A few months ago I was asked to join a group of four girls who were doing something called a "Big Cook". Although I was fascinated by the idea of having an afternoon set aside to prepare a $hit load of meals to freeze for the family I was hesitant. I have some food allergies, I'm also a it of a germ phob and honestly I didn't know if it would be worth the cost because depending on what recipes everyone chose there was a good chance our picky family wouldn't haven eaten all of them.
I passed on the invite but wanted to know all the details of how it turned out. The group made a huge amount of meals for very little (16 meals each for about $120). I had to know more!
I ordered the book online The BIG Cook and it was awesome.
The recipes were reasonable regarding preparation and direction. I asked a friend to do a mini cook with me just to see if it would be worthwhile. 8 cups of chopped onions, 16 pounds of chicken breasts and a whole bunch of other ingredients later we were excited and a bit terrified
We spent a total of 4 hours doing the actual prep and cooking. We ended up making a total of 20 meals so we each took home 10 meals to freeze.
We made all meat based recipes (2 hamburger, 1 ham, 1 ribs, 1 whole chicken, 1 beef stew, 4 chicken breast ). We could have saved money by choosing pasta and veggie dishes or substituting some of the chicken breast recipes with brown meat but we decided to go all out instead.
Most of the recipes we chose were on the pricier side using real swiss cheese, white wine, nice cuts of meat, etc. In total we spent about $150 each but we also walked away with quite a bit of left over ingredients (1 pound of mozza cheese each, veggies, tons of freezer bags, etc) mainly because we overestimated on some of our measurements and decided to splurge on a GIANT bag of grated cheese which was pricey but we knew we could split it and freeze it for other meals at home. That splurge saved alot of time as we needed over 8 cups of grated cheese.
Overall we were really happy with the cost and the quality of the meals. It was a much needed treat having a chance to spend a child free afternoon together visiting and drinking the remaining wine. We had fun and it was strangely a super relaxing afternoon considering how busy we were.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
I'm already picking out recipes for the next cook.
Two thumbs up from this girl.
p.s we have already eaten one of the chicken recipes and everyone in our family loved it. Alex actually said it was the best chicken he ever had. I think he was just being nice but I will take it