Freezing in portions!!
When I first starting freezing things I would just put the whole thing in the freezer (except for meats, I would always portion them) however I just never thought to portions other things. Well everything seems to come with experience and I have been getting better at freezing in portion sizes. I am finding out that there are a lot of things that can be frozen in portions so here are just a few that I have found work great.
I know there is the classic just add vinegar to your milk but sometimes I just really enjoy adding this lovely flavor to cinnamon buns, pancakes or corn bread. However most recipes only call for about 1 cup; leaving you with a container of butter milk that has lots of potential for going bad so I used trusty old google to search if this can be frozen and sure enough it can. So I carefully measured out 1 cup portions, placed in Ziploc baggies, labeled and frozen them. I just got a chance to use them the other day when I made Cranberry Chocolate Muffins and zucchini chocolate cake. It thaws quickly when I placed the baggie into a cup of hot tap water. Give it a shake and it is ready to be added to the recipe.
This is great as I make my own pizza sauce. I simply make a batch and then I place it into mini jars, label and freeze. One jar is enough for one pizza. To thaw I simply place in cold water that way I don't have to worry about the glass breaking and it doesn't take forever if I forget to take it out over night.
This one is great. I buy a pack of meat (pepperoni, salami and ham) then I simply cut them in half and divide them into a little piles. Then bag the piles, label and stick in the freezer. When I make pizza I just take one out and use that for the meat.
Hot dogs and hamburgers
I use to just freeze the whole package of hot dogs then spend at least 10 minutes trying to use my mussels to get one or two hot dogs free from the frozen pack. Now when I bring them home from the grocery store I divide them 2 per bag and freeze. That way they are ready to go when I need them. Also instead of freezing the whole bag of hot dog and hamburger buns I freeze them 2 per bag so they are quick and easy to thaw for hubby and I.
I don't always freeze these in portions but I have found it helpful when buying things like peppers on clearance. Usually they aren't too bad so I seed them and cut them in quarters. Freeze them on a cookie sheet then place in a baggie. When a recipe calls for peppers (soup, casseroles) I simply get it out of the freezer, cut it up frozen and put it in the recipe. For other veggies such as celery I slice it up and freeze in 1 cup baggies that way I just drop a bag into soups and casseroles.
This time of year vegetables such as zucchini is great for shredding and freezing in 2 cup portions then you can simple pop it into your favorite zucchini bread or cake recipe.
So there are just a few items that freeze well in portions. Of course left overs freeze well in individual portions for hubby's lunch. It just makes baking and cooking easier when you have the ingredients frozen in portions that your recipes call for; that way you aren't waiting around for ever for something to thaw and you don't have to find ways to use up the whole quantity. If there are other things you freeze please share your secrets!
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