The Dinner Care Package

Home cooked meals are one of the simple pleasures we enjoy during the week. It’s so satisfying to come home from a long day and spend some quality time in the kitchen decompressing while whipping up something tasty. And it’s even better to sit down at the table (or we admit, sometimes in front of a good show), share a toast and dig in.

But we all likely know someone that doesn’t get to experience good home cooking all that often – college kids, bachelor friends, or older relatives. It’s so easy to double a batch of dinner and freeze it for someone who could use a little TLC.

I like to do some cooking for my husband’s Grandpa every few months. Pasta dishes freeze really well, are easy and can be reheated with relative ease. I prefer to package things for the freezer in single-serving foil boxes with paper lids (like the takeout boxes some restaurants use) because they’re stackable, can be filled while the food it still hot (or cooked right in the container) and can be slid straight into the oven for reheating. Some good pasta dishes for freezing are Bolognese or meat sauces, marinara with chicken or sausage, or spiced sausage and beans.

Breakfast foods are important as well. Coffee cake freezes amazingly well. I like to use disposable half pans for mine, but coffee cake muffins are also great, as you can take out just one two as you’d like them. Quick breads, like pumpkin, zucchini or cranberry also work great. You can also freeze spice cakes, gingerbread or biscuits. Including some jams or jellies with these is a nice touch – a warm apple cider muffin with a dollop of apricot jelly is a great breakfast.