Monday, January 23, 2012

TWFDS Challenge: Day 1, Menu Planning

Read to the end to find some freebies to print, as well as information about a giveaway!

Over the past few years, I 've been following an author named Kathi Lipp and her projects.  Kathi has "project" books focusing on Marriage, Husband, and Me



Her newest book is called The What's For Dinner Solution. (TWFDS) I've found some great ideas in Kathi's books, and I've enjoyed following her on Facebook as well as her blog. Last month, after commenting on one of her blog posts, Kathi checked out my blog and invited me to join the TWFDS Challenge. Since I am determined to learn to cook, I jumped at the chance.



Last week, I mentioned TWFDS in my post about getting organized as well the list of recipes in my recipe bookYesterday, I told you how I used tools like Ziplist to preplan my shopping.

Today is time to talk about menu planning.  Knowing what I'm going to fix makes getting dinner on the table much easier.  One reason I began this journey to learn to cook "on the other side of the hill", is I was tired of coming home from and struggling to find something to feed my kids.  I was tired of fast food runs, overprocessed quick foods (corndogs, Mac 'n cheese, etc), and tuna sandwiches. I wanted to be able to feed my kids (and myself) some real meals. 

My menu plan will look different than yours.  I don't cook every night.  Since we share a home with John's parents, and I work full time, my MIL cooks most of the weeknight meals.  My plan includes the nights I know I will cook, plus a couple of extras in case I need them.

Sunday Dinner (my big meal)           ----   3 Packet Pot Roast
Sunday Night (small group potluck) ----   Beef Stroganoff (LOOP)* From TWFDS
Tuesday Night (in-laws are out)       ----   Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Thursday Night                              ----   Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna
Saturday Lunch                             ----    Pepperoni Roll
Sunday Dinner (planning ahead)     ----    Honey Butter Pork Loin

*Come back tomorrow to learn more about LOOP meals: Left Overs On Purpose*

Here are a couple of free printable Kathi provided to make your meal planning easier!
50 Dinners (a brainstorm list---try Google or Pintrest to find a recipe!)
Menu Plan (put it on paper!)

Giveaway information..... Kathi sent me an extra copy of her book The What's For Dinner Solution to share with one of my readers.  Every relevant comment will earn an entry. (By that I mean, don't just stuff my comment box with "me! me! me!" posts! lol).  Share a recipe or tip. Compliment me! (Hey! I'm a last born and my primary love language is Words of Affirmation!) Share your journey. Answer the challenge.

Today's Challenge:
Post your menu for the week. What are you going to serve your family?

8 comments:

Kathi Lipp said...

Ha! I love that you're "Last born and your primary ll is woa!" So proud of you for diving in and doing the cooking thing - After 40 or not it's an accomplishment!!!

Jessie said...

Julie, I'm thrilled with you blogging again. I have gotten out of the habit of menu planning and our eating and budget have suffered from this. One thing I try to do is plan meals that will use the same fresh ingredient. If I buy fresh herbs or a vegetable that I might not necessarily always buy, I try to make sure it will get used up by having recipes that use up that ingredient. I also find that It's easier to make a big batch of certain things and freeze. Last time I made spaghetti, We ate it one night, had left overs the next day, but I still had sauce left. Rather than ditching it ( wasn't very much left) I froze it and it became a noon meal at the end of a week where the fridge was bare. It sure beat peanut butter and jelly again! Keep up the good work, both cooking and blogging! Oh, and PICK ME!

Jessie said...

Okay, I'm back. I took the challenge and made a menu for the rest of the week. you can check it out here: http://jessie-ordinarydays.blogspot.com/2012/01/menu-challenge.html
When I reread your contest/giveaway rules, I wasn't sure whether I needed to take the challenge or not, so I did just in case.

nicolemc said...

Hi Julie! I'm new to your blog thanks to my following Kathi. I really enjoy your light hearted approach and look forward to reading more. I too am over 40 and still trying to work out this meal planning thing. Thanks for the inspiration! Oh yes, and I wouldn't mind at all if you picked me. :o)

Teez ~n~ Tagz = Secrets said...

O.K. so I started following your blog when it 1st started(learning to cook after 40) and it wasn't showing up on my blog, then I realized I wasn't following so I read it last night and decided to share a very easy but flexible recipe.

As you know Jared is Italian so we eat Italian 1-2 times a week and I have to find different ways to make the foods to keep from getting bored (although Jared wouldn't)

One of my favorites is spaghetti cassarole because there is so much you can do with it (do you think you can)?

heat 2 tsp. of extra-virgin olive oil in a good size pan add 1 chopped onion cook a couple of minutes and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Add either sausage, hamburger meat, or chicken (cook till brown) then add 2 chopped bell peppers and sliced mushrooms until soft. Then add 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes and 3/4 cup of water with 1 cup of torn fresh basil. I also like to season with season salt and Italian seasoning. (While doing all this boil angel hair pasta) When done blend shredded cheese, pasta, and sauce together and put cheese on top. Put in a cassarole dish with foil over it until cheese melts.

Sorry so long hope you enjoy your journey to cooking :)

Teez ~n~ Tagz = Secrets said...

I forgot to say bring the sauce to a boil then simmer until it thickens to your liking. There is so much spices, meats, cheeses you can experiment with!

Amber said...

Good to see you 'back'.

I have a tip that will help in the long run. In addition to the menu planning on paper, which as you have found is the most important piece of the puzzle, write what you ate on your calendar. If it is a new meal ... Rate it (4 of 5 stars, do again or it was a flop etc) and where to find the recipe. This will help in later weeks to flip back through what you ate and when for menu ideas.

Have fun cooking!!!

HP Amber

Amber said...

Good to see you 'back'.

I have a tip that will help in the long run. In addition to the menu planning on paper, which as you have found is the most important piece of the puzzle, write what you ate on your calendar. If it is a new meal ... Rate it (4 of 5 stars, do again or it was a flop etc) and where to find the recipe. This will help in later weeks to flip back through what you ate and when for menu ideas.

Have fun cooking!!!

HP Amber