Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's For Dinner

I spend a lot of time with food. Morning, noon and night I am in the kitchen. Not as much as some of my other friends with much larger families than mine. But because of the age of my children I still have to make every bit of food that goes into their hollow bellies. Emily is getting pretty handy with a bagel and a microwave, but with her I have to insist on other foods on the pyramid or else she would live off bread and butter.

As part of the 2010 resolution package I put together for myself (I won't bore you with ALL the details) I decided I am taking control of the kitchen in a good way. My first step, menu planning. I have not always been good about making menus. I see the usefulness of them but always hesitated because what if Monday I did not feel like chili...what then? After some soul searching I realized I did not HAVE to eat chili if I did not want to....or I could just eat the chili and realize it was not my last meal on earth, so get over it!

Last week was week one of complete menu planned meals. I planned all of our dinners on Saturday and then decided why stop there, I planned our lunches too! I know things got crazy here last Saturday and I am just now ready to share...

I am happy to report that not only did I feel liberated by having the meals planned I left the kitchen each time with a sense of accomplishment and success. I made a plan, followed it and it made absolutely made my days easier. And when my oldest child asked at breakfast, "What's for dinner Mama?" I did not breathe fire at her, throw a chair across the room and almost scream.."I DON'T KNOW...LET'S FINISH SERVING YOU BREAKFAST BEFORE I THINK ABOUT SERVING YOU DINNER!" I just simply glanced at the menu and said, "BBQ chicken with mac and cheese." "Yum!" she said and finished her oatmeal.

Who knew? And as I sit here reviewing the success of such a simple adjustment I realize that I must go and plan a breakfast menu. Our menu was very simple. This week's menu:
Sunday: French Dip Sandwiches
Monday: BBQ Chicken, tator tots, mac and cheese (weekly favorite)
Tuesday: Broccoli Chicken Pasta
Wednesday: Turkey, smashed potatoes, green beans (turkey is still so cheap and I can make other meals from the left overs , so I decided to have one more turkey meal before we bid farewell to the holiday bird)
Thursday: Yummy turkey soup
Friday:Homemade pizza
Saturday: Brisket for a friends Bon Fire Party!!

What menus do you guys have planned this week?
Maybe we could come over???
Posted by Picasa


  1. Actually..I was hoping you would invite me for dinner! Grandma

  2. Good for you! Wow! I read someplace that when children ask "what's for dinner" they're not so much interested in what dinner will be in that they like getting a positive response, as if you actually thought about them and that you actually plan on taking care of them, and it gives them security. I don't know if that's true or not, cause mine really do seem to be concerned more about the menu! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.

  3. I try to do this weekly also- it makes grocery shopping much easier if I'm making my list with my recipes right in front of me. But in case you don't want chili one night, just swap it out for a different recipe. I plan the meals but not the days I'm going to eat them so that I can pick what I want that day (and let's face it- if I'm cooking, I'm making what I want to eat!) But I have officially gone on a cooking strike since the last time I spent an hour making a new recipe and was just about to serve it, 4 out of the 6 now living in this household decided not to eat. That was it. I'm done. At least for now! But cooking with a menu makes life a lot easier.

  4. I tried a detailed menu system like this for a while when we were in Sitka. The kids really liked it but it was too hard for me to keep up. So we've settled into a general weekly pattern for dinners/suppers (lunches are most often leftovers)
    Sunday: Large roast of pork, beef or chicken; vegetable dish; salad; homemade bread (always for every dinner); dessert (ONLY on Sundays)
    Monday: something with leftover meat from Sunday
    Tuesday: This is my toss-up day--I might run around the internet for ideas or look in my file folder of "Recipes to Try"
    Wednesday: An easy casserole like French macaroni & cheese or salmon souffle. This is PRE night so we have to eat at 5:00
    Thursday: State dinner night--we are continuing our weekly study of our 50 states and this night we create a menu from that state
    Friday: PIZZA, of course!
    Saturday: hamburgers with homemade buns

    Personally, I do not like to eat meat for the evening meal. It just makes me feel too heavy and sluggish so I normally just make myself a large salad.