Monday, January 22, 2007

Weekend shenanigans

Saturday was rehearsal in the morning, ice skating in the afternoon at the outdoor rink at Forest Park, and dinner at Cicero's in the Central West End. Ice skating and dinner were with several of Mark's classmates and we had a lot of fun!

Sunday was, of course, church and then lunch with our good friends/neighbors Micah and Tiffany. I've been meaning to get myself into gear over our eating situation for the past few months, and so yesterday I started "Once-a-Month Cooking" again. This is also known as the freezer method, but the basic idea is you prepare a large number of meals at one time and then freeze them. When you want to eat, you defrost the meal and cook it. The nice thing is I spent yesterday cooking (from 2:30pm-10pm) and made 12 meals. The other 7 I'll finish up tonight (the meat is ready to go so I just need to throw the other ingredients together). I'm making a total of 19 meals, which will actually last Mark and I for a month since some of the recipes feed 6-8 people. Those recipes I divide in half so it ends up becoming two meals for us. It sounds like a lot of time (7.5h plus a couple of hours tonight) but if I spend one hour a day every day preparing dinner I'll spend 30h cooking over the course of a month!! And several of these recipes only need 10 minutes to cook, so it really cuts down on prep time during the week (and on eating out since we have dinner ready at home!). I put the link to the book I'm using in there, but I'm not sure it's the same version, and I will tell you that I do not use all of the recipes since we've tried a few that we haven't liked (someone in our family isn't terribly keen on vegetables). Since I modified which recipes we're using, it took a little longer for the prep/cooking time yesterday since I actually have to think about how much I need of everything. If you use the whole 2-week or one-month menu, the authors list exactly how much of everything you need. There are also software programs that go with several of the books/methods currently on the market and then you can input which recipes you want to use and it will generate a shopping list and prep information for the recipes you have chosen. That would make things easier, but since I'm not doing this consistently there's no reason to invest in the software just yet.

I did find a website (Cook of the Month) that lets you choose which meals you want and it automatically calculates your shopping list, the processes for preparing the meals, and the amounts of everything you need. I really like this and may have to try it next month, since I can pick and choose which recipes I want to use. Many of the recipes on this site are from the book I have, so I already know which ones we like!

I also managed to do three loads of laundry yesterday during the cooking marathon (Mark was studying). I felt like it was quite a productive day!


Julie said...

I'll have to check out that website. I've always wanted to make meals like that, but I give the excuse that we don't have a very large freezer.

Something to strive towards :)

jimmy said...

we're coming over when you have the lasagna :-) we'll bring the bread!