What could be better than a freezer filled with family-friendly meals ready to re-heat in a flash? We could all use that! Pair it with an afternoon of friends and fun in the kitchen and now you’re cookin’!
They call them Fix and Freeze parties, and for busy people, they’re catching on. They’re a brilliant way to get ahead on dinners without getting bogged down in figuring out what to make tonight. Here are some tips and tricks to throw your own Fix and Freeze Party!
Invite Friends: Get the Party Started
- Download the printable invite. It’s got everything your friends need to know and it’s cute.
- This kind of get-together is best with 4-5 friends; more than that and it can get a bit chaotic in the kitchen.
- Remember, these can be friends with kids, friends without kids or single friends–everyone is grateful for go-to meals on busy nights! Just divide everything up by head count. Makes it easy to dole out the right portions and divvy up costs.
- Remind friends to bring a large freezer-type cooler bag for toting everything home.
Organize: Get Your Dinners in a Row
- Pick recipes that are crowd-pleasers. Extra points if they can easily be made into a variety of dishes. For example, how about marinated chicken breasts for stir-fry and salads? Or red sauce for pasta, pizza and soups? Remember, recipes may require tripling or even more to ensure there’s enough to share. You could also send out a variety of ideas to your guests and have them vote on which recipes you will make as a group. Otherwise, as the hostess, you get to choose!
- Every cook needs an apron! Make a trip to your local thrift store to find fun vintage aprons for your guests. Or purchase plain white aprons at your local craft store, and if you’re especially crafty, personalize them for each guest.
- Take inventory of kitchen supplies. Make sure that you have enough knives, cutting boards, large pots, and utensils to prepare multiple recipes at once. If there are things you need, it’s perfectly ok to ask your guests to bring something!
- You will need lots of quart and gallon size freezer bags for your meals. This is something you could ask your guests to bring or choose to provide them and share the costs.
- Set up a small table with bottled water or drinks. You’ll definitely work up a thirst while cooking!
Shopping: Stocking Up For The Big Day
- Keep track of what you buy and the cost of the food so you and your guests can equally split costs. Figure this out before your guests arrive, and take a break to square up. If you are a member of a warehouse club, now’s the time to put it to use! Large cans of tomato sauce, large chunks of cheese or bags of fruit are all great deals when purchased in bulk.
- If you don’t have a membership you can still find great deals at your local grocery store (look for double coupon days), tag along with a friend with a club membership or check to see if your club offers a 1-day “trial membership.”
Party Day: Let’s Get Cookin’
- The day of your party has arrived! Get an early start to make sure your kitchen is clean and countertops are cleared. You will need space to prepare all the meals. Working with a small kitchen? Set up extra tables or utilize your kitchen table for more workspace.
- Set out all the ingredients needed for each recipe, down to the tiniest spice. This eliminates having to search high and low in a kitchen full of friends.
- When your guests arrive, give them their apron or let them choose their favorite. If you have already decided what order you will make the meals, they can get started right away.
- If possible, try to keep up with washing the dishes as you go. This will eliminate the HUGE cleanup at the end (and you might use some utensils 2 or 3 times). Also, take turns with this task, rotating every 30 minutes or so.
- Save your coffee cans. Did you know an empty one can be your best friend? Prop the plastic bags open inside the cans and fill with sauces. It makes it so much easier to not make a mess!
- Save foil pans or older cake pans, too. They are the best way to store meals flat until frozen.
- Label, label, label! Include the name of the food as well as re-heating or preparing directions. Hint: Use clear mailing tape over your label and be sure to tape it to your container BEFORE adding food – it’s so much easier.
Here’s what we cooked up at my Fix and Freeze party:
Red sauce is great in so many different recipes! Use it as a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or even as a tomato base for soups and stews. We tripled Betty Crocker’s Spaghetti Sauce and once it was cooked we added one cup to each pre-labeled bag.
Spinach Lasagna Rolls – Get the recipe and extra tips
These can be customized for the number of people in each family (serving size is usually 2 per person). Package in its own bag, then freeze alongside the red sauce for a complete meal that’s ready in a flash.
Download the printable labels for the Lasagna Rolls.
Teriyaki-Marinated Chicken - Get the recipe and extra tips
Any type of marinated chicken is great for freezing ahead. When you’re ready to cook, just thaw however many chicken breasts you need for whatever recipe you are creating. It’s that easy. This particular one would be great in a stir-fry or on an Asian-inspired salad or wrap.
Download the printable labels for the Teriyaki-Marinated Chicken.
Tropical Smoothies - Get the recipe and extra tips
Anything that helps me get out the door faster in the morning is a win. And what’s easier than a smoothie? Especially a smoothie that is already prepared! Just add water, blend and you’re on your way.
Download the printable labels for the Tropical Smoothies.
Try these suggestions when hosting your own Fix and Freeze Party, or customize it to your group of friends and make it your own. What kinds of fix and freeze tips and ideas do you have? Join the party and share them in the comments below.
Download blank labels here to add your own directions for different recipes.