Originally Posted by Emese'sMom
(Totally joking here!!!!
Wow I really admire you. WHEN DID YOU HAVE ALL THE TIME????? Teach me, oh mistress!
It took me (3) 6 hour cooking sessions. I group things for ease of preparation. For instance, most quick breads have basically the same ingredients, or italian casseroles, etc..:
The night before I soaked my beans...The next morning, I made all my bread batters and stuck them in the fridge... then I prepped all the veggies I'd need... cut the onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, cilantro parsely and garlic... then I made the enchilada sauce and tomato sauce while I boiled 2 cut up chickens with onions and mexican seasonings (for the chicken chili and the enchiladas). I also mixed the lasagna filling and the ziti cheese mixture side by side since they have alot of the same ingredients and stuck them in the fridge. After the chickens were done boiling, I put the stock in a bowl to use with the chicken chili and let the chickens cool. I buy the cheese in bulk from Costco, so I dont have to shred anything. I roasted the veggies for the enchiladas (onions, bell peppers, sweet potatoes) in the oven while the stuff on the stove top was going. Then I boiled the lasagna noodles until the were just a few minutes undercooked and stuck my asparagus and red peppers out on the grill till nice and carmelized and stuck them in a covered container to steam. When the veggies in the oven were done I started with the breads.
I shredded my chicken and then made my enchiladas. I line the pans with foil and pop them in the freezer then I can take the dish out and put it in a freezer bag later.
Because I used all my casserole pans for the enchiladas I just stored the lasagna ingredients till the next day when I could pop out the enchiladas and reuse the containers. I also make an baggie of enchilada sauce that I freeze with each dish because it absorbs so much of the liquid.
I sauteed more onions and made the chicken chili, which was easy, just combining the cut up chicken, left over enchilada sauce, beans, cilantro, diced tomatoes (I get the huge costco cans.. most of them went into the spagetti sauce, but I saved some out for the lentil step and the chili), stock and extra spices. That got cooled and portioned into gallon ziplocks. The bread got cooled and wrapped up then put in gallon ziplocks.
So, that was day 1.
Day two I started the calzone/ pizza dough first then popped the enchiladas out and packaged them.. I made some veggie meat balls and popped them in the oven then started the penne noodles for the ziti (undercooked by 1/3) then I assembled the lasagnas, which was a cinch because everything was ready. I use any pan available to freeze the ziti, so that was also easy to throw together and stick in the freezer too. The ziti and lasagna took about an hour and a half.
I made the crusts for the pies, one batch with some sugar, one without and stuck them in the fridge to chill.
I sauteed the spinach and artichokes and made tomato cream sauce by just adding some pureed soft tofu to the tomato sauce and parm and then I assembled the calzones with mozzerella and flash froze them. The pizzas, I baked halfway and then added sauce and cheese and froze them too.
Then I made the curried lentil soup (I cut up all the veggies the day before except for some carrots -- so I cut those up and my apples and potatoes). That cooked while I made the pot pie and the apple pie filling.
Let it all cool and then rolled out the pie crusts (I hate pie crusts, by the way- it was the most lengthy part of the process). Then I put filling in each pie and sealed them, then flash froze them on cookie sheets, took them off and stuck them in freezer bags.
Then of course, thanksgiving day, which I really didnt go crazy on. I just made mac and cheese, bread stuffing, greenbean casserole (with homeade cream of mushroom.. which is easy, because I just make a big pot of white sauce and use some for the mac and cheese and some for the mushroom soup) yams, cranberry sauce with mandarins and pecans, gravy and mashed potatoes. Simple dishes that didn't require alot of ingredients. I wish I would have made more rolls and just got that out of the way, but I didn't have enough room with the huge turkey and a single oven. I froze all the sides in muffin tins and then popped them in freezer bags.
Hopefully that gives you some insight into the methods for my madness. I also try to use my oven and stove top at the same time and keep alot of timers on hand. I put one with each recipe that is currently cooking and needs to be timed.