So we are talking about menus and how happy I am to finally have a kitchen after almost two months of cooking on a two burner hot plate, toaster, deep fryer and microwave. I am doing my best to give Sandy Fae a real work out this week.
But back to that menu planning…and how I do it…
I usually do my planning on Sunday…morning or afternoon…depending on how late Cookie Monster and PanKwake are sleeping in.
I begin by taking an inventory of stock on hand…i.e. what’s in the fridge, freezer and cupboard. Especially meats and fresh veg.
The I am ready to begin. I have a template that I made in Excel. So I usually open the previous weeks. I look to see if there were things that got switched around…not made…and maybe I need to do those this week.
Then I fill in the easy stuff…usually breakfast as it is mostly just cereal. With the occasional luxury of pancakes.
Then I work from dinners/suppers/tea. I make sure not to have the same type of meat on consecutive nights. But I do have a couple of regulars…Friday is fish of some sort…and as a joke it is usually Meatball Monday…trying to see just how many different types of meatballs I can come up with.
Once that is done then I tackle lunches. Which can be surprisingly difficult to strike the right balance between light/diet and substantial enough to tad Cookie over until tea…without too many cookies or other snacks which are a killer for his diet. Plus I have to look at what was for tea the night before…and that evening too. Try not to duplicate too much.
I almost always have a couple of holes…teas or lunches that I just can’t think of what to make with a certain type of meat or vegetable. I have subscribed to a couple of cooking email lists that send me recipes every day. Sometimes I find a dish so special that I build a menu around it. And other times I just favorite things to come back to later then I am trying to fill those holes.
Once this is all done…then I double check that variety. And I email it to Cookie Monster for his approval and to print. Then it gets hung up on the bulletin board in the kitchen.
Not that I can’t still make changes…like yesterday…Meatball Monday was going to be stuffed cabbage. But I had a dentist’s appointment. And after that…well I spent the rest of the day in bed. I knew though that the Chinese stir-fry with Sunday’s leftover roast would be quick and easy enough for me to make…for Cookie anyway. I was eating soft foods. So I simply switched days around…and tonight we had the stuffed cabbage…
It was from one of those recipe sites…and wasn’t half bad either. So that is how and why I spend the little bit of time to create weekly menus. It actually saves both time and money in the long term.