Thursday, September 17, 2009

Group Cook Day Today

We took a bit of a break over the summer because everyone's schedules were so crazy we just couldn't get together to prepare meals, but we are back at it again and we are getting better at this every time we do it. Today we were done with 84 meals in 3 hours. And 3 of us prepared meals for 4 families. It was great. Of course, I once again forgot to take pictures of the whole process, one of these days, I will remember that part.

So this time we did the following meals.

Magnificent Casserole
Teriyaki Burgers
Teriyaki Chicken
Chicken Noodle Casserole
Meatballs in Dijon Sauce
Orange Chicken
BBQ Meatbals
Taco Salad
Ham Fried Rice
Ham Slices Dinner
Swiss Steak
Macaroni & Cheese
Cream Cheese Chicken
Crock Pot Roast Beef
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Taco Soup
French Bread Pizzas
Meatball Stroganoff

Plus we had a bit of extra ground beef left over so we bagged it up and added seasonings to make another taco meal during the month. So each of us ended up with 21 meals today. It feels so good to have my freezer full again!! The meal plan for this group of meals will be ready soon. I have a few adjustments to make after working it out today. I will let you all know when it is ready.

By the way, for anyone local that is interested, I am working out a way that I can help other groups to get started with this(or even to do it regularly). I am working on a party plan where you gather your friends and have a group cook day for yourselves, with me there to supervise and help get it all done. So you and your friends get the benefit of 20 meals in your freezers, some fun social time while working in the kitchen and the benefit of my many years of experience doing this process. If anyone is interested in doing this, just let me know.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy Evenings and Getting Dinner on the Table

So one of the biggest reasons that I do OAMC is for the daily time savings. Our lives are busy. My girls have sports after school, everyone has homework, and let's face it, the dinner hour just happens to fall at the craziest time of the day. Right?

I used to spend in excess of an hour every evening to prepare a proper meal for my family. It was like a juggling act on a high wire in the circus. Put the pan on the stove, "mom I need help", cut something up, "mom can you pick me up from volleyball now?", throw something in the pan, "mom, I can't do this math problem". etc., etc., etc., I think you get the idea. I found that the time in the evenings is too valuable and it is too hard to justify spending it slaving over the stove to prepare a meal. I feel like my kids need that time instead.

At the same time, I was not willing to spend the extra money to buy prepared foods, get take-out, or fast food. (Not to mention the health factor involved in these easier options.) So I was very excited when I learned about OAMC.

With OAMC, the time required to get a meal on the table is very minimal. In most cases it requires only the time to pour the meal into a saucepan and reheat or to throw a casserole in the oven. I have found that instead of spending an hour or more for meal preparation on a daily basis, I spend about 15 minutes in actual meal preparation daily and then about 3-4 hours one day a month to prepare the frozen meals. It is truly a HUGE time saver.

Another way I save evening time in the kitchen is to use my crock-pot. I like to get a meal ready in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day so it is ready when I need it. With this method, my prep time is spent in the morning after kids go to school when things tend to be a little bit less hectic. I have several OAMC recipes that use the crock pot too. With these meals all the prep is done ahead of time and all you have to do is dump it into the crock pot, turn it on and go on with your day.

In addition, I recently was sent an email that had links to tons of Crock Pot recipes in it. I traced that email back to it's source and wanted to share this website with you. They have a ton of really great crock pot recipes on it. Crockery Pot Recipes

Well, like I have said, I have found OAMC to be a huge time saver in the kitchen. I love doing it. I love having meals in the freezer and I feel LOVE that it gives me so much more freedom!! Anyway, if I haven't convinced you to try OAMC yet, then just wait for my next article on the money I have saved doing OAMC. You will be amazed!!