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on the menu

March 19, 2012

We’ve been enjoying our online cooking class for almost two months now and I have learned so much!

The best thing I have learned, (among many things!)  is meal planning. I have tried to do this before but I usually don’t have actual recipes to work with, since I throw things in the pan most of the time. Now I have this method mixed with actual recipes from the class, so I can evolve my thinking to make a recipe out of what I might do if I am making a vegetable stir fry.

First, I pick seven dinner ideas, write them on a weekly menu list, and take an inventory of produce and cupboards. What veggies need to be used up first? I figure lunch is leftovers from some other day and breakfast is a constant rotation of four different meals. I make a grocery list of whatever isn’t already here for all those things and go to the store.

I don’t decide that “Monday is chicken night” because I know from experience that if I decide that, then I probably won’t feel like having that on Monday or I won’t have time to make it that day. So I just decide on seven things and then in the evening, I look at the options and decide what fits the schedule and what we’re in the mood for and pick one of the seven. Then I take whatever is needed out of the freezer or soak beans, etc.

I am down to once a week shopping with an occasional trip for more salad and chocolate… AND, I always have what I need to make dinner. So much easier!

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