Life, Menu Planning, Recipes

Becoming a Chef in my Own Kitchen

I don’t consider myself a domestic diva.  I’m not always comfortable in the kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating cooking, it just doesn’t come naturally.  I’m no Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond), and I’m certainly no Julia Child (although a girl can dream)!  I do okay.  I haven’t made anyone sick yet.  I haven’t made a dinner that ended up going to the dog or in the trash!  (Yay!!)  So, needless to say…I’m learning. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to become more comfortable in my kitchen, because I embrace being a housewife. I love that my marriage allows for us to have the old-school traditional roles. One of my roles as housewife, is of course the meal planning and cooking.  What works for us won’t necessarily work for everyone, but I thought I would take a few minutes to share my system with you.

Like I said, I embrace the tradition, so rather than subscribe to a menu planning system, I sit down with a blank calendar, my favorite cookbooks, and of course…Pinterest!  In the past, I have planned the menu monthly, and while I’d like to get back to that someday when our food storage is built back up, right now I plan two weeks at a time. I start by taking inventory of any leftover bulk meats in our freezer (I like to stock up when things are on sale), and go from there.  Once I know what meats I have on hand, I try to plan some of my meals around them to decrease the grocery bill and allow for splurges on any specials.  I fill in Monday-Thursday first, allowing one day a week for leftovers.  Unless it’s a special occasion, we don’t eat out during the week.  Next, depending on our weekend schedule, I allow for a few “date night” dinners out.  That leaves Sunday.  Sundays are typically Sam’s day to cook (he genuinely LOVES to cook) so those meals are discussed with him and usually require a special trip to the butcher to pick up whatever he’s in the mood to make!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sunday dinner!

Typically the process takes me less than hour (which includes compiling my grocery list while preparing the menu).  Then I’m ready to shop…totally prepared…and able to stay within a reasonable budget! Here’s a sample list with links to the original recipes!

  1.  Sunday:         Baked Cod  & Hasselback Potatoes
  2. Monday:        Leftovers
  3. Tuesday:        Spicy Sausage w/ Pasta
  4. Wednesday:  Creamy Bacon Mushroom Chicken & Green Beans  & Italian Potatoes
  5. Thursday:      Meat & Cheese Board
  6. Friday:            Cheese Steak Sliders
  7. Saturday:        Pesto Gnocchi
  8. Sunday:          French Onion Soup
  9.  Monday:        Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Rice
  10. Tuesday:        Cheese Burgers & French Fries
  11. Wednesday:  Baked Tilapia  &  Baked Potatoes
  12. Thursday:      Leftovers
  13. Friday:            Date Night
  14. Saturday:        Homemade Pizza with Mountain Wife’s Favorite Pizza Dough

I’m looking forward to sharing many more recipes, of my own and others’ that I love,  as well as meal plans that work!  And maybe…somehow along the way, I will begin to feel like a chef in my own kitchen!!!

Meat & Cheese Board…this kind of “cooking” is my specialty!

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