January 11, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Do you go through times when you are feeling uninspired in the kitchen?  I must say that this week has been one of those for me.  Because our visit to see my sister-in-law was cancelled due to the weather, I was faced with a few extra meals to prepare at home.  I found that we ate soup and sandwiches for more than a couple of those meals!  (Granted, the soup was homemade, but still!) Even when uninspired to prepare meals, I find that I still enjoy making the little things—homemade muffins with blueberries we picked and froze this summer, warm milk using Cruze Dairy Farm fresh milk, and homemade hot chocolate with a touch of vanilla added to the milk.  Yum! 

I like cooking.  I’ve heard that many people who say that rarely actually prepare meals for their family, but that isn’t the case for me.  I enjoy the science of it—the blueberry muffin recipe has extra leavening agent in it because of the weight of the blueberries, the cocoa doesn’t incorporate into the milk for hot chocolate until it is warm.  I enjoy the sensuality of cooking—the smells, flavors, colors, and textures.  I love that our daughter enjoys cooking and instantly is ready to help whenever she sees me in the kitchen.  (OK, most of the time I enjoy that last part!)

Yet, there are still times when I’m not as motivated to cook.  I need some inspiration.  What do I do?  I pull out my cookbooks and thumb through the recipes.  I watch cooking shows on television (our public television station offers the Create network which I’ve so enjoyed).  I clean out my pantry and see what needs using and how I can use it in a different way.  I pick up a new ingredient at the grocery store with no plan on how to use it; I let the ingredient inspire me.  What do you do when you need a bit of cooking inspiration? 

You’ll see that the menu for this week is a bit humdrum.  I’ll hope that my search for inspiration this week helps to liven things up a bit next time. 

Breakfasts—Homemade blueberry muffins, boiled eggs, yogurt and fruit, cereals, baked oatmeal, whole wheat and quinoa pancakes from the freezer

Lunches—sandwiches, salads, soups, leftovers, snack lunches

Snacks—homemade popcorn, veggies and Ranch dip, apples


Monday—Chef salad, Sautéed pears and sweetened sour cream for dessert

Tuesday—Herb roasted chicken, butternut squash, and summer squash from the freezer

Wednesday—I’ll be making the supper for the children’s program at church.  Chicken, lima beans, and corn will be on the menu.  If those fall through, the back up plan is Totino’s pizza rolls, carrot sticks, and apple slices.

Thursday—My meeting from last week had to be cancelled due to the icy roads.  We have tentatively rescheduled for tonight, and we’ll enjoy a potluck supper.  I’ll be bringing the salad—organic mixed greens, toasted pecans, sliced oranges, with carrots and celery.  I’ll make a homemade vinaigrette and also bring blue cheese dressing for those who prefer that.

Friday—Lamb chops, quinoa salad, and baby beets.

Saturday—We’ll be eating supper over at a family member’s home



  1. I go to http://stolenmomentscooking.com

    Kate's ideas always seem to inspire me.

    I haven't had lamb chops in forever..sounds yum!

  2. Thanks, I'll check that out!

    Yep, we're looking forward to the lamb chops. We purchase half of a lamb with a friend from a local farmer each year, and the chops are always our favorite part. ;)

    Thanks for the link.

  3. thanks for the follow, Gabrielle...I feel like it's quite an honor, as I'm a real fan of your blog :) Have a great week!