Karen over at Our Little School Room asked about summer menu planning in her most recent post. Winter is easy. There’s chili, and soups and roasts and all sorts of other good stuff. But summer’s harder because you don’t want to heat up the kitchen and heavy stuff like the above just doesn’t taste good in the summer.
This is one area I can speak about. (I don’t grind my own wheat, or bake my own bread on a regular basis and my house will NEVER be previewed in Better Home’s & Gardens) But, I have been menu planning for several years now. It’s so much easier than last minutes "what should I fix for dinner?" And most often if we’re not in the mood for what is on the menu, I can switch it around that morning. One of my favorite places to find good menus is Saving Dinner. Leanne has sample menus that fit about any lifestyle. But, right now her freebie menus are fall/winter– go figure.
But if you find the book on half.com (there are several copies right now starting at around $4.00) or even pay full price for it, you won’t be disappointed. We have had Carolina Crock Pot Pork that is to die for. Some friends came over a couple of months ago for dinner and they are still raving about it. Garlic Lime Chicken– yum, yum. Gyros– delish. And Mega Cheeseburgers are wonderful. All done on the stovetop, crock pot or grill. These are just some of our favorites.
Now, I’ll be totally honest. There are some meals we haven’t liked too well, and some I just didn’t try because I didn’t think my family would like them.
Leanne even gives you shopping lists and serving suggestions. What I do (if I’m using the weekly menus) is stretch it for 2 weeks, M-F. Shane usually takes care of meals on the weekends. And I don’t cook on Wednesday (too hard with church). So then I have room to put a couple of family favorites in the mix.
One other thing we do alot of in the summer is fish. The family loves it. We’ve had salmon, tillapia, catfish (on the grill– try it), and last night Mahi-Mahi for the first time. We are blessed with an Aldi here and the fish is less expensive. Although we do like Walmart’s salmon better. Sam’s club is also pretty reasonable on most of their fish. I make it with brown rice and a dark veggie, like green beans or brocolli.