I love cooking day!
Once a month, during the fall and winter months, my best girlfriend and I spend a Saturday cooking enough meals for a month. It's a boatload of work, but the rewards are so worth it! Having a freezer full of delicious meals that are ready for us to enjoy is such a timesaver, not to mention an energy saver for me. Yep, I love coming home and not having to cook after work when I am always tired then.
Yesterday was cooking day... and today my body tells me that I'm getting older... and the price is a little steeper! But my freezer is full and I don't care! I can rest up today, enjoying some down time and quilting time.
Power cooking is not for the faint of heart. But while it can be overwhelming to consider doing it, if you break it down into organized bits, the overwhelming goes away. At one time, I wrote up a little "how-to" on the process. If one can read through all my notes, one can do it!
We started doing this about 10 years ago. Our beginning was based on the book, Once a Month Cooking. Since then, we have taken it to a whole new level. The book is a great beginning. Some of the recipes in it we still use. But most of the recipes are comfort food styles and times have changed as to our being far more aware of how to eat healthy.
Now when I say we are more aware of eating healthy, many folks think that we've taken the savory flavors out of the good old fashioned comfort foods. Not at all! Oh, we eat healthy all right... but we sure eat well! The recipes we've tweaked and the newer recipes we've discovered all have great flavors. Everyone loves them. No one who eats in our homes has any idea that the meal is "good for you" in addition to being tasty. Fun!
We also save so much money by doing our cooking this way. My grocery budget has dropped dramatically. For example, yesterday we made all of this:
Beef Stroganoff - 2 meals
Asian Beef Stir Fry - 5 meals
Boeff Viognier - 2 meals
Chicken Divan - 3 meals
Las Cruces Chicken - 3 meals
Chicken Enchiladas - 9 meals
Sloppy Joes - 16 individual servings
Tater Tot Cassarole - 1 large = 2 meals, 1 small = 1 meal
(Meals listed above are for us to enjoy together, plus an additional serving for 1 or both of us to take for lunch the next day)
Now I've got the meals listed above in my freezer and my friend has the same stuff... but double the amount because her family is bigger.
We split the cost for all the food at 1/3 for me, 2/3 for her. All that food and my portion was only $115.00! A major savings in cooking this way. When we didn't use wine in some of our meals, the savings was even more. But we like to cook with wine, so it's worth the additional cost for us!
Yep, I'm tired today and need some down time to let my body recoup. But oh, so worth it with all those yummy things to eat!
...may there be mercy in the enjoying the fruits of our labors.