Make easy work of dinner by whipping up a batch of homemade meatballs. They freeze well for several months, and can be added to the slow cooker, along with your favorite pasta sauce for a quick meal. This week you can get all the makings for a spaghetti dinner for under $4 at Target. Details HERE.
Making your own mixes is an easy way to save money and cut out unnecessary ingredients. At the beginning of each month, I whip up a batch of this simple brownie mix. The kids love homemade brownies, especially when they’re fresh out of the oven! You can find this recipe, along with several other easy mixes in my new book Operation Dinner: How to Plan, Shop & Prep for Easy Family Meals.
Mix all ingredients well and pour into slow cooker.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
Use immediately or remove from heat and cool. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 6 months. Leave at least one inch headroom to allow for expansion in the freezer.
Today I am wrapping up my monthly baking week by making Lemon Cookies. I have tripled the recipe so I can freeze the extra dough. The glaze is what makes this cookie taste extra special, so don’t skip that part.
Freezer Friendly Cookie Dough: Chocolate Mint Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
2 cups sugar
1¼ cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
¾ cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8-12 oz. mint baking chips
In a bowl, mix together sugar and softened butter. Add eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Stir in mint baking chips.
Refrigerate cookie dough for at least 3 hours. Dough must be firm when going into the oven.
Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
FOR FREEZING: Roll dough into single cookie-size balls and flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator, then follow directions above.
As I mentioned in my meal planning post, this week is Baking Week at my house! Since I have a big family with big appetites, baking week is my shortcut to keeping the homebaked goodies available for kids lunches, and for snacks. I have a stash of well-loved cookie recipes that work perfectly for freezing. One week every month, I whip them up, double, triple or quadruple the recipe and freeze the rest.
Freezer Friendly Cookie Dough: Peanut Butter Heath Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
¾ cup peanut butter
½ cup shortening
1¼ cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 medium egg
1½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
8 oz. toffee bits
Beat peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl until blended.
Mix in egg.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
Gradually mix flour mixture into wet mixture.
Stir in toffee bits.
Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes.
FREEZING COOKIE DOUGH: Make cookie-size balls using a small ice cream scoop. Flash freeze. Transfer to freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, thaw in refrigerator, then follow directions above.