Cooking Party

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I work 10 hours a day now and I have to commute about an hour each way.  I really don’t want to have to come home and cook for dinner.  I have a cooking party where my hubby and I spend a day making food together and packaging them in our own homemade tv dinners.

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I’m not big on left-overs so I’m really surprised that this is working for me.  I’ve just learned a few things about how to re-heat my foods to bring them back to just like they were when I made them.  And we are still learning.

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The last time we had a cooking party was March 25, 2017.  A little over two months ago. Now, we have cooked a couple of things to throw in variety since then, but not a cooking party until the other day, which was June 6, 2017.  Wow!!  Right?  And we are still eating some of that food from the 25th of March, but then again, it was a really big cooking party.

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Back on March 25th, we made a healthy chicken avocado salad for 10 wraps, beef and Broccoli for 2 dinners and 2 lunches, fish tacos for 2 dinners and 4 lunches, chicken fajitas for 2 dinners and 4 lunches, cabbage sausage skillet for 1 dinner and 2 lunches, shrimp fried rice for 1 dinner and 4 lunches, 20 breakfast burritos, Pork Carnitas for 3+ dinners and 4 lunches, and Colorado Beef Burritos for 2 dinners and 2 lunches.

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Then, right after that, my hubby moved to his next position at work and they have their own chef who cooks them lunch.  I’m envious.  But anyway, without him eating the lunches that we made, it helped to stretch the food for as long as it has.

Yesterday we added to our menu 16 Breakfast Tacos, Southern Gumbo for 3 meals, Sausage Potato Hash for 2 meals, Blackened Tilapia for 2 meals, Grilled Chicken for 3 meals and Taco Meat for at least 3 meals. (You can click on the hyper links to take you straight to the particular recipes.  If there is not a hyper link, I just haven’t blogged the recipe yet).

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I freeze everything because I do not like to throw food out.  Now that I’ve started cooking and storing this way, I hardly ever throw away food anymore.  Yay!  I just hated wasting money like that.

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My menu plan is what I like to call a cascading menu.  Even though we have all these left-overs in the freezer, we don’t eat the same thing twice in a week.  If it is Taco Tuesday, then every Tuesday is filled in with a meal that I’m going to use the Taco Meat for.  The Chicken Enchiladas that I made ended up feeding 3 grown hungry men, 2 women and 2 children with 4 left-over lunches and 5 dinners for two.  So I’ll put the enchiladas on the menu for like, every Friday night.  Obviously, those will go on into next month.

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Then each weekend, we’ll cook 2-4 meals to add into our cascading menu.  It is a work in progress and it doesn’t always work out as planned, but this is working for us.  I’m ecstatic that I don’t waste food and have to throw it away because I had good intentions that I never got around to.

Do you have a plan that works for you?

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Blackened Tilapia with Zucchini

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This recipe was adapted from Naive Cook Books.  It is really, really good and so easy to make.  It is quite a bit spicy so if you don’t like the heat, cut back on the pepper.

Ingredients:

Blackened Spice Mix:

  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Blackened Tilapia:

  • 1 pound tilapia filets, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • salt and pepper, optional

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. All all the spices in a bowl and mix.  Taste and adjust if necessary.
  3. Line your baking sheet to your preference.  I use my own oil in a spray bottle but you can spray with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  4. Brush fish with butter and generously rub seasonings on both sides.
  5. Brush the zucchini with the remaining butter and season with salt & pepper if desired.
  6. Distribute the zucchini in the empty space around the fish on the sheet pan.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes.
  8. Flip tilapia after 7 minutes and cook for another 7 minutes for the other side.
  9. You will know the fish is cooked because it will turn white inside and will be soft and flaky.

Yield: 2-3 servings

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Do enjoy!