Saturday, April 6, 2013

Menu's and Meal Planning

Do you do meal planning?  I mean sitting down and writing down what you are going to make over the next week or two?

 I do.  I've found it helps to keep food costs down, makes it a lot easier to get a meal on the table, and gives me some flexibility to go out to dinner last minute as well, which I like to do.  Hey, if I know what we're having and making it can be put off a day or so, why not go out?  I mean I love to cook, but sometimes having someone else cook and clean up, priceless. 

I've written about this before, and probably will again, but a chance conversation with a person last week brought the subject to the forefront again.

One thing I did for years,  was have a list of the meals I could prepare with ingredients on hand posted on my fridge and I'd see what my DH wanted for dinner that night.  I was a home bound short order cook.   And since we used to live a lot closer to grocery stores, it worked.  But now,  when I have to drive 7 miles one way to a limited choice grocery story or 30 miles to better stores, well, I try to plan meals a little differently.  Never mind the cost of gas to get there, it's also the time involved to come and go.   I also make a lot of food ahead.  Actually I always did.   I used to have a huge freezer, and could lose food in there very well.   I now have a much smaller freezer and I can still 'lose' food when it migrates to the bottom of the freezer.

Which is why I have a list written of what's in there (and sometimes I even update it).

 When I make a pot of Spaghetti Sauce , I make enough for 3 or 4 meals, (this works cause there's only the two of us),

And if you have Chile in the freezer, make some Navajo Taco's

or ladle some over a hamburger for a Chile Burger or a Chile Dog or, just have a p

Chile Verde

And if you have Chile Verde in the freezer, make some smothered burrito's, or  maybe add a little salsa to it, and have Huevo's Ranchero's. 

There are so many meals you can make ahead.  After all, if you're going to be browning a pound of ground meat, why not brown two pounds and freeze the second pound, by doing that, you're that much further ahead on a meal.    Let me give you a couple of examples:

We like Taco's, so if I'm going to use the stove to brown and make the meat for Taco's I make enough for two meals.  That way if I get into a time crunch I can get the cooked taco meat out of the freezer, and assemble a meal in just a few minutes.  By the time the meat is thawed and warmed, I've got the tomatoes and lettuce chopped.  And the oil heating to cook the tortilla's.   Or you can use ready made tortilla shells.   Or you can use the cooked and seasoned taco meat to make a quick meal of Nacho's.    And I just realized I've never shared how I make Taco's.   I will remedy that in another post.   There you have it, two meals, one cook time.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. I really appreciate your post and i really like your recipe and blog too.

    Personal Chef Long Island

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I've been enjoying your recipes as well. That Mushroom Barley Soup has been bookmarked. Now for some cooler weather. Can't wait to try it.


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