Menu Plan: January 23 – 29

I have good intentions to write a blog for every meal I make, but obviously, it doesn’t happen. I have two (three?) things I want to share from last week that I might or might not get around to sharing. Best laid plans, and all. I thought it might help if I share our menu plan.

I do a weekly menu plan, starting with Monday and going through Sunday. I ask the husband on Friday or Saturday what he’d like to have, and we brainstorm meal ideas through the weekend. We like to try new things or old things done in new ways. We also try to stick to what’s in season or what’s on sale for the week. Menu planning is probably the best thing I started doing as a homemaker, because it really does save on money and waste, in addition to keeping us from facing another night of not knowing what the heck we’re going to eat. It also keeps our meals varied so that we’re not eating the same thing every week. And it puts to use all of my cookbooks and Pinterest pins. Menu planning, for the win.

We diversify our meals each week. Wednesdays and Saturdays are leftover days. Weeknights, I try to keep it simple, so Sunday is for something more involved or adventurous. Each week, we have a beef dish, a poultry dish, a seafood dish, a pork dish, and a vegetarian dish.

So, here’s this week’s menu plan.

Kale and Artichoke Salmon Packets (from “Real Simple: Dinner Made Simple”), Roasted Potatoes

Chicken Parmesan, Salad with Italian Dressing, Garlic Bread

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Apple Relish (from “Real Simple: Dinner Made Simple”), Roasted Parsnips

Honey-Sesame Tofu, Carrots, Forbidden Rice

Enoki-Dokie Burger (fromĀ Bob’s Burgers Burger Book), Sweet Potato Fries
(Back-up plan: Sympathy for the Deviled Egg Burger, in case I can’t find enoki mushrooms.)


What We Ate

Once upon a time, I used to write a blog. It was a bit of a random blog, in which I would write just about anything that was currently on my mind. Very often, food was on my mind. But because other things infiltrated and simply had to be written about, I never made the decision to dedicate the blog entirely to one thing or another.

I think I’ve changed my mind about that.

You see, I’m still writing, but it’s been focused almost entirely on novel writing. I finished a draft this year, and I hope that it will turn into a submittable novel manuscript next year. But it means that other writing areas have suffered, like my blog. I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would, except for the food part. I do miss writing about food.

So, that’s what this blog is for. Just food. I don’t have any plans to write about anything else, mostly because I haven’t had much interest in writing about anything else (blog-wise, that is; I still intend to work on my fiction writing, but that’s not being blogged). It’ll be fulfilling a couple of my needs.

First, it’s the best way for me to keep track of what I make and when I make it. I do meal plan by the week, but I keep the record on a white board that gets erased at the start of every week. At least 80% of the meals I cook are made from recipes that I’ve never tried before, so it’s nice to have a more permanent record of what we liked and what we didn’t like, or any variations that might make the meal better. It’ll also (hopefully) help me remember what our toddler liked and what left her completely uninterested.

Second, I like sharing food with people. Because I’m limited in my meal-making to just our family of three, this is the best way to do that.

Third, I like sharing recipes. Let me be clear: I don’t write my own recipes. I don’t improvise meals, I don’t make them up on my own. 99% of the time, I cook from a recipe. I have plenty of cookbooks to draw from, thousands of pins to sort through on Pinterest, and a monthly delivery of Food Network Magazine to peruse. So I’ve got a lot of resources at my fingertips; there’s always something new to try. I keep a few classic recipes on hand: my chicken pot pie is tried-and-true, my roasted chicken never varies because we love the way I do it so much, and sometimes you just can’t beat a simple sauteed steak or oven-roasted vegetables.

I don’t really know what my goals for this blog are. A post a day? Maybe. Probably not. When I remember to do it? Well, more often than that, I hope. When there’s something I particularly want to share? Well, yes, absolutely. At least, I hope so. I just don’t want to end up neglecting this blog, not when I still very much want to write about the food I make.

Food is an adventure, writing is an adventure, and I’m eager to keep combining the two.