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Friday, April 3, 2009

Batch Cooking--It Works for Me!

I used to mega-cook with some of the other moms in our area, but in the last couple of years we have done batch cooking and that works out better for me. This week I baked three whole chickens and froze them in gallon bags, cut off two packs of chicken breasts from the bone and made two recipes from them, boiled the bones and used the rest to make fajita nachos. I also cooked up 10 pounds of dried beans with lots of bits of ham, lots of garlic, onion, red and yellow peppers, RoTel, salt and red pepper flakes and seperated them into meal sized portions for the freezer. And finally, I made three loaves of bread, two pans of sandwich rolls, one pan of sticky buns and two recipes of flatbread. The bread will last about a week...I am really trying not to buy bread from the store and make a more healthy bread here at home.

I am hoping to make up some dressing this weekend. I have a good bit of turkey broth in the freezer and have been saving up bags of leftover bread and cornbread to put in the dressing. Trying to see how frugal I can be! I also have lots of chopped turkey in the freezer as well. Remember those $.29 a pound turkeys we found after Thanksgiving? I still have 3-4 in the freezer! In addition to eating baked turkey, I have made sesame turkey nuggets, turkey salad and a few casseroles. I think I will make up a couple of turkey rice broccoli casseroles this weekend as well. I found some reduced ground beef yesterday during a quick run through Kroger. It will become taco meat today!!

I find batch cooking to be much more to my liking than cooking 25-30 different meals in one to two days like I used to do. This way I can cook as I find bargains and time and in huge quantities so that my freezer never gets empty.

Do you do cook for your freezer? Do you have a favorite recipe? I am always looking to add something new to our freezer stash. Send me your ideas if you have time.


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4 comments:

Loretta said...

I've also been batch cooking instead of having a mega cook weekend. I struggled with having everything (including the kids) organized to set aside more than one day (or even one day)without interruptions and delays. Cooking for the freezer is worth the effort, I just have to spread it out a little more than I used to :)

Heather said...

I like batch cooking as well. When I would do the "once a month cooking," the next month came too quickly, and I would jealously guard anything exiting my freezer! Refried beans are my favorite thing to cook and freeze in small quantities. (We eat a LOT of Mexican)

Raising Olives said...

Great idea! I have done this occasionally. I do not like the once-a-month cooking the way I was initially taught. I felt the same as Heather, way too much intense work.

The way we work it now, with dividing the prep between 5 families, it ends up being 2-4 hours spread out over a Wednesday - Friday and then around 4-6 hours on a Saturday morning. Much more doable in my opinion. Plus, there is lots of help with watching the children because the men and older children are helping.

All of that said, batch cooking is the most adaptable, easiest way to get food into your freezer. Thanks for reminding me about using it for side dishes and breakfasts or lunches.

Blessings,
Kimberly

Cardamoms Pod said...

I'm doing this on a small scale as I get better organized, and plan to try to do a little something everyday. Right now I make stock, cook chickens and ground beef, and especially lots of beans. I call all this my "fast food".

Love your blog! :-)

Kimarie

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