Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting Ahead, Holiday-Style

I LOVE to get ahead in my responsibilities.  It makes me feel prepared and better able to enjoy each day.  So a recent blog post really caught my eye.  It's called Stock Your Freezer in Just an Hour Each Week.  You can click on that title and be taken to Crystal's inspiring article.  :)  I love the idea of freezing meals and desserts to have on hand, but the thought of spending hours in the kitchen and dealing with sinks full of dirty dishes turns me off.  I homeschool our 9th grade son, plus have a thriving Etsy business, so I don't feel I have time to make a month of meals in one day.  So Crystal's idea of just spending an hour a week preparing something for the freezer really appeals to me.  She even suggests just spending 30 minutes at a time doing such.  

My husband and I have all of our adult kids,  2 little grandbabes, and parents coming to our home for Thanksgiving Weekend.  Can. Not. Wait!  I want to be able to really enjoy them all so I am thinking ahead about what I can do to get ahead of the game, food wise and cleaning wise.  Today I had so much fun preparing one thing for the freezer, and now it waits there, ready for holiday baking.  Yippee!  I'll take you on a photo journey of my first one hour freezer cooking adventure, which I divided into two 20 minute segments.

Peanut Butter Blossoms are one of our VERY favorite Christmas cookies.  I'd like to have some to serve over Thanksgiving Weekend, since that is when my grown kids will be home.  During a break from school, between Grammar and Math, I got out the recipe and made the cookie dough.

All good Christmas Cookie making starts with Christmas music on Pandora...

And donning the apron my so-loved Grandma made for me when I married in 1984....
One recipe makes 3 1/2 dozen.  Easy to mix up the dough during my break. (Then, back to school and lunch before I came back to finish this job.)

Roll into balls and roll in sugar

And now for the surprising part...I put the cookie balls on plates to FREEZE!  I'm not a huge fan of cookies that have been frozen.  Nor of making cookie dough AND baking it all in one setting.  I'm a short-project kind of gal.

I had two plates full of cookie dough balls...into the freezer for an hour and 15 minutes of while I cleaned up lunch and finished school with my son.

Took the plates out of the freezer.  Two plates of amazing cookies ready to bake and top with a Hersheys Kiss.  Bliss!  Fresh baked cookies will only be about 15 minutes away, whenever I decide to bake them.  Nom, nom, nom.

Lickety split, I slid them off the plates and into a gallon freezer bag.  Zip it up, easing out the air as I go. And just for the fun of it, I tied a red bow around it.  Christmas Cookies just waiting to be baked.  (Can you tell, I'm excited!)

I wrote the cookie name on the bag and the oven temp too.  My recipe never had the minutes of baking written on it, so every year I have to figure it out again.  Sheesh.  :)

I am visualizing baking half of these at Thanksgiving, and saving the other half for Christmas.  Wouldn't these frozen cookie dough balls make a fabulous gift for a friend, neighbor, teacher, or your Pastor's family?  You could wrap them cute, and add a nice tag.  We sometimes are given too many cookies at Christmas, so being given frozen dough balls might be a real blessing for your friends to bake and use at whatever time they need them.

I'm planning to make 2-3 more types of cookie dough balls to freeze before the holidays.  Also several pies (baked), a frozen dessert, and our Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole.  Any other ideas from you readers and friends?

Hope you are inspired!

Blessings and Happy Getting Ahead!


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