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Freezer Cooking Update (if you can call it that!)

I promised you an update to my freezer cooking adventures at 2 p.m. and I’m afraid it’s well past 2 p.m. and I have little to report when it comes to actual freezer cooking done.

However, I did read four books aloud to the children, finish our morning homeschooling lessons with the girls, unplug a stopped up toilet and clean up and disinfect the bathroom, took Silas potty multiple times (he’s doing so well with potty-training! yay!!), make lunch with the children, teach Kathrynne how to make sushi (before you think I’m some supermom, I should make it clear that we had gotten a free Annie Chun’s kit in the mail so it was a snap to do!), start a load of laundry, play basketball with Kathrynne, help Kaitlynn get her banged lip to stop bleeding, clean up the lunch dishes, answer some emails, and have a short phone call with my publicist.

So it wasn’t like I sat around and did nothing. 🙂

And I also baked the chicken

And ground the flour.

But now that we’re done with homeschooling and Silas is down for a nap, it’s time to finish the rest of the freezer cooking list. I’ll report back later this evening with my progress. Hopefully, everything will get crossed off. We’ll see!

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  • Kristi says:

    I recently started doing some freezer cooking and wow what a time saver! The other night spagetti took me five minutes to make.

    My daughter loves PB&J can I freeze up a bunch of PB&J sandwiches? Would those come out okay?

  • Monica says:

    Good for you! I took my first nap in months yesterday and I’ve crossed off 26 of the 28 items on my weekly (To do list). What a great feeling to get stuff done, isn’t it?

    • Crystal says:

      Woot! Look at you go!

      • Lori Ann says:

        I am just SOOO jealous!! I’ve got a 15 y.o., 3y.o. and a 5month old…not including a 90yr old aunt, 24y.o cousin and my husband…

        I feel overwhelmed. I walk into a room and say, “Uggh…I need to get this done.” Then I walk into another room and say the same thing, so then nothing gets done. I have to get your TO DO lists printed!!

  • Wendy says:

    Take time to read to those babies. You’ll miss it once they’re older an no longer want you to do it.

  • Liz S. says:

    thank you thank you thank you so much for being real! I’ve had a horrible time getting my lasagnas started. I think I would rather be distracted by everything else than get my kitchen clean! LOL how sad! I’m gonna take your advice and just break it down into smaller tasks, starting with cleaning the stove off and boiling the noodles. God Bless!

    • Bridgette @ Blessings Multiplied says:

      I use a recipe from my Grandma and Mom but no longer boil the noodles and LOVE it because it saves a huge amount of time (and clean up mess). You can use regular box noodles from the store and eliminate the “boiling noodle step” completely!

      Hope this helps you save a little extra time. We all have those days! 🙂

      • Andrea says:

        I heard about doing this, but never tried it because I didn’t know how it would come out. That would save a lot of time and hassle. Gonna have to finally give it a try.

  • Karen Cooper says:

    Having your own publicist sounds very glamourous. 😉 Oh, what the Lord can do!

    • Crystal says:

      It’s beyond crazy, I know, and weird! Simon & Schuster has provided a whole team of people who work on various tasks for me as part of the book deal. My publicist has been amazing and I feel so blessed to have her helping out with so many things.

  • Jenna says:

    Well we’ll just have to forgive you for doing all that important stuff instead of attending to us LOL. You do know that we realize you don’t sit around, right, and if you are sitting it’s well deserved. This is where we can remind you that life happens. And ALL of us can relate to that, right ladies?

  • kathy haas says:

    why boil the noodles let them soak for 20 minutes in hot water while you are doing something else then they will be ready to make lasanga not over done and will finish cooking in the oven.

  • SugarFreeMom says:

    Yea, you can call it a day! You’ve done so much already! Whoohoo, but naptime is golden hour so keep it up friend! Its dinner time for me in RI but the pile of clean laundry is still not folded, I WILL GET TO IT BEFORE BED! thank you very much 🙂

  • lyss says:

    Thanks for keeping it real! 🙂

    p.s…….Any potty training tips?

    • Amy says:

      My husband and I just potty trained our 3 yr. old over the long weekend! The strategy we used was to basically not leave the house for a few days and totally do away with diapers (except for nap/nighttime). No pull-ups, just underwear. We set a timer and had her sit every 20-30 min., and every time she sat she got to put a stamp on a chart. Then, when she started “going” in the potty, she got to stamp a different chart, working toward a toy. 6 days later, she hasn’t had an accident in two days!

      • Stephanie says:

        We’ve been doing that since August I think. Twins. But….still pullups at nap and bed. Everyone I talk to, two cousins, had no trouble with that part, but the day to day was an issue. I feel like we’re the only ones with this issue. I have bought each the last box of pullups. The only tip I have gotten is put them down with no underwear, but seriously, I’m dreading the entire night of going in the mattress. What a mess. Any help would be appreciated.

        • mimi says:

          Night wetting is often part of potty training. If you put something plastic on the mattress, under the sheet, it will save the mattress from getting all funky. We have used large contractor size garbage bags, a shower curtain liner, and plastic protection sheets that are like giant rolls of scotch tape, all with success. I have a son who, although much older, will still occasionally have a night time accident if he is sick with a high fever. Plastic means I only have a load of bedding, and not a ruined mattress.
          A few tips:
          If they sleep with a cuddly, make sure its machine washable. Take everything else out of the bed. If the plastic liner is too crinkly, or makes them uncomfortable (my son also had sensory issues), the white padded machine washable mattress protectors work wonders as a buffer.
          Above all, don’t scold them for bed wetting. It’s a pain for you to have the extra laundry, but they are not doing it on purpose just to tick you off. It’s part of the learning curve.
          Good luck.

        • Christina says:

          Stephanie – My daughter was totally potty-trained, except for nighttime for a few months. Our doctor told us not to worry about it – that she had a small bladder and slept hard, so it was just going to take time. All of a sudden, something clicked and she now wakes up if she needs to use the restroom and hasn’t had a bedtime accident in a long time.

          Definitely make sure you have a plastic cover, though, so if they wet, the only thing that gets yucky is the sheet – not the mattress!

    • Nicole Z. says:

      Skip the pull-ups! Kids need to feel wet and uncomfortable if you know what I mean. They need to be thinking, “this is a feeling I want to avoid. I want to put my pee in the potty not in my Dora underwear.” :0)

  • Lisa Washington says:

    I just started freezing some meals as I go. When I cook them I double them and freeze them. I have yet to have a “freezer cooking day” but one thing at a time… right? I spent the day putting some fires out with clients, reading and writing with the kids, cleaning ( a little) and now I’m sitting. Have to say that it’s really cold here (MN and -11) so I just want to wrap myself in a blanket and cuddle with my kiddos. Motivation is really low today but I’m sure we all have those days. Have a blessed day!

    • Wendy says:

      Burrr…..O.K. now I feel bad thinking 48 was cold here today. Try to stay warm.

    • lyss says:

      Yikes! I’ve never been anywhere that cold! You have a right to wrap up in a blanket! At 78* today, it felt like spring in TX. Kind of wish it felt more like winter, but I guess I’ll be grateful it’s not below zero. 🙂

      • Lisa Washington says:

        What’s funny is it has been unseasonably warm (40 degrees) here up until this week. We don’t have any snow and for Minnesota that’s just plain weird. The kid’s miss the snow and I miss sending them outside to play in it.

        If we can’t have snow I want 78 degrees! Oh well. With little snow that means an early spring and summer.

  • :) says:

    Lately, my freezer cooking has been consisting of just making double of whatever I’m cooking for dinner, and then freezing half. So far, I’ve got a lasagna, some crockpot orange chicken and veggies, two sets of turkey meatballs, and some browned ground beef in my freezer. Yay! Just having those few things makes me feel better. OH! And today I made those freezer-friendly oven-baked oatmeal muffins you posted a few weeks back. Instead of 18 like the recipe said, I ended up with 26! That was nice. 🙂

  • Stepheni says:

    Do you put chicken breast in the oven frozen? If you do, what about trimming the fat?

    • Crystal says:

      Yes. The breasts I buy usually don’t have much fat on them and I’ll just trim that off when I’m chopping them after they’ve cooked.

  • Julia DesCarpentrie says:

    Girl, I’m impressed! I didn’t even get unpacked, yet! So glad to get plugged in to your blog.

  • Mealr says:

    I call a day that I read 4 books to my kids a complete victory – no matter what else I finished (or did not finish) on my to do list. Way to go mom!

  • Becca says:

    Quick question. I started cooking my chicken ahead of time, and am finding when I use it in a casserole that I have to cook it gets to dry to really eat. Any suggestions for that??? What sort of meals do you use it in?

    • Crystal says:

      Try baking it until it’s just barely done. That will keep it juicy. I use it on salads, on pizza, in casseroles and soups, and yes, my children eat it plain for lunch sometimes (they *love* cooked & chopped chicken!).

  • Marie says:

    Crystal thanks for keeping it real! You’ve accomplished ALOT already today. Your little ones won’t be long forever.
    My week hasn’t gone as planned but I’m realizing to cherish everyday. Our dear children’s director at church found out at Christmas that cancerous tumors have taken over her stomach and things have progressed quickly. Hospice came in this week. Would you say a prayer for her and her family?
    This week has been a reminder to hug my kids more and love them more and not worry about all the “chores.”
    I am weary from coming from visiting my friend but your blog is always a breathe of fresh air and encouragement. Thanks so much. I look forward to meeting you at momslife bootcamp in March!!

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Hopefully her pain won’t be severe. To ease your mind, tell her you love her and hold her hand. It’s tough. I went through that with my mom. Not to be harsh, but you never know when she may go. I will pray for her and you. Bless.

  • Laura says:

    At least I’m not the only one who had to unplug a stopped up toilet or clean up blood 😉

  • Mac Hildebrand says:

    These kind of days can seem the worst when the crises start happening and getting in the way. When you look back and see that you had a special connection or meaningful conversation with somebody (whether a child or friend or even stranger) through it all, it can actually be rewarding to get “side-tracked.” This cooking update and the stories with it was a good perspective personally for me at a good time.

  • Martha Artyomenko says:

    I always sit back and wonder why I have not gotten more done and then I write down all I did, and suddenly it seems better!

  • Heather says:

    I also grind my own wheat (and make most all of our bread) and have started doing something that has saved me oodles of time: I make my own bread mixes.

    I grind a bunch of wheat at one time and instead of just putting into a storage container, I measure out all the dry ingredients needed for my whole wheat bread recipe, whole wheat rolls and a few favorite muffins recipes. I label what the mix is for and then put it in my freezer. Starting a loaf of bread dough in my bread machine is as simply as adding the liquids, dumping in my mix and topping it off with yeast. I can get it started in less than 2 minutes and it really hasn’t added that much time to my grinding morning as I was already scooping it out (with a measure cup too) into a storage container.

    • Mandi says:

      Heather and Crystal,
      Just got the Vitamix and would love tips for grinding. What are your favorite grains to grind for recipes and where is the best place to buy them inexpensively? Love your inspiration Crystal and thank you Heather for the awesome tip about pre-mixing ingredients. Would love some recipes!

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