Today, or tonight I should say, I started making my second batch of frozen dinners for quick baking during the work week. I make 8 dinners to freeze and eat over the next two weeks, the other three nights I make dinner because I don't work.
I started my dinners at 8:30 and finished everything, including the cleanup, by 10:45. I made five dinners tonight, and am going to make the last three tomorrow. On tonight's menu was Chicken Ratatoullie, Sirloin Tip and Mushroom Pasta, Chicken Cesear Tetrazini, Roasted Pepper and Black Bean Pasta, and Sausage Potato Bake.Tomorrow is Shrimp Parmasean, White Bean and Ham soup, and Potato Cakes with Peas and Ham.
I am really glad I make the dinners for a couple reasons. First, it makes my week so much easier. Ben picks something out of the freezer the night before, and when I get home from picking up Isaac at daycare, I put it in the oven to whatever cooking instructions I have written on the container. Then I get to snuggle and play with my baby boy for the hour it would normally take me to make dinner. The extra time with my baby is priceless, and it alleviates a huge amount of stress from my week. By making the dinners, and planning for them, I am able to follow more of a grocery budget and our bill has gone way done.
I also enjoy controlling what I put in my body. I have never been so aware of the quality of food I have been eating, and the effects it has on my body, and thus my baby's. Never before in my life have I made sure I am getting the right amount of vegetables and grains, etc. And I am so tired when we get home, the last thing I really want to do is make dinner. More than likely, if I didn't make these dinners, I would be grabbing take out or a frozen pizza. I have tons of cookbooks and recipes just begging to be made. And I do love cooking. When we first moved to San Fran.cisco, I was so bloody busy with school, teaching, work, and wedding planning, that I used cooking and baking to destress. It gave me a blcok of time where the only thing I had to think about was what I was making, and it reallly cleared my mind and relaxed me.
Now, the dinners are freezing. The counters are cleaned off. I have eaten a bowl of Cou.nt Choc.ula and am watching an episode on DVRed CS.I M.iam.i before I snuggle into bed. Thankfully, dear little man has been sleeping in 6 hour blocks, so he only really wakes once a night to eat now. Yes, I am tired and there are many things I would like to do with my time, but doing something to better my life and my family's feels like a good tired.
(*PS...I never post recipes, but if I ever mention something that sounds good, let me know! Everything I make to freeze takes about 30 minutes to make (and only some of them are Rachea.l R.ay), and about 30 minutes to reheat or bake.)