Tag Archives: menu

What’s for Dinner: January

What’s for Dinner: January

Two Three things we know about me:

1. Without a plan for dinner I will always choose pizza.

2. I’m not finding time in my regular schedule to make the plan I like to have.

3. I cannot eat pizza every day or I will be big as a house.

Solution: This year my thought is to plan a whole month at a time. I did it a few times last year when I had an unusual un-scheduled day. Turns out I kind of like it. For starters, it helps me not simply alternate between Taco Salad and Cathy’s foolproof stew. Although I fail to see what really would be so wrong with that.

My process has been to select 5-7 “categories” and come up with four options for each then just plug them in to a monthly calendar. It means that we aren’t eating only comfort food, allows me to space out the rice dishes (Glenn likes rice, Dad prefers potatoes) and try to find some balance between asian and mexican dishes, etc.

Everytime I cook anything in the crockpot I think it is miraculous. Coming home to dinner already cooked is off-the-chizang. I mean, why would I not do that everyday? Well the answer is because there are evidently a finite number of crock-pot recipes out there–just endless variations of the same thing.

Anywho, crockpot recipes made a double category in this months planning, alongside soup, meat & veg, new recipes, 30 minute meals, and favorites. I’m also trying to sneak in a few meatless options. (A true vegetarian would not approve since they still have chicken broth.)

Here’s a look at my planning scribbles…

monthly planning scribbles

So here’s the plan for January. You’ll see I was using my ATK cookbook to find some new recipes (those are the ones with the page numbers.) The green entries are all on my pinterest if you want to follow along.

January menu

P.S. I highly recommend the Cook’s Country Beef & Bean Burritos. They are super yumalicious!

What’s for Dinner {This Month}

What’s for Dinner {This Month}

We were in Washington DC a few weeks ago. We travel with a friend and work for him in exchange for airfare and fantastic hotel digs so everybody wins! Glenn works really hard on these trips. I work hard on a couple days but always have one, blissful day with a blank schedule. I sleep in, take a super long shower, wear the fluffy hotel-robe, and meet the guys for a fancy lunch. This time around I managed to get in my “long run” on the treadmill. It’s so nice to do it without having to smash other things in around it! That was pretty much it for my self-discipline while I was there. I read, I used the clicker my very own self, I talked to Cathy on the phone. The one thing I did manage to do was plan a menu.

I took the whole month of June and scheduled five meals for every week. Lately I’ve felt like I was just presenting the same four or five meals in varying order so I wanted to take the time to plan the whole month and make sure we got a few variations. The irony is that I ended up kind of using a formula so it may still feel the same to family. Here’s what I did:

I listed four entree-type salads. Cathy calls these $10 salads because that’s what they would cost at a restaurant.

I listed four sandwich-type meals.

I listed four grilled meat with veg’ and salad meals.

I listed four bake-in-a-9×13-meals to share with my MIL.

I listed four weeknight-one-skillet-dinners.

Then I plugged them in. I moved them around so we didn’t have rice as a side dish more than once a week etc and tried to make sure we didn’t do a whole week of Mexican food followed by Asian food the next week.

Here’s what we ended up with:

June Monthly MenuThe asterisks show our meals with my MIL. You’ll see that we’ve deviated from our regular Thursday night. That’s because the Spurs are in the playoffs and she prefers to watch at home on her own larger screen TV than the little tiny one we have at home. So this week we may be swtiching the burgers and lettuce wraps depending on the outcome of tonight’s game. I’ve also switched some of the meals depending on the weather: yesterday was a lovely sunny day and the cheesy potatoes seemed ridiculous so we had the $10 salad instead.

I’ve loved having a plan. What about you? Are you embracing the freedom of a summer schedule and avoiding meal planning altogether or are you working on a crazy routine and trying to work everything in? What’s your favorite yummy easy summer meal?