Welcome to my ever-changing journey with cooking, meal planning, make-ahead meals, and freezer cooking!
I’m Elisa – I’m a Personal Chef and I LOVE food. I LOVE wine. I LOVE to cook, but NOT every day!
I love my dishes to be tasty, healthy and fun. I really love it when dinner looks and tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen – but you didn’t!
Now THAT’s a home run!
I’m guessing that maybe that will make your day too. Or… maybe you found me here because you’ve heard a rumor that people in your house need to eat and they keep bothering you about it and you need a little help and inspiration getting dinner on the table!
Keep on reading and learn a little more about freezer cooking and make-ahead meals. It can make your life SO much easier!
How I Started Once a Week Cooking
Many years ago both my hubby and I worked full time jobs, our son was playing hockey with our home ice rink 40 miles away AND I started traveling out of the country quite a bit for my job. My “SuperMom” Syndrome kicked in and took over! OF COURSE I could do it all.
The biggest problem was that I had to plan and cook ahead or we would be eating take out every night during hockey season (and it’s a LONG season). The reality is that cooking ahead made me feel a whole lot less guilty about leaving my family for a week or 10 days at a time when I was travelling. Meal planning for me was fun and I would read cookbooks cover to cover just like novels (okay… I admit… I still do!).
It didn’t take long for me to start setting weekends aside and making up larger portions of some of our favorite recipes. We’d have one during the week and the rest would go into the freezer for another week when I was away. After a bit this became habit and a life changing routine.
Hockey night dinners were easy, and when I travelled my hubby could easily get dinner on the table with the quick directions I’d leave written on the aluminum foil or freezer bag. Perfect answer and a real sanity saver.
In addition to my already full schedule I became an Independent Consultant with Pampered Chef. I started sharing tips with my customers not only on my favorite tools and products, but also how to make their lives much easier and dinnertime much more enjoyable by utilizing make ahead meals.
This was so successful that I finally decided it was time to pursue a life-long dream of mine and become a Personal Chef. I graduated from the Culinary Business Academy and also became a Certified Culinary Inspirations Instructor. The combination of Pampered Chef and my Personal Chef business has proven to be personally rewarding and fun. I love hosting cooking classes and food demonstrations in client’s homes.
I also offer “Fill Your Freezer Parties” where we prepare make ahead meals as a group (Tons of Fun!) and of course traditional Personal Chef Services, as well. It was just a natural transition to extend this service to OnceAWeekCooking.com and when the previous owners announced they were selling their business to pursue other endeavors I knew this was the opportunity I had been praying for. I did a happy dance and jumped right in!
This site is a mix of many different cooking ideas. The weekly meal plans are still my staple. I like to mix it up a bit and sometimes do Once A Week Cooking, sometimes making extra portions of items to freeze and sometimes I go all out and do 2 or 3 weeks of meals and stock up that freezer!
I’m bringing it all together here on a fun food journey. I want to hear what some of your family’s favorite meals are and we’ll try and incorporate them into future make-ahead meal plans!
So, let’s get started with YOUR weekly meal plan!
If you have questions or ideas you would like to see on this site, please contact me. Now, let’s get cooking!