Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cooking Extravaganza: the Details

To satisfy the curious, here are the stats on my recent cooking adventure:

How many meals did I prepare?
about 40

What did I cook?  
Here is the list of entrees I prepared:  lentil soup, chili, vegetable & round pasta soup, wild rice and mushroom soup, mac and cheese, turkey meatball marinara w/spaghetti, fettuccine w/creamy red pepper sauce, chicken alfredo, marzetti (my family's version of lasagna), meatloaf, baked ziti, chicken pot pie, calzones, steak rolls w/basil, thai beef, lemon-garlic lamb chops, asian stir fry, quick chicken curry, BBQ chicken hash, artichoke-feta stuffed chicken, chicken cacciatore, stuffed turkey burgers, sage rubbed pork chops w/slaw, teriyaki pork tenderloin, peppercorn pork w/wine sauce, roasted pork loin w/parsley-shallot sauce, herb crusted fish
Note: most of my recipes came from MyRecipes.com and Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave.

How much did it cost?
About $300, which is what I usually spend on a month's worth of groceries (a fact I now know thanks to mint.com!).  Certainly it was an up-front investment, but I think it will save money in the long run since it prevents waste and impulse eating!

How long did it take?
15 hours straight.  I kid you not--I was a cooking machine.

How did I store it?
In plastic freezer bags (gallon and quart size), labeled, and stacked in my small stand-alone freezer in the garage.  I filled it to the brim!  Ironically, it freed up tons of space in my kitchen freezer...

What now?
My plan is to simply feed (no pun intended) what I've already started, meaning that I'll try to replace what we've eaten week by week.  So--thankfully--no more all-day cooking marathons!  I'll take advantage of weekly sales on meat, staples, etc. to replenish my stock, and try to double a recipe or two while I'm cooking during the week (which won't be often thanks to the food I've already made!).

Tell me with your quick meal tips by commenting here or emailing me at shillberry@comcast.net!
Didn't catch yesterday's Marketplace Maven?  Click here to read more!
And stay tuned for more Smarty Pants, coming later today!

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