584 of 593 people found the following review helpful
What I like about this cookbook is the recipes have you freeze the dish before cooking it. For me, what I don't like about some of the other OAMC (once a month cooking) cookbooks is they have you cook it first, then freeze and when you unthaw it it's mush. This cookbook has you assemble all the ingredients first, freeze it and then day of serving you thaw and cook. Very much the same as dream dinners.com. (without the hefty price tag). Have loved the cranberry chicken, chicken cacciatore and the buttermilk herb chicken breasts. We eat mostly chicken but there are beef, pork and even desserts recipes. Serving suggestions are offered though not as many as I'd like. Very good cookbook, worthy investment and I don't give my praise lightly.
342 of 355 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2006
The book is well laid out, the format easy to read and explained in great detail. However, the first recipe I tried called for sour cream to be added to the ingredients prior to freezing, didn't specify to thaw the recipe, and was designed for the crock-pot. Well, everything my mother taught me about, "Don't freeze sour cream because it will separate," and "Don't put sour cream in the crock-pot until the last 30 minutes or it will curdle," it turns out Mom was right! It began with the recipe not going into the crock-pot properly, because it wasn't thawed. Once it was finished thawing, it was separated and watery, and by the end of the cooking time in the crock-pot, what wasn't soupy was curdled. Smelled great, but I couldn't get the sauce to come back together. I'm not giving up on the book yet, but be warned - listen to your instincts! If something sounds wrong, try to see if there is a way for you to adapt it to work around the problem! Also, I would recommend what I am doing - I am making all of the recipes that sound good or interesting for the smallest amount first, so if we don't like it, I'm not stuck with several containers of it in the freezer! Good luck to everyone who buys the book!
173 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2006
I'm a pre-clinical medical student, and often don't have time to mess around with dinner when I get home, especially during exam times. Using this book, I've been able to eat really well on the one night's worth of cooking I did at the beginning of the semester! I tried the spinach lasagna and beef stroganoff recipes this time around, and have been really happy with both of them. I find that I want to alter the recipes a little bit, but I think that has more to do with my needs and tastes than any problem with the recipes themselves.
The other nice thing is that this is one of the few cookbooks I have been able to adapt as far as portion size without any trouble at all. I am single and end up cooking for myself. With this cookbook, that's no problem. I froze the lasagnas into smaller pans (and then took them out, thank you for that technique!!) for a dinner and lunch leftovers helping, and portioned out the stroganoff into single-serving sizes as well. No wasted food and no headaches. Fantastic!
I also made this whole batch of food (which included a fair amount besides these two recipes) from one shopping excursion of about $100. I haven't had to go grocery shopping to any substantial degree in a month, other than for salad greens, cat food, noodles, or that last minute ice cream craving. This is VERY nice for both my financial budget and my time budget!
All in all, I credit this book for saving me some serious time, money, and stress. I'm going to end up taking what I learn in making these recipes up to freeze and applying them to my other favorite recipes, too, which just makes it doubly valuable as far as I'm concerned.
241 of 260 people found the following review helpful
This cookbook is the best freezer cookbook out there. The receipes are easy and kid friendly (a plus in my house)plus they are easy to adapt to your own tastes. I easily made 15 meat based dinners in less than 3 hours. A plus to this book over others is that many of the recipes are simply assembled and then cooked on serving day which I prefer to cooking and then thawing/reheating which can degrade the texture of many foods. I would recommend this cookbook to anyone looking to start freezer cooking or those looking for new and good recipes
97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2007
Say goodbye to boring recipes. This book as an amazing variety of entres, and many have a gourmet taste and appearance without bizarre, hard-to-find ingredients.
The best things about this book:
1) A very practical freezer method using bags instead of baking dishes or plastic containers. By using the freezer bags and "flash freezing" the food into various, stackable shapes, you can maximize your freezer space and make cooking or reheating the food easier later.
2)The majority of the dishes aren't cooked at all until after you defrost them. This makes them taste incredibly fresh on the day you serve them. You simply assemble them before hand, then freeze them in order to cook them later.
3) This method of cooking definitely saves time. By preparing multiple meals at once, you dramatically reduce your overall preparation time. Furthermore, you've got the convenience of getting a meal out of your freezer the night before, letting it defrost in your fridge, and then simply letting the oven do the cooking or reheating while you tend to your children, chores, or work.
4) Buying "loss leaders" on sale at the grocery store and cooking them in bulk really does save money!
5) The variety of recipes.
6) The flexibility. The author encourages you to change up the recipes according to your family's tastes and package them according to your family's size.
The worst things about this book:
1) It should be spiral bound so it can lie flat.
2) I'm a lover of free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free meats. Finding my type of meat on sale is rare, and buying it already cut (i.e. chicken breasts) is usually never cheap. Most of the chicken recipes call for breasts. A few can be adapted to use shredded chicken (what I've got if I buy the chicken whole from farmers), but most cannot. Perhaps I should just learn how to properly butcher a chicken.
215 of 234 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2006
Exactly what I was looking for - freezer meals that don't require a 'monthly plan' to best utilize!
SO many recipes, all of which appeal to most of the family (preschooler included - that's a challenge!), and none of which require Julia Child level skills to prepare. I also like that it lays out ingredient lists based on different multiples of the recipe (1, 3, 6, etc). Makes it simple to make in bulk if I choose to (but doesn't require higher math to split a recipe if I don't want to make that much, like many OAMC recipes do).
I think it's even better than Dream Dinners (or those type of places - many of which I swear seem like they use *these* recipes!), as I'm not limited to their menu choices.
104 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2006
Not quite what I had expected. A lot of these recipes are simply different marinades for meat, which I've done in the past simply by buying pre-made marinades at the store. Don't be fooled by the title, these aren't simply remove from the freezer and bake meals. They are prep meals for the freezer, with additional ingredients and time added to the serving day requirements. No pictures at all, which was a disappointment. I was also a little confused by the amount of fresh pasta recipes (not frozen). Why they were included in a freezer cookbook is beyond me. I was looking for something to prepare meals for others, just to pop in the oven or heat up, and this wasn't it. I'll keep looking...
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2007
I cook in bulk and freeze on a regular basis, keep an inventory list on top of my freezer, decide what we are eating the next day and defrost in the fridge the night before. This particular book gives a nice organization to how to purchase in bulk for cooking. The dinners are very tasty and quite simple to prepare. Most freezer cookbooks have a lot of cream of mushroom soup type ingredients and the entrees are largely casseroles. Not this book! This book has a great variety of recipes with higher quality ingredients. The recipes from this book taste fresher than many have made from other freezer cookbooks. I prefer to do prep work (chopping veggies, shredding cheese, etc the night before) and then it's easy to follow these recipes and make several recipes in one day. I spent 4 hours on Sat. and froze 23 meals for my family of 4. Though the format is generally for a family of 4, I have smaller Pyrex casserole dishes with plastic lids and freeze each recipe in half - for 2, and then I can take out more when needed. It's easy to figure out how to make healthier choices in ingredients (fat free salad dressing or less cheese). Complaints? The binding broke on first use. A spiral bound book would be so much better. Also, it would be nice if nutritional information was included. Lastly, there could more side dishes to freeze (most are "make on the day you serve") since it is a freezer cookbook and most of the meals are entrees which would almost require a side dish or two.
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2007
This weekend I spent a few hours making 15 dinners from four recipes (I will try a few more recipes next weekend. The Very Best Meatloaf recipe is GREAT, and I will try the rest this week.
What I love about this book are the meat entrees. Like others have mentioned, a lot of the recipes are simply meats and chicken in different sauces and marinades, but this works for this book because these meals are meant to be frozen - being frozen in a sauce means no freezer-burned meat!
A big plus to this book is the first section before the recipes. The informational chapters are very helpful. In particular, "The Don't Panic Method of Cooking", "Cooking Day Suggestions", "Packaging and Freezing the Goods", and "How Long Will it Keep?"
I LOVE the recipe size conversions that are given for all of the freezer recipes. The original recipes make either 4, 6, or 8 servings (depending on the recipe), and most of the conversions are for 3x, 6x, or 9x the recipe.
Some recipes that I thought looked great include: Rocky Mountain Brisket & BBQ Sauce, Rio Rancho Taco Meat, Pork Chops a la Orange, Pinwheel Flank Steak, Dijon Pork Loin Roast, Oriental Sesame CHicken Strips, Lemon Glazed Chicken Breasts, Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pesto Butter, Buttermilk Herb Chicken, Lemon Bread, Orange Sour Cream Loaf (bread), crumb cake, and much more! (hey! no canned soups in any of these recipes!!)
I held back a star only because I would have liked to have seen more freezable side recipes (most of the sides can only be prepared on the day of the meal, but honestly, I usually just cook an easy Lipton/Knorr pasta package and heat some frozen veggies to accompany dinner.
I really think that you can't go wrong with this cook book, unless you have a special dietary need. If you are looking for low-fat recipes, be prepared to make recipe substitutions.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2006
I absolutely love this cookbook! The recipes are fantastic and simple to prepare, yet taste like you spent more time on them. I like the fact that even the preparation to them to the freezer isn't very involved. As a working mother of 2 under 2, this is a necessity. I'm recommending it to all my friends.
By the way, I am also doing Weight Watchers, and I have found a lot of recipes in here that are great on points! I saw a review that said a lot of recipes were fattening, but I think there are a lot in here that are not and for the others, you can easily substitute items to make it healthier!