I am considering rearranging my food ideas and cooking schedule. I want to arrange it in a way that will allow me to cook intentionally–try new recipes, techniques, and just enjoy cooking in and of itself–as well as lower the temptation to going out for dinner, lunch, etc. My thought is: plan certain days for cooking supper intentionally. Of course, I cook pretty much every night, but these would be nights where I plan a full meal, try new recipes, and not shy away from expensive ingredients or time-consuming processes. These could function as date nights even; we could light candles, put on some nice music, and really enjoy the food, company, and time to relax. We would save money by taking a date at home, and I would be able to focus on cooking, which is something that I really do enjoy.
Then there would be perhaps one other day for cooking staples–bread, granola, tomato sauce, meatballs, and any other staple that comes to mind–along with breakfasts–cobbler/crisp, baked oatmeal, scrambles, frittatas, or whatever other breakfast foods I feel like. I would need to freeze most of them, but it would allow for a quick, delicious breakfast, which would be immensely helpful in actually feeding Rem breakfast and allowing me to get on with my day. Plus, it would prevent the occasional Saturday morning strong desire to go out for breakfast and not cook. Although, I may want to plan one fancy breakfast a week, which would most likely happen on Saturday. I do love starting out the day by making something extra-special that Rem will like (and I like it also, of course).
The rest of the weekday dinners would be really simple–mac & cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, veggie soup, pot roast, etc. This would enable me to get other things done other than cooking on those days. In addition, for these meals, I would most likely come up with a list of 10-20 simple staples which I would repeat. While I am not terribly keen on repeating meals often, Rem would appreciate it a lot; he is always giving me a hard time about never making the same recipe twice.
On weekends, I would plan either heat-and-eat meals–like, insanely simple, yet still delicious–or grilling. Rem loves grilling, and I love eating food from the grill. It also gives the meal a special feel to it. Often when we grill, we also eat outside, which is special, and I am more likely to buy something like watermelon to go along with the meal. I think the simplicity and deliciousness of grilling would greatly decrease the temptation to eat out over the weekend. A crockpot meal would also be a good option. It’s not quite so fun to prepare, but knowing that there is food at home waiting to be eaten would greatly curb any desire to eat something out, if we happen to be hanging out in town. And you really cannot cook a crockpot meal that doesn’t taste great.
Step one of integrating things that I love into my week–cooking. Plus, I do love saving money 🙂 And getting out of debt is a major goal of mine this year (prenatal midwife visits and the necessity of securing a midwife and a place to give birth will do that to you). So, I’m killing two birds with one stone…score!