Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cook & Conquer

Four friends and I got together to "cook and conquer." We were feeling in a rut with organizing meals and cooking for our families every week, so Elli came up a plan for us. We each cooked three different freezer meals for five families (including ourselves). We then switched and have fifteen meals ready to go!

All of my food and ingredients. My "assignments" were lasagna, Rio Grande taco meat, and honey pecan chicken. I spent about $12 per meal! Each meal feeds 4 - 5 people.
Lasagna
Lasagna ready to go
Rio Grande taco meat

I cooked for six hours one day, but it is so worth not worrying about dinner each night. I am so excited about this. ; ) These meals will last us a long time, and I will definitely do it again.


But my God shall supply all your need according to His
riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:19


61 comments:

Summer said...

What a great idea! That's alot of Lasagna! Ha! Ha! It looks really yummy! Wish I lived closer so I could join in on the fun :0)
Summer

Ria Thurston said...

That is a WONDERFUL idea :) Send some to MN?

-Ria

Him and Her said...

what a great idea. I've always wanted to do freezer meals but this seems much better. A great way to bless eachother!
p.s. I follow your blog and pray for you and your sweet family often. =)

~Bekah said...

what is rio grande taco meat? what is it used for?

Heather said...

I have heard of people doing this and I SOOOOO want to!! That would be so great to have all those meals prepared! What a blessing!

Leah said...

This is such a neat idea. Did you use a cook book for recipe ideas or just go with things you would normally cook for your family?

Jennifer said...

What a fun idea!

We had 4 friends from home who did this Mondays-Thursday. They each had a night of the week they cooked and took dinner to the other families, so each woman only cooked one night of the week and the other nights, someone brought over dinner. I thought it was a great idea.

Lauren Kelly said...

What a wonderful idea!!!

Do you have room for one more at the dinner table?? haha!!!

Beth said...

YUMMY!!

Please do share the recipes, if you don't mind?

LOVE this idea!

Still praying in Michigan....

Darla said...

The honey pecan chicken sounds great!! Is there a website or might you share recipes?!?

Brittany said...

What a great idea! And, a great way to get your mind off of things!

I would like to know what Rio Grande taco meat is? I would also like you to post your recipe for that pecan chicken:)

Rebekah said...

Ok, I have been trying to think of a way to make this work! This sounds awesome! I am going to use your idea! With my gal friends here in Waco! Thanks for sharing the idea!

Thomas and Jamie said...

What an AWESOME idea - don't y'all want to come to Texas and do this with me???

Kelli said...

Fantastic idea!! Won't it be so nice to just pull a meal out of the freezer and pop it in the oven? Thanks for the motivation!!

Kari Beth said...

Wow, Katie! That is awesome! Such a GREAT idea!!! I'm gonna have to get my friends together and try this!

Kara said...

It is a great idea. What did everyone else cook?? I'd love to do this with some friends, but never know what freezes well.

Cuddles and Chaos said...

I'd love to know how you put it together with your friends. I'd like to do that with my friends.

Kayla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kayla said...

Awesome idea, you should post the recipe's for the meals you all made! :) I know I am always looking for new recipe's.
P.S. My word verification word was resses ;)

Deciduous Heather said...

OMG I am SO in love with this idea. I wish I was involved in this! Not having to worry about something new and different to cook each night is awesome, plus it is so much easier to cook "in bulk". What a blessing. Thanks for sharing with us...
Heather in NC

Jenna said...

Recipes please!! What a FUN idea!

Kelly said...

Good idea. Rio Grande taco meat? Share the recipe! Sounds yummy.

Katie said...

What a great way to get out of the dinner rut!

Jennifer said...

I love this idea! You should post recipes for us and let us know what your friends made too.

Jenn said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea...seriously, great idea!

M and L said...

What a great idea! Yes please share the recipes. Also could you share what everyone else did? That's just an aweomse idea!

Ashley Jo Anglin said...

I love doing this!! I haven't done it in awhile.

Wanna post the recipe for the honey pecan chicken?? :-)

Ashley

Colleen said...

THIS IS GENIUS! What did the other people make, just so I have ideas and all!

Ben and Audrey said...

great idea! i would love to do this with my friends!! and i would LOVE your lasagna recipe. i've been looking for a good one for a long time. merry christmas!

Mindy said...

What a great idea!!! I'd love your recipes!

Kubin's said...

You should post the recipe for the honey pecan chicken...that sound great!
What a cool idea. I bet you ladies had fun!

Mer said...

WOWWWWW!!!! That's awesome. You can make until until next year without cooking:)

Todd and Courtney said...

wonderful idea! I go to My Family Dinners every 2 months to do that. It ends up being a little over $3 a serving so it's an awesome deal. Dream Dinners and Souper Suppers are other franchises like that. So much fun!

Lisa said...

Love this idea...I need to ask some of my friends to this with me...I get into the same rut.

Thanks for sharing this with the blogging world!

Lisa :)

Angie said...

I LOVE that idea Katie! I should set that up with some girlfriends!
I have never heard of Rio Grande taco meat or the honey pecan chicken - if you get a chance you should share the recipes!

Praying always, Angie

Elizabeth said...

Could you elaborate on that? What did the other ladies cook? I love to check your blog and appreciate your heart. Been praying for you from Indianapolis!

Colleen said...

what a super idea!! you've got me thinking I need to organize something like this...

Jen said...

Hi Katie!
These meals look so yummy :-)
Our girls youth group does this on occasion and they keep a freezer stocked at church so we can take meals to families who have needs....surgery, new baby, etc.

I remember getting into the cooking rut as the kids were starting to eat table food. I really wanted them to develop a broad palate, but every night seemed to be a last-minute meal that was becoming more and more processed and blah. I started making a weekly menu on the weekend for the week ahead. Each weeknight was a different meat...chicken/beef/fish/pork and pasta. I picked about 4 different meals for each one and I rotate them through the month so we don't get hamburger helper every Wednesday night :-) Making the menu also helped me to know what ingredients I'd need for the week, so I wasn't unprepared when
4PM rolled around and I realized I didn't have an onion or enough chicken breasts. It's been a great help in avoiding the take-out and fast-food rut, too, and the kids are really doing well with eating (or at least trying) new foods. The meals you made look great and I hope to see the recipes you used as well.

Merry Christmas!
Love, Jen

2 little Boys said...

That is such a fun idea. What kind of meals did you get from your friends? Love Love this idea, may have to do it with some of my girlfriends from church or with my sister and Mom.

God's blessings to you and yours this Christmas!

Daily laying it at the Master's feet!
Laura Ann

Kickin' Kari said...

I did this for my noah when he was starting out on solids (loved making homemade baby food!) and up until a few months ago. I loved spending 1 day a month making his food and then freezing them. He now eats pretty much anything we give him so I no longer do it but it sure was a life saver when he was "picky" and just starting out on real food.

It all looks so yummy!

Alex and Jill said...

What a wonderful idea!!

Linds said...

That's a SUPER awesome idea! What did Z do while you were cooking??? Brayden would never stay calm enough for that long for me to do it.

Lena Medina said...

Wow Katie, you are my kinda girl! I love freezer cooking! My husband especially likes chicken wings and other appetizers that he can grab out of the freezer on a special game day! WOuld you mind sharing the recipes?

Bourg Family said...

That's awesome! I went to a place in Mobile, AL called Dream Dinners. It's the same concept & it was awesome not to worry about preparing meals for a while. I may have to mention this to my MOPS group. I have a cookbook w/ "dinner's in the freezer" recipes.

hi-d said...

Great idea...and so tasty too. :)

Fabiola said...

What a wonderful idea!!!!

You are really blesses with wonderful real friends...

Bridgit said...

Smart ladies to do this! Ok give ...what is the Rio Granda Taco Meat?

Happy wishes from Virginia!

natalie said...

Love this idea! Could you please share the recipes and what other foods did you all prepare! Would love to do this!Thanks and God Bless!!

Natalie Comer
ncomer@gomudcats.com

The Kahler Family said...

That is such a great idea!
The chicken sounds so yummy, would you mind posting the recipe?
Praying for you this season, as always.
Angie

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Wow... Katie that is so great!! I think I will try it here too! Cooking gets so old so fast!! Please share the recipes!!

~Bekah said...

OH WELL i've have to try that meat then! that sounds yummy!!! :) thank you for leaving me comments again! :) well i meant what i said about Reese and my grandpa...this has truly been a rough year and a joyous year...at times the good and the bad were neck and neck but the goodness of the Lord always shines through amongst the darkness of these times we struggle with. Losing my grandpa really was the marker that set-off my sorrow. i had a very traumatic delivery of Shelby and w/ the 2 years of infertility and all those struggles, it was my breaking point losing him. Since then, I've had to be put on some light anti-depressants that is also and anti-anxiety pill, and it helps a lot, but my trust in the Lord and His strength has what really got me through this year...Christmas will be very hard, as I know it will be for you as well, but remembering the reason we celebrate Christmas always makes me happy and joyous. ~God bless and Merry Christmas!
~Bekah
www.bizzy-bs.blogspot.com

All Things Cherish said...

That is a great idea and excuse to get together with the girls. Are you going to share the recipes?!?

Casi said...

What an awesome idea - love it! Would love the chicken recipe as it sounds amazing.

Funny thing about the North Pole Express that I talked about on my blog. We were there at the exact time Mandy, Bo and Abby were on Saturday. I thought it was them from a distance and now I'm so sad I didn't get out of line to make sure.

Blessings to you this weekend, my friend. :-)

Kinzler Family said...

I love doing things like this:) It helps to have something in the freezer. I will be praying for you guys this week. I will be praying that you will feel Christ this Christmas.

MissBrightside said...

Do you discuss food preferences before you cook? Like does everyone like mushrooms or how spicy to make things?

Becca said...

Girl! What a great idea!

Karen said...

Katie,
Oh, I do hope you post recipes.
You look like such an organizer!

The Morris Family said...

Looks like you will have no problem fixn' for us to come visit:) That is a neat idea!!!!

Cindy

kpummill said...

I'm loving our plan! I was a little skeptical the day I brought home 48 chicken breasts and 3 giant packs of steak from Sam's Club. My counter looked like yours. It looked like I was about to open up my own little grocery store. :o) But... once I got into it... it went so fast.

I cooked two things one night.... The Chicken Divan and Beef Fajitas... so we could have one for dinner and the other one could marinate for the next night. Maybe about 3 hours total to prep and cook. The pesto butter chicken breasts took the most time... they were more tedious and required their own afternoon for cooking.... about 3 hours.

And now... I'm LOVING this plan! It's been so fun to just pull something out of the freezer the night before to let it thaw... then no worries about dinner each night. And, my grocery bill has been so much lower! All I've really needed to add is salad and vegetables.


By the way... We LOVED your rio grande taco meat and lasagna! All three kids even loved them! We haven't made it to the third one yet.

We all should get back together on this and talk through how things are going. My only suggestion is that we might think about dividing the meals into two halves next time. I've been partially thawing each thing, dividing it in half and tucking one half back into the freezer. Our family of five really only eats half of one of those big casserole pans. (Plus.. you know how John feels about leftovers! ha ha!) And... the great thing about halving them is... I basically have 30 meals instead of 15!! Bonus!! :o) All for about 6 hours of cooking on my end! I would definitely do this again. Why didn't we come up with this sooner!? :o)

Love ya! - K.C.

Sarah said...

Great idea! I've have to do that with some of my friends! :)

Shady Lady! said...

We used to do this here in town. We would pay $8 a meal and a local lady - a "HomeMade Gourmet" rep - would use her spices and we just showed up and put it together at stations. We stopped doing it several months back, but I still buy spices from her and buy my meat in bulk at Sams or whereever I get a good deal and bring it home and divide into meals immediately.

 
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