I've spent nap time (and the first few hours of bed time) the past few days on Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs searching for recipes to use for new recipe night. This is a crazy thing to do because I've already planned my menu as far ahead as the end of May! And because I have over 300 recipes pinned on Pinterest that I have yet to try.
For some reason I've gotten on a homemade Hamburger Helper kick, pinning multiple recipes for different flavors. I had already been planning one such recipe for a Thursday in April when I saw on Iowa Girl Eats a post for another. Then of course I had to go looking for more on Pinterest. (Side note: One day someone will find me dead in front of my computer, my hand still on the mouse, finger poised to pin another recipe. I am a Pinterest zombie when I'm on a roll.)
I also went through all of my upcoming new recipes and wrote out the ingredients list so that I wouldn't have to look them up again to make my grocery list. Not that it will help. Somehow I will lose the page in my notebook when I'm writing up my grocery list and have to find the recipe on my phone in a hurry (which won't happen because the Pinterest app for Windows phone is junk).
For those of you who hadn't heard, or were wondering, or just didn't think I was crazy enough yet I would like to enlighten you on what menu planning is like for me.
1) Make a list of the 20-25 meals that I plan to cook for the upcoming month, including 4-5 new meals for new recipe night.
2) Decide which 4-5 meals I can make in a large enough quantity to feed 9 people and list those meals for Saturdays on the monthly calendar.
3) Decide the order in which I would like to make the new recipes for the month and list those meals for Thursdays on the monthly calendar.
4) Arrange the rest of the meals for the remaining days of the month in such a way that we don't end up eating two different spaghetti recipes, chicken Parmesan, and lasagna all in the same week and list them on the monthly calendar.
5) Write out the breakfast and lunch menu on the weekly calendar for all four weeks of the upcoming month.
6) In the meals notebook write out the ingredients list of each new recipe for the month.
7) On a separate page write out the tentative grocery list for all four weeks of the upcoming month.
8) On grocery day write out the final grocery list (in the order that the items can be found in the store) on yet another separate page (or on the back of last week's tentative list page) adding in any items that we are out of or low on plus all of the weekly buys such as juice for Bailey and different kinds of fruit and tons and tons of sugar and flour for baking because I go through them so fast.
Seriously, that is how I do it every month. And the worst part is that I enjoy it so much that sometimes I'll intentionally lose part of it and start over just to have something to do. I enjoy it so much that I have already finished the menu, recipes, and grocery lists through the end of May! That is two months away people! Two months!
And all this while my living room rug still needs to be vacuumed... sigh...
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