A few months ago Nanna came into our lives to care for Tully. In addition to being a fabulous nanny, Nanna cooks. She makes dinner the days she is here (M-Th), and we usually have plenty for leftovers for lunches and over the weekend. We are so, so, so spoiled with Nanna. She makes everything delicious.
To make Nanna's job easier, we implemented monthly menus starting in October. John and I sit down at the end of the month and plan the next month's meals. One of us goes shopping on Sunday night each week. John usually does this while I nurse Tully to sleep. Every week I print my calendar that includes appointments for Tully, meetings for me, and the menu, so Nanna knows the plan. We've been doing this for two months, and it's working out great so far. Nanna can prep food during Tully's naps and have dinner ready when she leaves at 6. We haven't eaten the same meal in over a month! I really love that we are eating new foods each night, and I get to try recipes that I wouldn't normally attempt myself.
My goal is to post a list of our menu each month to give other people ideas on what to make. The recipes come from various places, so I can't promise there will be a source for each one. Google should be able to help you out there. The concept started from Real Simple magazine's October edition with recipes for a month's worth of meals. We try to have a beef, a chicken, a pork, and a seafood meal each each week to keep it interesting.
I will say that although we plan a meal for every night Monday through Thursday, there are rare occasions when we decide to eat out or have other plans that evening. Also, I can remember one day when Tully needed extra snuggles, and Nanna just didn't have time for the kitchen. Life happens, right? But for the most part, we have a steaming hot delicious meal waiting for us after work.
Here was October's menu.
Pork Chops with Beets & Oranges (Real Simple)
Salmon with Green Beans and Bok Choy (Real Simple)
Tomato Soup with Roast Beef Paninis (Real Simple)
Chicken with Potatoes, Bacon, and Cabbage (Real Simple)
Pork Loin with Rosemary Potatoes (pre-seasoned, packaged pork)
Chicken with Rice & Grapes (Real Simple)
Steak with Sherry & Salad (Real Simple)
Nanna's Spaghetti & Salad (Nanna's secret)
Chicken, Veggie, & Quinoa Salad (Real Simple)
Shrimp Tacos with Black Beans (Real Simple)
Pasta with Sausage & Tomatoes (Real Simple)
Beef Tacos & Corn Salad (my made-up versions)
Pork Loin with Cauliflower & Capers (Real Simple)
Lamb Chops with Broccoli & Feta (Real Simple)
Pasta alla Vodka (Pioneer Woman, We add Italian meatballs)
Happy menu planning!