I like to spend some time “batch cooking”. That means I cook some stuff that can be frozen and re-heated when you want to eat it. Many people cook all day and they have enough food or a month. I don’t like the taste of re-heated meat, so I only batch cook a few things. Today I made granola bars, twice baked potatoes, and pizza/calzone dough.
I have always wanted to make granola bars but I was afraid of wasting a bunch of ingredients. Well, I am sorry I waited so long because they were so easy and so delicious! I adapted this recipe at Food.com
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups rolled oats, quick cooking
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9X13 pan.
- Mix the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, and vanilla extract until well blended.
- In a separate bowl combine oats, sugar, salt and mini chocolate chips; add to peanut butter mixture and mix for about a minute.
- Press the mixture into a 9X13 pan.
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Let the bars cool completely before cutting. I cut them into large bars and it made 15 bars.
*You could even change the chips to milk chocolate or peanut butter chips. It may even be great with chunky peanut butter or Nutella. Store in an air tight container.
After we finished homeschooling I grabbed my crock pot. I took 4 potatoes and poked them with a fork a few times. I wrapped them in foils and put them in the crock pot for about 5 hours on high. I turned them over about half way through baking. They actually will brown a little on the bottom and taste like you grilled them!
So when I could easily poke a fork in them I took them out of the crock pot and let them cool. (I had made stuffed shells for dinner so while they were baking, I was able to assemble the potatoes.)
I don’t have any measurement for this, it’s mostly just to taste. I pretty much use what I put in my mashed potatoes but did not add as much milk, you don’t want them to be too creamy.
Clean out the potato and put the white part in a bowl. Place the skins on a cookies sheet.
I added a little butter, milk, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese (or a Mexican mix) salt, and pepper. I used my potato masher and not a mixer to smoosh them.
Then I filled up the skins with the mixture and placed them in the freezer to firm up a little. I put 2 potatoes in a small ziploc bag and freeze for future dinners. It’s been a while since I have done this, but when I wanted to reheat them I put them in the microwave for a few minutes. (I will update this when I reheat them.) It’s really nice to have some potatoes ready for dinnertime!
*update – I took 4 potatoes and put them on a plate with a paper towel. I microwaved them for 4-5 minutes. I had to put the paper towel on the plate to absorb the water because I think I froze them while they were still warm.
I also used this dough recipe for calzones and pizzas. I split the dough in half and it should make a pizza and about 4-5 small calzones.
It was a pretty busy day, but I think doing this saves me time and money in the kitchen! I was able to buy potatoes for .25 cents a pound so I stocked up. It’s better than paying $1.25 a pound!
Do you have a favorite recipe for batch cooking? Please share! I love to have things already prepared in my freezer – my kids eat a lot!