Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend. I can’t believe it’s 2011.
While my kids have been playing with their new toys, I’ve been enjoying the new griddle I got for Christmas (mother-in-law, not husband!). I love it because I can cook multiple pancakes, egg sandwiches, French toast, and grilled cheese sandwiches. A time-saver for sure.
This week I’m trying a couple of new recipes from the cookbook we’re giving away, No Whine with Dinner. (So enter the contest if you haven’t already.) I’m deviating from regular salmon to try salmon cakes and I’m intrigued by the slow cooker spinach lasagna recipe.
For more meal plan ideas see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week
Monday: Turkey tacos, black beans, and guacamole with all the toppings
Tuesday: Corny Salmon Cakes (new book), baked fries and green bean and mushroom medley
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili, fruit and salad
Friday: Slow Cooker Mile-High Spinach Lasagna (new book), bread and salad
Salad of the week: Orange, walnut and mixed green salad (without the Gorgonzola)
Goals for the New Year
I’m not a big New Year’s Resolution person but I do like to reflect on the past year while making plans for the new one. I won’t bore you with all of my goals, only my food, and health-related ones. So here goes…
1. Better meal planning:
I do a pretty good job of planning dinner but can be caught off guard with breakfast and lunch. I’m going to start planning all the meals while staying flexible.
I also want to stop my impulse buying. I’m guilty of seeing a cool-looking vegetable, buying it and then finding it spoiled later in the week.
Needless to say, I’m the kind of cook that needs to plan. I’ll be stocking my cabinets and freezer with food we typically eat. I tend to only buy what I need for the week so my grocery trips take a lot of energy and planning. And it’s all too easy to forget something, which I tend to do each week.
So expect to see more detailed meal plans from me.
2. Stick with simple – cook more:
I’ve been trying to make homemade pizza for a while. I buy the Trader Joe’s dough and it always turns out too doughy. I even bought a pizza stone and it still didn’t turn out. I keep saying I will make my own dough….but I never do.
After a friend mentioned the Boboli pizza crusts to me (I used this like crazy in my twenties) I went out and bought the whole grain one. It was so simple — I just topped the pizza with marinara, cheese, and veggies. And I didn’t have to worry about rolling out the dough or not cooking it enough.
In the last couple of years, I’ve learned that when it comes to meal preparation, simple is best. I can create the best meal in the world but if I’m stressed as a result, it doesn’t help anyone.
I feel like I strike the jackpot when I find a recipe that tastes good, is nutritious, and super simple. So expect to see more easy and nutritious recipes in the coming year.
3. More taking care of me:
I have a lot going on: small children to take care of, part-time work, this blog, other writing projects, a new condo, and a husband.
I exercise about three times a week, try to get enough sleep, and get my hair done regularly, but that’s about it for self-care. I’ve always valued my friendships and realize I’ve lost touch with some dear friends.
I’ve been telling myself that this is all temporary and that once my kids are in school I’ll have more time to focus on myself. But then I talk to friends with older kids and they are still having trouble with time and balancing it all.
So while I don’t have time to plan events every night, I can save a couple nights in the month to meet up with friends or make phone calls. I can take breaks for more exercise, which always rejuvenates me. And I can take time once a month to buy some things I need like makeup or clothes.
I need to laugh more and stress less. How about you?