Friday, October 9, 2009

Frugal Friday - It's baack! (And a giveaway)

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!


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Great post! I could really stand to learn a lesson or two about once a month cooking. That might be just what I need now that I have gone back to teaching this fall. I am busy, busy, busy!

I have never ever made a pot pie..sounds yummy!


Stop by and visit me sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal!

ndisilvio @ gmail . com

Alexis D. said...

Having meals ready and waiting are always great!

Erin Faye said...

OOOH That looks like a cook book for me! I am crossing my fingers!

MonsoonAz said...

I've always been intrigued by the idea of monthly cooking -- I'd love to check the book out. By the way, love your aprons -- going to try to make a few for Christmas myself.

MaiaA said...

I miss your Frugal Friday posts . .. they always provided that little bit of much needed inspiration.

I love a good cookbook, so I'll throw my name in the hat and keep my fingers crossed (will you provide more reviews of specific recipes as you try them?)

Sarah said...

I love reviews and one from you weighs a pound of gold. Thank you for sharing :D

Tammie said...

oooh this looks like a good book. i need some inspiration in the kitchen. its been kinda scary in there lately.

Honorary Indian said...

You are awesome. I'm inspired to cook more excuses now that the kids are older and can entertain themselves during the prep. And the apron is precious!

Oh yeah....isn't frozen pizza a food group? :-)

Mrs. E said...

oooh...count me in! I'm ready for some new recipes. And I might be tempted to do all the cooking for the month in a day or so! I like the eating, just not as crazy about the cooking!

Joy! said...

Add me to the list! I need to get back to cooking more regularly. We are just enough settled into a daily/weekly routine that it's starting to happen.

the Lady said...

Cool! Sounds good to me - I like to cook too, but I don't like to cook every day.

Gayle said...

I like cooking, too, so I don't think I'd want to have an entire month prepared in advance. But to have some meals frozen for a particularly busy day or a lazy day would be great!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What a fun giveaway! Thanks for the chance! Can't wait to see your upcoming frugal Friday posts.

valerie (at) frugalfamilyfunblog (dot) com

Vanessa_M said...

This sounds like a great cookbook! I'm still trying to get a routine down between taking care of the little man and getting dinner ready before Marc heads off to work in the evenings. Preparing for a month or a week in advance might be the thing I need! My fingers and toes are crossed!