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Setting up & basic plan: Although we rarely repeat a meal (I'm kind of crazy like that), I do follow the same basic structure each week, which helps me home in on creating our weekly dinner plan. Everyone is different, but for us, I plan 1 fish, 2 meat/chicken, and 3 vegetarian meals each week. I leave one day open for leftovers or for going out.
Except for the fish, which we eat the day we buy it, I don't assign any of the dinners a particular night, which allows us flexibility according to our moods or schedule.
Broad outline: I usually start by having an idea of what I want to eat or cook. Initially, these are broad categories, like soup, Mexican, curry, or on the grill. Once I've got a vague sense of what I think I want to cook, I start the recipe hunt to find the specific meals.
Recipe sources: Besides my cookbooks, my favorite places to find recipes are magazines and trusted bloggers (like you!). If that fails, I do a general Internet or Pinterest search.
Whoa, wait! Magazines? Yes, magazines. I subscribe to a magazine service called Texture, where I find the majority of the new recipes I try. If you don't want to pay for a service, check out your local library. Most libraries in the United States offer Zinio, which allows you free online access to all kinds of magazines, including cooking magazines.
Final steps: After I have found my recipes, I write them in on the very cool What's 4 Dinner planner page shown here. (You can download your own from Baked Bree by clicking on the link, which will also take you to Bree's meal planning post, which includes some her favorite resources for getting started.) Then I print out or copy all my recipes, and fill out the grocery list. Finally, I clip the recipes to the planning page and hang the stack on my refrigerator for easy access. (I just ignore the days of the week; I'm too lazy to make my own form)
Example: Last week, my broad categories were Super Bowl Sunday snack dinner, fish, pasta, chili, curry, and beans. We ended up having chicken wings as part of the Super Bowl dinner, grilled salmon with roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leek pasta with a salad, beef chili with French fries, root vegetable curry stew with a salad (see photo), and black beans and rice and salad. Note that when I made my broad categories, I didn't know which meals would be vegetarian; I let my recipe search dictate that.
During the week: If a dinner turns out not to be one we'd like to repeat, I toss the recipe. If it's a winner, I try to find a copy online to pin to my tried and liked Pinterest board, noting any changes I made. If I can't find a copy online, then I insert the printout into one of my recipe notebooks so I can find it again.
Bonus: I used to throw out my planner page at the end of the week, but I've been inspired by Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity, and I've started saving them so I can track our 2016 dinners. I loved seeing Trish's stats from last year and can't wait to make my own pie charts.