I have been wanting to discover how to make my life in the kitchen easier for a long time now. I've been researching freezer cooking and once a month cooking but I have to say I've been a bit intimidated by the process. Enter Michelle from Make 5 Dinners in One Hour. She has an easy weekly plan where you spend one hour in the kitchen preparing for five nights of meals.
I received a months worth of meals broken down into 4 weekly menu plans. Each week contained two sheets. The first was a detailed grocery list broken down into categories like dairy, canned, and produce. This made it easy to check my pantry for what I may have already had on hand and cross it off my list. It also made shopping easy...no need to create a new list! I just took that list right into the store with me. She also includes tips and tricks on here. The other sheet contained the menus. It is broken into 3 easy to follow columns: Menu, Ingredients, Assembly Directions.
I went through all 4 weeks of menus and chose the one that I thought my family of picky eaters would most like. It included recipes such as Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole, Slow Cooked Tortellini Stew, and Shrimp Roll Ups. When I was ready to begin I followed her list of kitchen tools and pulled out everything I would need. I layed out all of the ingredients and began following the assembly directions. One hour and 15 minutes later (yes, it took me a tad longer than an hour BUT I'm slow in the kitchen) I had 5 meals in the fridge and ready to go for the week ahead. Each day all I needed to do is pull out the prepared ingredients and follow the cooking instructions. She pairs each meal with simple side dishes like a bagged salad or frozen veggies to make completing the meal a cinch!
What I really liked about her menus is that she marks which ones are good for freezing. If you are ambitious you could make 2 weeks worth of meals. Pop the ones that are marked freezable in the freezer and keep out the ones that are best fresh. In just 2 hours of prep time you'd be set for the next 2 weeks!
Michelle is currently offering her menu planning service for $15 for 3 months of menus, which is only $1.25 per week. What you get is weekly menus complete with a grocery list, assembly instructions and heating instructions. You can contact her over at her blog AND you can enter to win a month of menus here! She is offering two of our readers 1 free month of her menu service.
Entering is easy! Just leave us a comment and tell us your favorite trick for saving time in the kitchen. Please be sure to leave an email address for easy contact.
(leave in the form of lifeinthebatcave AT yahoo DOT com to avoid the spam bots)
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