two weeks ago or so i discovered this website. this woman puts together a menu for once a month cooking, complete with grocery list, step-by-step instructions, and even labels for your meals! while she includes breakfast and lunch recipes, i'm not too interested in those. however, one thing i like about her menus is that her recipes aren't just casseroles. one can only eat so many meals of casseroles, after all!
anyway, i mentioned this website to a couple of friends and asked if they'd be interested in planning a big cooking day. one said yes right away, and the other wasn't sure her fiance would go for the idea. well, my co-worker's wife birthed their first child on monday, and i had asked if they'd like it if i prepared some ready-to-cook meals for them to stash in their freezer. apparently i got a big thumbs-up from the new mom! so tuesday evening i stopped at the store on the way home and picked up a bunch of stuff to try out some of the new recipes i'd found.
here's what i bought stuff for:
freezer beef stew
deconstructed stuffed chicken breasts
ultimate beef stroganoff
parmesan paprika pork chops
of course, i forgot mushrooms, so the beef for the stroganoff is now hanging out in my freezer.
tuesday night i prepared the freezer beef stew and the parmesan paprika pork chops. i had leftover coating for the pork chops, so i took a pork tenderloin out of my freezer, thawed it, and prepped it with the rest of the coating on wednesday. last night i made the stuffed chicken breasts and set out the ingredients for the baked ziti, which i'll throw together this evening.
i spent $54 at the grocery store, mostly on the meat, and used stuff i had on hand in my pantry and freezer.
here's the breakdown of what i ended up with:
4 batches of freezer beef stew, each of which makes a crockpot full
8 two-person meals of parmesan paprika pork chops (some with leftover potential)
2 single-serve deconstructed stuffed chicken breasts (for my delightful friend susie)
6 two-person meals of deconstructed stuffed chicken breasts
6 two-person meals of baked ziti(with leftover potential)
8 two-person meals of beef stroganoff (well, this is what i should end up with)
that's about 37 meals for a two-person family, which breaks down to $1.46 per meal. not too bad!
lots of the meals from this round will go to my co-worker and his wife, and my friend susie, who is in her 70s and ends up not cooking much because it's a pain in the ass to cook for one.
BUT . . . i'm not stopping here. my hesitant friend heard about my achievements of the week and decided she wants in on this, so we have a date for a cooking day tomorrow! we'll be making all of the following: chicken noodle soup, chipotle chicken and corn chowder, spicy honey chicken, lemon chicken, cilantro lime chicken, baked rigatoni, eggplant parmesan, and italian flank steak pinwheels. grocery lists have been prepped and stores with the best prices on the meat identified, and it looks like, including storage bags and containers, we'll spend less than $90 and end up with 28 two-person meals each! woo hoo! funny cooking stories and pictures to follow . . .