As our girl's due date draws nearer and nearer, it's no surprise to see that Kate Middleton has started nesting! The Duchess was spotted a few weeks ago shopping for decor for her home with Prince William. But lately, rumor has it that the Duchess of Cambridge has been taking cooking classes from the newest royal housekeeper, Antonella Fresolone. Before joining Kate and Will's staff, Antonella worked at Buckingham Palace (where she was well-know for her Italian cooking) but now, she's got a new home with the Prince and his leading lady.
Currently, it seems that Antonella has her hands full teaching Kate the lay of the kitchen land — and apparently she's teaching the mama-to-be how to whip up "a number of new dishes." While I love that Kate's in the kitchen cooking up a storm, in just a few months Kate's attention will be directed elsewhere — you know, to the very royal arrival of her very royal baby. Since her cooking might take a back seat while she and Will adjust to love with a plus one (will it be a boy? A girl? Y'all, the anticipation is killing me!), it'll be good for Kate to know that there's a whole laundry list of recipes she can cook ahead of time and freeze before baby arrives! Even on the occasions that said royal baby is snoozing through dinner (or if he's eating!), Kate and Will won't have to forage for food — they'll have it ready to go, right in their freezer.
So Kate, if you're listening, squirreling away some precooked meals in your freezer before baby arrives will cut down on some of the stress (and take-out!) during your first weeks as a parent. (Not like we're worried about you running up the tab on the royal bill, but still, it's nice to know you're eating a meal you've prepared. Less wait time, too!) After a sleep-deprived night and exhausting day of tending to baby’s every need, you’ll feel like you hit gold when you open the freezer and see it stocked with delicious, homemade, heat-and-eat meals. Soups, stews, casseroles, lasagna, and pasta sauces are best for freezing. Dishes like turkey chili, lasagna, baked pasta with mushrooms, beef casserole and squash soup make great dinner dishes, as well as double batches of household favorites like: marinara sauce, macaroni and cheese, bean and cheese enchiladas, and even freezing grilled chicken works wonders! You can just add them to whatever you're cooking and boom, protein provided! Since Kate's latest reported craving was for curry, we recommend scoping out a few Thai-inspired meals that mama-to-be can also made ahead. Many of the sauces can be made in bulk, just the same way double batches of marinara go.
Meals can be stored in the freezer for up to three months before they spoil or before flavors are affected.
Here's what you need to know before stocking up:
- The nemesis of frozen food is oxygen. If you’re freezing something in a bag, get rid of excess air before sealing it. If you’re using a plastic container, make sure it has a tight-fitting lid and use the smallest size that will fit what you’re freezing
- Use freezer zip-top bags. You may end up with freezer burn if you use sandwich-style bags – they are too thin.
- Freeze in single or double portions and use freezer zip-top bags. It saves room in your freezer, makes for quick thawing (just submerge item in hot water), and lets you defrost only what you need.
What meals did you freeze before baby arrived?