Friday, May 18, 2012


***Hello visitors! I'd love for you to look around, and I'd really love for you to stick around and follow me if you like what you see!

So I have seen on Pinterest about all these women (I'm sure there are men out there that do it too) that do once a month cooking. WOW! Wouldn't that be so nice?!?! Well I decided to give it a try in a smaller dose. We have refered to it in our house as the cook-a-thon, where I turned a bunch of ingredients into 23 packages of meals. 

 Keep in mind 23 packages, not meals! For example one package is a 9x11 pan of lasagna. That would feed my family 3 meals.

Really these can't be called meals because we'll probably have a side with them and some of them are to be served over rice or noodles. On the blogs where I got the reciepes they said it fed their family of 3 (2 adults and a toddler) dinner and lunch the next day.

I started around 8am and wrapped up just in time for the Hubs to be home from work around 5pm. OK here you do the math in your head... 9 HOURS! Yes, but then minus an hour because we went and bought a washer and dryer, lunch break, diaper changes, Little Bug attention breaks. So if someone asked me how long it took I'd say more like 6 hours probably. 

***Update, it also was my first time, I have gotten a lot faster at it now. Also, a lot of these were cook before meals, the dump and go ones make it a way quicker process!

Here is how I did it...

Prep work:
 It too some preparation and planning. I first got the idea from Blogs I found through Pinterest. I had come across several blogs that did a cooking day. I looked over their recipes and found ones that I would like to try. I made a list of 10 I was going to do.

I then made a list of all of the ingredients, went through my pantry and crossed off things that I had on hand. I picked things up little by little so it wasn't a huge cost at once. I gathered items over a months time. I did want to keep track of how much I spent so whenever I bought something I would put the cost on my list. I saved things like cheese and cottage cheese for a few days before C-day (cooking day) and then produce I bought the day before.

My grand total was= $71.43 comes to $3.00 per a package.

This includes the zip top bags and tin foil and containers. I had a lot of things left over too like produce and some things only used a little of the packaging.

***Triple check your list! The day of I realized I didn't have enough seasoning and I never bought the garlic. I ran out of tomato sauce too because I decided to double one of the recipes.

Cooking Day:
The day of I wanted to get an early start because I wasn't really sure how long it would take. I started with getting everything out that wasn't refrigerated so it'd be easy access. Then I cut up all my veggies. I'd check the recipes to make sure I cut it into the right size pieces. I then would cook the meat and things that I could do for more than one recipe. Then I just went one recipe at a time until it was finished. My chicken was frozen so I left those recipes for the end. I thawed the chicken enough to pull them apart and threw them in the bag and back in the freezer they went.

I happened to plan this on a night where we had a reception to go to. It was nice not having to cook something for dinner that night or to dig into this stash right away.

Here is my list of recipes and the blogs where I got them. (I am not posting the actual recipe. Sorry you'll have to visit the original source (link). My way of saying thank you to the people I got them from.)

BBQ Chicken - the krazy coupon lady

This one is super easy! 4 Ingredients thrown in a bag. Freeze cook on high for 4 hours.

Sausage & Peppers- Ring Around the Rosie
This one The Hubs is looking forward too. He loves sausage. I actually doubled this one because the pack of sausage came in a pack of 14. We had some for dinner and then used the rest for this. Because I have a toddler I cut the sausage in half lengthwise so once it's cooked it's good to go for him.

*** This one didn't make very much. We ate it with a salad and ate all of it. I served it over small shell pasta. There was a lot of liquid so we thought it'd be better to eat it like a soup.

Chicken & Black Bean Chili- Rachel on Pregnant Live Journal 
I wasn't sure if this one was to be cooked at all before freezing. I threw everything in a pot and simmered for      like 30 minutes before putting in the bag. When we eat this one I'll throw in a crock pot for a few hours.

***I didn't care too much for this one. (I was sick while I ate it so maybe that is why) It didn't have much flavor to it.
 Healthy BBQ Chicken- Mama and baby love
I love these ones. Everything is just thrown in the bag! No prep work besides cutting veggies. No cooking before freezing!
Lazy Lasagna Chili-  Rachel on Pregnant Live Journal 
So I snuck a bite of this one and it is so good!!! To make you add a cup or 2 of water, noodles and boil until noodles are done. Can't wait to try this one!

 Lasagna- Dreaming of Poultry
Not really sure what I was thinking when I did this one. I have a lasagna recipe that is a lot simpler and cheaper than this one. I guess I just looked at ingredients and not directions. This was the most time consuming recipe I think, hopefully the taste will be worth it. It made into an 8x8 pan and a 9x11 pan.
I did save a little time with this one. I happened to be using ground beef the night or two before so I cooked up what I was using for this recipe too.

***This was REALLY good! I guess the extra steps and cost was worth it. It made a lot. We had 2 friends over plus The Hubs & I had lunch the next day.

 Teriyaki Chicken- Test Kitchen of Melissa Fallis
Another no cooking before freezing one! Serve over rice

***I'm learning I'm not a fan of crock pot cooking if it involves soy sauce. At least the is the trend I am seeing. So I wasn't a big fan of this one.

Wild Rice- Chicken- Dreaming of Poultry
This one is interesting. Before cooking you top with mayo and cream of mushroom soup. Bake.

***I was a little worried about it, but was really good. I want to do this one again.

Upside down Fettuccine Bake- Dreaming of Poultry
I didn't take a picture of this prior to freezing, but we had it last night. It was so good. Just thaw and bake for about 25 minutes. I paired it with some canned corn and a slice of bread. We had enough for the 3 of us for dinner and then 2 small lunches the next day.

And I guess I forgot pictures of this one:
Chicken wild Rice Soup- Dreaming of Poultry

Not only did this make 23 freezer packages, but there was a little bit of noodles from the Fettuccine Bake and some sauce. I added some meatballs and my little bug and I had some pasta for lunch.

A few nights later I threw some bags together of leftover chicken and veggies I had from this. It was onion, red potatoes, zuchinni, bell pepper and carrots. I rubbed some poultry seasoning on the chicken. I'll add some water and some seasoning to it when i cook it. High in crockpot for 4 hours.

After giving this a try I would definitely do it again. I'm not relying on these meals, but trying to use them for when we need an easy dinner that night or I'm working on stuff during the day. Next time I would plan better and do more throw together meals instead of ones that need to be cooked before freezing. I don't know if I'll ever get to once a month cooking, but every other day cooking sounds nice to me:)


Have you ever done once a month cooking rf a cook a thon? I'd love to hear about it. What is your favorite freezer meal?
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  1. This is such a great idea! We are so glad to have you join us for our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". See you again next week!! -The Sisters

  2. Looks awesome! It always feels so good to have a freezer full of good stuff for the days when you're too busy to cook.

  3. It has been so nice! I highly recommend giving it a try!



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