MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Category: Baking Day

Freezer Cooking Day: The final results (and come link up your posts, too!)

I made it to the end of the list. Well, okay, not quite, but it's the end of the day so I'm calling it quits.

Compared to FishMama's accomplishments, it looks like I didn't do much at all these past two days. But she's pretty much Superwoman's clone, so I won't feel badly (I used to live in the same town as her and have spent lots of time with her and she's every bit as amazing as she seems on her blog–even moreso in real-life!).

Here's the fruit of around eight hours of labor:

013

Here are the final tallies along with links to the recipes:

2 dozen Whole Wheat Waffles
2 dozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 dinners' worth Freezer Mashed Potatoes
2 batches Granola
3 dinners' worth of Turkey Meatballs
3 dinners' worth of Slow Cooked Pepper Steak
3 dinners' worth of Farmhouse Chicken
8 dinners' worth of Chicken Tetrazinni (I made two different varieties since we really like this!)
4 dinners' worth of Chicken Broccoli Rice

All in all, we now have 21 dinners in our freezer plus at least 14 breakfasts and some snacks and sides. That will most certainly cover our dinners for the next month (and we still have some meals leftover from last month's Freezer Cooking Day!) plus a number of breakfasts, too. What a great feeling!

Freezer cooking is not for the faint of heart. It's a lot of work and I won't be lying one bit when I say that there's a point in the middle of every Freezer Cooking Day that I wonder what on earth I've gotten myself into. But it is worth persevering through as it saves me so much time, energy, and effort the rest of the month.

In fact, I rarely cook much during the month outside of my Freezer Cooking Day! And we eat out a whole lot less when our freezer's full, too. So it saves me lots of mental thought and physical labor the rest of the month and it also saves us a lot of money, too.

Things I learned from this month's Freezer Cooking Day:

::Always double-check to make sure you have more than enough ingredients on hand (so you're not trying to make a big batch of granola without oats!)

::Don't try to do other things on Freezer Cooking Day. Cooking a month's worth of meals is enough work for one day. Sigh. Why do I always have to learn these things the hard way?

::It's better for me to start early in the morning instead of waiting until the afternoon. Otherwise, I run out of steam way before I run out of recipes I'm supposed to cook.

::And in the same vein, I think it works better for me to do all the cooking on one day instead of breaking it up over two days.

I'm making a game plan for next month's Freezer Cooking Day based upon the successes and failures I had the past two days and looking forward to implementing it the first week in December when FishMama and I plan to hold another Freezer Cooking Day.

But for now? I have a very messy kitchen to attend to.

——————————-

Did you have a chance to do any baking or cooking this week? If so, post about it
on your blog and leave your link below to your direct blog post. I'd
love it especially if you could share pictures and recipes so we can get ideas for our next Freezer Cooking Day! And I'm guessing many
others would be inspired as well.

Freezer Cooking Day #2: Pepper Steak and Healthified Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

009

I stuck the Pepper Steak in the crockpot to start cooking while I mixed up a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

We're experimenting with replacing refined sugar at our house right now so I redid this recipe to see if I could tweak it enough to make it healthful but still delicious. I used fresh-ground whole wheat flour, farm-fresh eggs, and 1 1/2 cups sucanat in place of the sugar.

They ended up turning out quite delicious! They are a little heavier than usual and wee bit less moist than the original recipe, but they are still very good and the girls didn't seem to notice any difference. I'm pretty sure that they'll gladly eat just about anything so long as it has chocolate chips in it!

Now if I could just replace the oil, make my own pumpkin puree, use chocolate chips made without refined sugar, and replace the storebought milk with organic farm-fresh milk, these would be the most nutritional muffins you ever did eat. But it's all about making little changes and babysteps, right? So I'll just guilt-lessly feed my family these healthified Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins!

Next up: Turkey Meatballs and Farmhouse Chicken

Freezer Cooking Day #2: Almost-Oatless Granola

After cleaning the kitchen, I went to mix together the granola and discovered that I had completely forgotten to check to see if I had plenty of oats on hand when I was making my grocery list. There was only about 1 1/2 cups left. Oops.

Instead of ditching the granola idea, I decided to get creative and see what I could come up with. I used this recipe here and what oats I had and then added in lots of wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, coconut, wheat bran, almonds, and sesame seeds to make up for the rest of the missing oats. 

001

It actually looks like it might turn out quite well. And it will definitely pack a nutritional punch!

Now I'm sticking the Pepper Steak in the crockpot and starting on the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Freezer Cooking Day #2: Starting at 8:00 a.m. instead

Freezer

So I said I was going to start at 1:30 p.m. again today, but after going to bed so exhausted last night, I decided to revamp my plan for today and begin cooking at 8:00 a.m. when I'm fresh and energized. I should have known better than to attempt a big marathon cooking session in the afternoon when I'm usually tired and ready to put my feet up! You live and learn, don't you?

Hopefully I'll be able to do a better job of taking pictures and live-blogging today as a result of starting earlier. That just didn't happen yesterday while I was madly dashing around the kitchen trying to make it through my list in four hours.

First, though, I must clean up my messy kitchen. And then I'll start in on my list for today!

I'll be back with an update soon.

Freezer Cooking Day: Today’s Accomplishments

I'm wiped out! I thought it wouldn't be too hard to pull off my to-do list if my mom were here helping with the children this afternoon. I mean, after all, I usually have them and do this all by myself.

Was. I. ever. mistaken!

Oh, it was a huge help to have my mom here, don't get me wrong! I just bit off more than I could chew with trying to put in our normal full morning of homeschooling and homemaking, then a lunch date with my hubby, and then a whirlwind four hours of cooking/baking in the afternoon.

It's so worth it to have all this food in the freezer, but I'm going to devise a different gameplan next month because I'm not superwoman and ran out of steam very quickly this afternoon. I'm wondering if perhaps I'm more energetic in the mornings so starting out at 1:30 p.m. is just too late in the day for me to be as productive? I'm still mulling over it.

At any rate, despite all this, I did get quite a bit accomplished:

013

I chopped up some beautiful red peppers I snagged for $0.99 total yesterday at the health food store and used them in the Chicken Tetrazinni.

I made two variations of Chicken Tetrazinni (see the recipe here) since this is one of family's favorite freezer meals–one I made with red peppers and onions and spaghetti noodles. The other I made with green peppers and fettucini noodles. They both turned out looking delicious!

035

I also made four pans of Chicken Broccoli Rice. I wish I could point you to a recipe for this, but the truth is that I don't use one. I just mix brown rice, broccoli, cheese, butter, eggs, cream of chicken soup, and chicken together in amounts that look right and then freeze. Who needs a recipe when you can just dump some stuff together and call it "dinner"?!

After that was done, it was almost dinner time, so I hurriedly decided we'd have leftovers for dinner–since we had some in the fridge–and skip the meatballs I was planning to serve. I finished up the Freezer Mashed Potatoes (see the recipe here) and got everything ready to do in the freezer, and then I called it an afternoon.

So here's what I ended up accomplishing today:

1) Grind flour and mix together waffle batter and begin cooking waffles
2) Boil chicken
3) Get potatoes in the crockpot for Freezer Mashed Potatoes
4) Chop chicken, boil noodles
5) Quick clean up
6) Boil rice, make homemade cream soup, chop red peppers
7) Make Chicken Tetrazinni
8) Make Chicken Broccoli Rice
9) Finish Freezer Mashed Potatoes

It might not seem like that much, but here's a picture to give you a better idea:

038

All in all, I made 12 meals, 2 dozen waffles, and 2 tubs of Freezer Mashed Potatoes. For 4 hours of work, that was definitely worth it!

Here's the revised plan for Wednesday:

1) Make Slow Cooked Pepper Steak and put in crockpot
2) Make Granola
3) Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
4) Mix together Turkey Meatballs
5) Make Farmhouse Chicken
6) Make Pumpkin Scones
7) Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
8) Finish dinner preparations (Farmhouse Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, apples) and clean up kitchen
9) Be thrilled with the finished results, put my feet up, and relax knowing I don't have to do much cooking for the next month!

Like today, I'm planning to begin baking again at 1:30 p.m. CST and will be tweeting my progress and posting pictures and details as I cross things off my list. And maybe I'll have more energy tomorrow?

For now, I'm heading to bed and hoping for a very good night's rest!

Freezer Cooking Day: Whole-Wheat Waffles, Freezer Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

I just finally sat down to take a blogging break after going strong for 4 hours. So far I have made 2 dozen waffles plus I have 12 meals ready to go in the freezer. Here's a little peek at what I've been up to:

004

After grinding the flour, I mixed up a batch of Whole Wheat Waffles times five. I used our family's favorite recipe here but this time I used turbinado instead of regular sugar as our family is working on moving away from white refined sugar.

007

While the waffles were cooking, I boiled the noodles for Chicken Tetrazinni and peeled the potatoes to stick in the crockpot for Freezer Mashed Potatoes (see the recipe here).

009

By then, I had a nice big stack of waffles finished.

010

I kept baking more while I mixed up a triple batch of homemade Cream of Chicken Soup (recipe is here) to use in the Chicken Tetrazinni and Chicken Broccoli Rice.

In the timeframe that I put all of that together, my kitchen went from looking like this, to this:

011

And believe me, it will likely get worse than that before this Freezer Cooking Marathon is over. But if I only have to do one huge pile of dishes once a month, it's every bit worth it to me. Just remind me of that when I tackling them in a few hours, okay? 🙂

Up next: Chicken Tetrazinni, Chicken Broccoli Rice