Winter Weeknight Meal Planning with Pinterest

Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies/Pinterest
Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken and Veggies/Simple Bites
One new year resolution here at my house is to cook more at home. Plan meals ahead of time, eat out less, fewer stops by the local coffee shop (which can easily add up to a $15 trip when I’m with the kids). We all can get lazy about meal planning and eat out too much, and by that time my kids just expect it, which makes me a little crazy. To keep this interesting for me, I decided to utilize the unlimited amount of secret Pinterest boards allows to do some meal planning and mix up our dinners recipes. Here’s a snapshot of what’s worked so far, and what hasn’t worked.
I made a secret pinterest board for slow cooker meals. I may make it public down the road, (for now, most of the recipes can be found on my food and drink board). But right now it’s being added to, deleted from, with notations made by me as I try things out. I’m finding it a fun way to keep track of not only meals I want to try, but ones that work or don’t work. Keeping it secret can also allow me to note things like what to leave out of the recipe for picky eaters, what to add in, etc.
One part of this goal is to use my slow cooker once a week. There’s an ease and satisfaction to using the slow cooker, and for whatever reason, my kids usually are quite enthusiastic what comes out of it. Maybe it’s because it smells so good? The chicken curry, pictured above, was a huge hit with all of us, so that one will stay on the board.
Smoky Beef Tacos/Martha Stewart
For the record, these Smoky Beef Tacos are one of my family’s all-time favorite meals, and I cook the beef in the slow cooker all day for really great results. Pinned to the board.
Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder/Pinterest
Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder/Cooking Classy
I also made a secret pinterest board for “Dinner This Week”. While planning the week, I move meals to this board as I make my shopping list. If a recipe works out well for us, I move it to a “Winner Dinners” board (also secret). If it’s a dud all around, I delete it.
Soups also seem to work well with my crowd, but no more than once a week. We had the Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder, pictured above, last night and it was EXCELLENT! I made corn muffins and everyone went back for seconds. Plus I have leftovers!
Moroccan Meatballs/Pinterest
Moroccan Meatballs/Sweet Sensation
I will admit that I don’t exactly love cooking. So another challenge to myself is to take just one meal each week and make it special. (We have to find inspiration however we can, right?) Maybe put in a little more prep time, maybe present it on plates we don’t normally use, but somehow just put a little more thought into it. Who knows, maybe I’ll grow fonder of cooking! A few nights ago, I slow simmered the Moroccan Meatballs, above, while making Moroccan spiced carrots and couscous. I set the table with some favorite Nathalie Lete plates for Anthropologie which don’t get used often. It was another meal win for mom (yay!) and it did feel a little more special.
One recipe we’ve tried so far that did not work? I pinned a certain “Cake in a Mug” recipe that I thought would be fun for the kids to make. Um, no. Did not work, after two tries. Consistency and taste was weird. Deleted. Back to the drawing board on that one.
In between all this crazy dinner experimentation, I will mix in an old standby favorite meal once a week or so. For example, breakfast for dinner is always a winner here.
Anyone out there have some tips for meal planning on Pinterest boards? Do you like using Pinterest boards this way? If you have comments and tips, please post them to the Wise Craft Facebook page, I’d love to hear them and will add them to this post in the coming weeks!
Enjoy your weekend!

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