Friday, May 30, 2008

Spice Up Your Dinner Menu

Is your life feeling ‘stuffy’? Stale? Mundane? Can’t figure out what to fix for dinner that you haven’t fixed umpteen times before? Ever notice when you go to the grocery store for the big shopping trips, you buy the same things? Week in, week out … month in, month out. Boredom can set in quickly with that routine.Time to dig yourself out of that rut. Here’s just one thing you can do to put some pizzazz back into your life.

Break out of that confining mold. Let someone else do up your grocery list and plan your menus! No, seriously … it can add some real adventure into your culinary arts. I was at a group meeting a few years ago when we all were moaning and groaning about having to do the biggie shopping the next weekend.

Suddenly, one member of the group suggested we trade shopping lists for a one week period of time and when we met next month, we’d compare notes on the outcome. Now we’re all two-person households, our kids are out on their own, so quantities were going to be about equal. Our income levels were also approximately the same, so it wasn’t going to be a heavy strain on anyone.

I was so excited about this! We all went home and began working up a week’s worth of menus. Then we created the shopping lists. We met for coffee two days later and swapped lists. We confined our lists to dinners only for this first venture, and would include a salad or soup, a starch, a meat dish and a veggie dish. Nice well balanced meals. What a kick this was going to be!

Another thing we’d agreed upon was to provide as many coupons as possible for our counterparts to use. I went online and snagged all sorts of coupons for groceries right in my own area.

What all was on my new menu? It was like dining out at a new restaurant every night. Here are a few of the items … I’d never had baked chicken chili with sour cream & mozzarella cheese before – Sheila informed me that she makes it at least once every couple of weeks – I can see why! Not only is it inexpensive (uses wings, drumsticks and/or thighs), it’s downright scrumptious!! Then there was the Waldorf Salad … I’d not made one of those in eons! Orange & Cranberry baked ham slices went with that salad. Oh, the list of yummy, mouth-watering, delectable culinary delights goes on and on!

We’ve done this same thing numerous times now over the years, but with a new feature – we could add new recipes we’d never tried before. And our husbands are actually looking forward to the next time! Hmmm … wonder if that’s a commentary on …. nah, can’t be. I always have fascinating, innovative food to put before my hubby. Don’t I?? Maybe it’s time for another menu-swap.

~ Marge in Reno ~

1 comment:

shelly said...

thanks for visiting my blog...we do the BIG shopping trip once a month and a small one for milk and stuff weekly.cook ahead meals are a real time saver for me :)