Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Day of Freezer cooking...Adventure #1

So this past Saturday, I ventured to do some freezer cooking for my family. My goal was not to make tons of meals for the month but rather to focus on one area. For my family, that area was breakfast! Since I homeschool my girls, I want to make it easier on me to get up and have something simple. And since my husband has a 45 minute drive one way into work in traffic, I want to ensure he has a good easy "pick up" breakfast without the price tag of fast food or the extra additives and calories of it all. So I went through my recipes and decided to make some favorites as well as try some new things. So here is a summary of my day.

I got up early at about 6 a.m.! This is not my usually, but I knew that in order to get things done, I had to wake up before the family. I overlapped cooking/baking with laundry so I could also get caught up in that area as well. I put a load on and then turned my attention to breakfast. I wanted my family to wake up to something to eat and use the extras as freezer food! So my first recipe was Libby's Pumpkin Muffins with a twist. I followed the recipe but I will suggest, don't use orange juice, use the water instead!! I also added pumpkin seeds to the top and next time, I might add a crumb topping as well. I did cut back on the sugar by subtracting about 1/3 cup of sugar! These still had a sweet taste and I would recommend you do the same IF you are adding the crumb topping. They turned out DELISH and they are easy to freeze. The recipe makes TWO DOZEN muffins, so with my family of four, I can place a few in the freezer for another day.

After turning on the coffee pot and getting some caffine in me, I looked through the recipes I thought of making. My next recipe was to try English muffins from scratch. I had seen a lot of them on Pinterest and I have seen some of the "bread" that is easier to slice and toast. But I wanted to turn these into breakfast sandwiches for my husband, so I used this recipe from Creative Savings blog. I liked the texture and I only spent 45 minutes making these which includes the rising time!

Another idea of mine was to make breakfast cookies for my girls. After looking at several ideas, I went back to my original Better Homes and Gardens Red and White Plaid cook book to pull out the oatmeal cookie recipe. I reduced the sugar and added two types of chips, chocolate and white chocolate. I have also added butterscotch chips to them in the past. My girls like this and it's easier than fixing a bowl of cereal. Plus, since we really don't have "cold" days here in Florida, it's the perfect solution to a bowl of oatmeal!

After finishing the English muffins and letting them cool, I decided on ingredients. My husband loves eggs, so I decided to bake them in muffin tins as shown on several different Pinterest boards. This was easy to make but even after spraying loads of Pam, they didn't quite come out as clean as I had hoped for! However, they did come out nice and round and it was easier than trying to flip and egg while in a round silicon mold! I also fried up some Whole Foods pork sausage rounds. We bought these with the intention of using them for sandwiches. (As a side note, I did pay $6.99 for 8 patties.) While expensive, these do taste REALLY good and are made from really good pork. So when everything was ready, I layered sliced cheese, egg round and sausage into each English muffin. After which, I wrapped in wax paper, labeled and placed in freezer.

I also decided to finally try Money Saving Mom's freezer biscuits. I had previously tried another blogger's version of freezer biscuits and about choked at the flavor - or flavorless I should say. So I took a chance making another recipe to see if this would be better. I was THRILLED at how good they tasted when baked! (Yes, I froze them first and then thawed to bake one morning.) This is worth making and keeping in your freezer!! So much tastier than canned and they are cheaper by far. Thanks Money Saving Mom!!! I do have another yeast biscuit I freeze, but that recipe will be shared later!

The last breakfast recipe I made was homemade "pop tarts". I also previously tried some recipes on pinterest and they all tasted like Pie Crust pockets. But when I came across this one by Little House Living, I was sold by the listing of ingredients. It didn't sound like pie crust and she labels it as "toaster strudels" but I would say it's between both....AND BETTER THAN BOTH! I made a simple cream cheese icing to place inside. I also used a tool from Williams Sonoma's which helped with the shape of each square. They no longer sell it, but if you are looking for another easy method, this is an appliance from Amazon that makes Pop Tarts! You might also be able to use a Pampered Chef cut and seal as mine is the same, but just rectangular. I really enjoyed making these and well, we didn't get around to freezing any!! It made 7 total from one recipe and we ate all of them by Monday morning!! I will probably also try different things inside the pop tart, like fruit preserves, brown sugar or nutella.

After that, I did continue to work in the kitchen on some other things. I made 10 twice baked potatoes which are easy to make with a Kitchen Aid mixer and they freeze really well. I also baked some sweet potatoes and pureed them for my sweet potato casserole later this fall.

Bottom line, This may be easy to write up and provide links, but it took a lot of time and effort to do all this! My back was aching after standing for eight hours in the kitchen! But it was nice to stock the freezer with a few items and try some new recipes that I had been wanting to. I probably will take more breaks next time but I don't know how some of you out there do once a month meals! From scratch, that would do me in!! LOL. So for me, I am going to try to take Saturdays (or some Friday afternoons) and cook/bake/plan for ONE MEAL only. This Saturday, I am thinking of making LUNCHES to freeze. So I'm hunting down some "hot pocket" recipes and will share some other things I have in mind to freeze for that meal!

YAWN! Gotta go, I hope you enjoyed this post and as always, come back SEW HUNGRY FOR MORE!

Photo provided by Death to Stock Photos/edited by me.