Monday, July 12, 2010

Once-A-Month Cooking: Round #2

This time around I was a little more seasoned and got brave and decided to come up with my own plan using the recipes in my book that we enjoyed from meal plan E and some new ones I found just browsing the other meal plans. I also opted not to cook a full 30 meals since the month of meals lasted us two months and it was absolutely exhausting to do it the first time around. Mariela was still only 8 1/2 weeks old when I cooked round #2 and I was able to breeze through it by cooking while she napped on my last week of maternity leave.

I also got smart and wrote out my own shopping list dividing the ingredients I needed by where they were grouped together in our grocery store (I still bought the meat in bulk at Sam's Club to save some money). By doing the list myself, I saved a TON of time shopping and was able to do it easily with baby in tow. It also wasn't as pricey because I didn't need as many spices as many were leftover from my original Once-A-Month cooking adventure. For cooking day(s), I planned to cook for three afternoons and only for a couple of hours maximum since Mariela's naptimes weren't always consistent at that point. I broke out the recipes once again by meat type (like the book does) and cooked beef recipes one day, pork and vegetarian dishes the next, and chicken on the final day. On the day I cooked the pork and vegetarian dishes, I cooked and diced the chicken for the next day's cooking, so it was already prepped. It worked out nicely and I found I was much more organized in the kitchen the second go round so the cooking portion went quicker as well.

Here are the 17 meals I cooked for round #2, feel free to email or comment if you are interested in any of the recipes:

Beef recipes-
Playoff burgers- YUMMY & perfect for grilling in the summer
French Stew- one of the best stews I've made and great for the crock pot
Green Chili Enchiladas- My favorite dish
Baked Beans & Hamburger- YUMMY, I recommend buying ready to bake rolls to serve with it
Marinated Flank Steak- great for the grill
Shish Kebabs- great for the grill- the pineapple made these scrumptious
Rosie's Meatloaf- our mutual favorite recipe
French Dip- another easy crockpot recipe

Chicken Recipes-
Sweet Soy Marinated Chicken- I loved this recipe, but A.R wasn't a fan
Herbed Chicken- DELISH!
Chicken Packets- very good, great for kids, and light for summer
Chicken Tetrazzini- A.R.'s favorite (we split the recipe and freeze in two portions)
Deborah's Sweet & Sour Chicken
Chicken & Rice Pilaf- delicious, but a little salty

Pork Recipes-
Stuffed Pork Chops- these were DELISH!
Cranberry Pork- a crockpot cook's must have

Other (vegetarian dish)-
Crustless Spinach Quiche- quiche is just as good for dinner as it is for breakfast


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