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The Big Cook

September 12, 2010

As I write this, my tummy is satisfied and I am Ahhh-I-need-a-good-nap-happy. I just finished eating what you see above – Slow Cooked Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Meatballs. Whatever, right? It’s not the meatballs themselves that have made me so perfectly content, although they were SO good. It’s the fact that I chose meatballs pretty much randomly out of my freezer this morning before leaving for church. More specifically, I closed my eyes and grabbed the first bag I found. That’s right, because friends, I currently have 18, I repeat EIGHT-TEEN (okay, so 17 now that I took one out) homemade, ready to cook, healthy and delicious meals sitting in my freezer. Glory Hallelujah is all I can say about that.

Have you ever done a “Big Cook”?

Yesterday was my first time and I know it won’t be my last. It takes quite a bit of planning, grocery shopping, and organization; but in the end, we came out with 18 meals each for just over $150 per person. Let’s do some math, shall we? Um, that’s $8.33 per meal. Each meal is made to feed a family of 4. My love and I are a family of deux. Which means, my friends, that Kevin and I are hopefully getting 2 meals out of each dish (18 x 2 = 36 meals), for an approximate $4.16. I know. Sigh. Do you see the beauty in my contentment right now?

Besides this amazing math, I am also saving my sanity. I plan on using one of these meals per week for the next 18 weeks. I have a feeling they will go faster than that, and that’s okay, but each time I use a freezer meal, this is what I will do: come home from work. Turn on oven. Place dish in oven. Make rice/potatoes/pasta/side dish. Ding ding, dinner is ready and on the table. I already feel like a new woman with energy bursting out from within me.

We made 10 different meals. Eight of them we made two of, and two of the dishes we only made one (both are curry dishes, and the girls did this specifically for Kevin. How sweet are they?). Here is a list of our loot:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs x 2
Curry Beef
Beef Fajitas x 2
BBQ Beef x 2
Italian Chicken x 2
Teryaki Chicken x 2
Lemon-Honey Chicken x 2
“Amazing” Chicken x 2
Saucy Chicken x 2
Curry Chicken

All of the dishes we made from scratch, with fresh vegetables and very few canned products. I pride myself on my biggest contribution: I diced/sliced/minced approximately 30 onions. I think I will be smelling onions for the next week or so. I also peeled 32 garlic cloves. My mini food processor took it from there, but my hands are still N to the asty.

The best part of all: With the exception of the curry dishes, I am pretty sure Kevin will like them all. 16/18 ain’t bad people. That’s better than the average I’m pulling right now!!!

Here is my photojournalism from the day!

Starting off right – LATTES by Candace! We used her beautiful kitchen for the day, and it was perfect.

Working together: Crystal, Candace and Kim:

Kim concentrating hard 🙂

Teamwork makes the dream work!

This is how it all went down:

These  babies literally took the entire day because they were the only thing that we actually COOKED. Thank heavens for Candace’s convection oven!
Italian Chicken – Crystal definitely put in the most hours on this one! Can’t wait to try it.

The final product (and the only picture I am in!):

Let’s not forget Mr Jaxton (Candace’s little guy) who was a perfect angel all day long! This is him munching on our pizza lunch. Cutie!


Stay tuned for a meal plan coming later on tonight!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. rebecca m. permalink
    September 12, 2010 1:41 pm

    What a great idea. Wish i could have joined in. I need more options in my freezer these days. Don’t get me wrong I love that we have tons of fish stored away for us but I need a little variety from time to time! do you have the recipes for the ones you did?

    • September 12, 2010 1:50 pm

      We totally should’ve done this when we all lived in Ladysmith! You could still do it in your new town – order the book from your local library, called “The Big Cook” by Joanne Smith, Lorelei Thomas & Deanna Siemens. Here is their website:
      I don’t have the recipes, but I have a friend who owns the book, so I can get whatever you need from her. Let me know if there are any that catch your eye!

  2. September 12, 2010 7:39 pm

    Awwwwww, that’s really nice to have all your buddies cooking together. The meatballs look fantastic, loved the flavors. And the little guy…what a cutie. Have a great week.

    • September 12, 2010 9:47 pm

      it really was fun to cook with good friends! thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. September 13, 2010 3:12 am

    That’s such a great idea! I need to start planning my freezer meals into our meal plans…because they tend to just sit there!

  4. September 13, 2010 5:18 am

    I love meatballs and what great teamwork. Big cook sounds like a fantastic way to have some meals planned. Love it (=

  5. September 13, 2010 8:34 am

    I am a meal planner, but never to that extent! That’s so awesome!

    And I would like to have your friends convection oven – thanks!

  6. Kalle permalink
    September 13, 2010 8:43 am

    What an awesome idea and a great way to spend the day with friend! I will definitely be trying this out with a few friends…especially when we get closer to baby #2 due date.

    And $8.33 a meal – AMAZING!

    • September 13, 2010 11:00 am

      Do it Kalle! It will help you so much, especially with little ones running around!!!

  7. September 13, 2010 11:37 am

    what a project – wow – glad it went well – looks wonderful!

  8. tmo permalink
    September 13, 2010 9:57 pm

    can you send me the recipe for the meatball sauce? great work on your first big cook – watch out tho it gets addicting! if you do meatballs again you or one of you should invest in the pampered chef small scoop – it is the perfect size for those puppies – and not to mention cookies – i just made turkey meatballs the other day and they were formed in no time!

    • September 14, 2010 8:03 am

      I have pretty much forbidden myself to go to any pampered chef party. I know it would be very bad. For the bank account that is.

      I’ll get you that recipe!

      • tmo permalink
        September 14, 2010 1:10 pm

        don’t go just order the scoop 😉 it will change your life -and the med scoop is the perfect size for muffins or cupcakes, seriously it will


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