Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October Cook

I really enjoy cooking with friends, so we've got a pretty good little group going... BUT... we all go through our meals at different rates. 16 meals lasts my family about a month, but it tends to last my cooking buddies 2 months. So we cook as a group every other month and I do a little cook on my own in between.

With company coming to town right as my freezer meals ran out, I didn't have much time to put into planning for my individual cook, so I reverted to a lot of family favorites and just doubled up on several of them. They almost all ended up being crockpot meals, which stinks when it comes to washing your crockpot every other day, but really awesome in regards to the cooking day - you really just throw everything into their bags and then you're finished!

So here's my list of recipes:

Cheesy Potato Soup
Salsa, Chicken and Black Bean Soup
Red Beans and Rice (2)
Chicken Chili
Creamy Chicken and Broccoli (2)
Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches
Crockpot Ravioli Casserole (2)
Lazy BBQ Chicken (2)
BBQ Pulled Pork
Honey Garlic Chicken
World's Best Chicken (2)

If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about the change of seasons and the addition of soups and chili to my recipe list! Yay for Fall!

So, with not a lot of time to prepare myself for this cook, I literally threw together my recipe and ingredient lists within an hour and headed out to the grocery store with my 6-month-old in tow. I wouldn't normally recommend doing that, but it really wasn't so bad.

Also being rushed to do my monthly cooking, I hadn't put a day aside to do it all, so I broke it up a little bit. I planned and shopped on Tuesday afternoon/evening. Wednesday morning, with the 2 year old eating his cereal in the high chair, and the baby taking a little morning nap, I labeled all of my bags then cut up all the chicken and sorted it into the appropriate places. At that time I also poured the BBQ sauce in with the lazy chicken recipes and threw those in the freezer. That was all I had time for.

I picked up from there at nap time. I cooked the ground beef for ravioli casserole and chopped the sausage for red beans and rice. I assembled those and threw them in the freezer. Then worked on the Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches and BBQ Pulled Pork. Sliced off fat, added one or two ingredients to each of those, then put them in the freezer. (This part really moved quickly! I LOVE crockpot freezer meals!!)

From there I worked on some of the chicken meals, doing what I could before the baby woke up. I managed to get Honey Garlic Chicken and World's Best Chicken put together and in the freezer, leaving just 4 more recipes to throw together the next morning.

That is a busy mom's poorly planned variation of OAMC.

AND just to sweeten this post a little bit AND to celebrate Fall, I'd like to throw in a souper (haha - lame, I know, but I couldn't resist...) recipe!

Salsa, Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Now I hope you didn't just get disappointed. I tried this recipe on a whim. Normally I don't think it's something I'd be interested in... at all, but I knew my husband loved black bean soup from his teenage years working in a Mexican/Cuban restaurant, and the rest of the ingredients sounded pretty good, AND it looked way easy... so naturally, I decided to try it out. And it was delicious!

Salsa, Chicken and Black Bean Soup

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 cup dry black beans (or 2 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
1 16 oz jar prepared salsa
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup sour cream
shredded cheese, avocado slices, etc...

To Prepare Today:
*If you are using dry black beans, you'll need to soak them overnight in enough water to cover them plus 2 more inches.
1. Drain and rinse the black beans and place them in the crockpot. Add chicken, chicken broth, salsa, corn and cumin. Stir ingredients without moving the beans - they need to stay where it's hottest. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. If you want it to be thicker, use an immersible blender to mash up some of those beans (or be like me and just mash them with a spoon!).
2. Mix in sour cream before serving. Garnish with desired ingredients.

To Freeze:
*Use canned black beans, rinsed and drained.
1. Place first 7 ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze.
2. Empty bag into crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 5 hours. Mash beans for a thicker broth. Stir in sour cream before serving. Garnish as desired!


  1. I loved your pun. :) We have a black bean soup recipe that we love, too! And I modified it to use white beans a few weeks ago, and I kind of love it, as well.

    1. haha well, thanks... :) I may be interested - I've honestly never used white beans and would be a little nervous, but I'm sure it's worth a shot! lol you "kind of" love it.