Sunday, November 21, 2010

5 Meals in 1 hour {menu plan giveaway!}

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 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)

Want a few additional entries?  Leave a comment for each entry.
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Contest is open until Sunday, November 28

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Congrautlations to Mippy and Angelene!  Winners have been contacted via email. 


  1. My quick kitchen idea is to just order freakin' takeout! LOL! When all else fails, I just pick up the phone & order. But, that's why I could use this giveaway because I really hate doing that & I am so bad at pre-planning!

  2. I likgged salad in a bowl and in separate small bowls I put diffeerennt this such as cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese,croutons,etc. That way each family member can personalize their salad to their taste.
    I love your blog. I would love to win your book offer, as I could use help in the menu planning area!
    Thanks, Pam

  3. Hi'B'!

    I lol'ed at Chrissy's response 'just order freakin' take out!'....ahahaha 'Nuff said!!! lol

    Okay a favorite trick for saving time in the kitchen is to have staples on hand to make quick semi-healthy meals such as having bread,tortillas, peanut butter, jelly,and/or tuna for those times when you are in a hurry or don't really wanna cook.
    And if you keep soup on hand as well you can pair that w/it to round it out more nutritionally or for it to be a more filling meal. :)
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win in this giveaway!
    ~Mippy :)
    bunnysmip at yahoo dot com

  4. Planning ahead of time always saves time in the kitchen
    angukena at hotmail dot com

  5. I follow your blog
    angukena at hotmail com

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