When we visited friends in Pennsylvania this summer- some of the meals she'd made for us were SO great- that I had to ask where she'd gotten them- they were all recipes that she'd made ahead and then put in her freezer, so that when we got there, all she had to do was defrost the meal the night before, and cook it when we were ready to eat. Wow. AMAZING! I thought- What a great tool for entertaining guests- and for preparing for a new baby!
So- When we got home, one of the first things I did was order this cook book 'Dream Dinners'.
While I have to admit, not all of the dinners have been a dream (We really didn 't care at all for the Lemon Chicken Asparagus dinner, or the Pork and Pears dinner), A LOT of them have been awesome- the Pesto Chicken and Ravioli? To die for. The Red Potatoes and Garlic Chicken are also a favorite for sure. This book also offers a lot of insight into freezing meals- the how to and practical information... and while before I was thinking I'd need a million and one glass baking dishes with lids- I found that their suggestion to line the pan with foil, freeze, then to take the meal out of the pan and wrap and re-wrap, not only saves you from having to purchase a ton of baking dishes- it saves freezer space as well. When you're ready to bake a meal, take it out of the freezer, un-wrap the WHOLE thing, place it in your baking dish and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator all day, or over night. PRESTO- dinner is ready after about an hour of baking time.
Thanks to this book, we've got a freezer full (and my mom has a freezer full too) of meals I've prepared ahead for us to eat when this little one decides to come.
The book gives you a recipe for a 9x13 dish- but I've found that often times we can use an 8x8 for our meal- which allows us to separate the recipe into 3... so that each recipe makes us one dinner for that night- and 2 dinners to freeze...
Now if only we had room for a huge deep freeze here in our house... :)