Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Cookin'

With seven people currently living in our house (say wha????), I've had to buckle down and get serious about organization and being more thrifty. Lots of changes have been made, and one of the biggest and best is the fact that I cook a lot more than I ever used to. What used to be one of my least favorite things to do is slowly becoming one of my favorite things to do. Sure wish I felt the same way about cleaning the tub and shower...

Regardless I still have the same issue that creeps in everyday around 3:00 or 3:30 -- what in the heck am I going to make for dinner?

So I took a cue from this clever gal and made a list of 15 "summer" meals for my family to enjoy. I'm definitely a seasonal gal -- my taste in food and in music changes seasonally -- so this is right up my alley to switch things up every 3 months or so, basically, every season. I even typed it up, slapped it on scrapbook paper that I haven't dug into in years, and clipped it up to the fridge for quick and easy reference every day. Most of the recipes I simply keep stored on my Pinterest boards.

I try and cook dinner most weeknights and one meal on weekends at least so we're not having to PB&J it too often. Because of this, we've been enjoying our fast food/eating out meals a lot more since they are far and fewer between. And of course, the ol' budget is thrilled with the changes as we are saving a ton of cash. We're pretty old-fashioned around these parts, so drinks are always milk (from a local dairy), and side-dishes range from steam-in-the-bag frozen vegetables to fruit salad or green salad or sometimes a bag of chips when it is burger or sandwich night. The one thing I haven't mastered yet is getting my grocery store visits down from the almost daily trips we make right now. We tend to shop like Europeans, buying only what we'll need for the next day or two. Yes, it wastes time and gas, but then again, the grocery store is blocks away from our little girlie's daycare, so we have to drive by it anyway. Maybe with this sort of planning ahead I'll get better about it.

I figure that each meal will be eaten roughly twice a month, not too bad as far as repeats go. After 3 months, we'll surely be ready to switch it up to a different list of meals. So here is the list for summer, and I'm including links to my pins when possible in case any of you want to try them as well:

1. Farm Chicks' Fish Fajitas

2. Ham & Cheese Sliders

3. Hillbilly Spaghetti Pie

4. Slow Cooker Thai Style Ribs

5. Crispy Tuna Casserole & 7-Up Biscuits

6. Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches (my family usually gets 2 dinners for all out of this plus 2-3 lunches as well for my husband and I)

7. Slow Cooker Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings

8. Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

9. Florentine Chicken Ring

10. Breakfast for dinner (courtesy of the "Breakfast Man" in our house, my husband -- this could be pancakes or waffles, or "toad-in-a-hole", a family favorite)

11. Bison Burgers (again, husband cooking night with bison meat from the Farmer's Market)

12. Ranch House CrockPot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

13. Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

14. Baked Potatoes and Green Salad

15. Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

Happy cooking, my friends! And please, leave me a comment if you have any amazing recipes you think I should add to my arsenal. I am always on the lookout.

1 comment:

katie said...

Kind of similar to the 3-ingredient Root Beer Pork you posted is the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches! These ARE AMAZING!!! It's also crock pot so you stick in 2-3 lbs of chicken (even frozen!), a bottle of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Mix. Then cook for 6-8 hours, fork apart and serve on mini hamburger buns! YUMMMMOOOOOOO!!! All of us loved it!