I found the link! –> http://thethinkingcloset.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/the-menu-planner-to-rule-them-all/
Tonight (12-7-12), I started an attempt at making my meal planner, I only know how to do a limited number of recipes without having to Google something or have a recipe on hand, plus the same ol’ same ol’ gets very boring, very fast. (We’ve made spaghetti at least once a week and then sometimes left overs for the next day or two!) So this means I need to find a bunch of new recipes to try and see if they can be turned into faves or at least regulars!
Step 1: search Pinterest for everything.
I love pinterest, that’s literally where Justin and I find all of our new recipes (he uses mine, he’s kind of debating getting his own lol), so naturally that’s where I went for this project. I searched “quick meals,” everyone has those days where you want something right then and there; I searched “crock pot meals” and “freezer meals” most of these go hand in hand but there’s plenty of each that don’t involve the other. I’ll give you links to all the recipes I use and maybe even posts on when I make them! I’ll at least update this with what I like or don’t like about them!
Step 2: separate your meals into whatever categories you want on your board in the little box things (you’ll see)
I’m separating into “quick and easy” (anything that requires minimal effort day of, i.e. spaghetti, tacos, soup and grilled cheese, etc); “crock pot meals” (things I can cook/put together before I go to work and have ready when I get home); “freezer meals” (the good ol’ pre-made stuff that you just have to throw in the oven/crock pot/microwave with little to no prep). These will be on the boxes/pockets that will be on the board holding the non-used meals. I’m also debating on color-coding the meal cards with red for beef, yellow for chicken, maybe orange for fish/seafood, green for veggie, and brown for pork, but I’m pretty sure almost everything would end up being just red or yellow.. we mostly eat beef and chicken, occasionally pork chops, and the only fish we’re not afraid to try making something with is canned tuna or pre-steamed shrimp lol, so I probably wont go that detailed.
Update 12-10-12: I separated my categories into two boxes: used and need to use, that way we have some spontaneity, we can put the ones we really like back through if they like though! I did take a couple pics of me putting it together with my phone and will put them up once I realize how to upload off mu
Links for freezer meals that I might be including: Taquitos, Cheesy Italian Chicken, Chicken Cacciatore, Cookies, Enchiladas, Burgers, Baked Ziti, Chicken Chili, and Pizza Dough, a list of more than 40 freezer meals!, 10 recipes of potatoes, chicken, Italian, etc., 5 different recipes and instructions to make them all into 9 meals, 8 meals that you can put together in 1 hour, and last but not least Asian meatballs; just about anything can be frozen and reheated, but not everything will turn out that great. Most things can be frozen after cooked or simply prepare it up until the cooking step then freeze it.
Quick (last-minute meals): Tuna Celery Crunch, Coca cola chicken and herbed potatoes (40 mins), Chicken pot pie (35 minutes, 5 ingredients), Crunchy Ranch Chicken and Cheese Fries (8 total ingredients, ~15 mins), Brown sugar chicken with sweet potatoes (30 minutes) (I’ll add more later!)
Step 3: gather materials
I’ll go into more details when I actually gather the materials but I’ll be using some pretty paper (probably scrap-booking paper), some card-stock clothespins/magnets(whatever you want to keep your cards on with), cardboard boxes (if you have small containers you want to use, go for it! Leftover teabag box or hot cocoa box would probably work great! I’m using leftover pop boxes that I’ll cut and tape into the right shapes), hot glue or strong craft glue, laminator or just some packing tape, markers, decorations, and a computer with printer with black and/or colored ink.
*Update 12-8-12: I went to Walmart (there’s no craft-store in the county I live in or the one I work in :( I think the nearest one is an hour & 20 minutes away! so all I have is the craft section of ol’ Wally World) and bought a $5 huge pack of scrap-booking paper, a $3 medium sized pack of colorful card-stock an oven liner as a base (2 for $1.50), and some tacky glue. I’ll be getting clothes pins tomorrow, I’m kind of debating using magnets instead, I’ll find out later if they’ll stay on the oven liners!
**Update 12-27-12- My laptop’s power supply broke two weekends ago and it probably won’t be able to be fixed, which is why I haven’t been able to update or post! = boo :( … However, I made this! and the laundry soap! and several new recipes! = yay! :)
Step by step:
Once you have all your recipes that you want to use, go through them and type up every title of every recipe in columns and space em out. I used three columns with four lines of size 12 Times New Roman font. Each title on the 2nd line and which category in parentheses underneath: fast meal, crockpot meal, freezer meal Then in another document (it’s easier this way I thought) using the same font type and size, type up the ingredient list with the location of the recipe, keeping them in the same format of 3 columns and 4 lines (ex: chicken, veggies, cream/chicken, biscuits; in Binder). On another note, I printed out every recipe I had found online prior to my laptop breaking and keep them all in a nice and organized binder :) Anywho, make sure everything is the same in both documents such as margins and column width an everything! Make sure you match up the titles to the ingredients, the middle obviously will match to the middle but the titles in the left column will need to match up to the ingredients in the right column, and titles in the right to the ingredients in the left. Once finished with that do a test print on plain paper of one page of each the titles and the ingredients, print the titles and place the same piece of paper back in upside down to see if everything lines up, mine did first try so good luck to you if it doesn’t! Once lined up, I printed everything out onto the color papers, fast went on the orange cardstock, crockpot went on the green, freezer went on the pink, and “other” went on the yellow. I made some spares too, in the other category I put stuff like order takeout, go out to eat, eat leftovers, there’s a “eat whatever” on days when we’re all doing different things or just want to eat different things haha. Once printed, get to cutting. Once cut, place a long strip of packing tape in between two things, I used a bottle of glue and the footboard of my bed, you can use anything! place recipe cards along the tape, try not to overlap, take another strip of tape the same length and cover the cards, cut them apart and trim them as needed, they do not need to be perfect, mine had folds and were crooked and everything. Put them all in a zip-lock bag and move on to the next part.
Glue the two oven liners to each other, back of one to the front of another. They are too flimsy on their own. Pick the scrapbooking paper that you want to be the background, cut it to fit. I placed a strip of a coordinating paper along the seam to make it flow better and placed flowers cut out of a paper over another seam. I cut out letters to form “Menu” and placed it on a larger rectangle of the coordinating paper along the same seam as the first. Using the same coordinating paper as the seam and the “menu” background, I made 7 circles using a 2-liter bottle cap as the stencil; with the cap I made the same size and amount of circles out of cardboard. I wrote the days of the week (using just the first three letters, Sun Mon Tue etc.) on the paper then glued them to the cut-out cardboard circles.
Using a completely different, yet coordinated scrapbook paper, I measured the sizes of the two parts of the clothes pins, and cut out seven of each. I put a thin line of glue on top of the clothespin and then placed the cut-out papers on it, adjusting and trimming as needed. One placed and set slightly, take a foam paintbrush and paint the tops of the clothespins with the glue, this seals on the paper and makes them look like they were painted on! Then, glue the clothes pins on in the desired order, placement, etc.
Wrap the boxes you used in another different (would look good matching the clothespins) yet coordinating paper. I made the boxes a little bigger than playing card boxes and wrapped them almost like you would a present but leaving excess on the top so you can fold it into the boxes. Place a label on the boxes if you wish, I put “used” and “need to use” as simple-enough labels.
*Be back tomorrow! the Mr wants his computer back :)
– Julie :)