Saturday, August 11, 2007

Adventures in Freezing!

My very good friend Katie had her first baby last Saturday! It is such an exciting/stressful time for her. I knew that the last thing she would want to do would be COOK! She is going to have more important things to do, like take care of her ADORABLE baby. So I decided instead of bringing her a few baby outfits after his birth I would bring her some frozen meals that would only need to bede-frosted and baked.

It took me about 4 hours or so in the kitchen to get everything prepped and ready to freeze. I bought those disposable aluminum pans to put everything in so she wouldn't have to worry about cleaning and returning any dishes. Once it was in the pan I pressed saran wrap over top of it and made sure all of the air was out. Then I wrapped it in heavy duty aluminum foil. On the top of each dish I wrote the name, directions for thawing/cooking and the date that I made it. For the chili I bought those crock pot liners and I put it in a plastic glad ware bowl. That way she could just take the whole liner out pop it in her crock pot and throw the liner away when finished! NO MESS! If you have any questions about preparing meals to freeze feel free to e-mail me at Jigginjessica @

The menu and recipes -

Meatloaf Muffins

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes -
(Recipe Courtesy of the Best from Ohio Cookbook)

Ingredients: (I cut this recipe in half)
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cooked
1/2 cup butter
1/2 sour cream
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2-1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing (I actually just used 1/4 cup of already made italian dressing)

Mash potatoes: add rest of ingredients. Whip together then put in a
casserole dish. Set in refrigerator overnight (or a couple of days or
FREEZE) Bakeun-covered at 350 for 45 minutes.

Chicken and Chilies Casserole:
(Recipe Courtesy of


* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup light cream (I subbed cream cheese)
* 1 cup chopped onion (I used dry onion flakes)
* 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1 (2 pound) package frozen loose-pack hash brown potatoes
* 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
* 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
* I also added 2 tsp Cumin and garlic powder to this. Then I crunched up tortilla chips and sprinkled across the top before I baked. It gives it a nice crunchy texture and a lot of taste.


1. In a large bowl,combine sour cream, light cream, onion, chilies, salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes, chicken and 2 cups of the cheese. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.

5 Cheese Stuffed Shells

Chicken Tetrazzini:
(Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light)


1 tablespoon butter
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; saute 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.

spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine
breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15

Yield 2 casseroles, 6 servings each (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

(Recipe Courtesy of ME:))

Bare with me here. I just make chili up off the top of my head. So this is probably not an exact recipe!

1 pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tbsp chopped green chilies
A drizzle of EVOO
Seasonings to taste - Cumin, Chili powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Pepper, Bay leaf
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can red beans (I only used half because Katie doesn't like beans, for me though, I'll use 2 cans)

In a large stock pot drizzle EVOO and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add the ground beef and brown. Add the green chilies and seasonings to the browned meat and let simmer for a minute. Then add the tomatoes and beans. Let simmer on low for a couple of hours. Or transfer to crock pot.


  1. incredible!! what an amazing friend you are!! she is lucky to have you. i am sure all of these meals with help her out so much and i'm sure she will appreciate all the hard work you put into everything. you're such a sweetie!

  2. What a great friend you are! Everything sounds great, and that is so sweet of you to do. I'm sure she really appreciates it.

  3. Wow, will you be my friend when I have a baby? That was so nice of you. I am sure she will appreciate it.
    Of course I can not forget to mention that it all sounds wonderful! :) I am planning on making the tetrazinni this week.

  4. that is so sweet of you! i wish i had a friend like you when i my son was born. it will definitely be helpful.


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