Baking – One Month at a Time

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 30, 2009

Last weekend I had myself a little “bake-a-thon”!!!..inspired by the gals at Once A Month Mom.  I have been making GFCFSF snacks for the boys for several months now.  I used to make mini muffins and mini loaves every week.   I finally tired of that and decided to try making 4 times the muffins…that will last the whole month.

(Sorry about all the funky lighting issues in the photos!  It was late and I wasn’t thinking clearly!)

For Hubs…Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Bars

These are Hubs’ FAVE cookies and seeing how Quaker Oats have been nearly free lately, and raisins were “free” at Walgreens the other week…I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity!


I made a batch of cookies, batch of cookie bars, and then rolled up the rest of the dough in plastic wrap for the freezer.  I can cut off however many cookies I’d like to bake from the frozen dough when he runs out of the other cookies!

Hubs' Stash

I also made him 2 9×13 pans of banana bread.  I like the way banana bread comes out when baked in a 9×13, rather than a loaf pan.  1 loaf pan recipe makes 1 9×13’s worth of “banana bread bars.”

Boys' Mini Muffins and Mini Loaves

For the Boys…I made Pear Mini Muffins, Zucchini Mini Loaves, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins and Mini Loaves.  I used my Fruit and Veggie Muffin recipe to make each batch. (What do you think…am I Type A or Type B???)

Freezer Shelf for GFCFSF snacks

The boys’ snacks have a special shelf in the freezer.  The mini muffins make a perfect snack and the mini loaves are nice for breakfasts!

Crust Pieces

While I was mixing up the batter and forming all the cookies and muffins, the bread machine was busy making a loaf of GFCFSF bread for the boys.  The crust on this bread was really tough, so I had the foresight (at 11:30 pm!!!) to cut off the crust and dry it out in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Time to Make Rice Bread Crumbs

I filled up the blender with the dried out crust pieces and pulsed them into bread crumbs.

Adding Spices to Rice Bread Crumbs

I mixed in some salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika with the rice bread crumbs and stashed it in the freezer.  When I make “Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets” I’ll have my rice bread crumbs ready.  I could have spent over $5 for a box of GF bread crumbs at the store, BUT I’d much rather make my own for a fraction of that cost…using something I already had and knew the boys would want cut off!

I can’t wait to do this again…but next time I won’t start at 7:30 pm!!!

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam March 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

yea for you! Isn’t it fun to day that? I did a whole series on bulk baking, but your “month long” would not last in my home for long. My kids are gluttons, I tell you. I have to hide the stuff. :)


Andrea @ Mommy March 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Great day of baking!!! That looks like so much fun with your pictures too. And, you are wicked smart to think of keeping that bread and making breadcrumbs!!


joanna March 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I have totally gotten started on “bake-a-thons” too late in the evening too. When it happens, I’m sure my husband things I’m crazy for staying up cooking “extra” stuff until 11! I need to learn to start earlier, too :)


Sonshine March 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Great job with all that baking!

Why is that us moms think that starting projects like this at night is a good thing to do?? I am guilty of doing the same thing…waiting until the evening to conquer baking or cooking in bulk.


AmandaonMaui March 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I too have had those late night baking moments. I once stayed up until midnight baking one loaf of bread because I hadn’t realized how long all of the rises were going to take. Ugh.

That’s a serious ton of baked goods. Way to go. I wish I had enough baking sheets and a big enough oven to do all of that.


Rebecca March 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Inspiring! I like the idea of mini loaves, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for mini loaf pans at tag sales.

Where do you get “nearly free” Quaker oats? I use a LOT of oats.


Erin March 30, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Kroger has been having great Quaker oats sales the last few weeks. Be sure to match the sale price with one of the coupons that seem to always be floating around and you’ll get oats “nearly free”!


Jennifer March 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I always cook stuff for my dd in bulk. I have so many freezer bags that say things like “Emma’s Muffins” and such. It is just easier when cooking special for someone to do it in bulk. Way to go on the bread crumbs.


Meredith March 30, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I think your photos turned out pretty great for that late at night! You really worked hard, and I love seeing the step by step plan.


LuAnn March 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm

SUPER ideas!


QueenofAbstract March 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Awesome! I love the idea of freezing the snacks for later. Do they thaw well…you know not soggy?


Erin March 31, 2009 at 10:32 am

They thaw beautifully. Never get complaints from the kids. And I like them too :)



Amy March 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm

This is so encouraging! My husband and I are trying to get in to the whole coupon game… but I have Celiac’s disease and haven’t seen any resources on coupling that with money saving. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


Amy March 31, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Oh, but do you know that Oats aren’t safe for people on a GF diet?

Yes, I do know that :) Used them to make cookies for my husband!


Amy March 31, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Wow! What an accomplishment! I would have never thought to make the banana bread bars instead of loaves- genius!


amy m. April 1, 2009 at 9:15 am

Great post! PLEASE let us know if you come up with a good bread machine recipe for GF bread!!!!! (I read on your GFCFSF blog that you’re experimenting with recipes for bread.)


Anuan April 1, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Can you actually freeze the muffins? If so for how long? I have always been afraid to try putting them in the freezer as they may come out soggy after they have defrosted.


Erin April 2, 2009 at 7:20 am

Hey! I’ve only made these muffins with rice flours and they always come out fine after being in the freezer. I can’t speak for wheat flour muffins. I think the fact that they are
“mini” muffins makes a difference too. :) Erin


holli April 1, 2009 at 11:32 pm

How long do you bake the banana bread when you do the bars and at what temp? A great alternative to slices off of the loaf!


Erin April 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

I baked the banana bread bars at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until start to turn golden on top.


gertie April 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Thanks so much for the idea of baking the banana bread in a 9×13! The kids will grab these easier than slicing a piece of bread from the loaf.


Wrinkle Cream Gal April 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Whew! I admire a whole month of baking….gulp, I am still stuck (time-wise) at one week. Love your 5 dollar dinners!


Dana April 11, 2009 at 11:27 am

Wow, Erin! This post has really inspired me. I am super-guilty of feeding my boys “convenience snacks” because I don’t often have time to make them from scratch. This has really opened my eyes to a new way to “treat” my boys with healthy snacks!

Thank you for all that you do.


Tiffany February 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I am glad I am not the only one that gets ideas late at night! LOL


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