Today’s Freezer Cooking List

Since my book launch is finally behind me, I’m excited to get back to some more normal things in my life–and to get back to posting menu plans, freezer cooking, recipes, shopping trips, busy bag ideas, and do-it-yourself stuff here.

Today, after a four-week hiatus, I’m doing a short freezer cooking session today. I jotted down a quick list and am ready to roll up my sleeves and get busy. Well, after I get my room picked up (it looks like a stuff bomb went off!) and our morning homeschooling finished.

Here’s my list:

Bake Chicken Breasts

Grind Flour

Whole-Wheat Waffles

Chocolate Granola Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ll share an update on my progress and some pictures at 2 p.m.

Anyone else doing any freezer cooking today? I’d love to hear what you’re making!

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Comments

  1. Kathy says

    Isn’t it crazy? They say releasing a book is like having another little baby. You did great work on releasing it!!

  2. says

    I did my freezer cooking day on Tuesday, and made a triple batch of meatballs and sauce, cheesy sausage biscuits, and applesauce. I love productive afternoons in the kitchen, and am looking forward to doing it more often. I love your recipes, and may have to try out a few on my family in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for sharing!

  3. says

    I’m 4 months pregnant with my first baby, and am planning to start freezer cooking as soon as I get back from a 6.5-week trip to Japan. This will be the 1st day of my 3rd trimester, and I am thankful to have a strategy to stock up on meals for after the baby arrives. Thank you for posting your recipes, reviews, and experiences! You’re very motivating!

    • Sara says

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s a great thing to stock up on meals since those first few months are such a haze :)

      I had an entire freezer full of every casserole, pasta, soup, and stew imaginable when my first child was born. But sadly, we ended up throwing most of it out because my daughter was so sensitive to my milk that I couldn’t eat anything with dairy, tomatoes, onions, or garlic the entire time I nursed her. You may not have the same problems, but if you are planning to nurse, make sure you have the fixin’s for simple hypo-allergenic meals too just in case your baby is sensitive to something in your diet :)

      • says

        Sara,

        Thank you for the congratulations on the baby! I didn’t even think about not being able to eat dairy or other foods after giving birth. I need to do more research on this! My goal is to breastfeed for the first year. Hopefully the baby will be able to handle it, but I will definitely take your advice and be sure to prepare recipes that don’t involve milk and cheese–just in case. If I find I can’t eat something, I’m sure my husband will take advantage of it for lunches at work. :)

    • Dee says

      Congratulations on your first child!
      Where are you going in Japan? My youngest is spending her junior year in Kyoto now. We’re going for cherry blossoms, the end of March/beginning of April.

      Good idea to stock your freezer for when the baby comes. Plan on mild foods for the first few weeks after childbirth… both for you and the baby.

      • says

        Dee,

        I’ll be in the Yokosuka area from January 26-March 18. My husband left on March 17 and is scheduled to return March 30. He is there for work, and I’m thankful to be able to join him.

        I was in Yokosuka, Japan for almost three months January-March last year (the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster sent me home early). During that time, we had the opportunity to travel to Okinawa and Kyoto. Kyoto is absolutely beautiful! The Golden Temple is pretty spectacular, and there were so many other wonderful sights. We missed the majority of the cherry blossoms last year since we left early, but hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy them this spring. What a wonderful opportunity for your daughter–and you!

        Thank you for the tip on the mild foods. I am conscious about what I eat and avoid now, but am just learning that I still need to be careful about what I eat after the baby arrives. :)

        • says

          Sara,

          Thank you for the congratulations on the baby! I didn’t even think about not being able to eat dairy or other foods after giving birth. I need to do more research on this! My goal is to breastfeed for the first year. Hopefully the baby will be able to handle it, but I will definitely take your advice and be sure to prepare recipes that don’t involve milk and cheese–just in case. If I find I can’t eat something, I’m sure my husband will take advantage of it for lunches at work. :)

          • Diane says

            I agree with both points! I had a friend give me a meal while I was on a total elimination diet (so I was only eating brown rice, turkey, pears and potatoes) but it was great for my husband to have something good to eat for about 4 meals! Either way you’ll be fine but I’ll probably make some milk free meals if I’m blessed with another baby, too.

  4. Sylvia says

    I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins the other day and they were absolutely delicious! Looking forward to hearing how those granola bars turn out – I have all the ingredients on hand!

    btw – you have beautiful handwriting!

  5. Ace1234 says

    You’ve inspired me to do some baking… thanks!

    *whispers to Crystal* the link to the pumpkin choc chip muffins goes to the granola bars… just FYI. <3

  6. mama2ways says

    My kids enjoyed a morning at the nature center so I was able to get a few things stocked up as well – simmered 4 batches of meat/marinara sauce, double batch of potato soup, baked a triple batch of banana bread, mixed up 4 pans of cheesy potatoes …my freezer is happy now…

  7. Liz says

    I’d love to start freezer cooking, but I need low fat foods. Does anyone out there have a good resource for low fat freezer recipes? Thanks!

    • Allie says

      You might want to try Skinny Mom’s Kitchen or I think myrecipes.com might have some options. I’m right there with you. I’m trying to lose the baby weight I gained from my 2 month old. I wish someone would have told me that the weight doesn’t come off as easily with the second baby.
      Good luck!

    • Dee says

      I was just going to post that I made a big pot of buffalo/3 bean chili. We ate only about 1/3 of it and I froze the rest in foil-lined muffin tins. Then popped them out into a ziploc bag.

      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Turkey-Chili-with-White-Beans-3090

      I used 1 lb of ground buffalo, instead of 1 1/2 lbs of turkey, which I browned in a separate skillet and drained the fat. Plus, I used turkey stock because that’s what I had in the freezer. AND, I used 3 different kinds of beans instead of all white beans.

  8. Rebekah says

    That all sounds delicious!
    I tried the link to the pumpkin muffins, but it takes me back to the granola bars! :o)

  9. Julie Jones says

    I am making curry chicken and poppy seed ham and cheese sandwiches. I will try the waffles tonight. I am also making breakfast burritos. I am starting to cook, freeze and store up for food during my surgery and recovery. I am always open to new recipes to explore.

  10. says

    Oh, how fun!

    I’m not cooking today, but I am working on a list for the next few weeks. I want to experiment with cooking lentils and freezing them to use in tacos and chili as a ground beef substitute.

    Also, I need to make some scones. I haven’t had scones in a long time.

  11. Brandi says

    The link to your pumpkin choc. chip muffins is the same link as the choc. granola bars. I was wanting to check out the recipe and the granola bar link just kept popping up. :)

    • melissa says

      Mmm… I need to try that. I usually wait for rotisserie chickens to go on sale, but this would be so much cheaper.

    • Dee says

      @Bethany… roast a whole chicken… over mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots and onion) or over root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, onions). Toss a few garlic cloves and whatever herbs you like into the cavity. Still rub the skin with olive oil, salt and pepper like you did your pieces. Roast at 425 for 1 hr & 15 min. Heaven! Then you can use the leftover meat in a million different meals.

      If you use the mirepoix, dump it, the garlic, chicken skin and bones into a stock pot (or crock pot), cover with water, add a little salt and pepper, and simmer for an hour (or overnight in the crock pot) = homemade stock. Also a great addition to the freezer.

  12. Wanchai says

    What I really need is Chocolate brownie bars recipe- like Kid Clif bars -I was hooked when you featured the deals on Vitacost.com 10/10 referral awhile back. The cheapest I can find without coupons from Target. $3.45

    If anyone has similar recipe would appreciate if you can share.

  13. says

    I’m going to be busy making a double batch of lasagna for the freezer today. I’m due with my 3rd baby in about 5 weeks, so I figure I’d better get some freezer meals done!

  14. Joanne says

    I’m planning on boiling chicken breasts, shred some, and the rest assemble Southwest Chicken Roll-ups (these alone equal 3 meals for my family!)

  15. Robyn says

    I am going to do the baked Oatmeal later. I have a fridge full of raw meat I just bought so I will be marinating or rubbing all of that before I freeze it.

    Last month I did a batch of chicken burritos and some breakfast burritos – the recipe from here. Only a month later, the eggs in the breakfast burritos are, well, not good. Not sure what I did wrong or how to improve it next time! I’d hate to waste the dozen that are still in the freezer.

    I do LOVE all the freezer cooking menus, plans, and posts!

  16. Becky says

    I was hoping to check out your recipe for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, but the link is for the Chocolate Granola Bar recipe.

  17. Patty says

    The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are a huge hit in my house! One thing I would add is a bit more pumpkin. 1 can just wasn’t enough for us pumpkin lovers. :-)

  18. TonyaElise says

    I did some freezer cooking yesterday with a bunch of lean ground beef I found on sale: meatloaf patties, sloppy joes, cheeseburger pie filling (hubby’s favorite), taco meat, and a mexican casserole. Took about two hours hours to do all the prepping, cooking, freezing, and clean up.

  19. Jessica says

    Nice to have you back!! :). Roasted a chicken for dinner last night, then used it today and made 16 cups of stock and 6 cups of shredded chicken that’s in my freezer ready to use! Using some tonight 6 cups of stock and 2 cups of chicken for soup, but thinking of doing chicken and dumplings and chicken fajitas next week! Also did 4 ice cube trays of fresh herbs. Got some cilantro and parsley on sale yesterday so am freezing it all in ice cube size portions for easy use in recipes.

  20. says

    I can’t wait to try some of these great recipes. I wouldn’t call it cooking, but I am dividing up and freezing large tubs of vanilla yogurt for smoothies. They were giving them away last week at our Kroger. :)

    P.S. Just got my copy of your book yesterday. Can’t wait to dig in.

    • Emily says

      HOw do you make your smoothies using vanilla yogurt? I picked up a tub of it last w/e at Kroger, and I would like to use it in smoothies. We love the Yoplait frozen smoothies, but they are very pricey. I figure there has to be an easy way to combine the vanilla yogurt, some milk, and some frozen berries to come up with something similar. Any suggestions would be great!!

      • Margery says

        I make smoothies with vanilla yogurt just by dumping frozen berries or cherries into the blender with the yogurt. If it’s too thick, I add some milk. Sometimes I add ground flax seed, which is especially good with the cherries. If you like it sweeter, you can add some sugar or sucanat. Honey doesn’t work well for me b/c it just freezes and doesn’t blend.

        • Emily says

          Thanks. I just looked up some recipes…..there are a ton out there. Many of them call for honey, so I’ll have to see if I have trouble with it too. I also thought I could add a banana for some sweetness too.

      • says

        I use either frozen vanilla yogurt that I freeze myself and then thaw slightly or just regular vanilla yogurt. I usually add a little orange juice just to help thin it out if needed. Our favorite combination is the vanilla yogurt with blueberries and strawberries. Since most of my fruit is frozen, I also let it soften up a bit so that my blender doesn’t start blowing smoke. (It’s 26 years old!)

        I have never added honey to my smoothies. I am looking forward to trying one that I think Crystal posted on here once that includes strawberries and oatmeal.

  21. Jenny says

    Crystal,
    Thanks so much for sharing- you are an inspiration. I have a question- what do you use to grind your wheat and what process did you follow to decide on that model? Thanks so much!

  22. yvonne says

    My daughter just made those pumpkin muffins last night. Very, very yummy! Especially with our pumpkin we cooked up, pureed and froze.

  23. Sharon says

    When my daughter was home from college last weekend, we made breakfast burritos and froze them individually in tin foil and then put them in zip-loc bags. I sent some with her, made some special ones for my son, and I had a bag as well. Whenever we want one, we get it out the night before and heat it (sans tin foil) in the microwave. I also made Huckleberry muffin bars for my girl to take back with her. This has made breakfast around here a breeze!!

  24. Margery says

    I do freezer cooking in stolen moments.

    I’ve been saving up my veggie scraps in a gallon plastic bag in the freezer. Today I dumped this treasure-trove of carrot peelings, sweet potato peelings, onion skins, and celery tops in a pot. I added a few sprigs of rosemary and some wild greens to the pot.

    It simmered while I taught my 2nd grader math this morning. Now it’s cooling for next week’s soup!

  25. says

    I have been doing batch cooking every week and love it! Just put away lots of whole wheat pancakes and about to start a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough for the freezer. I also just started grinding my own flour and love love love it!!! It has made all the difference!

  26. Riann says

    I’ve missed your menu plans and freezer cooking adventures! I’m so glad you have had such success with your book launch!

  27. Kristine Gilsdorf says

    You can get any of Crystal’s recipes by clicking on “From My Kitchen” at the top of the blog. Her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are listed under Breads.

  28. says

    I’m planning on making some cinnamon vanilla swirl muffins this afternoon, but that’s about as ambitious as I’m going to get today! I did make some hamburger buns, pizza pockets, and pancakes for the freezer a few days ago, though! I always love reading your freezer cooking posts :)

  29. melissa says

    Nothing going on today, but I tried your make-ahead butterhorn recipe recently and oh… my… goodness! They are WONDERFUL! I have made two batches so far and am giving some away to people I’m making meals for (who’ve had babies, etc.). Now I think I need a bigger mixer to handle all that flour, though!

  30. says

    I did freezer cooking so that we could go on vacation! I froze:

    2 Bean & Meat burritos
    12+ Servings of Soup (Bean Soup & Potato Soup)
    12+ Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
    12+ Chocolate Chip Pancakes
    36+ Chocolate Chip Cookies
    4 Loaves of Bread
    5 Frozen Orange Juices
    4 Frozen Milks

    You can read more about it in my blog link. :)

    Crystal, Thanks for being my inspiration, as usual!

  31. ellen says

    Did the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins on tues,(my kids love them)
    last weekend, cooked up 6+ pounds of ground beef, into two batches of meatballs (either for sauce, or brown gravy) and three dinners for either tacos or meat sauce.
    I have a ton of banana in my freezer that will have to become something, either muffins or bread.

  32. says

    My local Randalls has a 10 lb bag of potatoes on sale for $2.99. So I am making a couple of things with them on my Mini Frezzer Cook Day tomorrow. I will make my husbands favorite “The Works” baked mashed potatoes and Ranch Potato Wedges.

  33. says

    I baked three loaves of bread today. Two for the freezer, and one to eat right away. Thank you for all of your freezer cooking inspiration. I teach a class, once a month, called Investment Cooking, so your ideas are really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  34. says

    I’m cooking FROM the freezer. I have The Complete Make a Mix cookbook and I make the chicken and ground meat (I mix with turkey) mixes from there. I pulled out the ground beef for some sort of skillet dish later.
    Reading all the responses made me realize I need to tell one of my best friends who lives much too far away and just got pregnant that she needs to stuff the freezer. She lives far from family and close friends. Sniff!
    Jessica that’s amazing!

  35. amy says

    Hi, Do you have a section with all your freezer recipes? Im Trying to do this but have no clue what to make or what will freeze well.
    Thank you

    • Ellen says

      Me too! I’m glad I’m not the only one. It looked like Aranola Bars to me, but then I looked farther down at Grind Flour, and I could see how it’s a “G”.

      I like seeing elements of cursive in people’s handwriting. It’s becoming a lost art.

  36. Holly says

    I am quite excited that you will be posting your weekly grocery trips again! I love that they are realistic:)

  37. Stephanie says

    Yay! I am so glad that these post are back!! They are my favorite. I know you’ve been super busy. :o)