by Jennifer Leal
Meal planning can be a pretty tough balance:
- You want to make everyone’s favorites
- You need to vary the selection
- Cooking shouldn’t be overly time consuming
See how none of these match?
Each Sunday morning when I am making the grocery list, I ask the children and my husband what meals they would like. The answers range from the obvious, “we need milk,” to the unhelpful, “bars” or “bananas.” Sigh.
Then two weeks ago, my husband was standing next to me as I was brainstorming dinner with him, while removing items from the fridge and placing them on the counter. My daughter came by, saw the mushrooms I had just placed there, and with obvious joy asked “Are you making mushroom soup?!” I promised to make it for her soon. And then it hit me: seeing the foods gets a response!
How can I use this to help me? Since I often have my laptop in the kitchen and I knew of Cozi’s collage screensaver option, I decided to use it in a more creative way.
How? By adding my ‘Blog Food Photos’ folder into my screensaver feed! That folder is not only packed with food photos from recipes for my blog, it also contains photos from other sites for inspiration and even photos of cookbooks on my wish list items.
The screensaver runs while the kids are sitting with me, and it inspires them to point out their faves. I can then plan the menu and build my grocery list from there. Naturally, there are some photos of my kids scattered throughout the collage too, but mostly it’s filled with photos of the recipes on my blog this past year. I must admit that I feel a bit proud when I watch the collage run.
Personally, I’m into food, but I can imagine the screensaver offering inspiration for all kinds of hobbies: everything from quilting and home decorating to personal sports or exercise goals. Pretty much anything you’d post to your fridge would go great in the collage.
Get your family organized and on the same page with Cozi, the free online family organizer.
Jennifer Leal is the author of Savor the Thyme, a blog focused on family-friendly food and lifestyle. She holds a Master’s of Science in Immunology, and prior to having her two children, now ages 3 and 5, Jennifer worked for a large pharmaceutical company.