Doing things ahead.
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Beginners and Advice
Doing things ahead.
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When ever I have a lot of baking to do I become my own Sous chef:This saves on clean up and time:I measure all dry ingredients out and put in zip lock bags and label,most of it can then be put away an
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Forums  »  Baking Forums  »  Beginners and Advice  »  Doing things ahead.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 2:50 PM EDT
Posts: 499
First: 8/12/2008
Last: 3/7/2012
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
Many many moons ago I started doing what Gale posted. I did not have zip lock bags, but had a lot of tupperware & masking tape. When I got a bread maker, I would measure & bag the bread flour & the instant milk & store in Tupperware. When the kids were in school (I was room mother for both) & would announce cookies were needed THAT day, I would go to my stash in the freezer ( I always baked extra when I made cookies). The cheap fold top baggies were & still are a big help to me, I would buy bags of pretzels, chips, snack crackers etc. & make up bags for days when they did not want to buy lunch & had a supply stored in the big green Tupperware bowl (I have Tupperware from my first party = Jan. 1968) & each kid took 2 bags of choice to add to the lunch.
Posted by FRAN M


This is interesting.  I did the same when my kids were home and still measure out things ahead.  I am Frances M  and the message by Fran M could have been written by me.  We are two separate Fran(ces) M's
I live in central IL  where is Fran?

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 4:35 PM EDT
Posts: 1819
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
Nikki, it sounds like you have a budding chef on your hands.  Always nice when you find out they are really interested and even better when you realize they are "listening" lol.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 5:39 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
This is from a FORTUNATE 9 year old!
Posted by Nancy G


I am the fortunate one!! He is such a joy to have around.  His baby sister is the same.  I don't spend as much one on one time with her yet, she is 2.  But I am sure we will get our turn as well.  Soon he will be doing more with friends and not have as much time for Grandma. Cry
By then it will be his sisters turn!Laughing

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 6:24 PM EDT
Posts: 7294
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/17/2014
Off topic again but I wanted to give ((Nikki)) a hug and tell her how fortunate my cats feel!!  Thanks for all that good stuff, especially the measuring cups.   Badcat and Peaches would give you a Thank You hug but they're too busy!!
Thank you.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 7:34 PM EDT
Posts: 27
First: 11/7/2010
Last: 1/27/2013
I was wondering after reading these posts that I have alot of canning jars that if I measure the dry ingredients,seal them and label that I could put them in the freezer for ready to go baking?  I know the freezer bags would be space savers. I never thought of pre measure. thanks very best bakers

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/24/2011 7:58 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA  here; i  reguarly do ahead... Today  I cooked the red kidney beans I soaked overnight. I  drain, cool package them ( by one  cup) for addingto other ingredients for chili or bean soup Smile With only 2 of us to feed [ most meals],beans in 1 cup amt is just right since I use both red  &  black beans together.Half a large can of diced tomatoes is also frozen in a container to add to my chili as are diced onions & bell peppers. Dry beans cost a lot  less han canned beans larger cans of tomatoes( purchased on sale w/  a coupon saves even more money. When I make a BIG  pot of chil( 2-3qts)i, I  puree  it in   2 cup amounts as  a refried bean nacho topping,I aso freeze it n 1cup amts for a chili bean soup starter,so  nice on a cold winter day
 Pre-cooked; pre-measured; saves money & time later on.  I also have fudge brownies & rtb cookie dough ieces nt the   freezer;... Want chili or chili bean soup & brownies or cookies for dessert?; n i'm ready in half  an hourWink.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/25/2011 5:25 PM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
I was wondering after reading these posts that I have alot of canning jars that if I measure the dry ingredients,seal them and label that I could put them in the freezer for ready to go baking?  I know the freezer bags would be space savers. I never thought of pre measure. thanks very best bakers
Posted by linda b


I make up cookie mixes and cake mixes in jars (dry ingredients only) for gifts,GIFTS IN A JAR! I would imagine they would keep a couple of months.I also make up soup in a jar ,all dry ingredients.I include instructions with the gift,top with a piece of nice material and tie on a ribbon.These make nice hostess gifts,or If someone isn't feeling well you could send a jar soup.Just use your imagination and include these in gift baskets.Don't forget to include instruction if you are giving as a gift.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/25/2011 6:11 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
IGRANA here; The reason stores re-arrange merchandise is  so that you will have  to search for things you want & ( hopefuly ) buy something you nnotice that  was not on your list; assumoingyou make a list?; impulse items)= more money spent by you &  more money in sales or themYell

now on since I find myself looking for things at the last minute.  Don't like having to stop what I'm doing to run to the store lol. I also put the coupons with my list and in the order of the store layout.  It works great until the stores decide to re-do everything lol.  Used to be they just moved things from shelf to shelf,  lately they're moving entire aisles. Thanks to Gale and all who posted these great tips.
Posted by H. M[/QUOTE]

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/25/2011 6:40 PM EDT
Posts: 3718
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/17/2014
GRANA here;I also pkg ground beef in 4OZ patties ( 1/2 cup packed firmly) whenI get homefrom the store; hubby puts away the perishables, so I have time to do this. These patties thaw faster for browning meat  to use in dishes  &  I can quickly & easily( no messy  hands, make BIGburgers,  whenever he wants burgers.
????????Need more 9 than 4 oz. ) meat for  your recipe???????? Thaw 2 patties  for 1/2 # or 4 patties for a full  #. 
To make patties, fill 1/2 cup measure w/ firmly packed ground  meat, press into patty shapes o f  even thickness on lids from cottage cheese containers;; stack  &  wrap in plastic wrap & freeze in zip  top  bags.
A  little ime spent on  this one day will save you  much time in the weeks to come; deffinitely worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Money mouthCool

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/25/2011 8:52 PM EDT
Posts: 188
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/9/2014
I tried setting up several baking projects in one day but I screwed up the ingredients by mixing up the bags.  It's easier for me to do one project at a time

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/25/2011 10:40 PM EDT
Posts: 1417
First: 10/26/2009
Last: 3/15/2014
Jeannine, thanks for my giggle of the day! You sound like my older sister. lol

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/26/2011 5:24 AM EDT
Posts: 939
First: 5/3/2009
Last: 10/4/2012
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead. : This is interesting.  I did the same when my kids were home and still measure out things ahead.  I am Frances M  and the message by Fran M could have been written by me.  We are two separate Fran(ces) M's I live in central IL  where is Fran?
Posted by Frances M

 I am in Mi, so we are neighbors Smile

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/26/2011 6:46 AM EDT
Posts: 3541
First: 1/16/2009
Last: 4/17/2014
I try to do things ahead too and clean up as I proceed to save a big job at the end.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/26/2011 10:05 AM EDT
Posts: 1201
First: 9/10/2008
Last: 4/15/2014
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead. : Renee,  Wow! How wonderful to have a husband like that. Did you have to train him or was he alway like that? I have tried to train mine but it hasan't worked!! lol lol I really love him but he leaves a trail from one end of the house to the other.  He really loves to eat whatever make!!  lol lol
Posted by Carol P


Hee hee....I only had to train him as far as showing him the way I do things....after that he's a natural!!! Laughing  PS: He's also a darn good cook on his own!!

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/26/2011 12:03 PM EDT
Posts: 499
First: 8/12/2008
Last: 3/7/2012
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead. :   I am in Mi, so we are neighbors
Posted by FRAN M


Hi neighbor,
How is your fall weather in MI?  Our apples are ready locally so baking apple goodies is high on my list. 
Pre measuring ingredients for apple pancakes and apple bars makes it go quicker when I will be wanting them for breakfast.

The sun is shining and the sky a brilliant blue with puffy white clouds.  Have a beautiful day baking apple goodies

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/30/2011 5:30 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
Off topic again but I wanted to give ((Nikki)) a hug and tell her how fortunate my cats feel!!  Thanks for all that good stuff, especially the measuring cups.   Badcat and Peaches would give you a Thank You hug but they're too busy!! Thank you.
Posted by Nancy G


You and the cats are welcome.  Just glad to know the measuring cups will be used with love and for good cause.  (Now maybe the cats will leave the toilet paper alone for a while.)

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/30/2011 5:37 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
I was wondering after reading these posts that I have alot of canning jars that if I measure the dry ingredients,seal them and label that I could put them in the freezer for ready to go baking?  I know the freezer bags would be space savers. I never thought of pre measure. thanks very best bakers
Posted by linda b


Linda, the canning jars will work very well.  Just make sure you type out the recipe and tape it to the jar so you know what ingredients are in the jar and what procedure you need to follow.  With mixing the flour, spices, baking powder baking soda I would plan on using the ingredients within 2 to 3 months. I would keep brown sugar separate though if that is one of the ingredients.  Often though sugar is added as a wet ingredient so it is possible that in many of the recipes white and brown sugar would not be included with the flour and other dry ingredients.
There are several books called Gifts from a Jar and it does give recipes that can be layered into a jar.  the instructions then list what needs to be added later and baking instructions.  I would imagine almost any recipe could be adapted to a jar.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/30/2011 5:41 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
GRANA here;I also pkg ground beef in 4OZ patties ( 1/2 cup packed firmly) whenI get homefrom the store; hubby puts away the perishables, so I have time to do this. These patties thaw faster for browning meat  to use in dishes  &  I can quickly & easily( no messy  hands, make BIGburgers,  whenever he wants burgers. ???????? Need more 9 than 4 oz. ) meat for   your recipe ???????? Thaw 2 patties   for 1/2 # or 4 patties for a full  #.  To make patties, fill 1/2 cup measure w/ firmly packed ground  meat, press into patty shapes o f  even thickness on lids from cottage cheese containers;; stack  &  wrap in plastic wrap & freeze in zip  top  bags. A  little ime spent on  this one day will save you  much time in the weeks to come; deffinitely worth it! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by ann h

When I buy ground beef in bulk I often brown the whole package then bag it in 1 pound packages.  Much easier to add 1 pound into my sauces or make tacos or sloppy joes when the meat is already cooked. Also 1 pound cooked takes up less room than 1 pound raw when I am sticking it in the freezer.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/30/2011 6:47 PM EDT
Posts: 6
First: 9/12/2011
Last: 10/1/2011

It takes as much time to make 5 batches of cookies as it does one. I freeze the extra batches I don’t bake. When we want cookies, I just take a batch or half a batch out of the freezer, depending on how many cookies we want at the time. I also like to pre-measure cake mixes such as gingerbread cake for the holidays. I’ve already started to make my winter supplies. Baking can be time consuming around the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be if you do a little planning ahead. One year I gave frozen cookie dough as part of my gift boxes to friends and neighbors…everyone loved it! I love homemade cornbread, I make my own dry mix and place it in canning jars, so easy and saves me money too! There are so many things you can store in canning jars/containers for later use. I make my own shake n bake, stuffing mix, meatloaf mix and more. I love to go out to the kitchen and pull from the shelf a half made meal.

Re: Doing things ahead.

posted at 9/30/2011 9:12 PM EDT
Posts: 499
First: 8/12/2008
Last: 3/7/2012
In Response to Re: Doing things ahead.:
It takes as much time to make 5 batches of cookies as it does one. I freeze the extra batches I don’t bake. When we want cookies, I just take a batch or half a batch out of the freezer, depending on how many cookies we want at the time. I also like to pre-measure cake mixes such as gingerbread cake for the holidays. I’ve already started to make my winter supplies. Baking can be time consuming around the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be if you do a little planning ahead. One year I gave frozen cookie dough as part of my gift boxes to friends and neighbors…everyone loved it! I love homemade cornbread, I make my own dry mix and place it in canning jars, so easy and saves me money too! There are so many things you can store in canning jars/containers for later use. I make my own shake n bake, stuffing mix, meatloaf mix and more. I love to go out to the kitchen and pull from the shelf a half made meal.
Posted by Lorie T


Good suggestions!  I haven't been quite as efficient as you.  I'd best get started.
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Forums » Baking Forums » Beginners and Advice » Doing things ahead.