Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Power Cooking

Power cooking just SOUNDS cool.

And it is, if you're into that sort of thing... I don't do this a lot, but from time to time I make a ton of meals all in one day, and I try to use shared ingredients to keep costs lowered and cut prep time.  Some people do once a month cooking, but I just haven't felt that ambitious!  If you want to try it, just google "OAMC" or once a month cooking, and you can find a ton of sites to help.  The meal swaps are as close to that as I can get.  It is REALLY nice to only clean up the kitchen once, though, since I cook messy!

Anyway, today I was feeling somewhat motivated, and I am trying to use up as much of the food we currently have in the pantry and freezer while I DO NOT GO TO  A GROCERY STORE AT ALL this week.  It's gotten out of hand, and when I get away from meal planning, I find myself being greeted by name at Pick N Save (close, but not THAT bad).  Seriously, I think I went 4 times last week - ACK!!! SO, back to the topic at hand, I pulled out a bunch of stuff in the freezer and pantry, and made the following so far:

2 8x8 pans of Spanish Rice Bake
2 pans of stuffed peppers (w/ Spanish Rice Bake as filling - yeah, baby)
1 pan of chicken thighs to be roasted (prepped, put in fridge for tomorrow)

1 batch of homemade hamburger buns (bread machine, for the pulled pork I found hidden in the freezer)
2 loaves of ciabatta bread (bread machine)
PLANNED on 1 batch of chocolate chip cookie dough to freeze and bake as needed, pre-k melt-down that took away my time...
PLANNED on 1 pan of homemade cinnamon rolls (see above)

By the way - for the peppers, I cut them in 1/2, and then froze them like "shells" and then filled them with cooked meat filling - I find if you fill them with the raw meat, you get an icky, greasy mess, but that's just me.  You can steam the peppers first, but we like them with a little more firmness, and we only use 1/2 so it's "open face", so I skip the steaming.  Do whatever makes you sleep better at night.

Here's a money-saving tip for peppers:  grow your own peppers in the summer, then chop them or cut them or whatever, and freeze them.  Or buy a ton of them when they're on sale, and prep.  OR, patrol the produce "clearance" section at Sendik's - I scored big one day - the woman was putting them out and was actually helping me find the best ones.

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