Life with two kids is busy. Life with two kids keeps getting more and more busy every day. I'm constantly looking for ways to cut corners in order to simplify our lives, but this is not always easy in the kitchen because I LOVE to cook. I've decided recently that I just can't spend hours upon hours (exaggeration, but you get the point) flipping through various cookbooks and recipes each week when I sit down to write out our menu. I'm determined to consolidate and I've found my go-to! The Ultimate Southern Living and the All New Ultimate Southern Living cookbooks are the most sure-fire recipes that combine mostly simple and relatively few ingredients, healthy options and dynamite dishes! I have yet to make a Southern Living dish that I haven't been pleased with and I have made MANY that I've just loved. And you can get the All-New version used on Amazon.com right now for a little over $7, including shipping (see link at the bottom of this post)!
Some more thoughts on simplifying your meal planning:
1. If you really like a variety from week to week, pick one cookbook per week to cook from. You'll get a variety, but you won't be overwhelmed by the options!
2. Make notes in your cookbook! You may already do this, or you may be the type that just can't bring herself to mark in a beautiful book. My advice to you - mark away anyway! Start a star system labeling your favorite dishes. Write down what you need to add for extra flavor, which family member really likes it, or whether it's best for a busy weeknight or a casual Friday night meal. The star system (or dog-ear system) will help you locate your favorites easily!
3. If you have your own recipe folder, go through it and remove recipes that didn't go over well with your family - they're just distracting you from the good recipes that are in there.
4. If you get really excited about trying new recipes, pick a couple of nights a week to try them and keep the rest of the week simple.