Daily Archives: May 17, 2010
Do you ever get stuck in a rut of cooking the same 3-5 meals in rotation? It can and does happen in my house.? Sometimes more frequently than others, but especially when I’m trying to adapt to something new entering into my schedule.?
?A good example of this is recently I started my job, and Little Man started tumbling classes and Little League.? It’s left me scrambling at the last minute for meals on occasion?as I adapt to the changes, and I don’t like that.????I’m dealing with three less hours in my day at home coupled with 4 more hours out of the home per week for sports. ?
Not to mention that late spring/early summer is upon us, and we tend to shift to a later eating pattern in the summer.?
?It occured to me the other day that I need to go back to menu planning, if only to give me a baseline from which to work.?
?No more “Oh my gosh, what am I going to make for dinner, I didn’t even think about it!”
Another thing. I don’t deal well with the heat and humidity.? This has left me with a couple of options in the summer time.? Cook less (which I don’t want to do, because eating fast food all the time is just gross and waaaayyyyy too expensive) or, cook at different times of the day than I do when the weather is cooler and more agreeable.? I have opted for the latter, and so our eating times go from 7:15 to 9:30 for breakfast; noon for lunch to 2 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. for dinner to inbetween 7 and 8 p.m. for dinner.
Once school is out our entire pace of life changes for about 12 weeks.? Everything shifts forward about two hours.? We get up two hours later…we go to bed two hours later…and our meals fall into this pattern as well.? I also try to avoid cooking indoors.? We have a really nice grill, and a couple of outdoor burners, so I don’t technically have to do much inside.? I do any baking I want to do very early in the morning while it’s cool (this negates the two hour later pattern, but we can’t live without cookies, man.)?
?The menu gets simplified a bit…breakfast might be something light and uncooked like cereal, or continental like toast or oatmeal.? Or, it might be pancakes or snails…this is entirely weather dependent.? If it’s hot, we eat cool.? Lunch is the same way.? We tend to eat more sandwiches in the summertime, because it produces no heat in the kitchen.? I am truthfully loathe to make even macaroni and cheese on a hot day.? We take everything outside to the backyard deck and eat there.? It’s cool and shady and we love our outdoor furniture.
Dinner is a grilled affair a good deal of the time.? But you can only eat so much of any kind of food before you’re tired of it.? So menu planning comes into play well here.??Break the monotony, ease the time crunch and keep my house cool.? I know, I don’t ask for much, do I?
I was hunting around the web for some menu planning sheets and grocery lists.? I found this:
There are tons of different ones out there, but I really liked these.? You can go here to download them.?
?I may make my own version eventually, but because of my limited time these days, I thought these were a gorgeous alternative.?
?Thanks Jen, for sharing these with the world, they’re awesome.
Do you menu plan? What do you like about it? Have any tips you want to share? I’d love to hear your comments.