This post is coming a little late today, on day 7. But it’s for good reason. No really. I promise. I’ve been busy. REALLY busy. Want to know why? Awesome! I’ll tell you.
So, this whole 31 days gig I’m focusing on health, right? Yep. Health. All shapes and manners of health. From food to exercise to getting yourself squeezed and talking to your kids about sex and healthy relationships. Today I’m going to talk about mamma’s (or the main cooker’s) mental sanity. See, I hate cooking. Like it’s found in that seventh circle of hell for me. Detest it. But the kids think they need to eat. Sheesh. So I cook. And I’m not a stay at home mom. This year I get to be home a bit more than last, but I’m still working A LOT and finding time to make those good dinners is tough. So last year I started cooking ahead. And I fell in LOVE with my Crockpot. No really-it’s the best creation on earth. Especially for busy families.
It took a little planning, but once I really sat down and figured out what I was doing, it was pretty easy. Time consuming, but easy. I have a really great little cookbook designed for crockpotting, and Pinterest is choc full of yummyness. So I figure out some recipes that look good, make a menu and hit the grocery store. Then I cook. For one morning or afternoon all I do is cook. I know, it seems like a lot. I got awful close to that seventh circle. But after about 2.5 hours, I would be done. And have a bunch of meals to toss in the freezer and pull out on those busy (read every) day. And today, this is what I did. After going for a wog (walk/jog-that baby stroller is HEAVY!) I came home and started cooking.
To prep I had gone to Costco and filled up on the things I new I would need. I go through a lot of spaghetti sauce, and they have the giant containers of Pregu 2 for $7.99. And last time I went, they were on sale for $5 something! I can’t get one tiny bottle for that! Then I grabbed a couple bags of peppers, some celery, carrots, onions, mini squash (those are stupid cute. I don’t know how food is cute, but those are), the giant thing of cream cheese (it’s like $6.99 for the equivalent of 6 packages) fresh spinach in the giant bags (I put it in ziplocks and freeze it. That way it’s $4 for a bunch instead of over a dollar for one small frozen serving). Whole grain noodles (8 packages for around $8). A box of canned tomatoes and a box of canned black beans. A bag of frozen corn. Hamburger and frozen chicken (the most expensive part). And then I shopped my pantry. I had Ketchup and soy sauce, BBQ sauce, honey, garlic and spices. I don’t end up using all of the stuff I buy (like the corn and spinach) but those are easy fillers and side dishes for meals that don’t make it in the crock pot. I know it seems expensive when you do your bulk shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club, and it is, but I’m feeding a small army and in the long run it’s often cheaper to buy in bulk and freeze it.
To get going I defrosted and set some hamburger in the pan to cook. I let it brown while I worked on some chicken dishes. I chopped, diced and used the handy kitchen tools to add the goodies to each recipe. I set each dish apart in one ziplock back labled with it’s name and any additional instructions (ie: add noodles) that might be needed. Then I just go to town! This morning took me about 2 and a half hours. But by the time I was done, I had eleven (11!!!) meals all ready to be tossed in the freezer. There were some minor issues (see the corn). And the babe loves to get int-ahem, help.
So! There we have it. Late post, but full freezer and happy mamma. If you’d like some recipes, let me know by clicking on the “Contact Me” on the side bar and I’d be happy to email them to you!