Friday, May 22, 2009

Before and After: Changes in Picking Recipes

Happy Memorial Day!

I am currently at my parent's house, out on a lake. Sadly the sun is not shining. But I am enjoying trying to pretend like I am on a real vacation.

As for meals this week, We are going pretty low key. It is the end of the month and I am trying to stay under budget, thus we will likely be using food from the freezer mostly. Chicken BBQ for lunches, Mandarin Chicken for a couple dinners, Enchiladas we still have from Saturday. I am making one meal that I already have all the ingredients for: Creamy White Bean and Apple Chili.

This past weekend I spent some time in my house trying to de-clutter and organize a little bit. I like taking small steps at this so I don't get overwhelmed. My small step this past weekend was organizing my recipes. I have magazines, torn out pages, printed off pages, etc. As I was going through all of this stuff, I realized that trying to live my life more simply has caused me to look at all these recipes and recipe books a little differently. Here are some things I noticed about how I decide what recipes to keep and/or star for a later use: (by the way, I should have taken before and after pictures, but wasn't smart enough to think of this before I started, but I feel much better about the organization and new empty space I have created in my kitchen and breakfast area!)

Before: If the picture looked good, and maybe even elegant I would keep it. A picture is a definite.
After: Still gotta have a picture, and it's got to look good, but now I look for simplicity, not just elegance.

Before: Make sure I could at least find all the ingredients at a grocery store.
After: Look for ingredients that I already have on hand, that can easily be used in other recipes, and are not exotic, hard to find or overly expensive. The fewer and more versatile ingredients (without getting all boxed or pre-made items) the better.

Before: Look for something that will taste good when made, and hopefully still taste good for leftovers.
After: Look for meals that are good to eat, will be good for leftovers, and will freeze well. Also look to see if the meals can be made in advance and still retain the best flavor.

Before: Is there a possibility, any possibility, ever, that I might one day, any day, make this meal?
After: Will I actually make this any time soon?

Meal Planning:
Before: Find recipes that look good, buy the ingredients, and hope I don't have to go back to the store tomorrow for what I forgot.
After: Plan for a month at a time, looking at activities we are involved in, days we need meals and days we might not, plan for meals that will use similar ingredients so none will go to waste, plan for foods that are on sale at the stores

I'm sure there are more things that subconsciuosly go through my head, but these are the most prevelant. How do you decide what recipes you will make? Is it working for you?

1 comment:

  1. I just go with what inspires me. Between cookbooks, TV cooking shows and recipe web sites there's lots of motivation.
    Oh, and MPM participants are helpful.
    I hope you and your family had a very nice Memorial Day.
    Happy MPM.