Freezer-Friendly Standbys — School Days by Maria Russo in Family, Recipes, September 14th, 2013
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Now that the school year is well under way, chances are your morning and evening schedules are becoming ever more hectic. Between early carpools, afternoon dentist appointments and late soccer practices, it can seem almost impossible to make time for cooking breakfast and dinner — let alone packing school lunches. And on those days, it’s important to have quick-fix meals waiting for you in the freezer. The key to getting the most out of your freezer is making sure it’s always stocked with a range of ingredients and ready-to-go dishes; try to dedicate some time on the weekend to preparing and freezing foods so they’ll be there when you need them. Check out a few of Food Network’s go-to easy-to-freeze recipes for breakfast, snack time and dinner below to find favorites that kids and grownups alike will enjoy.
Sometimes just getting out the door in the morning can seem like a feat, and on days like that, it’s best to not have to worry about your kids’ breakfasts. Food Network Kitchens takes the guesswork out of morning meals with its Freezer to Oven Berry Muffins, studded with juicy blueberries and finished with a cinnamon crumb topping before freezing. While this recipe yields 12 muffins, you only need to bake as many as you need at a time while leaving the others in the freezer.
When it comes to after-school snack solutions, ease and speed of preparation are especially important, which is why store-bought frozen pizza, pastry pockets or chicken bites are often reached for first. But thanks to Food Network Kitchens’ English Muffin Pizzas, you replace those salt-laden packaged products for the homemade variety without sacrificing simplicity. These miniature pies (pictured above) can be prepped with tomato sauce and cheese, then frozen for ready-to-go snacking later. Plus, they’re built on English muffins, so they’re ideal for satiating kids without ruining their appetites for dinner. When you’re ready to bake the pies, just finish them with your kids’ favorite toppings, like pepperoni, bacon or olives.
Perhaps the ultimate freezer-friendly dinner, lasagna is a tried-and-true classic, and Anne Burrell’s top-rated Lasagna (pictured right) delivers quality results every time. She starts with a flavorful tomato sauce featuring pancetta and onions, then layers it with noodles, sauteed sausage and mushrooms, plus zucchini and creamy ricotta cheese, to create a big-batch casserole that can be frozen before baked. Kids will appreciate the gooey cheese, while moms and dads will be happy serving a veggie-packed dinner.