I am not a cook.  I am more like an assembler, heater-upper, griller, and microwaver. 

But I dream of cooking yummy meals for my family.  This is one of my new goals at 40!  And I think I’ve found something to help me!

I was in Barnes & Nobles about a week ago and noticed this book Once A Month Cooking Family Favorites by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.  It was on the clearance shelf for $2 so I could not resist! 

Cooking meals for a whole month seemed too daunting.  Plus my freezer was in no condition to receive such an onslaught of meals.  So I tried the “Two-Week Cycle.” 

The cookbook gives you a shopping list and menu chart.  There were a few meals I opted to skip.  Like preparing a rotisserie chicken, I’d rather pick one up ready to go from Costco!

Here are the recipes I ended up preparing: 

  • Southwestern Egg Casserole
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Macaroni
  • Upside-Down Fettuccini Bake
  • Chicken Durango
  • Texas-Style Lasagna
  • Beef Pot Roast

It took me 4 hours in the kitchen to complete.  I’m perpetual so I liked getting started and just working like mad.  The book tells you exactly what order to prepare everything to save time (boil macaroni, brown sausage, prepare chicken durango, etc). 

After about 3 hours, I was EXHAUSTED.  Can’t say I’ve worked that hard in the kitchen before.  But the satisfaction of seeing my freezer filled was wonderful. 

The dishes weren’t that bad to wash – just a few more dishes than you would normally wash for one meal. 

When James came home to a hot meal out of the oven and then that scene repeated the day after, he said, “I can’t remember having so many home cooked meals!” 

Bingo!  That’s exactly the feedback I wanted to hear.   

The following two days were leftover days which was fine.  Since I’m not a cook by nature, I need the structure of an easy to follow recipe.  This cookbook has that and the recipes have tasted good so far.  Most important of all, I have HOPE!  I can cook and change my ways, even at 40.

Working hard one afternoon was well worth it because for two weeks, I know what’s for dinner!   

I think I would pay full price for another cookbook from Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg…

Arlene Pellicane

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