My sister, TCC, has been a wife and mother a lot longer than I have and has taught me quite a few good tips. One of those tips is freezer cooking. The first time that she told me about it, I thought to myself, "I love to cook, why would I want to do all of this prep work ahead of time, and then not be able to enjoy the time that I was cooking the meal each day?"...Then, I had a baby, and realized that I did not always have time to cook everyday - but I wanted to eat healthy, and we cannot afford to eat out all of the time. I do like when others cook for me, but we do not make it a weekly practice.
Anyway, a few months ago, it happened...I was in BJ's, and went to purchase their brand of chicken breasts. Usually they sold it for $1.89/lb, but when it was rung up, I had to do a double take because the price was so low...it had been marked down to $0.89/lb! The reason why, is because the sell by date was in two days, and they wanted to be sure that it was sold in time. So, I went back to the meat area, and I ended up buying about 40 pounds of chicken! It was crazy, and I did not want to just freeze it all without doing anything with it, so that was the first time that I tried freezer cooking. You spend many hours making many meals, but it is worth it in the long run - I cannot remember how many meals that I had made, but at least 15, I think.
Well, last Thursday, Brady and I were in BJ's buying some detergent, sunscreen, and American cheese. As we were passing by the meat section, I decided to check out the chicken - they so not sell bulk chicken breasts that are their brand (or a no name brand), so I decided to check out the Purdue. I really do like Purdue the best because it does not have any fat, to speak of, that you have to cut off. Anyway, I was looking at the tenderloins, and saw that it was 69 cents/lb - It did not hit me right away how unbelievable this price was, and I thought to myself - "Oh, that seems to be decent...and then it hit me (I must have been really tired!)...that is incredible! I had to look at it again, and I realized that the sell by date was in two days, that it why it was marked down (Usually, Purdue is about $3.29/lb at BJ's)! So, I went a little crazy, and I bought about 40 pounds of thinly sliced breasts, about 12-16 pounds of tenderloins, and about 10 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs! I bumped into my parents at BJ's, told them about the great deal, and they picked up about 6 packages for them, and some for TCC too - they called her on their cell phone - we do not have one of them yet! :)
So, what did I do with all of this meat, and why did I buy so much chicken? Well, I do not eat red meat, because I cannot digest it well - it goes right through me - so, we do not eat that in our house. Dawson does not like seafood at all, so there is not point in me cooking that. We are not big pork fans - so the meat that we eat is chicken, and turkey. Actually, we were both raised not eating read meat, so that was not a big deal for Dawson, however, if we are invited to someone's house and they have some type of beef, he will eat it! So, that is why I was so excited about the chicken deal.
What did I make? One of my close friends checked out a library book for me that is all about freezer cooking called, Don't Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer, so I got a few meal ideas from there (I am going to buy this book). There are many recipes that I have not tasted yet, but they sounded good to try out! Anyway, here is the delicious list (and I made about 3 meals of each):
1. Chicken Marsala
2. Piquant Chicken
3. Baked Marinated Chicken
4. Orange Teriyaki Chicken (this is for the grill)
5. Creamy Swiss Chicken
6. Hawaiian Chicken (this is for the crock pot)
7. Italian Stuffed Chicken
8. Lemon Glazed Chicken
9. Chicken 'n Wine
10. Chicken Parmesan
11. Almond Chicken
12. Chicken was cut up for wok meals - Dawson really enjoys cooking with the wok, and I enjoy eating the meals - the high heat that he cooks at "scares" me a little bit!
13. Some breasts were frozen, and we will do something with them later
13. we just froze the thighs - those will be for wok meals too
I think that I listed all of the meals!
Tonight was Almond Chicken (this is one of my favorites), tomorrow will be Baked Marinated Chicken - I have not tasted this yet! I am excited to try new tastes!
I am so glad that this cooking/prepping is over. My DH helped me by playing with Brady this weekend, he was my helper chef (sometimes, I am the helper to him!), and he cleaned up yesterday and today! Now, it is time for bed!