Meal Plan Monday~ Mixing Traditional & Simple Recipes

>> 4.11.2010


I am so blessed to have a great cook for a mother.  She was born in Italy and migrated to the US when she was thirteen, but not before she mastered some serious skill in the kitchen, taught to her by her mother and grandmothers, one of which had a dirt floor and only an open fire in the middle of her kitchen to cook on.  I love watching mom cook, but to record one of her recipes is almost impossible~ she doesn't measure anything!  She grabs handfuls of flour without touching a measuring cup and she shakes salt in until it "looks about right".  I have been able, though, to scribble down instructions for two of my favorite meals that she makes~ her meat sauce and her meatball recipe.  They are both amazing. 

The problem I run into is the traditional recipes like these always take so much time in the kitchen.  With 3 little boys to look after and a home to keep tidy, it's hard to find time for them, especially when I don't plan.  I have been working on mixing my favorite traditional recipes, or even new recipes that require more then 30 minutes of prep/cook time, with my simple recipes, i.e. grilled chicken, buttered pasta, etc.  I carefully look over my family's weekly schedule as I plan my menu to see what afternoons/evenings are lighter and will therefore allow me more time in the kitchen.  The planning is well worth it.  There are not quite as many "oohs" and "aahs" coming from the dinner table when I serve buttered pasta as there are when spaghetti sauce is served.  So don't shy away from the more involved meals, especially if you love to cook (as I do) but have busy families~ a little planning goes a long way. 

Here's what's on the menu this week:
  • Monday: Grilled Chicken, asparagus, grape bunches
  • Tuesday: "Nonna Emma's" Meatballs
  • Wednesday: Creamy Pasta w/roasted spring veggies
  • Thursday: Baked Chicken Strips w/ Balsamic dipping sauce, mashed potatoes, salad
  • Friday: Spaghetti sauce, salad, spelt-buttermilk bread
  • Saturday: Leftovers Night
  • Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner: Egg scramble, toast, sliced apples

This post is part of Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie
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