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Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month Paperback – January 1, 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Frozen Assets is small in stature, but jam-packed with meal-planning advice. It contains recipe ideas, plus detailed instructions on how to get the maximum value from your food dollar, while also slashing meal preparation times.

Deborah Taylor-Hough, mother of four, is as organized as a soldier. She shops one morning in less than an hour, chops and prepares ingredients the next night after dinner, and then spends one long day cooking. Making double and triple batches of 10 recipes, she ends up putting 30 meals for two adults and two children into the freezer, ready to heat and eat. Taylor-Hough's plan uses simple, familiar recipes. Her family eats meat loaf, baked ziti, and chicken and broccoli casserole made with canned soup. Each dish is repeated several times a month. To keep her grocery bill under $200 a month, she uses store brands and buys ground meat in bulk, and only when it's on special. As much a manual for a way of life as a cookbook, Frozen Assets tells how to create your own meal plans, cope with a small, "in refrigerator" freezer, and how to use this bulk-cooking method even if you are single. If you are into efficiency and want a guide to reorganizing your culinary life, this book is a must-have. It even offers advice on how to recover from a whole day of cooking. Taylor-Hough's recommendation: go out to dinner that night! --Dana Jacobi

From Library Journal

This book offers relief to those tired of eating restaurant fare or expensive, overpackaged convenience foods at the end of a hard day. Bulk cooking, the practice of preparing numerous meals and freezing for later consumption, was a survival strategy the author employed after the birth of her first child. After a decade of experimentation, she shares her menu ideas, recipes, and tips for shopping and preparing these thrifty, frozen treasures that can simplify the daily meal rush. Recipes are for family favorites, but the author encourages readers to adapt their own recipes to the freezer method. Suggestions appropriate for large families and singles are included along with forms to help organize the cook. With more emphasis on frugality than Mimi Wilson and Mary Bath Lagerborg's Once-a-Month Cooking (Focus on the Family Pub., 1992), this will appeal to both the thrifty and the time-conscious. Recommended for public libraries.ABonnie Poquette, Whitefish Bay, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Champion Press (WI); First Paperback Edition edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891400614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891400612
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been "budget-cooking" for a while now and have found there is not one "do-it-all" book for saving money, freezer cooking or simple recipes. I use a variety of cookbooks and pick and choose the recipes we enjoy as a family. Everyone's tastes are different, so the bad reviews I have read here about this book surprised me. Yes, there are a couple of recipes here I probably won't try, but as an experienced frugal cook I found many great hints that saved me time and money, enough so the book went from my library list to one I purchased last month. We enjoy many of the recipes, they are simple to make(I even prepared two weeks worth of meals with my two children underfoot in the kitchen). If you are looking for french cuisine or five star restaurant entrees you won't find them here, but if you need some simple dishes to prepare ahead to save time and money (especially on those hectic soccer game or scout meeting days) this book is a very helpful tool.
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By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
For those of you who are overwhelmed with trying to plan, shop, and cook for your families after a busy day, this book is for you. Once a month, or bulk cooking is not a new concept,but what I find refreshing about Frozen Assets is OPTIONS. My mantra has forever been "there's no ONE way to be organized", and this book shares that philosophy. Bulk cooking is just that; cook double batches for a week and have another week's worth of meals for your freezer. Cook once a month and have 30 days' worth of meals in your freezer. Try it out, a little at a time, and if you like the concept, tweak it for your lifestyle.
Deborah walks you through step by step, from planning to shopping to cooking to storing. I'm always looking at the way books are organized for quick reference, and this one delivers. The table of contents provides a quick look at recipes, which are cross-referenced for ease of use. Frugal tips for shopping and budgeting are included as well.
I highly recommend Deborah's book, and urge you to pick up a copy of your own.
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Format: Paperback
I would give this book 2-1/2 stars, averaging the great information on once-a-month cooking (5 stars) with the recipes (1 star). The strong positives about the book are the highly organized plan for OAMC cooking (which is all available on the OAMC Website) and useful tips for grocery savings. Also, the author has a wonderful, warm friendly tone. Strong negatives include the fact that there is not one recipe (except for a cookie recipe) that I would eat or serve to my family. To my taste (and I'm not picky, but I realize taste is subjective!) the recipes are bland, and each one has some odd ingredient (canned olives in everything, rice crusts for quiches, etc.). I love casseroles and one-meal dishes, and was very disappointed to find not one usable recipe. Another strong negative is that the material was s-t-r-e-c-h-e-d to fill the book--i.e, one recipe per page, and repeating the recipes in different sections. I see that some reviewers love the recipes and some hate them---my very strong advice would be to check out the recipes before you invest in this book. (As an aside, I loved Debi's book "A Simple Plan" and would highly recommend it!)
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Format: Paperback
The many practical, step-by-step tips for saving money when choosing and buying food make Frozen Assets a worthwhile book, but it is the author's large-quantity recipes and instructions for freezing them that make her book truly valuable.
Although most recipes are not written for the health-conscious, as they contain many items high in fat and cholesterol, the author does include general advice on reducing fat and increasing nutrition in recipes. Most of the recipes in the book are child friendly, and can easily be adapted to a low-fat menu. The book includes sample shopping lists as well as lists of cooking tools that are useful in cooking large quanties of food.
Although I had already invested in a box-type freezer before I purchased this book, the author explains how she has applied her "Cook Big But Not Often" philosophy even to small refridgerator-top freezers. Since I began applying the lessons of the book, I have frozen a wide variety of dinners, including soups, chile, and casseroles. All of the recipes were easy, inexpensive, and tasty, and all made several meals that I froze for future use. But the nicest part-- thanks Ms. Taylor-Hugh-- is that I've only been turning on my stove about once every 3 weeks, and I'm working on reducing that figure. I'm expecting my second child in 6 weeks, and it feels great to know that I'll be prepared with good, homemade meals for those hectic first few weeks with a newborn.
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Format: Paperback
I've read and used several cookbooks and dozens of recipes for the Once-a-month cooking method and found all of them to be a waste of my time and money until I reviewed and tested Frozen Assets by Deborah Taylor-Hough. There are several important tricks to using this method. This book is the only one I've read on the subject which emphasizes the importance of calibrating your freezer to the right temperatures, as well as the importance of cooling, freezing and thawing the food properly in order to guarantee that your ingredients retain the texture and taste desired. I pride myself on being an excellent cook, but must admit that I failed miserably at the Once-a-month cooking method until I took the time to learn and apply Debi's common sense, but often over-looked techniques. I am a person who has a passion for really fresh food, but as a working mother I don't always have time to prepare all of our meals from scratch. Having simple dishes, such as Debi's Black Beans and Rice, on hand in the freezer, gives me the luxury of having the most time consuming part of the meal finished. I can add fresh salad or steamed vegetables for a quick, well balanced, fresh meal without having to settle for the compromise of instant rice or canned beans. While freezer meals aren't my first choice for dinner, having a few meals each month in our freezer saves me valuable time I don't always have. I have found her recipes to be simple, basic, economical, nutritious, and delicious. Good job, Debi! Food critics, like me, can be a pretty tough crowd to sell frozen foods to, but your common sense, economical approach to this method gave me a reason to try it again. I'm glad I did!
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