Getting Ready for Baby: Freezer Cooking | Tuesdays with Jacob

Getting Ready for Baby: Freezer Cooking

May 28, 2014

In the first installment of this series (Getting Organized) I told you that one thing that quickly overwhelmed me was all the paperwork coming in with our baby's new things. Well, let me tell you about something else that quickly overwhelmed me: the thought of never sleeping and never eating.

More specifically, never eating because I'm not getting any sleep and don't have the energy to cook. Unfortunately, I'm not here to help you get your baby to sleep. My baby isn't even here yet so I'm definitely not an expert in that category.

What I am here to help you do is stock your freezer. My fear of not having energy to cook has sprung me into action filling my freezer with meals I can later thaw and reheat when I am in "new mommy zombie" mode.

One of the first things my husband and I did was to buy a small chest freezer for our garage. It was the smallest one Home Depot had, I think about 5 cu. feet, and less than $200. It has plenty of space inside for all the meals I'm frantically making as I realize I've probably only got three weeks or less until baby is here.

As soon as it was delivered, I started cooking my little heart out. I tried to make one or two meals a day so as not to overwhelm myself, and then over the three day Memorial Day weekend I finished up with a marathon cooking spree.

To stay organized I made a list of all the meals I wanted to make, and then another list of all the ingredients I would need. I made that shopping trip all at once so I would have everything on hand. I had to stop to use the bathroom no less than three times during that shopping trip, but it got done.

Once I had cooked my recipes (there's a list coming I promise) I did what I could to make things easier later. For example, things that needed to be frozen together (but not mixed together) got frozen and then rubber banded together. French Dip sandwich meat in one bag, rolls and cheese in another. Both rubber banded together.



In our pantry I set aside a shelf for non-freezable items we would later need for the frozen meals. Things like taco shells, marinara sauce, spaghetti noodles, etc. all went on this shelf. I'm a little Type-A so everything got labelled with instructions to not use it for anything other than the freezer meal it goes with.

On the top of our freezer I put a sticky page protector with a list of all the meals and when they were cooked. As things get eaten I'll cross them off. This way we'll always know what is in there (things get stacked and hard to see) and when they were made.

Now I know what you really want to know, and that's what did I make? Here's the full list (including links) of what I stocked my freezer with before baby. (It should be fairly obvious, but these are NOT my pictures)

1. Taco Meat - I simply followed the instructions on the Taco Seasoning packet. I also froze a bag of taco cheese. In our pantry I stocked taco shells.

2. Chili - Basic recipe from the back of the chili seasoning. I also froze a bag of cheese, and in the pantry stocked tortilla chips, and pasta. 

3. Meaty Spaghetti Sauce - with spaghetti noodles in the pantry. 

4. Lasagna Roll Ups - I also froze garlic bread. I made these in mini pans with two roll ups in each pan. That way if one person is eating I can pull out one, or if we have company I can pull out multiple pans. 


6. Tuna Noodle Casserole - I made these in mini pans since my husband doesn't like tuna. I can pull them out to eat for lunches when he's gone back to work. 

7. Baked Ziti - I also froze garlic bread

8. French Dip Sandwiches - I froze the rolls and cheese in a separate bag then rubber banded them to the meat. 
9. Hamburger Soup - this made enough for me to fill four bags full! 

10. Baby Back Ribs - It's the second recipe on this page. 

11. Quiche - I cook this completely, then freeze so it can be reheated either in the oven or microwave later after thawing. I like this recipe from the Pioneer Woman with bacon, swiss, onion, mushroom, and artichoke; but any quiche will work! 

12. Sloppy Joe Filling - I also froze hamburger buns



15. Ham & Roast Beef Sandwiches - I made combos of roast beef/Swiss and Ham/Cheddar

Yes, this was a huge undertaking. I hope it doesn't overwhelm you. When I get overwhelmed or nervous about something I have to be put into action. I can't just sit there and worry about it - hence all these meals. Even if you make just one or two meals ahead of time, that's less you have to do once baby is here!

Do you have any good freezer recipes?

For all the posts in my getting ready for baby series, click here:
http://therosenblits.blogspot.com/search/label/Getting%20ready%20for%20baby
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