Sunday, August 12, 2012

MAKE-A-MENU :: Baby Step #4

Hi Y'all!  We've spent the last 3 days baby-stepping our way in menu-making land, and now we're ready to put it all together.  We're ready to make a menu and shopping list based on what the sale items of the week are so that we hear "KA-CHING" in our bank accounts!

I'm so excited!!!  Are you???

In Make-a-Menu  :: Baby Step #3 I gave you a list of supplies that you need to assembly your menu planner.   Hopefully you have those ready. Get a cup of coffee or a glass of icy cola, grab your supplies, and let's get started!

We're going to do this in 3 easy steps!


Step #1:  Choosing your recipes...
* Pull out your favorite grocery store's sales flyer. What kind of main ingredients are on sale this week? For example, is there an awesome deal on chicken, hamburger meat, or pork chops?
* Choose one main ingredient that is on sale to focus on and then pull out your Baby Step #1 Family Favorites List.
* Choose 5 recipes from your Family Faves using that main ingredient. Using printer paper or notebook paper, make a recipe page for each meal by printing it out, scanning it, or whatever you need to do to get it into your notebook.  Even if it's a meal that isn't a "recipe", like something quick you just throw together, write it down in recipe fashion.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.  DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!
* Jot down the ingredients for the recipes you choose to cook onto your grocery list. When you are done, put the recipes behind the appropriate tab in your notebook.
* When you are done with the flyer and Family Favorite List, put them into your new notebook. You can put the flyer in the front pocket and make a tab divider for your family favorites.

Step #2:
* Write the 5 recipes on your calendar. It's a good idea to separate the recipes over several weeks, if you can. That way your family doesn't have to eat chicken 5 days in a row if at all possible. We don't want them to revolt and demand trans-fatty nuggets from Fast Foodie Land!!

Step #3:
* SHOPPING DAY and time to prepare your food for freezing in recipe portions!  After you purchase the ingredients, it's time to do a little prep work if at all possible. Making sure that the main ingredient is packaged in a convenient manner is crucial! At the minimum, meat should be sealed in single-cooking-session packages. But hopefully, you'll have time to do a little extra prep work such as frying up the ground beef and packaging it in 2-cup bags, boiling the chickens and doing the same, marinating a bag of "dump" chicken, or making up a batch of meatballs, for example.


You can go check out your freezer and apply this lesson to any main ingredients you already have. It will make your menu planning and cooking effortless and... yes.... BRAINLESS!!!

Also, if there is a recipe you've been wanting to try, just apply the same principles: Print it out... put it in the appropriate section... add it to your shopping list... add it to the menu... buy the ingredients... cook it...

When you are done, please go have some more chocolate and wine.... again...   You deserve it.


Peace to you all,
The Menu Maker Mom
Feeding the family ~ One menu at a time