Friday, November 6, 2009

Bulk Baking

Call it Once a Month Meals,

Freezer Friendly Recipes,

Bulk Cooking....
Whatever you call it I'm getting into it!
It's not new; but new to me! You cook a bunch of stuff, a lot of something, all at once, to save time.
Though it may seem a little backwards....hang on, it's worth the ride. Your feet and back will ache; I recommend getting a helper; mine is my hubby but I'm flexible! I've had two cooking "sessions" so far. 2 1/2 and 3 hours or so each.

The whole idea is that if you make meals ahead of time; you wont spend so much time wondering what to make and then having to MAKE IT when every one's hungry.
I don't know about you, but that's when my creativity and patience flys out the window.....then we end up going with old standbys; scrambled eggs, pancakes, quesadilla's, taco's, Stouffers,
Pizza?......after repeating those every five days it gets well.....Boring!
But to make something new every night, from scratch, (if you're trying to save money) is not a reasonable expectation for most people anymore. If you can pull this off, congratulations, SuperMom. I'm jealous!
This really helps with the saving money part; you cook with bulk items when you can get them on sale, and keep watching sales for the fancier stuff to change it up a little.....find inexpensive recipes etc....

Think about it; if you do things this way you have choices! You could still cook if/when you want, but if you're like me, and have NO time for anything, especially cooking wholesome meals every day; then you can make a ton of food when you DO have the time and patience; freeze it, then defrost your meals when you need it; now you have fast and homemade, it's pretty cool.....
This helps a TON when a neighbor needs a meal too; It's done already! Cook it up and take it over! Or give it to them with defrost instructions!
So last week I made 150 Meatballs, (6 lbs of hamburger.)
I froze them in ziplock bags with 25 in each,. I have 6 meals worth of meatballs ready to go. I've since done some great "Heat n' Serve" meals......Swedish Meatballs, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and it will make it SO much easier to make my "Famous" BBQ Meatballs, and my favorite....Caribbean Meatballs! I saved myself a ton of time when it's time to eat.
I also made Shepherd's Pie for a family gathering last week, I made three total in pie plates; two to serve, one to freeze. That one extra pie will be enough for a whole meal for my family plus
leftovers. Here's one of the pies ,,,,
I then made 3 batches of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies; two plates for two friends, and one plate for us now, and the other one for us later! Or for another gift; wow! Instant Gift, Snack, or dessert.
Come to think of it; I actually do this part every year for Christmas goodies anyway. I try to make two batches of the same Christmas treat every weekend from November through December so I'll have 7-8 things; a nice variety of candy/cookies to give away on a plate for 20 -30 neighbors/friends/family by Christmas week.
Oh! I made a shredded chicken dish last week too in the crock pot; but doubled the chicken an have another pound of cooked, shredded chicken ready in the freezer too. (Chicken on the top, Meatballs underneath)

So Tonight from the first picture:
I made enough fresh green salad (chopped up lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers) for 5 servings for this next week. I also made some ranch dressing to go with it.

I neglected to tell the milkman not to bring me any extra eggs this week (whoops!) so I:
Boiled a dozen eggs, 6 to make egg salad for sandwiches, two to go on the salads, and the rest for the boys who just like to eat them with salt

Made two quiches with the rest, and with the bulk cheese I've had from my "couponing"
Those will feed us 4 meals total; breakfast OR dinner
I also made a 9x13 pan of baked oatmeal. This will serve us for 12 breakfasts or so. Unless Nathan gets to it first. :)


All in all I have about 16 meals ready to go in the freezer/fridge; not bad, I started at 4pm today and got done at 630! (meatballs, Shepard's pie and cookies were last week)


I'll share with you more of my bulk cooking adventures and recipes as I learn and perfect this new baking art! It fits well for me because I LOVE to bake on the weekends! And HATE to cook M-F. I'm the perfect candidate for bulk cooking.

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