Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (Giveaway)

by Jennifer Donovan

I love the “Not Your Mother’s” cookbook series from Harvard Common Press. These amazing cookbooks make use of the appliances and techniques that our mothers used but in a way that caters to our palates of today (which generally means NO cream of whatever soups). I love my Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook and even Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook — yes, real cooking in the microwave!

So when I was offered a copy of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook for review, I was pretty sure that this would be another favored addition to my cookbook collection. Between my desire to do a little freezer cooking (usually doubling soup and stew and bean recipes or making a rare double batch of casseroles) and my confidence in the “Not Your Mother’s” brand, I couldn’t wait for this one.

I’ll admit that I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but I already have my first two sessions planned. I can’t wait to try recipes such as Chicken Bacon Subs (I don’t usually think of a sandwich as a meal, but these look great), Chicken Taquitos, and the Chicken Enchilada Bake with Green Chilies and Jalapenos. One way Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook is updated is by including international cuisine — Chinese, Mexican and even Indian — that are also family friendly.

In addition to the recipes, author Jessica Fisher explains the hows and whys of freezer cooking in a way that makes it seem manageable and worthwhile. For example, I knew that air could cause damage to frozen food, but I found out that quick freezing can prevent those dreaded ice-crystals as well, which is why it’s recommend to refrigerate food first so that it will freeze more quickly.

Instead of just all-day cooking marathon sessions that produce a month of meals (remember that?), Fisher offers several plans that only take two hours or three to four hours. There are also some day-long sessions, but they don’t seem nearly as complicated as the plans I’ve seen other places, and I plan on tackling one with my daughter, perhaps once I get my fridge cleaned out after the Thanksgiving extravaganza this week.

You can view a detailed table of contents and list of all the recipes HERE.

I am truly excited to give this cookbook a whirl, and just as happy to be able to offer a copy of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook with one of you. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amber November 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I have done simple make ahead prep, but have not had the confidence or know how to make a full plan. Would love this to help!

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2 Christine Jensen November 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I keep saying that I will, but never do :(

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3 jennsquared November 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I only dabble in a little, not enough though! I’ve been asking a few friends to see if they want to do it together!
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4 Anne November 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I do basic prep which is helpful but not in a complex way yet.

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5 lana November 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm

yes cutting all the veges up first

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6 DEBIJOT November 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Yes, but I would like to learn how to do it better.

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7 Karen Lynch November 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Yes, but rely there was probably a better method.

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8 Carole M November 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Most of my ahead prep is pretty much when something is going in the crockpot.

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9 Ronalee Duncan November 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I haven’t done a lot of advance prep work for my dinners, but I did it a lot when I worked in a restaurant

ronaleeduncan{at}aol{dot}com
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10 Anne Lehnick November 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

We don’t consistently do it, but we make double batches of things like enchiladas or mac n cheese with ham. Otherwise, we are no good at making meals ahead.

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11 Melissa November 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Ive prepared “double batches” of certain recipes, to have enough to put in the freezer for 2 – 3 meals.
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12 kellyANN November 21, 2012 at 3:49 am

Lift a fork, not a finger, to an amazing gourmet meal. magical kitchen creates customized dishes with the local fresh ingredients and has them delivered directly to your dining table. Your pre-dinner chat uncovers insight into your perfect menu, as well as whether you want the scrumptious meals prepared in your kitchen or theirs. With on-site prep, you can interact with the chef and enjoy the wonderful scents and sounds of a busy kitchen

Special discount for thanksgiving!! Enjoy it with your family friends. Its just a click away http://www.packersave.com/seasonal-coupons.html.
KellyAnn Online Marketing Advisor#BullInnovations

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13 kellyANN November 21, 2012 at 3:56 am

Lift a fork, not a finger, to an amazing gourmet meal. magical kitchen creates customized dishes with the local fresh ingredients and has them delivered directly to your dining table. Your pre-dinner chat uncovers insight into your perfect menu, as well as whether you want the scrumptious meals prepared in your kitchen or theirs. With on-site prep, you can interact with the chef and enjoy the wonderful scents and sounds of a busy kitchen

Special discount for thanksgiving!! Enjoy it with your family friends. Its just a click away http://www.packersave.com/seasonal-coupons.html.
KellyAnn Online Marketing Associate#BullInnovations

Reply

14 Natalie Finch November 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I have about four things that I will make ahead. Usually when I make meat loaf, I will do two and freeze one. Or if I do meatballs, I’ll do a double batch and free half etc.

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15 Susan P. November 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

When the girls were younger I would make enough of different casseroles to freeze some for later meals but haven’t done it lately.

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16 Lauren Smith November 19, 2012 at 4:06 am

I have a few recipes that I double up on and freeze one while we eat the other for dinner. I LOVE the idea of this cookbook. I work two jobs and do all the cooking for my family. This looks like the perfect helper for me. My favorite cookbook that I use often is called, “Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence” by author Holly Clegg. This a how to book on cooking, which includes tools, tips and recipes for anyone who wants to learn how to improve their cooking. The book is for any stage in life when you want to start cooking to the busy person who doesn’t have time to cook yet wants to prepare a healthier meal. http://www.hollyclegg.com

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17 Rebecca November 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

Yes I have, but not for a couple years.

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18 Amanda R. November 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

Starting small with this, too. Easy on Sundays to make double batches. Learning to prep right after hitting the grocery store also takes dicipline in creating a menu. It helps me to have some wine in this process.
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19 Idaho Jill November 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

When I was pregnant, a lot of us got together at mom’s house to make meals all day. At the end of the (very long) day, we each had 33 meals, plus desserts, etc. It really came in handy during that 1st month after our daughter was born!
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20 Liz November 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Yes! From making whole meals and freezing them to preparing large batches of meat ahead of time. I LOVE it!

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21 Angela November 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

I have done this, and it really helps on those days were you just have too much to do.

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22 Staci A November 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Yes, we try to cut and cook veggies ahead of time to toss into meals (like peppers and onions.)

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23 Jennifer Rote November 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

No, I haven’t but I really want to try bulk cooking.

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24 Denise M November 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

i use my slowcooker as much as i can, and i try and prep veggies on the weekends

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25 Kristin November 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm

No, I haven’t actually. I keep trying to get into it, but I never quite can. (Unless you count making sauce ahead of time?)
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26 Katie November 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I love using my crock pot, and making soups ahead of time.

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27 Tami November 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I brown hamburger in large batches and freeze it.

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28 Katie November 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Looks good! I’d definitely like to add this to my cookbook shelf! I need to make more casseroles, esp. for days I don’t want to cook!

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29 amy November 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I have frozen ‘doubled’ meals or cooked ahead – usually before babies arrive. But never have done so on a regular basis.

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30 jen thompson November 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I am not really good with prep cooking, but I love it when I think ahead and put something in the crockpot. Makes for a great start to the day

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31 Tami November 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I really want this book, but even more, I’d love to give it to my lovely sister in law for Christmas. She is the freezer party queen. This would be sanawesome gift as she is always looking for new ideas to share.

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32 Shelby M. November 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This would be perfect for my family

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33 Kim e November 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I love Jessica’s blogs and would a chance to win her new freezer cookbook. We just made her coffee cake this morning! :)

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34 Kim November 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I like to freeze meal components or sometimes crock pot ready meals in a bag. :). It’s sometimes as much work ahead as day of with our large family though. ;)

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35 Allison November 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I have browned ground beef and put it in the freezer, or frozen extra pizza dough, or sauce. But remembering to thaw things (or giving them enough time to thaw) seems to be my biggest issue. Not fun to pull something out of the fridge the next day to find it STILL FROZEN.

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36 Charlene November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I do advanced prep sometimes, and always find it makes mealtime go so much easier. Why don’t I do it more often??? Good question!

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37 Erin November 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

It’s been awhile since I’ve done any freezer cooking. This book would help!

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38 deb November 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Only on a small scale and for when i know i wont b able to cool. like surgery. it sure would make life a lot easier if i did it more often

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39 Melissa Nassraway November 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm

yes but only minor things like cutting up the chicken and marinading it.

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40 Lori D. November 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I have done this many times in the past.

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41 Shonya November 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I’ve tried doing this a couple times, but have been thinking I need to get into a habit of doing it more often. Would love to win this book and try it! :)

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42 Heather November 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I used to do lots of make ahead prep, but have fallen off lately. I keep thinking I need to get back to it!

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43 Katy S. November 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I’ve tried a few times, but haven’t been able to keep it up.

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44 MaryBeth November 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I would love to try out some of Jessica’s Freezer meals… thanks for the chance!
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45 Jennifer November 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I’ve only really done the make ahead method for holidays (like Thanksgiving!) but this cookbook sounds really good!
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46 Tonia November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I do a fair bit of freezer cooking and would love to add this book to my freezer cooking library!

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47 Amy Rene November 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I have done many forms of Freezer Cooking and the hardest part is the planning/making the most of your recipes and prep time without too much duplication. This book appears to have solved both challenges!
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48 Angie November 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I only try make ahead meals when I have leftovers.
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49 Lilian November 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I’m a newbie in freezer cooking. Would love to win this book & start planning for the December!

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50 Jen L November 19, 2012 at 11:13 pm

chopping things up and saving them for the week

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51 Stephanie November 20, 2012 at 12:45 am

This book looks like just what I need! I’m trying my hand at freezer meals right now as I am 8 months pregnant w/ my first child…definitely want to be ready for the months to come!

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52 Melissa November 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

Sometimes I’ll make things like desserts ahead of time, but I’ve been wary of trying freezer cooking this far – but I really want to!
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53 Kimberly amici November 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

I rarely make meals ahead of time. I have a few meals, lasagna and a bologna we sauce that I creat and half the portions and freeze. I have not tried this approach with other recipes yet. I do however cut my meat up ahead of time for meal so I dealing with one less step during the craziness of dinner.

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54 Milly B November 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

The crock pot is sort of advance… :) I’ve made a little bit of freezer food before when I’m about to have a baby, to make things easier with the new baby transition, but I haven’t done a whole lot of it. This cookbook looks great!

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55 Don November 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

I have frozen many meals ahead of time.

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56 Janet November 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

No but I would love to win :)

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57 gail November 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

yes i have

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58 Jenny November 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I haven’t – I always want to, but then never do because I’m not quite sure how.

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59 Brenda Smith November 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I haven’t. I would love to try

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60 riTa November 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

Anything to make meal prep easier!
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61 Seaside Book Nook November 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

I would absolutely LOVE this cookbook. If I don’t win, I think this is a must buy for me. Thanks so much
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62 Suzanne Bastien November 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

Planning ahead would work well with my family of 6. (We are a family of 9 but we have college kids that are away now). But it would be good meals for the kids that don’t live at home anymore. At least I know they are eating well once a week. :)
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63 Liz L November 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

I use these type meals during sports season when we are never home, running 4 kidsto practices and games. I am always looking for new recipes.
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64 Lawanna November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

When we have freezer space I will brown lots of beef, freeze meatballs, and freeze lots of pans of lasagna. It works well. I just need a clean freezer :).

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65 Missy November 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm

This would’ve been great when I had a newborn!

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66 Cyndi November 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Totally need this

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67 Justine November 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

This looks like a great book! I just recently went back to work after having my first baby. I would like to be more prepared on the dinner front.

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68 Kristi L. November 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I used a make ahead service where I would go for 2 hours and assemble then freeze.

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69 Anita Yancey November 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I sometimes do some things ahead of time. Like when I fix spaghetti, I fix the meatbals and sauce ahead of time and put in the frig then I just have to warm them up.

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70 Barbie November 25, 2012 at 12:27 am

My crockpot helps me to plan ahead!
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71 BusyWorkingMama November 25, 2012 at 9:22 am

I cook up a storm on weekends to use as leftovers, and I definitely prep ahead of time.

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72 Chuck November 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

My wife does this on a regular basis.

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73 ACMommy3 November 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Yes, I like to keep diced, cooked meats and cooked beans in the freezer, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten, so this book sounds wonderful!

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74 Kirsten H. November 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I do freezer crock pot stew bags. I also freeze big batches of meatballs.

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75 Van November 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

We freeze all sorts of made ahead meals, so much easier during the week.

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76 Dani November 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I have tried the monthly cooking approach a few times. It worked out pretty well, but was a lot of work at once. I’d love to try this modified approach.

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77 Jen F November 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm

No I haven’t. That is why I would love to win a cookbook like this!

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78 Nicole B November 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

I try to do it every so often. I need to get better at it because it would really be helpful and save me lots of time if I’d do it.

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79 Brittany November 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

I haven’t tried this although I always think it would be a good idea, we have a small freezer, so one day I will make several meals ahead and then freeze the rest. Thanks for the giveaway

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80 Garrett November 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

I have done this a few times. Worked out good for those night when you don’t feel like cooking.

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81 June November 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm

This is something that I have done for years.

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82 Kerrie Mayans December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Yes when I was pregnant with my fourth, I made a bunch of freezer meals from a Dream Dinner cookbook I had so that it would be easy to prepare meals right after she was born. I made four of each meal and there were about 10 different meals. Some were great and we looked forward to eating them again but some were pretty bad and it wasn’t good having to eat the yucky meal 3 more times after my family had decided it wasn’t good.

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