Every year before school starts I have a few major Freezer Cooking Marathons in order to prepare myself for the Back To School madness. This year Ava surprised me by joining in the nonstop action. Not only did she brush up on her knife skills but the girl managed to prepare a few full meals on her own! I am so thrilled to have a new capable sidekick in my kitchen and to be teaching my first born the basics of Freezer Cooking, a skill that will surely come in handy when she has a family of her own.
Freezer Cooking is the art of preparing many full meals (all in one day if you can) and freezing them so that on a busy day you can simply pull a homemade meal out of the freezer and cook it up with no trouble at all. Not only does freezer cooking save your sanity but it saves you a ton of money as well. When preparing so many meals at once you buy meats and other ingredients in bulk bringing down the cost per meal. You also skip those emergency drive thru visits on the days when you just don't have time to prepare anything. So at the end of every August you can find me (and now Ava) sweating in the kitchen for days stockpiling meals that I know will come to my rescue during the first few weeks of school.
This year my main focus for freezer meals is breakfast! Breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches of all sorts, muffins, waffles, and these incredible Apple Sausage Breakfast Cornbread Squares. Yes it is true! You can prepare all of these breakfast items, freeze them, and have a meal waiting for you every morning. A simple 2-3 minutes in the microwave will have it all piping hot as if it had just come off the stove. Lean turkey sausage is cooked with chunks of tart apples and Instantly Fresh Sage and Thyme then tossed into the most perfect cornbread you've ever tasted. No dry heavy bites of tasteless bread here, this is super moist, super light, and super flavorful! It is a simple and delicious recipe that I'll be using over and over again, trying out new flavors and toppings as the seasons change.
Freezer cooking is something I suggest every parent try out before the kids tromp back off to school. No morning cooking means no morning clean up. Which means more time for packing lunches, finding socks, a missing shoe, a pair of tights without holes in them, taming the cowlick, and still making it to the bus stop on time. In a real pinch these Cornbread Squares can also work for lunch, or an afterschool snack, making them a new essential in our freezer. I'm always "in a real pinch". What are your favorite make ahead freezer meals?