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peverroad 04-27-2006 08:57 AM

question about freezing meals
i know some of you do once a month cooking and such. I was just looking for some short cuts and had a few questions
when you say make a double batch and freeze it Say with meat loaf you make several meat loafs and cook all and the freeze or just make them up freeze them and cook when ready to use?
The ones with meat do you cook the meat before freezing cook everything and them freeze and just reheat.
Like lasagna do you cook the meat frist (i think you would have to) and then freeze do you cook the noodles?

And then i have a question about freezing pizza dough. I have a bread maker and it makes great pizza dough but it takes so long. And i wanted to do some ahead of time and freeze. How would i do this. Take it right out of the machine and make a ball of it and freeze. It has to rise a couple times after coming out of the machine do i let it do that before i freeze or when i am ready to use it.
I have so many questions can anyone help. If anyone freezes pizza dough i would love a step by step explanition so i wouldn't be so worried about how to do it

raceNzanesmom 04-28-2006 12:04 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
Meat like a meatloaf I wouldn't cook at all- just freeze in loafs so it's ready to go. Pasta, rice, etc cook about 3/4 done. With lasagna, if you pre-cook your noodles I'd cook about 3/4, fully cook meat, make and freeze. I don't pre-cook my noodles, so I'd just freeze the meat mixture. When time to make it I'd thaw the meat mixture and layer. I use raw noodles and cook an extra 7-10 minutes.

No clue about pizza dough.

wbkt8 04-28-2006 12:23 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
i don't put much up in the freezer now, but i nested big time with stuff like that before dd was born. i think cooked meat holds up fine in the freezer as long as you make sure that it's wrapped up well so that it doesn't get freezer burn. i made lots of stuff like soup/spaghetti sauce that i put in the big ziploc bags & froze flat (on a baking sheet). for lasagna i have done it up, assembled, and cooked most of the way through then let it cool & freeze. i use the no-boil noodles. casseroles (cook all individual ingredients that need cooking) and assemble and freeze.

MamaJo 04-28-2006 12:55 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
The meat thing depends.... If you start out with meat that has never been frozen, you can freeze uncooked. If its been frozen and thawed and then you make the meal, you need to cook it before refreezing.

What I do is cook all meat before freezing and I never notice any type of "leftover" taste kwim?. You could make mini meat loaves so they are easier to thaw and "cook" when you want to use them for dinner.

I think I remember reading that you can freeze dough, but I'm not sure at which point...before/after rising. I'll have to check, I know its in one my cookbooks around here lol What we normally do though, is make the dough, roll out the crusts and parbake them and freeze. That way we just take them out, put the toppings on and it all cooks in perfect timing. If you didn't parbake before freezing you would probably have to do that anyway before adding toppings, otherwise your toppings would probably overcook - thats what happened to ours.

MamaJo 04-28-2006 12:57 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
Oh with lasagnas, we definately brown the meat first, assemble the lasagna using ready to cook noodles, then just pour a teeny bit of water around the edges and freeze. The noodles cook pefectly and its not runny at all.

stopka7224 04-28-2006 01:06 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
Hey thats good to know! I "investment" cook as pampered chef would call it. I buy family packs of meat, like BLSL Chicken, and ground beef... and I pre cook it, let it cool, then put it in freezer bags. That way if I want to make hamburger helper all I have to do is microwave the meat for like 2 minutes drop it in the pan with the noodles and sauce and its done it about 15 minutes! Same with the chicken, some times I cut it into peices first for chicken salad, buritos, ect.. so all I do is thaw and add the extras. Simple!

bethanyjoy 04-28-2006 05:17 PM

Re: question about freezing meals

I'm starting to get into this myself...

SamanthaKailea 04-29-2006 10:27 AM

Re: question about freezing meals
i always freeze my dough before rising then when i take it out to use i let it defrost and rise like needed

deejahd 05-08-2006 12:59 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
For pizza dough if you would typically do 2 rises freeze it after the first rise then defrost and let it do the last rise. If you only do 1 rise then freeze ir right after you fininsh making it! I also make and freeze 4 pizza's worth of sauce so at any point we could have a homemade pizza fresh out of the freezer in less than 1 hour and all we have to do is assemble it. It definately cuts out the temptation to order out!

beckymomof2 05-18-2006 10:37 PM

Re: question about freezing meals
I also use the no-boil lasangna (sp) noodles. What I have done before to avoid having tons of left overs that we end up throwing away is I made my batch in two small pans instead of one big pan. Then I cook one pan and freeze the other. It turns out great.

When I made pizza dough I waited until it was all mixed and then froze it in a ziplock. I didn't let it rise at all until I took it out to thaw.

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