Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Cool Tips I found....

Now that I'm on a mission to keep several do-ahead-meals in the freeer, I've been looking for tips to make even this process easier. And, don't forget better use my freezer space.

Look what I found and they work! I'm so excited and feel so "June Cleaver-ish!"

Tip #1.: When I make make-ahead things like these, I like to line the pan with foil, leaving enough excess foil sticking out that I can wrap it over and around the entire casserole/bake/whatever. I stick it in the freezer overnight and then take the entire cassrole, wrapped in foil, right out of the dish and then stick it in a Ziploc and write what it is on the outside.

I made a couple using this technique and Wala.....(is that a word but it sounds magician-ish)

Tip #2: You can pre-assemble casseroles like this in a 5 qt ice cream bucket. Start by lining the bucket with Saran wrap, and then put together a casserole in it. Next, fold the Saran down over the casserole… and then do it again by placing another lining of Saran Wrap in there so you can make another casserole in the bucket that sits right on top of the last one… and then if there is still room, do a third one!

In the end, you’ll have three casseroles all ready to go, stacked one on top of the other, individually wrapped and in an air-tight ice cream bucket. Why do this? Well… the inside of the ice cream bucket is the same size as the inside of a standard round crock pot! Just take one out of the bucket, unwrap it stick it in the crockpot on low in the morning, and have supper ready that night!

Here's a recipe I found using this technique.....I'm going to try it this weekend so will let you know.

Ice Cream Bucket Lasagna

I cook a large package of hamburger (apx 5 lbs), drain. Place it back in the pan I cooked it in, *(don't dirty another pan) and add tomato sauce and spices as you like it.

Then in another large bowl, mix two large containers of cottage cheese, four eggs, and salt and pepper. A third bowl has a large quantity of shredded mozzarella.

Finally, I open two packages of lasagna noodles, either no-bake or regular, doesn't matter. I prefer the regular, they are thicker..the no bake kinda disappear in my lasagna because they are so thin.

Place all the ingredient bowls and pans in a row on the counter. Then I take 6 (one gallon) ice cream buckets or similar container.

Layer as follows: small amount of Sauce Noodles Sauce (it is important that all of the uncooked noodles are covered in sauce) cottage cheese noodles sauce cottage cheese noodles sauce mozzarella cheese to cover top (we love this quite thick) That is it!

You end up with six lasagnas, and only 3 dirty pans. Freeze. Once solid, slip from the ice cream bucket, and place in gallon ziplock bags. Now they go back in the freezer, taking up much less space.

I use the ice cream bucket because it makes it the exact correct size and shape for my 5 quart crockpot. You may find another container that works better for you. When its lasagna eating day, just pop it in the crockpot on LOW, and let her go all day...come home, dinner is ready!

**Does that sound easy or what? I think I'll experiment a bit with the ingredients. Maybe use ground turkey or a combo and jarred spaghetti sauce. What do you think?


  1. Stacey, that sounds awesome and so easy! thanks for those tips. We still need to do a cooking MNI soon. love to you and the family!

  2. Let's schedule it....My freezer is getting low so would love to plan so don't run out. Let's start gathering recipes.

  3. This sounds amazingly easy~! I'm going to try it. I left you an award on my blog...