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“Baking Day” list for tomorrow


(Teaching the girls how to boil, peel, cut, and stuff eggs as part of our homeschool lessons a few weeks ago.)

After a long hiatus, I'm back to doing menu planning and Baking Days! It's amazing how good it feels to be getting back "into the groove" (Nevermind the fact that my baby boy is almost five months old! It seems I just had him; I can't believe how quickly time goes!).

I'm planning to host a Baking Day here tomorrow and I'll be live-blogging it like usual. However, since I'm trying to do more freezer cooking now that our homeschooling is in full swing, I'm actually going to be doing more cooking than baking. I've never combined the two like this before, so I'm anxious to see how it goes.

You can follow along with my progress on my blog and you can also follow along/join in on Twitter with the hastag #BakingDay. Speaking of which, I'd love to have you join me by doing some of your own baking. At the end of the day, I'll post a Mr. Linky so that everyone can link up and share what they accomplished in their kitchens tomorrow.

The Proposed (and likely way-too-ambitious!) Baking/Cooking Day List:

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Waffles

Homemade Applesauce

Pinto Beans (cook up and freeze)


Spaghetti Pie

Farmhouse Chicken

Chicken Tetrazzini

Barbecue Meatballs

Homemade Hot Pockets
Southwest Chicken Roll-ups
Turkey Enchiladas

Recipes, pictures, and more will be coming in my live-blogged posts tomorrow. And now I'm heading out for a quick trip to the store and then coming home to clean up my kitchen and thaw out meat, milk, and anything else I need for the morning!

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  • Carrie says:

    Woman! Don’t you ever get tired? If I’d had my kid at the doctor’s all day today I’d want to collapse right now.

  • Christy says:

    WOW! How do you accomplish THAT much all in one day? Seriously, I’m incredibly curious especially with having three young children at home. I would be lucky to knock one or two of those items off of my list, so please share HOW you do it? I must just not organize my time very well. My husband tells me that anyway. 🙂 Also, your girls are so darn cute! Love the matching outfits too!!

  • Ellen Drake says:

    whoa… you are my hero! 🙂 Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

  • Love the idea Crystal. I hope to participate too. Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you and compare notes.

  • Phil says:

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing the Spaghetti Pie and Southwest Chicken Roll-ups recipes. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Yay! I’ve missed your inspiring posts of your baking days. It makes me want to grab and apron and head to the kitchen!

  • Ellen says:

    Looking forward to it…but boy, that’s a lot of items in 1 day.

  • I started my baking day today, but I plan to continue tomorrow. I had a crazy morning of appointments and errands, so I knew I couldn’t accomplish it all.

    Can’t wait to follow everyone along and see what they’re making!

  • Samantha Valenzuela says:

    I am soooo excited!!! I think that I am going to join you in this!!!! I have been contemplating…but i think I will give it a whirl!!! Good Luck to you!

  • Leigh says:

    I’d love to know what you do for homeschooling. Do you have a curriculum that you use? I am doing ‘preschool’ with my 2.5 year old this year and am always on the lookout for things to do.

  • sarah says:

    do you have a recipe for pizza dough that you make and freeze? i am not sure how to make it, how to freeze it and how to thaw it. i am desperate enough to post my email here for all to see…please email me your fave recipe with a step by step, make, freeze, thaw bake! i am a cook but def not a baker….but i am trying…

  • Kim says:

    Your girls are always dressed so cute and with matching outfits so they can’t be hand me downs. Would you be willing to share how you do that on a budget?

    Money Saving Mom here: Some of their outfits or parts of their outfits are hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. If I buy new things for them, I almost always get them through or I wait until they have a great sale or coupon code and free shipping, order from their clearance section, and order through eBates. By doing so, I can get them very, very reasonably.

    I also only have around 6-8 outfits total for each of my children. I’ve found it’s not only a lot less expensive, but it keeps things so much simpler for me!

  • Cher says:

    What precious girls! It is so neat to see how you teach them responsibility. Crystal, you are a great great mother!

  • Annie says:

    Sarah, I’ll email you Crystal’s recipe for pizza dough, along with her suggestions for freezing. We personally love it and use it frequently. I usually make 3-4 times the recipe at a time to save prep time in the future!

    Crystal, I’m so glad to see that you’ll be cooking and freezing beans! I did recently as an experiment, and it turned out wonderfully! Once they’ve cooled a bit from cooking, I measure out 4 cups (of beans & liquid) and freeze them in a quart-sized freezer bag. 4 cups = about 2 cans. I usually do about 2 pounds of dried beans per pot. It saves so much time. One of the ways we’ve used the beans recently was to throw them with some corn and a small amount of chicken and cheese onto a tortilla to make quesadillas for lunch. MMM…. Here’s a link to one of our favorite bean recipes…inspired by many of your readers who do meatless meals on occasion.


  • Kathy Davis says:

    Please share how much the girls will be involved with you and how you will be able to accomplish so much with them there. What will they be doing while you are cooking and baking? Do they get antsy or fussy at any point?

  • Josette says:

    I am anxious to learn how you freeze your pinto beans. I use alot of pinto beans to make refried beans for burritos. Is that what you are doing?

    The barbeque meatballs how is that served in a sandwhich or what? My hubby loves barbeque and this might be a winner with him.

    I have a couple of months left before we are “due” so I am trying to freeze up some meals.

  • Penny says:

    I love your baking days! Soon I will be having these type of days, I am quitting my job to be a stay at home mom – I am so excited!

  • Love your ambition! And you usually get it all done, too. I generally lurk without posting and your baking days are always interesting. I had NEVER thought to cook pinto beans ahead and then freeze them. Reading that I had a “Duh” moment. I make and freeze about half of what we eat, so new ideas are always great to find. Pinto beans! I think I thought they would just dry out.

  • Abby H says:

    I just went shopping today and put those pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and pinto beans, as well as some freezer meals to put on my menu! I wont be cooking until thursday though! I just got a great book called “dont panic, dinners in the freezer” that has a ton of great freezer recipes!

  • azrachelmarie says:

    You are my hero. *sigh* I wanna be like you when I grow up. ;0) heehee I’m just jealous – my son would never let me get that much accomplished in a day! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  • Emily says:

    Hi, wow, yes obviously I’m new here…so I have a question not so related to baking days, but to buying in bulk ahead of time. Do you ever find that when you buy say 16 boxes of cereal by the end it has gone bad? I recently came across a great sale on the cereal I eat and can’t decide how much to buy. I also wondered about freezing muffins, do you just put them in freezer bags after cooling? I’m in such awe of your website, I can’t wait to read more! Thanks so much in advance!

  • Sara says:

    Wow you are ambitious Crystal!! I love the photo of your girls and the eggs, just tonight I had my daughter help me make boiled eggs.

    I think I will join you in this with my own recipes tommorrow.

  • Tammy L says:

    I hope you have a great baking/cooking day! 🙂 I usually only attempt one “extra” thing besides our regular meals, unless it’s Friday, when I cook for Sabbath as well! 🙂 I’d be interested to hear if you continue your usual activities on a baking day… like school work, outside playtime/exercise, etc… 🙂 Or maybe you start bright and early before the kids are awake? 🙂

    Anyway, have fun, and maybe I’ll have something to link up at the end of the day… maybe! 🙂

  • Erika says:

    Awesome! I finally timed a baking/prep day right on time with yours :-). I might actually be able to Mr. Linky to it if my kids let me get it accomplished tommorrow.

    Good luck with the baking and cooking, Crystal! I know how it can be a handfull and a half with young kids and trying to get everything done when you have a day like yours planned is going to be difficult. I hope you pull it off and look forward to your sharing of recipes (I make the farmhouse chicken as often as I can to freeze…lordy that stuff is GREAT!).

  • Ashley M says:

    Applesauce in the slow cooker is a cinch!

  • Katie says:

    Okay – I’m completely blown away by your energy. I noticed that you post threads all hours of the night; do you sleep?

    How do you entertain silas during this time? I have a 4 month year old who refuses to be put down. I have to cook all our dinners on Sunday night and freeze them in containers for the week ahead. My husband kindly holds the baby whilst I do this!

  • karin says:

    Wow, that is a lot to make in one day! Good luck and have fun!

  • nydia says:

    I love to read about your baking days, although I have yet to try it myself. I am just not ambitious. I noticed how nicely you have your girls dressed, and it made me wonder…how do you keep their clothes looking so nice??? Esp, with that type of project, my children would have that egg mixture all over them, and the clothes would be ruined. I might just not be as careful with my childrens things, I have clothes that we Play in at home, and I save the nicer things for when we go out. I have been trying to minimize things in our home, and would love to do this with their clothes but I dont know how when they ruin so much, I feel like I have to have extras to make it through the season because we lose many to stains.

  • Lisa says:

    I have made your Farmhouse Chicken recipe and my family LOVES it! It is real comfort food.

    So… how to do you make and freeze that? I could benefit from having that dish on hand in my freezer.

  • Tiffany says:

    Can you please share how you do all this with 3 little ones at home? I can hardly get dinner prepared with my two. Do you take advantage of naptime, or do it while they’re sleeping? Do you ever sleep?!

  • Carin says:

    sounds like a great day of cooking and A LOT of dishes to wash!!! LOL You sound like a great mom & wife! Love your website too!!!

  • Wendy says:

    I made Brownies Monday night and Pancakes last night and I was super proud of myself! You put me to shame BIG TIME!!! 🙂 Your girls are adorable!

  • Melissa G says:

    Wow! What an ambitious list!

    I plan to do a little baking/cooking today myself. I’ll have to post my link on Mr. Linky when he’s up.

    Can’t wait to see what you cook up!

  • Johanna says:

    Just curious about how big your freezer is? All I have is a the one above the fridge. There is no way, I could fit all that in my freezer. Is it worth the $ for a larger freezer?

  • jamie says:

    i’m in too! i have a ton of apples to work with so thanks for the link the the apple post. i have a 4 YO and 2 YO to keep entertained and i have to teach a stamp class tonight. hope it works out.

    and for some home preschool ideas, i have been posting a lot at my blog:

  • Erin says:

    I am so jealous! I wish I could do baking days. I am home today with my youngest, she is sick, and you have me checking my pantries to see what I could make during nap times….;)

  • good luck! I work full time outside the home so can’t participate, but on Sunday at 6am I did my baking: 2 loaves of sourdough, a batch of zucchini brownies, coffee cake and butternut squash, and I was done by 8am 🙂

  • Ann says:

    I’d love to join you for baking day, but I have to work outdside the home tomorrow. And not to mention that I’m completely out of flour and don’t plan to go to the store again this week.
    Even though I usually can’t join you, I enjoy reading about your baking days.

  • Jennifer says:

    Omigosh! How do you do all of that in one day with little ones around??

  • Sue says:

    Looking forward to joining in on the baking days in about 5 months when our first little one is born and I’ll be home full time. Until then…I’m really looking forward to seeing your homemade hot pocket recipe! Sounds like something perfect to pack for lunches? I don’t know about where you are, but I’m in CT and it’s a PERFECT day for baking…dreary, rainy, cool, and windy. Enjoy!!

  • LANA says:

    How do you get all of that done with your kids around? Amazing- REALLY!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi! I’m sort of doing a baking 2-day thing, since I can’t devote a whole day to it. I started yesterday (Tues.) and am finishing up today. I’m working on my after-baby stash (2nd due in Nov.) Here is what I’ve been working on, mostly for my freezer:

    4 Pizza kits (homemade dough, measured sauce, grated cheese, and either browned and seasoned lean hamburger or low-fat pepperoni)
    Pasta e Fajiole Soup (doubled from last night’s dinner)
    Extra browned lean ground beef for future meals
    Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole (doubled from tonight’s dinner)
    2 doz pumpkin choc chip muffins (now a fave thanks to you!)
    1 doz banana muffins
    double batch whole wheat pancakes
    double batch sugar-free jello for my hubby to take to work (put in individual plastic containers)

    So far, I have 10 dinner-type meals in my freezer for after the baby, as well as 4-5 dozen baked goods. I still have 7 weeks to my due date, so I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. I just make a goal of adding at least 2 things a week to my stash. Can’t wait to see your baking day updates!!! I love seeing your girls helping out!


  • Heather Clark says:

    Wow…you are amazing!!! I have 2 kids and cant even begin to imagine how you accomplish what you do..i look at that list and think impossible and you made that list and probably will get it all done…guess i need to change my mindset..But I do need to give you a special way to go because I too am planning on homeschooling…I am so glad to see that you are teaching your children not just “curriculum” but valuable life skills..From managing a household to cooking skills..these are things that just arent being taught I am so glad to see that there are some parents out there that are wise and realize that is lacking and making an effort to teach their children 🙂 Great job with everything keep going 🙂

  • Jennifer Rowe says:

    Oh how I wish I was not at work! I would love be at home following along and preparing some of your yummy recipes listed!! I cannot wait and hope to get to do some of this over the weekend!! Have fun 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I dream of doing this one day!! You are a true inspiration to me. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Hopefully it will give me the motivation to try it myself. I just have the hardest time making time to do this with my little ones being so young and demanding. But you give me hope that I can do it!

  • Alison Armstrong says:

    I find it easier for me to do chicken meals one day and beef another day. I also double/ triple recipes when I am doing it. I am trying to get the freezers really stocked before baby #3 but I am running out of freezer space!

  • Missie says:

    I cannot wait to see the pictures and recipes! And of course, your girls are adorable!


  • Andrea says:

    You have way more energy than I will ever have. Do tell us how you freeze the beans, though. I would like to do that—I hate using canned beans but sometimes you just don’t have time to cook dried from scratch.

  • sarah smith says:

    Homemade hot pockets i will be back tom. i never thought about doing it myself we eat these once a week for lunch and with 5 of us we need 3 boxes!! oh the money i will save!! I am also looking forward to the waffles which my kids eat up!! I am going to check out e-bates now!!

  • Janell says:

    I sent you a blog award
    Have a great day!

  • Diana says:

    By any chance are u going to share the recipes cuz I love trying new things and I want to do a baking/cooking day also. I’ve become busier then usual and would try to do the freezer cooking or cooking for the month thing to see if it works for me. So any recipes u could throw my way would be awesome.

  • Wow, you sure are ambitious! I hope you are able to get it all done, but even if you don’t, I still admire you for trying:-) I know how difficult it is to get much done with homeschooling and babies and littles in the house all day. I love your blog, thanks for the inspiration and hard work you put into it.

  • So, are you freezing the meals too and then eating them later?

  • Caitlin Mae says:

    Yeah I’m so glad you are doing a baking day finally! I wish I wasn’t at work so I could really follow along and bake some of my own things. Oh I can’t wait for the day when I can be a stay at home mom!

  • Mandi says:

    I hope your baking day goes well today! I just did a batch of once a month cooking on Saturday with a couple of friends. I love having a full freezer!

    I wanted to echo a question from one of the other comments re: your daughter’s clothes. They are super cute! I have thought about trying to eliminate a lot of clothes and go down to just 8 or so outfits, too. (We get tons of hand me downs so I rarely have to buy, but their clothes tend to be a bit of a mess b/c of volume.) But I am also concerned with how hard they are on their clothes. How do you keep them nice with that few? Do you have any secrets? One of my daughters is especially hard on clothes. If I buy her anything, I always think about what will hide stains best! =)

  • I had a baking day on Monday, when I made 36 pumpkin muffins. Today, I am doubling a stuffed shells recipe- One for the freezer and one for dinner, tomorrow. I tend to like splitting up my baking days, otherwise it is too overwhelming for me. I love that you are blogging this…how fun!

  • Kasey says:

    I really need to do alot more of this so I will be watching. Can you maybe post something with other people’s recipes too or maybe links to their blogs?

  • Honey says:

    I find that sometimes I am not in the mood to have the children cook with me-if I’m in a hurry, pms, etc. But most times I like having an assistant to help with chopping and other simple tasks-makes it go quicker. Also, I was an only child and my mother never let me do anything in the kitchen. So I try to let my kids (especially the girls) learn.
    I have a busy day, but I am trying to fit in the following:
    Chicken Rotelle (casserole for dinner-double for freezer)
    Deviled eggs-inspired by Crystal
    Granola Bars
    Boil corn
    Start bread dough

  • Crystal, I love following your blog. I do these baking days too ! I also do cook all the meat, pasta, casseroles , etc. I check in with your blog often and thought it was due time for me to make a comment. I am adding a recipe section to my blog for all the money saving recipes or “extras” in your food storage and pantries. Thanks for sharing all your tips and ideas!

    Savings Queen

  • Candice says:

    I’m interested in your Pinto bean freezer method. We love them and actually grew up eating pinto beans and cornbread for supper. But I’ve never froze it before. When I freeze chili (with beans) sometimes the beans are mushy when defrosted. How do the pinto beans fare? Would love to hear from you…thanks!

  • Missy Coates says:

    Okay – those girls of yours are ADORABLE!!! and….great job on all that you accomplished!!

  • Rebecca says:

    I would love to see some recipes for homemade applesauce, in the crockpot is great, since I homeschool 4 kids. If you make applesauce but not in the crockpot, that’s fine too. I have about 20 lbs. of apples that need to be worked SOON!!!!

  • Eileen says:

    I’ve been having trouble making hard cooked eggs. I can’t get the shells to peel off easily without taking away half of the egg with them. Any suggestions? I see even your little ones have this down pat. he, he

  • jae says:

    Your girls are precious, cute tops. Thanks for posting this you are inspiring me to start my marathon cooking up again. Its amazing how much easier the week goes when you have taken some time out to do this.

  • jones says:

    LOVE this page Thanks!

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