by Kavita Varma-White
What’s for dinner tonight?
I have no idea.
This exchange of thoughts occurs in my head pretty much daily. I am the ultimate dinner-prep-procrastinator. Grocery shopping happens at the beginning of each week with a few vague ideas, but I never actually know what I’m going to cook until I get started. Then I use the ingredients I have to make it happen. (Or, I make another trip to store to get what I need. Sigh.)
My newest way to get inspired for cooking is to go to Cozi’s Dinner Ideas. It’s quite entertaining to browse the interactive map that shows what people are eating around the globe. A recent perusal found someone in North Carolina making chicken with bell peppers and artichoke hearts, while someone in San Francisco was having steak. Several folks in the United Kingdom were eating roast beef dinners (apparently a popular Sunday meal!) and an Israeli user was having roast chicken with garlic tapenade under the skin. Yum! (Click on the link and you go to AllRecipes.com where there are several other roasted chicken ideas.)
Using Cozi’s Shopping List has also helped in my planning efforts. I’ve created a BASICS list, which has weekly staples like milk, OJ, cereal, lunch stuff, etc.. I send this list to my iPhone so it’s handy at all times.
This week I shopped on Sunday thinking I would do something with roasted vegetables and chicken (which was on sale). I also bought some pasta, knowing I had meatballs in the freezer and could make an easy red sauce.
My new strategy is to save this list with the name Winter Grub. If I can collect a few lists with varying themes, I can refer to them on a more regular basis.
And maybe next time the kids ask “What’s for dinner?” I’ll have an answer.
Get your family organized and on the same page with Cozi, the free online family organizer.
Kavita Varma-White is the author of The Bellevue Blogette, a micro-blog serving Bellevue, WA. A former lifestyle editor of the Florida Sun-Sentinel, she is now the Seattle editor of Red-Tricyle.com, a website focused on kids and families. She is also a consultant and writer for Lifestyle Insights, a firm specializing in women-friendly new media content. In service of her ongoing search for great things for families and kids to do in the Seattle area, Kavita deploys the hard-hitting analysis of her two children, ages 10 and 7.