Monday, August 13, 2012

{Monday Meal Planning} Edition might be the only one...we'll see

For the past month, my sister-in-law, Susannah, and her 3 girls have been visiting us in Edinburgh.  Some of our neighbors graciously allowed her to use their flat while they were away on vacation for the month. It was so fun pretending we lived across the courtyard from each other and that it was normal to get to do normal things together like go to lunch, take our kids to baby and toddler group, the park, castles, high tea, the Highlands...well normal for Scotland anyway.

Sus retrieving Caroline's paci which was dropped off the side of a bridge at the Botanical Gardens...she got to experience the fear of losing The Soothie in the UK where they cost 15 US dollars to replace!

Sus is a great mom and basically I try to copy everything she does (can we say little sister?).  I would laugh watching her older two girls play.  If they were coloring, 4 year old Lizzie would be on the same page using the same color marker on the same part of the picture as adored older sister, Lillian.  This is how I am with Susannah except in grown up matters particularly though not limited to parenting.  Though I'm sure if given the chance to color together, I'd be tempted to use the same colors as her too.

I was shocked one night when she complimented my meal planning ability...not because she isn't an encourager, she is, but I didn't realize I even had this gift as I am not the organized one, she is.  Though I do lack organizational ability, meal planning is something that comes fairly easy to me - mostly because I enjoy eating and cooking and not being stuck with whatever I can throw together from my pantry (though this has been known to happen!).  She said she'd enjoy cooking more if someone would just give her a meal plan and grocery list each week.

Now I can't make your grocery list being on the other side of the Atlantic, but here's to you Sus and anyone else who feels like she does: a ready-made weekly meal plan.  If I am taking the time to meal plan for my own family, I might as well post it in case she (or you!) wants to use ideas from it or copy it completely.

Here are a few caveats:

1.  I have a toddler and an infant - easy and fast meals are high priority in my kitchen these days
2. Because of our budget, and let's be serious, my taste buds, I am not always the healthiest cook.  I am trying to cut back on recipes with cheese and add in more vegetables, but fresh veg is expensive!  I'll do my best.
3. Living in the UK makes it difficult to find all of my American staples (read: corn tortillas, black beans, chopped green chiles etc) so there would be more recipes with these ingredients if I still lived in Texas. Maybe this is a good thing since most recipes that include those ingredients also call for cheese.
4. If it's pungent, spicy, tart, garlicky, the Inces love it (even Seth!), so suffice it to say that this meal plan will not suit a bland palate.

Here is my plan for this week:

Here are my recipes:
Monday, plus steamed broccoli and fresh pineapple for dessert
Tuesday, Caesar salad (I made this crock pot pot roast recipe I found on Pinterest before, but this time I am omitting the allspice, tomato paste and honey and adding more carrots and potatoes...that is if they'll fit in my tiny British crock pot!)
Wednesday - I am most looking forward to this recipe from my friend, Liz. I will post it tomorrow.  If you need the ingredients sooner, email me!

I typically try not to have to cook so much on the front end of the week, but didn't think I'd have enough leftovers from tonight for tomorrow night (I did). Plus this week is uncharacteristic due to our two bbqs in two days - pray for sun in Edinburgh!

Bon Appetit!


Noelle said...

How lovely to have Susannah there! I can't believe they have 3 girls already! How fast time flies. I suck at meal planning so you ARE doing better than most. I need to learn it soon since we have number 2 on the way!

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