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What’s for Dinner: January

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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 Week} …on a Monday!

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What’s for Dinner {This Week} …on a Monday!

Yes, folks, I am actually posting this week’s menu at the start of the week. A small miracle. Let’s celebrate! I am hoping that it is a sign of things to come for this week…a measured space with reachable goals attainable challenges. Yes please.

I think it’s safe to say that my cooking habits have officially changed. After years of cooking for just Glenn and me and eating dinner at 9 o’clock or so, I have finally been forced to face the same challenges all of you have been facing all along. Tonight I left the office at 6, logged my three miles and then came home to start dinner with Mom and Dad waiting, patiently of course, but I’m pretty sure their stomachs were growling. So I’ve left behind my lazy days of complicated menus and fancy new recipes in favor of quick making simple meals. Maybe I’ll get back there some day but for now this seems to be our “season.”

So here’s the scaled-down, simpler menu (once again.)

Monday: bourbon chicken with white rice and pineapple (This is super quick and easy and delicious! But someone remind me to make a green veg’ with it next time! I think it every time when I serve it but then forget until I’m putting it on the table again. It would be perfect with some broccoli or spinach.)

Tuesday: cranberry-mustard sauced porkchops with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots (I’ll be cooking and mashing extra to get a jump start on Wednesday night’s dinner.)

Wednesday: shepherd’s pie with green salad

Thursday: lasagna with green salad and good bread. (This may look familiar to you since it is exactly what I planned for last Thursday. But last Thursday I got home at 5:40 to serve dinner at 6:15 and lasagna just was not happening. So we had taco salad and I’m trying for lasagna again this week. Fingers crossed.)

Friday: Delores’ Birthday Pizza Dinner (Hurray!)

Saturday: cheesy potato and sausage bake with apple slices and veggie sticks (I cheat and use frozen hashbrown potatoes and then make my own scratch cheese sauce instead of using velveeta. Just be sure to allow a little longer for it to go from frozen potatoes to hot and bubbly.)

Sunday: fajitas with cheesy spanish rice and chips ‘n’ salsa (Happy Cinco de Mayo.) (Oh how I wish we could have O’Hana Salsa! Other Portlanders that will help me petition?!?)

And if you want the printable here’s a jpeg. Oh, and as usual, all of the linked recipes are also on my pinterest page.

weekly menu