Saturday, August 11, 2007

Now We're Cooking!

Thank you ladies for the wonderful tips and ideas you left yesterday! I love the idea for lining the dishes with plastic and making casserolicles. I visited the organized home site that was suggested and decided to do my version of once-a-month-cooking. Reading everyone's tips helped me to focus and not feel so overwhelmed.

I made a plan last night and went to the store today with my very detailed list after inventorying my freezer and cupboards. I recruited my Mom to come over tomorrow and help/watch Pumpkin while I cook. She stopped in today to take the big turkey I was defrosting to her house so I had room for the groceries I bough,t and she stayed and washed produce. What a big help!

I've listed all the dishes I'm planning to make and separated out all the jobs by categories: saute, boil, bake, bbq, etc. For example: I'll boil all the chicken for enchiladas, tortilla soup, pot pie and chicken soup together. Then I'll make patties out of the ground beef to put in the freezer, then cook the rest of the ground beef and divide it up for things like hamburger pie and tacos. I'll saute the mushroom and spinach together for the quiches, then bake, slice and freeze the individual slices of quiche so that I have some easy breakfasts with protein on hand.

So far today I've peeled about 12 pounds of carrots for the carrot ginger soup, pot pies, carrot sticks for munching and more. I baked whole wheat pitas for mini pizzas and Greek chicken pitas. I made chocolate chip cookies bars for Sweetheart for now and later and three loaves of pumpkin bread. When I'm done here I'll go clean everything up and set stuff out by recipes for tomorrow. Not exactly a restful Sabbath, but I am so excited to feel like I'm getting ahead!

Tomorrow I'll grill all the chicken breasts and steaks to be frozen for quick meals. It's so nice to just defrost a few pieces of bbq chicken and make the pizzas or pitas, or just serve it along a salad and side dish.

I'll throw all the onions into the food processor and saute them all at once. From there I can just put a tablespoon or two into each recipe as needed. I'll make all the soups and assemble those casseroles. I'm planning to steam a few pot of rice, then bag up 1 cup portions to freeze. They can then be added to the chicken soup, Chinese chicken and mixed with stuff for fried rice. I'll also try to bake a few more things like banana bread, and cornbread muffins to just have on hand.

When it's all done, probably on Monday, I'll make a master list for the freezer door of our inventory. I'm planning to do cards to go with each dish to list defrosting and reheating requirements, as well as side dish items, so that Sweetheart can know what all goes together easily. I'm planning to keep all my lists and plans so that next time, I am not starting from scratch.

While I was in line at the checkout, I looked at the cart behind me. It was filled with frozen dinners and packaged foods. For a moment, I wondered what I was thinking trying to do all of this. But just for a moment. I know that all the work this weekend will pay off for the weeks ahead, plus all of us will benefit by having recipes I know we like that are healthy and delicious. Plus, I imagine that the cost of a month's already frozen dinners must be pretty outrageous compared to all that I bought and spent today. Besides, when I mentioned it to Sweetheart when I got home he said that the day I try to feed him Banquet frozen dinners is the day he will eat mud. :)

Well, it's time to go wrap up what I've done today and get ready for tomorrow. I'm hoping to clean everything up quickly and go soak in a nice warm bubble bath. Too much standing really wears me out these days. (I did several jobs today sitting down for that reason.) So long as I don't go into labor tonight, we should be all set. LOL!


Anonymous said...

I am absolutely exhausted after reading this post.
And why do I keep forgetting to not come here on an empty stomach?
joanna :)

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'll try and remember to pray for you tomorrow, that you accomplish everything on your list.


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