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Freezer Cooking Day: The Final Tally (and come link up your accomplishments, too!)

We finished our Freezer Cooking at 12:30 p.m yesterday! We didn’t quite get everything done on the Master List, but we counted up and had made enough  for 45 dinners for our families! Here’s our final tally:

::Spaghetti Pie x 6

::Barbecued Meatballs x 6

::Baked Ziti x 6

::Southwest Roll-ups x 7

::Chicken and Rice Casserole x 6

::Beef, Bean and Tomato Burritos x6

::Chicken Spaghetti (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl) x 8

Considering we made all of that in a little over 3 hours, it was a productive morning! And each of us took home enough food to last us at least 3-4 weeks!

A big thank you to my mom for helping with the children while we worked in the kitchen; we couldn’t have done it without her. She also stayed to help clean up so that my kitchen was pretty much in pristine condition by 1 p.m.

Yes, I think I like this joint freezer cooking thing. It’s so much easier and more efficient than doing it alone. Plus, I’m not left with a mound of dirty dishes and a house that’s pretty much destroyed!

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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 blo g 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.

Southwest Roll-ups

My sister-in-law brought all the chicken pre-cooked and chopped for the Freezer Cooking Day, which saved us lots of time and effort. We used it to make a few of the recipes–including one of our favorites, Southwest Roll-ups.

southwest roll ups

This recipe is so simple, uses inexpensive ingredients, and freezes really well.

Freezer Cooking Day: My Little Helpers

Kaitlynn (2) and Silas (10 months) both enjoyed “helping” with Freezer Cooking Day. I think they may have done more eating than helping, but that’s okay. I figure if I start training them young, someday soon, they’ll be my right hand and my left hand.

Freezer Cooking Day: Making Do in a Small Kitchen

While I worked on grating the cheese, the others got busy chopping peppers, boiling noodles, browning ground beef, and Gretchen started putting together the Beef, Bean, and Tomato Burritos. (I’d love to share that recipe with you, but she made it up on the stop–as the girls in my family are prone to do!–so I haven’t a clue what was in them aside from cheese, tomatoes, taco seasoning, beef, beans, and tomatoes rolled up in tortillas).

Our kitchen is on the small side. It works for our little family of five, but it gets cramped really quickly if you add in more people. However, compared to the crackerbox kitchen we had in our little basement apartment, it seems rather spacious!

I wasn’t sure how four of us were going to cook in the kitchen without bumping into each other all over the place–especially since we’re short on counter space. My sister had a brilliant idea: set up a cardtable! So we added a large amount of work space just with this simple addition to the kitchen.

Someday, I’d love to have a a large kitchen with massive amounts of cupboard and countertop space. But in the mean time, a card table works great when you’re in a pinch for extra countertop space!

Freezer Cooking Day: Um, I Think It’s Time to Replace the Cheese Grater

Our Freezer Cooking Day began at 9:15 a.m. yesterday morning. I had planned a Master List of everything that needed to be done and the order it needed to be done. I also tried to equally divide the work up among those of us who were working in the kitchen. We didn’t completely follow the plan, but it was really helpful to have everything thought-through ahead of time.

Remembering how we’d run out of bowls and pots and pans last time, I asked everyone to bring pots and pans and bowls. I also had everyone pitch in on bringing ingredients and that seemed to work well.

The only thing I forgot to ask someone to bring? A real cheese grater.

I have this little half-sized dinky one that I picked up at the store a number of months ago when my much-nicer one got rusted. Let’s just say that it was rather impractical to grate that pile of cheese blocks with my mini cheese grater.

Somehow, I managed to grate them all–but it took me probably five times what it would have taken with a real grater. But I’m all about making do. Next time, though, I’m definitely investing in a better cheese grater!

How to Use Up 12 Cans of Biscuit Dough in a Day (and Catch Your Oven on Fire, too!)

When I asked for ideas for using up canned biscuit dough a few days ago, I never quite expected to get over 450 responses! I almost wished I’d picked up more than 12 cans as now I have biscuit dough recipes running out my ears.

But alas, I only had 12 cans, so I decided on making Melt In Your Mouth Coffee Cake and Monkey Muffins since I had all the ingredients on hand to make both of those. We had a dinner to attend last night so I figured those would be perfect to bring to it.

The Monkey Muffins were so easy to make–especially with my handy-dandy kitchen scissors!

The Melt In Your Mouth Coffee Cake was a snap to make as well. But word to the wise: be sure to put a pan underneath your pie plates. I made two of these and they leaked brown sugar goop all over the bottom of the oven.

Do you know what brown sugar goop does when it leaks onto the oven floor? That’s right, it catches on fire.

I wasn’t paying much attention and all of a sudden happened to notice an orange glow emanating from the oven window. The brown sugar goop was ablaze!

After sequestering the children far away from the oven, I pulled the almost-baked coffee cakes out, turned off the oven, shut the oven door, and waited to make sure the fire went out. All the while, my 5-year-old daughter was hollering “There’s an e-mer-gen-ceeee!!” all throughout the house. It was a prime opportunity to reiterate what you are supposed to do when there’s a fire.

The coffee cake turned out wonderfully, despite the fire. My husband called it delicious–and I was even pretty impressed that canned biscuits could turn into something so scrumptious.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my oven to stop stinking and smoking!