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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baking Day

I love baking days! It is so much easier to make and clean up a big mess in one day then it is to scatter it out over many days. And any extra time or effort pays off many times throughout the month.

I usually scatter out dinners for the freezer throughout a week or so with batch cooking. But baking days are another story. Taking a whole day to have the oven on all day and the mixer working non-stop just makes sense. My kids love baking days too. They get dough to play with and batters to lick. What could be better?

My baking days usually focus around breakfasts, breads and snacks/desserts. But I've started coming up with more lunch ideas that I can prepare ahead of time and freeze. My ultimate goal is to be able to using something from the freezer for at least 1 meal every day.

Here is what was on the agenda for this baking day:
  • Double batch cinnamon rolls (2 dozen)
  • Double batch crepes (2 1/2 dozen)
  • Triple batch banana-chocolate chip muffins (2 dozen)
  • Pizza bagels (1 1/2 dozen)
  • Falafel (2 dozen patties)
  • Double batch waffles (1 1/2 dozen) **Didn't get to this!

Cinnamon rolls - I baked 1 dozen that went into the freezer in freezer bags. For the second half of the dough, I didn't add any of the filling. I just rolled it into a ball and froze it. This way, if I decide to make cinnamon sticks or something different, I'll have the option.
Crepes - For breakfast crepes, I use the same recipe as given in ham & cheese crepes or chicken curry crepes. However, I add 3 T. of sugar and 1 t. vanilla.

To freeze the crepes, I roll them up jelly-roll style and place in freezer bags. To thaw, I pull them out and put in the refrigerator the night before we're going to eat them. I've warmed them up lots of different ways - in the microwave, the oven, and in a dry skillet for a few seconds on each side.Banana-chocolate chip muffins - A perennial breakfast and snack time favorite around our house.
Pizza bagels - So much better then frozen bagel bites! Split bagels, top with pizza sauce, desired toppings, and mozzarella cheese. It's super easy, and even easier when all I have to do is pull them out of the freezer. Reheat in the oven for the best taste. They don't need to be thawed first.
Falafel - They sure look pretty, don't they? But you know, I really wish they tasted as good as they looked. We ate some for lunch and I stuck the rest in the freezer. By the time lunch was over, my husband and I were trying to come up with some creative uses for the frozen falafel pucks. I was so disappointed because I love anything with garbanzo beans. I'll definitely mix things up and try again. Needless to say, I will not be sharing this recipe with you!

Because freezer space is such a precious commodity in our house with only a top-of-the-fridge freezer, I decided to just throw the frozen falafel away. Yes it was disappointing. Yes it felt like a waste. But I had to be honest with myself and admit that we would NEVER eat them. So why waste the space?

Stop by Money Saving Mom to read about Crystal's baking day, as well as many others. And also stop by We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

19 comments: said...

LOVE your pizza bagel idea!!

MJ said...

I think I'll try the pizza bagel idea, I'm always looking for small things to heat and eat for myself during the day!

Michelle said...

wow! didn't realize you were doing all of this freezer cooking with just a fridge freezer! You must be very adept at packing that freezer :)

Amy -Cutting Coupons in KC said...

My son loves homemade pizza bagels. He eats them at least 3-4 times a week! I love making them myself because I use whole grain bagels and organic tomato sauce. I know exactly what goes into them, unlike the frozen pre-made version. Have you read the nutrition on those?? Not to mention the price. I never thought about making the pizza bagels ahead of time and freezing them. I think I will try that this week. What a great idea!!

Donna-FFW said...

Hats off to you. Awesome baking. I love days like that. I am so loving this blog.. How have I not found you before.. So many good things. I cant wait to look around.Nice to meet you:)

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

I love the banana chocolate chip muffins and the bagel idea! This could sure help out with busy mornings and "starving to death after school" snacks!

I can't wait to try these!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

yea for your baking day. I did tons of cooking the last few days and it feels great to stock the freezer. :)

megan said...

never in my life have i thought about making pizza bagel bites...and I am a freezer person
thanks for that tip!
fun site!
glad i stumbled upon it

Ranee said...

What kind of recipe did you use for the falafel? I ask because I would not have recognized them as falafel if you hadn't said that, so I wonder if the flavor was a problem with the recipe. I would expect to see some green from parsley in there, and there should be garlic, cumin and various other spices along with the salt. As for how to serve them now that you have them, I'd add yogurt, olives, feta cheese, lettuce and tomato, cucumbers, hummus, things like that.

Michelle-Favorite Freezer Foods said...

I love the slice of cheese on the bagel bites. So much easier than shredded cheese.

And I hadn't though of crepes for dinner. Think I might make some of my own this week!

Heather Benza said...

Do you cook your bagel pizzas first and then freeze them or are they frozen with just the raw ingredients?

~*Michelle*~ said...

ooooooooooh........crepes for dinner. YUM!

Thanks for the great ideas :)


Sherry said...

Sorry the falafel didn't come out well. :(

You definitely did a huge baking day. I'm going to do some of that today.

I agree the pizza bagels sound delish!!

Mrs. C said...

My mouth is watering. I want one of those cinnamon rolls!!! :)

I am so with you on the whole freezer cooking thing. I do this, too. It was fun to read what you were making. The pizza bagels sound good. I would have never thought of doing that.

from my motorhome to yours said...

I do crepes the same way!!!

Terri said...


Not Another Omnivore said...

I have seen so many recipes involving bananas, chocolate, peanut butter, or a combo of the three today....but they all look great!

And crepes...mmmmm....


Kate said...

Heather and Terri - I bake the bagels before freezing. That makes it quicker to reheat and I'm also less likely to lose any toppings when freezing.

JeannaMO said...

When I looked at the cinnamon roll recipe it said to mix up the dough and then to divide in 2 and roll out two rectangles. Usually you have 2 rises to yeast breads. Does this only have 1 rise (after cutting the rolls?) Sounds awesome if this work as good and these look! Thanks. I love your site! Baking day sounds so much more fun than working in this office all day! ughh!