Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meal Planning....

I plan my meals by the week.....well, usually 4 menu items or so, as you probably know.  This week we had:
Chicken with Balsamic and Figs
Potato and Pea Curry
Baked Potato Soup

When Paul is gone I usually just plan 3 menu items since leftovers will usually sustain us for a day or two.  Also, Eleanor and I are both pretty happy eating noodles and Parmesan cheese and that works too.

My parents are coming on Friday and the plan is to go to Lakefront Brewery for the Milwaukee tradition, a fish fry.  I have never been to Germany, but Paul assures me that the long tables of beer drinkers are very similar to what happens there as well.  We don't typically go out for "fish fry" since we are usually home with Eleanor getting homework done, picking up from violin, at the Y, or coming home from hot yoga.  It's a fun thing to do a couple times a year though.  My parents have been curious about Lakefront's version, and we're happy to go along.   What's not to like about a band where the members are wearing lederhosen?!!!

A mistake I have made is being too ambitious with my planning.  Either I can't figure out what to make during a certain week, or my ideas exceed the number of meals to make.  If I buy too much thinking that I will cook every night of the week I end up having things spoil...or feeling pressured to use thing or at least get them in a preservable state (freezer...usually).  My general idea of selecting 4 recipes is often cut to 3 when it's just two of us (as it often is). It's not like I can't go to the store again if I need to do that. So the list above is Monday through Wednesday with a possibility for leftovers (or a pasta creation) on Thursday.  Going out on Friday.  We'll figure something out on Saturday...then I can plan the next week.  It's tricky to get just the right balance of items.  That's where some good pantry and freezer items come in handy.  I do like to postpone the trip to Sendik's by a day or two...usually fruit is the limited item that necessitates the grocery store run.  Although sometimes it's coffee!

We formerly belonged to a warehouse club but have given it up this year.  I liked it, and I may go back. I really liked the deals on flour, yeast, and olive oil; however, it is a bit out of the way from my house to get there.  So, we'll try without for a bit.  It's not like they won't take me back if I ask to be a "member" again.  I have gone to Trader Joe's a bit more in the past couple months; not having realized that I didn't frequent that as much when I was running up to the warehouse club.  I feel like the pantry is a bit more under control, and I have a better freezer variety. I am really missing the large toilet paper stockpile though! 
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