Busy days and home-cooked meals are a mean combination, aren’t they? And what month is busier than December? I was thinking through ways to provide home-cooked meals this month, and have come up with a plan so we don’t have to buckle under the pressure and eat out a lot or call for carry-out! Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- Cook chicken breasts and cut up the meat and store in the freezer for Enchiladas and and Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
- Brown several pounds of ground beef and turkey to have ready for tacos, Sloppy Joes and Spaghetti Squash with turkey meat sauce.
- Freeze leftover Chicken Gnocchi Soup in Muffin Tins for easy lunches (instructions here.)
- Have the ingredients for this easy Deconstructed Pizza for a supper that’s ready in about 35 minutes. It’s faster than calling Pizza Hut and a lot healthier!!
- Keep fish in the freezer for another fast supper. To thaw it quickly, place in a freezer bag in pan of cold water. Change water every ten minutes. It will thaw in 30 minutes if your forget to set it out!
Now what about trying to get a little baking done without exhausting yourself? Here are a few ideas to help:
- Make the dough and freeze it after shaping it into balls. It will be ready to place on the baking sheet and bake any time you need fresh cookies!
- Make sugar cookie dough and roll it into a log. Freeze. Slice and bake it when you’re ready for sugar cookies.
- Make dry ingredient bags for your brownies, cakes, sweet breads or pumpkin rolls. Label it and tuck it into your pantry – or freezer. Having the dry ingredients already measured and ready really cuts down the time when you’re baking!
- Make and bake muffins then freeze for fast breakfasts. Or you could make this muffin batter and freeze until ready to bake. These are so good!
- Make up 2 or 4 pie crusts and freeze them until you’re ready to fill the crusts.
With these simple ideas my kitchen won’t just be decorated for Christmas, it will be ready for nightly meals all month long!
Do you buckle under pressure and eat out more than you want when things get busy? What do you do to avoid calling for the pizza delivery guy to make a visit?
Refresh your meals this December by preparing ahead of time!