Monday, May 4, 2009

Cooking with Mommy

So the last couple of times that Ethan has wanted to "Eat!" before dinner is ready I've had him pull over a chair to the counter so he can help me cook. I know one time he could just watch and play with measuring cups, but tonight he really helped me make french toast. He broke the eggs with a fork and then helped me flip the bread after it was in the custard mixture! I know that when we have more kids this might become more difficult but I really enjoy this sweet time to pass on my love of the kitchen.

Speaking of meals I have been inspired by simple mom to use my google calendar to plan my meals, and by my friend Betsy to plan two weeks of meals at once. We power cooked on Saturday morning and I'll be using some of those meals next week, but here is what I have on the docket for the next two weeks:
  • Today: French Toast with fresh strawberries and sausage pie
  • Tuesday: Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas (using leftover shredded cheddar)
  • Wednesday: We might go to a cook out this day, but if not we are having Mean Soup
  • Thursday: Manicotti (one pan for MOPS and one pan for Philip)
  • Friday: Going out for our anniversary!
  • Saturday: Pizza (movie night)
  • Sunday: Leftover manicotti
  • Monday: Herbed Chicken from our cooking day
  • Tuesday: Chicken Risotto (inspired by Betsy)
  • Wednesday: Ethan and I will eat out (Philip out of town)
  • Thursday: Fish Packets with rice (just Ethan and I again)
  • Friday: Hot dogs and Mac-n-cheese (Movie night)
I may copy Betsy and just repeat this menu for the last half of May, but I haven't decided yet.

I do have a quandary and I wanted to know how other moms dealt with it. I have a weekly grocery budget that I go off of, but I struggle when I prepare a meal for an event. How do you balance your normal grocery needs, plus another meal for an event? Betsy brought up the good point that when you cook from your freezer that counts as a "free"meal. I also noticed that this week one of my planned meals may be bumped to next week because of the cook out. My real issue this week is that I power cooked (which used up my normal budget), and then I also have an event to bring a meal to. I hate to use my freezer meals the week after I make them because it doesn't feel like I've gotten ahead at all. Please let me know how you deal with potlucks, budgets and such!


Betsy said...

Dealing with potlucks and events is a whole 'nother comment (maybe I'll post about that).

But I had to comment on the risotto: AMAZING. With that stock from the herb-roasted chicken and a bit of leftover chicken thrown in.... mmmmm.... it was worth making the chicken in the first place just to have leftover stock/meat for the risotto. If you go that route, don't salt your risotto until you're done. My stock was more than salty enough.

Betsy said...

So I thought about your question and did a post in your honor. See here for the answer! I'd love to hear more thoughts/strategies.