Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Age Old Question – What should I make for dinner? By Jannine Gallant

How much time do you waste staring into your refrigerator, wondering what to make for dinner? My guess is (if you’re anything like me) you go to the same old standbys, tried and true recipes you’ve made a million times before. I know I’m guilty as charged. The problem is, eating the same old thing gets boring when you’ve already made it three four times that month.

Now, to our organization theme. A few years ago, I pulled out my recipe cards and my cookbooks. I went through them, making a list of recipes my family loves and where I could quickly find them. It gave me a fast reference guide. So instead of that old standby, I can run through the list, and say, “Hey, I haven’t made this chicken dish in a while.”

If you’re really organized and motivated, you can sit down with your master list on Monday, and plan dinners for the whole week. Wow, imagine not stopping at the store every day, standing by the meat counter thinking, What should I make tonight? Less trips to the store means more time for writing, reading, painting your toenails… It’ll also save you money because you won’t be tempted to buy that bag of pistachio nuts. (That’s one of my husband’s weaknesses when I’m foolish enough to send him to the store!)

To get you started with your list of awesome recipes, I’m including one of my favorites below. You can also find more of my recipes on my blog, Food For Thought.

Chicken Stroganoff

4 slices bacon
1 ¼ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
½ tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 can less sodium chicken broth
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups hot, cooked egg noodles

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and crumble. Leave some of the bacon drippings and sauté chicken. Add onion and garlic – cook until wilted. Add seasonings, broth and bacon to pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Combine sour cream and flour in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Add to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Serve over egg noodles. Yields 4 servings.

Visit my Website for info on my current and upcoming releases. Bittersweet will be available from Whiskey Creek Press in February!


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Jannine,
I can see the dilema you were in, sounds like you have it under control now with your new system. Fortunately, my hubby does most of our cooking. He loves shopping for groceries too, another thing I detest. But, I do the gardening, so I reckon it is a fair exchange.



Margo Hoornstra said...


Love the picture!

Since I hate to cook, I'll go for simple, but this is one I will actually try. Luckily, my husband is taking over. I think it's called survival instinct! :)

Laura Breck said...

Hey, Jannine, great idea! We shop at Costco, and everything comes in gigantic sizes. Having two recipies ready for one main protein would help us use up those twenty-pound packs we buy (of which half usually ends up in the back of the freezer.

Jerri Hines said...

Your recipes always sound so good! If only I cooked...

Alison H. said...

I do plan ahead, make a list, and shop every Saturday; but I'm SO guilty of falling back on the same old standbys week after week. I need to try your approach to organize a collection of more interesting options. This recipe looks like a great one.

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm envious of you ladies with husbands who cook. We tried that once when I was working outside the house. (Working inside the house doesn't seem to count but don't get me started!) After two nights, my daughters asked me to please, please take over again!

Vonnie Davis said...

OK, first question. did you get that picture of me in front of the refrigerator????

We eat out at least 3 times a week when I'm writing...and I'm ALWAYS writing. I love to cook, though, and especially like homemade soups so thick with ingredients, you could use a fork to eat it.

Great post.