April 7, 2011

Once a Week Cooking

I don't think I could ever attempt Once a Month Cooking. I know it works for some people, but to me it just sounds overwhelming. I can't even plan out meals a week at a time since I never know when we could decide to go out of town for the weekend. But what about once a week cooking? What if I could do almost all of my food preparation for the following week on Saturday? That's my new plan. I've rearranged my chore schedule so that Saturdays are strictly grocery shopping and cooking days. This won't work out every week; some Saturdays I will be out of town, or I may be busy doing something else. The idea is to leave the day open so that if I am home and have the time to do something, I can spend some of that time cooking, whether I cook six meals or just bake a couple dozen cookies.

For my first attempt at once a week cooking, I made tuna noodle casserole, tomato teriyaki drumsticks, basil pork chops, biscuits, and chicken nuggets.

I started by cooking the egg noodles for the tuna noodle casserole.

The I trimmed the skin and fat from the drumsticks.

I made the sauce for the drumsticks and poured that into a bag with the chicken. All I had to do to complete this dish was throw it in the crock pot the morning I wanted to make it.

Once the noodles were done, I mixed in the other ingredients and my second meal was ready. (Putting the chow mien noodles on before baking was a bad idea. We decided putting them on the individual servings works best so they don't get soggy in the refrigerator.)

Next up were the biscuits. I'm trying to find a good biscuit recipe so I can make extras and freeze them, but this wasn't it.

Since the basil pork chops are a quick meal anyway, the only preparation I did for those was mixing the basil, brown sugar, and olive oil together while the biscuits were baking.

With three main dishes done, the only thing I had left to do was make the chicken nuggets for our dinner that night. 

Nathan made some amazing filet mignon and loaded mashed potatoes for one of our other dinners that week (still enjoying our Christmas steaks!). The other two nights were a date night and leftovers night.

Making four dinners in one afternoon was fairly easy and seemed to go quickly, even though I probably spent about three hours in the kitchen. If I have a little better planning for the next time, it should go even more smoothly.

Have you tried once a week or once a month cooking?


  1. When A and I got off the meal plan and started buying our own food, we were both crazy busy and still lived in the dorms (i.e. less access to a kitchen without the possibility of having to share it). We did the once-a-week cooking, and it worked out really well! I liked already having the menu in the refrigerator with far less prep time. Now, because he lives on campus and I still live in the dorms, I've done very little of that...
    I'll probably have to reinstate it this fall though, when I go back to having 18 hours again!

  2. Awesome! It's amazing how a few hours of work on the weekend can make such a huge difference!

  3. Great job for your first try! That basil rub looks so yummy.

  4. This is awesome! I have been doing my monthly cooking this week...during naptime.

    A helpful hint for biscuits. Once you find a recipe you like, you can freeze them uncooked. Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store them in a freezer bag. When you want to cook them, you can bake them frozen! Baking time will be slightly increased and the biscuits won't rise as high since they were frozen, but they still taste great!! :D This is <a href="http://www.aliciashomemaking.com/2010/11/fluffy-homemade-biscuits.html>our favorite biscuit recipe.</a>

    Thanks for linking up, Amanda!

  5. Ooops, obviously my HTML didn't work...sorry about that. Hopefully I have it right this time:

    Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

  6. I can't do once a month, but a week, possibly. This is great! Saves a lot of time each day.


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