Sunday, September 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Top Ten List

Last week went well.  Better than I'd expected for being the first week I formally planned our menu in over 2 months.  I followed the plan until we hit Friday at which point I realized that my schedule was not right.  I knew it wasn't right when I learned on the way home from work that three people were at my house waiting to eat and I wasn't there to let them in.  Oops.

Thankfully I was my job to host, but not to cook and everyone else was on the ball.  Needless to say I've done a little more double checking this week in hopes of not leaving anyone stranded on my back deck.  At least we had really night weather this week for them to enjoy while they waited for me!

In my MPM First Edition, I alluded to a Top Ten Meal List.  This is the list of ten meals which I can prepare from memory in well under 30 minutes with two hot'n'tots underfoot.  The list got made 5 months after Inchie was born and I'd been back at work for two months.  I realized that with one child I had been able to be a a bit more ambitious during weeknight dinners.  We had favorites like Chick Pea Burgers or White Chicken Enchiladas which I'd make from scratch starting when I walked in the door after work.  With the addition of the second child, I learned that microwaving Spaghetti O's was an accomplishment some nights and I was bothered by how much Bean liked Spaghetti O's, more than Mommy's crazy dinners.

So I responded the way any sane working mother would. I got totally overwhelmed most nights while trying to make dinner and sobbed on the phone to my husband who promptly ordered me out of the kitchen and brought home take out.  THEN, after a month of sobbing, I made my Top Ten Meal List.  Without further ado, here's the list:
  1. Spaghetti (with or without Meat)
  2. Broiled Fish
  3. Burgers
  4. Pita Pizza
  5. Grilled Chicken/Pork
  6. Tuna Melts
  7. Chili/Soup
  8. Stir-fry
  9. Chicken Tenders
  10. Crockpot
And yes, Crockpot is a meal.  Anything that can be thrown into a crockpot the night before and refrigerated until the morning when I put it on the counter to cook is fair game.  AND often easier than even the simple meals I can prepare.  Any prep I do at night or on the weekends keeps these go-to meals from being the most droll dinners.  Without it I would be very bored of these 10 meals by now.

This week's menu:
Monday: Labor Day - Burgers & Corn on the Cob
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken & Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: Stir-fry
Thursday: Tacos with Corn Salsa
Friday: Crockpot Ham Bone Soup
Saturday: Seafood Kebabs
Sunday: Beer Can Chicken
Do you have a Top Ten Meal List as well?  What are your go-to dinners?

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