Thursday, November 4, 2010

Planning Ahead for The Holidays

November and December are for us, like many people, crazy busy. In addition to the holidays and all their celebrations (concerts, parties, cook exchanges galore!),  we also have SIX family birthdays from November 14th until December 17th. My sister has announced that no one is allowed to have a baby or marry anyone with a birthday between November 1st and February 28th (we have four more birthdays in January and February).  I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all!

The key for me to stay organized and not have a melt down (I don't do well under pressure) is to plan ahead, cook ahead and FREEZE! I am planning to get as much cooking done as I can in the next few weeks and to freeze everything until I need it. 

My mom and sister and I sat down two weeks ago to plan and divide Thanksgiving. By mid-October we had our menu. I am responsible for Pumpkin Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Pudding, and Pull Apart Rolls.  I am planning to make the cheesecake entirely, cook and mash the potatoes and get the rolls right to the point before they bake and freeze all of it. All I should have to do on Thanksgiving is finish up the sweet potatoes and bake the rolls.

I'm also planning to make a few batches of cookie dough in the next few weeks and freeze those to bake in December. I find it overwhelming to make the dough and bake cookies on the same day. I'll make the dough now and then bake when the mood strikes. I'm planning to freeze Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Butterscotch cookies.

I always want to make a big batch of cinnamon rolls to eat on Christmas morning, but every year I don't have the time or energy to make them the night before. So I'm planning to make a few batches and freeze. All I'll have to do is thaw the night before and pop them in the oven when we get up.

I'm planning a small get together for my son's 2nd birthday and I will bake and freeze some cupcakes for that. We'll be on the road for my mom's birthday and I'll do brownies (or whatever she wants) for our daughter's birthday when we celebrate with her around Christmas.

Phew. I'm hoping that all the planning and prepping will save me some stressed out moments later this month!

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