A Well-Stocked Freezer, Part 2

Our air conditioner broke on Saturday just as the hot, muggy Kansas temperatures were making a comeback. Once the indoor temp surpassed 85 degrees today, I lost all desire to think about baking and stocking my freezer, but press on I must! And… the forecast for Wednesday says a HIGH of 72! Woo-hoo! Now that’s baking weather!

Last week I shared why I like to keep my freezers fully stocked. Here’s what I like to keep in them. Well, mainly what I keep in the chest freezer and my extra refrigerator/freezer downstairs. Upstairs is my “daily” freezer.

Some basics.

  • Milk. I bought 7 gallons of milk at the store today. They are all in my freezer.
  • Beef. We purchase 1/2 a cow at a time. (Would anyone be interested in seeing our beef? I could share the different cuts we get and what we do with it if you’d like.)
  • Corn. We’ve got 40 bags of sweetcorn in there now.
  • Fruit. Currently a bag of peaches from my neighbor’s tree and several bags of apple pie filling and apple juice (ready to be made into jelly) from this surprise gift.
  • Tomorrow I’ll add a few bags of shredded zucchini.

Meals for our crazy days or to share with families in need. My favorites are:

  • cavatini (My all-time very favorite casserole! A single recipe serves 16+ adults.)
  • lasagna
  • meatballs and cheesy potatoes
  • chili
  • other casseroles
  • other soups

Quick breads and sweet treats. These are perfect for last minute gifts or last minute guests! They’re also nice to have on hand for a quick treat after supper without indulging in a big dessert.

  • banana bread (I use this recipe just for special occasions or gifts. I have another healthier recipe for breakfast and such.)
  • banana crumb muffins (I alter this recipe, using 1/2 whole wheat flour.)
  • zucchini pineapple bread (the only way to have zucchini bread — so moist!)
  • poppy seed bread – yum!
  • cookie dough balls

Ready for the oven - no mess!

Heat and eat lunches. (Or grab and go suppers if we’re headed to a ballgame!) I’m home everyday with two of my kids and often a couple of extra children. I like to have no-fuss options available other than leftovers or a sandwich.

Two “must haves” in my freezer for lunches:

  • homemade Brown Bag Burritos (we dress these up for supper by topping them with lettuce, tomato, cheese and salsa)
  • pigs in a blanket (Keep reading for the recipe! These are so handy!)

Two lunch items that I plan to try out very soon:

  • Pizza Pockets (I just know these will be a hit at our house!)
  • Bierocks (I love these… when my mom makes them… but I’ve never made them myself.)

** Here’s my Pigs in a Blanket recipe. The last time I made these I substituted some whole wheat flour to make them a bit healthier. 😉 I also like them best with bun-length hot dogs. ** OH, if you skip the hotdogs and cheese, you’ll have some very nice homemade rolls! I make them for big family dinners.

Pigs in a Blanket

2 packages dry yeast (2 ¼ t. per pack – ALWAYS purchase your yeast in bulk!)

2 c. very warm water

2 t. salt

½ c. sugar

¼ c. melted shortening

1 beaten egg

6 ½ – 7 c. flour

  • combine first two items
  • add sugar, salt, and ½ c. flour; beat 2 minutes
  • add egg and melted shortening; beat until smooth
  • add flour 1 c. at a time… usually 5-6 c.; knead until smooth (I don’t knead very long, but I do knead some of the flour in)
  • set aside in greased bowl, cover with towel, let rise until double

  • punch dough; divide in half
  • roll out ½ dough into large circle; spread with softened butter
  • cut with pizza cutter into 16 pieces

  • sprinkle outside edge of circle with cheddar cheese

  • place ½ hot dog on edge of each triangle; roll

  • place on greased cookie sheet

  • let rise
  • bake at 400 for about 12 minutes

  • remove to wire rack to cool, then bag and freeze!

** The “1/2 hot dog” size is perfect for young children. Enjoy!

Check out more kitchen tips at Tammy’s Recipes.