Weekly Cooking Plan

Last weekend with my girlfriends, the topic kept returning to cooking and how to plan a week’s worth of meals.  Today – I’m going to share my plan of attack for the week – complete with recipe links + photos, the master grocery list and will update throughout the week with my own notes and photos.

First, I spend time each Sunday to plan the week.  I have the calendar out so I know how many nights we’ll be at home, and how many nights I’ll really be able to cook.  This week, we’ll be gone on Wednesday evening and we usually eat out Friday nights – so I’m planning meals for Sunday – Tuesday + Thursday.  I like to make my more time-consuming meal on Sunday night, so I have time to enjoy the process.  Ideally, I will make something large enough for leftovers on Monday as that is a very hectic day to rush home and cook!  Other weeknights, I have a standard rotation that I swap out – but this week I’m trying one new recipe thanks to my Real Simple magazine arriving Friday.

To aid my planning, I am constantly looking for new, simple recipes to try out.  I keep a binder full of recipes I’ve torn from magazines over the years.  As I try a new one, I will either file it or discard it based on how we like it.  I also have a folder for food blogs/ websites on my computer and will bookmark recipes to try in a recipe folder.  Each Sunday, I can quickly go through my files and find something to suit our tastes and our week!

My regular online round up:

Vegan YumYum.  I try to make something vegetarian at least once a week, this site has beautiful photography and amazing recipes to make that easy!

The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond shares her amazing recipes and step by step photography of the process.  Her recipes are USUALLY a little time-intensive, so these are Sunday meals for me.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.  From the same group who brings us the inspiring interiors images, this site has a great round-up of  recipes and how-to videos, etc to get even the most novice cook up and running.

Food & Wine.  I love the magazine, and love the website even more.  Easy to search, great recipes for entertaining!  I like their 5 most popular recipes section on the homepage.  I can usually find something there in a pinch if I’m lacking inspiration.

Smitten Kitchen.  Probably my most favorite of the food blogs out there, I stop by often and bookmark a lot of regular rotation recipes from here.  I’ve perfected my pizza crust thanks to this article.

Bon Appetit.  Another of my favorite foodie magazines, the website is easy to navigate and full of wonderful, inspiring dishes.

This Week’s Eating Agenda (click on photos or recipe name for full recipe):

Sunday + Monday leftovers:  Stacked Chicken Enchiladas via Bon Appetit.

We’re BIG fans of Mexican food at our casa and if my husband goes too long (3 days) without eating it, he’ll have an absolute meltdown.  Enchiladas are easy, filling and great for leftovers.  I buy pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to save time in prep – and use the rest of the chicken for quick salads to take for lunch.

image via mr. joro’s flickr

Tuesday:  Grilled Cheese Panini + Tomato Soup.

I just started making these gooey, yum-i-licious sandwiches.  I’ll use whatever cheese + bread we have around and throw together a quick dinner.  This week it will be parmesan, pepper jack and colby on roasted garlic bread.  Add a can of good ole’ Campbell’s tomato soup and we’re good to go.  If you’ve not yet tried to make your own panini – get crackin.  I use our grill pan with a bread board on top and will throw together whatever I have on hand (leftover chicken, veggies, anything) for a good meal in a snap.  The key is a really hot pan, and cooking spray or a brush of olive oil to keep the bread from sticking.

image via kliff’s 53 flickr.

Thursday:  Smoky Shrimp and Grits via Real Simple (April 2010)

This recipe’s not on-line yet, but says it takes 20 minutes and serves 4 (perfect for lunch leftovers!)

Cook 1 cup grits according to package directions, stir in 1 cup grated Cheddar.  In a skillet, brown 4 slices cut-up bacon over medium high heat.  Add 1 lb raw, peeled and deveined shrimp and 2 chopped plum tomatoes.  Cook until shrimp are opaque, 3 – 5 minutes.  Stir in 2 sliced scallions.  Serve over grits.

Weekly Shopping List:

2 poblano chiles
Bunch cilantro
Bunch scallions
2 plum tomatoes
Chihuahua cheese
Low-fat sour cream
Rotisserie chicken
1lb shrimp
Salsa Verde
Box Grits
1 package corn tortillas

(i already have the bread, soup, cheese for Tuesday’s panini night…)

Check back for photos throughout the week and any tips I pick up while cooking!

If you too love cooking, and have any tips you’d like to share – send me an email to thesomedayblog@gmail.com.

xoxo, jill.

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