sealed with a kiss

dinner for two

Categories: Soups, Poultry, Meat, Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Supper, Posted on November 14, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten

One of the ways I show love is by making meals for others. It’s such a gift to have a full table with everyone gathered around. But now with our children’s lives progressing and families expanding I often find myself traveling to their homes. This fall I had back-to-back weekends visiting my daughters in LA and Park City. Lucky Meemo got to babysit and during naptimes I decided to fill my daughters’ freezers with some of their favorite dinners so that they could feel my loving embrace for the weeks and months to come.

Certain dinners are made for the deep freeze. The best ones have their main component frozen then a quick fresh prep brings them to the table in minutes. What’s key is knowing how to store them in the freezer. Plastic containers can easily turn your freezer into an unwieldy game of Jenga. I learned this trick from one of my sons-in-law, he freezes everything in flat plastic bags. Once frozen, the filled bags stack vertically like books in a bookshelf.

At my daughter’s in LA, I used her Anova vacuum sealer. I cut squares out of the roll of plastic and then sealed the ends to make little bags. In Utah, I used Ziploc freezer bags. Both yielded excellent results. The only advantage with Anova sous vide bags is that you can place them directly in boiling water. But both defrost quickly, either overnight in the refrigerator or on the countertop because they are frozen flat.

A kitchen scale is key in portioning servings.

My pistachio pesto has a special kick thanks to the added mint, splash of soy and dash of tabasco. I prep several batches.

Give each a whirl in the Cuisinart.

Then pulse- vacuum and seal the bag.

Penne with sausage is a family favorite. I make a double batch and portion it out.

Then freeze with a printout of the serving instructions for added ease.

While the sauce warms, chop fresh tomato, scallions, parsley, and basil with shredded parmesan and some toasted pine nuts to toss with the sauced penne.

Be sure to make a double batch of this wonderful chili.

Then freeze it into servings for one and two.

Make a double batch of roasted Italian meatballs.

They are light and airy and freeze like a dream, simply defrost and warm in the tomato sauce.

Basic tomato sauce is so easy.

You will never open another jar.

I like to serve my chicken pot pie filling in individual oven safe baking dishes and top with rounds of pie crust.

My favorite is Trader Joes rolled frozen crust.

I thaw the pie crust on the counter for several hours, then unroll and use my baking dish as a “cookie cutter” to make discs.

Layer in between wax paper and freeze.

To serve, thaw the filling and two dough discs and pop in the oven.

Naptime has never been more delicious.

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