Since I’m feeling pretty confident about my craftiness, I thought I would share something I made a couple of months ago. A menu board! It feeds into two of my favorite things: Cooking & Being Organized.
I love meal planning, but I was getting lazy about doing it because it meant trying to scramble late on Sunday night or early Monday morning & sift through 4 different places my recipes are currently being kept, (pinterest, a folder stuffed with papers of recipes, a cookbook mom made me & my brand new, gorgeous wooden recipe box – which is another project that I will write about later. The goal is to get everything INTO the wooden recipe box.) I actually got the idea for the menu planning board off of pinterest, from this blog.
The total cost was less than $25 & the time spent was about 2 hours or so, (I’m certain that it would take everyone else less time, seeing as how 98% of the female population is craftier than me.) I went to Joann’s & bought a small framed cork board, some pretty scrap-booking paper, some clothespins, some adhesive border stickers, some jeweled stickers, self-sealing laminating pouches, some small round velcro with adhesive on the back & some adhesive letters. I already had scrap booking card stock for the cards & little cereal boxes for the card boxes.
I covered the cork board with paper, I also cut the top off & covered the two mini cereal boxes with paper & then used a adhesive border to make them a little prettier. I used the adhesive borders & jeweled stickers to make the clothespins pretty & I attached the clothespins to the board by using velcro with adhesive backing, (that way, in case one of them breaks, they’re easily replaced!)
Then I made my menu cards. On the front I listed the menu: main course & side(s) – the colors of the paper that I used for them means nothing, (some people like to do one color for meat, one color for poultry & so on.) On the back, I listed all the ingredients, (but I didn’t write out the actual recipe.) I didn’t print the menus on paper, but rather on clear mailing labels & then stuck them on card stock & used self-sealing laminating pouches, (the business card size,) then cut them a little to fit into the holders. I even made cards for “date night” “new recipe” or “leftovers.” I use the top card holder for recipes that are “to be used” and the bottom one for “recipes recently used.”
Here’s how easy it is to use: Sunday night or Monday morning before I trot off to the 2 or 3 grocery stores that know me by name, I flip through my cards to see what I feel like making that week, (since I know them pretty much all by heart, I know which ones use similar ingredients, so that if I buy cilantro I don’t just use it in one recipe, I can use it in 2 or 3 of them.)
Here are some of my meals … Trout Amandine, Egg Noodles & Steamed Asparagus; Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Mushrooms & Yukon Gold Potato Watercress Hash; Lemon Artichoke Chicken, Steamed Artichokes & Jasmine Rice; Baked Rigatoni w/ Zucchini & Eggplant, Butter Lettuce Avocado Salad & Garlic Bread; Veggie Tacos (for when I’m in a hurry to get dinner out.) I have a whole bunch of seasonal meals, (for instance, a cold chicken and rice salad which is a summertime favorite & chicken and dumplings which is a good cold weather dish.)
Happy Meal Planning!