We’re college football fans over here, which means ALL day Saturday from noon on is taken up by football. We spend the mornings at our kids’ sports events and by the time we get home, I don’t have much time to figure out what I’m making for the games, run to the store, make it and still hang out with friends for 8 hours. And hanging out with friends for 8 hours is very important.
So, just like I did in the spring with my freezer cooking, I’ve figured out a way to dance around it and prep my football food ahead of time! Most of these aren’t actual meals, but they’re items that I can quick pull out of the freezer and bake from frozen. And, after all, football get-togethers are more about 26 appetizers than they are an actual meal, right?? If you plan ahead, football freezer cooking is the #1 way to support your team! (I totally just made that up, but I’m running with it.)
The first thing I do is make up 3 batches of Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough and let it sit in the fridge over night. The next morning I hop over to the store and see what meats I can find on sale,
This is just an example of what I bought that day. I got multiple packs of each (they were about 3-4 days from the SELL BY date when I bought them). I’m well aware that not every store marks their meat down this much… heck, I can’t even always find it this cheap, but you can still buy bulk packs of meat to get a cheaper cost.
Once I got home, I threw most of my chicken into a stock pot with water and simmered it, covered, for about an hour until the chicken was cooked through. Once it’s cooled, I shred about 2/3 of it and cubed the other 1/3. About half of all of that got split between quart size bags and it’s officially read for the freezer. I can pull these out anytime I want for a taco bar, dips, sandwich wraps, chicken salad sliders, nachos, white chicken chili, chicken tortilla soup, etc.
Some of my favorite products to use for freezer cooking (affiliate links):
Mandoline– this will speed up your work like you wouldn’t believe!
Freezer bags – you buy your meat in bulk, buy your bags in bulk too!
Freezer labels – I will use these for things like meatloaf that I wrap right in plastic wrap and then parchment paper or if I’m freezing something in a bag other than raw meat and want to reuse the bag again later
Stainless Steel Bowls– these make it easy to wipe out with a wet paper towel and keep using for your next recipe so you’re not doing a full wash in between recipes. Saves a lot of time!
Freezer Cookbook – I personally haven’t used this cookbook, but a friend has it and it really appealed to me. Looked like real food and not a lot of casseroles with cream of something soup in it!