Hi there…. I’m Susanne, better known as the Hillbilly Housewife. I am traveling from blog to blog this October to spread the word about frugal living, meal planning, freezer cooking and such while also supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. Nicole was kind enough to invite me to write right here on ShowMomTheMoney.com.
I don’t know about you, but with the cooler weather coming in I’m starting to think about the holidays and all the baking and cooking I’ll be doing over the next few months. With that in mind, I thought I’d spend this week sharing some of my favorite frugal holiday tips with you.
Today we’ll talk about how you can use freezer cooking to save time (and your sanity) during the busy holiday season.
By the way, I have an ebook on freezer cooking that you may be interested in. You can order Freezer Cooking Made Simple here.
But back to using freezer cooking and baking to help you around the holidays. I do as much as I can ahead of time, to give me more time to just relax and have fun with my family on the actual holiday (which would be either Thanksgiving or Christmas here in the US).
Here are some of the things I like to make ahead of time, stash in the freezer and then just take out and bake or reheat when the time comes.
- Cookies – You can make and freeze many cookie doughs. Just shape it in a log and slice and bake as needed. I’ll share a Freezer sugar cookie recipe a little further down.
- Cakes and Pies – at this point, I will only make cakes and pies for holiday desserts that I can make and freeze ahead of time. I just thaw and if needed reheat a bit right before serving them for that fresh baked taste. This leaves my oven free to cook all the other holiday goodies as needed.
- Side Dish Casseroles – We spent a lot of time at family gatherings around the holidays and I’m usually asked to bring some sort of side dish. I make these when I have plenty of time and then just thaw and reheat on the day of the holiday party. This also works well when you are hosting a big holiday dinner.
- Rolls and Biscuits – Here in the south, no proper supper is complete without some sort of roll or biscuit. I make these in big batches ahead of time and flash freeze them spread out on a cookie sheet (don’t bake them yet). Once they are frozen solid, they can be moved to a freezer bag for easier storage.
This make ahead method of Holiday baking and cooking can also save you quite a bit of money. Shop for all your ingredients when they are on sale and then bake and freeze.
Last, but not least, here’s the sugar cookie recipe I promised you.
Freezer Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons margarine (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
Cream the margarine and sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. I use my hand mixer. A kitchen-aid type mixer will work as well. If you are making this by hand, use a whisk and really work the sugar and margarine until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla and continue stirring until it is incorporated into the mixture. Add the egg and mix again.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly work it into the margarine and egg mixture. Continue mixing at low just until all the flour is mixed in. Don’t overmix it or your cookies will be tough.
Shape the dough into a log that’s about one and a half inches thick, wrap it in plastic wrap and iether refridgerate overnight or freeze.
When you’re ready to bake your cookies preheat your oven to 350F. Slice your cookies 1/4 inch thick, place them on a cookies sheet and bake them for about 12 minutes on the middle rack until they are golden brown.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some more frugal holiday tips.
Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife
P.S. Follow me on my October blog tour – The Hillbilly Housewife is Going On The Road (don’t you just love that picture?)