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Baking Day: Whole-Wheat Waffles and Ground Turkey

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The dishwasher is humming, the chicken is boiling, the noodles are cooling, the waffles are baking, the girls are practicing their ABC's with Starfall at the kitchen table, Silas is sleeping, and I finally have a chance to sit down and post an update on my progress!

First thing this morning, I browned a big pot of ground turkey, turkey sausage, and ground beef. We prefer ground beef, but I was able to get some great deals on quality turkey over the last few months, so I'm being creative with what I have. I browned them altogether so I'm hoping it somewhat hides the ground turkey.

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(My apologies to any pregnant woman who is reading this. I'm sure that a picture of raw meat cooking is anything but appetizing!)

I'll be using the browned turkey in lasagna, spaghetti pie, and freezing some to have on hand for homemade pizza nights. I've found that if the meat is already cooked, half the work of putting together a pizza is done!

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After I got the meat browning, I mixed up a batch of Whole Wheat Waffles (see the recipe here). I took the recipe by five so it is making quite a massive amount of waffles!

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As I usually do, I used milk that I had gotten reduced and frozen. This time, it was organic milk which I picked up for $0.59 per half gallon after the reduction and coupons. I also used fresh-ground whole-wheat flour and fresh eggs from my family's farm so these waffles are packed with good nutrition!

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Once the waffles are cooled, I'll stick them into freezer bags and then we'll just pull them out and reheat them for quick and delicious breakfasts!

While the waffles were baking, I rinsed the pot I used to cook up the meat in and got the water started to boil the noodles. And then I cleaned up my very messy kitchen, started the dishwasher, got drinks and a snack for the girls, helped them get started on some new projects. (Since both girls are running fevers, I'm not having them help with cooking today so that our food doesn't get sick germs passed into it! So I'm pulling out a variety of fun things for them to work on while they rest.)

Then I was back to the kitchen to drain the noodles and start cooking up the chicken.

Next up: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pinto Beans, and Hot Pockets

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60 Comments

  • anoo says:

    AWESOME!!!
    my mouth’s watering…:)

  • Samantha Valenzuela says:

    Great Idea…..Let us know if the ground beef/turkey combo turns out the way you intended!!

  • Hey Crystal – I’m wondering what the machine pictured next to your milk is? Is that your wheat grinder?

    ******************
    Money Saving Mom: Yes, you got it! That’s my grain mill. Love it and am so thankful for my dad’s generosity to buy it for me.

  • Heather N. says:

    Look great! My daughter is running a 102.6 fever today. I’ve been cooking while she is resting too. I’ve made chili, mini meat loaves and 2 pots of potato soup today. I’m thinking of making more, but monitoring her fever too, so we’ll see how that goes. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • SarahD says:

    I’m 20 weeks pregnant and, oh my, I looked at the picture of the raw meat and thought, ‘don’t look at it, don’t look at it’, so I scrolled down quickly and read your apology to the pregnant women… and you are so right! Thanks for thinking of that! I forgive you and I kept reading in spite of that picture!!!

  • Jessica says:

    Do you freeze all of your meals? Such as the spag pie and lasagnas? (I am new to this site so I wasn’t sure if that was why you were doing it.)

  • Amber Clark says:

    What recipe do you use for your waffles? They look great.

  • Mandy Harmon says:

    Wow!! Those waffles look so yummy. Would you mind posting your homemade recipe? I’d love to make some to put away in the freezer!!

    **************
    Money Saving Mom here: The recipe is linked in the post. IN case that doesn’t work for you, here you go:

    https://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/01/baking-day-part-3.html

    Enjoy!

  • Kim Mustola says:

    Wow, you are an inspiration! I have sick little daughter too who is taking a nap! I have a question: Do you just freeze the extra meat? I have honestly never thought of doing that! Thanks!

    ********************
    Money Saving Mom here: I freeze cooked up meat all the time. It saves me so much time in dinner preparation later on and it’s easy to make up in a big batch.

  • Tina says:

    Wanted to share my 7 dollar chicken story with you.
    Also have you linked on my page.
    http://disciplineddollars.blogspot.com/2009/10/7-chickens.html

  • Laura says:

    BAKE IT Girlfriend! AWESOME! Getting inspired here at work! This is awesome! I plan on making a HUGE batch of Veggie soup with the REALLY CHEAP Birdseye veggies. I have the meat cooking in the crock-pot while I’m here working and admiring your cooking spirit today! YOU GO!

  • Teresa says:

    I was wondering if you systematically shop for meat mark-downs (like the ground turkey you show in the picture)? What store do you go for the reduced meats and when is best to catch those deals? Thanks for your hard work and your posting! You have been a great blessing to my family!

  • Mandy says:

    I just got done making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and they are so good! I need to pop some in the freezer so I don’t eat them all.

  • Stephanie says:

    Crystal,
    I have found that when I make up ground turkey, flavoring it with beef broth seems to make it tastier. We don’t love ground turkey but when we can snag it inexpensively we do!

  • jen says:

    I made chocolate chip banana muffins today and didnt even realize they were on your list!
    Darn- I should have used your recipe, I ended up just googling one. I am anxious to compare. Thanks for sharing all your ideas with us!

  • Courtney says:

    I have to ask (and I totally understand if you don’t have time to answer) how do you make your waffles look so perfect? I don’t know if it’s our waffle-maker or user error 😉 but our waffles never look like that!

  • Audrey says:

    I have found that the marked-down meat section varies greatly from store to store. Just ask at the meat counter when they do it. Some are in the morning, ours is in the afternoon. Kroger is always the most generous with mark-downs. Wherever you are, if you ever see a product that is really close–ASK! Especially if they have a ton of it with much later dates. They may not have found it yet and they know they won’t sell it with all the other ones on the shelf.

  • Staci says:

    I have a question about freezer cooking. My only really experience with freezer cooking is with the Saving Dinner Freezer Menus. In their literature, they emphasize the importance of buying fresh meat, preparing your freezer meals right away, and then freezing…the point is that the meat is not frozen, thawed, and then refrozen. From your post, it sounds like you do sometimes freeze meat, then thaw it and cook it on a baking day, then refreeze in meal form for later. Is my understanding correct…and if I’m correct, I’m assuming that you feel that the taste isn’t affected by freezing, thawing, then refreeezing??? Thanks!

  • Kathleen says:

    Wow!!! I am quite amazed…even when sick, my boys NEVER rest!!!! Great job and thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Beeb says:

    I am overdue for a baking day of my own! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kaitlin says:

    I’m pretty new to bulk cooking and am wondering if there’s any problem with thawing out frozen (raw) meat, cooking it, and then refreezing? I’m assuming that’s what you’re doing, right? Thanks!

  • Kim says:

    I love your updates, Crystal!

    Using a waffle iron has always intimidated me; I haven’t had much success in the past.
    Do you have any helpful tips to share? Is yours a Belgian waffle maker or a standard one?

    Kim from Philadelphia

  • Michelle B. says:

    Hello Crystal,

    I was wondering how your Sam’s Club trip went?
    Were you happy with what you could find in bulk?

    Michelle

  • Beth says:

    You rock my socks off mama! Next time I am going to join you in cooking/baking!

  • To answer a few of the questions here:

    ::My waffle maker is a Belgian waffle maker. I use a full soup ladle of batter per waffle and that seems to work well.

    ::I know that some think you should only use fresh meat for freezer meals, I’ve personally done it both ways and never seen a difference.

    ::The Sam’s trip went well. I’ll give a full report for Super Savings Saturday.

    Thanks for all your kind encouragement and joining along in this Baking Day. It makes it so much more fun!

    Now back to work… 🙂

  • Rebecca W. says:

    Wow, Crystal, you are my Superhero! Thanks for all you do. 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    We are in the middle of making pita pocket bread and I am cooking up chicken with stir fry veggies. I am enjoying seeing what you are cooking.

    I am currently battling a cold so the boys were on Starfall this morning too. I love it and love the books that go with it!

    Thanks for sharing your great recipes!

  • Angela says:

    Hi Crystal,
    Whenever we use Turkey, I add a few spices like marjoram, sage or savory. It tends to make it taste a little more like beef or pork. Those are the spices used in sausage, so you may want to tailor it to what you’re cooking. If you are making tacos or burritos, I bet a bit of cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper would improve the taste a bunch.

    Angela

  • Julia says:

    Go, Crystal, go! 🙂

  • Colleen Coberley says:

    When it comes to ground meat of any kind I just buy whatever is usually cheapest. When you season and cook it makes such a difference!

  • Actually, I’m pregnant (just barely out of the first trimester yuckies!), and that raw meat looked surprisingly appetizing … maybe the baby wants some ground turkey or something!! 🙂

  • Lena Jackson says:

    The comment about the pic of raw meat cracks me up! During both my pregnancies, I couldn’t look at it, smell it or eat it. Too funny. This may be a silly question but in your picture of the waffle mix with milk, is that an electric mixer for all of your batter?

  • Jessica says:

    I noticed one other comment on adding spices… here is what I use.
    Seasoned Ground Turkey (per pound)
    taken from Sue Gregg’s Eating Better Cookbooks
    1/8 tsp each of the following:
    nutmeg
    thyme
    garlic powder
    sage
    1 T Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
    2 T catchup or tomato sauce
    (You can also blend 2 T of each herb and add 1/5 a tsp to a pound of ground turkey along with the sauces)

  • Erin says:

    Hello!

    I know there’s a whole new world of freezing out there that I don’t know about, so thank you for your ideas! When making your waffles, can you put cut up fruit in them and still freeze them? For instance,we’re going apple picking this weekend and my son LOVES waffles. Can I put diced apples in the waffles batter, make up a big batch, and freeze them?

    Thanks again!!

  • Lisa says:

    Crystal, I’m a huge fan and I read your blog every day, at least 10 times. 🙂 How often do you have baking days? I love the waffle idea, that’s one for that I’m going to do. My girls love waffles!! I have found a product in Publix and Winn Dixie stores called Batter Blaster and it comes in a can like RediWhip and it’s organic!!! it’s really good!! I will have to go with that route since I work full time outside the home! I can’t wait to see what your doing next!!!

  • Mavis D says:

    Already cooked meat in the freezer is a great time saver and mixing the turkey with the ground beef should work fine. I’ve done it before and it makes cooking the turkey a LOT easier because the beef adds fat that makes cooking easier.

    We did the frozen waffles too…it worked great as well.

    I do have a question. How often do you DO a baking day? Is it once a week, once every two weeks?

    We have a much larger family so I cook and spend more but you’ve got great ideas! Thanks for being such an encouragement to others! 🙂

  • Charlene says:

    I use ground turkey from time to time–I’ve found that if I use it in things like spaghetti, chili, taco soup, etc, it works fine, especially when mixed with ground beef. We don’t care for it “straight”–plain, in patties, etc., it has to be in something with sauce and fairly heavy seasonings.

  • Sara says:

    Great Job Crystal!!!

  • jamie says:

    today i got 18 cups of diced frozen apples into the freezer. but i decided to save baking for tomorrow since today was so beautiful out. instead of baking, we picked more apples to work on tomorrow. well, i did skin a bunch of split chicken for my DH to cut up. and i froze 10 cups of coffee for homemade mocha chillers. hope you accomplish all you hope to! looks like you’re doing great.

  • We’ve had fun with Baking Day and following all the tweets and everyone’s progress. We must made our pumpkin bread and I’m waiting for it to come out of the oven. Fall always puts me in the mood to bake.

    Can’t wait to see what other goodies y’all come up with.

  • Sarah B says:

    “I’m pretty new to bulk cooking and am wondering if there’s any problem with thawing out frozen (raw) meat, cooking it, and then refreezing? I’m assuming that’s what you’re doing, right? Thanks!”

    No, there isn’t a problem with this. In fact, if you thaw raw meat and then decide not to use it, you *should* cook it before refreezing.

    Tip: we don’t have a large stock pot so I brown my bulk meat in the oven, at 350, stirring every 10 minutes. I can do 5 – 6 lbs of ground meat at a time this way.

  • Ann says:

    I’ve never seen reduced milk before. Where do you find it?

  • Charmel says:

    One thing I love to do with cooked frozen turkey: reheat it in a pan with taco seasoning and a can of tomato sauce. Then serve it with taco fixins. I always have frozen cooked turkey on hand so this a quick goto meal for my family. And they have never missed the beef. In fact I haven’t made beef tacos in over 2 years since I discovered this turkey recipe.

  • Mandy says:

    I just found a coupon for $10 off the new release of Snow White!!! I had to tell you right away. I just bought it at Safeway, where you also get a free pumpkin and small bottle of juice when you buy it. The coupon is at http://www.snowwhiteoffer.com

    Enjoy!

  • Christel S says:

    Funny.. we just made turkey helper (instead of hamburger helper).. same brand too. LOL Love the “baking day” idea! I,too, make huge batches and freeze if possible.. but stuff doesn’t stay frozen long (esp. cookies). We sure like to eat around here!

  • Lee says:

    I was just so excited to read that you use Starfall that I had to post! We started using it when my son was 18 months & I had no clue how much he was learning until my sister informed me that he knew his letters! LOVE STARFALL!!! You are doing such an amazing job with this blog. Praying for you in SC!

  • Katie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I’m suppose to be working but love reading about you baking days so took a break. I hope your little girls are better soon. It’s horrible when they’re ill.

  • I have never boiled chicken, but I had some amazing boiled once. Do you boil whole chickens? Chicken breast? Wings? Legs? What else do you boil ckicken for?

    Also, never tried ground turkey but havebeen tempted to buy it. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  • Lydia says:

    We switched to ground turkey primarily about a year ago and never looked back. We love it for everything except burgers. That’s the only time we’ve ever used it in place of ground beef where we could tell any difference. It cooks up nicer, there’s less fat, and it’s better for your heart. We still buy gound beef when it’s a great price and we’ll freeze it in small packages, but it gets used less and less in our house.

  • Liz Stewart says:

    Crystal, girl, you ROCK! Your posts are so inspirational! Thank you for being the awesome woman God called you to be 😀

  • Courtney says:

    I never knew you could freeze milk until you mentioned doing so a couple months ago. Light bulb moment for me! We buy Organic Valley, too, and Hyvee always marks it down when it’s near the sell by date. Combine that with coupons and then stick it in the freezer and we’ve got very reasonably priced organic milk. Thanks, Crystal!

  • Molly says:

    Crystal,
    I love reading about your baking days and getting ideas!

    I also have a question about the waffle maker, do you mind telling us what brand you use? I am not happy with mine, I got it very cheap on Black Friday so I am looking for a better one so I can make better waffles!

    Also, do you have a deep freezer? How do you store all the food?

    If you have time to answer my questions, I appreciate it, if not I understand!

    Molly

  • I always use your waffle recipe that I read a while back on one of your other baking days. It is a very good one and also your banana bread recipe is one of mine and my families favorites. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us all. I hope your daughters are feeling better.

  • kim says:

    which brand of grain mill do you use? I’m looking for one and don’t know which to go with. thanks for your help and i love your blog.

  • Jessica says:

    What’s your preferred method for reheating the frozen waffles?

  • Mary says:

    Please, please, please post your recipe for waffles to freeze. And what is a really good waffle iron? I’m asking for one for Christmas.

  • Linda Bossle says:

    This whole post is awesome. What a blessing. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that, include pictures, the whole thing. You are an awesome teacher and encourager and I truly appreciate what you are doing.

  • Christal says:

    HI CRYSTAL~CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU RE HEAT THE WAFFLES?? THANKS!

  • Beth says:

    Where do you buy your whole wheat pearls for your grain mill?? I’m looking for a better price than our local organic grocery store. THANKS!

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