Thursday, February 26, 2009

More About Food

Recipe organization is still underway. Feel free to still comment and help me out with it!

Next topic I want to throw out there is this--recipes in general!

I always feel "stuck" when it comes to menu planning. I feel like we are always eating the same things over and over again. I've also come to realize that half the battles we have as a family (between parents and kids) over eating good-for-you foods comes when I haven't planned well. In other words, I can handle some objections if I've been planning what we'll have for dinner all day. It's when my confidence is low that this battle becomes more difficult.

A friend recently introduced me to some freezer cooking. I'm liking that option. I will probably supplement it with some of what I've always done. But, the biggest thing that MUST change is the PLAN!

Well, I should say "I need to start planning."

I'm actually meeting with two friends who are in the same place of life with young kids and we're going to work on getting our acts together. Menu planning, cleaning schedule for home, holding each other accountable for daily QT with Jesus, less computer time, etc. I'm excited.

I need to be more organized...with my time and my home. Gotta get some order here!

So, what do you do for recipes/meals? Chicken breast, pork chops, and hamburger tend to be staples around here. We're a meat, veggies, starch family. Both grew up that way. We're trying to venture out, but it's hard to get used to.

How do you menu plan?
How do you keep from getting in a rut?
What is a favorite meal of your family's?


  1. We eat a lot of chicken. Chicken pot pie and chicken and dumplings are two that I make pretty often.
    I also like making soups. We do stir fry sometimes. That's a quick way to get in a lot of veggies. Don't know if you're kids would eat that though.
    Other thoughts:
    Tuna patties.
    Loaded baked potatoes and salad.
    Chicken enchiladas.
    Pot roast with veggies.

  2. My menu planning is a mixture of organization and flexibility, which works for me. When I find recipes online that I think I'll want to try, I save them to my Delicious page (a web-based bookmarking service.)

    Every couple of weeks or so I come up with about five main dishes I want to make, usually from my Delicious page. I type the recipe names into Word and link to them in my document. Then I use my running grocery list (kept on a magnet pad on the fridge) and the recipes to make a grocery list in Word, separated by category (produce, meat, misc. food, etc.)

    I print the list and shop. On a day that I need to cook I try to think about it early enough in the day to get stuff thawed out or stuck in the Crock Pot. (We do a lot of Crock Pot cooking thanks to the Crock Pot Lady's blog.)

    We do a lot of leftovers and I supplement the menu plan with some easy stuff like burritos when I'm in a hurry. I let myself be flexible; the other day I was picking up some groceries (I do grocery shop every week to fill up the cabinets and fridge with whatever's running out), and I got some pepperoni and cheese and used what I had at home to make pizza--not on the menu plan, but it was a good spontaneous decision!

    As for my favorites, check out my Delicious page; I try to comment on the ones I've made to let people know how I've liked them. We really like Mexican Lasagna (which I make w/ground turkey), Korean Ribs, & Pesto-crusted pork tenderloin (which I make with store-bought pesto.) Those are all on my Delicious page, and there's a search function there so you can find them.

    We do also go out to eat on Sunday afternoons and occasionally at other times, but we try not to eat out too often.

    Sorry for the long comment. But that's what works for us!

  3. A couple more things--by linking to the recipes in my Word document, when I am planning that day's meal I just have to open the document and click on whichever one I want. Makes it so easy to find the recipe.

    Also there are some staples I try to keep around--bagged salad and dressings (we often supplement with spinach since it's healthy and cheap), baby carrots (Ana's into those these days), white & whole wheat tortillas, bread, shredded cheese, plain yogurt, frozen fruit (which we add to the yogurt), bread ingredients, milk, canned beans of various types, frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken broth (Costco!!), etc.

    Pretty often I freeze portions of meals if a recipe makes a lot and then I can incorporate the frozen portion into a future meal plan. But if it only makes enough for one day of leftovers we usually have the leftovers that week.

    Again--sorry this was SO long!

  4. Thanks ladies! Those are good ideas from you both and things I'll incorporate. Stir fry is on our "to try" list because we haven't done too many. And, Beth, I'm thinking I will start doing a grocery list on the computer too. Thanks for your list of "regular" supplies. It's always good to hear what others have going. We regularly have yogurt, cheese, sliced deli meat (Costco), pretzels, raisins, and that sort of thing. It's amazing what you can throw together with just what you have on hand!