21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 15

Join the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge

It’s Day 15 of the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge!

Today, we’re doing some Christmas Freezer Cooking. If you missed this post with ideas on what to make, be sure to read it.

I’m planning to make:

What are you planning to make? Share the recipe links in the comments!

Day 15 Project

1. If you haven’t done so already, read chapter 8 from Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas. (Did you sign up for your free copy yet? If not, click here and fill out the form to be emailed a copy.)

2. Plan & make 2-4 recipes to make today. These can be Christmas goodies or things for your Christmas meals. You choose!

3. Come back tonight around 8 p.m. and share how your freezer cooking went — and I’ll share about mine, too!

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21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Days 12 & 13

Join the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge

It’s Day 12 & 13 of the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge!

Delicious food is one of the best things about Christmas, in my opinion! :) But who wants to slave away in the kitchen all day on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Here are a some ideas of things you can make ahead of time and freeze to make your Christmas meal preparations smoother and leave you more time to just savor the season:

1. Cookie Dough

Make up a double or triple batch of cookie dough and keep it in the freezer to give as gifts or to use when company drops by unexpectedly or you need a treat to take to a gathering at the last minute. Here’s one of my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes.

2. Baking Mix

Make Homemade Baking Mix in order to quickly whip up a pan of Cinnamon Roll Biscuits for Christmas morning. You can use it in place of Bisquick in any recipe.

3. Biscuit Dough

One year, I made biscuit dough ahead of time and stuck it in the freezer to be able to quickly make Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists for a Christmas Brunch at my family’s house the day after Christmas.

4. Scone Mixes

You can put together the dry ingredients from a scone recipe like this Glazed Cinnamon Scone recipe and freeze them. Then, it’s a snap to whip up a batch of scones since you’ll already have the dry ingredients measured out.

5. Scone Dough

If you want to really speed up prep time for scones, you can also make the dough up ahead of time and cut the scones and flash freeze them. Just pull them out, thaw, and bake to have fresh scones without almost zero effort! Our very favorite scone recipe is this Pumpkin Scone recipe (you can also find a gluten-free version here.)

6. Cinnamon Rolls

Fresh Cinnamon Rolls just can’t be beat, but they can be time-consuming to make! Reduce your workload by making the dough in the bread machine and then roll out, cut, and freeze them. Find detailed directions on how to freeze, thaw, and bake Cinnamon Rolls here.

7. Butterhorns

Looking for a delicious roll recipe that can be made ahead and frozen? Check out our family’s Butterhorn recipe. It’s a little time-intensive, but oh so worth it!

8. Christmas Candy

What’s Christmas without candy? My World’s Easiest Christmas Candy recipe is a winner–and it can be made ahead and frozen (if any of it lasts that long!)

9. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This Chocolate Chip Banana Bread freezes really well and is perfect to make ahead in little loaf pans and give as gifts or to serve for a Christmas brunch. Not a banana bread fan? Try my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe.

10. Drink Mixes

Homemade drink mixes are great to give as gifts or to have on hand to serve at Christmas get-togethers. Plus, you can keep them for months in the freezer!

What are some of your favorite Christmas foods to make ahead and freeze? Share the recipe links in the comments!

Day 12 & 13 Project

1. Read chapter 8 from Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas. (Did you sign up for your free copy yet? If not, click here and fill out the form to be emailed a copy.)

2. Choose at least 2-4 recipes to make next week. These can be Christmas goodies or things for your Christmas meals. You choose! I’m going to be picking some Christmas goodies — probably things off my Recipes I Want to Try Pinterest board. I’ll let you know what I choose on Monday.

3. Take some time to just stop and enjoy your Sunday — even if it’s just 5 minutes of quiet or taking time to write down blessings from this past week. Step back and refresh, relax, and refuel. Life doesn’t always need to be lived at breakneck speed!

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Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles, Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

I had a really successful Freezer Cooking in an Hour session last week and I didn’t get a chance to post about it until tonight!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles

The Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles turned out beautifully and they are SO good.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Definitely a winner recipe — and they freeze well, too!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins were also a hit. The outside of the muffin is delicious and the inside jelly adds a fun surprise. These would make great lunchbox treats.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

And finally, Kathrynne and Silas made the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies all by themselves. I was quite proud of them for reading and following their very first recipe with almost no help from me.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

While I’m not completely sure that they did everything exactly right, the end results were more than edible. And they were incredibly excited that their cookies turned out so well. I was thrilled to see them stepping up and taking on new responsibilities — even though it’s bittersweet to realize that I’m working myself out of a job!

Recipes Made:

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Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Taco Meat & Pumpkin Waffles

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I did a sort of mini Freezer Cooking session this week, because I was a little strapped for time between homeschooling, training a team member for a new position, and prepping for a big week with three different conferences this coming week.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

I made a big batch of Taco Meat for the freezer. See how I make this here, if you missed that post.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

And I also made Pumpkin Waffles. Notice anything weird-looking about the batter above? I almost forgot to put the pumpkin in and right after I took the picture I realized my mistake.

Yes, I’m all organized like that… trying to make Pumpkin Waffles sans pumpkin! :) Gratefully, I caught it right before I started cooking them because I thought the batter looked a little too dry.

I didn’t get any pictures of the finished waffles, because none of them made it to the freezer. :) They were delicious… although I don’t want to know what the calorie count is since they have 3/4 cups of butter in them and they don’t make very many. Just don’t tell me, okay?! :)

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In other news from this past week, I had to share these beautiful flowers Jesse gave me. Just because. I love that man!

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And I also had to share this picture of Kaitlynn because it just so perfectly captures everything about her personality. Seeing the unique individuality of each of my children blossom is such a beautiful thing to watch.

How was your week? Did you do any freezer cooking? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

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Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter, Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough, Banana Oatmeal Cups, and Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

I was really excited about trying three new recipes for this week’s Freezer Cooking in an Hour session. Sadly, none of them turned out as great as I was hoping. :( But none were disasters, so I guess that’s something to be thankful for. :)

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

The Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter was really easy to make. It turned out a little more syrupy than I was hoping it would. I’m thinking if I try it again, I’ll add more pumpkin as I think that would fix the issue. (Psst! If you’re looking for a great Crockpot Apple Butter recipe, you must try this one.)

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The Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake turned out decently. The topping was yummy, but I thought the cake wasn’t sweet enough — or just wasn’t the best pumpkin coffee cake I’ve tried. I think it may have been that the recipe didn’t call for eggs and that made the texture a little different than I was expecting.

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And the Banana Oatmeal Cups were okay. Not out of this world, but definitely edible.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

Last but not least, I made a batch of my favorite Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough. If you’ve not tried this recipe before, I can’t recommend it highly enough. In fact, you just might give up ever ordering pizza after you see how easy it is to make it yourself!

Recipes made:

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter
Banana Oatmeal Cups
Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough

Did you do any freezer cooking this week or attempt any new recipes?

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Make It From Scratch Week: Primal Fudge + Freezer Cooking in an Hour (Day 1)

I’m a little late in getting this posted, because I sort of got ambitious tonight and got my freezer cooking and my Make It From Scratch project done at the same time — and dinner on the table, to boot!

I made up two different batches of burritos using the homemade refried beans I made on Saturday. Having burritos on hand in the freezer is such a great thing. They work well for lunches, dinners, on-the-run meals, and late night snacks.

Next, I tried the To Die For Blueberry Muffin recipe. We opted to put blueberries in half the batter and chocolate chips in the other half. The end result was a little on the dry side. I don’t think I cooked them too long, but I do think they could have used a bit more liquid.

And finally, my Make It From Scratch project I decided upon was the Primal Fudge. I was extremely happy with how it turned out.

But I have a little confession to me: I didn’t follow the recipe 100%. I promise I totally meant to, but I discovered halfway through that I didn’t have enough cocoa. So I used chocolate chips instead. I know that defeated the whole purpose of it being primal, but man, it turned out yummy. :)

Recipes Made:

Bean & Cheese Burritos
Southwest Rollups
To Die For Blueberry Muffins
Primal Fudge

Are you participating in the Make It From Scratch Week? If so, link up your blog post about today’s Make It From Scratch Project. Don’t have a blog? Tell us about what you made in the comments.

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