Anyway, I don't batch cook as much as I should. However the more I do it, the more I tend to pick up tricks that make it easier for me. And I figured if they worked for me, then maybe they'll work for you too. So here are some ideas for you to try, and a few recipes are included in case you want to try it out yourself.
First off, pull out everything that you'll need bEfOrEhAnD. This makes things so much easier. You won't be stopping every five minutes looking for something. And keep everything out until you are done, that way you put it all up at one time. I recommend using your kitchen table as your "prep" area.
**DISCLAIMER** Most of these pictures aren't good, in fact they mostly stink. My kitchen has lousy lighting, and since I abhor the flash feature on my camera you'll notice most of these pictures have bad lighting. However I think you'll still get the idea.
First off, baking. I made several things, all of which will freeze beautifully. Above are some "breakfast bars" as we call them. I got the original recipe from Quaker Oat's website awhile back but have tweaked it several times to what we now use. These are seriously yummy and very inexpensive and quick to make. You'll find the recipe at the bottom of the post. A tip on these, use nasty looking bananas. The blacker the better. I usually will buy those "day old" bananas and stick them in the freezer, completely whole and then thaw them when ready to make these. Try them, you'll not be disappointed.
Speaking of soup, I made a big pot of veggie soup. Very yummy and cheap. Use random left over bits of this and that to make this soup filling and varied. There is corn, cauliflower, green beans, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and alphabet pasta swimming around in there. Also another tip, used boxed stock. Easy and tastes just as good, I usually use a low sodium brand and bump it up (try Pacific or Imagine brand).
A tip on using garlic. First off, use a LOT of it. You can't go wrong with garlic. Secondly DO NOT buy chopped garlic, it's nasty. Just buy a whole head and stick it in your cabinet. Peel several cloves at a time (I use the tried and true smashing it with a chefs knife trick) and then here's the awesome part. Don't mince it, but grate it! Easier and faster, I'll never mince garlic again. I have a microplane grater and it's lickity split fast, and no risk of boo boo fingers either.
A tip on sauteing onions. Chop up more than you think you'll need and then saute them in olive oil. The secret to good looking onions is almost overcooking them. You want lots of brown onions and lots of brown coating the bottom of your pan. That brown coating on the bottom of your pan is called "fond", it's a french term. That stuff is brown gold, it's not a burned on mess.
Chocolate Scotch Shortbread
Melt butter in microwave, then add confectioners sugar and combine well. Add flour and salt, mix completely. Fold in chocolate chips and press into an ungreased 9" glass pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Sides will be browned well. Let cool completely before cutting, or it'll crumble on you.
Cream butter/margarine, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and mashed bananas, combine well. Add remaining dry ingredients (except oats) and mix completely. Fold in the oats and raisins last. Drop by large spoonful onto greased cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Bottoms will be browned well when finished. Cool completely and store covered. Add some peanut butter on top for extra protein if desired.