I have this weird desire to become a domestic goddess. Not a house wife, or homemaker, but something so much cooler and powerful.
I just came back from a relief society activity with my mother, at the macey's grocery store near my home. These are more or less cooking classes. Something I have a slight obsession with, but not the patience for it. When we had cable, the food network was one of the few channels I watched, and would try not to miss episodes of certain chefs.
The problem is, I don't have the time to spend a lot of time on cooking. Or the energy now that I'm pregnant. I usually work 8 hours a day, in customer service being yelled at a lot, and it's slightly stressful. When I come home from work, I usually just want to sit down and not think, or do anything. This class gave me a whole new perspective on cooking when I'm busy, which I will share with you here. (yay!!)
Freezer meals. Doesn't usually sound quite so good eh? But I thought, Hey, they're only two of us, I have a hard enough time cutting meals down enough that I'm not throwing away a lot of moldy food that sat in my fridge we never ate because we got sick of it. I'm not doing that anymore. This lady is the mother of 12 (no joke-ranged age 30-9) and did this just to save herself time I bet. I'll probably alter the system to work for us, but the idea is basic enough. BUT-not only are they freezer meals that I LIKE, but she has it set up that in one day, she's made enough freezer meals for a MONTH!!!
She picked 5 meals with chicken in them, and 5 meals with ground beef, then she doubled them, so she had 2 of each meal, for a total of twenty meals, and voila:frozen meals for a MONTH. And she creates these in one day!!! that's 5 meals for a week, which is good enough for me, that still gives me one night for pizza, and one good sunday dinner at a parents home or something else I want.
Then she just makes a spreadsheet, with her recipes across the top, and the ingredients down the side. In each column, under each specific recipe, she puts how much she'll need of the certain ingredient on the side--remember, enough for 2 meals. Then on the left side, she totals it all up, so she know exactly how much of each ingredient she'll need to purchase for these meals.
I love this idea, because I like to plan out meals for a week, and buy all the things I need for them in one trip, because I hate the grocery store, I hate lines and pushing grocery carts. :) My problem really comes down to my willingness to cook the meals that I planned and bought the groceries for. This turns into me throwing away food that goes bad, and getting frustrated at the waste of money!
After she's bought all the groceries, she then takes a day and prepares all the meals-sometimes she says she takes two days. On the first day, she cooks all the chicken and ground beef (she actually cooks the beef in the oven!! and then the chicken in the pressure cooker) and cuts up all the veggies and puts everything in the fridge. Then on the second day she prepares all the meals. And she's not just making casseroles. she's making soups, and lasagna, and enchiladas! even still, she either mixes things in bowls, or even ziplock bags. then putting them in those cheap aluminum pans (she found them at zurchers for like 50¢, and then puts the lids on them and freezes them. She found you could stack 3 before the lids start collapsing on each other. she also said for the soup, put in in a ziplock bag, then freeze it in the pan she'd heat them up in. then you just have to cut the baggie off and set it in the pan. I like this idea. and you could put everything in baggies and freeze them flat.
So here's what I'm going to do--since there are only 2 of us, I'm going to pick a few meals --probably 5-10 different types and instead of putting them in one pan, or bag, I'm going to put them in probably 4 or so bags. Then I can pull one out and it should be just enough for the both of us! My mom also told me, another way to do it is make a full meal one day and cook enough for the two of us and then bag up the rest. But then I still have to make one meal a day, and I really like the concept of making all these meals in one day and just cooking them that night.
so we'll really see how I can do this, and if I actually get around to doing. What I'll probably do is create the spreadsheet, and then never buy all the stuff for it, because after all, this is what living like this does!