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Cook up some savings


Busy families looking to stretch their food dollars are discovering they can save time and money by starting or joining a cooking club. Three or four families team up, pool resources and spend part of one day cooking a week’s worth of meals together. It’s a fun way to put nutritious food on the table without spending a fortune.

Here’s how it works:
1. Each family chips in $100 per week.
2. The group determines host kitchen and shopping captain.
3. The shopper visits grocery store to locate all items for a week’s worth of meals.
4. The group prepares a week’s worth of meals in one afternoon.

To help families and the home chef start their own cooking club, here are some helpful tips and recipes.

* Alternate who does the shopping (it’s often easiest for the kitchen host to shop).
* Take note of the common ingredients in the recipes, add them up and have one person chop or slice it all at one time.
* Look for large quantity serving recipes to get best results. Simply multiplying ingredients may not yield the best results.
* It’s usually quickest for one cook to work on making one dish and then divide that into family portions.
* Dishes are better defrosted over night in the refrigerator, then heated in the oven or microwave.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Rub

Makes 4 servings for about $1.50 per serving
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed fennel seed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

In a small bowl, blend thyme, cayenne, fennel seeds, garlic, kosher salt and black pepper.

Rub pork tenderloin liberally with olive oil. Then, rub the spice mixture all over pork, pressing it in.

Seal tenderloin in food saver bag or other freezer wrap and freeze.

To serve, defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

Put room temperature roast on a medium high grill for 20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 145 degrees F (or cook in preheated 400 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it reaches temperature). Slice and serve./Courtesy of Family Features.