I struggle with meal planning. Like, big time. When I know it's time to sit down and figure out next weeks menu/grocery list, I throw a mini tantrum inside my head. I'll spend hours (sometimes literally) pouring over recipe books, looking through my pinterest boards, and racking my brain trying to guess what we might be in the mood to eat 3-7 days from now.
Sometimes I even ask the kiddo and hubby what they might want. I'll get the usual responses- "Burgers" from both, or "Noodles" from the kiddo. (We eat gluten-free noodles which tend to be a bit pricey, so we don't eat them very often)
And more often that not, after carefully figuring it all out, I end up scrambling around at supper time anyway because no one wants what I have on the menu (or because I forgot to thaw the meat, or I just REALLY don't feel like cooking, or it's late and the meal will take too long, etc.).
It's enough to give me (more) gray hair.
So, I decided that instead of planning meals for each specific day, I will plan by meat category. I choose 3-4 meals, one from each of the following animals- beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood (not technically an animal, but you get the idea).
Wow, this was fantastic!
Each meal gets 2 veggie sides. Most of the time one of them is just a raw veggie tray, but sometimes I actually WANT to cook. Rare, but it happens.
I don't cook every night, rather I cook 3-4 meals per week making sure to have leftovers for the other 3-4 days.
Well, that's been the idea for the last few weeks. Sometimes I forget to cook with left overs in mind and I find myself, once again, scrambling a few nights a week to get something on the table for supper.
In order to make things a bit easier (I hope), I created this menu board.
I have included the days of the week, but with the individual tags removable, I can easily switch the meals around. If we are not in the mood for Nuggets on Monday, we can have Burgers, etc.
Old favorites- burgers, nuggets, pancakes, etc. will get a tag made now, but I will fill out other tags as we try new things. If we didn't really care for it, no tag is made. If we liked it or loved it, we make out a tag then and there.
On the front is the name of the meal or side, on the back is the cookbook or location of the recipe (website, etc.), as well as an ingredients list.
Might as well make filling out the grocery list a bit easier, right?
Well, I plan to start using the menu board this week, so we will see how it goes! If anyone is interested in how I made this, head on over to my crafty site, KaoticKrafter, for a tutorial.
Emma started horse lessons today! She was really nervous this morning, though I couldn't really get a clear explanation as to why.
She got over it quickly and ended up having a great time. My pictures are pretty horrible, but it's the best I could get.
Catching the Woolly Mammoth a.k.a Maggie the Pony
Leading Maggie to the barn
Brushing her mane
Putting on the saddle
Leading Maggie around the arena
Lunging Maggie (having her walk around Emma in a circle)
Emma had a great lesson. Jill, Emma's instructor, is really nice. She is very patient with Emma, actually listens to Emma's odd ramblings, and talks to her like an adult. Jill seems almost as excited as Emma and I are about our upcoming lessons. She was impressed with Emma's horse/barn safety, as well as all that she remembered.
Emma and I both love Maggie. She is super cute, very friendly, and the perfect size. This is the first horse (or pony) that Emma has been able to reach to brush the back as well as see over. Emma was even able to get her foot in the stir-up and climb onto Maggie all on her own! It's a totally different level of confidence for her now that she is in (mostly) complete control of this little pony. I am so excited to see how much Emma grows as a horsewoman in the next few years.
I hope everyone else had a wonderful Friday, and has a even better weekend!
Starting this week I have been "asking" Emma to help me get supper ready. A few days ago she helped me make some chicken soup. Emma was responsible for adding some oil to the pot and stirring the onions and garlic while I prepped the rest of the veggies. She loved how it smelled.
Anyway, she did a wonderful job helping me to get the meal ready and she even liked the soup (though she said it needed more seasonings).
Last night we made some chicken thighs. Emma was responsible for making a seasoning rub for the chicken. So, we pulled out all the seasonings and she sniffed her way through all of them, adding the ones she liked.
At one point, she added too much onion powder. Discouraged, I had her take a break for a bit while I worked on making some coleslaw. Once we were ready to get the chicken into the oven she came back in and we fiddled with the rub. I dumped in some salt (way too much-oops!), added some garlic (Emma's favorite) and a bit more pepper. I think Emma tossed in some more ginger and a few other things, then we added a bit more southwest seasoning.
It was a bit salty (oops again!), but it was very tasty!
Apparently Emma enjoyed herself, because while the chicken was cooking, she drew this
Emma making a dry rub for our chicken while I shredded cabbage for the coleslaw.
At 8:00 this morning, this is what J.E.T was doing.
On the Ski Bus
Today was so much fun! It was Wing Ski Day. Not sure exactly what that means, except that Jared got the day off so long as he went skiing.
Twist our arms!
Top of the slope!
It was so much fun having Da on the slopes with us this time. The first hour or two Emma was being really hard on herself and was having a tough time controlling her skies. We stopped for lunch. Emma had a burger patty with a side of fries and confidence. When we went back out, she was a skiing machine.
Rocking the goggles on the slope.
After taking tons of photos and videos of Jared and Emma, I really wanted to be in the pictures too.
Jared thought he would take the camera after that.
Me and Emma on the Magic Carpet
We only made a few more runs before we all got tired. So, we went and hung out in the lodge, had a snack, then went to the pro shop to buy Emma a helmet.
New pink helmet that matches everything else.
Yes, we bought her a helmet AFTER we finished skiing. We bought her goggles yesterday and they were awesome. We had planned to get her a helmet as well, but decided to wait until after we had skied at least one more time.
This was one more time!
Plus, now that she is skiing faster, and the fact that the helmet will help keep the goggles from sliding down her head, we figured it was time.
Here is a fun video before I finish up.
Tired after a wonderful day of skiing.
I hope that your Wednesday was just as wonderful as ours!