Wednesday, January 27, 2010
One of my favorite things to do is eat. There I said it. It is now out there. And anything with sugar and I am all over it. Literally. But as much as I enjoy a great cooked meal, I struggle at making menus for our family. I have found that if I have meals planned, we eat "real" meals (as opposed to the frozen, fake kind!) that are so much healthier for us. I go through stages where I try out different ways to stay on top of it. I did freezer meals for a while which worked great when I had a whole Saturday to devote to cooking. I have also compiled a huge list of meal ideas over the last few years to pick and choose from on a whim. I have tried making menus for a month at a time or a week at a time. They all work for a while but then the end of my menu comes and I am no longer motivated to keep going. Where does all of this motivation go? I am hoping I pass it along to one of you because sometimes I feel like it is flying out of here faster than I can catch it! I hope someone is making good use of it!
So I decided to take the big long list of menu ideas I have and my cookbooks and just hash it all out. I came up with an eight week long menu. I figure after 8 weeks, any of the meals could pretty much be repeated because eating something every 8 weeks or so is definitely doable! I picked super easy meals like pancakes, grilled cheese, etc paired with some more complex (or time consuming) meals. That way if I knew ahead of time that the week was going to be busy, I could just plan the easier meals on a day I didn't have as much time. Or if we have plans to go out or not be at home, I will just skip one of the meals for that week. It is such an easy going meal plan that I am bound and determined to make it work. And since I like to incorporate new ideas too, I have a few weeks where I have planned in a new recipe. This will give me the opportunity to try something new and either add it to the menu or throw that recipe away...why keep it if no one likes it right?!
For now, I just have the meal plans written out on two notepad sheets of paper. I plan on "cutesifying" them and also creating a shopping list with every ingredient needed for the week. I am going to put them in sheet protectors and then use erasable markers to go through the list before going to the store and get rid of all of the things I already have on hand. Won't I be Mrs. Organization!! No worries, you haven't seen my pantry lately, have you??!
We are only a couple weeks into this thing, and I am LOvInG it already! What do you do to make a meal plan? Anyone interested in seeing mine? I can post it if anyone wants to see it and/or get some new recipes. So give me your ideas...I am definitely interested in how you make dinners at your house work for you.
Oh yeah, and on the menu for next week:
Cheesy Potato Soup (tastes like its from a restaurant...I can say this because it isn't my recipe), Crepes, Cobb Salad, Grilled Cheese and Fries, Hawaiian Haystacks, Quesadillas, Spaghetti and Ciabatta Garlic Bread
Is your mouth watering yet?? Mine is! I should never write about food when I am hungry. I think I am going to go get something to eat now....