Word to the Wise Wednesday

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

I walked into the house yesterday after being gone all morning and was greeted by the aroma of London broil cooking for our supper. As Rachel Ray says, “yummo!” All I needed to do was warm up the rice I’d made, cook the frozen peas, and make a salad, and the meal was ready. I love to have the main course of our supper/dinner well on the way early in the day. I truly feel like I’ve already accomplished much when that part is taken care of!

If you follow my blog with any regularity you know that on Monday I post “What’s Cookin‘ in the Parsonage?” I had someone say to me yesterday, “Okay, but we want to know how you schedule all this, when you get it ready for Sunday, how it all happens.”

So I’ll try to share my simple plan with you. Many of you probably already do all this, but if you need some encouragement and help with getting things ready for dinner, Sunday, or any night of the week, read on.

1. Plan the weekly menu – I sit down on Monday and look at my week and see when we’ll be gone, when I may need a quick-fix meal, when I’m having guests, etc., so I know what is needed for each day.

I even plan out how I can use the leftovers on another night in a creative way. For instance, we had the London broil last night, and later this week I’m using the leftover meat to have beef burritos. This will be one of my quick-fix meals because the meat is already cooked. Last week I roasted a chicken. With the leftovers I made pot pies one night, and then used the last bit of the white meat on my Hawaiian pizza. I like to disguise leftovers!

2. Make out the grocery list – I do this as I plan the meals. I try to use up the things I have on hand. Writing out the grocery list while making up your menu keeps you from buying green beans when you already have three cans in your cupboard, or from neglecting to buy the special ingredient needed for the new dessert you’re going to make.

3. Put the plan into action – Since you know what you’re going to fix all week, you can have the meat thawed in advance, or you can prep the salad ingredients early in the day. I was able to pop the London broil into the crock pot in the morning because I’d thawed it the night before and had all the other ingredients ready to go.

Think ahead. If you need cooked chicken breasts for a pot pie, and you have your oven on to bake or roast something else, go ahead and roast the chicken breasts early. Brown two pounds of hamburger – one for your sloppy joes and keep back one pound for your lasagna.

Because you’ve planned your menu and gotten the groceries for everything you’re making, Sunday dinner should be much easier. Many things can be prepared ahead of time – jello salad, breads and dessert if you work throughout the week.

I found a new web-site that is really helpful. It’s http://allrecipes.com/. If you have an ingredient you want to use, but don’t know a recipe that calls for it, go to the “ingredient” page, type in the ingredient you have and it will bring up recipes for you! I typed in some random things just to see what it would produce, and I found some interesting recipes! You can read the reviews on the recipes which is really helpful. If it has lots of poor reviews I by-pass it! It was here that I found the recipe for my London Broil. I wasn’t sure how to cook it. This recipe had great comments about how tender this is when cooked in the manner they suggested. It was great!

Meal time is an important family time and it takes effort to pull it all together, but the effort is really worth it!

I hope this helps. Are there other questions that have come to your mind? Ask! I’ll be happy to find an answer for you! Or if you have a good tip of something you do, please share it!

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