Sunday, February 26, 2012

Menu-Planning...not much plan but plenty of menu

Okay that's not the most witty title, I know, but lately I've been thinking about the way we menu plan around here.

I have to admit it's one of my least favorite things to do every week. But since Mountain Man has had more free time, since being done with school, he's been helping a bit with it. But unfortunately his choices of lemon-grass coconut soup, and curry chicken, while very culturally diverse, are not very popular with the littles. So there I would be week after week with a husband not really excited about my rotating one of the 20 staples we seem to eat around here, he likes variety and us trying not to eat chicken (even though we try to get it organic whenever we can) more than two nights a week.
Enter pinterest.
The past two weeks I have enlisted the help of this site and have started a board just for the purpose of menu planning. So as I'm on the site every so often/day I will 'pin' a dish that looks tasty or one that I'd like to try. This method has been very helpful as I'm a visual person and like to see the dish before I make it. Also, I'm able to compile my options throughout the course of the week and not have to spend a couple hours sifting through cookbooks and sites on the day I head to the grocery store.

So on Thursday I hopped on pinterest and picked three dishes I posted last week and then I inserted a couple of our weekly staples like pizza and salad night, and voila our weekly menu was planned! Sweet!
Our menu this week looks like this:

Friday- Bacon, Avocado Grilled Cheese with kettle chips- recipe from Pinterest
We used Turkey Bacon and the recipe called for shredded monterey jack cheese (a little messy but easy)

Saturday- Pizza- A weekly staple, however I mixed things up by doing calzones for MM and I using a wrapping technique I'd seen on Pinterest

Sunday- Merlot Chicken over pasta, in the Crockpot no less!!- Pinterest

Monday- Turkey Barley Soup with sourdough bread- Pinterest

Tuesday- Ham Picatta (I think) also with sourdough bread- Ham in a white wine caper sauce over bow tie pasta super yummy and really easy, I'll probably post the recipe for this one at some point. This is a recipe I had at a friends back in the summer and just duplicated from memory...I'm not exactly sure what it's called but it's one of my favorite dishes right now.


Thursday- Grocery day!/Breakfast for dinner probably

My sister just started using emealz and really likes it. We're considering switching just simply from a budget standpoint (it'll help us stay within the set budget each week) and I like the simplicity of something like plan done, grocery list done, well within the budget (price lists are literally generated for you based on your region and store you shop at) done. Like I said we'll probably switch.

How do you menu plan? Do you have any nuggets/tips you'd like to share?

And yes I know its a record, two whole posts with out one picture! Don't worry I'm getting ready to make up for lost time with a pretty decent sized post of my gorgeous sister's latest website update photo shoot but I'm realizing that in the case of those photos I should probably do a watermark and that would just take more time than I want to give right now and blogging about my fun new way of menu-planning just sounded like more fun!

Til next time, remember to find beauty in your midst!


  1. This is a very timely post as I am trying to figure out what to do for dinner tomorrow and the rest of the week. Things have been more complicated lately and I have needed to do more crockpot meals. Unfortunately my list of good ones is quite short! So I will be checking out merlot chicken, if I can figure out how to find it... (I have not yet mastered pinterest)

  2. I LOVED menu planning until we moved here. I always chose 5 dishes for the week, a couple that were quick and easy and a couple that were more complex. I never assigned a day of the week, so I could choose what I felt like that day, or what I had time for. If the day devolved into crazy, one of the quick and easy meals filled the slot. The other two nights, we generally had leftovers one night and ate out the other.

    Here, I'm still just trying to figure out what works and what I can get ingredients for. Last night I made up a batch of my taco seasoning. It turned out okay, but not quite right--the chili powder is spicier, and the cumin is just a little off of what we're used to. I did find some bread called papadam that you fry in oil. It gets crispy like a fried tortilla and was fun.