My Secret Weapon in the Kitchen
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
Most people would expect a secret weapon to be the latest gadget, perhaps the very popular Instapot. I know, some people swear by the Instapot. I see them for sale after one use on Facebook Marketplace all the time too, so I haven’ jumped on that train. Just like any gadget, it all depends on how much you use it. CurrentIy, I feel have enough gadgets without adding one more.
My secret weapon is one you likely already own. A Freezer! It might be a stand along model or part of your refrigerator. I actually have two, one in the kitchen that is part of the refrigerator and one in the garage.
Now, you are probably thinking, well, that isn’t any big revelation. You are right, but how I use it might just be the aha moment you have needed to save yourself time, money and tears. Yes, tears. So stay with me.
Here are the top things I freeze to save myself time, money and tears.
Leftover wine. I know, some of you are thinking, what in the world is that! Well, in my house, I am the only person that occasionally drinks wine. My husband is not a fan. So, I tend not to drink an entire bottle before it goes bad. And I haven’t invested in one of those resealing cork gadgets. When I am done drinking as much wine as I am going to have out of the bottle, I pour the rest into a zippered freezer bag. I use a permanent marker to write what kind of wine it is and into the freezer it goes. The next time I am cooking and the recipe calls for wine, I don’t have to open another bottle, I just pull a baggy from the freezer and the contents go straight into the skillet. Also, this works for those fancy blender drinks. It’s already icy!
Chili and spaghetti sauce. We used to freeze these in large containers. That meant we had to thaw the whole thing even if we just wanted a little. Now, I line muffin tins with aluminum foil and freeze the sauce in the tins. Once they are frozen, I remove the chili muffins, wrap the foil around them and put them all in a freezer bag. Now I have individual servings that can be pulled out whenever we want.
Lemon slices. I like a little lemon in my water, but I tend not to finish off a whole bag before they go bad. So, I decided to try freezing them. I slice up the lemons, separate them with wax paper and then, throw them in a freezer bag. Now I can pull out a couple at a time for my water. No wasted produce and as they defrost in my water they add lemony goodness to my drink.
Meat. If you buy the big packs of steaks, chicken or pork you can separate them into serving sizes and freeze them in zippered freezer bags. The value or family packs are usually less expnesive also. We label them as we go so that we know how many thighs are in the bag and when they were frozen. That leads to another tip. Freeze your roasts before you cook them! It locks the flavor in. We put frozen roasts in the slow cooker in the morning and they are amazingly delicious by dinner time.
Cookies. Again, this is assuming yours don’t get gobbled up right out of the oven. I like to freeze cooked cookies. One, it keeps me from eating them all. Two, I can pull out just a couple at a time and thaw them.
Cupcakes can also be frozen. Then you can take out one at a time and frost them.
Bell peppers. We like to use bell peppers in certain dishes, but otherwise don’t eat them a lot. If we didn’t freeze them we likely wouldn’t have them on hand when we are ready to make those dishes. I cut them up, remove the seeds and then place them in a freezer bag. You can pull out just the amount you need for a recipe.
This is the tip that will save you some tears. I freeze onions. I buy a few at a time, cut them all up and freeze them in a freezer bag. I can pull out just the amount I need for a recipe and don’t have to cry each and every time. Also, I don’t have onions go bad while they wait to be used.
I’m sure there are so many other things that can be frozen to make cooking faster and easier. Leave your tips below.