"What on earth am I going to make for supper?"
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only who has had this thought at 5pm :)
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I don’t enjoy cooking. Oh, I’ll do it because it is definitely the healthier choice for myself and my family; and in the long run is less expensive.
So, one way I have learned to “cope” with this, thanks to my amazing sister Sherry, is to cook for 2 weeks in one day! It’s a lot of work but so totally worth it!
Things like this work different ways for different people. Here are a few things that have worked for us that we have learned along the way!
1. Start with a list. If you have any sort of OCD this is the way to go. All ingredients listed, color coded, underlined, whatever works for you!
Or you may be more free spirited and go with a simple straight forward list like this.
Once you have all your ingredients together then its time to get started!
2. Prepare ingredients in bulk where you can. It is so handy to have ingredients prepared and ready to go when packaging meals up!
This was for Lasagna, Fries Supreme, Tacos, and Chili/burritos.
This applies to chicken, vegetables, and what ever other ingredient you use in more then one dish; that way you are pulling out and re-pulling out the same ingredient all the time.
3. The slow cooker is your friend! We really enjoy making Mexican Beef wraps, Beans, Chicken and Dumplings in ours! You can pop it in first thing before you get started and that’s one meal done!
The aforementioned Mexican Beef Wraps ready to go!
4. Have more than one thing going at a time. Things need to cook, dough needs to rise, frying needs to be done. These things can all be done at the same time. And everyone knows us women are excellent multitaskers… generally speaking :)
Here we have Beans for our chili and burritos and Green Bean Soup cooking as well as Ground Beef and bacon for our pizza frying. (We used the fresh bacon drippings for our beans. They were yummy)
5. Prep the meals as far along as you can. What does that look like? Well for enchiladas we found it works best to make and store the sauce separately so they don't get soggy when you thaw and bake them. Tacos we put meat and cheese in a tortilla and store them in a large ziplock bag. Some meals are meant to be warmed in the slow cooker so all the ingredients can be put in a bag and mixed and frozen that way. Our Foil wrapped chicken (below) was completely ready to be put on the BBQ.
7. Cute kids are a bonus!
The main packaging type we use are
- Foil plates (when we have them on hand)
These are great for storing Enchiladas, Lasagnas etc.
- Large ziplock bags
You can store almost any meal in a ziplock bag
- Canning jars
Soups, sauces, gravies, and even chili store really well and are great space savers in the fridge.
We try to freeze everything we can so we put as little as possible in the fridge.
And there you have it!
This day of cooking gave us
- Green Bean Soup (Jar)
- Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (Jar)
- Mexican Beef Wraps (Slowcooker)
- 2 Pizzas
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Foil Wrapped Chicken
- Ground Beef for Fries Supreme
- Lasagna (covered dish)
- and a wee bit of extra cooked chicken
And this was only my half! I didn't cook much the next while and enjoyed it immensely. In fact I just finished these meals last week... So its back to cooking supper everyday for me. But a change in pace is always nice!