Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Make Ahead Meals

Lately I've been experimenting with make ahead meals. Something that can be frozen and then just popped into the oven when you want to make dinner. I've done a shepherds pie (I mixed the cheese into the mashed potatoes rather than topping), chicken pot pie casserole-put the crust on before putting it in the oven rather than before freezing or just top with biscuits after its cooked, and lasagna. I would've done enchiladas too, but those we ate that day. Also, I'd be worried the tortillas would get a little too soggy, I mean they get soggy anyway, but I don't know how well they'd freeze and thaw then cook. A couple of tips, don't use a glass pan-the temperature differentials are not safe for glass, even the super duty tempered stuff like Pyrex. With most things, you probably want to bring it to room temp first, so pull it out a couple of hours before you put it in the oven. The big point of making stuff ahead is to cut down your prep time, if you use the disposable foil pans, you also cut down on cleanup at the same time!

Other recent experiments have been homemade granola bars and homemade enchilada sauce. I like to cut our overall costs as well as improving overall health by cutting out unnecessary sugars, dyes, and preservatives. They were both hits! The links below are to the recipes I used. I adjusted for our personal pallates, which makes it fun! You usually don't have to follow a recipe to the letter, its a guideline not a law!

Happy Cooking!

Granola Bars

Enchilada Sauce

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