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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to post yet ANOTHER question today, but I am in need of some ideas.

I want to start making some dinners to freeze for after our baby is born (to make my life and DH's life a bit easier). I'm looking for some suggestions (or even warnings on what NOT to freeze).

Also methods (tupper ware, mason jars, zip lock bags, food saver bags, etc.

I want to say that I saw on a site somewhere to line casserole dishes with plastic wrap or wax/parchment paper and then freeze the whole thing, once frozen into the shape of the container, remove by lifting the paper and repackage.. Anyone tried this?
 

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Heya - You have come to the right person! I freeze EVERYTHING!

I do this for a couple of meals a week for when I have a busy day and aren't up to cooking. I freeze everything almose! Any stew, curry or casserole freezes fine - the only problem I've had is mushrooms can freeze badly (they don't always seem to though? I don't know why) as their texture can change. I also freeze pies - I usually make four and freeze two of them for another meal. I freeze nut loaf - I slice it up first, and put all the slices in to freeze which is REALLY time-saving. I like to freeze lentil shepards pie too because it takes a while to cook but is delicious and that (including mash) freezes just fine. Oh and my boyfriend has made vegetable lasgane and frozen that and he says that's great too.

I buy those foil tray things to freeze meals into portion sizes so I can heat them up in the oven, and I put my boyfriends in tupperwear plastic containers so he can microwave them at work (sometimes this stains the tupperware so be warned!), things like pasties and pies can if you're careful be put into freezer bags and put carefully into the freezer - once they're frozen its fine just make sure they don't tear or get bashed on their way in.

I would suggest giving a lot of things a go - cake freezes brilliantly, I was so supprised! My mum makes up banana loafs and slices them into slices to freeze, and I've made batches of 12 cupcakes and froze half before and they froze perfectly, no difference. I've frozen mouse icing for cupcakes and defrosted it and that was fine even! My mum said she froze cakes WITH icing on and they defrosted just fine too.

I often freeze bread, it does make it dryer but we buy rolls but don't get through them quick enough so to stop wasting we freeze some and defrost them and eat them warm.

Umm I also freeze herbs (I pack them into ice cub trays and pour water over them to pop straight into stews), chillis freeze brilliantly (we buy big packs and freeze them) and theyre easy to chop frozen which is handy.

For foods that use sauces/pastes (like thai dishes) I freeze the paste either in ice-cube trays (this can make them smell food-y though so I suggest keeping ice-ones and food-ones seperate) which can then once frozen be poped out in a freezer bag so you can use the tray again, if you only need one or two ice-cube size portions per meal, or in freezer bags if it's a sauce you need more of for a meal (in portion sizes so one bag=enough for one meal for the two of us).

I hope that helped!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You helped a ton! Thank you, I have quite the list growing!

How about pastas? I mean I suppose it would be easy enough to cook the pasta fresh and just add thawed sauce..
 

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I've not tried anything except for lasagne (well my boyfriend and mum do lasagne) but that works fine so I don't see why other pastas would be any different. Maybe try once, and eat it before you do any more just to be sure? Or like you said freeze the sauce and cook the pasta.

When I know a busy time is comming up (like exam time!) I just cook an extra portion of everything that is freezeable when I cook it for a week or two before hand, that way it's no extra work because you're cooking anyway you're just cooking a bit more, and you can stock up on frozen food
 

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pasta as far as in a dish works just fine. I haven't tried cooking and freezing just pasta though. Any grains can be cooked and frozen too, like rice or barley or quinoa if needed to be.
 

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I live alone and I love to cook, so I freeze tons of stuff. If I make a batch of soup, or chili, or pasta, I eat a serving and put the rest right into tupperware containers and pop them in the freezer. I put leftover sauces in large zip locs and freeze them flat. When they're frozen, I can stack them or stand them up sideways like books. I do the same thing with things like tomato paste when I have to open a can and only use one tablespoon. The rest goes in a zip loc and gets frozen. Then I can just break off a piece when I want to use it.

When I freeze things like berries, I spread them out on a sheet pan and freeze them. Once they're frozen, I transfer them to a zip loc or container. It's easier to just pull out a handful that way since it doesn't freeze into a solid block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I was actually just thinking that I would do that for berries this summer and than maybe use mason jars to store them in, I figure I could put a variety into some of the jars and my hubs and I would have an instant smoothie mix, so to speak.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenish View Post

When I freeze things like berries, I spread them out on a sheet pan and freeze them. Once they're frozen, I transfer them to a zip loc or container. It's easier to just pull out a handful that way since it doesn't freeze into a solid block.
I do the same thing with strawberries, and raspberries. Blueberries, I just throw into a bag and freeze. Hopefully too many aren't crushed early on.
 

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depends on how you're going to be thawing it - if you want to do it quickly in a microwave, aim to cook things you can stir (curries, pasta dishes, stems, etc.) otherwise you'll end up with a big frozen chunk in the middle while the outside is boiling hot. Also, if you're going to be stirring it, try to avoid freezing delicate stuff like broccoli - it'll likely disintegrate when you thaw it.

If you're reheating more slowly or in an oven then it doesn't matter so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay thanks! You guys are all so wonderfully helpful!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstack View Post

Thanks! I was actually just thinking that I would do that for berries this summer and than maybe use mason jars to store them in, I figure I could put a variety into some of the jars and my hubs and I would have an instant smoothie mix, so to speak.
Can you freeze glass jars? I tried it once and the jar ended up shattering all over the place.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

Can you freeze glass jars? I tried it once and the jar ended up shattering all over the place.
I was about to add in there... You might not wanna put glass in the freezer. The extreme Temp change when it goes in or when it comes out can cause it to break or but exspecially when liquids freeze they expand which can pretty much cause a glass container to explode. (To many times have I wanted to chill a can drink fast or a bottle beer and forgot about it just to see that it exploded in my fridge.

Just stick to Ziploc bags and tupperware. Glass may work with some things in the freezer but I wouldnt chance it.
 

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Containers will specifically say if they are freezer safe. Pyrex is freezer safe, but you still shouldn't expose it to a large temperature change such as freezing hot foods (cool them to room temp or in the fridge first) or putting a frozen casserole directly in the oven (let it thaw in the fridge first).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

^Yup that's exactly what happened. I had a very liquidy soup in a jar that exploded when I took it out to defrost.
Did you fill it to the top? I've frozen in glass and when allowed to slowly thaw and if a couple of inches are left at the top, it's always been fine. I've seen people put the glass in water or under running water and then they shatter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

Can you freeze glass jars? I tried it once and the jar ended up shattering all over the place.
well the mason jars i purchased this past year said right on them "suitable for freezing" and makes a note about leaving headspace. So I assumed they were/are
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by *AHIMSA* View Post

Did you fill it to the top? I've frozen in glass and when allowed to slowly thaw and if a couple of inches are left at the top, it's always been fine. I've seen people put the glass in water or under running water and then they shatter.
No I don't think I filled it to the top or put it in water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstack View Post

well the mason jars i purchased this past year said right on them "suitable for freezing" and makes a note about leaving headspace. So I assumed they were/are
Sounds like they are then!
 

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careful when freezing pasta cuz when you warm it up again it tends to overcook it slightly, like in minestrone soup or something. If you're good you can undercook the pasta by a couple minutes when you make it the first time and then freeze it. Most other soups freeze very well if there isn't pasta, shouldn't have a problem w/ beans or veggies. not sure about milk as i'm vegan.

most grains should freeze just fine too, I freeze cornbread and other breads, although I often google things just to make sure.
 
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