When I want to be on top of things, I try to remember to spend a bit of time on Mondays to plan out our meals for the week, writing them up on my weekly planner or in a notebook I keep in the kitchen. When I don’t do it, I find that life feels like that boulder chasing Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. I am Indiana in this analogy, narrowly missing getting flattened. It may end without disaster but I could do without the high-speed chase.
This week I have managed to go one better than usual; I have planned two weeks of meals. I have even managed to complete the (harrowing, given Austin’s threenager attitude) grocery shop in person (although if I was really on top on things this week, I’d have planned all this last night and ordered the shop online). In another way to simplify the process, I am using just one cookery book for these meals, mixing in the usual staples like sausage and mash and Chicken Kievs from the freezer with new recipes from this new (to me) book.
It is called The Pioneer Woman Cooks Come and Get it! by Ree Drummond. I love her cooking show and I have followed her blog on and off for years now. I have two other books by her The Pioneer Woman Cooks and The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime!. Her recipes are delicious but not always the healthiest although I have picked some meals this time that aren’t too indulgent.
I take a lot of inspiration from The Lazy Genius (her blog and podcast are great for helping me stay sane). Her Instagram stories feature her own Meal Plan Monday each week which serves as a great reminder for me since I apparently find it impossible to stick to any kind of routine where I automatically do anything.
All this planning does rely on me remembering to take things out of the freezer and making sure all the fresh ingredients are still fresh (and that I haven’t accidentally used them for something else). It feels pretty good to be on top of this for a change. Here is my plan for the next two weeks.