We recently spent a long weekend at our cousins condo in the mountains. They have a beautifully appointed kitchen there with all the bells and whistles, but all of my kids and grandkids were going to be there and I didn’t want to spend every minute in the kitchen. Another reason to bring things prepared was that a grocery store was 45 minutes away, so bringing it all prepared cut down on the chance that we would forget an important ingredient.
So we had a little family meeting and decided on some of the family favorites and began preparing meals. You will find most if not all of the recipes in the recipe box. Then we began cooking, we divided up the meals between 3 households so it was not a burden. Some meals had to be prepared for 14 people, others as little as 3 people. Some of these meals I had never frozen before so I had a little trepidation about how well they would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised.
We made sausage gravy, I made it a little thick and froze it solid. I let it thaw a day or two in the fridge before we used it and thinned it a little with milk, it worked beautifully! I mixed all the dry ingredients for the biscuits and placed them in a ziplock bag with the directions and remaining ingredients printed on the bag.
We made homemade tomato soup, add a grilled cheese sandwich and you have a perfect rainy day mountain meal. And the frozen soup makes great ice in the ice chest as you travel.
We made Sweet lime chili enchiladas, we served them with sweet rice and taquitos with homemade guacamole. The only thing we prepared on the mountain was the rice, everything else was transported frozen and traveled very well. It always surprises me how well guacamole freezes. Just remember to cover it with plastic wrap and place it right down over the top to seal out any air.
We made fully loaded twice baked potatoes, but I didn’t bake them after stuffing them. I placed them on baking sheets and froze them solid them placed them in ziplock bags and placed them back in the freezer. They transported perfectly and when its time for dinner you just place them back on a baking sheet and bake away. The house will smell fabulous and it looks like you spent half the day making dinner.
We made yummy crock pot chicken and again only made the rice on the mountain. Soooo tasty! And such a nice meal to not have to worry about at the end of a day of vacation.
My daughters made cookie dough and froze it in logs and balls so we could have fresh cookies on demand. We learned that if the cookies have anything in them like chocolate chips they would be better off in balls than logs. Since you cut the dough frozen the chips and things making slicing it difficult. But the aroma and fun of fresh baked cookies with little effort was great fun!
They also made the sour cream cinnamon rolls and with the same recipe made orange rolls. Emma likes her small so she rolled the dough halfway, cut it then rolled the other half, it worked perfectly, and the little kids had rolls their little hands could handle. Emma froze the rolls right after rolling not allowing them to rise, on cookie sheets until solid, then individually wrapped them in plastic wrap, placed them in ziplock bags and put them back in the freezer. When ready to bake I just placed them on the baking sheets sprayed with pam and let them thaw and rise a couple hours. If you need to hurry them up, place them in the oven on warm until they are nice and puffy then bake them off. All we took for this was a bag of powdered sugar to make a glaze with a little milk for the cinnamon rolls and a little orange juice to make a glaze for the orange rolls. This makes such a nice, yummy smelling breakfast for the family to wake up to. We have made this kind of a tradition when we’re all together and it’s fun.
Of course there were all kinds of snacks and cereals along with the important games, movies and books to pack, but these pre-made frozen meals were such a time saver and so yummy to take along. Try it for your next gathering. It takes a little prep work beforehand but the time you get to spend with each other not cooking is so worth it.