Let's indulge in a little fantasy. You come home at the end of a busy day with hungry people to feed. And you open the freezer, praying for a miracle, and behold! There is a whole meal waiting in there for you and your family. All you have to do is pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or so.
And no, it's not Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. And it's not last night's leftovers. And it's not takeout. This is food you cooked. But how? You were at work all day. Oh my God, did you clone yourself?!?
Yes! I mean, no. This, my friends, is the mom hack known as freezer meals.
Now before you say, "Pshh, I'm not doing that!" and click away, listen to us now and believe us later: This is easier to pull off than you think, and you're going to thank yourself when you thaw out that first meal. Seriously. You are going to say aloud, "Thank you, self, for premaking this dinner. I'm welcome!" and your kids are going to think you're insane. But you're not. You're smart and resourceful.
We got tips from our friends at Once a Month Meals (see Tricia Callahan's BlogHer speech, Productivity and Efficiency: Get More of the Important Stuff Done) on how to make this freezer-meals business your tantalizingly new easier life. Here's what they told us.
With these simple steps, you can stock the freezer with healthy, home-cooked meals, even if you don’t consider yourself a rock-star cook.
Pick your recipes
First, you have to know what you are going to cook. Here are a few guidelines:
Prepare for the big day
I promise — this undertaking won’t be difficult if you get organized first. One step at a time.
Freeze all the things
This is it. Get the kids, pets and other dependents out from underfoot, turn on your favorite tunes and get to work.
Now all that is left to do is enjoy your dinner — and all of your newfound free time.
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