I love to cook. Love to bake. If I had no other responsibilities, you’d likely find me in the kitchen. And I need to be in the kitchen, what with trying to feed all these people every day, but I also need to be elsewhere sometimes (says the dirt on my floor or the dust on my table or the little blue-eyed boy with Candy Land in his hand). One of my best tips for any busy family, big or small, is One Now, One Later.
If you’re making a meal that can be frozen, make two. Once a Month Cooking doesn’t work for me. It’s just not possible to string together a full day devoted to the kitchen when I’m nursing every few hours, preschool pick up at 11, ballgames some evenings. But freezer meals are a must for busy days. My solution is that I always try to make double what we need of freezable dishes so I can put one pan away for later. Later comes with unexpected company, appointments that ran late, or when mama just flat out doesn’t want to cook!
One Now, One Later saves lots of time on harried days. It also saves money because we’re not using up “easy” food on those days. (I would say because we’re not going out to eat or doing take out, but when those options are 20 miles away, that doesn’t really happen, anyway.)
How about that camera angle? The pan on the right is a 9×13. 😉
My favorite One Now, One Later dishes:
- Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Cheesy Broccoli and Rice with Chicken
- BBQ Meatballs
- Smothered Beans and Rice Burritos
- Chicken Spaghetti
From Heather: “A post about using your freezer meals would be good! In your day in the life it sounds like you took your chicken spaghetti from freezer straight to oven in the morning. I’d love specifics on these workings.”
If it wasn’t 12:30 am as I’m writing, I would elaborate. But yes, I sometimes take them straight from the freezer to the oven. In that case, I put the cold pan in a COLD oven. Then I set the oven to 350° or whatever. No preheating. The baking time is longer, of course, but it works!
What are your favorite One Now, One Later dishes? (Obviously, the ones I listed are more casserole-ish. I do have some other freezer meal prep tricks that I’ll share sometime when I’m NOT trying to type a quick post in the middle of the night. 😉 )