Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Peek Inside My Freezer: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my mini-series, A Peek Inside My Freezer!
Today's post is brought to you by. . .
My ice cubes trays!

Even if you have an icemaker in your freezer, you NEED ice cube trays. I use these bad boys for just about everything! They help me to be more frugal, to be less wasteful, and make cooking and creating things in the kitchen so much quicker and more versatile.
At the moment, they are housing some homemade chicken stock. Through a manager's special at Smith's, I was able to get a whole chicken for $3.50 and I used the bones for this stock, along with some veggie scraps that I talked about in the first part of my mini-series . So basically, I made this stock FOR FREE with just the leftover things you would normally toss out.
Moving on.
As I said, I use my ice cube trays for everything. Any little thing that is leftover, and somewhat liquidy, can be frozen into little cubes and then transferred to a freezer bag. Here is the run-down of what is currently inside my freezer:
-Chicken Stock (about 3 quarts worth)
-Turkey Stock (2 quarts worth, which I made with my turkey carcass from Thanksgiving!)
-Veggie Stock (About 1 quart)
-Lemon Ice Cubes (these are water ice cubes with a small slice of lemon frozen inside them with just a hint of extra lemon juice. Great for adding to my water!)
-Lime juice (I had some limes I needed to use before they went bad, so I squeezed the juice into the trays!)
-Lemon Juice
-Tomato Paste (my recipe only called for half a can, so the rest got frozen.)

On a few of the bags, I wrote down how much of the item made up a cube, for example with the lime juice, my limes were teeeeeeny tiny, so the juice of 1 lime equaled 1 cube. It can also be helpful to figure out how much each cube will translate into, measurement wise. Each little cube in my ice cube trays holds about 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid. So, if a recipe called for 3 Tbps of fresh lemon juice  I would use 2 of my lemon juice cubes.
I LOVE freezing things in this way! I have so much control over how much of something to use, and I don't have to worry about defrosting an entire quart of chicken stock, when I only want a few tablespoons to add to a gravy.
Other things I have been known to freeze in my trays include: homemade baby food, fruit sauces/syrups, fruit juice with a toothpick in the middle for mini-popsicles.
I've also seen on Pinterest an idea for freezing fresh herbs in an ice cube tray with some olive oil, and I am most definitely going to give that a try next time I have some leftover herbs!

What do you like to freeze in ice cube trays?
Let me know!

Check out Part 1

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