Freezer Friendly

If you can’t tell from the title this week is going to be all about the freezer!  Whether it’s a week night that goes later than you planned, a potluck you forgot about, or some unexpected guests, freezer meals can come in so handy!
When I was pregnant with Cian I knew he was going to be born during a busy time.. Lately I’ve realized all the time is a busy time for us…but anyway…So I wanted to be able to have dinner marked off my list for at least two weeks after he was born.  During the last three months of my pregnancy I would just buy an extra meal here and there to cook up and stick in the freezer.  They were a life saver those first few weeks!
However, when Cian was born he had to stay a week in the NICU.  Which meant I stayed at the hospital a week as well.  My amazing husband ran both kids around to school and sports, and our amazing church family showed up at our door with a home made meal almost every evening.  I can’t tell you how touched we were to be taken care of in such a way during that time.
So back to recipe before I start crying and can’t see my computer screen….
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Ingredients
1.5 pounds ground beef
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 1/4  cup of cottage cheese
8 oz egg noodles
salt
pepper
grated cheddar

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Brown the meat in a skillet
Drain and add the tomato sauce
add salt and plenty of pepper
Stir together and let simmer
Combine the sour cream and cottage cheese and more pepper
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.  I literally just stuck my fingers in and added a pinch
Add the cooked noodles to the cottage cheese mixture
Assemble in layers
Noodle mixture, meat mixture, cheese.  Do this twice.
I made this to eat the day of, but when I freeze it (or anything) I put it in aluminum disposable pans, and cover with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Yes that foil will cost a little more, but I promise it’s worth it to prevent freezer burn.
If you are making it to eat the day of, heat oven to 350 and bake for twenty minutes uncovered
To cook from frozen; Put the whole covered dish into a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and cook another twenty minutes.
So I served it with some bread and green beans.  but you want to know the awesome thing about the bread?  It was frozen too.
I buy frozen bread dough and keep in the freezer for when I want to serve bread with a meal but I know a loaf of something special won’t make it to the day I plan to use it.  I make it a point to only go to the grocery store once a week, it’s easier on my purse strings!
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You set a loaf out 4-5 hours before you’re going to cook it.  You can bake it as it is,but i put an egg wash on my loaf.  (An egg, a couple table spoons of water) I add spices to my wash as well sometimes.  This time I added some Thyme and Oregano.
The loaf takes about 20 – 30 minutes, it’s really an easy side!
I also made some Thyme butter in my mixer to serve with the bread
I just cut up a cold stick of butter, threw it in my stand mixer (you could easily use a hand mixer as well) tossed in a tablespoon or so of thyme, and mixed it all up.
It’s important to use cold butter or it will be a melted mess when you’re done!
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