So, here are my thoughts on the week of cooking in one day so far:
1. It was a lot of fun, but probably not the thing to do on a Monday evening. It took me about 3 hours of cooking (on and off) and cleaning to produce five almost complete meals. If you had a lazy Sunday afternoon, it would be perfect. I am hopeful though that my effort last night will make the rest of the week easier.
2. Use recipes that go well together. Although you could probably do this with any recipes, using the TV show guide was helpful to me - one of the meat items was used for two meals (and this seems to be a theme on the show), most of the meals used similar ingredients (less shopping/cost) and the meal variety was terrific. I'm sure I could put this together on my own, but it would add to the time.
3. Watch your cost. I didn't do any substituting of ingredients (although I could have with the recipes involved), and I already had two of the cuts of meat on hand, so my grocery bill wasn't bad - I spent $60.12 at Meijer, but that also included bread, yogurt, a few staples I was out of, etc. Cheese and crab meat were the most expensive items but if I'd had more time I could have gotten them for less by going to another store.
4. Start with a clean kitchen and empty dishwasher. My kitchen was clean, but my dishwasher was half full and I had to run it halfway through my cooking marathon.
5. If the dishes make more than you need, go ahead and freeze the rest. The mac and cheese dish made a TON - I ended up making one for the adults, a small plain container of mac and cheese for the kids and still had a decent dish that I just put in the freezer - enough for my family another night!
So far, I have to say that the food from this episode appears to be excellent. The pork tacos were amazing! I would make these again for guests in a heartbeat. They were so easy and so flavorful. Adding the pickled onion and cabbage was genius. I also added a bit of sour cream but it wasn't needed. We had enough for dinner last night and lunch for my hubby and myself today. If they are too hot for children, you could just pull some of the meat out and serve it alone to the children.
I'll comment on the other dinners next week. But so far, so good!