Power Cooking

Power cooking may sound awful to some, but to me and some friends, it is a lifesaver! About once every 3 months we each select 2-3 recipes to prepare in mass quantity. We then get together to "power cook" and assemble meals that we freeze. It is so nice to be able to just grab something out of the freezer the night before a busy day and then come home from work, pop something in the oven and have a fully cooked meal 30 minutes later!!

My two recipes are sooooo yummy! They are out of Southern Living's Easy Week Night Favorites for Busy Moms!

Recipe One: Turkey Tetrazzini...

Assemble ingredients... check.

Cube 4 pounds honey smoked turkey.... check.

Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic... resist temptation to eat.... check (kind of).

Mix everything in one large bowl.... check.
Note... first time we've used this bowl since we got it for our wedding! I knew we registered for it for a reason!!

Assemble in 8x8 casserole pans. Each family got 3 casseroles from this recipe. Yum!

Recipe Two: Crunchy Ranch Chicken Tenders...

Assemble ingredients... check.
And yes, the "crunchy ranch" is cool ranch flavored chips.

Get much needed assistance from 3 su chefs... check.

Allow su chefs celebratory run through kitchen... check.

Assemble tenders and bake... check.
This delightful recipe gave each family 2 nights worth of tenders.
These suckers are yummy!!

Bag, label and separate meals... check.

After all was said and done, each family received 18 home-cooked, mostly nutritious meals. Total cost? $6.16/meal with 4 servings/meal... the perfect amount for each of us. Incredible, right??!? I'm sure it sounds crazy to some, but this is a fun way to save money and do something good not just for yourself, but for your family.

Tips on power cooking...
1. Do it with friends that have similar family sizes as you so recipes can be divided with ease
2. Pick a 3-4 hour time period to prepare and assemble meals
3. Recipes with a lot of canned goods can be time consuming simply because you have so many cans to open
4. Go generic!! Remember, this isn't just about making your life easier, but saving money. Green beans are green beans, so set aside that urge to buy green giant and get the store brand. (I do draw the line on dairy products and meats :))
5. Don't be afraid to try something new... if you don't like it then you don't have to make it again. AND... it's always good to have food in the freezer for a friend in need.
6. Let your kids join in... they get a kick out of cooking!
7. You can start prepping the night before if you need to chop vegetables, etc...
8. Meat with your cooking partners once before the "cook day" to go over recipes and ingredients. That way if everyone needs the same item, you can buy in bulk.
9. Frozen chopped onions are a girls best friend
10. Have fun!!!

This was a great way to start off a long weekend filled with tons of activities. We had a great Memorial Day Weekend... more to come on our adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Great post Katy! So fun - great idea. Now I just need to find a few more wives with vegetarian husbands (UGH!!!!) Wish I could be there for the fun!!!!