Winter is coming.
Ugh, I hate winter.
I live in the wrong state.
My friends are all "yay! Winter!! Yay!! We can stop working out, eat brownies, and wear big sweaters!! Yay winter!!" and I'm all "I still have to stand in front of a group of women several times a week in my underwear. Screw winter."
With that being said, winter is upon us and I feel myself slipping into the baking and cooking frenzy that seems to accompany fall in this household. By the time I get the kids home at night, lug everyone in, peel off 3 layers of slush covered winter wear, and turn the heat on that I turned off when I left for work that morning, the last thing I want to do is make dinner.
But....we are all most likely frozen from the inside out and starving; thus enters the cooking frenzy of fall.
As a single working mom I simply do not have time to make three meals a day. Combined with the fact that my financial situation doesn't allow for much wiggle room in the food-budget department, I really need to plan ahead. What this means is that I usually designate a couple hours in the beginning of the month to making meals in bulk and then freezing them. Last week I made 6 pounds of chili. SIX POUNDS of chili you guys.
I then split it up into family sized servings and froze it. After that I made four pounds of taco meat and ten pounds of baked sweet potato cinnamon bites. None of the meals took me longer than twenty minutes to prep and when everything was done cooking, I had quite a bit of food ready to pull out of the freezer as needed.
The food pantry is really good about giving us baking ingredients and let me tell you, they do not go to waste in this house! You guys know that I feel bad about not being able to give my kids very much, so when the opportunity arises to bake a little treat, we jump on it!
Apple pie anyone? My daughter insisted on using money she got for her birthday to buy ice cream to go with it. I like the way that kid thinks...
Since we already had ice cream and all the other ingredients, we may have also made homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches....
I have to say though, it's a good thing for me that my kids will eat anything because we can get some pretty strange combinations when we have run out of food stamps at the end of the month. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I thought that peanut butter on a waffle with peas, carrots, raspberries, almonds, and turkey were a good combination. YUCK! Sure it was fun to make, but eat? No. Thank. You.
(They actually thought it was fabulous, me, not so much.)
|I don't want my kids to grow up remembering "when we ran out of food" so sometimes I take the little we have leftover and try to make it into something they will remember for reason's other than what really occurred.|
Anyways, I don't know about you guys, but my house is freezing when we wake up. Groggy kids, cold wood floors, 29 feet of snow outside; yuck. Mornings are crazy in our home. With one kid to get to school, one to get to daycare, and myself to get to work, I barely have time to get dressed let alone make breakfast, so just like our other meals, I plan ahead of time.
I'm going to share one of my favorite breakfast recipes below for breakfast pancake muffins. Not only are the ingredients cheap, but they are so easy to make it shouldn't really even be allowed to be called "baking." They take literally 6-7 minutes to make from start to finish, plus bake time. I always make more than one batch at a time and then freeze them. They easily warm in the microwave and are a great way to start out the day, or in my case, shove into your kids hands as you buckle them into their car seats.
What you will need for 12-16 muffins:
(In these pictures I was making several batches, but I will post the recipe directions for a single batch and you can multiply as you need)
2 Cups Dry Pancake Mix (I used gluten free Bisquick this time, but I usually use a high grain gluten free mix)
2/3 Cup Milk (I used Almond Milk)
1/2 Cup Honey (The original recipe calls for pancake syrup)
Whatever add-in's you desire (sliced banana's, blueberries, chopped nuts, raisins, etc. If you use bacon or sausage I would probably use the recommended pancake syrup instead of the honey)
Step #1. After preheating the oven to 350 degrees, mix pancake mix, eggs, milk, and honey together into a bowl.
Step #2. Pour into a lightly greased muffin tin (I grease with coconut oil)
Step #3. Sprinkle add-ins on top of the muffins and then push in with a knife.
I did one batch with strawberries and one with bananas. On the top of the banana batch I sprinkled nutmeg and cinnamon and then at the last minute I stuck a few raisins into a few.
Step #4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, testing with a tooth pick to see when they are done.
Now when I'm running out the door in the mornings I don't feel bad shoving a muffin into each of their hands because I know they are starting out their day with a grain packed muffin that has the antioxidant and antibacterial power of honey, plus whatever was added in such as protein packed nuts, vitamin filled fruit, or antioxidant cinnamon.