Monday, April 20, 2009

Angel Food Ministries Part II

Whew, what a weekend--I am beat! I spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons doing some good ol' Once a Month Mom cooking. I made 25 dinner and 3 breakfast meals--yowsers! I really tried to do everything on Saturday, but got off to a late start, and with kids interrupting, and trying to do it all myself, I just couldn't finish it all in one day.

Our schedule tends to be very hectic, especially now that my son has started Little League. In trying to balance my time so I can spend more time with my family after work yet still provide a healthy and nutritious meal, I decided to start making freezer meals after reading up on the concept at Once a Month Mom. I did a trial run in March and made about 1-1/2 weeks' worth of dinners, and it was worth it! So I decided to give the OAMM another whirl and do an entire month's worth of dinners--and a few breakfasts--when I picked up my April Angel Food Ministries (AFM) order on Saturday. You can read about why I buy from AFM by clicking here.

I had only purchased 1 regular box this time, but I had also bought the new seafood box and a 10 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast special, in addition to one fruit/veggie box.

Here's what I got:

Regular box: 1.5 lb New York strip steak (4 x 6oz), 2 lb Chicken Breast Stir Fry (boneless/skinless chicken breast chunks), 2 lb breaded chicken breast fillet, 1 lb steak fajita strips, 20 oz supreme pizza, 28 oz jumbo beef patties with gravy, 1 lb all meat hot dogs, 10 oz individually-wrapped cheese slices (16oz), 2 lb french fries, 12 ct white corn tortillas, 1 lb rice, 15 oz peach halves, 2 - 15oz cans organic chicken broth, 6 oz pancake mix, 32 oz 2% shelf stable milk, dozen eggs, blueberry pie for dessert. Total Cost $30

Seafood box: 2 lb Alaskan salmon fillets (8 x 4oz) vacuum packed, 2 lb whiting fillets (4oz-6oz fillets), 2 lb large shrimp (26-30 per lb). The seafood box was a splurge, but totally worth it. The whiting filets are huge, and the shrimp was enough for 3 meals. Bring on the omega 3 fatty acids! Total Cost $35

Chicken Breast Fillet Box: 10 lb boneless skinless chicken breast. I didn't know how much 10 lb would be, but was I surprised when I opened the box. It was enough for 7 meals, plus I made enough for leftovers for lunch the next day for most of the meals. Total Cost $21

Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box: 3 lb Idaho baking potatoes, 3 lb North Carolina sweet potatoes, 1 pkg Wiley's Sweet Potato and Yam Seasoning, 1 head green cabbage, 1 lb California baby whole peeled carrots, 2 jumbo sweet onions, 1 each red, yellow orange & green bell peppers, 2 California lemons, 1 head California iceberg lettuce, 4 Washington bosc pears, 4 Washington red delicious appleas, 1 pineapple, 1 cantaloupe. Also came with a fruit and veggie recipe sheet. Total Cost $22

My Once a Month Mom (OAMM) Menu:


  • Banana Muffins (my husband's favorite; he said I was spoiling him)
  • Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
  • Banana Nut Bread (used my breadmaker)

Dinner--Chicken Meals

  • Chicken Fajita Crescent Braid
  • Crunchy Baked Chicken
  • Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
  • Cheesy BBQ Chicken
  • Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Creamed Chicken & Biscuits
  • Lemon Parsley Chicken
  • Lemony Chicken & Pasta Saute'
  • Creamy Italian Chicken
  • Chicken and Gravy

Dinner--Seafood Meals

  • Stir-Fried Garlic Shrimp
  • Festive Shrimp Kabobs
  • Honey Garlic Shrimp
  • Pasta Crab Casserole
  • Baked Fish Au Gratin
  • Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon
Dinner--Other Meals
  • Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos
  • Pepper Ribeye Steak
  • Pepper New York Strip Steak
  • Li'l Cheddar Meatloaves (used ground turkey)
  • Saucy Beef Strips
  • Pizza Rolls

For those of you interested, I will share my recipes with you in some upcoming posts. Be on the lookout!

My OAMM Cooking Extravaganza!!:

I thought I'd share with you some of my experience from my OAMM cooking extravaganza. Or should I say workout! Ten hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday in the kitchen. It was quite an accomplishment for me, considering I had two kids and a husband coming in & out of the kitchen, each vying for my time and attention.

Before starting, I made sure to grab a few "must have" items:

Rachel Ray has her garbage bowl; I have my garbage bag. I come home with a wad of plastic bags after each shopping trip, so I "recycle" them by throwing my cooking waste into one of these bags. My Grandma swears that the ink on the bags will transfer onto your kitchen counter if you don't turn them inside out. That has never been my experience, but I turned them out for this occasion. My Grandma would be proud. :)

A BIG cup of ice water. Cooking can really make you thirsty!

As for cooking, I used the stove, oven, breadmaker, Crock-pot, and rice cooker (I don't recommend cooking and freezing rice; I just used it because we ate the Chicken and Gravy for dinner Sunday evening, and I served that over rice). The Crock-pot really came in handy as I was able to make the Crock-pot Pork Tacos in my 3qt crock and the Creamy Italian Chicken in my 6qt crock. That allowed me to make more things on the stove, like Chicken Marsala (pictured here).

I used different methods to preserve my meals in the freezer. Which method I used depended on what I cooked. Anything that needed to be baked before serving, such as Pasta Crab Casserole, got placed into a disposable aluminum baking dish. Solid food items, such as Baked Fish Au Gratin, go in a vacuum-sealed food saver. Here's a pic of both meals.

My 3qt crock and food saver: both worked hard :)

Liquidy items, like Festive Shrimp Kebabs and Saucy Beef Strips, were put into gallon-size freezer bags. If you use freezer bags, make sure you get out as much air as possible; otherwise, your food may get frostburn.

OAMM Lessons Learned:
  1. I had intended on making homemade chicken stock with some of the chicken I cooked up. In fact, I had made the stock. But silly me left the stock sitting in the pan Saturday night after going bed, and it was still there when I came home from church Sunday and realized the error of my ways. So I had to throw it out. :/
  2. If there's one thing that I learned from this OAMM cooking extravaganza, it is this: NEVER, EVER use your Pampered Chef bar pan in the broiler!

I made the Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon in the broiler using my large bar pan, and was SO upset when I pulled it out and heard "crack" "crack, crack" "crack!" I managed to get the bar pan onto the counter before this occurred:

A crack from one edge all the way to the other. 8(
Needless to say, I was not a happy cooker. My bar pan had finally reached that state of seasoning perfection, and everything I made on it was coming out fabulous. But, alas, I will need to contact my Pampered Chef consultant and start the process all over again with a new bar pan. Oh well, you live, you learn!

If you are looking for ways to balance your time, and you don't mind spending one or two days stuck in the kitchen, then I highly recommend that you make some freezer meals. The concept of OAMM cooking is really catching on. My friend Melissa at Melissa's Bargain Blogs is preparing for her own OAMM cooking extravaganza, and you can read about her efforts here. You can make your freezer meals as simple or as complicated as you want--you know your family's needs better than anyone else.

How about you? Do you make freezer meals? How has your OAMM experience turned out? Interested in starting OAMM cooking? Please sure your thoughts here!


  1. I am a site director for an AFM site. We have been open for one year. I just want to get the word out that this program is open to every one, no matter what your income. AFM sites are located in churches( Lutheran, Baptist, etc) Senior Centers, Community Centers and many more settings.
    AFM has been providing affordable food for about 15 years.

  2. I volunteer to distribute Angel Food in my community and I can tell you that Angel Food is a big help to a lot of people. For $30 you get a box of food worth about $60. The box includes chicken or beef, milk, eggs, vegetables, and several other items, and the menu varies each month. It’s really a great system. You can find an Angel Food host site in your area at

  3. Thank you for your comments! You can also view why I order my food from Angel Food Ministries on my post, Angel Food Ministries, part I (

    AFM has been a life-saver for our family. I am so excited about the May 2009 menu, especially the new Latin Flavors fruit/vegetable box. I will be posting a Once a Month Cooking menu based off my May AFM order, so be on the lookout.


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