Solving The Dinner Dilemma With The Big Cook

Echo and I were asked to try out the cook book titled The Big Cook, by Deanna Siemens, Joanne Smith and Lorelei Thomas.

The premise of the book is to get together with some friends (or family) and spend a day cooking.  They claim that you can make 200 meals in one day – whew!

“If you are someone who wants to get organized, save money, time and have delicious, nutritious meals, this book is for you!”

Big Cook: A Cooking Concept

Did you know that it takes just a few minutes longer to prepare 8 meals of the same recipe instead of just one?  Imagine your freezer is full of healthy, homemade, nutritious meals that are ready to be cooked and enjoyed.  Your meal preparation is done in advance, which leaves you with time to spend with your family instead of rushing around and wondering what to feed them.  Not only that, buying your food in large quantities allows you to cut costs and save money on your food budget.

The Big Cook takes you through how to choose the recipes, make up a grocery list, do the grocery shopping, pre-meal preparations, cook up a storm, and how to store the meals you’ve made.  If you have a large group, you can rent a commercial sized kitchen – perhaps at your local community centre.  The result is a freezer full of homemade meals that are ready to be heated up for family meal times.

My Experience With The Big Cook

I’m not big on having a number of people in the kitchen milling about when I’m cooking, and with my family of two I don’t have too many servings of any one meal in my freezer.  Frozen, cooked food should generally be eaten within three months.

That said, I do like to have some prepared meals in my freezer for days when I know I won’t have the time, or energy, to prepare a proper dinner.  It prevents the last minute trip to the supermarket for something quick to make (and ending up with three bags of groceries) and also ordering take – out, which we all know is bad for our health and wallets.

After mulling over the recipes in the book (which all sound really good), I decided to make the “Amazing Chicken” dish since I already had chicken breasts and the other ingredients on hand.

Once I determined that “1 meal” actually made four servings (there are directions for up to 8 meals), I decided to prepare 1-½ meals.  This would give me one meal of two servings to eat right away and two to freeze.  The dish was easy to make and had lots of sauce.  The only change I would make is to perhaps add a bit of ginger to spice it up a notch.

Final Thoughts

I liked that each recipe in The Big Cook gives hints for cooking and also serving suggestions, and that there are various methods to prepare each dish.  I’m trying to decide what next to cook.

This cook book is for you if you like to have fun cooking with your friends while saving time and money, and come away with a couple of month’s worth of healthy meals to keep in your freezer ready to heat up.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post when Echo interviews one of the author’s of The Big Cook and we give away a free copy to one lucky reader.

In the meantime, check out The Big Cook website and join their Facebook group for more information.

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  1. Money Beagle on July 12, 2011 at 5:40 am

    The biggest issue I have here, well two issues are 1) freezer space is at a premium, so in our house we would have to invest in an additional freezer to be able to undertake this and 2) the fact that when things get put in the freezer, they tend to get forgotten about at least to a certain degree. Many foods don’t come out of the freezer tasting the same as they went in, so if you’re not careful, you end up throwing stuff away (or not enjoying your meal) if you leave it even a week too long. This ‘big cook’ idea would require tremendous discipline.

  2. Boomer on July 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    @Money Beagel: You would need to keep a record of the items you freeze, for sure, to make sure they don’t get abandoned in the bottom of the freezer and you should eat them within 3 months. That’s a problem I have with making a lot of meals as there’s only the 2 of us. Within reason, they shouldn’t take up that much room in an average freezer, but it would depend on what else you keep in there.
    Thanks for your comment.

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