Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's For Dinner

Here we are, half way through September, and I can hardly believe it.  The time is flying!  I am really enjoying the fall weather that we have been having.  I love how crisp the air is, and to be honest, I really enjoy wearing polar fleece!  So sue me.  I just like to be cozy.  I can also see the day fast approaching where I have to go back to work.  I have very much enjoyed my time home with Mason, and if I could stay home with him forever, I definitely would, but unfortunately that's just not feasible at this time, so back to work I go.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  I just love my baby more!
In these last few days of being home, I've been trying to clean rooms, finish projects, organize clutter, and just generally prepare myself for the transition back to a more strict schedule.  So I just don't have a whole lot of interesting updates to share.  To prevent this space from going stagnant, I thought I would give you a little update on how my meal planning for the month is going.  It was one of my goals for September, if you remember.  The official verdict is so far, so good.
For week one, I planned four meals:  Asian Grilled Chicken, Island Porkchops (adapted from the P90X nutrition plan), Honey Mustard and Pineapple Grilled Chicken sandwiches, and a Ham & Cheese calzone.  All recipes get an astounding thumbs up.  They were all new recipes, too.  The Asian Grilled Chicken was so yummy (and healthy!) that I am planning to make it again in week three.  I highly highly recommend it.
But I quickly realized that four meals is not enough.  Even if we can eat leftovers one night, we eat at home so much, and the man has a healthy appetite, that four meals usually leaves us starving by the weekend.  So for week two, I increased my plan to five meals:  Breakfast Burritos, Waffles with Berries & Whipped Cream, Ham and Baked Potatoes, Chili, and Turkey & White Bean Enchiladas (side note:  due to a very unfortunate experience, this household does NOT eat black beans, so white beans have been substituted).  So far, we have eaten everything but the enchiladas, which I'll be making Friday or Saturday.  The good things about this week were that three of the "recipes" were actually not recipes.  I just cooked everything or threw in the ingredients I wanted/had on hand.  The other nights I followed the recipes.
For week three, I am still in the planning process, but so far we are having spaghetti and Asian Grilled Chicken.  Since I usually grocery shop on the weekends, I have a few days to come up with three or four more ideas.
Overall, it really helps to put the extra effort into planning out our meals, and I'm going to do my best to continue.  Not only do I not have to worry about what to make for dinner, but it honestly helps us save a little money at the grocery store as well.  Since I'm planning meals, I have to make a list, and when I have a good list, I am more likely to stick to it.  On the other hand, we can still be flexible so that if we feel like going out one night or plans change, we can still easily adapt.  I'm really hoping to continue the more formal meal planning for us.  And I'm sure I'll be back with another progress report as I learn additional tips along the way!

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