our cookbook, and all our recipes are written as much for ourselves, as for you. We are proud of them and use again and again in our own homes. Each of our Freezer Meal Recipes include correct freezing and thawing directions at the bottom to help you maintain the integrity of the meal.
Here are a few quick tips for creating the best quality freezer meals possible:
- Only use the freshest ingredients to begin with.
- Use ingredients that freeze well, which all of our recipes do.
- Chill cooked dishes before freezing.
- Freeze in an air-tight, freezer container. (These are our favorites.)
- Freeze at 0°F or colder to retain vitamin content, flavor, texture, and color.
- Follow recommended guidelines for length of time in the freezer. There’s a handy little chart at the bottom of this page on the USDA’s website.
- Thaw foods properly. Here are our tips for the best way to store and thaw frozen meals.
Myth #2: I don’t have time for freezer cooking.
Freezer cooking doesn’t have to include monster cooking sessions on a weekend. It can be as simple as doubling what you’re making for dinner even once a week and freezing the extra for a later time. That’s it! And, that’s what Polly and I mainly do these days.
Want to give doubling your dinner a try? Just peruse through our Freezer Meal Recipe Index and pick out a few to double. We’ve included Freezer Meal Instructions at the bottom of these recipes to make it simple for you.
Or, check out our Weekly Menu Plans on Fridays that indicate the meals that you can easily double and freeze.
Having freezer meals on hand will help you cut down on all those extra little trips to the store during the week. Even more importantly, you’ll cut down on your prep, cooking, and clean-up time regularly, leaving weeknights freer to relax, spend time with your family, exercise, enjoy hobbies, or whatever else has been crowded out of your life by the daily cooking grind!
Myth #3: I don’t have room in my freezer for freezer meals.
I used my refrigerator’s small top freezer for years while in my Freezer Club to store my meals. It’s totally possible! The secret? Use gallon-sized freezer bags to freeze everything from soups to meats in marinades to baked goods. Simply lay them flat on a sheet pan to flash freeze, and then stack them easily in a small freezer.
We also both use these stackable, freezer-safe containers that can go from freezer to oven, in many cases. There are so many options for freezer storage, so be sure to read about all of your options here.
If you’re ready to take a baby step into freezer cooking and give it a try, be sure to pick up a copy of our cookbook and all the freebies during this pre-order time (only $13.43 on Amazon right now!) Here is a sneak peek into what’s in the book.
You can learn more about From Freezer to Table or order a copy here!
Want Free Recipes?
We’d love for you to give a few of our recipe a try. Hop over to this page to snag our Top 10 Easy Real Food Freezer Meals. YUM!
Thanks, Thriving Home, for this awesome post! I can’t wait to get my copy of your cookbook and I hope YOU will grab one too!