Monday, July 18, 2011

Weeding through Recipes

I enjoy food. This is a truth-fact. I like baking/cooking it, growing it, reading about it, and mostly eating it. Actually, the only thing I don't really enjoy about food is grocery shopping. I'm not sure why, but I hate this task. I enjoy farmers markets. And once in awhile, Chase and I will be out running errands and stop in at Whole Foods to browse for a bit. I'm also excited to check out the newly opened Trader Joes in Kansas City to see what interesting things I can find (and to add some 2 buck Chuck to our wine collection, of course!) This is the extent to which I enjoy food shopping.

While preparing for some weekend company, I was looking through my recipe cabinet and found a huge pile of recipes I've printed off from various blogs, websites, magazines, etc. Of the approximately 100-150 recipes I've printed, I've probably only made 5 of them. The excuses are endless as to why I've not made these: time, money, it takes too many ingredients, etc. Let's face it, if the ingredient list includes more than 3-4 things that aren't currently in my pantry, I have no desire to wander around the grocery store to find them.

Case in point, last night my husband and I were grocery shopping for our weekly groceries. I had started to make a menu for the week, but had not made a grocery list yet. As we were tired from a long weekend with friends and neither of us enjoys this task, we quickly abandoned the entire weekly menu because 2 of the meals required a number of ingredients we didn't have on hand. Instead, here's what our menu for the week looks like (please don't judge me):

Monday-I'm having dinner with a friend, Chase is having SpaghettiO's.
Tuesday-Frozen Viola meal
Wednesday-Grilled sandwiches
Thursday-Sandwiches/Whatever you find in the pantry (I play in a volleyball league on Thursday nights so dinner is always an "on your own" situation)
Friday-Pesto pasta with grilled chicken-An attempt to use some of the basil from my garden before it goes bad.

I originally planned to grill some kebabs on Wednesday, but it's just too hot here to make Chase stand outside and grill. And I had hoped to make this Thai Peanut Chicken pasta recipe I had scored off a friend's blog on Friday, but the ingredient list was just way too long for my attention span. This made me realize that I need to be better about cooking a variety of foods. Chase and I have become too comfortable with eating the same things week after week because they are cheap or easy.

Idea: Incorporate at least one of those printed recipes into my meal plan each week. Starting next week, I begin my effort to go through the massive stack of recipes I've printed or cook books I've purchased. I will incorporate at least 1 new recipe a week into our meal plan and share it here. I'd like to commit to more than one, but that just might lead to failure. And I'd like to start this week, but as I previously mentioned, the grocery shopping trip did not go too well last night.

On the bright side, I did sort of start this task over the weekend when making dessert for our weekend company. Stay tuned for Coffee Heath Bar Cheesecake!

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