My friend Bridgette and I learned a lot from our grueling power cooking marathon in the fall. We've decided to try to do this periodically with other people and keep our list small--our Power Cooking Day involves very little actual cooking this time, as a matter of fact, but it does involve assembly that will greatly speed the actual cooking later on. I worked most of these into my May menu. Three of us met at 7 a.m. with no children in tow and worked for 4 hours. That's it! That includes clean-up, too. Above is one of the "stations" Bridgette set up--it's the "chopping/mixing" station, complete with ingredients and recipes.
Bridgette figured out costs for each recipe, so I'll put that in parentheses. Costs are for the equivalent of 1 recipe (plus or minus--there are quite a few staples left over and the cheese was not on sale). We each walked away with a slightly different number of meals, depending upon whether our individual families wanted one, two, or even three of certain meal items. Below is what I came away with (and my chicken is organic chicken--bought on sale).
- 16 seasoned hamburger patties ($13.00 for 5 pounds)
- 2 Herb-Roasted Chickens ($6.50/chicken)
- 3 Chicken for Stir-Fry ($2.01/recipe)
- 1 Sausage Pie (Quiche) ($8.98/pie)
- 1 Spinach Pie (Quiche) ($5.24/pie)
- 8 Fish Packets ($1.12/packet)
- 1 Pound Cake ($2.00 for a loaf-pan size)
- 2 Lemonade Pies ($2.24/pie)
- 2 batches Pancake Mix ($0.49/batch)(this is a different one than my usual one; it doesn't have dairy already in it, which means we'll add the buttermilk on the day we make the pancakes)
- Group Total Meals (1 recipe = 1 meal): 46: 3 sausage quiches, 4 spinach quiches, 6 stir-fry batches, 6 herb-roasted chickens, 4 loaf-pan sized pound cakes, 4 sets of fish packets (16 total), 5 lemonade pies plus a tray of mini-lemonade tarts, 4 batches of pancake mix, 12 pounds of hamburger patties (44 patties!)