The meatballs are baking in the oven and the steel-cut oats are soaking on the stove top. The Moroccan chicken is simmering in the slow cooker and I just tucked the tuna noodle casserole into their aluminum-foil beds and put them in the freezer for a long sleep. No, I’m not recreating Old Country Buffet in the kitchen, this is my variant on the Once a Month Cooking that I’ve been trying out for a couple of months. September’s OAMC was kind of a bust…I don’t think I made enough recipes, and a couple of the recipes just didn’t freeze or reheat well (freezing Asian cole slaw? I should have known better). Since I was sick last week and we’re going to Hawaii for a week at the end of October, I wasn’t really feeling up to the commitment of a $300 grocery shop and a 10-hr day in the kitchen. So, I threw the Moroccan chicken in the slow cooker, mixed up a couple of tuna casseroles (baked one for dinner tonight, froze the other), baked some buffalo meatballs in the oven (to be served with tomato sauce and spaghetti squash later this week), and now there’s a pot of steel-cut oats soaking overnight. About 4 hours in the kitchen total, but we’ve got dinner for the week. Matt’s grumbling about the pile of dishes in the sink but I reminded him that he’ll be grateful later this week since there’ll be minimal clean-up after each of these pre-cooked meals. We’re such early dinner-eaters that by the time I get home around 5:30, I don’t have the time to cook a meal from scratch. Last week was a dismal failure of planning, as evidenced by a stop at the grocery store on the way home 3 out of 5 evenings. Hopefully I did a better job planning and prepping this week!