Christmas in July 2019 - Day Twenty-Seven

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PamelaG

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I have to back up a couple of days and post the topic I skipped - What Freezes Well. Also, be thinking ahead to tomorrow's topic - the ABCs of Christmas, can you come up with your family's version of A to Z?
 
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Minta

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Things I freeze all the time without problems:

Assorted bread: banana, applesauce, zucchini, applesauce, orange cranberry

Homemade stock and gravies

Lasagna, stuffed shells, manicottis

Soups: Split Pea, bean and ham, pasta fagoli,

Chili
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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Gingerbread freezes well.
Margarine and butter for baking.
Most soups.
Enchilada chicken.
Cooked ground beef (we call it mince)
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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he ABCs of Christmas, can you come up with your family's version of A to Z?
Looking forward to this one!!!
 
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Holiday_Mom

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Things that freeze well for me: cooked ground beef, cooked shredded chicken, cooked shredded pork, crumbled pork sausage, cooked bacon, cooked rice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, cookie dough, cookies, cakes, baked ziti, pre-sliced onions, peppers, mushrooms, and celery for frying, pancakes, bread, cooked beans, leftover ham, and fruits for snacking on while frozen (grapes, blueberries, strawberries).
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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crumbled pork sausage
How do you prepare the sausage for the freezer. This would be a great addition for our freezer
 

Holiday_Mom

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I use this style of pork sausage:
upload_2019-7-28_16-52-35.png
I just break open the package and put it in a frying pan on medium heat to brown I use a spatula to break up the meat until it is cooked through. I remove the crumbled sausage to cool down and then freeze in freezer bags or refrigerate if I'm going to use it in a day or so.

I use crumbled pork for egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, stuffing and pizza toppings.
 

Ahorsesoul

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I do the breakfast sausage like this plus I precook Italian sausage for spaghetti. The mild I cut into circles and the hot Italian I cut on an angle so everyone knows which is which.
 
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Holiday_Mom

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That's a great idea for cutting the Italian sausage. We've always done mild but I will keep that in mind for the hot one if we ever do that.
 
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AuntJamelle

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All of the above on things to freeze!!!

I've noticed that PW Mashed Potatoes recipe seems really watery/thin after thawing but the more you heat it up the more it thickens!!!

Twice Baked Potatoes also freeze nicely!

Freezing Garlic Heads - I always keep fresh garlic in a freezer bag. When you need some for a recipe, pop the needed number of cloves off of a head and let them thaw at room temp for a few minutes. Slice off the end where clove met the root (little hard piece, not the pointy end) and then squeeze the clove so that it neatly slides out of the paper. Use the flat of a large knife to gently squash the cloves flat - I tap with the palm of my hand - then mince them fine. Never struggle with peeling fresh garlic. Life is too short.

Freezing Cheese - The only type of cheese I have regularly frozen is store bought shredded cheese. We buy the BIG bag at Sam’s Club and break it up into several smaller Ziploc bags and toss in the freezer. Thaw in fridge overnight and it’s back to normal again. Great way to save on cost and always have some cheese on hand.

NOTE: Store bought cheese has a coating on it. It’s made from cornstarch or some shredded cheeses contain cellulose from wood pulp and added carbohydrates. Cellulose is a plant fiber that is added to foods to give texture and bulk. It also keeps shredded cheeses from clumping together. One of the main sources for cellulose is wood pulp and although it may seem strange, it is not harmful to your body. If you choose to shred your own cheese from a block I would flash freeze it first before putting in a bag for longer storage - because otherwise it will just stick together in one big clump. Shredding your own cheese is great when you want it to melt - without the coating it melts much better!

Freezing Lemon Juice (Or Lime! Or Orange!) - Fresh citrus is best in ALL recipes (except canning) Keep it easy by juicing and freezing in 1 Tbsp amounts in ice cube trays. Thaw in fridge or in microwave on defrost for a few seconds.

Freezing Citrus Rinds - Flash freeze them or just pop them in a bag. When a recipe calls for fresh zest - take out a frozen rind and grate it. A microplane grater is best but any small grate holes with work. Rind grates better when frozen.

Misc. Things I Freeze:

Shredded Coconut - I just put what’s left in the bag inside another Ziplock bag, date and put in freezer. You can shake out what you need for next recipe and put back in freezer again.

Yeast - Packets of yeast keep better if you keep them in the fridge. They last even longer in the freezer, up to a few months past expiration date.

Coffee - Beans or ground, if will keep longer in the freezer! I store it right in the bag it comes in.

Flours, Cornmeal - Not only do they last longer in freezer but freezing kills any bugs that might be present. It’s ridiculous that we even have to think about that, but there it is.

Breadcrumbs - Regular or Panko crumbs last a long time in the freezer.

Lunchmeat - I often throw extra bags, unopened, right in the freezer. Thaw in fridge and use as needed. It will taste best only being frozen 1-2 months but will remain safe to eat long after that.

Nuts - Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts will last 2 years in the freezer. Just shake out what you need from the bag and let thaw at room temp for a few minutes. Put any bags that don’t reseal inside a Ziploc freezer bag before putting back in freezer.

Shredded Zucchini - If you have time, flash freeze first and then transfer to a bag. Be careful to squeeze water out after thawing. Measure it out first - then squeeze - or you’ll get way too much zucchini in your recipe!

Baked Goods - Most of them freeze great! Muffins are nice to pull out for quick breakfast. Leftover pancakes can be frozen for another morning. As others have mentioned - quick breads are a great option! Cake layers! Cheesecakes! Cookie dough or baked cookies! Pizza crusts! The list is endless!
 

Holiday_Mom

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Reading your list, AJ, reminded me of my friend's lunches. Her mom made sandwiches with lunch meat and cheese on Saturdays and then freeze them. Then on school mornings, they grabbed their sandwich from the freezer.

I have not frozen cheese but I do shred my cheese from 16 oz. blocks at the store. I put the shredded cheese in a glass or plastic container. Then I sprinkle a tablespoon of corn flour to the shredded cheese and mix it until the cheese is well-coated. I store the cheese covered in the refrigerator. I like the idea of freezing it. That would come in handy for when we do make ahead meals for large gatherings.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I use crumbled pork for egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, stuffing and pizza toppings.
We don't have sausage like this here. Will have to see what alternative we have.
 

PamelaG

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We don't have sausage like this here. Will have to see what alternative we have.
Can you just split open the sausage casings and scoop out the sausage meat? You might have to chop it up a bit.
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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Can you just split open the sausage casings and scoop out the sausage meat? You might have to chop it up a bit.
Yes, I think that is what I will have to do. I am grocery shopping tomorrow so will look for pork sausages.
It is one problem I have when looking at recipes etc from the US. Often we cannot find some of the items listed as they are not available here and have to look at the alternatives.
 

PamelaG

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Yes, I think that is what I will have to do. I am grocery shopping tomorrow so will look for pork sausages.
It is one problem I have when looking at recipes etc from the US. Often we cannot find some of the items listed as they are not available here and have to look at the alternatives.
I have that problem in reverse! So many of my British cookbooks call things by different names and it ends up being quite a search to find a comparable product.
 
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