Saturday, November 8, 2008

OAMC Notebook Lesson 2-Tips, Plan Your Menu & Grocery Lists, Supplies Needed:

****First of all make sure your inventories are up to date and fridge, pantry & freezer(s) are cleaned out.****

o Large quantity of good freezer quality gallon bags
o Permanent marker, I use the fine tip
o Tall, not very wide container (I put my bag into this, so that the bag stands up while I am putting food into it)
o Ladle
o Apron
o Clean towels
o Pen & paper (for updating inventories)
o November & December blank calendar pages ( ) to assign days to your meals (this is helpful to me so that I don’t plan chicken 3 days in a row, or have 3 days left in the plan and 3 of the same meal, lol)

I will not do my shopping until 11/10 (Monday), so I will do crockpot meals on Sunday 11/9 and Monday 11/10 (shopping day).

Tips for items that freeze well (you can copy this & print to file in your tips section):
o Breads, cakes
o candies
o most soups
o cheesecakes
o most cookies, some cookie dough
o breakfast breads (pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes)
o meat (cooked or raw & marinated)
o some pies (not meringue or creamy pies such as custard)
o casseroles
o appetizers
o sandwiches
o fruits
o vegetables

o Clean as you go!!!!! You don’t want to be facing a kitchen full of dirty dishes at the end of your session!!!!
o Wear an apron…….believe me, you’ll be glad you did. Just think, you spill a little food on yourself (if you are like me) each time you cook dinner……..well, you are getting ready to prepare 30 meals!! How much do you think you will get on you???

First you need to decide which method of OAMC’ing you will do.

Will you just double or triple recipes? This is probably the easiest to do, and does not require a lot of planning. But, me being the difficult person I am, lol, like to do an all at once (or over a few days) session for the whole month.

Will you do batch cooking? Like doing all your pork recipes at once, all your chicken, etc, OR either doing all of one type of meal at once…breakfast, breads, lunches, etc.

Another easy way is to do the no pre-cook way. Just assemble kits and put them in the freezer to be cooked later (kind of like the frozen entrees at the store, just better for you, and cheaper).

Will you do it all at once (or over several days) like I usually do?

This month, to keep it simple (the holidays are just around the corner, after all), I am going to use mostly crockpot recipes (no pre-cooking). Just assemble, freeze, thaw, dump in cp & go  Think of this as your very own convenience food aisle. Now, also the good thing about this, is I can do it all at once, or even break it up over the number of meals I chose. Ex. This month I chose 9 oamc meals (with 3 other different meals…you’ll see). So, I can make day 1’s meal, then put the 2 extras in the freezer. On day 2, I can make it and freeze the extras…etc, etc, until I have finished day 9, then I have 18 more meals in the freezer, with not much extra work, and without trying to do it all at once.

So, decide if your family would rather eat something 3 times a month (about every 10 days) or can they only eat it twice a month (about every 15 days)?

Mine isn’t picky, they could even do it once a week….but I like a little more break than that.

When you get your plan together, share it with the group.

I will post mine in the files section.

Now just another note on the joys of recipe software….It took me just a few minutes to decide on my recipes, add them to my menu & print them out COMPLETE WITH grocery lists!!

Now, I am a little anal, so I use MC’s grocery list to mark off what I already have on hand (this is where the inventories come in handy). BUT then when I downsize my list to just include what I need to buy, I transfer it to MS Word and divide by how my store is set up (you will see what I mean when I send my plan for this month).

o Start with a clean fridge, pantry, freezer(s) (do this weekly)
o Make sure your inventories are up to date (update as you go)
o Select your recipes
o Make your plan (when you are going to eat each meal…use calendar pages)
o Make your shopping list (include a cooking software, if you want this to be easier next time around)
o If you save any information to your computer, make sure to back it up to disk.

Next lesson:
Grocery day
OAMC day(s)

Next month we will try a different method 

Happy cooking 

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