Looking for savory ways to save time in the kitchen while keeping you and your family well-fed? Sandra Lee, star of Semi-Homemade Cooking on the Food Network and author of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money Saving Meals suggests meals that you can make-ahead and freeze for those days when you can't spend your afternoon preparing the family dinner. Here are some helpful tips and three mouthwatering make-ahead meals.
Tips to fix and freeze mealsFixing and freezing meals is an easy way to always have scrumptious dishes ready to reheat and serve. To make the most of your "fix it and freeze it" meals, follow these tips from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money-Saving Meals.
1. Freeze smartSeparate appetizers, meatballs, cookies, or candy on a baking sheet, freeze solid, then transfer them to a container. Separate layers with parchment paper
to prevent them from clumping together.
2. Bag broths and saucesFreeze liquids flat in plastic bags, then stand them up sideways for storage. They'll take up less space and thaw faster.
3. Cool foods before freezingCooling food first speeds up the freezing process and reduces condensation. The faster food freezes, the fresher it tastes when thawed. Cool initially on the counter then immediately refrigerate to hasten cooling. When completely cool, place in the freezer, properly wrapped.
4. Cook when you canSpend a Sunday afternoon cooking, and freeze enough meals to eat all week. Freeze food in individual or meal-size portions – it will thaw quicker and you can pop out the number of servings you need.
5. Pack food tightlySqueeze excess air out of bags to prevent freezer burn. Fill containers full, leaving a little space at the top to prevent liquids from expanding and sticking to the lid.
Up next…recipes for make-ahead meals to fix and freeze