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Once a month cooking and me

 I don’t discuss food too much really, but I spend what I think is an inordinate amount of time thinking about food: what to eat, what I want to eat, where to order take out from, how to avoid going to the grocery store to get food, what my picky eaters will eat, what I’m being forced to eat because I didn’t cook, etc. You get it.  Occasionally I actually COOK. Food.  I’ve even been known to beg for dinner ideas on Facebook. To be sure, I prefer to cook for an appreciative audience, but there are two times when I truly derive pleasure from cooking: #1 when I’m cooking large, massive amounts of chili for a band booster function and #2 when I do my once a month cooking thing.  These two episodes rarely, and in my opinion, should NOT coincide. 

I became a fan of once a month cooking Nov-Dec 2008 in preparation for my hysterectomy.  Since then I have undertaken the once a month cooking party approximately every 3 months or so. It’s much more fun to do in the fall and winter, cuz the kitchen gets real hot and schweaty. But whatever.  There are plenty of really good blogs out there that will help you get started. This ain’t one of them.  But I will do is tell you what I’ve been making the past few days. 

 But first, let me back up, cuz you’re prolly asking me why do I still do this?  It’s simple, cuz I like having precooked food in the freezer.  And while it does take a teeny bit of planning (go to freezer, take the food out of the freezer and defrost by whatever method you prefer, cook and eat) the more you do it, the easier it gets!  Lately, however I’ve been once a month cooking (aka freezer cooking) in hopes that when I go back to work (or secure another job) dinner time will be one less stress for me to encounter.

 Where was I?  oh yes, my MENU for the past few days/weeks. 

 These items were already in the freezer:

  • Chili
  • BBQ chicken
  • Spaghetti sauce

 Items prepared this week:

  • Blueberry muffins
  • Cranberry bread
  • Low fat curried tomato chicken
  • Applesauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Shredded chicken
  • Crockpot roast (in progress)
  • Salsa burgers (to be made today)

What I am trying differently this time is separating the meals into smaller portions. Why? Cuz the biggest eater (#1 son) went away to college and we don’t need as much food.  The Man doesn’t eat my food (he’s a Lean Cuisine eater) so I’m really only cooking for Pumpkin and myself.  When you make really big portions it gets really tiring to eat leftovers more than 2 days in a row.  Then I forget it’s in there and it goes to waste. I HATE that.  Hence the philosophy shift. 

 I am also going to try to have the things I need to go with the meals on hand.  This will be new for me also.  For example, if I want to cook the salsa burgers one week, when I’m making my grocery list for that week I will list buns, French fries, or whatever I need to go with.  That way I’ll have it ready. In the past I would take out the frozen thing, cook it and then realize I was missing something to go with it, like a veggie or something (or buns). 

While searching for menu ideas, I came across this website, http://www.momsbudget.com/freezerrecipes/index.html and she offers what I thought to be some decent advice.  One of the things I liked about that site is a worksheet that lists the meal, the date and notes, which I guess you should put in there how to cook it or sides to go along etc.  I like the idea cuz as I said up there, I relied on my memory, which is now crap. 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: don’t forget to label your meals! Yep, I used to be able to look at the lumpy frozen thing and know what was in there (turkey) but lately, I have no idea what’s in them so, label each item!  In the past I’ve used a sharpie on the disposable container or baggie, but after awhile, there are so many cross offs wording becomes incomprehensible.  So…I have some pink and purple post it notes I bought for a different project that work great! Although I don’t know if they are still sticking to stuff once in the freezer, but so what, they looked REALLY cute as I was walking downstairs to the freezer with them! Just like that lady in the TV commercial!

 So…I would love to hear other suggestions for once a month/freezer cooking or freezer inventory, etc!

Regarding Queen of Everything

Her highness is still queen of planet blortnick and also a MODEL.

2 comments to Once a month cooking and me

  • You’re so organized!! My biggest quandary is WHAT to have for dinner. I’m tired of trying to appease everyone. If I had it my way, we’d all have cereal.

    Have you heard of “Taste of Home”? Type in the URL by the same name plus .com. They have many, MANY recipes. You can also subscribe to their monthly magazine and get all these super recipes, they also have recipes for cooking for just two people, lots of hints, and you can get the big recipe book from the past year’s recipes.

    Meatloaf freezes well. Make little loaves for just you and Pumpkin. I have a recipe for that as well that I use. Have your thought about crock pot cooking. Prep it in the morning..forget about it til dinnertime! Love my crock pot!

  • i LOVE being organized! or at least making lists. funny that you mention crock pot. cuz i have a love hate relationship with my crock pot. i LOVE to use it, i HATE having to remember to use it in the morning! i am always looking for recipes from real people. not chef type people who can whip something up from pepper, stale bread and water!