Cooking Ahead – I Now Have Snacks!

I know it’s not entirely true, but I feel like I have been away from home for the entire month of March.

Asa had a basketball tournament the first weekend of the month.  We were home for a few days, then we went to Branson and were gone for six days.  The end of this week we are going to Kansas City for LTC.  Phew!  It’s hard to get ahead when you can’t even catch up.  And it’s hard to catch up when you’re not even home.  And it’s hard to be home when…well, when you are traveling.  (Profound.)

Anyway, Saturday I was home.  Yay for me!  I had big kitchen plans.  I decided that I wasn’t going to go anywhere all day, that I certainly wasn’t going to change out of my sweat pants, and that I would get caught up on some work, and spend several hours cooking.  I’m so glad I did!  I got my email inbox down to 82 (It had made its way up to well over 200 last week) and spent four hours cooking and baking.  I now have some healthy convenience foods in the freezer, as well as several snack items that might just last two whole days around here.

First, I mixed up a double batch of Whole Wheat Butterhorns.  While the dough was rising, I got my food processor whirling as I made three batches of Homemade Peanut Butter

peanut_butter

I put two jars of peanut butter into the fridge to have ready for later.  Then I used one batch to make Healthier Rice Crispy Treats and Mudballs (thinking of my awesome cousin Jayme the whole time, since she’s the one who gave me that recipe).

cooking_ahead

I should also mention that the day before, I had made 80 Chicken Fried Steak Strips
I had the boys help me take them off the cookie sheets and put them into freezer bags for
easy meals in the future. 
I love getting that mess out of the way in big batches!

I then made two dozen eggs worth of Easy Breakfast Casserole.  I put the 9×13 dish in the freezer to thaw and bake another day.  I baked the two round dishes for our lunch.

egg_casseroles_1

While they were baking, I began shaping 64 Butterhorns.  I baked several to go with our egg casseroles for lunch – yum! – then shaped and froze the remaining butterhorns.  I love having these in the freezer to pull out, thaw, and bake when I need them for company!

butterhorns

I froze the shaped rolls on cookie sheets,
then popped them off the next day and put them into freezer bags.

Last, I made a double batch of Homemade Poptarts. We ate some of them for breakfast on Sunday morning, and the rest went into the freezer.  These are so good when warmed in the toaster oven, served with fruit and a glass of milk!

poptarts

I should also mention that I roasted two chickens and made broth for the freezer.  It’s always great to have homemade chicken broth on hand!

As you can imagine, my wheat grinder, oven, and dishwasher got quite a workout that day!  And I slept really well that night.  :)

What’s your favorite food to have on hand for snacks or easy meals?

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Comments

  1. Georgette says

    Hey Laura,
    Thanks for all your great recipes & tips! I love your blog! I saw that you freeze your egg casseroles. Do you freeze them before you cook the eggs in the oven? So the eggs would be frozen raw?
    Thanks for your help!

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing about the egg casserole (want to do one for Easter morning).
    By the way, PLEASE tell me you have lots of help with the dishes when you have a cooking marathon like that! I can’t imagine doing all the food prep. AND having the energy to do all the washing-up too (unless you are Superwoman)!!!! (-:

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I freeze it raw, then thaw overnight in the fridge and bake in the morning.

    I definitely have help with the dishes. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Susan Parker says

    Hi Laura,

    Wow, you sure did get alot done. I envy you. In the last couple of weeks, I haven’t got aything done..and quickly depleting anything I had in freezer. I feel like I am in a time of one trial upon another. First with my 2 younger daughters getting sick, the older of the 2 is alread compromised with heart & lung diseases, on oxyen since she was born and feeding machine and other machines. And they both were sick last week and required antibiotics, prednisone, nebulizer treatments an air-chamber vest that shakes them to clear their lungs and help cough up bacteria mucus. Aside from that, I somehow injured my knee, and need to elevate it with ice – several times a day (as if that actually happens), and use my crutches when I am on my feet. Seeing orthopaedic doctor this week.

    My down time is to read your blog (I am anxiously waiting for the arrival of your book)…I so want to have ‘ready made’ meals that my husband could pop in freezer….just waiting upon God, as I take what He promised…He promises me today, this moment. His grace and the knowledge of knowing I can always turn to Him, when I feel overwhelmed, gives me strength for a new day.

    Thank you for letting me know, that I am not the only one who has days that seem to slip away from me. Hope your book gets here this week – maybe my hubby can look through it and actually find something he can make..(while I hope to have my leg up with ice) while he is preparing dinner.

    Thank you for all you do Laura.

    Susan

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sounds like you are definitely going through a lot right now! I’ll pray for God to give you (and your family) strength to get everything done. :)

    [Reply]

  3. raisingcropsandbabies says

    I’ve been making fruit leather in the dehydrator for the kids’ snacks.
    The boys also like energy balls.

    Need to make a few more snacks for them… thinking I’ll try the poptarts!

    [Reply]

  4. Laura says

    Granola bars are our “must-have”! The kids also love any kind of muffin I can make– we have to set a limit of how many they can have in a day or else they’d eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner… ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. Charlotte Moore says

    I made your poptarts a good bit back and froze them to have for my great granddaughter. She is only 15 months old but has a mouth full of teeth. She loves those with the peach and some with strawberry jam.

    [Reply]

  6. Angelia says

    I am in the tax business so I am busy this month. This weekend I was in the kitchen making, yogurt, buttermilk,sour creme, french onion soup, veggie broth, cooking chickens..So I had several loads of dishes…I think I am going to try your poptart recipe looks good! Thank you for all your help. I bought whole wheat berries and got a mill and just made my first batch of wheat flour. I am excited to use it!Next I have to make granola bars for my teen..

    [Reply]

  7. says

    You have been so busy! I admire you so much for what all you do, and you inspire me to get things accomplished here at the house. :) I know today I’ll be making some goodies and planning for more when I can run to the grocery store later this week.

    [Reply]

  8. Susan Parker says

    Laura,
    Can I use buttermilk instead of yogurt in the poptart recipe? I make buttermilk practically everyday, use it in smoothies with fruit, honey, vanilla and a bit of crushed ice. The probiotic in it (cultured), helps my youngest with her bowels.

    Want to make poptarts, so wanted to know if you thnk I could use up some buttermilk this way?

    Another question – I preordered your book and have to use my $10.00 gift coupon by March 31st…can this be used on an actual book? I was thinking of getting the book about teaching kids how to cook. (When I was in school, and even when my oldest was in school – graduated in 2008)..they would offer Foods classes…did away with that due to budget issues. Then thy wonder how why kids (teens) resort to packged foods or fast food restaurants..sad.

    Susan
    P.s. Mail came – MY BOOK IS HERE…YEAH!! Now to spend some time ooogling over it.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, buttermilk will work just fine in the poptart recipe. The $10 certificate must be used for something downloadable (otherwise it wouldn’t cover our costs). So, if you get the downloadable version of Teaching your Kids to Cook, that would work! :)

    So glad to hear your book came! Hope you enjoy it!

    [Reply]

  9. Rhetta says

    Laura, I plan to order your book soon! Meanwhile, thank you for the many wonderful recipes on your site. I want to make a batch of your whole wheat baking mix, and I’m wondering whether King Arthur white wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour would be closest to the freshly ground flour you use, since I don’t have a wheat grinder. Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’d use King Authur white wheat flour. You may need a little less flour, or a little extra liquid in the recipes. :)

    [Reply]

  10. says

    I made yet ANOTHER winning “Laura recipe” yesterday with my 5-year-old — mudballs! So yummy and easy and everyone in my family loved them! I ended up using almond butter instead of peanut butter and chopped pecans in place of the seeds. I will be tripling the batch next time to freeze and get ahead in the kitchen in order to have healthy and delicious snacks on hand!

    [Reply]

  11. mrs. p says

    I would love to spend a day just baking and cooking. My life got turn upside down in Janurary and I just started to get back to the new normal. My house needs some attention and hopefully soon I can get back into my journey of eating healthy and back into the kitchen.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Hope you’re doing okay and that your new normal is a blessed one.

    [Reply]

  12. says

    I’m feeling a cooking urge today…but, alas, I must work instead. My favorite convenience food is homemade pizza rolls. Hubby likes them for snacks or in his lunch when I forget to bake bread for sandwiches.

    [Reply]

  13. Lee says

    When you do the chicken fried steak strips,do you batter them all up and freeze them? Or do you cook them and just reheat? Thanks :)

    [Reply]

    Colean Reply:

    I was curious about this as well as the poptarts. Do you cook them before freezing?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Go ahead and cook the poptarts prior to freezing them. :)

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Here is a link to a post Laura wrote on flash freezing them. Hope it helps! :)
    http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/flash-freezing-chicken-fried-steak-strips

    [Reply]

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