Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 85: Dinner Dilemma

I’m trying to determine how to make planning the dinner menus a little more exciting. Things will brighten up when the weather snaps and I get to start making stews and chowders and such, but for now, things are pretty ho-hum.

Lasagna lands on my menu religiously. At least every ten days. Portabella mushroom burgers, while totally enjoyable, are becoming a weekend mainstay. And then there’s a casserole of some sort on every month’s menu that I can’t wait to try, and then have way too much of.

I need a fresh plan to get me through the last hot days of summer. Since I found George, I’ve been getting his emails regularly and he has some pretty amazing recipes – easy to prepare and full of good ingredient suggestions. Between Holly Klegg, Health Magazine and Southern Living I can usually find new and interesting recipes. But seeing those yellow page flags sticking out of every book and magazine I own is sometimes overwhelming, and I need a new game plan. While it hasn’t been a determined habit as yet, I think I will settle on one new recipe per week and slip it into my menu amidst my staple recipes. This may spice things up a bit.

I also need to start a new habit of READING A RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH before deciding when to cook it. For instance, I had Pork Tender Wellington on the menu for this week. Thought I’d prepare it early and freeze it until time to eat. So, I pulled the pork tenderloin out of the freezer, got it nice and thawed and then read the recipe to pull all my other ingredients together.

This is the moment I learned that the tenderloin freezes uncooked. Helloooooo. I can’t thaw meat and refreeze it before it’s cooked!! Which means that this recipe is going to have to be prepared fresh from the grocery store. Ugh.

So the tenderloin got smothered in a bottle of Coors Light and tossed back into the fridge to sleep. In a few moments, I’ll throw it in the crock pot where it will become pulled pork for tonight. Talk about improvising!

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