Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls ~ Freezer Edition

stir and pour rolls 1Guess what? 

One of my darling readers, Vicki, experimented with the Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls to see if we could make them even more convenient by making them ahead and freezing the dough. I won’t keep you in suspense!!! —–>

Okay, maybe just for a little bit.

I’m wearing a new sweater today. I got it on sale, of course. I got it the same day I got all the butter on sale. That was a great day for sales, no doubt. I sure do love good sales. And butter.

So how about those dinner rolls? Does it work to make and freeze the dough, just like we make and freeze muffin batter? Vicki tried it. She reported back. Drum roll please…

It worked!! This is great news, and much more relevant than pointless talk about my new sweater. Although the sweater led me back to talking about butter; and butter and rolls go together. Therefore everything I’m writing today makes sense and is on topic.

You must be wondering, is there even a way to make this very easy recipe even more convenient? I mean, how can it get easier than the Stir-and-Pour Bread and Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls recipes? But actually, it does. It gets easier. Vicki proved it.

Make and Freeze Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls

1. Mix the ingredients as normal.
2. Scoop batter into muffin pans. I super love my new silicone baking cups. I use them alllll the time.
3. Freeze dough immediately.
4. Remove frozen dough from muffin cups and transfer them to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
5. To bake: Place frozen dough into muffin cups. Cover with a cloth. Thaw on the countertop for 4-6 hours.
6. Bake as directed.

Vicki said that these taste just as good prepared this way as they do when prepared fresh. I mean, these are still fresh. They’re just frozen first before baking them. I love this time-saving tip!

This is especially helpful for days such as…I don’t know…Thanksgiving maybe? That day we’re putting forty-seven ~ give or take ~ other dishes on the table all at the same time? If there is a way to dirty up fewer dishes and execute fewer food preparation steps, by all means, let us do it!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls ~ Freezer Edition
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
  • 2 teaspoons active rise yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons sucanat or sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 cups warm water
  1. Stir all ingredients together.
  2. Cover and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour contents into buttered muffin tins or silicone muffin cups.
  4. Place filled muffin cups in freezer immediately.
  5. Once frozen, transfer frozen dough to freezer bags, storing for up to three months.
  6. To Bake:
  7. Place frozen dough back in prepared muffin cups.
  8. Cover and allow dough to thaw 4-6 hours on the counter-top.
  9. Bake in a 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Serve right away.

Make and Freeze Stir-and-Pour Dinner Rolls

Vicki said she used the leftover rolls to make Stuffing Muffins. I did the exact same thing a few days ago!

Let’s hear it for another great make-ahead tip!

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Make-Ahead Turkey ~ Yes You Can!

huge turkey 1

That is one huge bird.
Read the whole tale here.

There are people who wake up in the middle of the night to begin cooking their turkey for a holiday meal. There are people who baste and stuff and rub down their bird. These people are so very nice and dedicated to turkey perfection.

And then there’s me.

I cannot find it within myself to do any of this to my turkey. I’m just not as devoted of a turkey baker as some. I’m a plop the bird in a pan, add nothing to it, cover it, put it in the oven, and take it out a few hours later kind of turkey baker.

And…my favorite turkey baking tip of all: I cook my turkey before the holiday. Like, two days before, usually.

I bake it, de-bone it, prepare all the broth, dispose of the carcass – basically I do all the messy, tedious, laborious turkey work ahead of time. Then on the day of the holiday feast, I take out my big dish of cooked meat, pour on a little broth, cover it, rewarm it, and we eat it. This is stress-free turkey baking.

My turkey always still tastes delicious.

That’s why I keep doing it this way.

No, our table doesn’t hold a big un-carved turkey. There is no turkey carving tradition at our house. For those who love traditions like this, I say go for it! Baste and carve and enjoy that special tradition.

But for those who find the turkey to be tedious, you might instead consider making it ahead of time.

But won’t the turkey be dry?

Not if you don’t over-bake it in the first place.

The trick is to drizzle broth over your cooked, de-boned meat (I’d say one-two cups of broth per 9×13 inch dish full of meat), then cover the dish well. I warm it on Thanksgiving day for 30-45 minutes in a 300-350° oven along with other dishes that are baking. I pull it out and have a steaming, moist, delicious pan of turkey.

Make-Ahead Turkey


4.7 from 3 reviews
Make-Ahead Turkey
  • 1 Turkey
  • 1 Large Roasting Pan
  • Foil if necessary
  1. Place the turkey in the refrigerator for 3-4 days until thawed.
  2. Remove the bag of giblets from the inside of the turkey.
  3. Empty the giblets into your roasting pan as they help make a good, rich broth.
  4. Place the bird, breast side up, into a large baking pan or roaster.
  5. Cover with foil or with your roaster lid.
  6. Cook at 325° for 15-20 minutes per pound.
  7. You know your turkey is done cooking when the red thing pops up, or when the legs start to pull away from the body. It should be golden brown and slightly crisp looking.
  8. Be sure to save the broth that formed naturally!
  9. Allow the turkey to cool, then de-bone completely. Store meat in baggies or in covered pyrex dishes in the refrigerator.
  10. Save turkey carcass to make another round of broth for gravy, soup, and other nourishing meals.
  11. On serving day, drizzle a liberal amount of broth (one-two cups per 9x13 inch pan of meat) over turkey, cover and warm in 300°-350° oven for 30-45 minutes or until meat is hot and steamy.
  12. Serve right away.

Simple Make-Ahead Turkey ~ Easy, Moist, Delicious

Additional Turkey Tips:

  • Adding a few onions to the turkey while baking is an effortless way to add more flavor.
  • Be sure to save the broth that forms naturally while your turkey bakes.
  • Do not wait until your turkey is cold to take the meat off the bones. This makes the job much harder!
  • After you’ve taken all the meat off the bones, save the bones and put them into a stock pot. Fill the pot with water, carrots, onions, and any other veggies you like. Salt liberally. Cook on low for 4-6 hours to create a wonderful broth. Strain out bones. Blend the veggies until smooth and stir them back into the broth for added richness.
  • Use turkey broth for gravy. Use it to make Turkey and Noodles a few days after Thanksgiving. Use it for any soup or recipe that calls for chicken broth.
  • While making your turkey ahead of time is wonderfully helpful in cutting down work on your holiday meal serving day, you don’t want to make it too far in advance! I recommend making the turkey Tuesday or Wednesday, then serving it on Thanksgiving Thursday.

What’s your turkey tradition? To carve, or not to carve? To baste, or not to baste? Ever made a turkey ahead of time?

Getting Ahead for the HolidaysLeave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of  three $25 Gift Certificates good toward any of our eCourses or downloadable items in the Heavenly Homemakers Shop!

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How to Cook Beans in the Crock Pot

Cooking beans is crazy easy. It’s remembering to soak the beans the night before that is the hard part.

My morning brain and my night brain are two completely different beasts. My morning brain is like, “Wooooo yeah! We gonna cook all day and do school work with the kids (let’s do art today!) and organize ourselves completely and make all the phone calls and make 20 quarts of applesauce and finish the laundry and write two blog posts! Let’s do this!”

As the days wears on, I knock out about three of my twenty lofty goals (because my time and energy always run out before my to-do list ends –  and also because I hate making phone calls). After a full day of thinking hard and working hard and loving hard, my night brain is like, “I’m not speaking to you right now.”

This is why it is hard to soak beans.

The irony is that I never forget to grind coffee beans at night to put into my coffee pot for easy coffee making the next morning. Obviously, I have my priorities. Perhaps my two bean worlds could collide and I could let my coffee beans trigger a reminder about my pintos? It only makes sense.

On the rare occasion I do remember to soak beans, I feel so accomplished when I get into bed at night. Forget all the other stuff I did for 15 hours all day long. I totally put my beans in a pot with water! I am so very amazing!

Once the beans have been soaked, we can put them into a crock pot to cook all day for our dinner that night. 

How to Cook Beans in a Crock Pot

How to Cook Beans in a Crock Pot

1. At night before bed, put about 4 cups of any variety of beans into a pot with 6-8 cups of water. 

2. Splash in a little vinegar. It’s supposed to help with the toots. I offer no guarantees.

making beans1

3. Let the beans soak overnight.

4. Strain and rinse the beans in the morning. Put them into a crock pot and cover them with fresh water.

5. Add a couple of chopped onions to flavor the beans. This is optional but yummy and recommended.

6. Cover and cook the beans on low for 8-10 hours or until beans are tender. 

multitasking 5

At this point, you can enjoy your beans in any way you enjoy beans. Our favorites are:

What are your favorite ways to eat beans? Please tell me about your morning brain vs. your night brain. Which works better for you?

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Easy No-Knead Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls For the Freezer ~ With Honey’d Orange Glaze!

Cinnamon Roll with Orange Glaze

I’m not sure that my dearly missed, hard working grandma would be too pleased with me about this – but I’ve decided that kneading bread dough just isn’t my favorite thing. I mean, I’ll do it if I have to. But I’d rather stir ingredients, smile at the pile of dough (you know, for encouragement), then walk away.

This is how I found myself experimenting with my Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll recipe. I had all the ingredients mixed together, but then I was like, “Really? Do I really have to knead this now? That just sounds soooo hard and time consuming.” (Really, Grandma. I know you lived through the Great Depression and fed nine children three meals a day from scratch with food that you grew or raised on your farm, that you worked from sun-up to sun-down in your teeny-tiny kitchen, and the only time you rested was to watch Judge Wapner after you turned 80. But do try to understand what I’m up against here.)

I figured that at the very worst, I’d have little hard cinnamon roll hockey pucks we could dunk in milk. So I did it. I walked away from my dough without kneading it.

It looked like this when I covered it up:

cin rolls 10

An hour later, it looked like this:

cin rolls2

Did it work, or did it work

Thus, my Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll recipe is being turned into a No-Knead Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll recipe because our lives are too full from all the hard work it takes to think about Grandma scrubbing all of the manure-crusted clothes on a wash-board.

What you see here is absolutely not a picture of me kneading the dough. It is simply me working a little flour into the dough after it rose so that I could roll it out without it sticking to the countertop.

cin rolls3

After I rolled it out, I spread melted butter over it and sprinkled a little sucanat and cinnamon over it.

cin rolls4

Then (like a boss) I rolled both ends until they met in the middle and separated the rolled dough with a knife. (Start on the outside, top and bottom, and roll them into the middle.)

cin rolls5

cin rolls6

I then proceeded to cut individual rolls, making a huge mess in the process.

cin rolls7

My rolls went on a pan in a most unattractive way because I leave perfectionism up to the perfectionists. Do not poke fun. They can’t help how they look.

cin rolls8

I froze the dough rolls on the pan, then transferred the frozen rolls to a freezer bag for another day. I will use them when I am busy not having to pluck a chicken for our dinner.

cin rolls9

No-Knead Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls – for the freezer (or for directly into the oven)

1 cup warm (but not hot!) water
2 Tablespoons yeast (active dry)
2 teaspoons honey
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoons sea salt
7-8 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)

In a large bowl, mush the yeast and 2 teaspoons honey together with the warm water and set aside. It will begin to form bubbles soon. In the meantime, stir together milk, butter, 1/2 cup honey, and sea salt on the stove until the butter has melted and the mixture has reached 120°. If the temp exceeds this, allow it to cool before moving on. Pour the milk mixture into the bubbly yeast mixture and stir. Mix in flour, two cups at a time until a nice dough has formed.

Do not knead. There is no need. 

Cover the dough and allow it to rise for at least one hour, or until you remember that you were making rolls. Prepare the innards:

Ingredients for the “innards” of your cinnamon rolls:

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sucanat (you can use brown sugar if you want)
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Spread melted butter over the rolled dough. Sprinkle with sucanat, then cinnamon. Roll up the dough from the outsides of the “dough circle” as pictured above. Cut apart the two rolled lengths, then cut the dough into 1/2 inch thick rolls.

Place the rolls side-by-side on a baking pan. Allow them to rest/rise for about 20 minutes, then bake the rolls in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Glaze and serve!

Honey’d Orange GlazeYum

2 teaspoons orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons honey

Whisk ingredients together on the stove until smooth. Drizzle over baked cinnamon rolls.

To Freeze and Bake:

Place the prepared rolls about a 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet. Freeze for about two hours, then transfer them to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to two months.

To bake, place the desired number of frozen rolls on a baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (In the winter, I leave them on the countertop overnight.) Place the rolls into a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 350°. Bake as directed above, adding a few minutes of additional time as needed.

Easy No-Knead Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls for the Freezer with Honey'd Orange Glaze

These are deliciously easy, and mostly low in sugar! They kind of resemble those frozen orange rolls you can buy in the freezer section – except that these have a little bit of nutritional value and not nearly as much sugar, so we can all rejoice.

Are you a perfectionist? Did my frozen roll picture cause you to cringe? I’m just a “get the job done and move on” kind of girl…which basically means that I am a mess when I cook.

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Easy (Make-Ahead) Baked Potato and Bacon Casserole

Bacon Baked Potato Casserole

This is so easy we can hardly call it a recipe. I’m pretty sure my family will be having this every other week for the rest of our lives for the following reasons:

  1. Bacon. Of course. And also, cheese.
  2. We can slather it with Spicy Ranch Dressing, which tastes so good I believe I shall become addicted to it.
  3. I can make several of these casseroles at once and freeze them for later, making this easy meal even easier.

This “casserole” is basically baked potatoes cut up in a dish with bacon and cheese all over it. I’m sorry that I can’t make it more complicated for all of you who would rather spend many more minutes sauteing, braising, and broiling. This time, you’ll have to get your steeping and zesting fix elsewhere.

Everyone else: I lovingly suggest that you go scrub some potatoes. You’re having this for dinner tonight.

Baked Potato and Bacon CasseroleYum

8 medium-sized potatoes (any variety)
1 pound bacon
2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
Sour cream, chives, and/or Spicy Ranch Dressing for topping

Scrub and bake potatoes by putting them into a covered dish in a 350° oven for 1 1/2 hours. Or bake them in the crock pot like this. In the meantime, cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook thoroughly on the stove-top.

Cut baked potatoes into chunks, spreading them out into a 9×13″ baking dish. Sprinkle cooked bacon over the potatoes. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Offer sour cream, chives, and/or Spicy Ranch Dressing to complete this main course. Serve with a salad and another fruit or veggie. It is too easy. Makes 6-8 servings.

Baked Potato Bacon Casserole

To Freeze This Dish: 

Make it as directed above. Allow it to cool completely. Cover and label. Put it in the freezer.

To Reheat and Serve This Dish:

This is my favorite trick. Get the casserole out of the freezer. Cover the frozen dish with foil (somebody needs to invent a 9×13 glass cover for my pyrex dishes). Put the frozen casserole into a COLD oven. Turn the oven on to 250° allowing it to heat up along with the casserole. After one hour, turn the oven up to 350° and bake for one more hour or until the casserole is thawed, heated through, and looks like wonderful cheesy deliciousness.

Let us all add this recipe to our “Reasons to Make Extra Baked Potatoes When We’re Making Baked Potatoes Anyway” list.

7 Ways to Use Baked Potatoes

Switch out the bacon in this casserole for other cooked meats. Switch out the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes. Just whatever you do, try it with the Spicy Ranch Dressing. Ah-mazing.


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Busy Morning Breakfasts That Can Be Made Ahead of Time

I am so messed up on breakfasts right now. Our second son started taking a college class on MWF and he has to be on campus at 8:00. Color me late to this “get your kids out the door for school on time” game, but well, that’s exactly what I am. We work from home and we’ve home-schooled forever, so getting out the door to church with combed hair on Sundays has been our only morning schedule struggle. On school days, we usually eat while beginning our Bible time and school time in our jammies a few minutes after we wake the kids. Now, if you can possibly imagine, I must actually be dressed and have breakfast on the table by 7:20.

Yes, I’m sure most of you can possibly imagine, and many of you are thinking, “Really, girl? 7:20 am is practically mid-afternoon at our house.” God bless all of you early morning head-out-the-door-to-work-and-school friends. I have some recipes to share with you. We shall all eat well together…at whatever time each of us considers to be early.

Busy Morning Breakfasts That Can Be Made Ahead of Time

My goal this week was to prep breakfast foods and put them into the freezer so that I’ll be perfectly organized and never have to think again. Scratch that. My goal this week is simply to prep some breakfast foods and put them in the freezer. I’ll never be perfectly organized and in typical mom-life fashion, I found myself having to think straight and answer difficult questions like “are my soccer socks clean?” just a few minutes ago.

Here are my favorite breakfast foods to put into the freezer. They save time, money, and brain – my favorite things to save.

1. Hashbrowns and Hashbrown Patties

I’ll be baking a few pounds of potatoes this week to shred and put into the freezer. Fry up some eggs with these, serve with fruit – done. Everyone loves these and thinks you’re wonderful when you make these. It is fun when everyone thinks you’re wonderful.

Homemade Hashbrown Patties

2. Muffin Batter

You knew I would say this one. I can’t help it. Making and freezing muffin batter saves so much time. Not to mention dirty dishes. Deliver me from dirty dishes.


3. Cooked Turkey Sausage and Prepared Biscuits

I can make biscuits and gravy sooooo fast when I do this. My family is always amazed. Let’s just let them keep thinking that I am incredible to pull this off. Add the above mentioned Hashbrowns to this meal and you can picture my kids breaking into a lively Mom is Our Favorite Person in the Whole World dance (not really).

Freezer Biscuit Tutorial

4. Oatmeal Cups

You wouldn’t think that this would save time, but it truly does. At least it saves brain. That’s worth a whole lot.

frozen oatmeal3

5. Giant Breakfast Cookies

Best thing to pull out of the freezer for breakfast…ever.


6. Pancake Muffins

Yep. My newest favorite. I cannot get over how easy these are.

Easy Pancake Muffins

7. Quick Breads

Find our favorite quick bread recipes here. I usually double or triple a batch. If I allow them to cool completely, then wrap them well before freezing them, quick breads thaw and serve well. It is so very nice to pull a prepared loaf or two out of the freezer to go with breakfast in the morning.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

If you freeze nothing else to save yourself time, brain, and money (while also eating healthy, because you are just that awesome) – make and freeze some of these breakfast foods. It will make your morning routine so much easier. Pick the recipe that looks the easiest to you – then go for it!

What are your favorite breakfast foods to prep ahead? Have any new ideas for me? What time to you eat breakfast at your house?

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Easy Pancake Muffins – Great for the Freezer!

Easy Pancake Muffins

I think I heard this idea from one of you brilliant minds a few dozen weeks or possibly even years ago. If it was you, thank you. My apologies for taking so long to try it. It’s just that...change is hard, you know? I’m so used to pouring pancake batter on a griddle, so scooping it into a muffin cup was just such a hard, hard adjustment for me.

Not really. I just never got around to trying it. Sheesh.

The thing about the traditional pancake is how long one has to stand at the griddle flipping the cakes. Yum, and all that. But it is time consuming if you must move make mountains of pancakes to fill up your people. With the muffin idea, you can scoop the very same pancake batter into muffin cups, slide them into the oven, and be on your way. And {please hold your applause} you can make extras of these and put them into your freezer, then pull them out and rewarm them without even having to think or stir or dirty up a bowl.

I may never stand at a griddle again. {standing ovation}

I no longer know how to cook in small quantities, as is evidenced by the following large-sized ingredient list. Forgive me, cut the recipe in half, or simply put your leftovers in a freezer bag and then into the freezer for a no-brainer breakfast of the future.

Pancake Muffins (makes about 24)Yum

3 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground white wheat – hard or soft)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth-ish. Scoop into prepared muffin cups (buttered, paper-lined, whatever you choose). Drop in berries or chocolate chips if you wish. Bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Easy Pancake Muffins - Great for the Freezer

You’d think I would have done this earlier since I’ve been making Sausage Pancake Muffins for so long.

If you want to make these a “to-go” muffin, simply add about 1/4 cup of real maple syrup to the batter before scooping and baking. Then you can skip the necessary “dip them in syrup while holding your chin over the table” step.

Ever tried this idea? Were you the one who told me about it? Love you.

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How Does Prepping 5 Meals in 20 Minutes Sound?

You might remember how a couple of weeks ago I made 7 Chicken Slow Cooker Meals in 30 Minutes. Well, the next day I made 5 Beef Slow Cooker Meals in just 20 minutes. It is too fun.

This is the easiest, fastest, most fun freezer cooking I’ve ever done. Plus, these freezer meals keep saving my neck on busy days. I just pull a bag out of the freezer and throw the contents into the crock pot. I add some veggies to the table in the evening, and we are set.

Here are a few pictures of my 5 beef meals in 20 minutes prep. They aren’t pretty, but at least it’s better than looking at pictures of mannequins in my office. (Ain’t that the truth.)

First I took my printed copy of Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Beef Edition and put the ingredients for the Hawaiian Beef and Rice directly into the crock pot. That would be for dinner that day – you know, since I was so busy spending another 17 minutes making 4 more meals. Obviously, I was exhausted after that and couldn’t possibly think about cooking our evening meal.

slow cooker beef 1

Next, I labeled freezer bags and started filling them with ingredients for the other four packet recipes.

slow cooker beef 2

This process is so fascinating to witness. Lookie at the meat with Onion Soup Mix and other ingredients splashed into a bag. Ooh. Aah.

slow cooker beef 3

A grand total of 20 minutes later, dinner was in the crock pot and four other meals were ready for the freezer.

slow cooker beef 4

Read about our Eat Right Away Packets here. We’ve got four packets (a total of 20 recipes!) all organized and ready for you to work with!

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Frozen Oatmeal Cups – for a Quick, Hearty Breakfast

frozen oatmeal8

Making oatmeal has got to be the most difficult thing to do ever. It’s definitely the most tedious breakfast food there is – requiring time, energy, thought, and absolute sweat-dripping labor over a stove for five entire minutes (because oatmeal won’t cook properly unless someone is staring at it in expectation). Life is hard. We should probably settle for pop-tarts. It’s the only way.

Don’t worry, friends. I’ve found a way to avoid performing this grueling task (and eating pop-tarts) in the mornings – and I’m here to share. I think we can all agree that the more we can avoid the challenge of putting water in a pot to boil, the better. Gather ’round, everyone. This tip will shave at least 1.4 minutes off your morning meal prep, so listen closely. Every 1.4 minutes counts.

Here’s what you need to do: You need to cook up a double or triple batch of oatmeal (you can do it, we’re all in this together, persevere, I believe in you). Once the oatmeal is done, go ahead and feed some to your family. Here’s where it gets good: After your meal, freeze the leftovers in muffin cups, topped with whatever delicious toppings your family likes. Like this:

frozen oatmeal3

The result is easy-to-store cups of frozen oatmeal which are ready to pull out and re-heat at any given time – preferably on those mornings. You know the ones I’m talking about.

But seriously, in all seriousness, because I am always serious – this really is a lovely way to help your children help themselves on a busy morning, and it really does save a tiny bit of time because the cooking of the oatmeal has already been done.

Now, if you get a little bit burned out on oatmeal and you’re still struggling with the urge to buy a pre-made breakfast in a box that promises to save you time – I suggest you consider the possibility of frying an egg. If I can do it, you can do it. There are also apples – a brand new innovative idea for breakfast that I’ve heard are great to grab-and-go. Who knew?

Frozen Oatmeal Cups - a quick, hearty breakfast

The Specifics of Making Approximately 24 Frozen Oatmeal Cups

  1. Boil 6 cups of water.
  2. Stir in 3 cups of whole oats.
  3. Turn the heat down to simmer the oats/water for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat once the water has been absorbed and the oats are soft.
  5. Stir in 1-3 Tablespoons of butter and 1-4 Tablespoons of sweetener like honey or sucanat as desired.
  6. Scoop prepared oatmeal into muffin tins (no need to grease the tins).
  7. Top oatmeal cups with any variety of fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
  8. Place filled muffin pans in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until oatmeal is frozen solid.
  9. Pull frozen oatmeal out of the freezer and allow it to sit on the counter-top for about 10 minutes.
  10. Use a fork or spoon to gently pop the frozen oatmeal cups out of the tins.
  11. Place the frozen cups into a labeled freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
  12. Re-heat by placing frozen oatmeal cup(s) in a small saucepan on medium heat until thawed and warm.

I love this idea (for so many reasons, as explained earlier) – but also because this allows for a variety of sizes of appetites. Little ones may just need one cup to fill them, whereas my sons would likely each pull out 2-4 to rewarm.

So now, go therefore and make yourself some frozen oatmeal cups. Your breakfast – and really, your entire life – is obviously going to be changed for the better because of this tip. Enjoy your extra 1.4 minutes of morning time. You are very, very welcome.

What do you think of this idea? I like the brainlessness of it. I like that the cooking is done so all that needs to be done is rewarm and serve. I love that my kids can do this themselves. Not every freezer meal is about saving time – sometimes it’s just about the comfort of having prepped food on hand for ease!

P.S. We also really love making Homemade Instant Oatmeal to have on hand.

Kudos to Cupcakes and Kale Chips where I first saw this fun idea!

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The First Thing I Did When I Got Home From Camp – Plus What I’ll Be Up to This Week

I bet you can guess. What’s the first thing I did the moment I got out of the van after being at camp for two weeks?

Okay fine. I went potty. But after that? Well, yes I started a load of laundry. But then??? Well I filled a glass of water to make sure I was hydrated.

But none of those count. What’s the really first thing I did after being away from my kitchen for two weeks?

Ahhhhh, yes. I made a big price-matching list and headed to the store. The fridge was all but empty, we’re craving more fresh produce, and I’ve missed cooking. I loved the break (especially from the dishes!) – but I am so excited about being back in my kitchen!

I must admit that our three teenage boys are still at camp for another week and a half which means that I might have over-purchased just a wee bit. All you see in the picture up there? That’s just for Matt, Malachi (age 10), and me. We’re that hungry for freggies. I couldn’t hold back.

Case in point: Matt washed one of the containers of blueberries as soon as I gave him permission (aka, as soon as I got a picture taken – it’s a food blogger thing). I snagged a few of the berries as I scrubbed refrigerator shelves and put away groceries. A few minutes later, Matt appeared with the blueberry container and a grin. The blueberries were almost completely gone. The guy ate an entire pint (minus the 17 little berries I ate) in about 5 minutes. We’re craving this stuff, I tell ya.

Cravings aside, I would not have gotten 6 pounds of strawberries and 6 pints of blueberries for just the three of us – but I was able to price match them for just $1.00 each. Who can pass up filling the cart when they’re only a buck?? If we can’t finish them before they go bad, we’ll just freeze them for muffins and smoothies. It’s too easy.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that while I still just have one boy at home and therefore don’t need to prep large meals – I’m going to do some freezer cooking this week. My list is too long, which means I won’t likely get around to all of this since I have so much other work to catch up on after being away for two weeks. But here’s my crazy-lady list nonetheless:

1. Defrost the freezer.

We’re getting a quarter of grass-fed beef this week, so that along with putting prepped food in the freezer means I need to get rid of the terrible ice build up I’ve been ignoring for way too long.

2. Make a few batches of Strawberry and Blueberry Cream Muffins – freezing the batter to bake fresh later. (Read more about this wonderful freezer tip here.)

3. Work through my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions to get easy meals in the freezer ready for upcoming school/soccer/busy days.

4. Make Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for the freezer so the boys can quickly make their own pizzas on busy days.

5. Make and freeze Chicken Fried Steak Strips with the beef we’re picking up from the butcher.

6. Stop making this list before I become overwhelmed.

There are too many great freezer cooking ideas. I made myself stop adding to the list so I don’t overwhelm myself. I’ll take pictures of my progress throughout the week and share an update with you soon!

What are you going to be doing this week?

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