Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Planning Monday and "Recipe Boredom"

Oh, how I love a long weekend!  My children are enjoying day four of a four day and I am thrilled that we have had time to relax and enjoy extended time together.  Noah was gone on a retreat for part of the weekend but the rest of us have had time to sit and watch movies, go on long walks and do the things we need to do to unwind.  In the midst of that, we had basketball games to watch, work to do, rehearsals and practices to attend and lots of driving from here to there.  But, the gift of extra time... that, I love.

As I sit here now, Josiah is chomping an apple while watching Benjamin play a computer game.  Elizabeth and Noah are sleeping in and the house is quiet and peaceful.  It is after 9:00 AM and we are not dressed.... no need to be!  Starting slow is a gift and I am grateful for a few minutes to enjoy my coffee and work on my blog and ease into this new day.

As I worked on the menu this week, I took the following things into consideration:

Monday:  We can order pizza for less than it costs me to cook.
Tuesday:  The boys have basketball practice to so a quick, easy meal works best.
Wednesday:  I have a speaking engagement making a crock-pot meal ideal.  We will need to be able to eat quickly before attending an evening service for Ash Wednesday.
Thursday:  I have time to cook and create a meal.
Friday:  The first Friday in Lent--I would love to go "meatless".
Saturday:  This is the perfect day for a kid-friendly meal!
Sunday:  What can I make that will help me plan meals for next week?

Looking at my week helps me to plan a realistic menu that will work for our family.  I am also always on the look-out for things that my family would enjoy.  I recently joined Pinterest and have found many new recipes to try on that site.  I will be trying one of those this week!

So, here is our menu plan for the next 7 days:

Monday:  Half-priced pizza from a local restaurant.  We can feed our whole family for $9.00!
Tuesday:  Pinterest recipe-Ham and cheese sliders with veggies and dip
Wednesday:  Chili with whole wheat noodles
Thursday:  Ham and potato casserole (using last Sunday's leftover ham)
Friday:  Fish sandwiches and broccoli slaw
Saturday:  Hot dogs in crescent rolls, veggies and fruit
Sunday:  Sunday dinner with all the fixings!

I am struggling lately with "recipe boredom".  Wondering if that ever happens to you?  I find it so hard to be excited to cook when the meals are so... I don't know... ordinary?  I love creating something fun, something new.  I tell myself that some days need to be function over form but when I spend so much time cooking for my family, something with flair goes a long, long way.  When I first started menu-planning, I looked forward to what it could be but I am feeling now like I am staring down a blank page each week.

When I talked to Mark about this, I was looking for ideas.  He said it was time to start reusing menus.  He was trying to be helpful but it was not what I wanted to hear.  I spend so much time in the kitchen, I want to be interested in what I am making... reusing menus does not lead to this.  But, there must be a place where reality intersects desire.  Where is that place for you?  How do you keep yourself interested in what you are making while paying attention to budget and time constraints?  Do you cycle through a set of family recipes or create something new regularly?  As someone who loves to cook, I want to look forward to providing for my family this way but sometimes that "recipe boredom" begins to win out.  I would love to hear your ideas...

Elizabeth is up and it's time for breakfast.  Waffles, sausage and fruit today... a nice start to a slow morning.

Blessings on your day.

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