I seriously hate having to sit down and plan my meals for my grocery shopping trip. I don’t hate being prepared ahead of time, I actually love that part because I don’t have to scramble each day to try to figure out what I’m going to make for supper. What I hate is the process of deciding what to each for each meal (and snacks!) for every single day of the week. U-G-H!!!!
*Funny Story – last night I was going to make homemade chocolate chip cookies. But alas, we had no butter. I called The Spinster and she had some but not enough. Hannah then proceeded to walk sadly from room to room in the house saying “Buttah”. (picture a huge bullfrog ribbiting out the word buttah). She’s something else, that one.
So here’s my dilemma, I have recipes in books, in a recipe box, in a binder, on my laptop and on hundreds of blogs that I want to test out. It’s very overwhelming. I tried several different ways to organize all of them (created my own spreadsheet, online recipe organizers, etc) but nothing has really been what I want.
In the perfect world that exists in my mind, I would have my recipes organized seasonally. That way I’d be utilizing produce at it’s peak time. I just can’t figure out how to make that happen in a way that doesn’t push the limits of my sanity.
I’m thinking about using my blog…kinda…maybe…to start doing that whole menu plan day thing that is so popular. That way I can come here and go straight to that category and maybe have some kind of semblance of organization?? I don’t know. I may try it. I may not. As you can see, I am fantastic at making decisions.
I’m going back towards more from-scratch cooking now that softball season is in the slow part of the year, with the hopes that when it comes back around with a vengeance, I am so disciplined in my food/snack making that I will breeze right through it brandishing healthy, wholesome snacks around every turn. Yeah…I’m laughing too. But my girls love all of the homemade snacks I make. Especially the cheese crackers. And honestly, they are so stinking easy. I don’t know why but every time I think about making them, I get all like “but I have to use the rolling pin”, as if that is sooo hard. It takes probably 15 minutes to mix up the few ingredients and roll them out, then pop them in the oven. Sometimes I amaze myself with how much of a wimp I am.
Well, I have no idea if anyone is still reading this blog since I kinda fell off the face of the Earth for oh, I don’t know, a couple of years…but if I do and if you happen to have any suggestions or would like to share how you organize and create your menu plan each week, I will be eternally grateful and probably so happy that the rolling pin is gonna feel like chump change.
I guess everyone probably knows this already, but after reheating some baked beans in the microwave this weekend, and forgetting to cover the bowl, resulting in a bean explosion, I thought I’d share this awesome tip on how to clean the microwave easily.
And this works on stuff that has been baked and caked on for decades too. You will be amazed at how easily everything comes off.
Not that any of us ever allow that to happen. Heh heh…
1 C. vinegar in a bowl
Microwave for 5 mins.
Let sit 1 min.
Wipe out with damp cloth
By far, one of the best, and most favorite, gifts I have ever received is my Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook. I’ve found some really delicious recipes here and the book is loaded with pictures and funny stories/scenes from my all-time favorite show.
We are gearing up for softball season now, so that means we will have quite a few nights where I need to find a quick and easy solution for supper. Menu planning at my house is at least an hour and a half job. I love to cook and I don’t like eating the same things every week, so I put a lot of thought into each meal and try to keep a lot of variety. I try to keep us in 80/20 range on the healthy vs. not so healthy meal range. You know, 80% clean meals, to keep us all healthy and 20% good ol’ stuff we love to keep us content. Southern Fried Fitness is a great blog that posts recipes for each of those categories.
Making an appearance on the menu this week will be BLT’s with my favorite Mac & Cheese recipe from another beloved book, Autumn From The Heart Of The Home by Susan Branch. And from the Mayberry Cookbook, I’ll be trying out Bert & Ben’s Sweet & Sour Green Beans. Sounds yummy, hope it turns out that way. I usually just make P-Dub’s green beans because they are so delicious and a huge hit around here, but I also want to try new stuff as much as possible.
So, this is what Bert & Ben’s Sweet and Sour Green Beans looks like:
2 cans green beans (I’ll be using fresh)
4 strips bacon (we like Simple Truth brand)
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt (I’ll be using kosher)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 T. sugar (will probably use Stevia even though this is technically a “20% meal”)
1/2 C. cider Vinegar
2 T. flour (all I have is whole wheat)*Original recipe calls for the liquid from one can of green beans, I will just use chicken broth in place of that.
Fry bacon til crisp, reserve drippings. Crumble bacon.
Saute onion in bacon drippings. Grease. It’s bacon grease. Calling it drippings doesn’t change what it is! But that’s what the recipe says, so that’s what I’m calling it too. :)Stir in liquid, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. Bring to boil.
Add green beans and bacon.
Heat until warmed through. (I will cover the skillet and let them cook a while since I’m using fresh instead of canned.)
And here’s the yummy Mac & cheese recipe from Susan Branch’s Autumn book.
10 oz. elbow macaroni (I’m using whole grain rotini because that’s what I have in my pantry)
1 T. dry mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 C. half & half
1 lb. sharp cheddar, grated
Preheat oven to 375. Cook and drain macaroni.
In large bowl, lightly beat eggs, salt, pepper and mustard.
Stir in half & half, then cheese, then macaroni.
Pour into buttered 2 qt. casserole. Bake 25 min.
Put under broiler 1 min to brown and crisp the top.