Friday, February 19, 2016

Planning What to Eat

In about 1996, I started using meal plans to make it easier for a busy working mama (me) to get a good healthy dinner on the table in a timely manner.  Before I started using a menu, we ate out a lot, we ate junky frozen & boxed meals or we ended up eating dinner at an outrageously late time.  Like 9pm outrageous.  When you have 2 little ones with a bed time of eight thirty, eating at nine does not make any sense and is exhausting for us all.  

So, as a fix, I fused my love for trying new recipes, writing lists and my desperate need for an easy process for getting food on the table into an easy planning system.  Thankfully it worked than and it still works now.  The only major change that I have made over the years is the amount of time that I plan the menu for.  I used to do it a month at a time but now that I have more time, I can plan for 2 weeks instead.  I usually try at least 11 new recipes in a 2 week period. 

 Ideally I would like to try a new recipe every time I cook but it doesn't always happen.  My guys do not like to eat leftovers so every recipe has to be reduced and reducing recipes to fit a family of 3 can sometimes be tricky.  

We all fend for ourselves for breakfast and lunch so only dinner needs to be included in the menu.  Next week we are having:

  1. Pork Chops with Orange Pepper Glaze (new recipe)/Brussel Sprouts/Rice Pilaf
  2. Chicken & Rice Streudel (new recipe)/Pickled Cucumbers/Broccoli Florets
  3. Paprika Lamb with Mint Sauce (new recipe)/Mixed Veges/Spaghetti Squash
  4. Sausage Cavatelli (new recipe)/Green Salad/Steamed Asparagus/Garlic Toast
  5. One Pot Pasta (new recipe)/Green Salad
  6. Fried Rice made with leftover Pork Chops (tried & true family favorite.  We always have a ton of leftover rice so I end up making this about 2 times a month.  We have a dinner version and a breakfast version made with bacon that we just gobble up:))
  7. Eat Out
Five of the meals are made from recipes that I wanted to try.  On average I spend 30 minutes or less cooking each night even when I'm cooking something new.  What about you, how do you get meals on the table each week?  Are you the only cook in the house or do you share the duty?  

Since I work from home now, the cooking duties are normally mine but even when I worked outside the home, it was mostly me.  As my kids got older they did chip in and cook a meal during the week but seriously, there is only so much hamburger helper or Manwich that a body can eat before going off the deep end!  My husband cooked occasionally but my goodness did he use a lot of dishes.  The kids would actually volunteer to cook for him if they had dish duty on a night that he was supposed to cook.  True story.  Even now.  He made limeade a couple of weeks ago and used the blender, 2 pitchers, 2 strainers, 2 bowls, 2 large spoons, a measuring glass and 3 cups. For real! ugghh... 

I do have a couple of layouts to share.  For the first time in years, we sent Christmas Cards.  I decided to start documenting my cards so will do a layout every year.  I put a list of who we sent the cards to on the back of the layout.   

This is a layout about my youngest daughter.  I just liked the photo so I enlarged it and put it on a page.  This sketch from Prima was my inspiration.  

The embossed paper is just absolutely gorjuss.  It almost went back into my stash!  Thanks for stopping by everyone!  See you soon.


linda said...

I've realized how much difference in makes in planning meals as well - I suppose it will be the same effect on all planning in life! Very cool and lovely pages!

Shere said...

Thank you for the compliment. I really enjoyed the doodle girls you had on your blog as well.