Well, its time to get into the swing of things with our brand new year 2011. I've been talking about all kinds of things I plan to do in 2011 and my hope to be more consistent in doing them. So, here's where the rubber meets the road!
The new menu plan work sheet is available by Crystal at the Family Homestead blog HERE. I printed mine out last week and have filled out the first week. Crystal is so organized that she as posted her menus for the entire month HERE.
If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for meals, checkout her list. There are links to her recipes on many of the meals and it would be very helpful if you are having a menu planning mental block. I noted that on the 7th she is making split pea soup from the frozen ham bone from Christmas. I have one in the freezer too! I will need to check her recipe out!
I am really loving my menu planning recipe binder! Its still in progress, but is so helpful. The secret is only having recipes and a list of the meals that your family actually likes in there. I am adding recipes and also just plain old instructions for making the meals we eat all the time.
For example, on New Years Eve morning, hubby requested french toast. I don't make it that often and there's really no recipe, just eggs and bread, but I took note of how many eggs, how much oil, etc. I used and then wrote down the instructions in the book. Now if my kids or hubby ever want to know how I made french toast, they will know. Its also there for inspiration when I am searching for meals when menu planning. By the way, the French Toast was yummy!
On New Year's Day I made ham and potato soup, using the last little bit of leftover Christmas ham and it was wonderful. So I made sure the recipe was in the binder and even made a note on it that read, "A winner on 1-1-11." I can see this dish becoming a New Year's Day tradition at our house.
I plan to make a section in the back of the binder that has my menus for special occasions, such as Christmas, 2010, New Year's Day, 2011, family members' birthdays, etc. These would be inspiration for future celebrations. No more wondering what I cooked "last time". When I am cooking a meal for company, I make a list of everything, which lays on the counter so that I can refer to it while cooking. This helps me to stay on track and to not forget anything. So I could just save this list and file it in the binder.
Here are the meals I have written down for this week:
Saturday: (New Year's Day Smorgasbord) Ham, Potato and Corn Soup, Black Eyed Peas, Pigs in Blankies, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Chex Party Mix, Cheeseball and Crackers, Fried Cornbread and chocolate chip cookies.
Sunday: Hamburger Stroganoff, Noodles, Garden Peas, leftover Black Eyed Peas. (A little chopped onion is wonderful on top of Black Eyed Peas)
Monday: Chicken Fried Rice, leftover veggies. (I will make extra rice for Tuesday night)
Tuesday: Crock pot roast, Rice and Gravy, Green Beans
Wednesday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, leftover veggies. I will be using the Cooks Magazine method of pan frying pork chops. This is supposed to produce juicy, tasty pork chops, even on a week night.
Thursday: Chili, crackers
So.... I have planned our menus for the first week of 2011. One week down and 51 to go! Yikes!