Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Menu

Inspired by KC and constant dinnertime irritation, I'm going back to my old habit of menu planning. This time around, all of the reasonable members of our household can contribute ideas to the plan. We're on week three and it's going well. So far, Jake's two contributions to the weekly menu have been identical: mac & cheese one night, spaghetti another. I do believe the child would eat the same meal 21 times per week. I require a little more variety.

We plan seven meals per week in no particular order. The lovely chef (that would be me) chooses which meal to make on a given night. I use a complicated selection formula. First, if any family member has made me particularly happy then I make one of their selections. Failing that, I determine if any family member has made me particularly unhappy in order to narrow down the selection field a bit. Then, I calculate the cooking time available and the relative dislikes of the remaining family members (no one deserves to eat non-preferred food two days in a row) and make a choice.

The only hard and fast rule of the menu plan is that no one may make a single complaint about dinner. Those who complain lose a choice the following week. I do make the occasional exception for my own grumbling, since I grumble alone while cooking and manage to paste a yum look on my face for the actual meal.

The Menu

  • Mac & cheese, peas, fish
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, mandarin oranges
  • Chicken and veggie pasta with garlic sauce
  • Grilled chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries
  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas
  • Apple-walnut pancakes, sausages
  • Tamale pie, oranges


Heatherly said...

I'm coming for meatloaf night. Just lemme know at least 13 hours ahead of time.

Katie Alender said...

I love the idea of apple-walnut pancakes and sausages! So autumnish!

Jen said...

So what does Claire usually request?

Christy said...

Uh-oh, I was thinking about having that tonight, Heather!

Pancakes are one of my favorite dinners, Katie. I add the apples so I can pretend they are healthy for the kids.

Jen - I said reasonable members get to choose. That means that Claire doesn't yet. Her choice would be chicken nuggets and candy. We'll get her involved when she can plan a reasonable balanced meal with help.

Mary Witzl said...

I do a lot of pancakes too, including savory ones with pesto and smoked salmon (when we're feeling rich, so not very often). One thing you can do to increase the nutritional value is put in wheat germ. This actually makes them taste better, too.

Actually, menu planning is a good idea and at one point we were going to do the same thing. I wonder what happened to that idea, now...?

Christy said...

I love the idea of savory pancakes. I'm totally using that for one of my choices after Thanksgiving. Thanks, Mary!

Kelly said...

I am going to steal that idea that anyone who complains loses their meal choice the next week!!! Brilliant!! I try to meal plan. It's tough. Of course, this coming week should be a bit easier for me... Thursday is turkey and Friday and Saturday are turkey ala king and open faced turkey sandwiches. Ha Ha!!!

cheribear said...

I suggest making pancakes healthier by putting a big layer of strawberries or something on them (fruits and veggies food group) then slathering with whipped cream (woo-hooo! Milk group represented!)

Serge and I argued today over his need to have a full breakfast when we have pancakes or waffles. They ARE the meal. Do not mess up my kitchen with more frying pans for the hash browns, eggs, and bacon, and then cook TOAST, for the love of Pete!

I am interested in your opinion on that matter. ;)

Christy said...

Kelly - turkey leftovers make me swoon! We're going to my parents' for Thanksgiving, but I bought a turkey to make at home too.

Cheri - Well, since you asked! I see pancakes as an alternative to the egg breakfast. It's pancakes plus optional breakfast meat OR eggs, toast, potatoes, and optional breakfast meat. Pancakes have eggs in them so you don't need fried eggs too. Same goes for waffles and french toast. That's at home. Now, if I'm out for breakfast, then I order potato pancakes with applesauce and a side of hashbrowns. There is no such thing as too many potatoes in the morning! But never, ever, ever do pancakes go with eggs. And toast's only purpose is as a filler. Pancakes are filling enough on their own. Eggs - not so much.