Monday, June 20, 2011

menu planning on a whim

tattered and torn are the pages of my most beloved cook books. gone are the days of burning toast and over cooking the pasta. surfer guy is italian, pasta is required to be Al dente. i remember when i was told i could and would cook, yet, i had no idea how to. he took me to barnes and noble and we picked out a few cookbooks together. into the kitchen i went with a teaspoonful of spite and bushels of optimism - i read the recipes and directions and, wow, it worked. not only was the surfer guy right, he was also lucky :)

i have never been an expert and cooking wasn't a big deal on my side of the family. however, i like to eat, to experiment, and to be creative so it's usually to my family's benefit. they have their favorites that mom makes that's for sure. and now my little Francesca loves to cook. just last week she made herb bread, pizza, biscuts, and blueberry muffins.
the problem is that she is good, who can resist that yummy just baked smell? ahh.

so for the planning most of the time i stand in trader joe's and list dinner ideas through my head and grab and go. this is stressful with a toddler and one or two begging tweenagers at my sides. my ideal menu planning consists of a few simple steps.

flipping through my cook books or the internet and writing down favorites and new dinners i would like to make, then typing them into the computer. from here i can copy and paste them into ical, and even set up email reminders from ical telling me what is for dinner each day.

or i can hang them...(i will have a super cute tutorial for you tomorrow!!!!) then from there make my grocery list on my iPhone, b/c i will inevitably lose or forget that list, but i won't forget my phone :)

do you like to cook?
how do you plan meals?
how do you involve the kiddos?

happy monday!


  1. Wow, are you organized! I love to cook, and I did do meal plans for a while, but I just always scribbled them down on some scrap paper. I found that I missed the creativity of deciding what to cook on a whim and to experiment with what was in the fridge & pantry. Mind you, I do not have a family of hungry mouths to feed, like you do!

  2. i love love love to cook! i find most my recipes online!!

  3. Ohhh tutorial please! Sounds great. I love to meal plan!

  4. I love this. I was meal planning every week... then I fell off the wagon. I need to get back with it. I can't wait to see the rest.

  5. I do plan... when I am smart! Usually it involves checking out what came in the Harvest Bag that week, and then what is in the freezer and coming upi with meals that involve the LEAST suplementing possible :)

    My kids do have DEFINATE opinions about what's for dinner, but they also know they better eat whatever it is because breakfast is a long way off for those who skip dinner :)

    My fav is anything Thai.. .especially pineapple curry :) Nat's fav is cabbage soup! (seriously.... it was a total broke and this is what we have meal, but he LOVES it.) Audrey's fav is boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese... yuck! :)


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