Simple Foods

Just a few days before Christmas, we will be moving into our new house. I know… it’s a crazy time of year to be moving. One of the things I will not be worrying about is the menu. My plan is to cook and serve simple foods.

These past four months have been, ummm, interesting. We sold our last home in 10 days and had to find a place to stay until our new small ranch home was finished. So we found a small, one-bedroom apartment and stored all of our furniture except our couch, bed and kitchen stuff.

We are so happy to be moving into the house we helped design. It is perfect for us. Small, compact and everything on one level. Timing is less than perfect since I doubt I will be unpacked by Christmas Day. But I have made a deal with my somewhat perfectionistic self. I will be grateful to be in my new house and have my family there, boxes and all.

So back to the food. Although I would prefer to make several dishes (I am Italian after all), I will be making simple but delicious foods, as always, focusing on whole foods. Roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, lots of organic veggies… simple foods.

My real joy will be spending time with our two daughters, son and their families. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than seeing our grown children. We have kept the same ritual since they were young of opening presents and stockings late Christmas morning. And I will annoy them with my photo taking, as usual.

What is your Christmas ritual?Roasted Chicken

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Meal Planning

Ughh, groan! I can hear many of you now at the thought of having to plan meals. For some of you, the job of deciding what to eat is a dreaded task. But what is worse? Coming home from work and standing in your kitchen trying to decide what to make when you’re tired or planning ahead? Maybe the kids are whining, your husband is hungry and asking “what’s for dinner?” and you really just want to sit down and put your feet up.

I don’t know about you, but my food choices used to be less than stellar when I left them to chance. We tend to grab the easiest, least to prepare meals when we haven’t taken the time to plan. Are they the healthiest or the best fuel for our already fatigued bodies? I’m betting not! Frozen dinners, take-out, fast food, less-than-nourishing fare is often what we quickly consume.

Visualize this scene instead… each week you (and your family members, if you have any to involve), sit down to plan the menu for at least dinners for the week. The day you choose is determined by your family’s schedule. We do ours on Sunday, since my husband is always home on that day. You can go through new recipes then (my job to find them and usually the most interested person is in charge of that). You set up a “tentative” menu and I say tentative because life happens. Be flexible with your menu and be willing to shift the meals around to different days if family plans change.

Once you have your tentative menu, figure out all of the groceries you will need for the meals and make your list. If you want to get really amazing, add lunches to the menu! Don’t forget to add the groceries for lunch to your shopping list. Just imagine walking into your kitchen every night knowing exactly what to make! Heck!! Maybe one of the kids or hubby/wife will start the meal since everyone knows the plan!! Do you have a weekly menu? What kind of meals are your family’s favorites? Menu Planner