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Soap Making Forum > Soapmaking & Candle Recipe & Tutorials Forum > Food & Spirit Recipes > Once a month cooking, anyone?
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:27 PM   #11
IrishLass
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There used to be a really cool business in our area that we used to go to. It was set up like a buffet with all the prepared ingredients laid out for several different, complete meals/dishes to feed us a different dinner all week. All we needed to do was bring an ice-filled cooler, grab their menu for the week planner/blueprint and put our meals together, pack them in the cooler and stick them in the freezer when we got home. Every week for a month they had a different menu plan which then got rotated the next month. It was awesome for us until they closed down.

I tried doing it for myself after that, but it didn't always work out for us time-wise/organizational-wise, and I let it fall by the wayside. I can't begin to tell you how nice it was having someone else to all the hard work of organizing a varied menu and preparing all the ingredients for it beforehand. It's too bad they went out of business....at least the one by us anyway. There still might be others like it around somewhere.

My freezer is big enough for a week of meals as opposed to a month of meals, but I'd really like to get back into doing this. It's so nice to be able to have a ready answer to that infernal "What's for dinner?" question that comes up everyday.


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Old 03-15-2017, 07:20 PM   #12
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We tried this awhile back (probably before kids) and it just didn't work for us. Probably a combination of small freezer and desire to eat fresh food as often as possible (back then, we were vegetarian, too). The stuff we froze just didn't taste all that great when we nuked it in the microwave.

Of course, now with the kids, we make 2 or 3 different meals each night so trying to prep that much stuff for a month would be a nightmare (and a storage problem).

But I do admire your freezer space.


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Old 03-15-2017, 08:40 PM   #13
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I used to make double batches of anything that froze well when it was just me and the kids, then froze half in single serve containers (exactly the ones you have!). This gave us soups/stews/gumbos, chicken pot pies, red beans and rice, etc in the freezer if I was tired from work. That way each child could pick their own food and everyone had something different.

Now, however, I am feeding a hungry hubby. The cooking is totally different now.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:28 PM   #14
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I always make enough for an army when making soups, chili, stews etc. I always freeze the extra. Otherwise, I pretty much cook every night. Mostly simple healthy stuff. It's just my husband and I and he's not perfect cry.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:16 PM   #15
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I do same as Shunt, make a huge pot and 2/3 goes to freezer
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shunt2011 View Post
I always make enough for an army when making soups, chili, stews etc. I always freeze the extra. Otherwise, I pretty much cook every night. Mostly simple healthy stuff. It's just my husband and I and he's not perfect cry.
I am assuming that this is an auto-correct failure (stupid smartphone!). Perhaps you meant that he is not picky? Otherwise, I feel compelled to console and reassure you. No one is perfect, and most are easily trained with a little consistency and positive reinforcement
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makemineirish View Post
I am assuming that this is an auto-correct failure (stupid smartphone!). Perhaps you meant that he is not picky? Otherwise, I feel compelled to console and reassure you. No one is perfect, and most are easily trained with a little consistency and positive reinforcement
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You are correct. Dang auto correct. He's not picky. He will eat a sandwich if need be. 😀
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:22 AM   #18
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To address the main issues...It doesn't require a ton of space, but you do have to use every inch. These stacking containers work for me, I get them at the supermarket, both the store brand and I think "Glad." They hold 2 cups. I used to use freezer baggies, lay them flat and stack them, but I like that the containers are reusable. And believe me folks, my freezer doesn't look like this all the time, far from it! It's only when I've done this, that it looks that organized.

Do I eventually get bored only eating whats in the freezer? Sure. Is it a trade off I'm willing to make for the freedom of not spending time cooking and cleaning pots and pans? You bet! And remember, I don't do it all the time. Most of the time, like many of you, when I make something like soup or chili, I'll make a big batch of it, and eat some now, and freeze a bunch for later. I figure any meal I don't have to cook from scratch is a bonus! Like Dibbles said, the older I get, the less I enjoy cooking. I still enjoy it...I just don't want to do it every single day.

So I don't do this all the time, but I knew I was going to be snowed in for at least a day, and I know that Spring will eventually arrive in this chilly corner of the world, and I'll want to be busy outdoors, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the situation. I've never done it in the summer, because then there is just so much fresh stuff, and who feels like heavy stews, and soups? But when it's cold outside, it sure is nice to have a bunch of ready to eat, soups, stew, chili, and I forgot stuffed peppers this time, but yes, I've made them before and they work well too, yum!
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishLass View Post
It's so nice to be able to have a ready answer to that infernal "What's for dinner?" question that comes up everyday.
If it's Tuesday, hubby cooks wild-caught salmon. If it's Wednesday, it's broiled chicken breast, green beans and coleslaw from KFC! LOL We are VERY fortunate to have several nice eateries and fast food joints within a few miles of where we live. Chili's for BBQ ribs, broccoli & baked potato; Jasmine Chinese Restaurant for a mixed menu of Far East Cuisines, including sushi, Pho, Viet Namese noodle bowl, and my personal favorite Cantonese dishes that make up the bulk of the menu. McDonald's Big Breakfast includes pancakes that are just the right size and better than IHOP -- also, there's enough food to save half for another day.

What we've found is that we can eat as cheaply getting take out as we can buying groceries that eventually may end up getting tossed down the disposal because we didn't use something up fast enough. Ditto for leftovers.

We both like to cook, and we cook ahead once or twice a week. Usually casseroles, soups, and tonight Hubby made Joe's Special: Hamburger, spinach, egg & wild rice. Tomorrow I'm making kielbasa, potatoes, carrots, celery, & cabbage. Some others: Spaghetti Pie (freezes well); Reuben Casserole: layered noodles, corned beef, sauerkraut, tomatoes, 1000 Island dressing, rye crumbles & caraway seeds on top -- the list goes on.

In our freezer we keep steak, chops, ribs, etc for a quick thaw in the microwave. Then either broil or pan fry. Add a baked potato (or oven fries) and mixed veges from Costco (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots). We also have Stouffer's Fit Kitchen frozen dinners -- good in a pinch. Another fave is hamsteak and baked sweetpotato.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:38 PM   #20
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Oh, yeah, I bought, and still buy, family size packages of all meats. Then I take sandwich bags and bag each piece of meat individually, then toss them all in a gallon freezer bag. This allows me to take out exactly how many pieces of *whatever* meat that I need without fighting with a frozen lump-o-meat. I can then toss those into another gallon bag, seal it, then drop that into a sink of tepid water for fast thawing. I also buy hamburger meat at Sam's. I portion out 3/4 of it into 1-1 1/2 lb portions in quart ziplocs, and make the remainder into hamburger patties so they will be ready to thaw and cook.

I have a big freezer that is mostly meat that I buy when things are on sale. You know at Thanksgiving and Christmas when turkeys and hams are on sale? I load half my freezer with them. You can pay as low as $0.39/lb for turkeys, and $0.53/lb for ham. That is a lot of meat for a little. And we love both. I buy whole pork loins for $0.99/lb on sale. I can make pork chops, get a small pork loin, and get chunks for stir fry (that I freeze in the marinade). When chicken parts are on sale, I buy a couple or four family packs to freeze. I save a ton of money that way.

I also load up on frozen veggies on sale and canned veggies. Some weeks we don't even need to go to the grocery store.


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