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Finally! The Freezer Cooking List is done!

So, I didn’t quite get my whole Freezer Cooking List done yesterday, but I did get the wheat ground, the chicken baked, and the Chocolate Granola Bars made. {By the way, the bars are fantastic. I will definitely be making this recipe again!}

Then, it was time to get ready for a date with my husband. And, after we came home and had our family Bible Time and put the children to bed, I crashed into bed myself. So much much for my plans of running and cooking after we got home from our date! 🙂

But I tackled the Whole Wheat Waffle recipe this morning–making some for breakfast and cooking the rest while we did our morning homeschooling.

And the kitchen, naturally, turned into somewhat of a disaster zone (it seems to be able to go from clean to this in about two minutes flat, I kid you not!).

I made the mistake of running downstairs to check something on my computer. Only to forget I was also cooking a waffle at the same time. Gratefully, I smelled a burned smell and quickly raced upstairs to rescue the waffle before it got too burned.

After lunch, the children watched a DVD for school while I participated in a Twitter chat with @TwitterBooks. So fun! Thanks to those of you who joined in!

And, then I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins before heading to get ready for a movie night at our friends’ house tonight.

It feels so good to have some baked goods in the freezer again–even if it did take me twice as long to make them as I was planning on it taking me! Hopefully, next week’s Freezer Cooking session will be more efficient than this week’s. But if not, oh well, sometimes that’s just life with three children! 🙂

Did you get any baking or cooking done today?

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63 Comments

  • So awesome Crystal! Thank you so much:)

  • Kristi says:

    My cooking day will be Sunday while my husband is watching the 49er vs. Giants game. I plan to try out some new freezer recipes. I really enjoy freezer cooking but my kitchen does look like a bomb went off when I’m done. I need to get a little better at cleaning while I cook.

  • Melissa Belle says:

    Yum! I’ve always wondered one thing! What your house, kitchen looks like! Can we get a virtual tour lol.

      • Kristi says:

        Love the organization! Right now we are renting and my kitchen is so small that all of my kitchen gadgets are on the counter since I hardly have enough cabinet space for food and dishes. We start our home buying search in June and I will not settle for a small kitchen. I need more space. Love the way you have everything set up.

        • Patti says:

          Be careful of big kitchens…. I have lived in two that made a lot more work than a small, organized one makes. Be sure and check the work triangle ( refrigerator, sink, stove) when you go looking. And make sure there is some counter space beside each item so you can put dishes down while you are working. My favorite kitchens were the first “newlywed” one – I could stand in one spot and reach everything and the one I have now – a long narrow one with the work triangle very close together.

      • Chelsea says:

        After reading this when you originally posted it, I decided to keep my kitchen counters as clutter-free as possible. It’s amazing the difference it has made in my sanity! Who knew?!

  • Dana says:

    Hi, I’m fairly new to the site. Just getting started with the freezer cooking concept. Is there an article on here that would be really helpful for beginners? Best foods for freezing, proper cooking and storage techniques….Thanks!

  • Bobbi Kilbarger says:

    I always have to split my freezer cooking into multiple days since I only have a few free hours each day while my son is at preschool. I usually do one day with beef recipes, one with chicken, and another with anything else I’m planning on making. Helps me be less frantic and protects against cross-contamination pretty well.

  • Tammy L says:

    Hey, baby steps to a stocked freezer, right? 🙂 I’ve made a double batch of granola bars 3 times this week. Everyone gets 2 bars and then there are 24 left to go in the freezer. Slowly but surely… 🙂

  • Anna says:

    That doesn’t look very much like disaster to me:)

  • Chrissy Ovenden says:

    I encouraged a good friend to freezer cook this week , she has her own business and rarely has time to cook so today we went to the store together, got all the ingredients for two different soups and a huge chilli then we spent the afternoon cooking…..she’s now fully stocked and I managed to make 3 and a half dozen meatballs for my freezer….ready to swap! 🙂

  • molly says:

    I took a carrot cake mix and tweaked it a bit, put the 3 eggs in but only 1/8 cup each oil and water and then used the pumpkin puree i made from some rescued pumpkins from around the neighborhood. This turned out fantastic, with a little cream cheese frosting on top you would never know it wasn’t a pumpkin roll. Next batch i think i will add some choc chips and a little flax seed to give them a boost.

  • Whole-Wheat Banana Bread Loaves! I use bananas that were turning brown, and I froze them, giving a lot more flavor to the bread! Recipe can be found at http://www.jennifervandahm.com/search/label/Bread

  • So excited that I won your book today during the twitter chat! I’d be interested to know what sort of storage you use after all that baking – I’ve had freezer burn problems in the past (my last granola bars fell completely apart- yummy- but crumbly):) I’ll keep my eye out for your recipe

  • Alissa DeLucio says:

    We try to make extra of our meals as we go. Such as the crock pot soup we eat a little less than half the pot as a family at our current size of three, then I freeze the rest for another meal or two.

  • Stephanie says:

    I just had to chime in that yes, the kitchen can definitely go from clean to disaster in no time flat. I experience this lovely phenomenon every day. 🙂

    • Julie says:

      We experience the same phenomenon every day as well. Ohhhh, the life of a homeschooling family…and other to I would imagine!!

      • Wendy says:

        Mine went from homeschooling to public school this year. It doesn’t get any better. Now they come home and leave coats, back packs, and lunch boxes in the kitchen. Not to mention the mess from getting those after school snacks. I think it’s just how it is with kids homeschooling or not.

        • Emily says:

          I was just going to say something similar. We are not a homeschooling family, we are gone all day. When the kids and I leave in the morning, the countertops are relatively cleared off. Yet when I come home from work, they have managed to get completely cluttered again after the kids get home. Three lunch boxes, school papers, hats/gloves, etc. can clutter up a countertop in no time!!

  • Rachel says:

    great job! If you don’t get something done one day put it on the list for the next day!

  • Jessica says:

    I want to start freezer cooking but am really intimidated and don’t know what will freeze well or not. Is there a book you would recommend that would be helpful? There are so many out there.

  • My daughter LOVES your pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! I made a big batch the other day, thinking I’d have extras for the freezer, but we ate them up so fast that the freezer muffins were only in there for one day 🙂

  • joyce johnson says:

    Wow. You’re disaster kitchen looks like my regular kitchen on a good day 🙂 made muffins for the freezer today – blueberry. Hoping to do some pumpkin tomorrow, we shall see!

  • joyce johnson says:

    And please ignore the horrible grammar as seen in the previous post.

  • Amy Stout says:

    I stopped by our local Save A Lot today to pick up some tangarines and they had their chicken drum sticks on clearnace. I bought about 20 lbs for less than $10. I love their chicken because it doesn’t seem to be full of stuff that isnt’ chicken. I boiled half of it off tonight and froze it. I’ll do the other half tomorrow and then we’ll have chicken for casseroles, burritos and pizza for a couple months! YEAH!

  • Emmy says:

    Love seeing your My Father’s world curriculum on the table! We did that cycle last year and just loved it 🙂 Thanks so much for your blog, it is really encouraging to see someone that is not perfect!

  • Lisa says:

    The recipe for the chocolate granola bars look suspiciously like no-bake cookies! I bet they’re delicious! I plan to make a double batch of whole grain pumpkin spice waffles, a double batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, a triple batch of potato soup, and 3 loaves of bread tomorrow! Should be a fun day!

    • Beth says:

      Lisa, I thought that too! I saw another recipe recently for granola bars that was really very similar to a peanutbutter/special k cookie bar my grandmother used to make. Both recipes were delicious but definitely appeared to be reinventions of old recipes.

  • Theresa says:

    I have tried quite a few of your recipes and have had great success (both with the turn-out and the family loving them)! I actually tried your pumpkin chocolate chip muffins this afternoon (had some home-made pumpkin puree in the freezer and needed to use it on something!). They are delicious! I have also implemented the waffle making once at the beginning of each month (I asked for and got a 4-square belgian waffle maker for Christmas). Just really enjoy your site and I got your book in the mail a few days ago…looking forward to reading it!

  • Caroline says:

    I was going to make the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins but just a half recipe. I used half the can for pancakes last night. Which, similarly to your waffle experience, I put the batter for the last three on the skillet, then my sister called. 30 minutes, a phone call and two baths later, I realized that I’d never even flipped them! I made your bread machine buttery rolls today and they were a big hit! Thanks for all your recipes!

  • MamaLearning says:

    Oh goodness – yes our kitchen goes from clean to disaster in 2 minutes flat! When you cook, serve and eat 3 meals a day at home, the kitchen takes a beating!

  • Shelisa says:

    Made up some waffles! Thanks for the inspiration! One of my NY’s resolutions is to read your freezer ebook AND implement more freezer cooking!

  • sarah says:

    You have such cute handwriting! And i loved the style of the pictures 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Not exactly “cooking,” and it didn’t go in the freezer, but I did mix up a batch of hot cocoa mix for the cupboard. Took all of five minutes, including the extra mixing to get out small lumps and the time it took to funnel it into a glass jar (large glass coconut oil jar, actually). I had two 2-year-olds at my house yesterday (my son and his friend), and they helped me make some low-sugar, whole wheat banana muffins for the freezer. My “freezer cooking” lately has been more along the lines of doubling the recipe for dinner and freezing half before cooking. Hoping for a few longer & more productive sessions soon.

  • Tara G. says:

    The current place we live in is a round apartment building, so 1/2 of the house has walls of windows with window sills that always seem to collect all sorts of toys and art projects- anything that can make me have a twitch because of the clutter! 🙂 I don’t know what the kids are going to do when we move and they don’t have this handy display ledge!

  • Jennifer says:

    I don’t think I have ever (well rarely) had the time for a major freezer cooking session. But I do try to stock it with things here and there when I have the time and ever that makes a huge difference! Every little bit helps. And I really should try more freezer cooking for meals – I usually just do baked goods, yum!

  • Kenzie says:

    Crystal-

    I made the granola bars, too. But, for some reason, they turned out very sticky. Were yours that way? They tasted wonderful- my kiddos loved them- but my 18 month old made such a mess with his because of the stickiness. I did leave out the wheat germ (cause I didn’t have any) and substituted the coconut for rice krispies. Perhaps that’s why??? Just wondered how your turned out…

  • Missy says:

    What I want to know is…how do you stay so slim???? No joke! 😉 You seem to bake a lot, etc…what is your secret? Diet, exercise???? I am sick of spending money on WW, etc…please post! THX! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Hmm, well, I’m pretty sure that I’ve been blessed with good genes, so that helps a lot. I also eat a big salad every day as one meal, drink a lot of water, take lots of vitamins, don’t drink soda pop, don’t eat many processed foods, and try to exercise faithfully. I can’t promise that my diet regimen would work for others, but it does work well for me–at least for now!

  • Kristen says:

    @Crystal — the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe looks great.

    I read every comment in the original recipe post and SEVERAL were questions about **how to freeze and thaw the muffins.** Could you please respond to those questions (or link within your blog if the answer is already here)? Thanks so much.

    • I’m not Crystal, but I freeze muffins all the time – here’s what I do…and trust me, it’s extremely simple. 🙂

      Lately, I’ve been so lazy with it that I throw the muffins in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out, and stick it in the freezer. When we want a muffin (or two), we take it out. If we need them right away, we microwave them (or you could use the toaster oven). Otherwise, they will thaw nicely on the counter.

      If you don’t care for the throw-in-the-bag method, you can also “flash freeze” the muffins first. Put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick the sheet in the freezer. Give them about 2 hours (or until they’re mostly frozen) and then put them in a freezer bag.

      Honestly, though, mine never stick together when I just throw them in the bag! Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Danielle says:

    I think your next book needs to be a cookbook and include a how to on freezer cooking with all your recipes:)

  • Rachel says:

    I think all of us with children can relate to the two minute disaster thing. Mine are about the same ages as yours, and I feel like I’m continually cleaning, only to have the house look perpetually lived in.

    I console myself with the thought that at least it’s a fairly clean messy (mostly toys, etc.), and there really isn’t a whole lot of dirt underneath (at least most of the time!!).

  • Patti says:

    I have decided major freezer cooking isn’t for me so I just take extra moments to add things to my freezer to make cooking easier. This week I chopped a bunch of onions since I had to chop them for a recipe I was making anyway. I do make soups, casseroles, and chicken pot pies to eat and then I freeze the leftovers. I have been trying to clean out my freezer but I just seem to make more! Example: I baked the turkey I had in there which yielded a ton of meat. Then I cooked the carcass which yielded a ton of stock and turkey noodle soup… get the picture? LOL!

  • Katie says:

    I tried the granola bars too! The recipe looked easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. They are delicious! I’ll definitely be making them again!

  • Becky says:

    So far this morning I have made a batch of Brown Bag Burritos, a batch of Michael Ruhlman’s Mac and Beef with Cheese and Pumpkin Vanilla Applesauce. I plan on baking your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins this afternoon as well as making Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oatmeal.

    My kitchen was clean to start with and is now a complete disaster. I may take a break from the cooking to rinse some stuff and place everything else in the dishwasher.

  • Kristen says:

    Quick question – I made the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins when you last posted about them (they were great!). I put half in the freezer. Any idea how long they last in the freezer? Do you just dethaw in fridge – or take one out at a time and microwave? Thanks!

    • Crystal says:

      We usually just pull them straight from the freezer and eat them! They should last for at least 6 weeks in the freezer so long as you’ve sealed in them an airtight bag.

  • Kim S. says:

    so glad I had a chance to look through your info on freezer cooking (something I’ve been wanting to get into) as I had a crash course in it today as someone didn’t close the freezer door correctly and some meats had started thawing before it was discovered so it’s been a freezer cooking day so nothing is lost =)

  • Tina says:

    I did get whole wheat cinnamon rolls made while preparing for my daughters 11th birthday party!! How can we do so many things at once?

  • Cheryl says:

    My freezer cooking for the last two days has been, Chicken Mole’, Pork Green Chili, and Chicken Tortilla Soup. Also made 8 loaves of Pumpkin Bread, some with milk chocolate chips. Yum! I am a single person household and I love to have company. I also love to take meals to friends now and then. My freezer is full of cooked food I have to be very frugal as I am on SS and no other income to help financially. The two chicken dishes I made from $.59/lb Chicken leg quarters , 6 lbs for $3.80. The pork I used was $1.49/lb and I had 2 lbs for $3.00. I have approximately 30 servings of food for just shy of $7.00. I just love a bargain!!!

  • Beth says:

    I spent a couple hours yesterday and baked a ham that we got at Christmas time and then divided it into packages of slices and packages of chopped ham. I also made homemade poptarts, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, a batch of granola bars, and a casserole for monday’s dinner.

  • Have you been using your new camera for your pictures? How are you enjoying it?

  • I find that when shooting almost anything {especially food} that I use the “close up” function. Mine has a little flower as the icon for that.

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