Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Well, it's been just over a week since my cook-a-thon Saturday that put 10 dinner recipes into my freezer. So far we've eaten:
Hearty Hamburger Stew - meh. We ate this for two meals, and there's another bag in the freezer that will do one. It was edible, but I won't make it again. I'll make chile next time.

Chinese Chicken Morsels - all right. Cooked really well, marinaded beautifully. Will probably sub in a marinade I know we like better next time, but will remake the concept.

Roast Beef Sandwiches Au Jus - delicious, hubby pleaser, will make again.

It's been great to not have to decide what's for dinner. I have the calender that was in the cookbook on the fridge. The night before I know we'll need a meal, I take it out and put it in the fridge. Next night after work, I just take it out and do what it says. It can still take up to an hour to get it on the table, but that's generally baking a casserole time, not actual doing stuff in the kitchen time. I'm looking forward to trying another round of cooking in a few weeks.

It has been a huge help during the workweek. I am not a person that can sit down and meal plan, so this has done it for me. Decide if we're eating at home tomorrow, take next item on list out of freezer. Decision made, meal ready to go. It's great.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Big Cook Day Complete!

Between 11 am and 3 pm on Saturday, I made:
Hearty Hamburger Stew (2 meals worth, at least)
Chinese Chicken Morsels
Prepped roast for roast beef sandwhiches au jus
Marinade for grilled fish
Chicken Spaghetti
Manadarin Orange Chicken
Rainy Day Chicken and Rice
Polynesian Pork Loin
Chicken Caccitore
Meal-on-the-run Pork Loin x 2
Chile Verde
Savory Beef

And in addition, already had the other two pretty much in the freezer, so I skipped prepping:
Blackened Chicken Breast (had the spice already mixed)
Grilled Chile Pepper Cheeseburgers (the shopping list was wrong, so I didn't have the ground beef, so I guess premade Costco burgers will suffice).

I don't have pictures because the vast majority of recipes are now in giant Ziplocks and all look the same (imagine a large Ziplock full of mush). All of the recipes looked and smelled great while prepping, and we'll see how the next few weeks go for eating. :)

I spent $130 on the groceries, and the servings per recipe range from 4 to 10. Average cost/serving is about $1.75.

I wasn't that happy with the book I got. The recipes seemed good, but the shopping list and prep directions were horribly inaccurate. And a couple recipes were missing sections.

(This is the one I used: Once a Month Cooking)

I still have 2 cups of unused sliced carrots in the fridge, and a loaf of french bread dough, and a can of beans. And this is after I tried my best to fix the shopping list.

Total time was 4 hours. I didn't do any prep before hand, but DH did about half an hour of veggie washing and chopping for me. I did some of the prep as the first couple recipes were cooking, and it did save a lot of time to cook all the ground beef at once and all the chicken breast at once (in the oven, in a couple casserole dishes). The book did a great job of ordering the recipes and prep, so I would now feel more confident to try it on my own with other recipes.

Shopping time would add another hour or two - I ended up going to 3 stores (dry goods while doing regular shopping, Costco for mostly meat, and then Co-op for the rest of meat).

It actually doesn't take up much space. They would easily fit in a fridge freezer if I stacked them better and didn't have so much flotsam in there. We do have a tiny chest freezer, as we get meat from my parents. Almost all the meals ended up in 1 gallon ziploc freezer bags, which stack nicely and waste no space (not to mention having very low start-up costs).