Monday, April 11, 2011


Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites: More Great Recipes That Save You Time and Money from the Inventors of the Ultimate Do-Ahead Dinnertime Method
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I decided it was time to give this a try. I'm in the kitchen for hours a day with cooking and cleanup.  I was scared to try it because I didn't even know where to start.  After doing some research on Amazon, I looked for the one with good ratings and family friendly recipes..

I'm really impressed with this book because it lays it out step by step literally!  ALL I had to do was take the book with me (or write down a list) and buy all the ingredients for the first month's recipe plan.  Check this out, it even lists them by section you are in the grocery store.  So no hopping around the store because you forgot something back in the dairy section.  Just remember that you are using your full money allotment for groceries.  

After I got home I put everything in the fridge, cupboards, and pantry, which took a loooong time.  Then I  went to the next page about the assembly order.  I just had to turn on the oven, bake my chicken for 50 minutes, and while that is baking, start chopping up everything it lists.  Vegetables and then later the meats.  Once that's done, now you just start making the meals and freeze them.  It's so easy because there is no guesswork in it.  They made it so easy for you to just follow it. So as long as you can measure, chop, assemble by instructions, and turn on an oven, you're good to go!

By the way, they didn't send me this book to review, I bought it on my own out of desperation for some extra free time with my family.  Yesterday I did all the chopping and today I'll be actually cooking and putting all the meals together to label and freeze.  My fridge is packed full so this has to be done today.

Yesterday was Sunday and I had to make something.  Since I was already chopping things up and the chicken was cooked, I was able to go ahead and make one of the recipes called Picadillo Chicken Pizza.  One thing I forgot was the olives and I know that was an important ingredient. It still was yummy and I can't believe I made it!  First off, this is such a long way from the girl a year ago who couldn't cook that well.  So if you say you're not a good cook, let me make you feel better.  I've been married 12 years and I've only been really cooking in the last year, maybe 2. That's stretching it.  I have proof.  I've been blogging for 5 years. I've only been posting recipes in the last 6 months. Two years ago was when I finally HAD to start learning to cook to start saving money.  We ate out a lot because we loved adventures and discovering new places.  Since our income has changed, I had to buckle down and learn to not only be frugal but how to actually cook.  Before I only had maybe 4 recipes under my belt that I really knew.  Thank God Charles has stayed with me through all my crazy cooking mistakes that first year of really trying. It must've been true love for Charles to stay with me through our first year of marriage being that he was served Pasta Roni every single day.  Ha! (I wonder if that's why he was so excited about his promotions.  More money meant more eating out.  Less Pasta Roni). The wonderful thing about all this?  I know longer cook from unhealthy sections of the store.  Most all of it is by scratch so there won't be a whole lot of processed foods going into our mouth.

Anyway, I'll be cooking all day so if any of my family comes to visit, you can find me in a kitchen!  LOL.  

I'm really focusing on Character Qualities at home so let me see if I can find one that applies.  Hmmmm..... Got it.  I found a few!  I'll explain why.

1. Orderliness vs. Disorganization
Preparing myself and my surroundings so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency
1 Corinthians 14:40
(This one because I'll have less cleanup and everything is planned a month in advance.  Less cleanup means more free time with my family.)

2. Hospitality vs. Loneliness
Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those God brings into my life.
Hebrews 13:2
(This one because some of these meals serve more than my family size so inviting someone or a family over will be a cinch.  I love good fellowship and it could really help someone to reach out to them. This way the food is prepared and I can just relax with them.)

3. Creativity vs. Under-achievement
Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective
Romans 12:2
(Yeah, this is definitely stepping out for me.  But I love a challenge and always love learning something new.)

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