As many of you know I’m a big proponent of making a weekly menu. In fact, I used to have a whole category here on this very website devoted to my Menu of the Week.
I stopped posting my Menu of the Week for some reason. I couldn’t really tell you why, other than I didn’t think people enjoyed it all that much. Although there was no reason at all for me to think that. No one said they didn’t like it. In fact, many of you said you did like it. Basically I made the thought up in my head with no proof at all.
It’s the very same gene in me that makes me dislike television shows before I’ve even seen them. Oh really? Polar bears on a tropical island? Um. No. Not for me, thanks. Fast forward several years to me curled up on the couch in the fetal position, convulsing, crying and screaming through the entire final 3 hour episode of Lost. It got pretty wild. I lost a toenail that night.
I still do my Menu of the Week, I just don’t share it with you. For the (non)reasons stated above.
The reason I write out a menu of what we’re eating every week is to make my life easier. It’s one of those things that just makes getting a meal on the table and therefore food in my stomach easier. When these 2 things are done quickly it leaves me more time for watching all those shows I think I’ll hate. It also provides ample time for not giving myself a manicure and complaining about my dry feet.
In keeping with the theme of making dinner less of a “thing”, I’ve put together a list of 5 little tips.
I apologize if some of these tips seem rudimentary and totally obvious. But sometimes even when something is really obvious we still can’t see it unless it’s pointed out to us. Case in point, this picture of my kitchen countertop:
Even though they’re perfectly obvious, you probably didn’t notice the beets until I pointed them out to you. I know. It’s amazing.
5 tips to Make Making Dinner Easier
1. I’m obviously going to have to start with making a weekly menu and writing it down where you can see it. Just doing this saves you time because you aren’t fumbling around every night wondering what to eat. You make the menu, you buy the appropriate groceries, you look at your meal for the night and make it. It also helps to remind you whether or not you should make double of something. More on that later.
2. Cook all your vegetable side dishes in advance! (beets, carrots, roasted potatoes, broccoli etc, etc. ) Just make 2 things and rotate them for the week. Try to undercook everything a little bit. That way when you reheat it won’t all turn to mush. This may seem like a lot of work but it really isn’t and once you start doing it you’ll SWEAR by it. You know how much easier life seems after you have Thanksgiving dinner and you have enough leftover side dishes for a week? Life can be like that always!
3. Double the amount of something that you’re making and use it in a different way the next night. Extra mashed potatoes = potato pancakes next night. Buy an extra large roast so you can make stew out of the leftover cooked meat the next night. Or hot roast beef sandwiches with chips! Who doesn’t like a hot roast beef sandwich with chips? People who never had the pleasure of eating at a Kresge’s lunch counter, that’s who.
4. Double the amount and freeze half of it. This works with more things than you would imagine. Beef & Broccoli, Quesadillas, Chili, Macaroni and Cheese and even rice. Then when something goes wrong, and you have zero time to make dinner, all you have to do is defrost. And set the table, of course. I mean we’re not animals.
5. Once a week do a crock pot meal. Now most people would tell you do to this meal for the night you’re busiest. I’m the opposite. I figure if you’re busy and rushed, you’re busy and rushed. Like that smart guy once said, a body in motion stays in motion. For the layman who isn’t familiar with this phrase, basically it means if you’re already in “Chihuahua on speed” mode, you’re likely to keep it up w/out even really thinking about it. So keep it up and whip together dinner. I’d save the crock pot meal to make an already relaxing night at home, even more relaxing. My sloth-like tendencies are showing here. I lean towards extremes.
Now you’re probably wondering if I do all these things. You’re probably assuming I do. I don’t. I do a few of them every week. I’m not a machine. And neither are you. I don’t think. Are you? It’d be really cool if you were. Florence and the Machine is a band I love, but even her Machine isn’t a real machine. It’s just a bunch of guys. I’m getting off track aren’t I? I do that. Which is why I need things like this top 5 tip list to keep me on track on a weekly basis.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go start preparing tonight’s dinner. T-Bone steaks, hand cut, thick chips, red leaf lettuce salad with red peppers and goat’s cheese and the rest of the beets you see at the top of the post, which I cooked a couple of nights ago. After dinner I’m gonna sit down and watch the first episode of the latest season of Survivor. There’s an island, a bunch of people acting strangely and one by one they go missing. It’s not my favourite show, but season in and season out I keep watching it. It’s the closest thing I can get to Lost.
Have a tip? Leave a comment and let everyone know!