Breaking the Dinner Rut

Lately I’ve trying out some new dinner recipes. We were stuck in a rut. I was feeling like we were eating the same dishes every week, because we were. With the 10 cookbooks I own and access to the web, that should never be the case. So, I decided to make some changes. First, I’ve started write out a list of meals. I scour my cookbooks or if a meal pops in my head I write it down. This way I don’t have to think, “what are we going to eat?”. I post it on the fridge and as I make the meals I scratch it off the list.

Second, I take that list of meals and head to the store to make sure I have the ingredients whenever I need them. *I know that many of you are already on the “plan meals ahead” bandwagon. I’ve been on it before, but I think it will stick this time.* I’ve changed up my grocery shopping routine. I’ve pretty much stopped buying chicken, meat and seafood from my usual grocery store of choice, Publix. *I still shop at Publix or BI-LO for all other groceries.* There was nothing wrong with their meat, I just wanted to make a change. Now, I purchase those items from The Fresh Market and sometimes Whole Foods Market. I love going into the store and choosing meat. I haven’t done a cost comparison. I do know that I average about $50/week in just meat products, a little more if I’m making a special dish. Also, because we eat leftovers in my house, we don’t necessarily eat an entire week’s purchase in the week it was purchased.

Arroz con Pollo

Third, obviously, is cooking. This is my favorite part of the process! *Well, I will admit I do get a bit of a rush while purchasing meat at The Fresh Market!* I really enjoy cooking. Give me a pot, a glass of wine and the wonderful sound of Michael Buble’s voice and I’m on cloud nine. I’ve started this new approach to our meals a few weeks ago. So far, we have some keepers. We love homemade pizza! We have it at least once a week. RJ loves to help me make them and I love doing it with him. *This week I prepared the dough before he got home because I wasn’t up for cleaning flour from everywhere!* I LOVED the paella. I’d always wanted to make the dish. So, I went to Williams-Sonoma and purchased a paella pan. It was awesome. You can put just about anything in paella, that’s the beauty of the dish. Note: I never had to use or purchase saffron threads before I needed them for this recipe. Very pricey for the amount you get in a package. I will be using them VERY sparingly.

Messy pizza maker.

Paella w/chicken, scallops, shrimp, clams and chorizo

I’ve also had some bad luck. I attempted a recipe for potatoes au gratin. The recipe called for 2 teaspoons nutmeg … That was not the answer! I made the mistake of asking Hubby his thoughts and he told me the truth. Typical case of “if you don’t want to know the answer to the question, don’t ask”. Even though I knew the potatoes just weren’t right, I didn’t want him to know or admit it! LOL

Are you currently in or ever have been in a dinner rut? What recipes did you use to give your family’s dinners a jolt?

2 Comments

  • Reply Say Something Kita (@Kreative10) September 10, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Ahh my area of expertise lol. I love the farmers market and try to buy my meat there once a month if I can’t get there then Publix is my second choice I am particular about where I buy my meat I will eat bread and water before I go any ole place. I do my menu on Saturdays and grocery shop for the week normally on Sundays I don’t cook on Fridays and Saturdays at all. What I do is cook a new dish every Sunday and make it a family thing. It’s hard and you do get stuck in a rut if you have a picky eater. I bribe them with dessert lol.

    • Reply Jenni September 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

      I like the idea of making a new recipe once a week. Hubby isn’t as picky as he used to be, but RJ really only likes meat and fruit! LOL

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