I am deeply in love. And it's only been a week. I am in love with my new cook book. I actually bought it back in April, but I didn't start using it until last week. It's wonderful. It's perfect. It helps me put good meals on the table. Generally I don't tout a product unless there's some kind of gain involved. This is not the case here. I just really love the cook book. It's called What's For Dinner? and was written by Jana Schofield. I met her at the UVU Women's Expo (remember when I lost my keys?) several months ago and was really excited when I saw what she had. It's a cook book with "30 weeks of menus with practical, easy recipes." It was made for me. Putting dinner on the table has always been a struggle for me because planning the meals is such a dreaded task. Now I don't have to. There are menus (including side dishes!!!) for six days out of the week, with the other day built in to have leftovers, go out, or try a new recipe.
The recipes include normal ingredients and are very basic. I'm not often interested in elaborate recipes for every day, so that's really good for me. The book contains every recipe for every item. There are even recipes to make things from scratch. The first week there are recipes for onion soup mix and french bread if you're looking to save money. Right now my time is more valuable than my money, so I just bought those items. There really is a recipe for everything. There were basic instructions on how to hard boil eggs and bake potatoes. Those with cooking skills can easily breeze over those, while the less-experienced cooks can have an easy reference.
I've made a few modifications for my family and it's worked out beautifully. There is a soup day once a week and we're just not soup people, so I omit that day. Easy cheesy. I also take out the dessert listed with every recipe. We're trying to lose weight (well, I will be trying to lose weight after the baby arrives) and that's easier to do if you don't have sweets in the house. I also buy the low-fat versions of ingredients to cut down on calories. Finally, we make the one week menu last for two weeks. The recipes serve 6-8 people. There are two adults and one toddler in my little family, so that makes for lots of leftovers. I could (and have) easily cut down any given recipe to feed fewer people, but we like the ease of leftovers for lunches and dinners. By the end of this week we might be on the second week of recipes or just finishing up the end of the first week. We'll see. Either way, it really cuts down on the grocery bill.
So, once again, I totally love it. The one and only thing I would change would be to add a shopping list for each week. That's what would work for me, but it's easy enough to just go through and write down what's needed from the weekly recipes. I plan on just keeping a copy of the shopping lists I start making and attach them to the menus with sticky notes or paper clips. Why do the work twice?
Anyway, I highly recommend the cook book for anyone that hates planning menus. Thirty weeks worth of meals gives plenty of variety. If you are so inclined you can look at the book closer at http://www.whatsfordinner1.com. It was $15.99 well spent for me to skip the hassle of menu planning.