Have you looked at a calendar lately? It's friggin NOVEMBER! ALREADY!! Christmas commercials are already being shown on TV (I'm looking at you Target). Now, I love Christmas as much as the next person - just ask my husband. I grew up with a father who started listening to Christmas music in JULY. And I won't lie - I do it too. White Christmas is one of my favorite movies of all time and I will watch it at any time (again, just ask my husband). Bing Crosby just has one of those voices that just makes you float away on a soft, puffy cloud on a bright, sunshine-y day while the birds land on your finger and whistle in tune... okay, that may be a bit excessive but you get the idea. But I need to get through the baking items of Thanksgiving before I can even begin planning what Christmas things I'm going to bake.
I do love the holiday for more than just my love of Bing Crosby. As you may have guessed, another reason is simply because it gives me an excuse to bake. A lot. I've loved baking since I was a little girl and its turned into a love that's continued on into my adulthood (or just really-super-grown-up-little-kid, that works too). Each year, my best friend and I put our cooking/baking skills to good use and make up Christmas tins full of baked goodies for our family to enjoy. However, last year, my world was turned upside down. My father was diagnosed with diabetes. And, you guessed it, he was one of the main people I got to try my recipes (if it was terrible, he'd tell me, no dancing around with him). That just presented a huge problem because last year was the first year where I was like, "I'm going to bake gifts this year." Yeah, that worked. I did end up making him lots of spice mixes for him to use all the meat he likes to eat (dad is a hunter and the freezer is usually well stocked with venison and pheasant and sometimes you'll even find some wild boar) so everything came out okay.
Back to baking for the holiday season. Because it's November. November 8th people - as in 14 days until Thanksgiving and 47 days until Christmas. You should begin freaking out now. Or....... you can use my Freezer Baking Cheat Sheet! Baking ahead of time can cause a large amount of your holiday headaches to go away. I know that I've always wanted to try baking and freezing items to use a moment's notice but I either couldn't find what I was looking for and got ill and gave up or just decided to make something else. With this cheat sheet, you have easily within your reach, the ability to have scones, pies, biscuits, breads, and even CINNAMON ROLLS ready to go at a moments notice (I've even gone the extra mile and told you how you can have individual cinnamon rolls ready to go in a moment's notice which might wreak havoc on your waistline but oh well). I've included keep times for how long you can keep those items in the freezer without suffering an effects on the taste or texture. I must, MUST give complete credit to the awesome people at King Arthur Flour who did all the work and posted their results on their blog. I just compiled all that stuff and put it all together.
Freezer Baking Cheat Sheet
(if anyone has issues opening this - which you shouldn't - please leave a comment below.)