Every weekend, I have a ritual. I sit down with a scrap of paper and a pen, and plan a week’s worth of dinners. My husband HATES this part of the weekend, mostly because:
1. He thinks it’s completely insane to plan Thursday’s dinner on a Saturday or Sunday. (If he had his way, he’d shop for what he wanted to eat day of. I’ve told him repeatedly that with two kids, going to the store after work is NOT an option.)
2. When I ask him what he wants to eat this week and he gives me ideas, I completely ignore him. (I see his point here. I do ask him what he wants and then sometimes tell him, ‘Nope’ but that’s mostly because he doesn’t really know how much effort it takes to make what he wants. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just trying to get dinner on the damn table at the end of a long day. Risotto ain’t an option!)
Whether I’m obsessive-compulsive* or just really efficient, planning a week’s worth of menus enables me to view the upcoming week with a little less doom. If I know what I’m having for dinner, I can hit the ground running when I get home at 6 and avoid standing with the fridge door open without a clue of what to make/eat.
I often try to bang out a soup/stew or rollover meal on Sundays when I have time to do a low-and-slow braise or something that requires a lot of prep work.
* Here’s where the “obsessive-compulsive” part comes in: I make the lists by geographical location of the items I need (e.g., produce first) and write down the days of the week on the upper right hand corner and their corresponding meals. Yes, I need a life.
Note: Friday nights are pizza and a movie nights in our house which means mom’s off-duty. The kids are blissfully quiet, my husband doesn’t have to do dishes and I drink my weight in bourbon. I love Fridays.
Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:
Monday – Soba with grilled salmon, bok choy, egg and cucumber
Tuesday – Taco salad with plenty of homemade guac
Wednesday – Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Thursday – Filets with sauteed spinach and gnocchi with brown butter
Now that I know what’s for dinner, I can start thinking about lunch…