Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
Update on meal planning. No one is more surprised than I am at how much I've taken to the idea of making up dinner menus every week. It took some time to find my own style, but I'm in the groove now. Here are some things I've learned:
Don't plan seven dinners. Some meals will stretch to two nights, and some nights you're just too frazzled to cook. For me, the magic number seems to be five. We usually have at least one night of leftovers, leaving me with one night to be creative in the kitchen.
Don't pre-assign meals to a day. Locking myself into recipe A on Monday, recipe B on Tuesday, etc. brought out the rebel in me. I just never seemed to want to eat that night's assigned dinner. Now I just have five meals that can be made on whatever night I wish (except fish, which I cook the day I buy it). This simple bit of freedom changed my whole attitude to the idea of planning.
Mix it up. Avoid getting in a rut. Don't plan the same types of food week after week. Have meatless Thursday or a roast on Saturday. Switch up the flavors and cooking styles. The only rule I stick with is to plan for one fish, two meat, and two vegetarian meals. What those dinners are and when we eat them are absolutely flexible.
Pinterest & recipe sources. I've been on a big magazine kick this winter, and they've been the source of almost all my recipes. If we really liked a dish and I can find the recipe online, I've pinned it to my Pinterest "Recipes: Tried and Like" board. I've made an effort to include notes on what I did differently (I'm hopelessly unable to follow a recipe exactly). If you're interested in what I've made, click on the link. These are not necessarily knock-your-socks off meals, but are dishes we'd be happy to have again.
Cool new gadget. You probably already know all about these, but I just discovered pouring lids for canning jars. I bought a wide-mouth lid because I could get in blue. I'm not yet sure what I'm going to put in my jar, but I like the lid. You can get all kinds of mason jar lids, such as strainer lids, metal lids with pour spouts, travel mug lids, and lids with holes for straws. Most come in both wide-mouth and regular sizes. Search your favorite online store.
Annnnnnnnd that's about it for me this week. Back to our regularly scheduled Weekend Cooking next week.