Monday, November 2, 2009

Cooking With Little Hands In The Pot

Today is Monday which usually means another "Not Me Monday" post. As much as I love those and always have fresh fodder for them; I am skipping it this week to elaborate on a Twitter that I sent out that has raised a few questions.

Mondays is my "Cook for the week" day. The questions where...
  • please elaborate on this
  • how do you do this with little ones
  • why do you do this
  • have you always been insane
OK...so maybe that last question wasn't relevant...but maybe it was.

I learned real quick in this whole "Mommy thing" that the starting dinner at 5pm and having it on the table at 6pm gig was not going to work for my family. If you do this and have success, you probably are always dressed in the latest fashion, have perfect hair and wear pearls while serving dinner over candlelight to perfectly behaved children...I digress. Anyways, we found a system that works for us. I don't think the recipes are really what is important here, but more of the "how" do you do it.

First I take a swig of wine...scratch that one. I go to the store and buy a ton of ground meat, chicken and other assorted meats. On Monday this is what happens...

2 lbs of ground meat are seasoned for Italian food.
Half is used for making lasagna and the other half for making meatballs.
Both of these are cooked and put in the freezer.

2 lbs of ground meat are used for making out hamburger patties and stored in the freezer to be grilled as needed.

2lbs of ground meat are seasoned for Mexican food, browned and tomato sauce added. Once it is cooked down, it is split into two different freezer bag and stored in the freezer. We often make tacos, enchiladas or nachos during the week with this.

I put 2 lbs of chicken breasts on the grill (because my stove is full at this point) Using pie shells, I use 1lb pre-cooked chicken to make out chicken pot pies and freeze. The other 1lb is used either Monday night for chicken salad, grilled chicken sandwhiches or something else.

I put a small ham in the oven to cook as well. We use this during the week for sammiches or just a fried ham dinner.

That is usually what is cooked on Monday. Like I said the recipes are not important; its whatever works for your family. By doing this, I can have minimal preparation when dinner time actually comes. Throw some veggies on the stove, assemble enchiladas...whatever. Dinner time is reduced to around 30 minutes each day.

Also to reduce the amount of stress that usually occurred around dinnertime. I cook dinner at about 4pm. We don't eat at this time, but I can be assured that the children are in good moods and not starving. I then put everything in Tupperware and can reheat in a matter of moments before dinner.

The amount of time on Mondays that I am in the kitchen preparing all these things is usually about 4 hours total.

It's just what works for us. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

And yes, I have always been a little insane but medication never really worked.

6 comments:

Amy said...

Alycia, I have a great recipe for "Mexican Meat" if you are interested. Homemade refried beans too... they also freeze nicely.

As for the chicken, when I cook ahead like this, I try to use bone in chicken, or whole chicken and make my own broth, too. Lemme tell you about the chicken pot pies I made with the homemade broth! MMMMM!

I should do this precooking more regularly. Life is so much easier when I do. I have a ton of game meat in the freezer to start with, too!

Emily said...

That is so smart. Now if only I had the motivation...sigh

Bethany said...

Yeah, I need to try this. Soon. Thanks for sharing. Just curious, what freezes well and what has been less than tasty after a freezer run?

Laanykidsmom said...

I am impressed. I am also hoping some of your organizational skills and plan-aheadness (not a word, oh well) will rub off on me 'cause I read your blog.

Brianne said...

Wow you are prepared! So you make the meatballs and then freeze them. I almost never freeze something that was cooked and then reuse it. I just don't know how to do it right!!!

Kate said...

You....you....you're my hero!

I LOVE the idea of preparing the meat all on one day and bagging separately for future meals. I wish I had that kind of motivation but I'm always blogging or reading blogs and then it's the dinner-time-scramble!

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