Friday, March 13, 2009

Geeking Out About My Menu

Oh I am so excited! I've got my menu planned for the week and even I am happy with it! I've been trying to be very conscientious about my cooking and cleaning habits lately. We've been talking about Stewardship in Bible Study and I've been doing some hard thinking. And I've been feeling that little (nagging) voice urging me to strive for excellence in my Homemaking duties.

So, I've been doing some organizing and research and tackled the cooking first. Cleaning is next because I'm dreading it. I figure I should accomplish something and then use the momentum to spur me on to the more dreaded task.

I went through all my cookbooks and brainstormed about all the meals I've loved before and all the meals I want to master. It's quite a list. I never really thought about it before, but I'd like to have a good quiche in my repertoire. I'd also like to learn how to make a souffle', just so I can say I can. And Eggs Benedict. I always order Eggs Benedict when we go out for brunch but I have never, ever thought of making it myself. That's just madness!

Then I looked over my schedule for the week and went through my favorite store's circular. Hmmm...I have piano lessons on Monday so that needs to be a relatively quick, easy meal. Wednesday is going to be even worse than ever because I'm teaching the class that night. Can you believe it? They're making me teach! I am very anxious about it and have decided there shall be no cooking that night or I shall self-destruct! That will have to be a leftover night or sandwiches or something. Nothing else is going on, but look at that! Boneless chickens breast are on sale...and so is corned beef...I've never made corned beef...oh, that's right, St. Patrick's Day is Tuesday. Me being only a smidge Irish and The Viking being none at all, we've never celebrated St. Patrick's Day, not even to the degree of decking ourselves out in green (someone once told me Irish Protestants wear orange instead of green on St. Patrick's Day and I've never wanted to be disrespectful, but maybe that's being a little too rigid?) but if all the items to celebrate St. Patrick's Day are on sale...

So, I've decided to branch out and make corned beef. I'm braising it, of course, but since none of us like cabbage, I'm making Brussels Sprouts with it instead. And the best part? I'm going to make enough so I can just slap some between slices of rye bread with Swiss cheese, cole slaw and Thousand Island dressing the next day and keep to my Wednesday Cooking Embargo whilst serving scrumptious Corned Beef Special sandwiches! I am Woman, hear me roar!

As far as the rest of the week goes, the kids are excited about making pizza tonight and I think I'm going to make it again on Sunday. We're usually most tempted to order pizza on the weekends so I'm trying to build it in so we don't have to incur the extra cost. The same goes for Saturday's dinner of cheesesteaks and fries. Since chicken is on sale, I'll make the kids' favorite Herbed Baked Chicken with sweet corn and a garden salad and then I'll round the week out by using that head of cauliflower and the rest of the peas and potatoes to make The Viking's favorite veg curry.

See? It all works out! We won't be eating out, we'll be saving money, and we'll be eating well. I'm also adding things to the grocery list for breakfasts, as I've decided to start giving the kids something better than cereal each morning. I had to make Man-Cub eat a string cheese and drink some orange juice this morning. He wanted fruit snacks for breakfast and since I wanted to use up the rest in the box anyway (and never buy them again) I let him have it with the condition that he eat some cheese and drink some juice with it. He thought he would renege halfway through breakfast and that's when I had to remind him of how he earns his TV time after school: by obeying his parents.

Oh, and I'm also making granola and seeing if I can manage to mold it into bars the kids will eat as willingly as they scarf down the over-processed and fake-tasting bars of goo they currently think of as granola bars.

I'm not sure I've ever been this excited about a menu before. Sure, I had Menu Plan Mondays, which I've gotten away from because I just kept forgetting since I do my menu planning on Thursdays. But this is different. The perfectionist in me is rarely this satisfied with a weekly menu. I guess this just goes to show what a little commitment and planning can do. I highly recommend it!

On that note, I must be off to do the shopping for this stupendous menu or it is all for naught. See you in the produce section!

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