Weekly meal planning

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe that 2011 is here.  I had an awesome New Years Eve spent at my house with a bunch of people.  I think there were probably 30 or so people in attendance including college friends, CG friends, and random new friends. 

I had quite a spread of food at the party. Initially I thought I had made too much, but for the most part, everything was almost gone by the end of the night.  My NYE tables included:

Sliced cheese plate
Veggie tray
French Onion Dip
Chips and Salsa
Assorted olives and pickles
Various Puff Pasty treats

We also had a bunch of champagne, wine, and milk punch.  Yes, that’s right, milk punch. It was a huge hit, regardless of how it sounds.  My friend Trevor shared his recipe with me and it was delicious.  Think of it as a better tasting eggnog.

Milk Punch

Simple syrup (one cup water, one cup sugar, boil until it thickens and creates a syrup)
3/4 gallon whole milk (you could probably use 2%, but I was going for decadent)
3 cups rum
3 tsp vanilla
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine milk, rum, and simple syrup.  Mix together, then add vanilla. Freeze overnight. Take out of freezer 2 hours before party and let sit.  This will get it nice and slushy. Right before serving, sprinkle the entire batch of punch with nutmeg and cinnamon.Serve!

Despite a few red wine situation on my carpet upstairs and a few other not so pretty incidents, the party was a lot of fun.. I look forward to hosting another one in a few years.  Next years NYE will be spent in el valle for Scarlett’s wedding.

Moving on from the holidays, I am really going to try and focus on meal planning this year.  Coming up with what I am going to make for dinner is always one of the hardest tasks for me, and usually I don’t decide until the day of.  This creates quite a few grocery trips throughout the weeks and lots of produce gone to waste.  Besides being incredibly wasteful, it is also pretty annoying.  I think I could save a lot of time and energy if I devote at least 30 minutes every Sunday to figuring out my meals for the week. That way my grocery trips would all be purposeful and I will hopefully end up with fewer things going to waste at the end of every week.

I am also hoping to get more leftovers out of this meal planning deal.  And, let it be known, there is no way I can plan out my dessert making. The urge to bake hits me at random times. I never know when it is coming and I never know what it is going to require me to make.  Although, I have seen a pretty strong correlation between items posted on Tasty Kitchen and items found in my kitchen.

So without further ado, here is my menu for the week:

Monday: Crock pot tacos (think chicken for the men, black bean for the lady)
Tuesday: Leftover tacos (hopefully)
Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup
Thursday: Possibly eating out, but if not, probably quinoa salad
Friday: Cotton Bowl day, stadium food!

The weekend is always a toss up of stuff pulled from the freezer, leftovers, or date nights, so I am not going to plan out weekend meals. 

Lets see how well I follow this.  Any other weekly menu planners out there? Is it helping you save on grocery trips or throw away less?

3 Replies to “Weekly meal planning”

  1. hey Linds!! I started making “meal planning” apart of my Sunday routine over the summer and it really helped out a lot both nutritionally and financially. I started being more conscious of how I ate when I looked at it from a 4-5+ day in-advance schedule to help balance foods but also re-use ingredients I would buy so groceries were cheaper. Make enough for lunch the next day and you will see how much you save by having that taken care of too. You are familiar with how fun it is to take a few hours and scour blogs, magazines and cookbooks, it’ll become a new hobby and ritual to plan out the week(s) of meals!

  2. I thought you had started meal planning. I really think it has to help me cut back on how much I am throwing out. Every week I feel so guilty about it! And I’m sure it will help out on the nutrition side as well. 🙂 I’ll email you the meatball recipe.

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