Freezing Your Way to More Home Cooked Meals

January 10, 2012

lentil sausage

- Merrill

We've been saying we were going to do it for a couple of years now, and we finally did it. My husband and I bought a chest freezer. What on earth (you might ask) would possess a young couple living in a cramped New York apartment and expecting their first child to make such an outlandish purchase? After all, it's enough of a challenge to figure out where to store all of the baby gear without adding another large appliance to the mix.

Well, I've got news. The chest freezers of old, those massive, hulking objects reminiscent of Victorian-era steamer trunks, have been joined by a younger, sleeker breed. It was this stainless steel beauty that caught our eye last week and convinced us to finally take the plunge. It's nestled into a back corner of our dining room, where we plan to throw a tablecloth over it and add a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit to complete the disguise.

Over the past ten days or so, I've been cooking up meals to fill our new freezer. It seems I'm not alone in this endeavor, so I thought I'd share a list of some of the recipes I've already made or am planning to make to tide us over when all my husband and I have time to focus on is changing diapers and stealing a few precious moments of sleep wherever we can. Whether you're expecting or just looking to stock your own freezer with great meals that reheat beautifully, this list should be helpful. And please feel free to make more suggestions -- I've still got a week!

Chicken Soupy Stew

Chicken Soupy

Pasta and Bean Soup with Kale, Revisited

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sherry

butternut soup

Oliver Clark's Meatloaf

Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos (doubles as chili and taco filling!)

pork tacos

Weeknight Ragu (using pork breakfast sausage)

...which I then turned into lasagna.

Mr. L's Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

...which I then turned into shepherd's pie, loosely following the Joy of Cooking recipe.

Lentil and Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter's Night (I used turkey sausage)

Lentil and Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter's Night

Pastitsio (using lamb and chicken sausage from Fleischer's, which just opened in my neighborhood)


Joan Nathan's Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce from the New York Times

Like this post? Check out Merrill's previous topic: Peanut Butter Cookies.

5 Comments Add a Comment
  • Blogger1

    Sherry is the demo specialist at Whole Foods Market North Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Sherry Thrasher says: A new baby brings such excitement that you hardly have the time or energy to cook homemade meals.The lentil and sausage soup looks delicious. Best of luck!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • Merrillprofile

    Merrill is a co-founder of food52.

    merrill says: Thank you!

    over 2 years ago
  • 40-40-jenny-savourthesenses

    Savour the Senses says: This is great! I wish I had more room in my freezer!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • Missing_avatar

    Amy4 says: This is so wonderful. I did a couple of "freezer cooking days" were I cooked for a couple hours and made as many meals as possible to freeze. It helps out with time and money. Here is a link to my freezer cooking...enjoy!

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • Merrillprofile

    Merrill is a co-founder of food52.

    merrill says: Thanks for the link, Amy! Love your ideas.

    over 2 years ago

You can post comments here after you log in.