Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Made It Monday - Tuesday Edition

Recently, in an effort to minimize the amount of time I spend in the kitchen, I’ve been researching OAMC (or Once A Month Cooking) and Crock Pot Freezer Cooking. Now this isn’t to say that I hate being in the kitchen. I don’t. I love cooking and baking and making. The problem is I quite often end up busy in the late afternoon running around with the girls or errands or crafting and then it is too late to actually make anything. 

Also, I forget to take things out to thaw.

Plus, guess what’s coming up in nine days? NaNoWriMo! And of course once November hits, everyone is on their own for food, laundry and attention. Having a bunch of prepped meals will make November run just a bit smoother.

I wonder if I can pre-cook Thanksgiving?

In any event, this will probably be a thing now. Six hours of prep, five recipes and at least nine meals clearly equal a win (although I only doubled one recipe, the way they are packed and frozen one bag would be one meal with no leftovers). The only minor drawback of prepping so many meals in advance is storage of said meals.

Up until about a month ago I had a freezer that we bought from a friend which worked fantastic. Sure it was older but it was wonderful! I hadn’t even gotten it stuffed full yet when disaster struck. Because we had to keep it outside on the screened patio (yup) the poor thing worked really hard keeping everything cold until it just couldn’t anymore and blew up.

Alright. Fine. It didn’t technically explode but it made a pop pop popping and then smoke started billowing from the vent. Luckily I was home. Even more luckily, I was out on the patio at the time so I was able to unplug it and stash all of the food in the regular freezer. We’ve been looking at getting another one but smaller to fit it inside…but with only 1300 square feet floor space is at a premium. So while I wanted to prep a few more recipes, I only made what I figured would fit.

Clockwise from lower left (in a spirally manner): baby portabella mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, onions, carrots, sweet potato, Yukon gold potato, jalapeno, celery and zucchini.
 Once the veggies are prepped then it's on to the meat prep and assembly.

Just to give you an idea, this is one recipe divided into two one-gallon ziploc bags. So while technically one would cook these both together, it is possible to cook one at a time and not have to deal with leftovers - which in my case would be good since somehow leftovers often get shoved to the back of the fridge and neglected. Poor, poor leftovers!

And here is my tiny freezer neatly stuffed with prepped food. Five recipes fit nicely although I'm sure I could have squeezed in one more if I tried.

And, of course, the aftermath. Well, some of the aftermath. Scott was very nice to help clean up as I was finishing up the last of the recipes so what you are not seeing is all of the cutting boards, the stuff still on the floor (mostly canned goods that will be used in other non-prepped meals) and the multitude of dirty bowls.

Just for reference, here are some of the sites that I used for recipes and ideas:

Once A Month Mom


I used the following recipes from Loving my Nest: Meat Stew (I used beef), Pork and Veggies, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew.

I used Healthy Mama's BBQ Chicken from Mama and Baby Love

I used a Taste of Home recipe, Southwest Chicken, that I modified so I could freeze it.

And last I made Lime Salsa Chicken from a site I neglected to include above, Kojo Designs.

 (the first four links in the update will bring you to the recipe pages)


  1. I may just have to start doing this...I always am thinking I should but can't get myself to commit to it. It sure would save a lot of time during the month (even if it takes a lot one day I think I would appreciate it all the other days).

    1. The OAMC scared me quite a bit. Far too much planning and prepping, so I stuck with a more reasonable two weeks. I usually try to plan out that long anyway for grocery shopping purposes so it didn't seem so daunting. Also, what I made was all uncooked. Also, with the OAMC everything gets prepped, cooked and then frozen which again, far too much planning on my part. Now I do have plans to make a lasagna next week that I will be doubling so one will get frozen. We'll see how that goes!

  2. Not a half bad idea. Do these recipes have a name or do I need to follow those links to find out? I'm deathly lazy, clicking is quite a chore.

  3. Since you asked so nicely...I updated to list the recipes and the links. Cheers my lazy friend!

  4. OMG!!! Once a month cooking sounds perfect!! I will have to look into this!