Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know I'm not prone to do reviews. But, though Frugal Friday has fallen a bit by the wayside, I am frugal. Because of my frugal blogging I was invited review the book "Once a Month Cooking; Family Favorites." Of course I said yes!
You see, I love to cook (not so much to clean the subsequent mess, hmmm - I wonder where my daughter gets it?!!). Ah, but I'm already off track. Yes I love to cook. And when I'm home we typically eat well. But the problem lies with my career. Several nights a month I'm required to be at work during dinnertime (and beyond).
Now my husband can cook but is not so inclined. As a result if there isn't food readily available he'll go out which is a definite budget buster. So I try to crock pot or have leftovers for nights that I am working. But, truth be told, I'm bored with our repertoire and we need to mix it up a bit. This is where the "Once a Month Cooking" comes in.
The book is organized into several different monthly cycles. It provides a shopping list and prep list for each month (the idea being that one day is set aside for most of the prep work and the ingredients are frozen until use). Now I don't see myself making an entire month's worth of meals ... I like to cook too much for that. But I do see myself making select meals to freeze for a later date. It sure beats frozen pizza or TV dinners (do they make TV dinners anymore?).
The first recipe I tried was Ham and Winter Vegetable Pot Pie from the gourmet cycle. I've never made pot pie before though I can now say I will definitely make it again. The day after I made the pie my husband called me at work to rave about how good it was. I mean seriously rave - about leftovers. Now I made this pie fresh and didn't freeze it though I suspect it will be just as good after being frozen. The only thing I'd do differently would be to make individual pies instead of a casserole.
The second recipe was crock-pot country style ribs. I would have liked this recipe to have a bit more flavor but must admit I improvised (weak chicken stock instead of beef stock and apples instead of green peppers). Thus the diminishment in flavor is likely my own fault. Don't get me wrong - it was still good, just not as good as I'd like. Next time, perhaps, I'll stick to the recipe.
As winter approaches I am looking forward to trying more meals from this book. I really like the idea of having fresh home-prepared food in the freezer for those nights when cooking is just too much.
And now to the giveaway! For one lucky reader I'm giving away a copy of this book. But, in the spirit of the kitchen, I'm throwing in a handmade apron to boot!
To win leave a comment by Thursday October 15th at 8:00 pm. I'll announce the winner next Friday.
Happy cooking and happy Frugal Friday!
PS - here is a link to get a free week cooking cycle!