Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review...and a Giveaway!

I try to stay organized.

I really, really do.

I have to-do lists, a chore chart, and lists for my to-do lists. I L.O.V.E. crossing things off of my lists, feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment every time I click my pen and put a checkmark in the little box.

But there’s one department that seems to get pushed back and neglected almost every weeknight.


My afternoons are filled with work and completing tasks, and the duty of “figure out dinner” usually gets pushed back until 5:00pm…when it’s too late to get a really awesome dinner prepped, in the oven, and on the table within an hour. That’s when I look through the refrigerator and pantry, trying to throw things together and make it taste good without admitting defeat and offering bowls of cereal. (Although, I wouldn’t mind that…I absolutely love cereal…more on that at a later time.)

A solution to this dilemma arrived a few weeks ago: a really AWESOME book that I was recently given to review, entitled “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik (Storey Publishing, 2007). This book is chock-full of delicious recipes that are prepared ahead of time, in bulk, and easily frozen – with directions to attach! There are over 125 recipes that include meat and meatless main dishes, sides, soups, marinades, breakfast items, and even cookies. Each recipe is detailed and descriptive, telling you exactly what ingredients you need, how many freezer bags, how to label the bags, and how to prepare the food. Then, all you do is get your ingredients, follow the directions, and TA-DA! You have several future meals in your freezer, ready to go when you need them. Just follow the directions, and you will have dinner on the table in no time.

Last week I made the Sticky Ribs (p. 126), Rice Pilaf (p. 151), and Dave’s Swamp Blues Barbecued Chicken (p. 30). All received a "thumbs up" from Hubby and the kiddos, with Hubby saying that the pork ribs were “one of the best-tasting and most tender pieces of pork he has ever had.” Plus, now I have several more servings of each recipe in my deep freezer for future meals. Don’t you just love finding solutions to your problems? :o)

Now, YOU get a chance to WIN a copy of “Fix, Freeze, Feast” and try it out for yourself! Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Sunday, November 22nd.

Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you currently do to get dinner on the table. Any creative secrets that you can share?

That's it!

To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).

If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!


Such The Spot said...

What do I do to get dinner on the table? I guess it helps that my husband gets home around 4. He can take over kid duties while I start the meal. I pre-make all of my spaghetti sauces, and chicken stocks. So that helps a bit. Other than that I just do the meal planning and shopping ahead of time, so that I'm not scurrying at the last minute for a dinner of hot dogs or something equally icky. This book looks fabulous though. I'm a big fan of the make it, take it, freeze it place we have here in town. This would be a great alternative!

Sara said...

I saw this book reviewed awhile ago on another blog and have been thinking about it ever since. I've been in a rut lately. I blame it on pregnancy. When I'm on the ball I plan out meals ahead of time and shop for them so I know that I have what I need for a week of meals.
Ah, and don't try to mix frozen chopped spinach with box stuffing and eggs even if it's all you can find to throw together. It won't go over well.

Eric | Eden Journal said...

Well, this would be my wonderful wife's secret since she does most of the cooking. She usually cooks a big meal on Monday. Something large enough to have left overs for a couple of days. Then on the other nights of the week, my 3 year old daughter and I are in charge of heating up the left overs, and she gets a few minutes to relax while we get everything together.

Hostetter6 said...

Now that I'm officially a working mom, I find that forces me to be organized. I plan a week's meals ahead and plan several crock pot meals, which is a huge help! I'm always looking for better / faster / different solutions ... so, I hope I win the book!

Marissa said...

Well, sometimes dinner doesn't get on the table! With my two year old running around and getting more and more crazy as dinnertime approaches it's a struggle to get anything done. It would be so nice to just pull something out of the freezer and be done with it! I really think frozen meals are the way to go!

lija stoltzfus said...

I wish I could say that I have a secret for dinner, but I struggle with this, too. Usually, we end up eating much later than we would like to- or at least later than the husband wants to! So, in general, organization and preparation seem to be the keys to a successful, on time dinner. I'm not there yet- but I'm trying! =)
P.S. I have found that using frozen, pre-cut vegetables can really be a time saver!

Weezer said...

I always thought it was difficult coming up with family dinner ideas that were possible to throw together after work but it's difficult now to come up with things that I can fix for just two old people. Especially when we don't care for anything we can label 'left over'.
I connected to your blog from Becca's diaper blog...she's a friend of my daughter's.

MoziEsmé said...

I've sauted lots of onions and frozen them into small ziploc bags...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Susan said...

I start the week off with good intentions. I usually have a couple of dishes I know I am going to fix based on what was on sale at the store. If the day goes smoothly - HA - I can start cooking while the kids take an afternoon nap. Or should I say IF they take a nap.

It's the days with extra homework, late nights at work and trying to let the kids play outside that really throw me off.

Susan said...

See Bess Run follower via Google