Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Quick List


With my new set-up (child care downstairs and my kitchen upstairs) freezer cooking is a necessity if I want to continue serving meals made from scratch to the toddlers and myself. It's no longer a fun hobby and luxury to make meals ahead, but survival.

Before, if I didn't have a freezer-full of meals, I knew I could put something together last minute if I had to, or I could make a big batch of the "meal of the day", serve it, and freeze the leftovers.

So now, I must stay on top of my freezer cooking. That means planning BEFORE I go shopping. We usually grocery shop Friday evening right after child care is over, which means I must have my grocery list ready by Friday afternoon. (I don't know about you, but I'm a "List Person"). Although I keep a running list all week, I usually finalize my list at nap-time on Friday after consulting the weekly store ad online. Most of my grocery list is based on what is on sale.

Until this week, I also consulted my recipe box as a part of making my list. With my list of favorite recipes growing quickly, it's quite a chore going through my recipe box trying to find the ingredients I need to buy to make the meals out of what's on sale each week.

It finally dawned on me to make a quick reference list. There are certain things I keep on-hand all the time: garlic powder, minced onions, most spices, baking supplies and condiments, etc. But, there are some things I don't keep on-hand and know I have to add to my list if I want to make certain recipes: cranberry sauce, orange soda, tropical fruit, cheese, pasta, rice, etc.

So, I got to thinking that if I made a list of the recipes I love to keep in my freezer, with a list of items that are not staples in my pantry, I could have a quick reference for making my grocery list.

Here's my Freezer Cooking List. It may not make any sense to anyone else, but it has made my grocery list planning go much quicker.



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