Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly Menu - The Importance Of

I love to cook. It's an art, I believe, to find a recipe I think my family will love and recreate it. The reward is my family enjoying a meal I really put my heart into. I start my process on Sunday when I begin my Weekly Menu, which I've been doing for several years now. I live by this for the week. Sometimes I stray. Plans change. A day goes bad. At which point I'll either re-arrange the menu or beg my husband to bring something home. But for the days that don't change, my Weekly Menu is a lifesaver! Each day of the week is listed along with any special happenings that may interfere with cooking or enjoying the meal. For instance, Scouts, Sports Practices/Games, Orchestra Rehearsals/Concerts, Student Council, etc. are all noted next to the day. This helps when I'm deciding what that night's dinner should be. I don't want to decide to fix a labor intensive meal if I'm also going to be carpooling children around all afternoon. And, I should note, that although we are a very busy family, most weeks, we eat a home-cooked/fixed meal every night.

And it should also be noted that my kids eat strange things (as far as kid's eating habits go). I've never changed what I fix before I know my kids won't eat something. I've never treaded lightly on this endeavor either. My kids eat spinach, artichokes, asparagus, all kinds of meat and seafood. I do have one who will not touch a bean. And no one in my family likes raw tomatoes. But my rule is and always has been "You must try something before you can say you don't like it." And know, Mom doesn't give up on a food after you say you don't like it just once. There must be multiple attempts at palleting something. I don't want to raise a child who becomes an adult who doesn't eat anything.

So, without further ado, here is this weeks menu (4/27 - 5/3):

Sunday: MR2 dinner (Weekly dinner with two other neighbor families. I call it MR2 because one of the families' last name starts with an M. The other two start with an R. The total number eating at this event? 13! 7 kids and 6 adults. We rotate this and this week Stefanie is cooking.)

Monday: Shrimp & Snap Pea Salad (pg. 27 of Everyday Foods, May '08 issue)
Broiled Mango

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes
Raw veggies (probably carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)

Wednesday: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Snow Peas

Thursday: Left Overs ( I try to incorporate left overs into our dinner planning each week. Of course, sometimes, they make perfect lunches and there aren't any. I got the idea from HomeEc 101. They call it CORN which stands for Clean Out Refrigerator Night. I must say they get more inventive with their leftovers than I do. I just throw them out there and let my family pick what they want. These gals throw them all together and actually whip up a "new" meal. I'm not that inventive. I need a recipe to follow. But good for them!

Friday: Chicken & Asparagus Crepes
Fresh Fruit

Saturday: Date Night

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