all the live-long day….or at least all day long every day since November 1st.
I’ve been somewhat consumed with food lately. I’ve already ranted about the inconvenience of convenience food. I did buy a bunch of convenience food last month and while there were definitely some major bonuses (less stress, less clean-up, husband actually cooked a meal), it was very expensive and we all got sick a few weeks into it. (our immune systems are too spoiled).
I knew I couldn’t try and be a Julie or Julia so decided to try and be a Once A Month Mom and cook all our meals for a month in one day and make my own convenience food.
That one day turned into two weeks and I still haven’t done everything I bought food for!
I’ve done this before and was able to do it in one or two days but this time I was distracted with a few other things going on in our lives and for some reason I decided to try all new recipes at the same time. I got the inspiration from my friends Elizabeth, Amy, and Corinne after we discussed freezer cooking and these books: Once-A-Month Cooking, Revised and Expanded: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Every Day and Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites: More Great Recipes That Save You Time and Money from the Inventors of the Ultimate Do-Ahead Dinnertime Method.
I am definitely going to buy at least one of those. I love how they go give you step-by-step directions: Go to the store. Buy this this and that. Go home. (an important one). Unload groceries (also important).
Then the next day, they tell EXACTLY how to assemble everything and when to cook what and it’s really great.
But did I do that for my first month back to freezer cooking? Nope. I got sidetracked…by this lovely site: http://onceamonthmom.com/
And did I stick to the recipes she had for this month or even for last month so I could use her grocery list?
I decided to mix and match throughout the recipes in her September, October, and November menus and make up my own menu. This meant I had to make up my own grocery list. I don’t want to say I don’t like her website because it really is a cool resource. But it’s not as detailed in directions as the Once-A-Month Cooking book is and the quantities for ingredients in her recipes are a little crazy. Like 5.32 cups of shredded pepperoni. Ok…so how many pounds of pepperoni do I buy? So it took me a few days (yes days not hours or even minutes) to put my grocery list together.
Then it took me a few hours in the store to buy it all. (with 2 male monkey babies) Thank goodness God sent my friend Patty randomly to me in the store or I may have gone crazy staring at egg cartons while holding a screeching male monkey baby and trying to decide how many eggs I should buy.
I fully intended on taking one maybe two days to do all the cooking and I also fully intended to write a short blog post each day of my freezer-meal adventure (like Julie from Julie and Julia). But again. No.
So it was a very exhausting couple of weeks. But you know what? I now have about 20 meals in my freezer and we’ve already cut our grocery bill and dining out bills substantially just in these past 2 weeks of staying home and not buying convenience food or eating out as much as the past 2 months. So it might just be worth it. I think I’ll buy that Once-A-Month Cooking book and see if that’s easier for the next go around.
What resources have others found for making your own freezer meals? Is it worth it or it it easier to just make dinner every night (or every other night with leftovers)?
Ok here’s some pictures of the past couple of weeks: (I realize I have more pictures of the baby than of the food but by the time I sat down to eat anything I didn’t feel like grabbing the camera. I’ll post more food pics as we eat the ones in the freezer)
Pizza Croissants (her pictures are way better but these were very yummy)
I cooked 2 Arnold Acres chickens and shredded them…one of those fryers was about 6-8 cups of shredded chicken
I had some great helpers!
Chicken Tacos! (hmm I can’t find the recipe on OAMM…I’ll get back to you on that)
Cooked 6 lbs of ground beef in one day!
He didn’t like that
Put it in containers and in the fridge for the next day’s work
still not happy about that…
nope, not even on mama’s hip
but look! Yummy food!
This was a baked pasta with zucchini and sausage and tomatoes (again can’t find the link for the recipe now…)
at last he found something to keep himself busy with
he figured he might as well add to the mess…
but at least he tried to help clean up