Tag Archives: freezer

Top 6 Go-To Dinners to Freeze for Later

  1. Silver Dollar Pancakes
    Pancakes are a dinner-time staple for us, and for a quick meal my kids can make themselves, nothing tops this for me. I make these regularly to always have on hand.
  2. Cola Marinated Steak Tips
    Marinated the steak and keep in a zip-lock bag and freeze. As it thaws in the refrigerator, it’s marinating. Genius. Grill once fulled thawed.
  3. Pulled Chicken {Quesadillas}
    Make the chicken and pull it. Or buy a rotisserie and actually take the chicken off and pull it and then add the BBQ sauce (or not) and freeze. Once it’s pulled, you can thaw just a little to or the whole amount. Make the quesadillas, or use for another recipe.
  4. Potato Pancakes
    These freeze beautifully, and are another one where you can take out a little or the whole thing. These heat up easily in the microwave with no need to thaw them.
  5. Black Bean Burgers
    I love these as my own lunch go-to to add to salads, or make a sandwich. I can pull one or all of them out to reheat in the microwave or heat in a pan. You can thaw them, or heat frozen.
  6. Chicken Nuggets
    Do I need to explain? These are my kids’ favorite thing, and probably my husband’s favorite too. Once thawed these are good on top of a salad, or heat the whole recipe frozen into the oven as you would normally to get the best crunch when re-heating.

TIPS on Freezing Food:

  • Use a zip-lock sealable bag that is good quality. You spent the time making great food, so don’t get freezer burn. Why bother, when it’s so easy to freeze well?
  • Cool the food completely before freezing. It prevents freezer burn.
  • Add enough salt. When you freeze food, the salt kind of disappears (magic?) so I always salt something a bit more if I know I will freeze it- that or just know when it thaws, to salt it again.
  • Use a Sharpie. Label what you made. I also (magically) lose food that isn’t labelled. Don’t do that. Label instead.

That’s all I have my friends. I hope you will make-ahead a meal or two this long-weekend. You will be so glad you did, especially come that day you want to eat and no one is there to cook for you. Hmmm. So every day maybe! Get crackin’!

Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

My kids love pancakes- and so do I since they can be made ahead and frozen to be a stand-in meal at any time. When I am away at work and the girls need a quick meal before their sports’ practices, these pancakes are fun and easy to reheat, when popped from the freezer into the microwave.

Why silver-dollar sized? Because they are cute:

silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes

And also, since I love the kids to make them on their own, I don’t need to cut these. They can just dip them in the syrup and eat these as finger food. What kid doesn’t love that?!

silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes

The recipe is so easy from scratch, but you can of course make these with any pancake mix and add in your chips. If I have the time, and the ingredients on hand, I usually just make them, but I love my Trader Joe’s baking mix too. I have posted this recipe before, for a basic pancake mix, but so you don’t have to click around…here it is (adapted from Better Homes and Garden’s recipe) to make my Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip version:

Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • Here's the add-in: 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or you can use regular size chips)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, Mix dry ingredients with a whisk, so there’s no pocket of the baking powder. ?Make a well in the center, and add egg, milk, oil. Mix all together with a spoon, adding more milk if needed.
  2. I add chocolate chips now and mix gently. Let it sit, while you heat up your griddle. I use a non-stick griddle and spray it evenly. Heat this to medium low (it's ready with the sizzle test: put a drop of water on the pan, and if it sizzles, you are good to go. If not, heat it up a bit more).
  3. Measure out 1 Tablespoon of batter at a time onto the griddle, about 1 inch apart from another. Cook about 2 minutes per side, flipping only when bubbles form on the first side and the edges are a bit dry.
  4. Remove to a rack -not a plate, or they get soggy bottoms (We don't want that!).
  5. Serve warm with your favorite syrup or freeze into baggies for later. I love later!
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http://hardlyagoddess.com/silver-dollar-chocolate-chip-pancakes-foodieextravaganza/

This amount makes about 36 “silver dollar” sized pancakes, and I usually need more, so I usually double the recipe.
silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes

And freeze!

silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes

These are a meal-plan staple and such a great make-ahead and freeze item. If you like a “Breakfast for Dinner” type of recipe try my French Toast Sticks too. It’s another finger-food the kids love that I make ahead of time and freeze to have ready.

If you just love pancakes- and we do– then you are in luck!

See more pancake ideas for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza below, hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.
foodieextravaganza-300

See more pancake ideas for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza below, hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

foodieextravaganza-300

See more pancake ideas for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza below, hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

 

 

Foodie Extravaganza

Homemade French Toast Sticks for the Freezer

freezer french toast sticks

One of my favorite blogs,  AndreaDekker.com, posted recently on French Toast Sticks.  My kids LOVE the store bought version, which of course, is not my ideal healthy breakfast for most days- or the cheapest, at the rate we can go through them! In my recent efforts to change their little sugary taste-buds, I wanted to make my own version of these, and freeze them.  Inspired  by this blogger, who had a recipe for freezing the sticks, I decided to try it, and make these for later in the week.

I changed the type of bread and amounts, but the recipe turns out great!

It was super easy prep:

french toast sticks

Dredge in egg mixture and cook all at once, then remove to a parchment-lined pan to cool:

french toast sticks

Then freeze, while they are flat, and then transfer to a ziplock bag (sorry, no photo, but I think you can figure that one out!).

You definitely want to slice the bread before you dredge in the egg mixture,- it makes them let flattened out and more pleasing to look at!  I don’t know how healthy these are, but they are homemade, which always has less weird additives and sugar than the store-bought version.  Plus I want the kids to get used to homemade versions of their favorite packaged foods- changing their taste buds in a way that is less shocking to their little selves!

Homemade Freezer French Toast Sticks

Ingredients

  • 14 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, optional

Instructions

Directions:

Stack 5 slices of bread up on top of each other and align them the long way facing you. Using a serrated knife, cut the stack three ways,

In a deep-dish pie plate, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.  Heat the 1Tbsp butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Dunk each piece of the sliced bread into the egg/milk mixture and place on the pan. Cook on one side until lightly browned, then flip over and cook until done.

Remove the cooled sticks, and put on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Continue this process until all the sticks are cooked.  Now you can enjoy these right now if you don’t let them cool! Or you can let them cool completely and freeze.

To Freeze:

When they are cooled, place the lined cookie sheet filled with the sticks, in the freezer for about one hour or until frozen. If you had too many for one cookie sheet, place another layer of parchment or waxed paper on top before you put any on top-they will stick otherwise.  Once frozen, remove and transfer to a large gallon sized freezer bag. Make sure to label with contents and date. Put in freezer until ready to use.

When you want to make these, just remove the amount that you want and heat in a toaster oven or conventional oven until toasty. Makes 42 french toast sticks.

http://hardlyagoddess.com/homemade-french-toast-sticks-for-the-freezer/

Can’t wait for these to take out on Wednesday night for the meal plan! I think the kids will be really happy for this fun meal- perhaps a rare dinner smile from my picky people!