Friday, January 29, 2010

Freezer Meal Group Info


I professed my love of my freezer meal group a couple of weeks ago, and am still getting emails demanding more information. So. . . here goes.

Our group consists of 6 families of basically the same size. Once a month, we get together and swap meals. Which means, before the date, we email each other what we are making for the month and then we make it - six times. It usually takes me an afternoon of cooking to make my meals. We meet with our meals, labeled with instructions and leave with six different meals for our freezer. It is very simple, and our leader makes sure it doesn't get too complicated. I think the only rule is to make sure that it is a complete main dish. For example, if you make sloppy joes, make sure you include the buns. Oh . . . and use common sense. It seems to work for us.


My friend, Jenni, at A Bear in the Kitchen is really the freezer meal queen and has some great recipes on her blog.


Because of the demand, I'll start posting some of the recipes every now and then. After six months of participating in this group, I've got some great ones!




Ham and Cheese Braid


This is one of my families favorites!


1 loaf Rhodes bread dough

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter

1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (not generic)

3/4 lb. thinly sliced ham

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon poppy seeds




Assembly Roll bread dough out into a rectangular shape so that its approximately 1/2" thick. Combine butter and ranch mix. Spread about 5 tablespoons of mixture on the rectangle. Layer ham and cheese down the center of the rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut strips along each side of the dough (even numbers on each side). Starting at bottom, take each piece, cross and twist. Continue criss-crossing until your it is all braided. Brush remaining butter ranch mixture over the top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Wrap loaf with plastic wrap and then foil. Label with cooking instructions and freeze.


Cooking Instructions Unwrap from foil and plastic wrap and set on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap. Let thaw overnight in refrigerator. A couple hours before you are ready to bake place on counter to let rise. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


Laurel's Notes: I don't use that much butter - it was way too much for us. I originally got the recipe here. Because Rhodes Rolls come in packages of three, I just make all three at a time; we eat one that night and freeze two for later (if I'm making this for just our family and not for the group). Just so it is said - my babe who is allergic to a slew of things, is also allergic to this - it is NOT gluten free.

19 comments:

1 Funky Woman said...

What a fantastic idea! How great to change up your menu selections. I find myself always cooking the same things. I might have to check with a couple of gals and see what they think, thanks!

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

That is such a great idea. I must have missed the post where you declared your love for your freezer meal group. I’m in the mist of starting a veggie co-op which I’m super excited about but this sounds pretty awesome too!
Kendra

http://domesticprincessintraining.blogspot.com

Emily said...

I love this idea, but how does it work with your daughter's allergies? Do people pay heed to that and make gluten free and nut free meals? Or do you just have to assume that she can't eat them?

Emily said...

Should have read your last note, I got too excited about the idea of the group and commented too early.

Darlene said...

I just think that is such a neat idea. I don't know of several families I know that would commit to doing this though. How sad as I think it would be great!

Cherylene said...

I organize a group that does this too and the funny thing is I made this rhodes meal for my meal group before I read this. We also have 6 girls in our group and we run it about the same. This is a lifesaver and we all really love this. I just started my blog at www.cherylenemcdermott.blogspot.com. It doesn't have many recipes yet but I'll do my best to get some posted. I also cannot have gluten but my family can and they all eat it and I usually make a nice giant salad or always have my chicken on hand :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Awesome idea, Laurel! I am going to check out the link. Your recipe sounds great!! :)

shoestringliving said...

Thanks for giving more information about the group, I wondered about it as well. Do you think you could give us a little update when the next group meets-ie, what you plan on contributing, what the other families plan on doing, and maybe how you guys got started,

Shanade said...

Thanks for the info. I love freezer cooking and have been doing it by myself for a while but have been wanting to start a freezer cooking group with some friends. Thanks for the website as well. There are some yummy sounding recipes I'll have to try.

Sarah said...

some of my friends and I just decided this past Thrusday to start this! I'm so excited. Right now there is 5 of us, and I'm messaging around to get another one..........

We were going to order foil containers from lids from a restaurant supply store. Good idea????

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

That ham & cheese braid looks delish!

Cheryl G. said...

Sounds amazing!

Erin said...

i so need to start doing this!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hey, Laurel! I just wanted you to know that I featured this link today. :) I used your freezer photo, but I made sure to credit/link to you. Hope that's okay. :) You can check it out here:
http://serenitynow4amanda.blogspot.com/2010/01/weekend-bloggy-reading.html

Kristen said...

You know I love this idea and I'm adding this recipe to the list I'm starting! Thanks for sharing Laurel!

Kasey said...

I love this idea! Love it! I am the queen of putting stuff in the freezer- I double or triple all my recipes like soups and stuff and freeze for meals at other times! It is so nice this time of year for sure since the hubs is a coach and we don't always have time to cook on game nights. But I might have to get some of my friends to join me in my love of freezing!

Rene said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to make it for my family.

The Phillips Place said...

I like the idea of spreading out the work between mommies-- when I was growing up, my mom and sisters and I would cook thirty meals at a time and put them in the freezer. It was handy in the end, but really grueling!

Thanks for the recipe-- my family would love it too!

P@nmyfreetime.blogspot.com said...

this recipe for the ham and cheese looks wonderful and i actually have everything on hand right now!
thanks so much

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