Monday, January 30, 2012

Credit Crunch: My Weekly 3-2-1 Menu

If I walk into the grocery store without a plan, I am likely to start tossing things into my cart simply because I am hungry or I see something that looks good at the time.  Of course nine times out of ten, I get home and those impulse buys get forgotten the moment they get put away.

With my meals planned out, I only buy the items I need for that week instead of getting suckered into purchasing everything that catches my eye.

Traditional weekly menu plans weren't working for me.  I needed to find a way to be very flexible in order to accommodate my daughter's ever-changing schedule.  I also didn't want to be stuck with excessive leftovers.

One day it dawned on me that I didn't have to cook elaborate dinners for every night of the week.  I didn't have to make a recipe and then eat leftovers for the next four days to use it up.  I also didn't have to designate specific nights for specific meals.  All of that may work great for a different family, but it wasn't working at all for mine.  I needed something much more simple, and my idea for the 3-2-1 Menu Plan was born.

The concept is so simple, I really don't know how it eluded me for so long. Each week, I only plan to prepare three dinner recipes.  Two nights we eat leftovers or something incredibly simple like sandwiches. One night I pull something from my freezer, which I keep stocked with meals I prep in advance, and other quick things like frozen pizza or Lean Cuisine dinners.  That leaves one more night per week that isn't planned out - to allow for eating out or visiting with family/friends.

Here is my 3-2-1 Menu for this week:

3 Dinner Recipes:
Greek Salad
Roasted Shrimp with Thyme with steamed brown rice and broccoli
Crock-pot Pork Loin Chops with mashed sweet potatoes

2 Leftovers/Sandwiches Nights

1 From the Freezer night: Corky's Ribs, with coleslaw and cornbread

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Writing "Something"

It has been over a year since I last wrote here.  I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to write and found myself unable to untangle the thoughts filling my head.  It was a year of major changes - some good, some really not very good at all, but necessary.  Thinking and writing about food was still very much a part of my life, but I wasn't in much of a sharing mood.

Back when I was still in school, my creative writing teacher shared a simple but valuable writing tip with me that I have never forgotten:

Write something... every single day.

It doesn't matter if what you write has any substance or meaning. He didn't care if all we wrote that day was a string of random words.  I distinctly recall a few defiantly moody days when all I wrote down in my creative writing journal was the same letter over and over again.  Something is better than nothing, right? The idea worked...eventually.  Since I was used to writing something down each day, eventually those stories and thoughts cramming my brain would find their way onto the page. And sometimes those somethings were really worth reading.

I have a lot of great ideas to share with you and I am really excited to start blogging again.  Strawberry season has just begun and the weather is warming up (Hey, I live in Florida after all).  Already the ideas are flowing.  To those of you still here visiting and reading, thank you for being so patient.