Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday---Freezer Tips and Meatloaf Recipe

Last Friday, I was talking about my way of Once a month Cooking(OMAC) and had a couple of reader ask me questions about freezing baked goods and looking for a meatloaf recipe.

Kim asked...
"I've tried doing baking days as well, but the results haven't been too nice coming out of the freezer--they taste freezer-burned. I usually put them in freezer bags and suck the air out with a straw. Any other tips?"

I usually have no problems with freezer burn when I put my baked goods in freezer bags and stick them in the freezer. As long as I make sure that the baked goods are totally cold so that the moisture from the baked goods doesn't create ice in the bag when they are put in the freezer.

Also, if my freezer hasn't been defrosted in a while and there is ice accumulating on the shelves, my baked goods don't like that and will taste freezer burned. So having a freezer without alot of ice build up is a good thing, not only will it be more energy efficient but less of your foods will taste or have freezer burn. Having dollar store baskets available to stick your baked goods in and place in the freezer would be another alternative to keep those baked goods off the ice.

The other thing I would recommend is to date your freezer bags so that you know how long the baked goods have been in the freezer. Around here baked goods usually do not last 3 weeks in the freezer, however, they can keep up to 4 months in the freezer and still have a "fresh taste. Freezer storage is great when you know how long items will last and still "taste" fresh!

One of the recipes that I have found to work well in my freezer is my meatloaf!

Donna asked...
"Care to share your meatloaf recipe as well as the leanness of the ground beef that you use in it?"

I would love to share my meatloaf recipe with a disclaimer! The disclaimer is that all ingredient amounts are approximate! My meatloaf recipe has been handed down to me from my Mother. She would just put ground beef(and sometimes sausage or ground turkey along with the beef) in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients! Mix it together and then decide if more of an ingredient was needed based on the dryness or wetness of the meat. Here is the recipe, which so happens to be very close to my meatball recipe.

Sonshine's Meatloaf

1lb. ground beef (I usually use ground chuck or ground round which is like 86%-91% lean meat)
1 egg
1/4- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltines or regular/quick oatmeal
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP. minced onion
3-4 TBSP. ketchup
1 TBSP bbq sauce
1-2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 green pepper, chopped(optional)
1-2 medium size carrots, shredded(optional)

Mix altogether. Form into mini meat loaves and stick on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper to "flash freeze". Once frozen, stick in a freezer bag and label!

If you do not want to freeze them uncooked, place in a 9x13 pan and place in the oven at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until done. Let cool completely before freezing!

Other notes: if the meat looks too wet add more bread crumbs/crushed saltines/oatmeal. This recipe makes tasty burger patties too! If you want to make an actual loaf, you can do that as well, I would let the loaf cool completely first then slice it into individual servings, wrap them and then stick in a freezer bag for later consumption.

These are my tips for today! For other tips, recipes, and resources, head over to Tammy's Recipes, where today she is talking about glass jar storage!


Jaimie said...

Your meatloaf recipe sounds great! I'll have to try mustard and BBQ sauce in mine sometime.

Fotobuch said...

Sounds Yummy!!! Its a very easy and simple recipe anyone can try it.Thanks for sharing.

Donna said...

Thanks Sonshine!

Kirstin said...

Hmmm i'm doing meatloaf too this week. My family loves it. I top mine with a homemade BBQ sauce that is yummy!

Thanks for stopping by..You should definately try grilling the pizza. It's so good.

Jen said...

I'll have to give your meatloaf recipe a try. I really need to start having some meals in the freezer. I am all about convenience & saving money!

Julie said...

Great meatloaf idea! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Julie @ Simply Stitches