Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Written by Shannon Leigh
{print via HERE}

As promised, I am back to lay out another goal for 2011.

In keeping with my simplify 2011 theme, I have vowed to menu plan, cook more and eat out less.

Sounds pretty simple right?

It's funny really. I love to eat, it's one of my favorite things to do. I also like instant gratification, thus the issue with eating out. That and the fact that Chinese food tastes so good.

I like to cook but I have a hard time finding the time. Err, scratch that. I have a hard time making the time. If I really want to get better at it I must make it a priority.

So far, I've done pretty well. I have menu-planned and cooked multiple meals these past two weeks and even froze some for the busier nights. PROGRESS!

A few things I LOVE about cooking more:
- Expanding my repertoire. I like learning how to make new things and mastering them (although I don't master them until AT LEAST the third try).
- Lots of yummy new recipes. In fact, while I was at my sister's a few weeks ago, I raided her recipe box and filled my computer with dozens of recipes to try. She's a great cook and I trust her taste. So far every recipe has been great.
-Sending my husband to work with homemade dressing and tupperware full of home cooked food. I think he likes it too.
- Cooking is a lot easier on me and my clutter-phobic husband now that I have been picking up after myself! My messiness is kept at a minimum and dishes are washed and put away long before the meal is finished.
- Prepping ahead. This clearly goes along with simplifying. For example, chopping onions/other frequently used items ahead and storing them in the fridge/freezer.
- Making things we like and keeping them in stock all of the time. I've been making homemade dressing and croutons - we eat a lot of salads.
- Making my husband smile.

A few things I find challenging about cooking more:
- prepping ahead. That means I have to pry myself from work/playing with Ruby/sitting on the couch and actually DO IT. That means I have to plan a bit, which I'm not really wired for.
- not getting discouraged when a meal is a complete and utter failure, which happens more than I'd like. Oh well, I guess it's all about learning right?
- My recipe box is a mess and completely frustrating- time to simplify!
- Menu planning and shopping - need I say more? We've even made it more complicated by throwing ALDI (gasp) into the mix. We get staples and produce there and fill in with the grocery store. GREAT on our budget, not so great on my nerves. But the pennies add up and THAT makes me happy.

Overall I'm super pumped about my new endeavor and plan to share lots of great recipes with you all when I find time between planning, cooking, and eating!


LeslieA said...

Hi Shannon,

I've been using something called e-mealz.com. It is pretty cool. We do the 2 person low calorie plan and I just kind of pick and choose what we want for the week because we are kind of picky. But it gives you a shopping list and has helped us out a lot! I don't get anything by recommending them, but just thought you might want to look into it. Good luck!!

Keli B. said...

learn to love your slow cooker! i have and it's been a life saver! i have lots of recipes i'll be glad to send your way.

another way to make meals easier is to eat them at your friend's house! ha! now that it's 2011, we should get with the times, merge our families' busy schedules and have dinner together! sheesh! we are insane!

do you still want to give it a shot?! ;)