Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happiness is....

Knowing that I have 20 meals prepared and ready to go in my freezer. Once upon a time, I loved cooking. Really. I even wore an apron (homemade, of course.) I'm still smitten by a cute apron, but I no longer want to be standing in front of the stove, stirring spices into whatever I've concocted, or rolling out buttermilk biscuits on my countertops. Somedays, I don't mind it, but most days I just long to be Joan Jetson and punch in my order and have it magically appear, warm and ready. Since that isn't likely to happen, and Rosey isn't strolling around cleaning up my messes when I do cook, I found a way to simplify our dinners.

Once a month, we do a Costco run. We then come home, and Bo (God bless him) and I spend a couple hours preparing anywhere from 12 to 19 meals. (I think we hit 21 meals once!) These aren't complicated, fancy meals. But they are economical, filling, delicious, and READY when I need them! And it really doesn't take that long to prepare them.

Here's what's in my freezer now:
1 Italian Red Sauce
3 Mango Cranberry Chicken
3 Cheesy Chilada Bake
1 Mariachi Chicken
2 Tequila Lime Chicken
1 Teriyaki Chicken
1 Urban Garlic Chicken
4 Honey Glazed Chicken
1 Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
2 Ginger Beef
1 Beef AuJus

I started cooking this way when a friend told me about the book The Warehouse Gourmet. They have since discontinued the printing of that book, but published a new book called Fix, Freeze, & Feast. (Check Amazon for it!) We started small...just did three simple recipes which yielded us nine dinners. Of course, in one month, we don't want to eat those same three dishes more than once or twice, so there will be some of them left over when we go shopping the next month. From there, we typically began making 15-19 meals at a time, so now we have lots of meals, ready and waiting. Some are for the slow cooker, others baked, while still others put Bo to work on the grill.

I just wanted to share, because I know lots of people spend a fortune going to places to do this very thing, but you really can do it yourself, at home, for a fraction of the cost.

Fix, Freeze, Feast


Elizabeth said...

Hi Dana,

I think that is just awesome! I tried to do the Cooking Once A Month last year without much success, but will reconsider now. I like the sound of the meals on your list. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the break!


Shandra said...

I do the same thing. I have another friend and we trade stuff. Works out wonderfully! I keep 2 and give her 2 of everything I make. I even do this with breakfast stuff. I hate giving the kids stuff out of a box so I keep us stocked up!