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

Category: From My Kitchen

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

Freezer Cooking Day: The Master Plan

Freezer

Today's the day! I've cleared my schedule, made my list, done my shopping, got a good night's rest, cleaned my kitchen, and brought in recruits (i.e. Grandma!) to help with the children. And I'm ready to hit the ground running with this cooking and baking thing.

But not before I first make another list (yes, I'm one of those Type-A list-makers–sorry, it's just the only way things seem to get done around here!). This list is my Master Plan list which tells me what to do when–in detailed order.

I've found that it's great to have a Proposed List of everything I want to accomplish, but breaking it down into bite-size pieces of the order I plan to accomplish it in helps me be much more efficient and organized.

Last night before going to bed, I grated up all the cheese I'd need today and set out the milk and ground turkey from the freezer to thaw. Prepping a few things like that the night before help give me a little jumpstart to my Freezer Cooking the next day.

Here's my Master Plan for today and tomorrow (remember, I'm planning to work from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST since I'm fitting this in around our homeschooling schedule):

Tuesday

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) Make Granola
10) Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
11) Mix together Turkey Meatballs, cook one pan for dinner, cook the rest and freeze
13) Finish Freezer Mashed Potatoes
12) Finish dinner preparations (Turkey Meatballs, Freezer Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli, Toast) and clean up

Wednesday

1) Make Slow Cooked Pepper Steak and put in crockpot
2) Make Farmhouse Chicken
3) Make Pumpkin Scones
4) Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5) Finish dinner preparations (Farmhouse Chicken) and clean up kitchen
6) 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!

As you can tell, I'm planning to do the bulk of my cooking today since Grandma is here to play with the children. It also gives me a little wiggle room if I'm not able to get to everything I planned to do on Tuesday; I can always bump it to Wednesday, if need be. And if I get incredibly ambitious, finish everything on Tuesday's list, and have extra time, I can always start in on Wednesday's list!

Need more help and ideas for making a game plan for your Freezer Cooking Day? Check out FishMama's post here.

Stay tuned for live-blogging and tweeting (follow me on Twitter here) this afternoon on my real-time progress complete with pictures and recipes. Don't forget to follow FishMama on her blog and Twitter or the more that 250 other women around the country who are participating in this Freezer Cooking Day and tweeting about it with the hashtag #bakingday

Have you posted your Baking Day plans on your blog? If so, leave your link below so others can be inspired with ideas and new recipes to try. Remember to link directly to your blog post.