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

Tag Archive: Freezer Cooking Day

Who wants to do some freezer cooking??

Join Me For Some Freezer Cooking!

So, at l-o-n-g last, I’m bringing back the “live-blogging” of Freezer Cooking today. I’m not sure exactly how this is going to go down and I’m going to have to find my new groove, but we’re just going to jump out and try it and we’ll figure it out as we go, okay?

From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. this afternoon/evening, I plan to do some Freezer Cooking and I’d love for you to join me!

I’ll be making:

My hope is that I can get all of these made and the kitchen cleaned up in 2 hours. We’ll see! 🙂

I’ll be doing some quick videos on Facebook Live as well as sharing some videos/pictures on SnapChat. And then, when I’m finished cooking, I’ll do a wrap-up post with pictures and details on Friday to let you know how the Freezer Cooking went.

Want to join me? You can either just follow along vicariously by reading the post/watching the videos or you can actually join me in your kitchen and do some of your own freezer cooking. If you’re planning to do some freezer cooking yourself, leave a comment to let me know what you’ll be making. Let’s inspire one another and keep each other accountable!

And I’ll see you over on Facebook Live/Snapchat at 4:30 p.m.-ish!

Impromptu Freezer Cooking Day: The Final Tally

Well, as usual, the freezer cooking ended up taking longer and making more of a mess than I’d hoped. And I skipped making the brownies in favor of cleaning up the kitchen. But I’m happy to have some meals and goodies in the freezer again.

Here’s what I ended up making:

::Chocolate Chip Pancakes

::Cinnamon Swirl Bread

::Bag of chicken breasts baked and chopped

::Brown Bag Burritos

::Green Rice Casserole

::Freeze oranges (for smoothies)

::Granola (took the recipe times 2.5)

I never managed to get a picture of the Green Rice Casserole. However, I froze it uncooked, so I promise I’ll post the recipe and pictures sometime in the next few weeks.

And the jury is still out on how the frozen oranges worked since I didn’t get a chance to make smoothies for breakfast this morning. I’ll let you know what the verdict is as soon as I have a chance to make smoothies.

Thanks for joining in my Impromptu Freezer Cooking Day yesterday. You all are such great cheerleaders and encouragers!

Impromptu Freezer Cooking Day: Brown Bag Burritos, Oranges and Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Once I finished making the Chocolate Chip Pancakes, I made the Brown Bag Burritos. Since I already had chicken cooked, I went ahead and substituted chicken for the ground beef. Because you know how I just can’t bear to stick with a recipe exactly! 🙂

I realized that I didn’t have enough tortillas for all the filling, so I just filled the tortillas I had and put the rest of the filling in bags to freeze. While not quite as nice as having the burritos completely made, it’s really simple to just thaw the filling and make up a quick pan of burritos. Plus, it takes up less space in the freezer.

And then the freezing oranges experiment commenced.

I just cut, peeled, pulled them into pieces and stuck them in a freezer bag. I’m anxious to try them in some smoothies and see how they turn out. I have visions of variations on Orange Cream Smoothies.

Then it was time to roll out the bread dough for Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I’m happy to report that it actually turned out this week and we ate almost the entire loaf for dinner.

I spent the rest of the evening making granola, finishing our homeschool lessons for the day, playing with the children in the snow, cleaning up messes and more messes (!), getting dinner on the table, helping Jesse shovel the mountain of snow on the driveway (talk about a workout!) and then we all settled in and read four chapters of On The Banks of Plum Creek before bedtime.

All in all, it was a good day — even if my kitchen isn’t very clean right now and I’m pretty tired!

Coming up tomorrow: Granola photos and Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe

Impromptu Freezer Cooking Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Chicken and Bread Dough

First up, I mixed up the Chocolate Chip Pancake batter.

I used some milk from the freezer in the batter. I also grab up marked down milk when I find it on a great deal and then freeze it to use in pancake batter.

While cooking the pancakes, I laid the chicken out on a cookie sheet and popped it in the oven to bake. I used to boil chicken breasts, but a reader left me a tip last year about baking them in the oven instead and I’ve found this to be much easier and the chicken ends up a lot more tender and juicy.

I then dumped all the bread dough ingredients in the bread machine and set it on the dough cycle. I just seriously love how simple it is to make dough using my bread machine!

I let the children have Chocolate Chip Pancakes for lunch. I guess they are getting their share of chocolate chips today! 🙂

The only problem is that they love Chocolate Chip Pancakes so much, that after they’d had their fill for lunch, we only had four pancakes left. I guess I need to make a bigger batch next time if I want to have any left for the freezer.

Next up: Brown Bag Burritos and my experiment with freezing oranges

Impromptu Freezer Cooking Day: Preparing the Kitchen

We’ve been busy as beavers this morning! I’m finally sitting down for a coffeebreak while the children watch Jelly Telly.

Breakfast was Oatmeal with Turbinado and Mini Chocolate Chips. I think I won some big brownie points with the children for letting them have chocolate for breakfast.

I found some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips marked down to $0.99 per bag at the health food store on Saturday night, so I’ve been a bit more lenient with dolling out chocolate chips around here. Just don’t ask me how many handfuls I’ve consumed in the last few days, okay? 😉

Then it was time to clean the kitchen. I have no idea how it manages to collect the messes it does in such a short period of time. It was completely clean yesterday afternoon! The only good thing is that I’ve found if I try to have it all cleaned up at least once a day, it never becomes overwhelmingly unmanageable.

Much better! The children all settled in to do some crafts at the kitchen table while I started in on my Freezer Cooking List.

Next up: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Bread Dough and Chicken

Revamping My Freezer Cooking Methods

As I’ve mentioned in the past few months, I’ve been simplifying and streamlining a lot of areas in my life so that I can focus on the most important priorities, not overload my plate and have time to “stop and smell the roses” instead of feeling like I’m barely staying afloat.

One area that I’ve felt needs some revamping is my method of Freezer Cooking. When I had one and two small children, it was pretty simple to pull off a six-hour Freezer Cooking Marathon if I did a few hours in the morning while the girls played or helped me and a few hours in the afternoon during naptime.

Now that I have three children and a big chunk of our day is dedicated to homeschooling, I’m finding that fitting in a Freezer Cooking Marathon is just not, well, fitting in. In addition, we haven’t been eating casseroles and instead are mostly eating simple dinners of meat, veggies and either fruit and/or mashed potatoes, rice or bread. These meals don’t require a lot of prep work ahead of time, unlike the meals I used to make on Freezer Cooking Days.

The past month, I’ve been experimenting with doing a 30-minute batch-cooking session once or twice each week — marinating four meal’s worth of chicken breasts, quadrupling a batch of meatballs, making up a quadruple batch of pancakes or cooking a roast in the crockpot and then shredding it and turning it into a few meal’s worth of barbecued beef. I usually tack this onto our regular dinner prep in the late afternoon and I’m discovering if I do this once or twice each week, we consistently have at least a week’s worth of meals in the freezer at all times.

I was feeling guilty about doing Freezer Cooking this way as it just didn’t seem “right” compared with how I’ve always done it. When I was talking with FishMama about the guilt I was struggling with in admitting to you all that having a Freezer Cooking Marathon is just not working for us right now, she reminded me that there is no right way to “do” Freezer Cooking.

It’s not about trying to copy what works for someone else or trying to mimic what once worked for us. Being a successful homemaker, wife, mother and home economist is about finding what works for you and your family and doing that — and having freedom from guilt about what others do or don’t do.

So, I’m going revamp my previous Freezer Cooking methods and do what works for us right now — which is just having a mini freezer cooking session once or twice a week. I might not stay as far ahead or have my freezer quite as stocked, but it will still save us a great deal of time. And I really don’t think it will end up taking any extra time and my kitchen won’t get so utterly destroyed all at once (though I might end up washing a few extra dishes by breaking it up like this).

I’ll still be posting an occasional freezer-friendly recipe, but I’m handing off the hosting of the monthly Freezer Cooking Day link-ups to FishMama for now (she so generously offered to take over the shouldering of it for me!). I may pick it back up again in the future, but for now, I’m going to guiltlessly enjoy doing what is working for our family.

photo from Shutterstock