What’s For Dinner? Lessons Learned from Week 1 and Planning for Week 2

Last Sunday I wrote about our meal plan for the week – reflecting my hope that by planning I could reduce some of the stress associated with the start of a new school year. Before I jump into a discussion of what we think we might eat this week, I want to do a quick recap of how last week went.

So here was the plan and what we actually ate:

Sunday, we ate out. No changes there. Food was good, and it was a nice way to start of the school year.

Monday, we had a green meatless Monday. Pesto pasta, roasted green beans, cucumber and tomato salad. Visited South Mountain Creamery and got the andouille we needed for the gumbo.

Tuesday, we did have the gumbo as planned. We ate dinner quite late though — so Lesson 1 in menu planning – don’t plan long cooking times unless you’re sure you are going to get dinner started as early as you had anticipated…

Wednesday was the night that I was out. The man of the house decided to go with the frozen pizza and other “fending” items. This meant that the hamburger that was defrosted for his use needed to be prepped on Thursday. This led to the first modification of the plan for the week.

On Thursday, we were going to make a black bean and sweet potato chili but we needed to cook the hamburger….so, I pulled up Epicurious on my Nook and found a recipe for a Southwestern Shepard’s Pie. That made use of both the hamburger and the sweet potatoes…I will share the recipe tomorrow in my SSFC blog. Accompanied by corn muffins and roasted green beans, it hit the spot for all of us (well, not the Picky Eater, but you probably already knew that).

Friday I was up for making the leek, chard, and corn flatbread…but the rest of the crew turned their noses up. Instead, we made a pizza using up the last andouille from South Mountain and red peppers.  Accompanied by another cucumber and White Queen tomato salad it was quite tasty.

Last night, all bets were off as the power went off — again — so we went out to dinner to the East West Grill and had wonderful kebabs.

So, what else did I learn from my first week of planning?

Lesson 2. Having recipes in mind is great, but sometimes recipes are too much work in the middle of the week.

Lesson 3. Knowing what is in the fridge makes deciding what to make much easier, even if the meal plan doesn’t work.

Lesson 4. Plans only work when you share them with other chefs in the house.

Lesson 5. Planning on Sunday doesn’t take into account the CSA very well (since the CSA comes on Tuesday).

And for Week 2? I think I’m going to just list out the recipes I’m thinking we’ll make, but not associate them with a date….many of these come from the latest edition of Saveur that conveniently arrived on my Nook on Saturday. Recipes aren’t showing up yet on the Saveur site, but will link up when they are there!

Sunday (well, this one I can do because we’ve already eaten). Pork tenderloin, corn on the cob, green salad.

Senate bean soup with Gougeres (cheese puffs)

Seared salmon with green peppercorn sauce, rice, sauteed swiss chard

Chicken fingers, colcannon, summer squash salad

Cheese tortellini with roasted Roma tomato sauce, green salad

Gan bian si ji (dry roasted green beans with ground pork), lemon grass chicken rolls from Trader Joes, rice

Carbonnade (Belgian beef stew)

So this is where I am – I will need to run to the store to get a few basics that I am out of, but otherwise we should be good to go – and as the evenings are going to be cooler this week, cooking will be something we look forward to!  In fact, I think I’m already hungry…

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8 Comments to “What’s For Dinner? Lessons Learned from Week 1 and Planning for Week 2”

  1. I am looking forward to reading about your SSFC Southwest Shepard’s Pie

  2. It’s amazing how a new school year can affect menu planning! I also changed our menu plans since our CSA comes Wednesday. We now plan our menus Wed through Tuesday and it works great because I can refresh my veggies at the farmers market over the weekend. Your menu for the week looks great!!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

    • I think that changing my planning day is a great idea. We often don’t have time on Mondays and Tuesdays for creative cooking due to kid activity constraints, so those should be easy/routine meals anyway.
      We’re looking forward to eating what’s on the menu – on whatever day it happens!

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