Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dinner Dilemma!

After many months of not really having a typical schedule and lots of eating out and on the run, I have found myself at a loss at how to get back in the groove with cooking at home.  Yes, I desperately want to cook at home every night (really) and I want my family to have healthy, made from scratch food regularly - not to mention being easier on the family budget.  But here is where I am struggling.  I used to sit down and make a menu for 10 days or so, and then a grocery list to go along with it and we were able to pretty much stick to that and it worked great.  Now when I sit down with just that intent, I am just blank...what to fill those days with???  What can I plan for that is healthy, reasonably cheap and works with my time frame?  What did we used to eat?  Gosh, I am just lost.  Tonight I sat down and went through a couple of cookbooks trying to get some inspiration and organization, but didn't come away with much.  I also used to think I was a pretty descent cook but now I don't know, maybe just being really, really out of practice is showing? 

So, I would love to hear what y'all all have as standards in your menus.   Help me out, blog friends...please!


  1. You will get back into it; just give yourself some time.....
    Some suggestions: Mexican Train Wreck--taco meat, lettuce, tomato, chips, rice, beans, avocado, salsa, whatever you like on tex-mex...oh, sour cream and cheese, too.
    Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans, with good bread (always a redeeming factor!)
    Baked chicken (marinated in Italian salad dressing) macaroni and cheese, and green salad...those are just some quick suggestions!
    Hope you find your groove.


  2. I have been terrible about cooking this summer. We've been gone so much that I've hesitated to buy a lot of food knowing that we may not finish it all before it is time to leave again.

    This time of year I like to make pasta with whatever I get from my garden. Usually I saute onion, garlic, and peppers, then add tomatoes and when I'm ready to serve it, I toss in fresh basil and feta cheese. I also do a similar version with zucchini.

    Last summer we made homemade pizzas a lot. This year I'd like to try grilling some.

    Let us know if you come up with something good.

  3. Oh girl, I feel your pain! Lately I have been stuck in a rut when it comes to menu planning!
    Right now though, we are eating lots of grilled chicken.. and I always do chicken breasts that are on the bone, it makes the meat so much jucier!
    I'm with Paula on the pasta and veggies! I just did that last night and used fresh pasta from the refrigerated section of the grocer, it was really good!
    If I find something new and interesting I'll pass it along!

  4. Some simple quick and easy things that we have around our house are
    spaghetti (tomato or cheesy chicken)
    homemade pizza (I buy the dough at the grocery store and top with olive oil, gralic and fresh veggies)
    pork loin or roast in a the crock pot with potatoes & carrots (meal in the pot :)
    We love all types of pasta too and its the perfect time of year to use fresh veggies and some shrimp! So quick and so good!
    I hope some of these help! and just jump back on that horse! You will be glad you did! Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal!

  5. You are not alone! Sometimes I have trouble deciding what to eat, too. One thing I do that I find helpful is pretty much every week we always have a Mexican night, an Asian night and an Italian night. Some weeks Mexican might be tacos, one week quesadillas, one week fajitas, etc, but just by narrowing it down to a certain type of food, I save my brain lots of cluelessness ;-) And in addition to the ethnic food nights I'll usually do a "light night" (soup, sandwich, salad, baked potato, or any combination of those) and then I'll usually do a "meat and veggie night". Since I only eat seafood, the meat is limited for us.

    One thing you can do to help with future meal planning is print off a blank calender and write in what you have for dinner every single night. Do this for about three months and then just rotate out your three calenders for future months. Meal plan for three months, eat for a year! :-D

  6. You will get back into it.
    I sit down once a week and figure mine out for one week. And figure that there will be leftovers in there too. Somethings I make so I can use the leftovers differently.
    Check out Southern Living for some healthy and quick meals to ease back in.
    Yeah and in the last month I haven't found much inspiring either.


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