Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love to Cook! Want to Know What We’re Having This Week?

Most of you who know me well know that I really love to cook. I’ve recently forayed into baking, but cooking has always appealed to me more. My reason is that baking is so precise and you really have to measure and be exact. I find with cooking you can ad lib a bit, throw caution to the wind and experiment with herbs, spices and quantities.

It has always been really important to me to cook a meal at dinner time and to sit down as a family to eat, even when it was just me and Brayden. Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t nights when we ate chicken fingers and fries in front of the TV, but as a general rule, meals have always been at the table with the TV off and I cook something tasty and usually pretty healthy.

I am often asked, “how do you have time to cook?”, or “how can you be organized enough to cook?”. The secret really is planning, planning, planning. I make a menu plan EVERY week to include at least 6 dinners (sometimes we get take out on a Friday), and then I make my grocery list before we hit the grocery store and farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. Jason and I have always done the grocery shopping together and it’s a bit of a Saturday morning ritual for us (except in July 2011 when I was bursting at the seams from being pregnant and could barely walk to the car, let alone through the market and supermarket, Jason would go alone).

I like to try a couple of new recipes a week but I also rotate through old favourites. I write my menu and grocery list in the same little spiral notebook every week so I can flip back through for meal ideas. As a general rule, I choose meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and use ingredients that I would normally buy (or something that I will use up in other things). I also often cook one-pot or one-dish meals like casseroles, stews, etc. Those tend to be quick and easy, as do slow-cooker meals.

So, going forward I will post my weekly menu plans and my recipe sources as well as any substitutions I make or any shortcuts I use. Stay tuned, this week’s menu will be posted very soon!


  1. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Wow! so organized, Jen. I'm impressed and will be checking back regularly.
    Aunt C

  2. Excellent plan! I just recently tried the Skinny Broccoli Mac & Cheese you recommended. Everyone loved it (except for Jesper, but he doesn't like anything besides pizza and fries from McD.)I've also included a recipes page on my blog (not live yet) with all Swiss recipes. Really need to start translating the whole thing though....