I don’t know why, but it hit me a few days ago that I’m going to right in the middle of finding my new normal with the baby when holiday season rolls around. I’m all about baked goods during the holidays so I immediately knew I had to have a freezer cooking session so that I’ll be able to enjoy some goodies without being pressured to make them.
So, my fingers started walking (with my stomach not far behind) and I made a list of baked goodies to make and freeze. For the most part, I already had the ingredients on-hand and only had to pick up a few extras at the grocery store. Woot!
My Freezer Cooking Recipes
- 2 batches of Homemade Chicken Pot Pie (one went in the freezer and we had the other for dinner)
- 2 batches of Grandma’s Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
- 2 batches of Chocolate Pudding Pie
- 1 batch of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread (this recipe made one loaf and 12 muffins)
- 1 batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (I just used the recipe on the back of the bag)
Even though my kitchen was in a bit of disarray for a few hours, I think I came up with a pretty good system. The key to freezer cooking is to be organized. Choose your recipes, make sure you have all necessary ingredients and, most of all, have fun with it! It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely rewarding!
My Freezer Cooking Plan
- Set the pie crusts and cream cheese out ahead of time to thaw/bring to room temperature.
- Bake the pumpkin rolls (they baked at a higher temperature than everything else).
- Prepare the pies and chocolate chip bars (while the pumpkin rolls bake).
- Prepare the pumpkin cream cheese bread (while the pies and bars bake).
- Prepare the cream cheese filling for the pumpkin rolls.
- Make the chicken pot pie filling.
- Fill the pumpkin rolls with the cream cheese filling.
- Place cooled items in freezable containers (I wrapped the pumpkin rolls in wax paper and bread in cling wrap and foil before placing them in their containers) and mark them with the name/date created.
Except for the chicken pot pie, I used my my KitchenAid Stand Mixer (that’s my affiliate link), my absolute favorite kitchen appliance, to whip everything together in a jiffy. Yes, I had to wash the bowl multiple times, but it cut down on the amount of dirty dishes I had. I also cleaned as I went so that I wouldn’t have a mound of dishes at the end. The pumpkin cream cheese bread was the last item to be finished cooking. By that time, everything was cleaned up and I was ready to rest!
Here’s a prime example of why following directions is important. :O) When they say to bake bar cookies in a bar pan, you should probably do it. If not, you’ll be like me and have it oozing over the side of your pan and burning in the bottom of the oven.
Bar Cookie Tip: Cut your bars using a pizza cutter. It’s so much easier and faster than using a regular knife!
Well, that’s my freezer cooking session. I’m officially ready for the holidays…well, at least the baked goods portion of the holidays!
Do you freezer cook? What are your favorite items?