Batch Cooking Like it's my Job

Whatever came over me led me to dog ear a bunch of recipes and then proceed to throw down $300 at Wegmans turning it into weeks worth of meals thanks to this cookbook.  I'm not really sure when I got it- probably years ago, but with school upon us and schedules and soccer and trying to work or respond to emails when I can, I knew it was time to re-stock the freezer.  Jessica has a tie to Santa Barbara, so her book naturally has a lot of healthy options and isn't all pasta bakes, as seen on the cover.

When I looked it up on Amazon, there's apparently a NEW and improved version of Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook so I may just recommend you get that one instead.  You can find it here.

So, what have I cooked up?  Oh man- here's the list.  For now I can't give you my entire reviews, because most of these headed straight for the freezer!

  • Breakfast Dishes- here's my goal- 9x13 Breakfast casseroles serve as either a breakfast for dinner option, OR as a Saturday breakfast which then becomes Sunday dinner- because Sunday dinner just isn't my thing.  I prefer a big lunch after church and having Sunday dinner being "fend for yourself."  Since my kids are 1, 3, and 5-- I guess we're not there yet, but you get the point.
    • I doubled a recipe for and Eggs Florentine Dish with cottage cheese, spinach, swiss cheese.  I think this can even go with a nice salad and you're set.  No bread.
    • I made your classic bread, egg, milk, cheddar, bacon casserole.  No baking, just assembled and froze.
  • One Pan Meals
    • Now I love these in the skillet or the oven, but when we're talking freezer meals here's what that means-- 
    • Green Chile Shepherd's Pie.- this recipe took 1 pound of ground beef and turned it into a 9x13 filled with beef, veggies, a homemade (simple) mushroom beef gravy and topped with a red mashed potato with a little cheese and green chile in there
  • Soups- so far I just made a White Bean and Veg soup- it has a homemade spice mix which cuts down on salts and red potatoes which make it hearty.  This served as dinner last night with some crusty bread and everyone was happy.
  • Enchiladas- Not from the above books, but I saw these and knew I wanted to make them.  Anderson and I have been watching Pati on Amazon and we are hooked.  Anything with a homemade tomatillo sauce and I'm in!  I ended up getting 1 9x13 and 1 8x8 out of this recipe.
  • Chicken!  I made a chicken and mushrooms with snow peas.  Super good- the boys just wanted the mushrooms- and I froze the rest!  All from the Make it Ahead cookbook.
What else?!

I have yet to marinate a couple pork tenderloins and then throw those in the freezer thanks to the Make Ahead Cookbook, and I made some of the best Italian drip beef which is a go-to for us.  You can have it be a not-so-healthy dinner with bread and loaded with cheese then sizzled under the broiler, or I can just have it atop quinoa and still feel completely satisfied.

Oh- and muffins!  I made a double batch of PW's Mom's Muffins which I really like for kids- low sugar and full of lots of good stuff, including protein so they fill everyone up.

That's it for now... I think.  I'm going to make up some more versatile beef filling from the Make Ahead cookbook soon and was looking into Ina's Make it Ahead Cookbook to maybe have some big batches of lasagna or her patisio on had for cooler days when we want friends over and I don't want to cook and lucky for us we have a vat on hand.  OR when friends have babies and the week is busy, but I can swing over with something already made from my freezer.  This is what winning looks like to me now guys, and I'm ok with it.

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