The Time Laura Canned Chicken Broth in a Pressure Cooker and Didn’t Blow Up Her Kitchen

I’ve been putting this off for my entire 22 years of married life.

See, I’ve been canning acidic foods like applesauce and tomato sauce from the time my kids were little because all you have to do is run those jars through a water bath to seal them. Easy. Not scary. Anyone can do it.

applesauce_2

For such a long time, I’ve so badly wanted to branch out and can less acidic food items (like veggies and meat) that have to be processed in a pressure canner.

But alas. I was afraid of blowing myself up.

#truestory
#noshame

Not only have I aspired to learn how to pressure can, I’ve actually had my mom’s pressure canner in my basement for 12 years. Every year I would be determined to learn to use it. Every year I would chicken out. It has provided a wonderful home for several spider families down in our basement, so at least it hasn’t been entirely useless.

I’ve had an excuse (beside the extreme fear thing) for letting it sit idle. The manual that originally came with the canner was long ago misplaced. Also, my mom has been gone for quite some time so I couldn’t ask her to teach me how to use it. I think we all know that we should never use a pressure canner without first knowing how to use it safely.

#feartheexplosion
#saynotobotulism

Don’t even tell me that I could have found a manual online or perhaps could have asked one of many dozens of women or men who could have taught me how to use one. I know this. Apparently I wasn’t ready to face my fears or wash the spider webs out of my canner.

Until now.

This year, I finally washed my pressure canner (goodbye spiders) and guess what? I learned to use it! I think my mama would be proud.

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Have you ever seen a 43-year old act giddy like a little girl? That was me three weeks ago when I pulled my first jar of chicken broth out of my pressure canner. I did it! I DID IT!!!! The jars sealed. The broth is beautiful. More importantly, nothing blew up.

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It truly wasn’t even hard.

Not only am I thankful to have finally conquered my fear of the pressure canner, I’m so excited to now have the ability to make more healthy convenience foods to keep in my pantry! Chick broth, Chili, Veggie Soup, the list goes on and on. This is going to be so amazing! (Once I get over my “don’t open those, they are just for looks” issue. I can’t help it. It’s fun to have and stare at full jars of home-canned food in the pantry.)

How I finally learned to use my pressure canner

After being afraid to even try using my pressure canner, I found what ended up being a wonderful teacher and confidence builder for me. I took the Home Canning With Confidence Mini-eCourse (which was full of videos so I could actually see how it all worked) and now here I am, canning like it’s 1970.

The course taught me about all the parts of my canner, showed me how to put it together and use it safely, gave me some great recipes, and by the time I had watched the videos and read through the downloads, I was so inspired and eager to get started that the spiders living in my canner didn’t have a chance.

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Then I watched all the videos and read the downloads again, just to be safe. Shoot. I knew I was ready to do it but canning with a pressure canner still seemed like such a big deal.

Finally, I went for it!! (I may have also called my friend Tana for some moral support. She’s been pressure canning for years. She affirmed all I was doing and told me I was on the right track. Yay!)

Lookie!! I canned chicken broth in a pressure canner!

canning2

Once I canned my first batch of chicken broth and had busted my way through the learning curve, the pressure canning monster in me was unleashed.

I’ve since canned 14 jars of Chili and 14 jars of Vegetable Soup!!!! (All the exclamation marks show how a 43-year old types like when she feels like a giddy little girl.)

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This is, in some ways, even better than freezer cooking because:

  • Jars go in the pantry, saving freezer space!
  • I don’t have to thaw anything. We have ready-made soups and broth in the pantry ready to go!

Afraid of the Pressure Canner?

Don’t be. I mean, I get it. You know I get it. But all it takes is having someone to teach us how to do it and then boom! A whole new world is opened up to us in the kitchen! Pressure canning is actually not even hard. I thought it would be. But nope. It’s easy.

If you have any interest in canning at all, take this Home Canning With Confidence eCourse. Do you know how much time and money we’ll all save ourselves? It’s even worth buying a pressure canner if you don’t have one. I was ready to click the purchase button on a new one if my mom’s decided it was too old. That’s how motivating the eCourse was to me.

Big News: Don’t pay full price for this eCourse! It’s part of this year’s $30 Healthy Living Bundle, so that means you’ll get it for half-off the normal price, plus you’ll get all the other great eBooks and eCourses too. It’s an amazing offer – good through Monday, September 26 only.

Get all the details here.

I’d love to hear if you are a fan of pressure canning and how you like to use it!

This post contains affiliate links.

The Thing That Makes Me Mad About Food

My grandma was famous for her angel food cakes. Also her coconut cream pies. And her chocolate chip cookies. She wasn’t allowed to show up to community or church potlucks without one of her signature desserts. You want to see the preacher get mad? Let Grandma come to a potluck without the angel food cake. She may as well have worn a pantsuit. Scandalous.

(Hey. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a pantsuit to church. Yeah, tell that to Grandma.)

Holiday round cake

Food during the time I was growing up was just…food. Sure, much of it was made with white flour and Crisco. Maybe my favorite song was the Oscar Mayer B-O-L-O-G-N-A song. Kool-aid was most certainly a regular part of our meals. But food wasn’t a thing like it is now. Now everywhere we turn we can find a person with severe, even life threatening, food allergies.

I am so mad and sad about this.

Food is such a great big issue now. I believe that through the past few decades we’ve destroyed what were once stable sources for food, added too many pesticides, tried too much genetic modification, gotten too used to opening boxes at dinnertime, and bought into lies that margarine and vegetable shortening are better than real butter and real lard. We were told to make bread the biggest part of our food pyramid and urged to drink skim instead of whole. Making money became more important than nourishment, so we began creating ingredients in factories (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?) as a way to cut costs.

Not only that, antibiotics have been given out like candy. Many of us have mercury fillings. The list goes on.

And now? Our guts are a great big mess.

Most of our digestive systems are so wacky, we can’t begin to digest food the way we were designed to, and it’s causing major problems for many of us. Maybe the problem for you and your family isn’t showing up in food allergies. Maybe instead it looks like ADD or other learning struggles. Maybe it looks like eczema. Maybe it looks like arthritis. Maybe it’s migraines. Maybe it’s depression. Maybe your hormones are out of whack. Maybe it’s an autoimmune disease.

Maybe so many things.

Now, before I get too mad and sad and verbal about it, I should resign myself to recognizing that yep, we live in a fallen world. Nothing will be perfect this side of heaven and that’s the truth.

But maybe I’m just sad that we can’t all go to a potluck and eat whatever yummy things we want off the potluck table.

I’ve been feeling all these feelings for years, but going grain free this summer really pushed me over to the sad and mad side of the mess we’ve made of our food. That’s the first I really had to experience depriving myself of some of the basics of life – like bread – and it suddenly made me want my grandma’s angel food cake. (This only makes sense if you can eat neither bread nor cake.)

Never before have I wanted to go back to when food was just food and we all ate and enjoyed and didn’t have to look up recipes on Pinterest that would tell us how to make a muffin without eggs, wheat, milk, bowl, spoon, air, or muffin tin.

So what do we do?

Well, being sad and mad sure hasn’t been helpful. Neither has feeling sorry for myself for not getting to eat a hot biscuit dripping with butter.

Is there anything we can even do? Does it even matter? Is this just life this side of heaven?

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Hope for Wellness and Healing

I actually think there are some things we can do to help ourselves heal. I not only think so, I’ve experienced it. Healing can happen! No, it isn’t a fast fix. How can it be when it took us several decades to get here? But there really is hope for healing. After all, we don’t want to simply feel well. We want to be well.

1. Stop feeling guilty.

There are so many things I would like to go back and do differently in how I took care of myself during my younger years. I can’t tell you the emotional strife I’ve felt over my inability to take away my kids’ ailments, particularly when our youngest was suffering from chronic eczema for 7 very long years. During that time, I felt horrendous guilt over the fact that surely his sickness was my fault because of how I’d eaten poorly and taken antibiotics when I’d been pregnant with him. (Those alone are not the reason he had a chronic condition, by the way, but it sure was easy to blame myself while I watched my child suffer.)

I still sometimes feel the guilt when I see my oldest deal with environmental allergies. I feel it when I watch any of my kids struggle with lack of focus. When any of their weak spots rear their ugly heads. The guilt. It can overpower.

You guys, guilt helps nothing and only makes us sicker (more sick, whatever). Lay down any guilt you might feel over your imperfections, let God be God, and choose peace. I believe that’s one of the first steps toward both physical and emotional healing.

2. Stop being mad and sad.

Like guilt, anger and sadness over what can’t be changed helps nothing. Sure, we feel what we feel and we certainly don’t want to stuff our feelings. But taking a nice long soak in a bath of sadness certainly doesn’t find us in a place of being cleansed and whole. Choose to move forward with a positive attitude. Do all of this with prayer.

3. Drink water.

Prayer, water – they are practically on the same level of amazingness.

Just kidding, but not. Every time I’m struggling physically or emotionally my tangible go-to is to drink water. It’s amazing the help it offers, and I believe it’s because our bodies need water so much for good health. So…are ya struggling? Drink some sips of water – all day long. Breathe a prayer for healing while you drink. This simple practice can make a huge difference in our overall health.

4. Eat well.

If we don’t put nourishing foods in our bodies we can not even begin to help ourselves find healing. Don’t eat just to satisfy your hunger. Eat food that will offer your body something to work with – food filled with the nutrients you need so you can thrive. (Bologna doesn’t fit the nourishing criteria. Sorry, Oscar.)

5. Seek answers for overall healing.

I think steps 1-4 come first, because we need to focus on positive emotional health, hydrate ourselves, and give our bodies nourishment. But there’s so much more, beyond the surface, that we absolutely can do to achieve better health.

I’ve been learning so much during the past four years as I’ve been visiting my natural doctor and letting her help me detox my entire body, and as I’ve been researching all I can about wellness. Some of this detox journey hasn’t been fun. I’ve shared with you that I feel crummy sometimes as my body pulls out and flushes heavy metals and bad bacteria.

But do you know what I think? I think these temporary months of discomfort are a small price to pay (along with the kinda steep, albeit reasonable, monetary price) compared to the other more severe or life threatening health issues I might have faced down the road. I shouldn’t be amazed (seeing as God has created everything we need for wellness), but I truly am floored at the healing I’ve encountered through these years. My gut health is much, much better now. My lungs, my nervous system – everything has been showing huge strides of improvement.

So back to my feelings about food…

Well, the truth is that food is just more complicated than it used to be. This is where we are now. Thankfully, we know more than we used to about the dangers of Crisco and sugar. We know to make real food a priority instead. But beyond that, if we really want to be healthy and help our families to be healthy, we’re going to have to make some changes and get to work.

I’ve been living this for the past few years and truly, the work is worth it. I just heard this truth while listening to the Healing Your Gut summit and I love it: “We’re not trying to tell people to refrain from eating good foods. We’re trying to help people heal so that they can eat good food.”

Yes, yes, and so much yes!

We can all find healing and become healthy again so that we can all just eat. Food won’t have to be a thing. Food can just be…food.

Not that we should over-indulge in Grandma’s bread or angel food cake. This is a given.

Answers for less than the cost of one doctor’s visit

I mentioned above that we’ve invested quite a bit in my health during the past few years. (We’ve taken everyone in our family to our natural doctor for detox and healing, but I win the prize on health issues and money spent for healing. Yep, I’m the most needy family member. God bless my men for loving me through this.)

We don’t regret one bit of this investment and we’re thankful God has provided what we’ve needed so I can work toward cleansing and overall great health! But today I want to tell you about something that costs very little (much less than the cost of even one doctor visit!) and has been giving me many more answers and help during the past few weeks as I trudge through this journey toward overall wellness.

It’s the 2016 Healthy Living Bundle, and I can hear what some of you are thinking. What? Another one?

Believe me. If this one wasn’t worth telling you about, I wouldn’t. But I’ve been digging into this new set of digital courses and books during the last few weeks – both to see if it was worth sharing and even more to see what I could learn to help me as I continue to work toward healing some of my chronic ailments. (I am soooo over migraines.)

I can’t believe how much I’ve needed this.

For me, this bundle has come at a crucial time in my healing process and if I could somehow convince every single one of you to invest in this – well, I’m going to do my best to do just that. The entire package costs only $30, so the financial part is minimal, especially considering the overall value and quality of this year’s package.

Five of the resources have been particularly helpful so far – providing so much of the information I’ve been needing as I tackle some tough hormone healing and adrenal health issues. There were a few books/courses in the bunch that I didn’t find useful, so I skipped them over. But the ones that have been helpful? Oh how I needed this.

Here are my favorite five so far:

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~ The Natural Hormone Balance Guide for Women, by Wellness Mama (worth $24) ~

I’ve already read this through twice. I think it was written directly for me and my hormones. If you are a woman of any age and any season in life: read this book. Twice.

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~ The Heal Your Gut Summit, by Dr. Eric Z (worth $97) ~

After listening to this, I’d have to say I’d actually be willing to spend the whole $97 on it. It’s that good. (Of course, we all get it for the $30 package price with all the rest of the goods, but still. I almost felt bad that I didn’t pay full price for this. Almost.)

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~ Stress Solutions, by Evan Brand (worth $24) ~

I tend to add a lot more Jesus to my stress solutions than this book alluded to, but I still did learn a great amount of info on helping my body and mind reduce stress. I especially appreciated learning more about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I have started using regularly (with prayer at the beginning and end).

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~ Perfect Periods, by Bridget Danner (worth $97) ~

This one includes a super thorough questionnaire that helps each of us break down our specific hormone struggles, then gives action points (most of which are incredibly easy!) to help our hormones do what they are supposed to do. This course has been incredibly helpful, letting me know which foods are best for me at which parts of the day and in specific situations, etc. So, so helpful and good.

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~ Home Canning With Confidence, by Melissa Norris (worth $67) ~

Where has this been my whole life? I’ll share more of this excitement later this week. I can’t wait to show off my home-canned chicken broth. For real!

Go Getcha One

There’s much more where that came from (along with some extra cool bonus freebies this time!) – but seeing as this post is already over 2,000 words long (wow, Laura), I’ll let you see the rest for yourself.

Total cost for the entire package is just $29.97.

Be confident that your $30 investment is worth every penny. This is, for sure, one potluck meal we can all enjoy together. :)

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P.S. Check out yours truly in the video here on the Ultimate Bundles site! I humbly ask you to be kind and ignore the terrible lighting issues I encountered while created said video. My oldest son, who is a professional videographer, wasn’t home to help. So go watch, appreciate my sassiness, but try not to hate the lighting. And please never, ever show this video to Asa.

P.P.S. This offer ends Monday, September 26.

Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links.

How to Make Healthier Corndogs for the Freezer

Of all the recipes I share, this one is not the healthiest. Just whatever though, because corndogs taste amazing. (With a salad. And fruit. And digestive enzymes.) I’m providing a homemade option so that at least we’ll know these are better than store-bought.

Homemade Corndogs

First – try to find hotdogs that are nitrite free. Also, beef. Always beef hotdogs. Fine, turkey is okay too. Just try to avoid the hotdogs that are only pretending to be meat. I can’t even believe I’m still trying to convince myself that any form of a hotdog is healthy. But for real, at least try to find some that aren’t terrible. Why I like hotdogs is beyond me.

Now that we’ve covered the sacred topic of the hotdogs, allow me to share another compromise I make. This. We bought this fun corndog maker for one of our sons a few years ago as a gift because he is the ultimate corndog lover. (I have no idea where he gets this.) I think having dozens of appliances that only do one task each is fairly ridiculous. But shucks if having a corndog maker isn’t a lot of fun, so there. We’ve used it for more than just corndogs (like muffins and cookies – who knew?!) so hallelujah for an appliance that is actually multi-functional.

I will tell you that this machine makes the effort of creating homemade corndogs so easy and mess free that a few days ago, I made 48 corndogs in less than an hour – while I was making tomato sauce, French toast, and frozen yogurt. The corndog maker allows me to multitask while making food for my freezer. And here you thought that appliance was pointless.

Anyway….

The long and short of making homemade corndogs is that you simply use your favorite cornbread recipe, add a bit of extra milk so the batter will coat the dogs, then you either fry them in oil or bake them in the above mentioned corndog maker.

What about sticks?

Life is too short to poke sticks into hotdogs. Do the stick poking if you must, but as for me and my house, we will skip the sticks and just eat the dogs.

How to Make Healthier Corndogs (in Bulk) for the Freezer

How to Make Healthier Corndogs for the Freezer
 
Author:
Serves: 24-48
Ingredients
  • 2⅔ cup Homemade Jiffy Cornbread Mix*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 24 hot dogs
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornbread mix, eggs, milk, and butter.
  2. If using a corndog maker, cut hotdogs in half.
  3. Dip hotdogs in batter to coat thoroughly.
  4. Fry until golden brown, or cook in a Corndog Maker**
  5. Serve right away, or cool and freeze in freezer bags.
  6. Rewarm corndogs by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

*Homemade Jiffy Cornbread Mix recipe

I put these homemade cornbread mixes together and have them on hand for convenience. I highly recommend this!

** I cut my hotdogs in half, then cook my corndogs in this fun Corndog Maker. It saves a lot of time and mess!

Homemade Corndogs for the Freezer

If you make these to freeze, all you have to do at mealtime is pull them out and warm them up while you’re getting out all the actual nutritious parts of the meal (fruits, veggies, and more veggies with a side of another vegetable).

‘Fess up. Do ya like hotdogs?

Easy Homemade Poptarts for the Freezer

Just like our Giant Breakfast Cookies, it would seem that a fresh, hot homemade poptart beats a pre-baked, room temp poptart any day.

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Let’s not even talk about the kind that come out of a box. For all of the reasons, let’s just not talk about it.

Now regarding Homemade Poptarts (that are very easy to make, by the way): My family could eat the entire batch in one meal. I prefer to make them stretch though, and I prefer us to eat more balanced instead of filling up on carbs in the morning.

That’s why, just like the Giant Breakfast Cookies, I’ve been making these poptarts and freezing them before I bake them. On a day I declare to be a Poptart Morning, I pull a few out and bake enough for each person to have a couple with our eggs and fruit. They taste amazingly better this way and help my poptart making efforts stretch into several meals.

Frozen Poptarts

Can I tell you how delicious a warm, fresh poptart tastes with a cup of coffee? It’s one of my favorite treats (and it’s naturally very low in sugar!).

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I encourage you to double this recipe so you can make a couple bags full of frozen, unbaked poptarts for quick breakfasts and snacks!

Easy Homemade Poptarts for the FreezerYum

Easy Homemade Poptarts for the Freezer
 
Author:
Serves: 15-20
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • About 5 ounces of 100% fruit jelly or jam - any flavor you like!
Instructions
  1. Begin by mixing the flour, salt, butter, and yogurt.
  2. Knead the dough just a little bit to make it nice and workable.
  3. Roll out the dough on a large, well floured surface.
  4. Use a knife to cut the dough into the desired poptart size you would like.
  5. Place about a ½ teaspoon of jelly on ½ of the dough rectangles (squares?).
  6. Spread the jelly around, leaving the edges free.
  7. Find a second square or rectangle or thingamajigger that matches closely with each jellied one.
  8. Place it on top and use a fork to seal the edges.
  9. Lay each poptart in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
  11. TO FREEZE UNBAKED:
  12. Create poptarts as directed, but instead of baking right away, freeze them on a baking sheet for about two hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
  13. At baking time, pull desired number of frozen, unbaked poptarts out of freezer and bake as directed, allowing for a few additional minutes of baking time.

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Here’s to one of the most delicious breakfast treats ever!

P.S. Remember AndHeDrew’s Book of Coloring I shared about last week? I already sent an email to the winners, but I wanted the rest of you to know that he’s offering all of us a $5 discount on the book! Check it out here and use the code heavenly1 at purchase to get a steal of a deal!

P.P.S. Lilla Rose is having a sale this Friday and Saturday. They are offering 15% off everything plus 40-50% off select styles! You can combine these sales with the September special: Free U-Pins, valued up to $18, with any purchase over $60!

lilla-rose-sale

How to Bless a New Mom

It’s no secret that I jump at the chance to take a meal to a new mom – just so I have the delightful opportunity to snuggle a newborn. Obviously, I love that this provides a win-win since the tired mama doesn’t have to cook. But oh a newborn.

If you’re a mom, you remember. You’re so, so happy because your baby has finally arrived and you love getting to know your new little one. But you’re tired and weepy and crampy and sweaty and all kinds of hormonal. I remember all of it (x4) and I remember how every single person who did even a little thing for me during those weeks blessed me tenfold.

Meals brought to my family were a life saver. People who helped with my older kids were rock stars. I even had someone come over and take down my Christmas tree and decorations after my December baby was born. People cleaned for me, scrubbed my bathtub for me – wow. I’ve been blessed.

Hopefully you’ve been on both the receiving end and the giving end of these kind of blessings. And here’s a new one for you:

Blessing a new mama who doesn’t live close to you.

How many times has someone you love had a baby – but they don’t live close enough for you to run by and lend a hand or deliver a casserole? Not all the babies can be born in our hometowns. If only.

My dear friend Tracy created what I declare to be genius: Blue Box Gifts

Blue Box Gifts

You order the box, they fill it packed full of goodness for a new mama, and ship it off. Just think. Whether the new mama is experiencing a day in which she is feeling particularly joyful or particularly weepy (or any lovely combination of both) – she will receive her Blue Box Gift in the mail – from you. Inside she’ll find:

  • Sugar Scrubs
  • Lip Balm
  • Bath Petals
  • Bath Salts
  • Aromatherapy Rice Bag (to warm up and place on painful areas – even for breast engorgement!)
  • A Hand-Stamped Mom Necklace
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea

Doesn’t that sound like a joy to open?

Tracy sent me a box to check out, which arrived the very day I was planning to take a meal to one of my good friends who just had her third baby. Instead of unpacking the box myself, I got to enjoy watching my friend Tasha unpack it.

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Everything inside the Blue Box is super high quality, practical, and special for a new mom. What a great way to bless someone who lives far away (or sure, closeby). :)

Blue Box Gifts is offering a 10% discount to all of us here! Use the code: heavenlyhomemaker10 at checkout to send a Blue Box Gift to bless a special new mom.

TIP: Split the cost of this gift with a group! Co-workers, friends, ladies’ groups – everyone can pitch in and for minimal cost, you’ll all send a wonderful gift!

What are some ways you’ve blessed a new mom?

Giant Breakfast Cookies For the Freezer

It’s likely that many of you have been making my Giant Breakfast Cookies for years. It was one of my very first recipes I shared here. (Aww, sweet memories.)

Freezer Breakfast Cookies5

I used to always bake big batches of these cookies (or even a double batch) and freeze them to pull out as needed. This is great! But I like this new idea better.

See, with this idea we can have hot, fresh breakfast cookies whenever we want them. I think we can all agree that a hot, fresh breakfast cookie with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee is much, much better than a room temperature cookie with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

So this is what I do now:

Make Giant Breakfast Cookie Dough Balls for the Freezer

I mix up the Giant Breakfast Cookie recipe as normal. I scoop out cookie dough and freeze it on a cookie sheet like this:

Freezer Breakfast Cookies1

Once frozen, I transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer bag.

Freezer Breakfast Cookies2

In the morning, I get out a few cookie dough balls to bake fresh.

Freezer Breakfast Cookies3

I put them into the oven (yep, from their frozen state) and bake them while the coffee brews.

Freezer Breakfast Cookies4

When the family wakes up, there are hot, fresh breakfast cookies ready to go with the rest of our breakfast!

These cookies are always the star of breakfast, but I usually only make enough for two per person so the fruit and protein can get the attention they need. :)

Here’s the recipe and freezing instructions:

Giant Breakfast Cookies (with frozen cookie dough ball instructions)

Giant Breakfast Cookies For the Freezer
 
Author:
Serves: 20-24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk (the recipe will not be effected if you choose to leave this out)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix butter, honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  2. Stir in flour and oats.
  3. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  6. TO FREEZE:
  7. Mix dough and scoop side-by-side onto a cookie sheet.
  8. Freeze dough balls, then transfer them to a freezer bag.
  9. Place desired amount of frozen cookie balls onto a baking sheet while oven pre-heats.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Breakfast Cookies for the Freezer

Ever tried freezing cookie dough balls before? I’ve been doing this with regular cookies for years. Why it took me this long to do this with Breakfast Cookies is just sorta silly.

More freezer recipes and ideas coming soon!

49 Favorite Breakfast Freezer Foods

Bunches and bunches of our favorite breakfast freezer foods…coming up!

49 Breakfast Freezer Foods

First, some of my favorite breakfast tips (that my family supports 100%):

Biscuits and Gravy Made EasyYum

You know how Biscuits and Gravy is one of those breakfasts you save for special occasions because it takes quite a bit of effort to prepare? What if you could follow these Freezer Biscuit instructions and have Turkey Sausage made ahead of time so you can quickly put together Sausage Gravy while your effortless biscuits are in the oven? Then you can have Biscuits and Gravy on the table within just a few minutes without breaking a sweat. My family loves it when I do this! (More details here.)

Biscuits and Gravy

Breakfast Casserole Made Easy

And Breakfast Casserole. That sounds intense right? Except that it’s not intense when you use this recipe and make it ahead of time.

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Cinnamon Rolls Made Easy

How about Cinnamon Rolls? Well now those are for special occasions. Yes, because of the sugar. But not because of the work. Try these No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls that you can make ahead of time and freeze!

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Muffins Made Easy

We’re all in love with the fact that we can mix up muffin batter and freeze it in muffin cups for easy fresh muffin baking! If you haven’t tried this yet, get all the details here. You will LOVE IT!

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And now, from oatmeal cups to muffins to burritos, here are 49 great, real food recipes that can be made ahead of time and frozen.

49 Favorite Breakfast Freezer Foods

Time Saving Tip: These Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls are tasty and wonderful, but they only save time if you make a bunch ahead and freeze them to warm up later. If you haven’t made them ahead and want ham and eggs for breakfast, I’d skip the cute bowl making step and just quickly scramble ham, eggs, and cheese together. :)

Easy Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls

Did you see the 24 Favorite Main Dish Freezer Meals I shared last week?

Coming up during the next few days, I’ve got some great new freezer breakfast food tips!

Easy 5-Minute Frozen Yogurt Cups

I think I just discovered my new favorite snack. Look at these adorable Frozen Yogurt Cups!

Frozen Yogurt Cups

How is it that just when I think there can’t possibly be any more great new food ideas, I come across another wonderful new way to make something delicious and fun? I love how many wonderful ways we can enjoy real food.

I am one of the biggest food geeks. Nobody loves food as much as I. Except for maybe you, which is why you and I have so much fun together here. Isn’t food so very much fun!?!?!!!!!!

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At the very least, we all love to eat. It’s just that some of us like to also gawk at our groceries, get a thrill out of creating fun menus, and dream daily of new recipe ideas. Occasionally we might tear up when we look at the full shelves in our beautiful pantry. Some of us.

All this excitement over little frozen yogurt cups. Hey. You have no idea. I saw this idea and loved it, but I didn’t know that I would love it, love it. But the easiness of this idea! The endless options of what can be done to create variations that every family member will like! The deliciousness.

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Because making Frozen Yogurt Cups is so very easy, this would be a great “recipe” to hand over to your kids to make. Everyone can create these with their favorite goodies (granola, berries, nuts, peanut butter, chocolate chips…).

You can buy pre-made, flavored yogurt if you like, but since many store-bought options are so loaded with sugar and other not-so-great ingredients, I much prefer to buy or make Whole Milk Plain Yogurt and add my own sweetener and vanilla. If you don’t make your own yogurt, plain store-bought yogurt works just fine for this “recipe.”

It’s easy to make yogurt: learn more here.

Easy 5-Minute Frozen Yogurt CupsYum

Easy 5-Minute Frozen Yogurt Cups
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • Sweetener of choice (I used 1-2 Tablespoons real maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings like fresh berries or peaches, granola, chocolate chips, etc.
Instructions
  1. Prepare muffin tins with liners (I used silicone liners which makes this very simple!)
  2. Stir together yogurt, sweetener, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Scoop 2-3 Tablespoons of yogurt mixture into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Top with fruit if you like.
  5. Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
  6. Serve.
  7. Transfer leftovers to a freezer bag and pull out for snacking as needed.

Easy Frozen Yogurt Cups

To Fantastic Frozen Yogurt Cup Tips:

1) These worked wonderfully in my Silicone Baking Cups. They popped right out once frozen and clean up was so simple!

2) You can use your Frozen Yogurt Cups to make smoothies! I mean, frozen yogurt and berries? This is what smoothies are made of. Throw some Frozen Yogurt Cups into a blender with a little milk and you’re set!

Raise your hand (and leave a comment) if you’re a food geek like me. Raise your hand (and leave a comment) if you aren’t a food geek, but appreciate that other are so that you can enjoy eating yummy food. See, everyone wins. :)

 

You’ve Never Colored Like This Before (Win the Coolest Coloring Book Ever!)

Get out your favorite markers or crayons. We all need them for this, AndHeDrew’s Book of Coloring.

A few months ago I discovered that grown-up coloring books are wonderful and amazing. But that wonderment and amazement have just been taken to a new level because of this:

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See, the pages in this coloring book all flow together into one cohesive design. Color each page individually, then take them out of the book and place them side by side by side by side – in any order. Every page fits together with all the other pages – can you even imagine? I think this is genius.

AndHeDrew is the guy who just so happens to be my site designer. Yeah, someday I’ll be able to say, “I knew him when…”

Malachi and I are having so much fun coloring these pages together. He said, and I quote, “These are amazing. We need to color all of these then get a bunch more…”

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As we finish the pages, Malachi has been hanging them up on his Lego Room wall.

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See how they all fit together like a puzzle? It truly amazes me. I can’t imagine the time it took to design these pages. But yay me. I get to color them. (With my son. Perfection.)

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Definitely check out AndHeDrew’s Book of Coloring for your family!

AndHeDrew is giving away one printed copy of his Book of Coloring plus two digital copies! Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. I’ll select three random winners on Wednesday, September 14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Make Homemade Chicken Patties for Sandwiches (Freezable!)

You want to know one of my favorite convenience foods I miss the most since switching to real food? Processed chicken patties for chicken sandwiches. (Bet you never would have guessed that, since that’s what this post is about.)

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I grew up microwaving Schwan’s chicken patties and slapping them on white buns for a quick meal or snack after a sports practice. They were yummy and easy and while I couldn’t care less about many other processed convenience items (I gave up boxed pizza rolls several years ago and never looked back) – I do miss the taste and handiness of chicken patties.

So why it’s taken me this long to figure out a recipe that resembles the beloved frozen chicken patties, I do not know. But here I am, finally learning a way to make breaded chicken patties for sandwiches. The best news is that you can make these in bulk and freeze them for a fast, convenient, ready-made meal on a busy day.

Homemade Chicken Patties for SandwichesYum

How to Make Homemade Chicken Patties for Sandwiches (Freezable!)
 
Author:
Serves: 15-20 patties
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds ground chicken
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups whole grain flour (I used whole wheat, but if you need these to be gluten free, use your favorite flour choice)
  • Palm shortening or oil of choice
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix ground chicken, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  2. Shape meat mixture into 15-20 patties (make them larger or smaller depending on your family's portion size needs)
  3. Beat eggs into a bowl.
  4. Pour milk into a separate bowl.
  5. In a third bowl, mix flour, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  6. Heat palm shortening or oil on a griddle.
  7. Dip prepared meat patties in egg, then flour mixture, then milk, then flour mixture again.
  8. Place battered chicken patty into oil on the griddle.
  9. Repeat process with each chicken patty.
  10. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, mashing down lightly as needed.
  11. Serve right away, or cool and freeze for future use, then rewarm in a 350 degree oven until heated through.

Are you ready to see some ugly chicken patty pictures? This isn’t pretty, friends. Raw meat pressed into patties – well there’s a reason we call stuff like this “processed food.” But take great comfort in the fact that this is all made from real food and wholesome ingredients and ignore the fact that naked ground chicken pressed into a patty really just ain’t purty.

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See the patty breading process? First the egg.

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Then the flour.

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Then the milk.

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Then the flour again.

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Then comes the part where we fry the patties in oil.

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We watch in amazement as they turn into beautiful chicken patties we can’t wait to put on a bun or between two big leaves of lettuce.

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Sure, it’s thicker than the patties we grew up eating. We like it that way. That means there’s double the meat.

Homemade Chicken Patties for Sandwiches - Freezable

One of the biggest perks is that you can form your chicken patties into any size you need for your family. Have small children? Make small patties. Have teenage boys? Make the patties nice and big. Have some big eaters and small eaters? Make a variety.

The biggest win is that if you make a bunch, you’ll have yummy chicken patties ready to warm up for sandwiches on a day you don’t have time to cook!

Did you grow up eating and loving processed chicken sandwiches?