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Once A Month Cooking Whether you cook for a month or just double your dinners, this is the place to share ideas.

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Old 07-30-2007, 09:34 AM
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OAMC / Bi-Weekly Cooking

During the school year some of my neighbors and I (6 of us) had an entree exchange where we met once a month, made freezer meals at home that we took to our gatherings and we exchanged them. We each ended up with 6 freezer meals for the month. We stopped doing this for the summer, I'm not sure if we'll start again next month or not. I keep thinking I need to start doing some OAMC for myself. I am bad about putting it off since I don't have a set date to have it done by. I think I'm going to set a date w/ myself & go shopping and at least prepare & freeze enough for 2 weeks. I really loved having meals in the freezer during the school year and I missed not having them handy this summer. School starts again in 16 days and I know it's going to be hectic.

If you have any favorite freezer recipes that are easy to prepare and don't have too many ingredients I'd love it if you could share them with me.

Now, I just need to make my menu & shopping list and get busy.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:13 AM
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Mindy, it is difficult for me to tell you what to do since I am the opposite of a procrastinater. lol

I have found that by planning ahead, I save a TON of time! You can take, most casseroles, and triple them. Then, get some extra casserole dishes or tin throw-away casserole dishes, and pour the 2/3rds in them. Freeze them. Then, on busy days or days when I don't want to cook, I pull them out and throw them in the oven until they are hot and bubbly. You only messy 1 time, but get 3 meals! But, it is just a suggestion.

Now that I live in an RV during school times, I cannot do what I want
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:13 AM
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Mindy, it is difficult for me to tell you what to do since I am the opposite of a procrastinater. lol

I have found that by planning ahead, I save a TON of time! You can take, most casseroles, and triple them. Then, get some extra casserole dishes or tin throw-away casserole dishes, and pour the 2/3rds in them. Freeze them. Then, on busy days or days when I don't want to cook, I pull them out and throw them in the oven until they are hot and bubbly. You only messy 1 time, but get 3 meals! But, it is just a suggestion.

Now that I live in an RV during school times, I cannot do what I want to do because of my small oven and stove.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:25 PM
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Well, I made a small start. When I made dinner last night I prepared 2 chicken sopa's and froze one of them. Yeah! Only 29 more meals & I'll have enough for a month!
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:01 PM
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Mindy, Did you always like what the other people had made for you?

That was always one thing that I was afraid of with joining a group like that.

Why couldn't we start our own group?

We could come up with vague catagories.

For example:

If we made 18 meals

3 could be chicken

3 could be meatless

3 soup

3 beef or pork....

Of course, we would do it all on the honor system but it might be fun to see who could stick to it and the different recipes that everyone uses.

Just an idea.

Tami
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:36 PM
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Tami, do you mean we'd make them for ourselves & share what recipes we made or are you thinking actually trying to send them to each other? That would be neat but not sure how that would work. Let me know, it's late & I might not be thinking clearly right now. By the end of the day my brain doesn't really function at full capacity! lol
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:40 PM
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Tami, sorry I didn't answer one of your q's. I did get a few meals that my family didn't enjoy but that was mostly because I have picky eaters. My dh won't eat veggies & my kids aren't crazy about mixed veggies. I got a beef stew & a chicken pot pie that had mixed veggies in them so I just passed those on to my parents.

Toward the end we had some people who didn't supply the recipes which was one of the main reasons we did the exchange. We were trying to broaden our "go to" recipes in addition to having a few meals in the freezer.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:43 PM
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I meant that we would cook for our own families but if we "pledge" to do it, then maybe it would motivate us to actually stick to the plan.

Just a thought......

I'm making Granola right now.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:40 PM
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I'd be willing to join in! Although I live alone now, my grandchildren are here often, and it would be nice if I'd once again cook ahead and make my life a bit easier! Of course, it'd be nice to come home after school and heat up something already prepared than buying those frozen things I've been getting lately, too! Shame on me!

ajrsmom...care to share your granola recipe? I had one, and can't find it--but I know it's here! I love homemade granola of all sorts! Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:09 PM
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My Granola recipe is actually a recipe for Granola (Oatmeal) bars. I made the bars last time but this time I dumped it out on a cookie sheet and just baked it. It is sooo good! ( and I shouldn't be eating it since I am low-carbing but I made it for my kids to take to the movies tomorrow for a snack ...and then snuck a couple of bites of it! )

The original recipe:

Apricot Oatmeal bars

3/4C. butter

soft butter or non-stick spray
to spray foil

1C. firmly packed dried apricots

1 1/2 C. old-fashioned rolled oats

1C. all-purpose flour

1C. firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I used a lot more)

1 1/2 tps. vanilla extract

********

My recipe substitutes:

raisins for apricots, ( I added more too--just eyeballed it)

light brown sugar for dark brown sugar

I was out of cinnamon so I used Pumpkin Pie spice this time. Both are very good!

**********

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool

2. Preheat oven to 350*. Line bottom and sides of 9x9 dish with foil. Lightly grease foil with extra butter or spray.

If using apricots, snip in 1/2 in. pieces.

3. In bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.

4. Add apricots (or raisins...etc), melted butter and vanilla. Stir well until blended. The dough will be moist and crumbly. Dump the dough into the prepared baking pan. Press the dough into the pan with your fingers.

5. Bake until the top is golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

6. When cool, lift foil to work surface. Peel away foil and cut into rectangles.

Makes 18 bars. Store in airtight container.


For my Granola tonight, I dumped the mix onto a foil lined cookie sheet and baked for approx 30 minutes. Stir it about 20 minutes through.

This would be great with yogurt.


Would you share your granola recipes, too?

I will probably split these tomorrow into a seperate thread for granola recipes so that we don't take over the original topic. I'll add the link when I do.
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