I cook breakfast every day...the hubs and I usually eat cereal, and the girls have their rotation of oatmeal / cream of wheat, scrambled eggs / Greek yogurt / cottage cheese, and fresh fruit. On the weekends I make a "family" breakfast, often French toast or banana pancakes.
For lunch, I usually send a sandwich to work with hubby and I make one for myself. I try to rotate the girls between a sandwich + veggie + fruit one day, and then an all veggie / fruit lunch the next.
I don't count those meals into my "planning". I always have those staples on hand.
My "planning" comes into play at supper. On average, I cook three dishes a week. I plan for leftovers, with the intention of us eating each meal twice. Some weeks I might cook a fourth quick meal, or one dish might last us three meals, or we might get a pizza or a rotisserie chicken.
Each week, I think about what dishes I'd like to make. I check what I have in the pantry / refrigerator / freezer, and make my grocery list from there. I try to make different kinds of dishes...not three stews, for example. And I try to vary the primary ingredients...not three chicken dishes.
None of this is rocket science, I know. A couple of months after the girls were born...when I was doing my best to establish myself as the stay-at-home-mama-with-the-mostess, I discovered one thing that has been super helpful.
I keep a log of the meals I make.
I don't do this in any kind of formal fashion. I used to write in a pretty journal, but this year I switched to an Excel spreadsheet. I jot down the meals I made, and where I got the recipe.
The beauty of this comes when I inevitably feel that "I don't have anything to make"..."I'm tired of everything"..."what in the world can I cook this week?"
I can glance back over the past couple of months and realize, "It's been two months since I made white bean chowder, it's high time I made it again" or, "I forgot about that chicken recipe from Pinterest, and we all loved that."
I share this little tip, as it's an easy way for me feel a little more on top of things in the kitchen.
(And I'll also share this little funny...the pretty journal I used to employ? It was once...long before children...a wine journal. My, how times have changed!)
|31-Dec||Stuffed shrimp / bacon-wrapped smokies…appetizers||Allrecipes / Pinterest|
|Chicken in creamy pan sauce||Recipe binder|
|Baked shrimp scampi||Allrecipes|
|7-Jan||Chicken breast in the crockpot with spaghetti sauce||Crock pot cookbook (adapted)|
|Chicken pot pie||Allrecipes|
|Mexican style chili (with black beans)||Kitchen Primer|
|Cheese ball / stuffed eggs / veggies||Pinterest / mine|
|14-Jan||Pork loin / sweet potatoes||N/A|
|Pork loin made into gyros||N/A|
|21-Jan||Split pea soup||Heathly Choice cookbook|
|Garlic cheddar chicken / fresh corn||Allrecipes|
|28-Jan||Potato soup||my recipe box|
|Spaghetti with meatballs||Allrecipes|
|4-Feb||Baked chicken with Dijon mustard and maple syrup|
|Chicken pot pie||Allrecipes|