Over the years, I have developed a few philosophies that I try to develop my menus by…but they’re not hard and fast rules just guiding principles that align with what is important to me personally.

  • Balance meat, fish and vegetarian meals throughout the week with a slightly heavier emphasis on the latter two
  • Seasonal menus…so for the most part you won’t see corn on the cob in the winter, for example.  To be fair…I do eat bananas and pineapple all year round even though those are never in season here really
    • Keep in mind that I live in CA, so what’s in season for me (strawberries in the winter!) may not be in season for you…when that is the case I encourage you to choose frozen or canned alternatives.
  • Leftovers! I’m a huge believer in leftovers so they are regularly incorporated into the menus.
    • Remember that we’re only a family of 2, so if you also want to incorporate leftovers you may have to double or triple the original recipe
    • If you don’t love leftovers and want to skip that, feel free to dig back in the archives to find a substitute recipe…or add a “DIY night or a recipe of your own (and please share!)
  • “DIY” Nights – on some nights there won’t be a detailed recipe to go along with the dinner and instead it will indicate “DIY” in parentheses, which means “Do It Yourself” or in other words, wing it!  Experiment and create your own recipe for that dinner…these are often quick and easy dinners at my house or things that I have made a million times and can do on autopilot.
  • Eating Out – I also build in nights to eat out…because trying new restaurants is  is just as important and fun to me as trying new recipes and cooking…especially when you live in a great food city like San Francisco!
    • Of  course, you don’t have to eat out on the same night as I am so feel free to rearrange the menu to fit your schedule or pick an archived recipe to skip the eat out night all together.

One last word of advice…use short-cuts and your support system often! I am extremely fortunate that my husband, Christian, has a more flexible schedule than I do and is always extremely willing to help out.  It wasn’t always that way, but we’ve learned and compromised over the past 10 years to foster the things that are important to us…one of which is regularly home cooked yummy meals that we can sit down and enjoy together at the end of a long day.  So Christian is my best sous chef and dishwasher…find yours whether it’s a friend, roommate, spouse or kid…it’s worth it and it can help develop an interest in cooking in others while you chat it up and spend some good quality kitchen time together.