Post # 1
FI and I are closing on a home and will be moving in together right before our wedding. Since I am still at home with the ‘rents, I’m not one to come home and cook every night. I want to start cooking once we live together.
How do you decide what to cook every night? Do you make a menu every week? Where there any cookbooks you followed??
Post # 3
we have certain meals we always go to – fajitas, stir fry, breakfast for dinner, homemade mac and cheese, burgers – every once in a while we will try a new dish from a recipe or ill cook something in the crock pot but both of us HATE grocery shopping so there are many many nights where we are scrounging the house for food, my husband is really great at making a meal out of nothing, i dont know how he does it.
Post # 4
i try to go grocery shopping once for the week, and whats going to be for dinner is normally determined by whats on sale/what i get then
i loooove the recipes on http://www.skinnytaste.com, which are healthier, but still taste like “real food”
i also love the better homes and garden red and white checked cookbook as a good, basic cookbook
and we have some standbys – i make something that we call “sandy macaroni” which is basically some kind of macaroni with a little bit of butter, italian seasoned bread crumbs, and shredded mozzarella – its quick, easy and on the table in 15 minutes for busy nights
and i swear by my crockpot in the winter – its quick in the morning, and dinner is ready by the time you get home
Post # 5
I plan my meals out every week and then go to the grocery store. This allows for me to try to reuse ingredients through out the week that I may have purchased for another dish, therefore keeping costs down. This too stops me from over spending in the grocery store and buying things that I don’t have a “plan” for.
I cook everynight (except for Saturdays) and so I switch up my meals a lot. I have all kinds of cookbooks, but if you’re just starting out cooking some of my suggestions may be a little too advanced. Try allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com. They have some great recipes and give a skill level for them.
Epicurious also has a weekly menu that they lay out for you if you want to try that 🙂 http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/everydaycooking/weeklydinnerplanners
Post # 6
my FAVORITE cooking website. this woman is full of great down home meals. the corn fritters are FIs favorite so far from this site.
Post # 7
I started subscribing to Cooking Light magazine, which I really like because I can flip through the magazine at work or on the couch, and when I cook I can have the magazine right in front of me. I generally go through two or three issues on Saturday or Sunday, and pick out a few recipes that I want to make that week. I go shopping on Sunday and pick up most of the stuff I need for the week. As for the actual things I choose to cook, that depends on the weather, my mood, and whether there’s anything that strikes my fancy. During the summer I like to do lots of shrimp, fajitas, corn and tomato salads, etc.
Post # 8
I just come up with my meals. Sometimes inspiration comes from Recipe of the Day fromt he Food Network. Sometimes just from some stuff I have at home.
Post # 9
I try to sit down once every 2 weeks and make a big grocery list and menu since we don’t have the option of stopping by the grocery store often.
I don’t usually use cookbooks, but will occasionally try a new something I see on a blog.
Our go tos are salad (especially in the summer), breakfast for dinner (FIs family has a maple syrup business and that boy could eat his weight in it!), all sorts of mexican type meals, any kind of pasta, chili in the winter, and when we’re pressed for time or out of fresh food, those stuffed frozen chicken breasts (I only like the broccoli and cheese but FI will eat any of them) with rice or brown rice and frozen veggies.
When I was first learning to cook I kept it simple, usually chicken baked with BBQ or some marinade, veggies or salad and any one of the zillion packaged side dishes. As I got more confident I made more stuff from scratch and relied less on packaged meals.
It really does help to sit down and do a menu, then shop so you have stuff on hand for it and aren’t trying to decide that night what to make because the answer then will usually be to go out 🙂
I usually choose 10-12 of the meals and will ask FI what he wants for the others since he’s not so good at coming up with more than that at a shot.
Good luck 🙂
Post # 10
I don’t do weekly menus, I’m just not that organized. Plus I’m very much an eating-based-on-cravings person, that doesn’t allow for much preplanning! LOL! I second the vote for Skinnytaste.com. I freaking love that site. We seriously eat stuff off that site at least 5 nights a week. My go-to if I haven’t defrosted any meat is usually a shrimp recipe because you can defrost them in 10 minutes under cold water. So I’ll do one of her shrimp recipes with rice or on salad.
I also do up big batches of chili or curry and portion it out into ziploc bags and freeze them. If I’m not feeling inspired for dinner I’ll take one out and defrost it and it’s a quick homemade dinner.
Post # 12
We rotate our basic meals: Spaghetti, homemade pizza on a pizza stone, fajitas, BBQ chicken, hamburgers, frozen skillet meals, etc.
The cookbook that I found that I have used the most for inspiration is America’s Test Kitchen, 30 minute meals. It’s more of a magazine than a cookbook. My Mom got it for me and I think she got it from the grocery store. They have super yummy and EASY meals!
(I just looked. It’s a quarterly magazine. I have the one from Fall of 2010.)
I also ask my sister in law or my Mom a lot of the time on recipies. I got a great recipie for turkey burgers from my sis-in-law. It’s delicious!
Post # 13
We have certain standbys that are always quick weeknight meals.
We try to plan out the weeks meal ahead of time and a lot of time we’ll make 2 night meals.
Standbys are grilled salmon/steel head/chicken.pork chops w/white rice and stir fry veggies (green beans, bok choy, chinese broccoli, etc)
Chicken/pork stir fry
Grilled Chicken sandwiches
Chicken Caesar Salads
Yam Fries are a great fast cheap side
homemade rotisserie chicken
Yam Fries are a great fast cheap side
In the colder months we do stews, chili, pasta nightS,
The only time I actully use “recipes” is when I want to try something new. But weeknight meals are hardly ever new menus, we tend to do that on weekends. And I never follow a recipe all the way anyway we know our own taste buds enough to always alter a recipe to our own tastes.
Post # 14
I make all sorts of foods becuase FI loves my cooking. But since he is hispanic and grew up with having rice, beans and some sort of protein every day, he’s pretty gung-ho about having that during the week. I mixed it up though. Sometimes I’ll make pasta or i’ll make him a steak with garlic mashed potatoes.
The last thing I made that he LOVED was bourbon chicken.
I always look for recipes to try but dont follow them to the T just becuase i like to add a little more seasoning and FI doesnt like alot of veggies.
Soon enough he’s get used to your cooking and hopefully you’ll also enjoy it!
Post # 15
Sometimes we plan our meals out for the week and go grocery shopping for all of the ingredients on Sunday, sometimes it’s just whatever is in the house. Our weekly routine is usually:
chicken (usually lemon baked or bbq) or fish (baked salmon or tilapia are our favs)
pasta w/ tomato sauce or garlic & oil (for those nights when we’re feeling really lazy)
Veggie or chicken stir fry
Our side dishes with those meals are usually rice/couscous, salad, or potatoes.
I am so used to making these meals that I don’t really use recipes anymore… but I will sometimes turn to allrecipes.com.
Post # 16
We’ve gotten into a bad habit of going out 5/7 days a week. Not the best thing to be doing, but we both have busy work schedules and I just don’t want to cook after working at least 8 hours (and having to get work done that night).
Now, I do try to plan a few meals a week. I recommend creating a list, so if you need to pull meat from the freezer to defrost, you can. That’s our biggest issue. I get to work and realize I forgot to take the chicken out, so then I’m stuck.
My goto is usually breakfast for dinner, or we grill out. I can usually pull a burger out of the freezer when I get home, and by the time FI gets home, we can grill. I always keep buns on hand, as we grill almost every week (even in the winter).
If you can get organized and plan out in advance, that’s great. My problem is I’ll plan something, then decide it just doesn’t interest me anymore.
This reminds me – I need an idea for tonight. I do have chicken in the fridge (that’s a first), so now I need to come up with something at work!
Here’s the typical list in our house:
-Mac & Cheese (I prefer homemade, but FI prefers boxed. I do the Kraft Homestyle to compromise)
-Hot Dogs/Hamburgers (with fries, or boxed mac)
-Fajiatas or tacos
-Breakfast for dinner
-Chicken Parm or Chicken rollups (Chicken with ham/cheese rolled up instead, breaded, fried, and baked).