I love to cook. A lot of my friends know this, some of them don’t. But I hate when I realize that it’s 4:45pm and the dish I was planning is going to take 3 hours to prep, put together and cook. Enter frozen pizza. So in a recent trip to New Hampshire to visit family, my cousin introduced me to the concept of once a month cooking (OAMC). You have one big cooking day – your once a month cooking day (OAMCD) – consisting of 8-10 hours of dining deliciousness, and then you freeze everything. You then have meals for an entire month and there’s no more wondering “What’s for dinner?”
She directed me over to onceamonthmom.com, and I started poking around. After about an hour of “research”, I decided this was something I wanted to do, but I was skeptical that the food was going to last a month. I showed it to a girlfriend and we immediately started planning. We did our day (not without its stresses), and I learned a lot. And yes, the food lasted us a month.
As the date for the next OAMCD was approaching, I asked my friend if she would be doing it with me this time. She graciously declined explaining that her husband wasn’t a fan of most of the recipes. I was bummed, not gonna lie (the friendship makes it even more fun), but I understood. I began planning my menu for the next go around. I spent $150 for groceries for a month’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here’s the current recipe line up:
Chocolate raspberry muffins
Chilled Spahgetti salad
Basil Chicken over Angel Hair
Green Orzo salad
Broccoli cheese soup
Chickpea and Tomato Salad
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
Healthy Fish Sticks
Summer Steak Kabobs
Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa
(all recipes are at www.onceamonthmom.com)
Sound pretty good huh? I’m excited! I decided to get up at my normal weekday time (5:30am) so I could be cooking by 6am. I did all my prep work (cut veggies, cooked certain meats) the day before and headed out for a night out with the girls. When I got home, I double checked to make sure I had everything ready and went to bed…at 1am (stupid computer game!)
5:30am – Alarm goes off. Do I really have to get up? I mean, I don’t HAVE to get up this early, right? The dog isn’t even up yet!
5:55am – Alarm goes off again. Ok. Ok. I’m up! Where’s the coffee?
6:38am – Start cooking. Chicken-Q Sandwiches go in the crockpot
8:07am – Penelope wakes up.
8:33am – First meal in the freezer – Basil Chicken Pasta
8:49am – Second meal in the freezer – Chilled Spaghetti Salad
9:12am – Turned on radio (90s weekend baby!!)
10:35am – Third meal in the freezer – Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa
10:55am – Fourth meal in the freezer – Broccoli Cheese Soup
11:30 – Fifth meal in freezer – Green Orzo Salad
12:27pm – Sixth meal in freezer – Chicken-Q Sandwiches
12:30pm – Seventh meal in freezer – Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
1:40pm – Eighth meal in freezer – Chickpea and Tomato Salad
1:45pm – Ninth meal in freezer – Fish Sticks
2:10pm – Tenth meal in freezer – Summer Steak Kabobs
2:22pm – Eleventh meal in freezer – Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
2:35PM – ALL DONE!!!
The whole day took me less than 8 hours, including kitchen clean up. And now, we’ve got meals for the entire month of September. So far, we’ve had the broccoli cheese soup, and the chicken-Q sandwiches and both have been very tasty! We’ll see how the rest of them goes!