Frozen Dreams-how to freeze food

I made a half recipe of chocolate chip cookies (with oatmeal and whole wheat flour mind you) and I still had too many to keep around the house that we would eat fast enough before they would get stale. This happens with me when I bake bread as well-sometimes I make two loaves and they will not get eaten in time. However, I love the idea of taking a batch of food-whether it be cookies, soups, breads, veggies, fruits, etc and freezing some of it for later use. Here’s a frozen foods guide:

Cookies-You can freeze cookie dough beautifully by wrapping it in wax paper and then putting it in a freezer bag. When you take it out, let it warm up a bit so you can work the dough and then just bake as you normally would. Also, you can take fully baked cookies, wrap one or two of them in paper towel or wax paper, put in storage bags or aluminum foil and freeze. Then take out of the freezer and pop in the microwave and you’ve got a warm cookie treat!

Bread – You can freeze fully baked loaves or partially baked loaves by wrapping them in wax paper or parchment paper and then wrapping the loaves in aluminum foil and then if you can, putting them in a plastic freezer storage bag. Then when you take the loaves out of the freezer, either finish the baking in the oven or if already baked, let it defrost on the counter and you’ve got fresh bread!
Dairy – My mom used to freeze milk when it would go on sale, but I tend to freeze butter only. Eggs in the shell and other dairy don’t seem to work if frozen. However, if you bake something and you have leftover egg whites, for example, that you don’t need at the time, you can put those in a freezer safe container and freeze them. Then when you need them, let them defrost completely before using.

Soups –One of my favorite Rachaels tip is to make extra soup when you are cooking up a big pot of something, allow your extra stash to cool and then use freezer bags to store the soup. This way, the huge plastic containers you would normally use won’t take up all the space in your freezer because the bags kind of mold to whatever space they squeeze into. Make sure they are zipped close tightly! When ready to reheat, let the soup defrost enough so you can open the bag and empty it into the pot. This way you can reuse the bag!

Veggies-I never knew how to freeze veggies so they wouldn’t have that freezer burn or water logged taste when I re-cooked them. But Rachael has some advice on how to freeze veggies in her post here

Fruits-I take fruits that are starting to go bad-like bananas and peaches that are slightly browning or getting too soft (but not to the point of molding!) and I throw them in a plastic freezer bag and bring them out when I want to make smoothies. If you use frozen fruit to make the smoothies, you don’t need to add extra ice!

Meats-I also have to send you to Rachael’s blog about freezing meats for her tips, but I additionally like to make chicken toes, wrap them up and freeze them already or partially cooked, then I pop them in the oven to either finish cooking or to reheat so they get crispy and not soggy.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray