OAMC - Once A Month Cooking
OAMC, Once a Month Cooking…have you heard of it? Nowadays, money and time are both in short supply so more and more people are turning to OAMC or OAWC (Once A Week Cooking) as a way to save both time and money.
If you are new to this, I would suggest you start off with a weeks worth of menus because you will need to do a lot of planning for a months worth of recipes.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
• Start with clean counter tops, a clean sink, an empty dishwasher and a sink full of hot soapy water.
• Wear comfortable shoes and take a lunch break and relax so you don’t get too stressed out.
• Freeze your bags flat on a cookie sheet. Once frozen you can stack them up.
• If you are short on casserole dishes, like I am, line your casserole dishes with heavy duty plastic wrap, fill the dish, fold the plastic wrap over the dish and freeze. Once frozen, run the bottom of the dish under hot water until it released from the dish and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. When ready to use, spray your casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, remove the plastic wrap from your frozen casserole and pop back into the casserole dish.
• Use heavy duty Aluminum foil or heavy plastic freezer bags. Always try to get as much air out of the package as possible and wrap it well so that moisture can't get in.
• Use aluminum pie pans to make individual "TV dinners".
• Cool baked goods thoroughly before freezing.
• Be sure to label everything clearly.
• Thicken your sauces and gravies with arrowroot or tapioca. Sauces and gravies thickened with flour or cornstarch don’t freeze as well and will sometimes appear "curdled".
• Add an unbaked pastry topping to a hearty stew before freezing, and you’ve turned it into a wonderful pot pie.
• Get organized. Plan your menus, determine the quantities that you will need and make your list.
• If you plan to have each meal three times during the month, triple each recipe and you will only need to have 10 different recipes for the whole month or plan 12 different menus and double them and you'll have enough dinners for 4 weeks.
• Keep it simple. You’re going to be cooking a lot of food in a short period of time so don’t go crazy with ingredients.
• Make sure that you have enough containers and heavy duty freezer bags for everything on your menu.
• Don’t try to cook on the same day that you shop. Planning and shopping for that many ingredients can be exhausting so plan to do your shopping a day or two before you plan to cook.
• Divide it up even more. Do your shopping one day, your prep work the next and then cook the meals and freeze them on the third day.
• Make it a OAMC party. Get together with a few friends. If you have four friends who are interested in getting involved, each of you can cook enough meals for each family for a week and then share. That way you don’t have to come up with a lot of different menus.
***Keep in mind when you are choosing your recipes that there are certain foods do not freeze well.
Easy Beefy Spanish Rice Recipe
Saucy Chicken and Herbs
Check your local dollar store for aluminum pans. Last time I went, I got 4 (9" x13") aluminum pans for $1!!!
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