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Freezer Cooking Session: Beans, Rice, Cinnamon Rolls, and Homemade Poptarts

Earlier this week, the girls made peanut butter cookies by themselves. It was their first time to follow a real recipe all by themselves, so they were pretty excited. It left an aftermath of mess, but the memories and fun were worth it! :)

Jesse had to work late last night, so I got motivated to do a little more freezer cooking. In about an hour and a half, here’s what I was able to accomplish:

5:50 p.m. — Started the flour grinding and rinsed the beans. Added more wheat to the grinder. Filled up a pot of water and put it on the stove to boil.

5:55 p.m. — Poured a bag of rice into a pot and put it on the stove to boil. Added more wheat to the grinder.

6:00 p.m. — Added the black beans to the big pot of boiling water. Started putting the ingredients in the bread machine for cinnamon roll dough (I used this bread recipe for the dough). Added more wheat to the grinder.

6:05 p.m. — Finished adding the ingredients to the bread machine and turned it on. Brought the freshly-ground flour into the house (I grind wheat outside since it’s a little on the messy side!)

6:10 p.m. — Cleaned up the kitchen and started in on the homemade poptarts. I decided to use a different crust recipe since I didn’t have any yogurt on hand.

6:30 p.m. — Poptarts are finished — finally! {More details on how they turned out will be coming in a separate post.} I stirred the rice and beans and turned the rice off to cool.

6:35 p.m. — Cleaned up the kitchen — again! — while the poptarts baked and put the flour into freezer bags.

6:50 p.m. — I dumped the dough out onto the countertop and rolled it out and into cinnamon rolls. I set these out to rise and sat down to take a short break.

After the cinnamon rolls rose, I stuck them in the oven to bake while I finished cleaning up the kitchen (notice a trend here with all the kitchen clean-up?! It seems to be never-ending!) and put the beans and rice into bags to go in the freezer.

The cinnamon rolls were supposed to be for an event this weekend, but alas, they were too good to stick in the freezer to save for later! :)

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    • says

      I skipped the sit for an hour step and just jumped ahead to the simmer step — and then I simmered them on medium so that they cooked faster. Because I’m lazy like that. :)

        • says

          I thought about using the crockpot, but then decided the stove would be quicker. The crockpot method of cooking beans is definitely the best, in my opinion.

        • Sarah says

          We do the same thing. Then I’m not tied to the house while it cooks, and it’s easier to squeeze in a few minutes to start it and a few minutes to mash and mix in the lard (we usually do refried beans, but we might get adventurous to try black beans soon) hours later.

          We’re still at the point where even an hour devoted to freezer cooking is a long time for us, so it’s usually broken into 10-20 minute chunks before or after cooking a meal.

  1. says

    We tried your pumpkin chocolate chip muffins today and loved them! We only had 1/2 bag of chocolate chips to use, and they still turned out really good. I’m excited to have some to put back in the freezer.

      • Stephanie says

        I make these muffins with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin and they are delicious, as well. Especially hot out of the oven when the chocolate chips are gooey. Yum!

    • Joanna says

      I’ve made these two times: first time with a full bag of chocolate chips and the second time with just a half bag and we definitely like the half bag more!!! Not near as chocolaty and we could actually taste the pumpkin the second time. I absolutely love having them in the freezer for a quick snack.

      • Jen says

        We make them often too… our favorite way is to use mini choc chips though… you use less and the spread out more= more chocolate in every bite! I often make them into mini muffins too so the mini ones work better for that too! :)

  2. Tiffany gibson says

    The link for the cinnamon roll does not go to a recipe. They look so yummy I am dying to try them! Where can I get the recipe and do you have to use a bread maker? I don’t have one.

  3. Susan says

    Can you post the cinnamon roll recipe? It looks so yummy. Also, you mentioned something about Yogurt in your crust recipe. Can you share more about that?

    • says

      I used the bread dough recipe linked and just threw some things in a bowl for the filling and icing. When I make them again, I’ll try to measure amounts so I can post the recipe.

      • Holly says

        Once the dough is finished in the bread machine, they don’t take that long to roll and slice. It makes a huge batch for eating and sharing! My little boys love them and quickly burnoff the fat and calories!

    • says

      I love this recipe! I am dairy free due to my breastfeeding five month old having a milk allergy so I make them with soy milk and dairy free spread and I don’t use icing (I’m not much of a fan of icing anyways).

      Going dairy free wasn’t fun (I had to do it with my other two children as well) but these cinnamon rolls make me not miss all of the treats I can’t have.

  4. J says

    Those cinnamon rolls look so good. The baking mix that you have listed on your site. I want to make it but what else can you make with it and do you add all the ingredients like you would to bisquick?

  5. Ruth says

    Your children look so happy! And I wonder what Silas is saying/thinking. You are a brave mommy to let them make cookies by themselves. I bet they want to give some to daddy when he gets home! Brings back fond memories…

  6. A.k says

    This may be a dumb question, but do u completely cool your food before popping into the refrigerator or freezer?

  7. says

    Your kids have the most priceless expressions on their faces! I can only imagine what’s going on in their heads at the moment you snapped the picture! Too fun :)

  8. Rachel says

    Can you make the cin roles with that bread dough without a bread machine? They look really good but I don’t want a bread machine.

  9. Sarah says

    Those cinnamon rolls look SO good! What did you feed your child on a gluten-free diet? Are you still doing that?

    • says

      I’ve been thinking that I might be able to concoct a gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe — still mulling over that one and am hoping to experiment with it soon.

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing! I was just wondering how long you grind your wheat berries. I have lots & put them in my Bosch blender and after about 3-4 minutes, I’ll take them out, but it’s still a little nutty. Thanks! Blessings

  11. Sarah says

    I’m so excited the Freezer Cooking series is back! Even when I don’t try them myself that week, they’re still really entertaining! (I do pick up some good tips, too, just wanted to let you know how fun they are to read :)

  12. Jen says

    I made the homemade poptarts about a year ago, and they were a lot of work. They didn’t wow us either. However, we LOVE Laura’s yogurt crust as a chicken pot pie topping! I’m lazy, and don’t do a bottom crust. I just saute some garlic, onion, and celery, then add potatoes and carrots and chicken broth just to cover the veggies. Simmer until they’re fork tender, and add leftover chicken gravy, if I have it. I thicken with a little corn starch or arrowroot, add in chicken, and pour it in a baking dish. I use half of the yogurt crust recipe to top. My husband loves when I roast a chicken, because he knows a few days later, all the leftovers will go to a chicken pot pie. Once I used an extra homemade pie crust I had, and he asked where his favorite yogurt crust was. :)

  13. Suzanne says

    Crystal, your black beans look great! I have always soaked mine overnight and then cooked them which never took long. But, mine always lost the black shine and some of them split. Are black beans not supposed to be soaked??? Is that why the canned ones always look black and shiny? That’s a mystery I’ve been pondering for a while. Thanks!

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