Hello beautiful menu planning people, how did your week go? Did you have some menu planning success? I only ask because hearing those types of testimonials is so encouraging for others to hear whether we are menu planning newbies or long time veterans at it. Who doesn’t need some encouragement once and awhile :)
So starting this week I’ll introduce one menu planning stumbling block and my thoughts on some possible suggestions that might help you out of it. I do hope you find it helpful.
Menu Plan Stumbling Block: sticking to a menu plan when you are too tired to cook
So let me tell you one of my secrets of menu planning. I keep it simple. For two reasons. I don’t like to cook and I certainly don’t like to cook when I’m tired and cranky. So when the four or five o clock witching hour hits I know myself well enough now that if the recipe isn’t easy, it’s probably not going to happen. I mean forget about it. How many of you can relate? So as you know most of the recipes I pick out each week are intentionally pretty easy to whip up but some days I pick up that recipe and go ugh, what was I thinking as was the case with the Taco Pork Chops last week.
Total prep and cook time on this recipe was 20 minutes, seriously that’s nothing so why was I feeling like I wanted to just toss the idea out the window and eat popcorn for dinner? Well for one I dislike pork chops (my hubbie loves them) and the other I absolutely love popcorn and could eat it for every meal. However the real reason I wasn’t up to making that recipe was because I just didn’t feel like standing at the stove babysitting it while it cooked. So rather than let that get me down I simply threw those pork chops into a 9×13 inch pan, tossed the taco mixture on top and cooked the whole thing in the oven instead. That took me 2 minutes to prep and the rest of the time I read my magazine. That’s the way it goes sometimes and it still all tasted great in the end. So I guess the point I’m trying to make in all this jibberish is to not get discouraged when you step up to the kitchen to cook. Select easy recipes going in (the beauty of a little advance preparation) but remember even those can be simplified further if you feel yourself reaching for the popcorn pot. Although trust me popcorn for dinner once and awhile is okay too, yum yum :)
Other ways to avoid the 4:00 tired dinner crunch include:
- preparing meals in advance and freezing for later
- using your slow cooker often
- have a super simple fall back plan that you always have the ingredients on hand for (think pancakes, spaghetti, grilled cheese and soup)
Monday: Cheeseburger Pasta
Tuesday: Three-Ingredient Sticky Chicken served with baked potatoes and carrots
Wednesday: Brown Sugar/Mustard Pork Chops served with rice and broccoli
Thursday: Leftover buffet
Friday: Slow Cooker Fajitas
Saturday: Breakfast for dinner: Buttermilk Pancakes
Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own!)
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU THIS WEEK?
Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.
More family favorite recipes here.
Have a great week everyone!