Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Yes I'm back! See my return post here in case you missed it. :)

This week is fairly crazy, and therefore I have to keep this week's menu really simple with easy things I already know how to do. A lot of people tell me "oh try this recipe, it's really easy" but unless you're a skilled and knowledgable cook, trust me, nothing is really all that easy.

I often just nod along and pretend to agree that sure, it sounds easy enough in theory. And I don't mind giving it a go when I have the time, energy, and clean kitchen. But given our very small amount of counter space and lack of a dishwasher, I get frustrated very easily when I'm trying to experiment. It's not the cooking that I mind so much, it's the cleaning up. I hate it. A lot. And I don't really like trying new things. Like lamb. God bless my dear friend Monica for trying, but it gives me the eebie jeebies to give it a whirl. One day she will teach me and it will be just fine. But on my own, uh huh. I'd screw it up in a hurry.

And I don't like to fail at cooking. Tim's mom totally rocks at cooking, so I have all kinds of intimidation surrounding me. My sister-in-laws Jeremi, Becca, and Diana are all incredible cooks. I just don't have it in me. Hands down Monica is one of the most versatile, knowledgeable, and amazing cooks I've ever known in real life. I watch and learn from her. But there's still so much I am just clueless about.

But that's okay, I've got the baking stuff down-pat. You see, my mom was a pretty good cook but she didn't really like to bake. On sleepovers with friends & family in high school I started learning to bake. A favorite activity with all of them was making chocolate chip cookies. So we did. A lot. And I learned. And started doing it on my own. Making them for my brother and his boss every summer while they worked. His boss Danny became addicted to my cookies and always asked me regularly for them. For years after Tim left that job Danny would ask for cookies, and I would occasionally bring some to church with me for him where he would get beyond thrilled.

That always tickled me to pieces, and the love and joy of baking has stuck with me ever since. I worked in a grocery store bakery for 2 years between college breaks. I baked and baked to my heart's content if I wanted to bring a smile to someone's face, or to relieve my stress or boredom. Now whenever we go to Tim's family gatherings, I'm always asked to bring desserts. When we couldn't be with his family at Thanksgiving due to scheduling conflicts, I heard all the groans and moans about missing my desserts. It was so great. It tickled my heart. :)

When coworkers challenge me to bring better desserts than something they recently had, I am totally up to the challenge. And I think they're catching on because they keep trying to tell me it's not good enough yet, try again next week. Hmmmm......

Wow okay I'm shutting up now and just giving you my week's menu. It's not exciting, but it is what it is:

Tonight: I'm eating out with a friend and Tim will have leftovers

Tuesday: Manwich on wheat buns, carrots

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken, potatoes, and sugar snap peas

Thursday: Spaghetti & salad

Friday: I have a women's event at church so I'm guessing one of us will probably just bring home Subway

Saturday: Sandwiches for lunch; Valentine's Date Night for dinner
{Tim has jury duty in Chicago the day after Valentine's Day so there's no sense in making him go out, plus it's a Monday night which is just weird. Our tradition is to get some nice juicy steaks at Outback Steakhouse, but we haven't decided officially if that's the plan this year or not. If so, it's always better not on VD anyway or it's sometimes a two-hour wait if you don't call ahead!}.

Sunday: Polynesian Chicken for lunch; leftovers for dinner

Check out more of this week's Menu Plan Monday posts at!

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