Every week, usually Friday evenings, I like to sit down with the circular for Harris Teeter, our coupon notebook, and our ridiculous quantity of recipes (both “To Try” and “Tried and True”) and figure out what we’re going to have for the next 7 days. In the name of frugality, I try to build the menu around what’s on sale and what we have, while incorporating one or maybe two new recipes each week.
Those of you who do this as well know that it gets pretty old after awhile. Even if, like we do, you have a binder of approximately 100 recipes that you adore, coming up with ideas week in and week out that will keep everyone happy is a bit of a Herculean task. However, I’ve learned the hard way that if we don’t do this on a weekly basis and try to wing it, we end up doing the “What do you want to have?” “I dunno… what do you want to have?” dance every night and eating quesadillas more times than is either recommended or sane.
Last week, the DreadBrewer decided to do his part to lighten my stress load and came up with the menu and the grocery list for the week.
And I can say that neither my wallet nor my waistline nor my free time can afford to have him help out like this more frequently than every few months.
The DreadBrewer picked out a new recipe for us to try every single night of the week. He created his menu with no heed to what was on sale or what we had in the fridge/freezer. ((Okay, I lie. He did pick one meal that incorporated some chicken thighs I had bought on sale the previous week. One.)) I’m pretty sure he picked the most decadent, calorie-laden, labor intensive meals he could find.
This was the DreadBrewer’s menu for the week:
-Cheesy Potato Leek Chowder
-Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
-Pork Chops with Herb Butter and Rice Pilaf
Yes, the recipes were delicious ((With the exception of the chowder – which was terrible)). Yes, it was a huge help not to have to worry about what to feed everyone for the week. And yes, I was very, very grateful for the help. ((That’s for you, buddy.))
Not as grateful to make a recipe that required an hour and a half to cook the Bacon Jam. Not as grateful to spend God-only-knows how long prepping Brussels and pancetta while fighting off the Littlest Brewster who kept insisting the pancetta was her play doh and she was going to make a rainbow with it. ((On the bright side, she learned how to say pancetta.))
So this week, we’re back to BrewsterMama’s way of doing things. It’s probably not going to be nearly as exciting or delicious ((those Brussels sprouts were probably some of the best I’ve ever had, good enough to rival the one’s from Brian’s Pourhouse in Hood River)). But we spent a heck of a lot less money at Harris Teeter this week. And my arteries will probably thank me. Chicken and vegetables with biscuits is pretty darn tasty in its own right. Right?
But dang, I’m gonna miss those Brussels sprouts. Maybe I saw pancetta on sale somewhere? 😉