Monday, November 10, 2008

Dinner Menu Ideas

I was talking with my sister last night. Last year we got together and made cookies for Christmas. Actually we all brought (mom, her and I) a few dozen different cookies (I'm thinking I made 3 different types) and also made some cookies at her house and that way we were all able to have different types of cookies to keep on hand to give out or take to parties without having to make a whole bunch at one time. It came in handy, especially since almost all cookies freeze well. I made the Soft Sugar Cookies yesterday for hubby (which, btw, are more like Cardamom Snickerdoodles than Sugar Cookies, but still tasty) and realized we didn't make plans yet to make cookies! This year we might actually do something a bit different - we might make rolls - like pumpkin rolls, chocolate rolls, etc. I also brought up to both mom and my sister about getting together and making meals for the freezer. They both thought it was a good idea, so we'll have to get together and talk it out. I'm the one with the experience doing it, and I've got a WHOLE bunch of recipes (after all, I was the Executive Chef for a local homegrown place) and we can go through them and try some and build up a bunch to try. My sister and her son have a few allergies along with some food "pickiness" in the family that we'll have to work with too - but it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The nice thing is that since my mom and I are both just couple families we can pretty much double regular meals and it'll be enough for us. Course with some things, since my sister's kids are small, we can even just make a normal-sized recipe and then split it and she can have "adult" meals just for her and her husband too. Anyway, we'll do that after the new year.

My sister mentioned that she's now planning meals monthly. I must admit I was a bit surprised, but she's pretty busy, her son is a first grader and her daughter is in pre-school. She says she doesn't always stick with them, but she'll move the meal to another day. While we were talking about meals I was reminding her of meals that she liked and she wanted to put on the list for next month. It reminded me of a list I had made up when I first got married of meals we liked that I used to help me menu plan. I had started a new one a few weeks ago, but hadn't finished it. I sat down today and finished it (although I'm sure I'll come up with more). I have 288 things listed (it's double-sided and has 3 columns). I might give it to my sister to see if it'll help her, but I know that a lot of it they won't be interested in. I went ahead and even put a few of the "sometimes" food on there too, only because as WW has taught me, it's not a DIET. Some of the foods are kinda vague (salads) only because you go from there and extrapolate. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but since we're trying to save money, I'm going to try to use it more often.

When my sister got married, I typed up all the family recipes (in a word processing program) and gave it to her as her wedding gift. It's been re-printed and given to a few of our relatives too (just Kinkos printed). I would like to re-do it actually, and I'm thinking of using this list as the starting point. Most of the ethnic recipes aren't the original. I would literally be starting over, since the original version isn't importable to anything (I do have it in Mastercook)and I don't have it anymore anyway (it's on a huge floppy disk if I did). Anyway, these are just main dishes, the original Scheufel Cookbook had everything else too. But it's a starting point. I do have a bit started, but I haven't kept up with it. But I am thinking of going one step further - pointing the recipes (and dinner list). It will make menu planning a bit easier too.

I am trying to upload it to Google Docs but it keeps timing out on me - have I mentioned how much dial-up frustrates me? *SIGH*

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