Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cooking Club

Groceries for our recipes!

Snack time for the kiddos! You should have seen them piling the doughnuts on their plates.

Trying to figure out, what we needed to do next!

Chaos in the middle of it all!

Finished product - ready to go into the freezer for busy nights!

I took the kids to Cooking Club this morning. Cooking Club is four moms spending four hours cooking our hearts out while our eight children were entertained by two babysitters. It was fun but lots more work than I had anticipated. Not even including the cooking! There's recipe collecting, grocery shopping, finding sitters, setting a time to cook, snacks for everyone and then prepping all the ingredients. Plus, the clean-up! It was an undertaking to say the least but it's safe to say that all four of us would gladly cook together again.

We prepared: Bow Tie Fiesta, Vodka Tomato Sauce with Penne Pasta, Flank Steak Italian pinwheels, Cilantro Lime chicken and steak fajitas. Everything looks delicious and provided us all with numerous meals for the next few weeks for our families. One of the meals is for the crock pot and one is for the grill.

Here's some tips if you are thinking of doing this in the future:

Pick the biggest kitchen that you can find! There's lots of prep work, cleaning, and moving around trying to figure out where everything is located since it's not your kitchen.

Prepare as much as you can in advance such as chopping onions or browning meat.

Choose recipes that have some of the same ingredients to cut down on cost. We used chili powder in two recipes and cilantro in two recipes.

Check with other cooks to see if anyone can bring an ingredient from their own kitchen. Example, we needed a cup of Vodka for our sauce and it may have been more cost-effective just to bring that from home rather than buying an entire bottle.

Organize ingredients by recipe so that the person preparing the meal does not have to run all over the place trying to find bell peppers or cumin. Everything would be in one bag.

We used sitters but discussed cooking at night or on a Saturday next time so that we do not have to pay for sitters. Each of us chipped in $30 for the sitter and about $60 for the ingredients. I came home with ten meals along with two extra pieces of chicken, four Italian sausages, three limes and some cheddar cheese. It was crazy but fun! Both of my children were beyond exhausted at the end of the cooking marathon but they did fabulous. Evie only came in the kitchen twice and Henry needed to be held at the end because it was way past his nap time.

Something universal about Mama's is that no matter where you live or how many kids you have is that dinner has to be made. Cooking club makes it much easier and solves that pesky question - "What's for dinner?" Happy Cooking!


  1. What a great way to get some meals done. I'm horrible about cooking in other places or cooking with people in my way, but several dinners may be worth it. Do you freeze in the disposables with just the lid or do something different once you get home? I am thinking about having a cooking day before school starts with some things we've had lately that will freeze well.

    1. We used disposables. I may split one of mine again because we are not huge leftover fans. It was crazy but worth it to not have to worry about dinner for 10 nights.

  2. Soooo your kitchen is beautiful. What are the odds you want to hire me as a personal chef and/or nanny? :)

    1. Ha! That's not my kitchen but I agree it is a beautiful kitchen.


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