Cooking Ahead - do you?

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View Poll Results: Do you cook for a day to eat for a month?
Yes - OAMC is a regular part of my life
Yes - I sometimes do, but it's not built into my routine
Yes & No - I have before, maybe once or twice
No - I never have
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll
  • I have a question for those who bake things like meatloaf ahead of time and then freeze. How do you warm them up for dinner? Do you let them thaw out first and then put them in the oven or microwave or ???

    Do you underbake them to avoid them overcooking the second time?

    Im really trying to get the hang of this. It was really nice having extra food in the freezer ready to go for the last couple of weeks so now I would like to make extras that only need to be warmed up for really quick meals.

  • Tami, this is what I do when I make meatloaf ahead of time. I triple the recipe. Make 3 loaves (you could make 2 or 4, or whatever) and put them into 3 different baking dishes. Freeze 2 and bake one for that night. I freeze mine raw. You could buy the large super size package of hamburger meat. Take it home and make meatloaves with it before you freeze it. Of course, the more you freeze, the more freezer space and pans you'll need. When I take mine out of the freezer to cook, I put it in the fridge early in the morning. At dinnertime, even though it is still a little frozen, I bake it. It may take a little longer than if it were fully thawed, but it'll still taste great.

    I am in the process of typing up recipes on my computer. I make a recipe of brans rolls that are outrageous! I get requests to make them every holiday and pot luck dinner. I triple this recipe so that I'll have enough not to make it again for a long time.

    Bran Freezer Rolls
    1 1/2 cup All Bran (not flakes)
    ¾ cup sugar
    1 cup water
    ½ stick butter
    2 packages yeast
    1 cup warm water
    2 eggs
    6 cups flour

    Melt All Bran, sugar, water, and butter together until dissolved. Let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to the All Bran mixture along with the eggs. Slowly incorporate the flour until you have dough that springs back. Allow to rest for an hour. Take about ¼ of the dough; roll out into a circle and cut into pie shaped pieces. Roll each piece into crescents. Put onto a cold cookie sheet and freeze until frozen solid. Place in Zip-Loc baggies until ready to use. When ready to use, take out as many as you need and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Spray a little Pam or grease lightly. Cover and let warm until double in size. Bake in a 350˚ oven until light and golden brown.

    My children, since they were small, enjoy eating these as meals and lunches with butter and cheese melted into it.

  • meatloaf
    I cook my meatloafs and then remove them from the pan and freezewr bag them and wrap them. Sometimes I take it out of the freezer and put it in the frig to defrost the night before. Then I put it in a pan with tomatoe soup gravy or regular gravy or sometimes just put ketcup and brown sugar on it. Bake it 1 hour at 350. sometimes 1/2 hour will do it if it is not frozen any longer. Mine are fully cooked and sometimes I just let them defrost and slice them down cold for sand. or make in microwave as hot meat sandwiches with canned gravy. Hope this helps.
  • Thanks to both of you for giving me 2 different ways to prepare meatloaf ahead of time.

    A meatloaf sandwich sounds really good to me right now since its almost dinner time and I have nothing planned to make as of yet!

    Debora, How did you get your numbers ( 3/4 & 1/2) to appear one on top of the other like in the recipe above? Did you copy it from another program?

    The bran muffins sound really good!!
  • Quote:
    Debora, How did you get your numbers ( 3/4 & 1/2) to appear one on top of the other like in the recipe above? Did you copy it from another program?
    You caught me—I cheated! I also can do things like this degree symbol— ˚. I copied and pasted it from Microsoft Word.
  • Okay, so I did the poll, and answered no. Then I got to thinking about it. Then I googled it. Then I proceeded to make a crockpot of spaghetti sauce. Last night I made a giant batch of from scratch mac and cheese. I got dinner, 3 loaf pans, 3 square pans, and 12 muffin size single servings out of it. I'm not worried about DH and DS when I go to my sister's bridal shower in CA the first of August now. There is food to feed them. I also bought a bag of chicken leg quarters, a bone in ham shank, and 10 lbs of hamburger. What we don't eat this weekend (company coming, Pioneer Day, BIG deal in UT) I'm going to cook and portion out for the freezer. Nate really thinks I've been doing good with it this week. I'm going to keep the list updated and see how I do. Thanks Amanda for this great poll.
  • Janelle, I love your siggy line!!!

    Would you share your mac and cheese recipe? When you freeze it, does it thaw out ok so that the macaroni isnt soggy? My family loves mac & cheese so this would be great for my freezer too.

  • I have recently started working on that. It will be much easier once I get DH out of the house. He keeps undermining the efforts by raiding my stash of food in the freezer!
  • Tami,

    I don't measure out my ingredients, but I'll give you the basics...

    I saute some diced onion in butter/margarine, add enough flour to soak up the b/m and make it hard to stir (big lump), add milk a little at a time so it doesn't make the sauce really lumpy, bring to a small boil, (basically a white sauce with sauteed onions), add grated cheese, pour over macaroni that's not quite done, mix, bake or freeze, thaw in fridge, then bake. I bake at 350 till it looks done. It's really quite easy. My grandma used to top with sliced tomatoes from the garden, bread crumbs, then grated cheese. Really yummy!

    Thanks about the siggy line. I love yours too. I saw mine a while ago on a scrapbook sticker just in passing. I thought it was so applicable in my life.
  • Teresa

    Can you elaborate on this a little? Do you mean that you cook hamburger patties, freeze them, then you rerheat them in gravy? How long do you let them cook etc?

    Quote: there are some things that are great to do that way for instance summer veg. , spagetti, hamburgers if I get a big pack I will cook and freeze them then when I do gravy I let them sit in it and umm good.