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Once-A-Month Cooking: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Every Day
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Once-A-Month Cooking: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Every Day

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  391 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Since the first edition of Once-a-Month Cooking was published in 1986, its proven, practical method has helped hundreds of thousands of families reduce their cooking time and still enjoy nightly home-cooked meals. You don't have to be a super savvy chef to pull your family together each week for these light and simple, easy-to-prepare meals. Revised to reflect today's heal ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 956)
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Penelope
I came to this cookbook when it was recommended by another mom. Freezing a month's worth of meals by cooking one day was really appealing to me and so I decided to give it a shot. This cookbook did a great job of laying out the process of how to plan, shop for, and cook meals for a month very well.

Like many other reviewers, I didn't really like most of the recipes and only could find a few that I wanted to try. We enjoyed the few I tried, but if you are looking for a cookbook with great recipes
...more
Melinda
I like the idea of having meals ready to heat up, but the amount of cooking they advocate doing in just two to three days was way more than I could manage for many years. I'm now to the point where I could maybe do a cooking marathon... but I no longer want to. Instead I've got a system of basic ingredients and a mental list of options to make with them, so when emergencies come up I can whip up something edible from what's on hand, and when I have more time I can assemble something more involve ...more
Erika
May 30, 2011 Erika rated it liked it
Haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but have marked a couple dozen to try. I knew when I fished it out of a bargain bin that I wouldn't be cooking every recipe or following their "cycles" to the letter, but looked forward to reading it for inspiration/technique as I try to do a better job of planning ahead and having meals in the freezer for busy evenings. With four active kids, we have a lot of crazy nights when having the time to cook and clean up is a challenge.

I would like to make the poi
...more
Dani
Mar 05, 2011 Dani rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks-read
I read the first version of this book years ago when I was a newlywed. I took the whole plan on faith, cooked every recipe, and hated it. Many of the recipes tasted good when fresh but awful when reheated. It is now 20 years later and with four kids and a job, I thought it might be time to try a newer edition of the book. After flipping through it, however, I could tell that most of the recipes for dishes that my kids wouldn't touch.

The benefit of this book is that is gives you the idea of what
...more
Alison K worker
Jan 03, 2016 Alison K worker rated it really liked it
As a busy working mom with 2 little ones and no desire to eat out frequently, I was thrilled to find this book and learn to use it! I had few cooking skills and was strapped for cash and time, so having a plan with all the shopping lists and recipes available for me to cook for a month of dinners was perfect!

I started a OAM cooking club with 3 other moms. We bought in bulk, saved tons of cash, divided the prep work and then cooked together one long Saturday each month while our guys watched the
...more
Brook
Aug 11, 2015 Brook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It saved lots of money when we ate all the meals. most of the recipes were awesome. it was exhausting to follow there method without the proper tools. if you have the proper tools though it went fast and smooth. You need lots of freezer space. You need a rotating system. I found we ate all the meals we liked the most first then our freezer was full of the ones we did not like so much and sometimes did not get pulled out to be ate. then my husband began to complain it was wasting freezer space an ...more
Heidi
Mar 06, 2010 Heidi rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-misc
Bottom line: Great concept, but lackluster product.

The idea is that you spend one day shopping, one day cooking, and you fill your freezer with a month's worth of food. The menu is laid out for you, as is the shopping list and the order of preparation so you don't saute onions or chop chicken more than once.

I did a two-week plan, but with my family I was able to stretch that to a month's worth of food. Some recipes make two meals (one made four), and I only used frozen meals three or four times
...more
Darby
I think the concept of this book is really an interesting idea. But what this book lacked for me was recipes. The recipes were repetitious using similar ingredients so you would end up with several nights in row eating similar tasting meals. Or they just had many processed foods and not a lot of creativity. Meals people see at a church potluck which is fine once in a while at home. If you have no idea how to start doing this - just reading this book might help a person sort through their own rec ...more
Emily
Jun 06, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
I really like the idea behind this book. I've tried a couple of the two week plans, which resulted in a fully stocked freezer with meals that we can pull out at any time.

However, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the book:

1. The grocery lists aren't accurate. I ended up with too much of some ingredients and not enough of others.

2. Some of the recipes aren't very good. Given some of the other errors in the book, it might be safe to assume that there are errors in the recipes too.

This book could h
...more
Bonnie
Mar 02, 2013 Bonnie added it
I read this a long time ago and incorporated its methods into my life. It was a great method of having home cooked meals on hand even when working three jobs and going to night school as a single mother with three kids. The planning ahead and the weekend cooking days are a great way to make meals the only problem was two of my kids turned vegetarian and then vegan. I finally had to adapt for new dietary concerns but this is a great book and you can adapt your own recipes for the allergic kids or ...more
Jacqueline
Jul 15, 2015 Jacqueline rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I like the idea - cooking a lot at once and then having dinners ready to go in the freezer - but this book doesn't seem like the best way to go about it. The idea "doing all similar processes at once" makes sense, but most of the recipes require considerable assembly/time after they come out of the freezer. Also, a lot of the recipes just don't sound like they make good choices about what is important to do yourself vs. buy. For instance, they have you making your own spaghetti sauce but using l ...more
Jessietaylortanner
Sep 02, 2008 Jessietaylortanner rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
I was contemplating trying this method again, and thought I would read how others have successfully planned and completed it since I just winged it. It scared me out of trying it again. I'm not up for it. If you had the energy, then this book is meticulously planned and organized for you to jump right in. They did a fabulous job there- I didn't try any of the recipes, so I can't vouch there, but there does seem to be a lot of variation and suggestions on how to customize it for your own recipes. ...more
Rebecca
Feb 16, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great concept and the book is a useful starting point for developing your own Once-A-Month recipes. None of the recipes, however, are my style -- many involve processed foods or pre-packaged spices and seemed a little too high-calorie for me. The book is worth checking out from the library to learn more about the process, but don't buy it unless you first peruse the recipes to see if they are up your alley.
Jess
Jan 13, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
I really like this. It's a specific cookbook that has you cook 2-4 weeks of dinners in one day and then freeze them. It has several month's worth of recipes that are well-organized, easy to follow (and assemble), and taste really good. It gives you calendars, non-food materials lists (like how many freezer bags you'll need), and grocery lists. I liked this book much, much better than Dreamdinners.
Julie
Feb 10, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Ugh! Just finished a month cycle of cooking! I'm exhausted, my feet hurt, there are definitely several mistakes in the book, but overall...I'm happy. I've liked all the recipes, I like knowing what can be frozen and I like that I have 31 great meals in my freezer (I split several recipes into 2 meals). I would never do a month cycle again, though, without a friend to cook with me.
Carla Miller
Jan 10, 2014 Carla Miller rated it it was amazing
One of my go-to recipe books. I love having recipes made up and ready to go at a moments notice for my family.
Jessica
May 27, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recipe
Because I like to cook, this method wouldn't work for me. Only cooking once a month? Why squeeze all the fun in one day?

Some of the recipes look good so I am going to give them a try and freeze some for later...for those nights when cooking dinner just isn't going to happen. I'll save my review until I actually taste some recipes.
Melissa
Oct 18, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems like a great book. It has your recipes, grocery lists, and step by step instructiosn for putting meals together in one day. It looks very simple and easy. I had to return it to the library, so I didn't actually try it, but I may put this book on my Christmas list.
KaTe
Mar 26, 2008 KaTe rated it liked it
Shelves: health-food
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I did the 2 week/low fat cycle. I like 2/3 of the meals. The ingredient list was incomplete so I can't give full stars. It's a lot of work but worth it when you have a great dinner waiting for you in the freezer!
Elizabeth
Apr 14, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Honestly, the lower star rating is only because it will not work for my family. This is a great book if you do not have to worry about food allergies or intolerances. There would have to be way too many modifications for me to even begin using it for ours.
Hilary
Jan 17, 2011 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook
It is a seriously awesome feeling to have 14-21 emergency meals in the freezer waiting for those crazy days you have no idea what to cook. LOVE IT! It is worth the afternoon of cooking, but not enough to make me do it more than once a month at most.
Laura
Jul 07, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
almost a must read for the beginning housewife. it teaches you how to plan and prepare meals for your family for weeks in advance.

great basic recipes to fall back on and all are able to be made in advance and frozen for later.
Dawn
Jun 02, 2008 Dawn rated it it was ok
I have no idea if cooking once a month is feasible but I'm willing to give it a try. If anyone else has any handy hints, recipes or has tried this, let me know! After cooking for 20 years for just ME, I'm now cooking for 5 of us. :)
Judy
Nov 07, 2008 Judy rated it it was ok
Here's what you do. Buy a load of food and cook it all on one day, cut it up and freeze it in meal size packages, defrost and eat once a day. The list in the back of the book of what to talk about at the dinner table was odd.
Cathy
Dec 31, 2009 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
I think this is the best freezer meal cookbook I have seen. It is filled with wonderful recipes that I am dying to try. I love all the helpful advice the authors give for assembling the meals as well. Awesome book!
Sandie
Jan 16, 2013 Sandie rated it liked it
Good recipes and meal planning advice. Many of the meals were not meals I would serve on a regular basis. They are inexpensive meals and meals that can be prepared in a pinch. Good book for a few of the recipes.
Lori
May 20, 2011 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Creative idea, and I can see it being useful, but only if you happen to like all the meals they have on the plan. Sadly I didn't, which would make it a LOT more work. So maybe I'll revisit one day when I'm less picky.
Nancy
Dec 26, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't buy into the once-a-month deal. But there are some good basic recipes in here that are keepers. I have tried two so far and have about 15 more flagged - a good sign of a recipe book that I will use!
Katie
Sep 09, 2008 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I so can't do the "once a month" cooking thing. The thought of doing the shopping for all of those ingredients makes me tired just thinking about it.

I did get two recipes that look really good, though.
Melanie
Apr 15, 2013 Melanie marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: cookbooks
It was an unwise choice to read a book like this shortly before a cross-country move. The recipes seem less revolting than the ones in the Taylor-Hough book.

Try again later when we're resettled.
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