Monday, January 03, 2011

Menu Planning- Do you?

I have to say, one of the things that has helped me the most as a mom/wife is menu planning. There is nothing like 6 pm when you don't know what you're going to serve your family, and the usual result is peanut butter and jelly or eating out.

Today I took a stock of all my perishable goods (including my freezer) and wrote down everything that wasn't a condiment or ready-to-eat food.  I then made a menu from that, writing down the things I would need to purchase to make the menu complete.

As a result, I know I will be using most of the things that would otherwise go bad, and I am making room in my freezer for other yumminess.

My philosophy of meal planning says that I don't plan out what to cook on what day. I just choose from the options on each day so if circumstances change I can be flexible. I also try to plan at least one super easy meal and have stuff on hand to just heat up if necessary. I try not to plan too many new recipes in one week.

Here is my menu for the next week or so (some of the things will be cooked as desserts, not meals).  Feel free to drool. Just wipe off the keyboard when you are finished.

Meal 1: Chicken and dumplings
Meal 2: Biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs
Meal 3: Shrimp linguine
Meal 4: Pumpkin pie
Meal 5: Brownies
Meal 6: Mahi mahi with artichoke hearts
Meal 7: Banana bread
Meal 8: Peach cobbler
Meal 9: Chips and salsa
Meal 10: Spaghetti
Meal 11: Harvest pork stew

Now I gotta eat some breakfast and then go to HEB. With kids.