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Master Pantry and Freezer Mixes: Homemade Refried Beans

Tags: Bean Recipes, Beans, Crock Pot, Homemade Refried Beans, Master Pantry and Freezer Mixes, Slow Cooker

Master Pantry and Freezer Mixes: Homemade Refried Beans

Posted on 10 September 2013 by noelskitchen


One way to save money on groceries is to always have certain staples in your pantry like beans and rice. They are both great fillers for any meal.  They are a great source of protein, cost very little, are very filling and their are numbers of ways to prepare them.  These yummy refried beans are much healthier than canned refried beans and just as tasty!  You can make several batches of creamy refried beans at one time , while controlling the ingredients, and the cost!  I’ve made this recipe for many years.

In this Master Pantry and Freezer Mix, I can get 3 quart or gallon sized bags (whichever I have on hand) with 2 cups each of refried beans. The crockpot does most of the work!  I like to keep the seasonings simple, usually adding to the beans after their cooked and mashed and ready for burritos or bean dip, so feel free to use it as a base recipe and change it up for your own taste!So go grab your crock pot and fill your freezer with this easy recipe for Master Pantry and Freezer Mix refried beans.

Homemade Refried Beans

Homemade Refried Beans
Yields 8
Making "refried" beans in your crock pot, is easy to make, taste delicious and freezes well.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 10 min
1 yellow onion peeled and cut in fourths
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons Homemade Taco seasoning (or store bought)
9 cups water
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Place all ingredients into the crock pot and stir to combine.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Once beans are cooked to tender, strain them over a bowl to reserve 1 cup of the liquid (you'll need it in a minute!)
In a large bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher. Add reserved liquid as needed to attain your desired consistency.
Divide into freezer containers/bags.
Freeze till ready to use.
Thaw and warm before serving.
I like to mash them a little first then I run them through myr food processor to help make them super creamy.
It's always a good idea to pre-soak/soften your dry beans overnight (8 hours before cooking them). They will cook up faster and use less water in your cooking if you pre-soak them. Always drain the water they soaked in and cook them in fresh water.
Noel's Kitchen Tips



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How To Freeze Eggs

Tags: Freezing Eggs, How To Freeze Eggs, Pioneer Living, What To Do With eggs

How To Freeze Eggs

Posted on 21 July 2013 by noelskitchen


The decision to plan meals monthly, has really helped us save not only money and time but the food we have doesn’t go to waste either. Eggs are something that we always have in the fridge. We bake with them, scramble them, eat them anyway possible but we always seem to have an abundance of eggs. What can you do with an abundance of eggs?

Freeze them!

How To Freeze Eggs

 Freezing eggs is really quite easy and takes no time at all.  What  we do, is take 8 to 10 fresh eggs,  and crack them all into a bowl.  Next, with a whisk, whisk them up really good just like you would do if you were making scrambled eggs. Try not to incorporate too much air into the eggs. 

How To Freeze Eggs

Once they are whipped up, pour them into a labeled quart sized ziploc freezer bag (I usually mark how many eggs are in the bag along with the date), making sure to try and get all the air out of the bag. You could also freeze them in a freezable container.
How To Freeze Eggs
Eggs can be kept frozen for a year, and should be thawed in the refrigerator the day before you intend to use them.  
I lay the bags flat on a large baking sheet and put them into the freezer.  The next day, after they are all frozen completely, I simply remove the baking sheet and just put the ziploc bags back into the freezer.  To use, we generally just scramble up the whole bag but if you just want to use a few eggs at a time, use the egg conversion below.  * We brought a couple of frozen bags on our last camping trip. Not only did they not take up much room in the cooler, they also kept perishables cold. Once defrosted, use the eggs within 2-3 days.
Egg Conversions:

Whole Eggs

  • 3 whole eggs = 1/2 cup
  • 1 whole egg = 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 whole egg = 4 teaspoons



Comments (3)

Freezing Cooking: How To Freeze Potatoes

Tags: How To Freeze Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes,

Freezing Cooking: How To Freeze Potatoes

Posted on 18 July 2013 by noelskitchen


Today, I spent some time freezer cooking in hopes of planning and filling our new freezer in the garage. That being said, since we now plan our meals monthly , I’m making lots of meals to store in the freezer to save me time, energy, and money later in the month.  Since our second fridge/freezer broken down a few months ago, I wasn’t freezer cooking as much as I would have liked. One of the things I’ve recently added to my freezer cooking, is potatoes. How to freeze potatoes? It’s simple, really.


Potatoes are filling and make a great side dish or even a main dish meal. When they’re on sale, you can get them for around $1 a bag. That’s usually around late September to mid October. And when I see a good deal, I’ll grab a bag or two. 

Since we have our second freezer, I want to be sure to take advantage of freezer cooking. I can’t tell you how many potatoes I’ve gone through in the past that were overlooked and tossed out to the compost bin because I didn’t get around to cooking them. That was before I learned about freezer cooking. I now usually buy my potatoes in the 5 lb. or 10 lb. bags because it’s cheaper and you get more potatoes for your money. So far, I haven’t had an issue with freezing potatoes. Here’s how I freeze potatoes:

Wash & Clean Potatoes

Remove potatoes from their bag and using a soft scrub brush, wash potatoes in cold water lightly scrubbing them to remove any loose dirt. Pat them dry with a paper towel.  I slice off any bad ends of the potatoes. (If baked potatoes are on the menu, I’ll leave a few in the bag without being washed and save for another night.)

Mashed Potatoes

Five pounds of mashed potatoes will usually provide my family with 5 quart size bags of mashed potatoes. That’s 5 different meals throughout the month with mashed potatoes. Today, I prepared five pounds by peeling, chopping, cooking and mashing them. My mashed potato recipe is really simple just like my grandmother’s. No fancy ingredients, just potatoes mashed with a little butter, milk, salt and pepper. I use a potato masher because I like the texture it gives to the potatoes. For a little more creaminess, I will on occasion add in about 8 ounces of  sour cream. To top them off,  I’ll add some dried parsley or chives.

Once they are mashed,  I let them cool and I divide the mashed potatoes into meal-sized portions, by scooping into quart size freezer bags, add a tablespoon of butter, zip, label and freeze. When I’m ready to serve, I thaw bag in the fridge. Once bag is defrosted, I’ll reheat on the stove until warm and butter has melted.

Baked Potatoes/Twiced Baked

Sometimes I’ll split the bag of potatoes up and make baked potatoes and turn them into twiced baked potatoes. I find they freeze much better this way, than to freeze a whole baked potato itself. I simply wash and clean as mentioned above, prick a few times with a fork (this keeps them from exploding), bake them for 45 minutes on a baking pan at 400 degrees, then remove from the oven to cool. Once cooled, I slice them in half, scoop out the inside into a bowl and prepare similar to mashed potatoes only I’ll add cheese and sometimes broccoli and bacon bits. Then scoop mashed mixture back into the potato skins and freeze.

Diced Hash Brown Potatoes

Sometimes, we like to have potatoes for breakfast. In this case, I’ll dice the baked potato and freeze in a ziploc bag until I need them. This make for a quick breakfast in the morning served with eggs, bacon or sausage. They are also great with diced peppers, onions and a little salsa.

What about you?

Have you had good success with freezing potatoes?  Any issues? What’s been your experience?


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Learning Freezer Cooking…Is It Right For You?

Tags: , , How To Freezer Cook, , ,

Learning Freezer Cooking…Is It Right For You?

Posted on 15 February 2013 by noelskitchen

I’ve been a full-time working mom since my oldest (turning 21 in August) was born. I worked up until two weeks before he was born then went back to work when he was just 6 weeks old. Not because I wanted to, because financially I had to. And I still had to manage putting a healthy meal on the table for my family.

I’ve learned after having four kids to divide, manage and multi-task in everything I do in the kitchen when it comes to meal planning for my family. That’s when I feel in love with my crock pot and freezer cooking.  I soon discovered how to make some wonderful family meals that I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of time cooking. It’s absolutely wonderful  and stress free for a mom to come home from work  and your family dinner is made and ready.


Freezer Cooking For Busy Moms

Freezer Cooking and the Crock Pot

You can start off your freezer cooking with the focus being on one main ingredient like beef or chicken. Most people like to use chicken because it tends to  be cheaper and it’s always on sale. Browse your local grocery store ads for the best deals for your family. Need some ideas on freezer cooking meals for the crock pot? How about:

Grab yourself some zip-loc freezer bags and allow yourself at least 2 to 3 hours in your schedule. Once you get the hang of meal prepping and putting the ingredients together, it may only take you an hour or two. You can do your grocery shopping the day before for all your ingredients so you don’t feel so overwhelmed or the morning of if you have the extra time and feel comfortable. 

Depending on the size of your family, you can divide up each recipe into two zip-loc freezer bags allowing your family 10 meals for the freezer.

Need help with meal planning? Check out A Busy Mom’s Guide to Family Meal Planning. It’s 68-pages of creative ways to provide good quality meals for your family while maintaining your food budget.


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Crock Pot Comfort Foods and a Weekly Menu October 14-20, 2012

Tags: , , ,

Crock Pot Comfort Foods and a Weekly Menu October 14-20, 2012

Posted on 15 October 2012 by noelskitchen

Hi Everyone! Hope you enjoyed your weekend with family and friends! Do anything fun? We are prepping the outside of the house to be painted before winter. Not a fun task for a weekend but it has to be done.

Crock Pot Comfort Foods have been a huge hit at our house this weekend! So this week, I’m sharing some wonderful crock pot comfort foods that were prepped on a  meal planning day, separated into gallon size freezer bag and placed in the freezer. This way, they’ll be ready to thaw the night before and placed in the crock pot on the day I choose to have that meal. Simple and Easy!

ps: You’ll see more chicken recipes this week as chicken was a hot sale item at the grocery store.

My weekly meal plan and shopping list is completed and posted on our fridge:

Breakfast options:

Muffin Quiches (made ahead and frozen in zip-loc freezer bags), Breakfast Burritos, Fresh Fruit, Homemade Greek Yogurt, cereal, toast, and eggs

Lunch options: (Fall Break this week for the kids)

Mini hamburger patties, Chicken Nuggets (homemade), leftovers, protein shakes, salad, fresh cut veggies and/or fruit, nuts, almonds

Suppers Your Family Will Love

Need ideas for your weekly meal plan? It’s time for another weekly menu.  I enjoy menu planning because of  the simplicity it provides for my life. It enables me to decrease my grocery shopping excursions to twice a month and it allows me to  have more free time to focus on my family and home. For ideas in the weekly meal plan, we’ll be focusing on a variety of family meals. You’ll find the recipes on the weekly meal plan also available on my Recipe Index page with a grocery list included.

Dinner (recipes will post throughout the week, given time to cook and photograph :) )

Sunday:  Sunday Supper~Crock Pot Chicken and Brown Gravy over noodles, Broccoli

Monday: Sausage and Peppers, (served either over noodles or on hollowed out crusty garlic french bread)

Tuesday: Sweet and Tangy Meatballs, served over brown or white rice

Wednesday: Crock Pot Fall Chicken Chili

Thursday: Terriyaki Chicken served over white rice

Friday: Family Favorites Night ~Crock Pot Pizza (Only some of the ingredients like sauce, veggies and meat are from the freezer)

Saturday: Lazy Day Stew, served with bread rolls 

For more great family recipes, be sure to visit my recipe box

What’s cooking at your house this week?

Comments (21)

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