Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Time-Saving Hints, Freezer version

Things to keep in the freezer 

(besides precooked chicken and ground beef):

  • Parmesan cheese - fine grate or coarse shred - just keep it in a ziploc bag.  Take out what you need when you need it.
  • leftover pancakes or waffles - pop into the toaster for a quick breakfast or snack
  • a bag of fruit for smoothies
  • cooked rice - cook it, spread it out on a cookie sheet, freeze for 30 minutes, then plop into a ziploc.  Use in casseroles and soup or Mexican dishes
  • tomatoes: before they go bad, roast them in a barely-on oven (225°) with a spritz of EVOO for 4 hrs.  Cool, then freeze.  Use in sauce and chili.
  • pasta
  • grains (especially from the barrels where you scoop the quantity you want.)  Double wrap and freeze for 3 days - any little critters riding along will perish.  
  • pesto - freeze pesto in ice trays in 2T portions.  
  • herbs - wash and then immerse 1 t portions of herbs in water or broth in ice trays.
  • cookie dough - scoop portions onto cookie sheet and flash-freeze, then store in ziplocs so you can bake 1, 2, or more at a time.  If you're going to bake in large quantities, consider slice and bake rolls of cookie dough.
  • homemade broth or stock - freeze in 1/2 c portions
  • milk - freeze in 1 c portions - thaw and shake before using
  • buttermilk - freeze in 1/2 c portions - thaw and shake before using
  • juice - if you're freezing large containers of juice, remember to take some out as liquid expands when frozen
  • bread, baked goods (as a single, I can still take advantage of those BOGO offers.  Hurray for my freezer!)
  • tomato paste - open a 6 oz can and only use 2 T?  Freeze the rest!
  • dough - I buy real pizza dough from my favorite pizza place, then make my own pizzas
  • eggs - crack into ice cube trays.  Freeze 3 hours, then pop them out and wrap well in those ziplocs. (A little oil rubbed around the ice tray helps the eggs pop out easily)
  • fresh lemon/line/orange juice and zest - when a recipe calls for "half a lemon, juiced" - first ZEST, then juice the lemon.  Use what you need and freeze the rest.  Throw the rest of the peels and lemon into your disposal to clean and freshen the blades

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