Well, how did our first challenge go? Did you Toss Something Out and Make a Switch? I was super impressed when I read all of your comments sharing what you were planning to do and what you actually accomplished. Way to go!
This weekend, I’d like to extend challenge #2. (If your weekend is full, that’s perfectly okay. Maybe you can find time early next week to do a little something extra?)
You all know how much I love making food ahead of time and putting it into the freezer for busier days. Not only do I love doing this…I have found that this practice has almost become a necessity for me. Having healthy, pre-made foods in the freezer makes putting nourishing meals on the table so much easier. It’s also a perfect way to save money and time.
Your new challenge is to simply do one extra little something in the kitchen. Maybe you are making a casserole, so you can just go ahead and make a second one for the freezer. Maybe you can prepare some vegetables to have on hand for snacking. Maybe you want to spend several hours making a few different types of healthy convenience foods for your freezer or to feed your family next week.
Me? I’m feeling desperate to have some easy breakfast foods in my freezer. With soccer practices and/or games most evenings and school work beginning first thing each morning – I just need some healthy breakfast items that can quickly be warmed up in the mornings. This weekend, I plan to squeeze the following in between soccer games and…life in general. :)
- Giant Breakfast Cookies
- Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- Homemade Poptarts
- Whole Wheat Waffles
- Honey Whole Wheat Bagels (I’ve been planning to make these for weeks. Maybe this time I’ll actually get it done?)
I know the challenge is just to do one thing, but I’m hoping to get on a roll and knock out a bunch of these so that I’ll be ahead for the days upcoming. Feel free to do more than one thing for this challenge if you would like. :)
So are you ready? Pick something – anything that will help you get just a little bit ahead in the kitchen. It likely won’t take you long. If you’re already making a mess in the kitchen, just go with it and get ahead!
Feel free to look through all of my Make Ahead Meals posts to see if you might can find a recipe or two that will inspire you.
Or maybe you just need to do a little extra cleaning in your kitchen to continue to make it more functional. Did you get your copy of Do the Funky Kitchen yet?
Whatever you choose, leave a comment here with your ideas. Each comment entered gives you another chance to win one of our Heavenly Homemakers Gift Certificates. If you have a blog, feel free to share with your readers about this challenge and about how you plan to participate, then come over and link up with us below. Or…want to share with us more about how Challenge #1 went for you? Please do!
I will be sharing an update on my “getting ahead” progress on Sunday, September 9, and will at that time give you an opportunity to share as well. Can’t wait to hear!
You all are so inspiring with all you are getting done in your kitchens to make them Funky and Fresh! Let Challenge #2 begin!
Good challenge :)
This past weekend I made 2 mason jar sized (okay, well my husband did most of the work) of peanut butter from AS peanuts. BTW – I didn’t see any organic peanuts on there.???
Breakfast food is what I need to restock up on too. My daughter has pancakes left but my english muffin bread is about gone.
Canned nearly 60lbs of grape juice and jam out of free organic u-pick grapes from our local university research farm. Not a full breakfast, but I just need bread :)
I just have to say, my kiddos LOVE the giant breakfast cookies…they are on my to-do list for this weekend since I only have half a bag left in the freezer, so I’m up for this challenge! I usually soak the grains and double the recipe and the cookies don’t last very long at all! We gobble them up!
I’ll have to try the cinnamon bread…sounds super yummy! Thanks for the challenge! Happy baking!
I am going to make your chicken burrito recipe tomorrow for handy dandy lunches. Actually, this challenge isn’t a “challenge” for me, cause I looooove making food ahead to have in the freezer on busy days.
Makin’ a big batch of breakfast burritos :)
Linda D. says
I generally make a couple meals and then they are in the fridge for the week…I don’t have room in my freezer so I just make a big batch of something early, mid, and end of week or something like that. I think I will try your chicken patties and have some pinto beans ready for some campfire beans.
Linda D. says
I also have planned to clean out some more cupboards to make space more efficient. I try to utilize the jars that things come in to put other things in them…
If the campfire pinto beans taste really good I think I’ll make a double or triple batch to can!
Aldi had chicken $2/lb if you bought a bulk package so I grilled it all and froze some large pieces and some chopped in 1 lb portions.
I have several things soaking on my counters right now! (yes, I’m still soaking!). Pancakes, sourdough crepes and black beans. Pretty much bread and butter staples around here. My husband still shakes his head at all the bowls. :)
Great timing for me with this challenge. I am soaking enough grains for a triple batch of your pancakes as I’m typing this! I think I’ll add your pop tart recipe to my agenda this weekend. Thanks for the ideas!
I always double or triple my recipes for leftovers or freezer meals” muffins, pancakes, waffles, spaghetti sauce, and then canning soups, etc.
I’m going to try to squeeze out some time to tackle the garden produce again. It rained again so the cukes are enormous! And I need to blanch & freeze kale, plant fall/winter plants, pick & freeze peppers and make yet more tomato sauce. :) Oh, and turn some basil into pesto.
I made a huge batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes for the freezer this weekend and I just finished shredding zucchini in the food processor to freeze and have on hand for zucchini tots (a yummy substitute for tater tots) during the winter.
Michele M says
I would love to know how you make zucchini tots!
Kristy B says
I had to laugh when I read the challenge. In a good way.
I spent yesterday processing 2 cases of peaches into canned peaches and frozen pie filling to make it easier for me later and more delicious when peaches are not available in season.
I spent today in the kitchen processing 2 cases of tomatoes into 2o quarts of salsa and 8 quarts of just tomatoes because I will love them in January when the tomatoes don’t taste garden fresh any more.
This totally helps me out this winter!
Favorite breakfast is parfaits with yogurt, granola and fruit – canned fruit adds great variety and if you do it yourself, no junk and much less sweetener.
After traveling to Lincoln and working a late night, I decided to make myself extra productive and make some homemade frozen pizzas for next week. I’ve been experimenting with the process–this time I baked the crust first, then put the rest of the ingredients on and froze it. Last time, I prepared the pizza and just stuck it in the freezer, but when I baked the pizza, it was doughy. Hopefully this works because then I’ll have 3 meals!
Dana O. says
I keep cooked rice and beans in the freezer in zip top bags. Yesterday was pinto beans and Saturday is rice. I’ve also made peach jam this week.
Crista C says
I love having stuff made ahead of time. It stops me from eating crap. I always try to have something ready for breakfast like your giant breakfast cookies or some kind of homemade muffin. I am a single person and like to cook all my meals on the weekend and take it to work for lunch. I try to make one meal gluten free, one vegetable centered, and one regular healthy type meal and that is what I have for lunch and dinner for the work week.
I don’t know how everyone does all this? I bet they all don’t have two kids 3 and 1. I did make granola and breakfast cookies tonight and now the kitchen is a disaster.
You just find what works for YOU. Everyone is busy with kids, homeschooling, businesses, etc. I, personally have a baking day (Fridays usually) where I can make up a few extras right after breakfast. This is also errand day so my boys (6,5, and 3) pretty much have a free day. Making 4X the number of pancakes you normally would doesn’t take much extra effort and it all cleans up the same. Putting several chicken breasts in the oven to cook away for 45min is easy peasy but allows you to have shredded chicken in the freezer for quick quesadillas, taco pizzas, chicken noodles soup, etc. Just find what works for the time you do have.
Lisa- I have two kids ages 3 and 1 and the way I do it, is to make
one freezer meal a day (if I can). Sometimes I have my 3 year old
help me. I usually make a breakfast food. I love Jamie’s advice too!
Lisa, don’t be discouraged. Everyone’s life is different. Just do the best you can :) Don’t worry about your messy kitchen. You took time to make healthy food for your children. You are doing great:) Have a beautiful day!
IPeter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Thanks for inspiring me to make extra for another time. It sure comes in handy to have something tucked away, instead of eating out.
Little Wife on the Prairie says
Having a freezer full of goodies makes me happy! That’s why chile season is so special to us.
Amy Mc says
I returned the cereal my husband bought and made three batches of zucchini bread from some mega squash I was given from a friend’s garden… Thanks for the encouragement!
I’m already ahead…on accident. I spent today cutting, chopping, baking, etc. I got all of my produce put away properly. My boys, for some reason, love individual fruit salads more than just dishing it up out of the bowl so I made up several bowls of this, quadrupled my pancakes from breakfast and made up a double batch of muffins to use up the last of the sour cream. However, I think my boys snacked more today than normal…but I feel good having easy breakfast foods right on hand!
Tami S. says
Great challenge! We are packing up to move this weekend/ beg of next week tho so I will have to pass on this one. I am proud of myself just getting a real foods meal on the dinner plates each night instead of relying on take out during this busy time. :)
Good morning Laura. I love this challenge. Today I am making my pizza dough. This past week I spent time cleaning out my pantry and my freezer.Wow did that feel good :) I think I might tackle making homemade egg and sausage sandwiches to freeze for a quick breakfast for my hubby. I will link up my progress on the 9th!
Michele M says
I like to cook ground beef with onions and garlic and store one pound bags in the freezer. I’ve been out for awhile, and it is so nice to have these on hand for those extra busy evenings. Thank you for the reminder!
Jennifer Blaine says
I also need to get stocked up on some healthy breakfast things for the freezer. My kids and I like different types of bread. Banana bread, pumpkin bread, cinnamon bread, and then maybe some pumpkin waffles.
Hubby and I will be going out of town this weekend to visit our son and his wife who have just been married 6 weeks and moved 4 hours away but, I have already put 10 meals in the freezer this week so I am good to go on that one!
with baseball season in full swing at our house, plus a baby that keeps me distracted and busy, I decided this morning that I need to spend some time this weekend making up some quick snacks: granola bars, cheese crackers, graham crackers, pb&j sandwiches, trail mix, etc. to have as quick grab and go things for my boys between practices, games, errands and whatnot! So here’s to a productive Saturday afternoon tomorrow!
I’m having company tonight and am making chili beans. I’m going to quadruple the recipe so I can have three more “hospitality servings” of chili beans for the fall. That should free up more time to get the house in order!
Lori Smith says
I did make pancakes for the freezer earlier this week. Now I think I will make waffles. Also made the giant breakfast cookies for the freezer. Thank you Laura for inspiring me.
I plan on making at least 4 loaves of sandwich bread on Sunday and some of your awesome zucchini bread to throw in the freezer!
I made some meatballs for three meals and froze them recently, and it’s been a huge time saver! It’s so nice to pull meatballs out of the freezer and surprise everyone with meatball subs. Tossing them in a stew, or over potatoes or noodles also makes a quick meal.
I usually make one freezer meal a day- usually a breakfast food. I have two little ones and I can’t spend hours in the kitchen, but I can whip up a little something every day. I have on my daily to do list- Fill the Freezer. I already made granola bars this morning!
Made whole grain (WW, Flax & Triticale)waffles ahead for the freezer
Rhonda M says
Going to make some homemade poptarts. Poptarts and fish crackers are 2 things my children seem to not be able to live without. So hopefully the homemade poptarts will be a replacement for them.
Well, I organized our “prep tasks” list but this week I really am going to post it on the refrigerator! Right now I have almonds in the dehydrator so that’s a start :). My goal is to have snacks and lunches more readily available.
Oh, I did double our sourdough tortilla recipe and found that they freeze really well in the balls to defrost just a few at a time to cook.
I forgot to mention that you were our inspiration as we made our lunch list in that post(I have your list printed). :)
Jennifer A. says
I enjoy canning my garden in the summer. It puts quite a bounty at my fingertips during the year – which takes care of some ingredients. But as for meals, I do try to make up breakfast items in advance as we are out the door quite early during the week! I have a recipe for breakfast cookies that sells really well around here and are a great grab and go breakfast!
Every Wednesday I have been getting together with a friend and we make entrees together. We double it so that we have dinner for that evening and one for the freezer. So much fun to cook with a friend! You get practical things done and fun things as well. (chat time!!) We have also fit in cake decorating practice while things are cooking!
mrs. p says
I did challenge number 2 first instead of 1. This week I canned 52 quarts of pickles, 9 pints of salsa 3 quarts of pickle green beans and 4 quarts of tomato sauce (using the oven to roast the tomato- easy) So now I going to clean out all of the cupboards in the kitchen and get inventory of of the freezer and pantry.
Wow, everyone is so inspiring! If I could just get out of my pajamas, I might get something done! :) I am planning on making extra waffles for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Hi Laura :) What is the best way to freeze food? Thanks!
I volunteer at a adolescent group home for kids with autism. I make waffles for their freezer for the boy’s breakfast. I will be doing that again this Sunday! :-)
Teresa Yb. says
This weekend we are tackling tomato soup to can. We will use your recipe but put it through our new Victorio rather than using the blender.
We have already put up 80+ quarts of tomato products and shared lots of tomatoes with friends and family. My husband got a bit carried away with 24 plants this year!
Heather Smith says
Last Saturday my biggest 3 and I peeled, chopped and boiled about 10 pounds of potatoes. On Sunday afternoon my oldest and I poached a big batch of chicken breasts. They all held beautifully in the fridge until needed. Part of the chicken batch we zipped through the food processor = WAY EASY prep. for yummy pesto chicken salad for lunches during the week. The other part of it we chopped in chunks and it made for delicious “fried” chicken and potatoes (in coconut oil of course!) for dinner one night that she could do while I was busy with laundry, etc. As a busy homeschooling mommy of 8 (13 yrs. to 5 mo.) I’m ALWAYS in need of made-ahead help. I don’t always get a chance to check out your site as often as I’d like to, but I always enjoy it and in fact I’ve sent many people to it for the great recipes! :) Many thanks, Laura!!!!
Erin S says
Made 2 loaves of ww banana bread for the freezer yesterday. Since I’m home today instead of running errands, I’ll put up a few quarts of canned beans. I like having them canned for quick meals.
I currently have stocked my freezer with several batches of sloppy joe muffins, taco fritters, pretzels, strawberry bread, cookies, graham crackers, cornbread muffins, pre-cooked hamburger so I can just add to any recipe as needed, cinnamon bread and whole wheat bread. This weekend I plan to make several casseroles and freeze those and mini apple pies (although they can eaten so fast its hard to get them in the freezer)! Thanks to you Laura I have become much more organized in the kitchen and prepared to feed my family healthier snack options and meals. God Bless!
It all started with some very ripe bananas that I had tossed in the freezer…gluten-free banana muffins (the really big ones that my girls love!) Then, I thought, what about cranberry nut bread – that sounds good! That led to zucchini bread, which is where I am right now.
I guess you could say I did both challenges at once, since I’m using cranberries from my freezer (clearing out, anyone?) and shredded zucchini (also from my freezer) from last season’s bounty! Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it!!!
I’m going to try to make some breakfast food for the freezer…maybe your giant cookies or my favorite chocolate muffins.
Karen Stann says
I’ve moved back to the U.S. to help my daughter with a newborn for the next year. I’ve been working on her to get a small chest freezer, so I can make food ahead and also get to making baby food for my grandson. She has checked out the prices, and her hubby says it is ok, so I am hoping this weekend she actually buys it. I get excited thinking of all the things I want to make and store! BTW, I made a batch of your chicken paties, and my son-in-law LOVED them!
Hmmm….. I actually did lots of this last week. I had gotten away from it for a while and my “What’s in the Freezer” spreadsheet was getting pretty sparse. This past week, whenever I made a menu item which I planned to make for the same meal the following week, I just doubled it and put the second in the freezer. I also put quite a few leftovers in the freezer that will make great, quick lunch entrees. Some of the foods I froze were: pumpkin pancakes, creamed ham, a breakfast casserole, chicken enchiladas, green bean casserole, blueberry pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, hash brown casserole, corn dog muffin bites, quesadillas, crockpot savory chicken sandwich filling, and granola bars (which are already gone now!). This should make things much easier next week.
This is my last week full time at work, then I am part time. One of my goals to start next week is making ahead tortillas and freezing them. Thus they will be handy and that will save us money.
Heather @ Nourishing the Heart says
I have a bunch of overly ripe bananas staring at me, so I think I’ll make a double batch of banana muffins so we can have some for breakfast tomorrow and some to throw in the freezer.
Have been racking my brain for a way to get my three year old to eat a quick breakfast in the morning. She’s a “great eater”, but never in the morning. I am going to try all of these ideas- I am sure she will be thrilled to get cookies for breakfast!
Linda Hayes says
I am in the process of going through my pantries and marking all “Best by” dates on cans and packages. I am reshelving so I use the oldest first — now if I can just remember to continue to label and shelve to the back everything I buy in the future. Inventory comes next! I am making sure I have a 3 month supply of normally used items on hand for emergencies. But, I did get 4 family size split chicken breasts cooked. Now I have all the delicious stock ready and will package shreds and cubes this afternoon for the freezer. Thanks for this great challenge.
Well, I am canning applesauce, pears, apple juice, and roasting tomatoes for spaghetti sauce today. I am also cutting up pears to dehydrate with a friend’s dehydrator to see if I like it. And tomorrow…the corn.
Amy H says
This past week I made two batches of chicken nuggets for the freezer and today I am planning to make some muffins…some for us to eat and some to freeze!
Melissa Wheeler says
My goal is to get my kitchen functional. We just moved into a new house and I got everything out of the boxes, but nothing is in place. I’ve got dishes and food covering all horizontal spaces. Here we go!
barb powers says
After cooking up my final turkeys from last thanksgivings sales, I had enough meat left over to prepare 3 more meals. 2 casserole and 1 pot pie put away in the freezer for quick meal works great for all of us .
Sue D says
I do have breakfast cookies in the freezer and I did have waffles but we ate those for dinner on a busy day! I made pulled pork for a family get together and will be freezing the leftovers. I am in the middle of canning right now but will try to find time to do more for this very helpful challenge.
Julia Reffner says
I would like to cook extra meat for the freezer. I’m not very good at planning ahead so this is my goal for this month.
I’m going to make tortillas for the freezer!
I need to make pancakes for the freezer! I’m going to have surgery next week, and really need to stock my freezer up!
Cindy G says
My favorite “do ahead thing to make life easier at cooking time” is to buy fresh boneless chicken breasts in bulk and cook as many as I can fit into the crockpot. When they are cooked, I break them apart and put into casserole size portions (about 2 cups for our family) and freeze. When I’m making a casserole with chicken as the main ingredient I can pull out a portion and finish up the casserole quickly. It saves a lot of time to not have to cook the chicken each time before putting the meal together. I just stocked my freezer with ready to go chicken last week. Now to make a few freezer meals to have on hand when basketball starts up next month!
I’ve been thinking for a few days I need to make some whole wheat waffles for the freezer, and I think I will make them Sunday! :)
Wendy Clark says
Yesterday I made four casseroles for the freezer while I was making other things. I also made 31 breakfast burritos. It feels so good to have those in the freezer. Tomorrow I may try to make pancakes and freeze them.
One night this week I soaked some steel cut oats in preparation for breakfast the next morning. The oatmeal was enjoyed! This is our first experience with steel cut oats.
Perfect timing. I just finished a double batch of pear muffins and 2 loaves of zucchini bread to put in the freezer for my daughter’s school lunches. Though I am very limited on space right now, so I don’t have room for too much more. I desperately need a third freezer!
Angela Anthony says
Because I have decided to not buy any cereal anymore, I’m going to stock up on pancakes and waffles to go along with my banana bread and zucchini bread I already have.
I agree with you on the breakfasts… getting ahead with those helps me so much. So I made 4 batches of muffins on Saturday & what a help they were! I plan to do more this weekend. My kids have a new favorite muffin… your applesauce muffins. :-)
Just made a quadruple batch of muffins for the freezer!
Christa F says
I made our own sliders with fresh ground beef (no hormones or any of that nasty stuff) and did several differnent kinds and seasonings. We had an asia with teryaki, a buffalo, and a taco with my own taco seasoning. Don’t forget the cheese! These were a big hit!
Christa F says
Zucchini anyone? We had so much this year we made sveral different types of muffins, some with chocolate chips, some without. We also made them in loaves (regular and minis). The freezer was full. They’re great for a quick breakfast and travel well!
Christa F says
OK this week we are going to attempt to make one of the great recipes. I already printed them out. The honey bagels look awesome! Do I dare???
I’m going to make breakfast for the freezer when I make breakfast.
We are going to have our kitchen remodeled started in October so my plan/goal is to make a bunch of freezer meals to last as long as possible since I will not have a kitchen for 3 weeks!!
Thank goodness that I also have a crockpot and a pressure cooker that will be very handy when my stove/oven is out of commission!
I will be canning more tomato sauce and soup this will be my 3rd weekend in a row of this. Also, stopped at the orchard yesterday and loaded up on apples to can some applesauce too. How it will get done, I never know in between doing my own homework (nursing school) and homeschooling kids. But somehow it all happens.
I’ve started making extra breakfast items for the freezer, like whole wheat waffles and oat & whole wheat pancakes. I don’t do freezer cooking usually, but I do portion leftovers into single serve containers for lunch from the freezer. I do make homemade chicken nuggets and a few other things like that for the kid’s lunches.
I just finished a huge batch of chicken stock (need to freeze it yet). And I have a buch of chicken from that that I will freeze. I made your chicken noodle soup recipe. We had it for lunch with some friends. Soooo yummy! I have leftovers that I will also freeze.
Patti King says
Love having ready meals in the freezer!
I’m not sure if this is really what you mean, but I am getting ahead for the year by preserving what is in season and fresh and totally inexpensive at the farmer’s market. IT seems this time of year each week there is something that is in over abundance and they have bushels for great prices. I bought a bushel of cukes last week and made a WHOLE LOT of pickles. The week before was 2 full bushels of corn (yes that is about 160 ears) and this week it was broccoli. And after freezing about a bushel and half of it I feel pretty prepared for all the pickles, corn and broccoli we will eat this year. Next week I’ll be doing something else! Those canners are going like crazy!
One of my favorite “something extra” to do ahead is when I buy ground meat. I portion out some and make into patties and freeze them for a quick meal. I then take several pounds or more, and brown and drain, then portion and freeze. This makes for a very quick start to a casserole or taco meat or whatever. It saves cleanup time as well, since I only deal with the grease once! That is a REAL plus for me!
Hmmm… As much as I would love to tackle a make ahead meal or two this weekend, I think I’d be doing well to study the Do the Funky Kitchen e book tonight and get some extra organizing done this weekend. I’m so enjoying this series.
Planning on making applesauce, pumpkin purée, butternut squash purée, mini quich, an going to try your recipe for calzones! I’m 35 weeks pregnant with a 2yo and 4 yo so I’m trying to get ahead!
Thank you! I just read the recipes and I cannot wait to get started.
lots of great ideas here. I think I’ll pre cook a bunch of ground beef and chicken so i can put together easy dinners. I have also been wanting to make a big batch of waffles.
This afternoon I made a double batch of taco soup, double batch of minestrone, and double batch of chicken burgers. Most of it is headed for the freezer.
I am putting plastic freezer bags together for my freezer. I fill them with everything (fruits and veggies) I need to make our morning smoothies. They are nice to have done ahead of time so I just drop a bag in the blender and add my liquid and I am good to go.
Amy Floyd says
I am processing pumpkins this week, and I have been really wanting to make your homemade poptarts. And with soccer season and Bible quizzing season both here, a super batch of granola bars is much needed!
I am making an extra chicken spaghetti casserole for my freezer!
I will make a double batch of banana bread with bananas I have in the freezer, and extra loaf of whole wheat bread, maybe pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and homemade pancake mix. Hopefully I can squeeze this in one evening after all the kids are in bed.
shannon hillary says
Got some veggies cut up. Really want to make some cheese crackers and waffled:)
I just put in some spaghetti sauce with meatballs and I think I’ll add the waffles!
Kim in az says
I’m going to precook a bunch of chicken to stash in the freezer for quick casseroles or Mexican themed foods.
Susan Alexander says
Per this link: http://denverbargains.com/2012/08/hot-breakfast-ideas-that-require-little-effort-eat-well-spend-less/
I’d like to make either the muffins as described or the english muffins… or both? Probably not this weekend, but next week hopefully.
De'Etta @ Choosing Joy says
I’ve gotten gallons of homemade spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce in my freezer.
Kristi Griggs says
I shredded all of my block cheese for use in meals this week. I also made an extra batch of pancakes for the freezer. I can’t wait to try your other freezer breakfast ideas!
I was already planning on making an extra casserole this week to put in the freezer! :-) I have also been wanting to make some muffins and “nutri grain” bars for the freezer. I will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday though. Have a great weekend!
Hooray for a challenge I’d already planned on accomplishing this weekend! I recently ran out of Eggo waffles and vowed to make homemade ones for the freezer, and ever since my son has been asking for homemade waffles for every breakfast- success! Of course now I only have 1 left, so I need to make some more, and I’d like to add another alternative as well, so I’m thinking some kind of apple or pumpkin pancake- but I’m going to check out your links as well!
I’m a devout batch cooker. I make meals for the freezer ALL the time. It’s the only way that I can cook healthy meals for my family. I grew up in a family of TV diners and take out. Learning how to batch cook was key in my attempts at breaking this cycle.
This week I made gluten free sesame chicken (even scored some free range chicken and used the bones to make chicken stock!), spagetti sauce (managed to sneak in some garden zucchini puree-the kids won’t know and it’s extra veggies!) and some taco pasta.
Love making breakfast the night before! Makes the morning go so much easier :)
beth s says
I’m going to make some tomato sauce and bbq sauce.
patricia loser says
I bought shelving and organized my canning food cabinet
Made a couple of meals ahead of time :)
Glad that I made extra pancakes last weekend. Working on some soup right now and a bunch of biscuits. Have a great weekend everyone!
Well I must’ve known this one was coming! Last week I made a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and froze 2/3’s of it for future meals. Made your simple soaked pancakes (tripled it) and froze some. Getting ready to make applesauce bread and thinking about doubling it and freezing one loaf. Maybe it’s fall that gets me in the mood to do this or the fact that we have a guest coming tomorrow for a week or the fact that we were just gifted a deep freeze that some friends didn’t need! I don’t know, but I’m thankful to God for all of these things and for the ability to cook ahead for my family!
Next thing on my list is soaking and drying pecans and walnuts that I will mix with dried fruits for a healthy snack. I make a big batch and put it back in the freezer so it stays fresh…I just take out enough for a few days at a time.
I reeeeally need to work on doing this!!! Great post!
I plan on making chicken and rice, soups and spaghetti bake for the freezer to help cut down on eating out. I’m even going to get my husband to help so i don’t spend all day in the kitchen :D.
Cheryl R says
Hmmm. . . Need to make another batch of waffles for the freezer I think…..
Candice M says
My family likes green enchiladas, but I don’t do them very often because they take forever to make. I plan to make a few batches to put in the freezer for us to enjoy in the month ahead.
You’ve inspired me! I will be making a big batch of your Homemade Turkey Sausage from which I can make some breakfast patties as well as Pancake Sausage Muffins. I’ll freeze a good quantity of each of these for easy breakfasts. My family will love me!
yeah. this connects to MY #1 kitchen challenge: time. I gotta tell you. When you make posts about making homemade muffins in 6 minutes or mac and cheese in 2 minutes, it’s just not even fathomable to me. When I make things it seems to take f-or-e-v-er. Doubling up is something I try to do often but it seems I can only do that when I have time to make cooking an all afternoon event. I wish I were more efficient in the kitchen. Are there secrets out there I’m missing?
My main encouragement to you is to just keep working at it! I’ve spent practically my whole life in the kitchen because I’ve always loved it. And especially, during the past 18 years of marriage and as our family has grown, I’ve become very efficient in the kitchen just from practice. I’m sure the more you cook/bake, the easier it will be, and you’ll become more efficient too!
i love the get ahead challenges…i always try to make extra pancakes for the fridge/freezer, but even when i quadruple the recipe they seem to disappear before i can get them stored
Sheri Schmidt says
I am in a cooking group with five friends and we meet once a month to exchange meals we made in advance. It’s so much easier to make five of the same meal all at once. I don’t look forward to the mess of that many meals in my kitchen at the time but always look forward to getting my meals each month. Using that same idea, I am going to start doubling meals when I make a casserole at the other times of the month.
Beth @ Turn 2 the Simple says
I’ve been getting ahead for the last month in prep for Baby coming any day now — 15 meals in the freezer! I’ve gotten into the habit of just doubling what I’m making for supper for the freezer…I’ll have to continue doing that!
I made baked oatmeal (in individual muffin tins) and put them in the freezer so I can pull out individual portions for breakfast. Yum! I also spent this morning making chocolate chip shortbread cookies for my freezer, for surprise company and entertaining. I also fried some hamburger for the freezer, for quick future meals. I have a long list and am eager to get my freezer stocked again.
I went to the store and stocked up on meats to do just this. Thanks for the inspiration to try to get ahead. Also want to thank you for offering your funky kitchen ebook, lots of great info there. Keep it up because I need all the help I can get.
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says
I’m trying to make sure all our tomatoes get put up and preserved for the winter! Tomato chutney, roasted tomato sauce, salsa, and good ol’ canned tomatoes. :)
Erin R. says
Okay I’m motivated! I just looked at your how-to on hot dog buns, I was WONDERING how to get them the right shape! So, I’m going to make up a batch of bread for loaves and another for hot dog and hamburger buns to freeze. I’m always shying away from hamburgers/hot dogs since we don’t like to use store-bought, yet I never thought of pre-making and freezing… they really can be quick and healthy meals this way. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ok, needed this message – Thanks! I haven’t been doing very well on this, but with being in the tractor due to corn chopping season, I’ve got to get on the boat or else my family gets PBJ for dinner!
Joanna Sigman says
Made a huge batch of coconut oil waffles intending to get ahead with a bunch in the freezer. However my family loved them so much I only had 4 left over! Oh well. Maybe next time. :)
I am making BBQ sauce and yogurt, and made some taco seasoning mix and onion soup mix to have on hand.
Aww I did this one last week. LOL I’ll figure something out this week.
I love to make your corn dog muffins, freeze them, and heat them up for my son’s school lunches.I do not have a muffin pan, so I cook them in my Toastmaster Snackster and it makes them into little triangles great for dipping. I also make my pancakes this way too. My son loves your peanut butter, chocolate chip pancake recipe, especially when we are in a hurry and on the go. I just take some out of the freezer, heat up and go. No maple syrup needed.
Nearing the end of 1st trimester yuckies here… so VERY thankful for all the freezer meals I got stashed away beforehand! Hubby has been able to feed the 3 yr old, 2 yr old, and 1 yr old without *too* much hassle! :D
I wish had more room to stock up the freezer but my side by side fridge/freezer seems to fill so easily, I never have room. Maybe clean out and re-organize the freezer should go on my list. But I did need to do some cooking ahead for this week, we have something going on every day this week so I cooked ahead all the meat so when we come home I can steam some veggies and or make a salad and we are all set. Now that the weather is cooling off I will be taking the opportunity to make some pancakes for the freezer and work on making some room to keep them in there. :)
Making a big batch of homemade tomato soup! Great for those cold winter days!!!
Beth B says
I made 3 lasagna casseroles today! One for dinner tommorow and 2 for the freezer.
I’m thinking about making a few lasagnas to have in the freezer – though I might just make pizzas instead :)
I made two meat loaves for later while making supper tonight. I’m inspired to go make something else for breakfast now after reading this! I’ve got some mangoes that need to be made into muffins…thanks for the encouragement!
Cassie Musick says
My kitchen could use a serious deep cleaning.
Cassie Musick says
I cut my veggies up ahead of time to use later in recipes.
We stayed home from church this morning because hubby is sick, so I made a double batch of waffles for breakfast and froze the leftovers!
I’m canning, pickling & freezing garden produce so we will have good things to eat for winter & hopefully my food bill will be down alot!!!
I made up some extra muffins with breakfast this morning. It’s not much, but it will make one morning this week a little easier! I plan to cut up fresh veggies for the week this afternoon while we’re watching a little football. :)
A triple batch of whole wheat waffles so far… on to three browning banana’s worth of bread and a quadruple batch of whole wheat pizza crust…then as much spaghetti sauce as my garden tomatoes will make!!!
Have been camping this weekend, so unable to cook and freeze items. I did organize the camper kitchen. I plan to can salsa this week, so maybe that counts for preparing food in advance to use later. Thanks for all your great recipes.
Sara Stone says
I made a batch of your homemade poptarts tonight. I also made two loaves whole wheat bread, 4 small loaves of cinnamon swirl bread, 2 loaves of zucchini bread and 4 small loaves of chocolate zucchini bread…half of all that I froze for later.
Anita Peoples says
So, over the weekend, we were able to make extra batches of waffles to freeze for a quick breakfast, a double batch of date bars (42) to freeze for quick, nutritious snacks for the field trips we’ll be taking this fall, an extra yummy batch of homemade kind bars that were almost too good to put into the freezer! Today I’ll be making red and green ketchup for our family to use over the year with tomatoes we’ve been collecting from our garden, while baking two whole chickens to put into meals for the week. I’ll make homemade chicken stock from the bones and skin overnight to freeze for yummy soups this fall as it begins to cool down. It feels good to get food ready to go for a large, busy family.
I hope to make up some of your seasoning mixes this week. I especially like the idea of having homemade taco seasoning on hand.
Sally McQuaid says
We had friends over for brunch after church on Sunday. While prepping, I doubled my roll recipe and have a bunch of rolls and cinnamon rolls in the freezer and for the week. YUM
I made peanut butter and it turned out great! I think I’m even saving a little money on doing this. Yay!
I’m going to have a bag-up-crock-pot-meals session, so all I have to do is thaw and dump the ingredients in the crock pot each morning.