Sunday, November 2, 2008

Efficiency cooking

I have been busy, busy, busy in the kitchen tonight.

Well, I'm not sure if my activity qualifies for three "busy" labels, but it does qualify for at least two. (It does. I checked the rules and guidelines on using the word "busy" and according to the powers-that-be, I am completely justified.)

(I just made that last part up.)

(Like you didn't already know that.)

Yeah, so anyway, back to tonight's "efficiency cooking." I'm calling it this because I cooked several things tonight that will make my meal preparation for the week a breeze. I also have some surplus that will go in the freezer for future meals. Yay!

So, first, here is my menu plan for the week:

Pork chops in the crock pot, stuffing, cooked carrots

Goulash, salad

Rush off to church night - leftovers, or whatever we can find

Chicken stir fry, rice

Sloppy Joe's, fries, and some form of vegetable

And now, the efficiency part...

In the past couple months I've made an effort to stockpile things in my freezer. This means that I try to make extras of what I'm making already, or I am intentional about prepping foods ahead of time so they are easier to use down the road.

There are three things that I did weeks ago that will help me immensely this week. First, I bought a big beef roast on sale, made it in the crock pot, then sliced it and froze it.

Second, I made a triple batch of sloppy joe's when we had company two weeks ago, and froze the extra.

Third, when I make pasta or noodles, I try to make double what I need so I can freeze the rest. I figure if I'm going to have to wash my big ole pasta pot, I might as well make enough for several meals!

Now on to what I did today. Kroger had chicken breasts on sale this week so I picked up several packages, and I threw all of the chicken in the crock pot when we got home from church today. I cubed all of it tonight, and what I don't use for my chicken stir fry will go in the freezer for use at a later date.

Next, I pulled out some bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms and chopped them up. I stir fried all of the carrots, and half of the peppers and mushrooms. I tried to leave them a little undercooked so that when I reheat them on Thursday (adding some of the cubed chicken that I cooked in the crock pot), they'll be just right.

In the same pan that I used for the stir fry, I cooked the rest of the peppers and mushrooms, along with some chopped tomatoes. Then I diced my pre-cooked roast, threw that into the mix, and eventually added my pre-cooked macaroni, a can of tomato soup, and some tomato sauce to finish off my goulash. This is now in the fridge, ready to be reheated and eaten on Tuesday.

Since I am using the crock pot tomorrow to cook my pork chops, and since my sloppy joes are pre-made and waiting for me in the freezer, all of this cooking tonight means that I won't have to do much cooking for the rest of the week. Woohoo!

Oh, and tomorrow I am making more pork chops than we can possibly eat (like the chicken, I bought extra because they were on sale this week), so guess where those will end up? In the freezer! For a future meal!

(I seriously need to get a stand-alone freezer.)

Another thing I accomplished tonight was making all of our lunches ahead for the week. I made enough sandwiches for the whole week and bagged up a bunch of chips, then set all of the other elements (cans of pop, fruit cups, 100-calorie cookie packs, pudding) together on a shelf where I can easily grab them in the morning.

Yeah, AND I set the coffee for tomorrow morning.

This was more than I wanted to do on a Sunday night, but knowing that I'm pretty much set for the week makes it all worth it.

Here are three more things to be excited about this week:
1. My birthday!
2. As of Wednesday, no more political ads.
3. My first bloggy award! (Thanks Whitney!) I'll be back to post about this tomorrow.

Head over to for more great meal plans!

1 comment:

Monica said...

Erin, you seriously need to teach me how to cook like you do and get organized like you are. SERIOUSLY!!! I always have such good intentions, but I never seem to be able to pull it off.