Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Once a month cooking

Have you ever tried cooking 30 meals in one day? I've done this a few times and after the big mess and pain for a day or two, it's really worth it. It's so nice to go out to the freezer and pull out dinner- a definite time and money saver.

There are tons of books and websites with recipes and meal plans.  One that I just came across from Moms Budget looks really helpful with probably 50 articles about the process.  It also has FREE printable planning sheets to help with the prep work- which is the hardest part to me. And the reason I don't do this more often.

Something we always include in our cook off is a recipe for Make-Ahead Meatballs.  To make them you'll need:

4 eggs
2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 pounds lean ground beef (but I use soy crumbles or other meat substitue a lot of the time)

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add the next five ingredients. Add beef: mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls- makes about 12 dozen. Place in a single layers in ungreased jelly roll pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink, turning often.  Drain and cool. Place about 30 balls into freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Yield: 5 batches.

Use them for sweat and sour meatballs with rice, in spaghetti sauce, meatball sandwiches, etc...

Have you ever done this? What are your favorite freezer foods?