On Fridays, I sit down to meal plan for the week. Some weeks it's easy; some weeks it's hard. This was a hard week. We dine out one dinner a week, so there are six dinners to fill. Neither the husband or I had a craving to slot in to one of the spots. So, six dinners, no cravings, and a toddler who is mostly consuming berries and quesadillas.
I mentally went through our freezer to base dinners off of what needs to be eaten. This week, that meant a half pound of ground pork and some chicken breast. Monday is meatless so I searched my vegetarian tag in Evernote. Saturday dinner is almost always shrimp. Sunday night dinner has to be a slow cooker or quick since we have a standing family FaceTime that wraps up right before dinner time. Even with these parameters, I struggled this week. I would default to all pasta and/or cheese based recipes. That doesn't work when you're trying to get your kiddo to try new foods.
I love food. In high school, I even considered going to culinary school. Cooking is not a chore to me - but the planning can be. It's hard to balance a week of dinners when you want an assortment of ingredients, need to use certain ingredients by a certain time, and have to consider the whims of a toddler who adores peas one day and pushes them away the next.
I eventually settled on a menu but I get why so many people just order in, get pizza, or simply pour out some cereal. Meal planning can be tough, but I like that it helps me reduce food waste, limits our shops to once a week, and makes the rest of the week easy. I may struggle to meal plan, but at least that battle is limited to one day a week.
How do you decide on dinner?
DC had a string of glorious weather days. It was so nice, we were able to turn off our AC and open the windows. For over 48 hours, we got to enjoy shockingly low humidity and gentle breezes. It's back to the sweat box now, but I am going to savor the memory of those days and add them to my happy place.