Make-Ahead Meals ~ Cooking Day

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Click HERE for Make Ahead Meals >>> Make Ahead Meals

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Click HERE for Budget Friendly Meals >>> Pocket Change Gourmet

I have cooked many, many meals over the years, but I will have to admit, I have never cooked our meals ahead for a whole week.

It all started when Jane over at Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms and I were chatting by email and she asked if I would like to review her new cookbook. Absolutely! I love cookbooks! And recipes that make my life easier! Definately!

Then I had an idea to create a Menu Plan for a week, share a grocery list and the recipes. And have a special Cooking Day.

Here is what I cooked…all the recipes are over on the Budget Friendly Meals page.

  1. Cheesy Pasta, Ham and Peas
  2. Spaghetti Sauce
  3. Wrapped and ready for the freezer
  4. Meatballs for the Spaghetti Sauce
  5. Wrapped and ready for the freezer
  6. Sloppy Joes
  7. Wrapped and ready for the freezer
  8. Chicken Tortellini Tetrazzini wrapped
  9. Chicken Tortellini Tetrazzini
  10. Mini Meatloaves wrapped and ready for freezer
  11. Teriyaki Chicken wrapped for freezer
  12. Teriyaki Chicken

I also baked the Make-Ahead Coffee Cake from the cookbook and we loved it.

All in all in went really well. There were a few things I will do differently next time and some I will keep.

  1. I need to have the whole day to prepare and cook, with no interruptions (running children to practice, baking cupcakes, etc)
  2. I will schedule a prep day for cutting veggies etc
  3. Make my cooking plan a little clearer, making sure that I have all the meat and veggies being cut at the same time
  4. Print recipes instead of working from the cookbook, it might be easier to not be flipping the page all the time
  5. Use Jane’s Cookbook again! We are lovin’ her recipes!

Disclosure: I received the Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms cookbook to review. My opinion of the recipes are my own.

I didn’t prepare the Macaroni and Cheese. After talking with Jane, I decided it wasn’t a dish that should be frozen. I also did not get the Mashed Potato Casserole done, but will put it together the night before we have it.

The Cheesy Ham, Pasta and Peas made a ton, I had enough for 2 meals, so we had one for dinner tonight and I froze the other one. I also made the Chicken Chimichangas on Monday, but we had them for dinner, and they were so good, there were none leftover for a picture.

You may also see in the picture below, the muffin tins, they have chicken broth in them. I boiled a chicken for Chicken N’ Noodles a few days ago and kept the broth to use in the Chicken Tortellini, then froze the rest in muffin tins. When they are completely frozen, I will pop them out and put them in a freezer bag.


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  1. I freeze my homemade mac and cheese all the time and it turns out great. Just don’t cook the macaroni all the way, make sure it is el dente. When I make it, I double the recipe, cook 1/2 and freeze the other 1/2. My family can’t tell the difference. I LOVE cooking days. They make the rest of my life soooo much easier.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Jute Vase =-.

  2. WOW I can’t imagine doing that much cooking at once!! GREAT job!! It all looks so yummy!!

    Thanks for linking up to I’m Lovin’ It! Have a GREAT weekend!
    .-= TidyMom´s last blog ..I’m Lovin’ It – Texting Google SMS =-.

  3. Hi there! I am dropping in from Frugal Friday.

    I enjoyed your post. Your photos are so inspiring. I really want to try the make ahead meal thing again. Last time was a disaster, but I am thinking I can tweak it to make it better.

    Stop by and see me when you get a chance over at Free 2 Be Frugal.


  4. These look great! I used to cook upwards of 40 to 50 meals at once for the freezer for my family of nine. Haven’t done it in a while, though.

    I know you already linked, but I think this post would be a fabulous addition to the Four Moms, 35+ Kids Cooking For A Crowd recipe Link-Up!. You can link more than once as long as each post is to a different recipe(s), and this is a keeper!
    .-= deputyheadmistress´s last blog ..Four Moms, 35 kids- Cooking For a Crowd =-.

  5. Tammy @ Not Just Paper and Glue says:

    I love the idea of putting the chicken broth in the muffin tins! Fabulous idea! I used to do make ahead meals for an entire month but don’t do that anymore. Looking forward to getting the book and being remotivated!
    .-= Tammy @ Not Just Paper and Glue´s last blog ..Perpetual Calendar Giveaway! =-.

  6. OMG! You are soooo organised! I am, but not as much as getting all our meals that planned in advance…althought I really should, cause sometimes I reeeeeally don’t want to cook! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Bird Crafts and for your sweet comment!


  7. i LOVE the idea of the broth in the muffin tin. i was trying to figure out how i can freeze broth without having a million containers in my freezer! thanks!

  8. I’m ready to start make ahead meals. I think that would save so much time for my family.

  9. pamela ponder says:

    I so need to start doing this
    .-= pamela ponder´s last blog ..Friday Follow ~ Ultimate blog party" =-.

  10. I had such a great time joining you in this! I’ll agree – a day without interruptions would have been better. I worked from about 9 am to 3 pm, with an hour break in between for lunch. I didn’t get one of the meals prepared, which I still need to do.

    I also agree that cutting veggies (and mincing garlic – Oy!) ahead of time would have been a smart move. That seemed to take a lot of time.

    We had the Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas last night and the whole family loved it. My 4 year old ate everything on his plate, which rarely happens. I’m looking forward to leftovers for lunch today. 🙂 I will definitely be making it again.

    Thanks again for hosting this!
    .-= living with lindsay´s last blog ..Teach Me Tuesday: Updating Furniture with Mod Podge =-.

    1. @living with lindsay, That’s awesome Lindsay! We had the Ham & Pasta too, and really liked it.
      I’m so glad you joined me! It was lots of fun! We might just have to try it again 🙂

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