January 16, 2011

Batch Cooking, Take Two...

My first week of batch cooking went so well that I jumped right in for week two. I can't tell you how amazing it was to have meals in the freezer and a great plan for dinner every night. There were a couple of nights where things got hairy and dinner wouldn't have been on the table without this plan, or dinner would have been take-out and that doesn't bode well for the budget.

This week's cooking includes:
Homemade Larabars (2 batches)
Pizza dough (3)
Lasagna (3) - two of which are going to be given away
Cranberry Beef (2)
Pea Pesto
Hand Pies (2)
Homemade Pie Crusts (6)
Thai Chicken
More muffins

I've gotten a lot of questions about batch cooking... mostly, will you cook for me too? But second is, does it really save you time? My answer is yes, so many recipes that take 20 minutes to make only require an extra five minutes or so to make additional batches. Case in point... lasagna:

Takes just as long to boil more noodles...

Just a bit longer to brown more meat and stir everything up...

And maybe 5 more minutes to layer three as opposed one lasagna...

Muffins work the same way. Making a ton and freezing them really saves a lot of time, since you're only adding a few extra minutes to baking time.

Sure, after a large batch cooking session my kitchen is a wreck, but I'm only cleaning this up once, not multiple times a week. This alone makes up for every extra second I spend making additional meals!

Our menu this week will be:
Monday: Lasagna (We're eating one and delivering two)
Tuesday: Neighbor dinner (yeah!)
Wednesday: Chicken pot pie
Thursday: Dinner with friends (yeah!)
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Thai Chicken
Sunday: Leftovers

I went back and added links to all of the recipes from last week's posts. I hope you find it helpful!


Anna said...

I read that you freeze the hand pies in their separate components. Por que? Wouldn't they freeze well, just like a pot pie, or a hot pocket, etc? Also, what is the rule about copyrighted recipes? Not that it matters, but I know lots of food blogs that will feature a recipe and provide the source (and link) from the cookbook/website/blog. Maybe it's because they are adding their own spin?

Living with Three Boys of Our Own said...

I find that if I freeze them together they get a bit soggy when defrosting, plus the boys like to help with the dough and they are (ideally) not around when I do my big batch cook!

On the recipes, if there is a link I will share it, but if it's from a book and not published on the Internet, it's only fair that I point you toward buying the book. That's what I'd want done if I was the book writer!

Michelle said...

I cook like this, too. It really DOES save time! I just wanted to let you know that I have posted about my home made bread finally. You visited my blog a while back and asked about it! It's finally done. You can read here, if you're still interested: