The challenge - to plan a month's worth of meals and to have most of these meals in the freezer ready to go.
Background - I bought a book a couple months ago called "Once-A-Month Cooking". The premise is that you plan a month's worth of meals and then buy all the ingredients and get the meals ready and put them in the freezer - all of this in 1-2 days. Then the rest of the month, all you have to do is thaw the meal for that day and warm it up. It sounded great in theory but I was having trouble setting aside two days to do this and planning that many meals that far ahead. Plus, some of the meals looked strange.
A friend sent out an email that she was going to do this for another friend because of some health issues the family was going through and invited others to help her. I went over to help cut and cook chicken and we talked about the whole idea. She said that she had done it before but instead of doing it all in one day, she did a few meals every night. That seemed more reasonable.
I went home and looked through my cookbook again and found a 2-week plan that I liked. I decided October would be a great month to try it because the kids would be gone one weekend (I generally do very little cooking when they're gone) and then we'd be gone on vacation for 8 days, leaving about 20 days to cook meals. If I did 14 meals in the freezer, that would still leave 7 meals open for eating out or our favorites. I wrote out the meals ideas (in pencil) for the month and copied off the grocery list. It was a bit pricey - I had to buy about 6 spices that I didn't have on hand. It will be interesting at the end of the month to see how my spending compares to the month before.
I started putting the meals together tonight and have the following done:
Chicken Taco Salad
Mexican Chicken Lasagna
Sopa de Maiz
Country Captain (this one looks strange to me - chicken in a stewed tomato sauce with raisins)
Winter Pot Roast
Tomorrow I will do the rest:
Denise's Black Beans
French Stuffed Potatoes
I will let you know how the meals taste and if this whole experiment was worth it at the end!