Post # 1
Now that I have a baby and a full kitchen, I’m really trying to cook more but I find it overwhelming trying to figure out what to make all the time. How do you decide what to cook? Cookbooks? Websites? Pinterest? Do you plan your meals out ahead of time? What works best for you?
Post # 3
For us we have a 1 month calendar to help with meal plans. Every Friday is taco night, every Saturday/Monday/Wednesday we have pasta but alternate what kinds on each day/week, Tuesday/Thursdays are meat night with either chicken or beef and then Sundays are a free for all day.
It is nice to not be standing there for hours interrogating FI about what he wants to eat that night since I only need to stick to the theme of our night, it also gives us something to look forward to!
Post # 4
@Cem0930: When I meal plan I do something similar to @JessicaJupiter: and try to stick to theme nights.
We usually have one pasta night (I do zuchinni noodle for me, regular for FI) and just vary what we put in the pasta (eg white, beans, turkey sausage, ground beef etc.). I also have fish once a week that I have with salad or steamed veggies, and I usually have one night a week that is a slow cooker night because I have a night where I get home late.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza
I use a combination of Pinterest and websites to generate meal ideas. Like, @JessicaJupiter:, I have a one month meal plan. I basically just take a blank calendar and write in what we will eat every day for that month (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Sometimes they are specific meals that we like (spinach lasagna rolls!) sometimes I will be vague and just write “chicken”. I do have my staple recipes that I fall back on when I’m not feeling creative, but if I’m craving something different I just troll Pinterest or recipe websites til I find something appealing!
Post # 6
@Cem0930: ditto what the other ladies said so far.
Super helpful to have theme days. We do something like this:
Meatless Monday, Beef Tuesday, Chicken Wednesday, Bean Thursday, Fish Friday, Fun Saturday, Simple Sunday
Then we make a list each Saturday. Sometimes we don’t stick perfectly to the ‘schedule’ but it reaaaaally helps quicken up the list making! Then I make a list of what we need, buy it all in one shot and we don’t shop for a week.
And we keep all our “on the menu this week” lists and when we’re not feeling up to making a list, we grab one from the bottom of the stack!
Post # 7
A lot of recipes are just ones I grew up with, and a bunch of others are from Pinterest! I will often look through my Pinterest board at the beginning of the week and pick out 4-5 I want to make, then shop based on that. I won’t have it strictly planned out, but I do know what to make for that week. Makes it pretty easy.
Post # 8
When I first started cooking, foodnetwork.com and allrecipes.com were my best friends! Seriously, the internet is an amazing tool for those who are new to cooking, or even for veterans who have run out of creative recipe ideas. I love that you can read reviews of each recipe, so you’re not going in blind and taking one person’s word for it!
As far as planning, yes, I do make a “menu” each week. Usually I sit down on Sunday morning and plan out what I want to cook each night (I usually cook around 4 nights per week – there are two nights per week when I work late, and on Saturday nights we usually go out). Then I take that “menu” and from it I derive my shopping list – then my fiance and I go to the grocery and get everything we’ll need for the coming week. Every once in a while I have to run out and get some supplemental fish or produce, but for the most part, this system works really well. And you can kind of build the meals off of each other so that there’s no waste. So for example, if I’m making fish served with brown rice one night, I might make a veggie stir fry the next night and serve it with the rest of the rice, since it’s unlikely we’ll eat the whole package just as a side.
Doing our meals this way has also saved us a lot of time and money.
Post # 9
I do once a meal cooking with Once a Month Meals. It requires a pretty hard weekend (this weekend actually) but then I have food for most of the month!
Post # 10
I do plan meals weekly, before buying groceries.
I have a word document with a list of my most reliable and tasty recipes. If I know I’m going to have a super busy week- I look it over to get ideas. Also, where I live, I can call and have groceries delivered to the house for no extra cost- do you have that option where you live?
We eat leftovers. I cook 4 times a week, not 7. Not sure if your family is OK with leftovers.
The slow cooker is definitely a life saver. And freezing meals to defrost later is another life saver!
ETA: I get a lot of my recipes on http://www.epicurious.com – I like seeing the reviews before I decide if it’s worth it to try something new.
Post # 11
@Evie19: I do plan meals weekly, before buying groceries.
+1. I use Pinterest and my MacGourmet application to come up with recipes. I try to pick meals with a variety of proteins and veggies.
Post # 12
@Cem0930: My husband and I plan our meals out a week at a time and write them down on a dry erase board on our fridge. We usually shop for meat once a month, so what we eat revolves around what’s in the freezer. Our favorite places to look for recipes are the Wegmans magazine we get in the mail (a local grocery chain), skinnytaste.com, and a list of favorite meals.
Also, if we get a craving for something to eat, we add it to our dry erase board so we can make it the following week for dinner. For example, right now I’m totally craving turkey meatloaf, so I’m adding it to the list for next week.
Post # 13
@Cem0930: pinterest. all the time. DH has certain meals he loves. I try to incorporate 4-5 of those a month. I usually try new recipes 2x a week. DHs favorites are:
Enchiladas, Chili, Stuffed Peppers, Steaks, Country Fried steak, Jambalaya, Spaghetti, and pot roast.
Post # 14
I want to follow this thread, so I’m positing.
I’m mainly the one that cooks dinner and has to decide it all, so I’m trying to get organized! I’ve been wanting to try freezer meals but my issue is finding things that I will actually like. I’ve only found about 11 recipes. My other issue is if I plan something one night, I end up not wanting it when that day comes. It’s so annoying. My DH is fine with whatever but not always me.
I have found it helpful to keep lots of things on hand that way I can cook what I want but I would like more meals.
The crock pot is always a good, dependable friend.
Post # 15
@Gingerlocks: I love skinny taste! And Skinny Kitchen.
Post # 16
I plan our menu around what’s on special or what’s in the freezer. Having a month’s worth of menus is just too rigid for me.
We always have lots of fresh produce, the pantry has all the basics like pasta, canned bens etc, so I can make pretty much anyhting I decide on any given day.