Sunday, September 30, 2007

Big Cooking Day

Today was my "Big Cooking Day", aka Once-A-Month-Cooking (OAMC), Investment Cooking, Freezer Cooking and Cooking Ahead. Search any of those and you'll get dozens of results about cooking meals to put in the freezer to heat and eat at a later time.

I dabbled in OAMC several years ago and for some reason let it go by the wayside. Later I picked it back up as once a week cooking, which worked very well for my family for a long time.

For the last three months, though, I've gone back to doing more of a monthly marathon cooking session. I cooked for August because I (thought) I was going back to work then. I wanted to have meals made ahead because I knew I'd be tired from being on my feet all, no less...and wouldn't want to cook when I got home.

It worked out so wonderfully that, although my job didn't work out, I decided to do a cooking session for September. And today, with resumes out and the possibility of temp work in the interim, I decided I would cook for October. That way, I'll have meals done, or at least mostly done, should I be called to a temp job with little notice. On most days, all I'll need to do is cook either the main dish or one of the side dishes.

Here are the dishes I cooked today. If they are for this week, they were wrapped and put in the fridge. Otherwise, they were wrapped a little differently and put in the freezer. Shane usually helps out; today he did the grilling and a little bit of kitchen prep.

In the slow cookers (I have three):
- Savory Pork Loin Roast
- Creamy Cottage Potatoes
- Red Beans (for Red Beans & Rice)

On the grill:
- Hamburgers
- Beer-Grilled Chicken Thighs

In the microwave:
- Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots
- Chuckwagon Carrots (brown sugar-glazed carrots with bacon)

On the stove top:
- Brown Rice (for Red Beans & Rice)
- Quick Onion Rice
- Rice for Rice Pudding
- Pasta with Chicken-Flavored Sauce
- Buttery Apples & Cabbage
- Fried Apples
- Pork Loin & Veggie Stew
- Rosemary Green Beans with Mushrooms
- browned some ground beef to use with pasta later in the month

Admittedly, I didn't get everything done today that I had hoped, because we had to leave the house for a while. So tomorrow or Tuesday, I'll be doing another half day of food in the oven:

- 1 loaf of Italian bread
- 18 Garlic Bread Sticks
- 4 pizza crusts that I will par-bake then freeze for later in the month
- a dozen cornbread muffins
- a dozen pumpkin muffins
- 1 loaf of "V-8 Bread"
- 1 pan of oven roasted veggies (seasoned broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots)

I'll not go into the specifics of OAMC here, but there are a host of websites that explain it in detail. I'll also be glad to answer any questions about it if anyone wants to ask. I'll just say that OAMC can save you a ton of time and even some money, and for me anyway, it's a lot of fun.

Also, I'll be posting some of the recipes throughout the month.

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