Last summer my husband and I ate grilled chicken just about every night for dinner. This year I’m venturing into new territories, trying new dishes and experimenting with different flavors. I’ve become extremely interested in cooking and I truly enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my husband. I think it’s fair to say that he enjoys cooking nearly as much as I do, despite the fact that he refers to himself as both my dishwasher and my sous chef.
At the top of the summer I set out to make at least three new meals each week. Unfortunately, I keep falling short of that goal. I blame my failure on a lack of preparation and planning and I’ve decided that a weekly dinner menu might be just the thing to help me.
The only problem… I’m more of a fly-by-the-night kind of girl then a planner and I can’t imagine scheduling an entire week’s worth of meals. Even if I did plan the menu I know I wouldn’t follow through on it as the week progresses. Some nights we arrive home too late to cook a more complex meal and some times I just don’t know what I want to eat until five minutes before I’m starving.
Take tonight for example. I planned to make meatball subs for dinner. I chopped the garlic and onions and prepared the sauce, but then I decided I just wasn’t in the mood to eat it. Instead I made myself a plate of eggs and a BLT sandwich.
So rather than scheduling a weekly menu, I think I’ll start on a smaller scale and aim to test out just three new meals each week. Three seems like a fairly reasonable place to start. With such a small number I should be able to search the pantry, look for sales, and plan out my grocery shopping trips well in advance.
My goal is to maintain our current grocery budget while simultaneously preparing much more interesting and satisfying meals. I hope to not only expand our culinary palates, but also become a better cook in the process.
If you have any advice on planning weekly menus I’d love to hear it. Do you create a weekly dinner menu? Do you try to match the sales with your menu or do you stock your pantry and then make meals with whatever you have on hand? How often do you attempt to make new meals and how many times a week do you stick with the dinner staples your family has come to love?
August is just around the corner and I hope to follow through on my goal before the summer ends. Actually we’re heading for the beach the last week of August, so I only need to make nine meals in the next three weeks. That seems entirely possible.