Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Am I crazy? Part 2

Well, once I got the idea of cooking for three months into my head, I just couldn't let it go. I mean, how awesome would it be to have 90 meals on hand and know that I really didn't have to plan meals for three whole months? In the past when I've cooked for 30 days it seemed that it took no time at all before half of it was gone. Then I would have to start planning again.

So how does a person come up with so many meals? Well, I had seven other helpers to give lots of input. We sat down in front of the whiteboard and brainstormed. We went around the room and everyone took turns giving a meal idea. It got a little challenging by the third round. Cereal really isn't my idea of dinner. But in the end we came up with a well balanced menu plan which was split about evenly between beef, chicken/pork and vegetarian.

In case you can't read my secretary's notes, here's what we will be making. Each recipe will serve 8-10 and be made times four. We came up with 25 meals knowing that I often underestimate ingredients. That way we will hopefully end up with at least 90 meals to be frozen.

1. Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce *
2. Tacos
3. Chicken Drumsticks **
4. Stuffed Shells *
5. Spaghetti Sauce with Sausage
6. Pizza
7. Green Beans/ Sausage/ Potatoes **
8. Broccoli Cheese Soup *
9. Loaded Potato Soup *
10. BBQ Chicken ^
11. Roasted Turkey Breast ^
(This became chicken on the grill cut into sliced for sandwiches or salads)
12. Pot Roast ^
13. Grilled Chicken in Marinade **
14. Honey Mustard Pork Loin ^
15. Taco Soup
16. Teriyaki Mini Burgers *
17. Chipotle Beans and Rice
18. Tilapia **
19. Quiche **
20. Meatloaf *
21. Cilantro Chicken Soup
22. Pork Chops
23. Bean Burritos *
24. Swiss Steak *
25. Cabbage Rolls

* Time intensive (several steps and thoroughly cooked)
** Ingredients Only- no cooking for now
^ Easy (few ingredients, crockpot, roaster or grilled outside)

To simplify things I've decided to break up this cooking into three days: beef, chicken/pork, and vegetarian. This means shopping in the morning and about 3-4 hours of cooking and clean up each day with about 3 1/2 helpers.

As of right now we are about 2/3rds of the way there. I'm thinking that the soups are going to take me two days since I don't have that many big pots.

I'll be sharing some of these recipes over time, but if there's one in particular that you'd like now just give a shout and I'll post it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Minty Cucumber Salad

I recently had this salad at a church pitch in and was so surprised at how well these flavors blended together. It's a perfect cool salad for these hot summer days! Enjoy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Serves: 10-16
Cost: approx. $2.50

8 cups cubed watermelon ($2.00)
2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced ($.50)
6 green onions, chopped (I eliminated the onions)
¼ cup minced fresh mint
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

In large bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber, onions and mint.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Pour over watermelon mixture; toss to coat.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Am I Crazy?

I've REALLY been enjoying not being in the kitchen this summer as much as usual. I've been able to cook for a month both for June and July. I'm actually considering cooking for August, September and October all in all shot. I've never freezer cooked at this level. Here's my thought process:


  • Homeschooling would be less overwhelming (We are starting Aug. 9) if dinner was already made.
  • Volleyball season will be starting soon. Having food made means less eating out.
  • Grocery shopping time would be reduced and hopefully the miscellaneous spending that usually happens
  • Less dishes to do each day
  • I'd be more likely to exercise in the evenings if I didn't have big kitchen clean up
  • I could have the girls help me more if they didn't have school work and other activities to do.
  • It's going to take some financial savy. Might have to borrow from savings to come up with that amount of money. (Or maybe this will encourage me to sell off some books.)
  • It's going to have to happen during our last week of summer before school. Not so relaxing.
  • It's seems a bit overwhelming right now. That's about 90 meals!
  • I'd have to get really organized and clean out the freezer first.

What are your thoughts? Have any of you freezer cooked to this extent? Am I just crazy to even consider it?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Give Away Winner

Tisha your name was randomly selected to be the winner of the Thirty Day Gourmet's BIG Book of Freezer Cooking. Thanks to everyone who commented. Stay tuned for more giveaways to come!!