Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gearing Up ...

Tis the season. Christmas, yes, but cooking season, too!

While we're on winter break, Kevin and I will be doing a few large cooking sessions (ala Dream Dinners, but for MUCH less money!) to stock our freezer. We find that, when we get home in the evenings, though we want a nice home-cooked meal, we're not always in the mood to cook it. As such, I normally will do a few big cooking sessions throughout the year and we stock the meals in our freezer to pull out on those nights when we don't feel like cooking. As busy as we've been since summer - with our move, moving and construction issues at my school, Kevin starting a position at a new school, and everything else in between - we've pretty much depleted our freezer of all of those delicious home-cooked meals! Thus, it's time to begin restocking.

Knowing we are planning this task over break time, I got a bit of a head start this past Sunday. I made an enormous batch of Beef Bourginon (or Beef Boogie-Boogie as Kevin calls it) in the crock-pot. It was the perfect meal for a cold (almost) winter's night! A few slices of crusty French bread and a bowl of beef stew ... MMMMM. This meal is actually a real budget stretcher as well. One of the ways I s-t-r-e-t-c-h the budget with this meal is to buy a large roast when it's on sale and have the butcher cut it into small chunks right then and there. It's a money saver because the sale roast (and it was huge!) only cost $7.41; the same amount of already cut stew beef would have cost me about $17.00 (wow!). It's a time saver, too, because the butcher is cutting the meat for you; that one of the most time-consuming steps in making beef bourginon.

We ended up with enough for dinner on Sunday night, lunch for both of us on Monday, and two Ziploc bags filled with two generous-sized servings each. Grand total for each serving? A mere $1.64! Even if you add a loaf of French bread, you'll still come in under $2.00 per serving. Any meal that's this good for less than $2.00 is a definite winner in my book!

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