Saturday, June 05, 2010

Once-A-Month Cooking: Installment 4

My first Once-A-Month cooking experience was a success! I cooked a month's worth of meals while 9 months pregnant and they lasted us two months with eating out, dinner at my mother-in-law's, and the fact some of the meals I split into two because the recipes make enough for a family of four. I still have a few meals frozen (all chili related) because they don't mix well with breastfeeding, but here's a review of our favorite and not so favorite meals in meal plan E.
Italian Shepherd's Pie
These recipes we enjoyed (the starred ones are our favorites)
*Jack Burgers
Chili Dogs
Shish Kebabs
Dawn's Lasagna (meatless)
*Deborah's Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Chicken and Rice Pilaf
*Crustless Spinach Quiche
*Green Chile Enchiladas
Chicken a la King
*Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork
Marinated Flank Steak
*Sicilian Meat Roll
Southwestern Chicken Soup
*Rosie's Meatloaf
*Baked Beans and Hamburger
*Chicken Tetrazzini
French Dip
French Stew

We weren't impressed with:
Split Pea Soup
Oriental Chicken

These recipes were okay, but we wouldn't rush to the dinner table:
Mexican Stroganoff
Bird's Nest Pie
Italian Shepherd's Pie
Lemon Chicken
Grilled Salmon

Overall, I think my first experience cooking a month's worth of meals went well. We definitely saved money, were less likely to eat out, made the best of the convenience of having a frozen meal in the freezer with a newborn in the house, and enjoyed most of the recipes. Some things I would change include not embarking on such an endeaver while 9 months pregnant (shopping and cooking exhausted me!) and not making as many recipes with chili. We also learned that our deep freezer is great at what it does. We had to take the meals out of the freezer two days in advance to allow them enough time to thaw in the fridge before heating them. A few times we did forget to take a meal out of the freezer, so we had nothing to heat up quickly. Luckily, we had some Bertolli's pasta, frozen pizza (yes, it was Digorno's!), and other quick meals (like chicken tenders and pasta) on-hand that could be made in a pinch.

Now, onto Once-A-Month cooking round #2!!


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