Cooking mojo

I’ve been trying to do “meal planning” for the last month. It feels like a lot of work on the weekend, but it make cooking dinner much easier, since it’s more like following instructions rather than being creative. I struggle with being creative in the kitchen, and meals created on the fly tend to all look the same (tater tot casserole). The planning process is taking a long time because I’m still putting together lists of recipes or meal ideas that I know we like, and searching around for new ones to try. I went through most of my cookbooks and made a list of things I like or want to try, which has resulted in a number of spectacularly bad meals. Others in the house claimed to like them, but I didn’t.

I’m also discovering that some cookbooks are more suited to people who don’t work outside the home. There is no way I’m going to chop/prep ingredients for 45 minutes when I get home and then actually cook the meal. We’d be eating at 20:00 and I’d be in tears. So my new quest is quick and fast meals. It’s like I’m rediscovering the wheel–of course there are millions of cookbooks out there (many in the checkout aisle of the grocery store) targeted towards this and I’d never paid them any attention.

When I was single, I just cooked on the weekends and ate the leftovers all week. I’d cook two big entrees and then pick one or the other for lunch or dinner each day. I don’t mind eating the same thing all week. Before that I lived on spaghetti with jar sauce and frozen Trader Joe’s meals. Now that there are more people in the house, there just aren’t enough leftovers for this to work. And I feel pressured (from myself?) to come up with new meals, or at least, to rely on leftovers less often.

Betty Crocker is turning out to be a winner, and when I signed up for their weekly newsletters I got a pdf booklet with 107 all time best recipes. It’s encouraging me to leave the Land of Casseroles, which is where I’ve lived for the last 2 decades.

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  1. Week 2: My 3 room kitchen | Cooking for Wellness

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