Tuesday, August 30, 2011

how I got my cooking mojo back

Each time we've brought home a baby, it's meant that our lives as we previously knew it were put on pause, and as time went on, randomly, certain things hit play before others. First Joey went back to work. Then Bubba went back to school. Then we found out Jbug had milk and soy protein intolerance. Then we went on vacation. Then I went back to work, and Jbug went to school.
It felt like we were on this weird tilt-a-whirl all summer. We'd sort of make progress at getting to a new normal and then we'd be yanked backwards and sent on another course entirely. I'm not complaining or ungrateful, it just comes with the territory. There has been no semblance of "meal planning" over the last few months - and that's been ok! When I was home all day, it was easy to meander into the kitchen at 3pm and figure out something for supper. Our fallback is always the grill, we always have something to grill, be it a ribeye or a hotdog.

But. This wasn't going to sustain us forever. Our family functions better if we have some sort of meal plan so that we can make a grocery list - otherwise we're wandering down aisles tossing stuff in the cart that we may or may not need.

I think I finally have a solution that's going to work for us, and I'm so excited! It required a little bit of geekery (which, hello, you know my level of geekiness) - I made a google calendar for our meal plans. The calendar syncs to our phones and we should never need to say "what's for dinner?" again! (If you click the calendar, it'll make it bigger.) I've only added a few meals so far, but you get the idea. The beauty of this is, we also have our family google calendar, so I can turn that on and it adds in all of our events. Husker night game at a friends house? I don't have to plan a meal for that night.

So! Creating the calendar was easy, but what to put on the calendar is a bit trickier.

Earlier this summer, I was introduced to Pinterest. Pinterest is a bit difficult to explain - I can't do it justice to its awesomeness. It's a visual bookmarking site. So you know all those links you have saved in your favorites? Maybe a recipe to try, a few Christmas gift ideas, and a site for a vacation you may take. With pinterest, you save an image (called a "pin") of each of those things (to a "pinboard" - and you can have as many boards as you want) - so when you go back to them, you have a picture to remind you of what that link was. The magic of Pinterest is that everyone else is doing the same thing, so if you see a pin you like, you can repin it to your own board. I have several boards - recipes, crafty stuff, things for the kids, etc.

See? You're probably all sorts of confused. :) It's really easiest to understand by just digging in and playing with the site. Let me know if you want an invite!

Anyway, over the summer I've been adding meal ideas to my "recipes" board on pinterest, and I now have quite the yummy collection going on. It makes adding meals to our meal calendar a piece of cake!

Another site I found in the last few days is Crock Pot Girls - 3 moms started this facebook page just 10 days ago and there's already over a half a million fans! Crazy! There's a TON of good recipes on the Discussions tab over there - I have lots of good ideas for meals coming up.

Now that we have a meal plan, and a grocery list, I feel like I actually want to cook again! Weekday evenings move so much easier when we don't do the 5:30 stare into the pantry hoping that something will jump out at us. Give it a shot! Share your favorite recipes in the comments, we love to try new things!


  1. I'd love an invite to pinterest! I've been curious and now you have me really interested!

  2. You know I love me some Pinterest...

    I use a Google calendar that syncs to the hubs calendar....I have just been putting our meals on the dry erase menu board I made...but now my geekery will have to look at a google menu calendar too! awesome!

  3. why in the world did i never think to use my google calendar for this? I use it for literally everything else in my life.... genius!


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