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    bulk cooking

    Has anyone ever heard of a book that tells you how to bulk cook? For example, you cook large quantities of food once a month and then freeze them to save time and money?

    I know there's a book out there on this subject but I don't know the name and I'd like to get it to see if it can help our food budget at all!

    Thank!
    Jean

    #2
    Re: bulk cooking

    You may be looking for Jill Bond's Dinner's In The Freezer or Mega Cooking . I think there are many books out there on the topic.

    Also, do a search on google for "once a month cooking"...there are tons of hits. good luck!

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      #3
      Re: bulk cooking

      I had a book called Once a Month Cooking (I think). It was super - the only reason I got rid of it is that it took more time than I cared to spend converting things to vegetarian dishes. I didn't cook for a month, but I did cook for what ended up being 2+ weeks worth of food, and that as mighty nice.

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        #4
        Re: bulk cooking

        The original Once a Month Cooking is a good one but it's old, so some of the recipes are quite fatty. There are a couple by Deborah Taylor Hough- Frozen Assets is among them. Do a library search with once a month cooking- or search Amazon and then go to your library to look for the books you find.
        You will find TONS of resources and menus online and there are a few OAMC yahoo groups to which I used to belong. They always provide thousands of recipes and lots of seasoned advice as to what can be frozen well.
        I only have one word of warning for you. I did a whole day of OAMC almost 2 years ago. I got 36 meals made for about $130 (CDN). My frezer was stocked. The problem was that I was so sick of looking at those meals that when it came time to eat them I had little or no desire. I find it much easier to double up on recipes a few times a month or do some "base" cooking. For example, I always buy meats in bulk and often cook much of it in different ways to freeze. Then I only need to incorporate the meats into my meal. IE: 10 lbs of ground beef goes into 3 lbs of taco meat, 4 lbs of cooked beef and 3 lbs of meatballs (cooked) for later meals.
        Don't get me wrong, OAMC is great if you have the time, the organization skills and can still eat those meals after a whole day of cooking them, but I much prefer the "mini-session" strategy myself. Besides, with a 2 year old and a 5 month old, who has a whole day to cook?!!
        Another option to keep in mind is crockpotting. If you have one, they can be a real timesaver. If you don't have one, I'll wager you know someone who does and isn't using it. Cheap meats can be cooked all day to make a nice meal. Also, things like chicken parts can be preseasoned and then frozen so that you only have to dump it into the pot and turn it on for the day. This is just as convenient as OAMC if you like the result.
        Sorry to be so verbose. I just wanted to share my experiences. I think I've tried it all. LOL There are so many ways to streamline your grocery bill and cooking time. Doing an online search is absolutely your best means of finding information and is the most convenient place to start.

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          #5
          Re: bulk cooking

          Here are a few links that I use often:
          http://organizedhome.com/content-85.html
          http://www.30daygourmet.com/
          http://snider.mardox.com/OAMC.htm
          and two yahoo groups:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Friendly-Freezer/
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frozen-assets/

          HTH

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            #6
            Re: bulk cooking

            Here's a link to vegetarian once a month cooking:
            Ellen's Kitchen

            Comment


              #7
              Re: bulk cooking

              I usually cook enough extra for 2 or 3 meals and freeze it. I have to fix extra for my daughter's to take to work anyway. It's not that much more time consuming to cook a little more. I have always been used to cooking for a bunch anyway. It is only during the past 2 years that we haven't had a bunch of people around for meals.

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                #8
                Re: bulk cooking

                yesterday, i made spanish rice, we put it in stuffed peppers and spaghetti sauce for supper... froze enough for 3 more meals.. made enough banana bread, cake, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, (tarts) to do for 3 more meals and froze them also....

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: bulk cooking

                  Leanne Ely (the Dinner Diva, www.savingdinner.com) has 2 great sets of 22 prepare ahead meals called the Mega Menu Mailer

                  http://www.savingdinner.com/mega_men...r_recipes.html

                  From what I understand, you buy all the ingredients fresh (chicken breasts, veggies, etc), chop them up, toss all the uncooked ingredients together in a bag with the spices, and then freeze the bag. When you want to eat the meal, pull the bag out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before, and the next day, you put the contents of the bag in the skillet, pot, or baking dish and cook it.

                  So it really just saves the prep time, but you might not get so sick of the food as if you had spent all day cooking.

                  I haven't tried the Mega Menu Mailer, but I plan to because all of the other recipes of hers that I have tried were DELICIOUS!!! And HEALTHY and EASY!!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: bulk cooking

                    Ill ditto the beware of not wanting to eat what you thought would be good 25 days ago!

                    Also while many say potatoes freeze well they change slightly, so does pasta, well all grains really, I would test it and see if you are ok with it before cooking up a months worth. Oh and sugar/vanilla it fades on freezing so awesome icecream is mearly ok without the comercial stabalizers, same with cookies and muffins, though many cannot taste it, I can.

                    I will also ditto the mini session, anytime you can fairly easily double I try to...getting harder with kids eating more! but I can often at least freeze some spag sauce maybe only enough for bubble n squeak, but still one less step.

                    also if you buy meat at a 'really good deal' marinade it before you freeze it, it thaws in the marinade and tastes great....I dunno the recipie, Husband is in charge of that part.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I tried freezing some cook ahead meals but after it's in the freezer for more than a week I get scared to eat it.
                      I do buy meat in bulk and cook it and freeze it. That doesn't scare me so bad.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by GoodBuyGirl View Post
                        I tried freezing some cook ahead meals but after it's in the freezer for more than a week I get scared to eat it.
                        I do buy meat in bulk and cook it and freeze it. That doesn't scare me so bad.
                        is there any reason you're uncomfortable eating food from the freezer? most items are fine being frozen for at least 3 months, some much longer...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by rickatheslicka View Post
                          Leanne Ely (the Dinner Diva, Welcome to SavingDinner.com) has 2 great sets of 22 prepare ahead meals called the Mega Menu Mailer

                          </title> <link href="file:///C|/Documents and Settings/Owner/My Documents/a_saving_dinner_stuff/simplified_website/simple.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> <script type="text/JavaScript"> </script> <meta name="Description" content="The menus,

                          From what I understand, you buy all the ingredients fresh (chicken breasts, veggies, etc), chop them up, toss all the uncooked ingredients together in a bag with the spices, and then freeze the bag. When you want to eat the meal, pull the bag out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before, and the next day, you put the contents of the bag in the skillet, pot, or baking dish and cook it.

                          So it really just saves the prep time, but you might not get so sick of the food as if you had spent all day cooking.

                          I haven't tried the Mega Menu Mailer, but I plan to because all of the other recipes of hers that I have tried were DELICIOUS!!! And HEALTHY and EASY!!!
                          I have used these and they are supper easy, and very heatly also! I am cooking for just myself so I do split some of the recipes into 2 packages and then I have 2 packages instead if one. The recipe pages come with a prep day list and a cooking day list and I always put the cooking day one right in the outside bag so I don't have to go hunting for it when I need to make it. The whole thing comes as a pdf that you just print off.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I am going to try to do more freeze-ahead meals this year and recently checked out several books on the subject from my library. I did not like "Once-a-month cooking" by Mimi Wilson only because I didn't think my family (which includes a picky preschooler) would like any of the recipes. Conversely, I did like "Frozen Assets" by Deborah Taylor-House because I thought I family would like many of her recipes. (They are very simple. Minimal ingredients. Few spices. Nothing exotic.)

                            However, my favorite so far is "Don't panic, dinner's in the freezer : great-tasting meals you can make ahead" by Susie Martinez. She advociates the doubling, tripling recipe approach rather than the once-a-month cooking approach. Her recipes are divided by main ingredient (chicken, pork, beef), making it easier to plan meals around loss leaders. Also, many of her recipes do not require pre-freezer cooking -- just assembly.

                            I am the waiting list for "Dream Dinners : turn dinnertime into family time with 100 assemble-and-freeze meals" by Stephanie Allen. This book is from the founders of the Dream Dinners franchise, which I have heard good things about but have not tried because of the expense.

                            At this point, I've read enough to understand the various techniques, so I am mostly looking for recipe ideas that I think my family will like and will fit within my budget. In addition to the above books, I have found some possibilities at recipe websites such as allrecipes.com and recipezaar.com. I just search using the keyword "OAMC."

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Bulk cooking is the way to go but like the above poster find that taking one day to cook a whole months meals could be overwhelming. I have found that when I buy certain types of meat, that I can cook it many different ways if not on the same day but maybe in a day or two. I will make enough for 2 to 3 different times and freeze it.

                              I can't tell you how useful it is to have food already cooked in your freezer when you are under the weather. Also, when you have others that are ill and you're short on time and can't get out. I've saved many dollars by buying in bulk.

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