Making menus

This is what's on the docket for tonight:

It has been a little over a year that I've been making weekly dinner menus and with only a few lapses, it's been a success. If I try to grocery shop without a list, I will walk out of the store with $30 of ice cream and nothing else (literally), so this practice has definitely helped keep me on budget. It has also helped us to expand our food repertoire. If I plan to make a side vegetable, I make a side vegetable, something that I wouldn't do in spontaneous food preparation. We waste less food, because I only get exactly what I need to make the meals that I've planned. We are healthier because there is no eating of junk food, as I just don't buy junk food. I plan for snacks. I also make far fewer trips to the grocery store, which is good in reducing my carbon footprint and increasing my level of sanity. All in all, it has been a very positive process.

In my fantasy world, I have 120 different and delicious recipes (30 for each season) that I rotate out yearly. Again, this is my fantasy, and not at all the reality. I only really discovered cooking recently, so I pressure myself to make all new meals all the time in an effort to make up for the many many years that I ate nothing but Ramen and Mac and Cheese. But, Steve is helping me to learn that you can't have comfort foods if you only ever make a dish once. Nor can you get really good at making something if you only make it once. We have about 30 meals that we rotate through now, which, although far short of my dream, is much better than the 5 that used to make up the entirety of our diet.

You know those last few days before you move out of a place and you don't want to buy groceries because, hey, you're moving, but you also don't have enough money to eat out? Oddly enough, those were some of my favorite days. I loved playing the game of "I have a trisket, ranch dressing, and a potato...what can I make?!" This might lead you to believe that I am adventurous in the kitchen. You would be wrong. I will eat almost anything, but I need written directions on how to do so.  I would like to be one of those people who has the confidence to just "throw things together" and have it turn out wonderfully. But, the truth is that I am a complete slave to recipes. I measure everything. I am wary of substitutions. I Google instructions on how to cut up vegetables properly.  I am hoping that the adventurousness will come and that right now I'm building my confidence and kitchen knowledge in order to be able to just "throw things together." I do think we're getting there, it's just slow going. Tonight, we're having an old standby: Beef Stroganoff. It is the only recipe that Steve will make completely on his own. I'm not even allowed in the kitchen. Which is awesome.


  1. We have about 2 weeks (14-16 days) of meals we can rotate. So, I can plan a monthly menu, and only have something twice in a month, which is good. Plus, grocery shopping is easier when you have things planned out for a month!

    Cute blog! First time here...

  2. Welcome and thank you! I really like the idea of doing the planning on a monthly basis. It's so easy to fall behind when I try to do it every week and I lose the rhythm.

  3. tell steve i'd love to taste his stroganoff sometime!

  4. I will definitely tell Steve, although it's not that different from your recipe. He adds mushrooms, though...