Wednesday, October 27, 2010

cooking at home, it can be done!

Recently I got in into my head that I should start making dinner every night. You know, because I've got nothing else going on. Or really because Truman is too tired and hungry at night to deal with a restaurant and I was excessively tired of jparks and I debating for 20 minutes each night over what kind of take out we were going to order. So I cracked open my cookbook cabinet and set to work on a meal plan. Actually the first week I tried this experiment I didn't make a meal plan and by Tuesday I was standing at the hot counter in Whole Foods picking up dinner for us. But this week, week two, I made a meal plan and success!

This week's recipes come from these sources

I swear I'm so proud of myself you would think I've cured cancer and AIDS right in my kitchen. Nope, I'm just doing what all those cooking bloggers do every day.

So here's the thing, a lot of the recipes I'm using come back issues of Everyday Food, which I have an abundance of:
That's a small selection of all my copies and they are slowly taking over my cabinet. The issue (ha, pun!) is that I hate to get rid of them because right now I have no good way to store the recipes. Same thing goes with a few of my cookbooks. Most of the ones I own I love and use for a variety of recipes, but a few I only use for one or two things. Why keep the whole book for such a small selection of recipes? Is there a way to store recipes that you love? Should I just rip the recipes out and stick them in a folder? Does that get too overwhelming to flip through for creating a weekly meal plan? Do you keep a collection of core recipes separate? Things you know everyone will eat and love? Am I making this way too damn complicated?

And because I'm feeling rather triumphant as a parent right now, here's a picture of my kid eating Moroccan chicken with chickpeas and couscous. I win! Take that chicken nuggets and hot dogs!


  1. you could scan your favourites and keep them in a special picasa folder.... then you can use google calendar to make a menu and link to the page in picasa, (or whatever blog you read it from)

  2. I was going to vote for the scan thing, too. But I'd just save them as PDFs in a file marked "I am an awesome chef" or some such.

    You should check online for some of your favorites before bothering to scan. Many older cookbooks and everyday food recipes have been rehashed on cooking blogs. You could just print from there.

  3. I cut a lot of them out from magazines and then put them in a binder and then never make them. I need a better system.

  4. I haven't found a good way to keep recipes either:( I have sticky notes sticking out of cookbooks! But I have (finally, after 9 years of marriage!) gotten better at cooking dinner. I grocery shop by making a list of 7ish dinners, that way I know I have all the stuff to cook those meals. I cross items off the list as I cook them and when there's not more entrees to cross off - it's time to grocery shop! I also have an index card with a running list of our favorite meals - I'll scan the list when making our "meal plan" - and I try to add something new to try every now and then. I've also gotten very good at leftovers! I'll purposely plan to cook a meal or 2 each week that has enough to eat on 2x - gives me a night off! We NEVER go out to eat anymore (sigh...) - Collin is a Terror eating out! I also have to decide what we are eating for dinner in the morning - if I don't have an idea in mind - I can't cook dinner - sad, I know! Blondie

  5. I use the binder system. Tear your favorites out from the magazine and put them in those clear plastic sleeves. I create tabs on the sleeves themselves with post-its sticking out just a little and some packing tape. Sort by entree, dessert, side, soup, or whatever, and if necessary within groups, like "chicken entrees" or "casseroles". If you make a recipe once a month or more, give it it's own tab ("Morrocon Chicken". Use small binders, like 1 inch.

    Also, every single meal I make is reheatable and has plenty for leftovers. With two kids and a life there's no way I have time to make dinner every night.