I know...I know....it's not even close to fall yet. Although I hardly wait until the actual first day, I usually consider it fall as soon as September first rolls around. Anyway I've been working on menu planning and recipes. Fall is my favorite recipe time because it starts to cool off enough to use the oven a bit and the flavors of fall are so yummy!
So I decided to start a recipe/menu planning challenge that will start tomorrow July 14th. Here's how it will work. I challenge each of you to gather up calendars for September, October, and November. Then we will start filling in menu plans and complete with recipes.
You will need to start by filling in each week with two days where you will use a tried and true recipe or a family favorite (for examples Tacos) I am planning to have one day where it is "eat out". You can choose to do that also or if that does not fit your lifestyle then fill a day in with a third family favorite. You can repeat these through out the three months as many times as you feel your family will enjoy them. For example we could have tacos every other week and no one would complain!
Then several times each week I will be posting Fall recipes here at Cranberry and Company. Use these to fill in the rest of your monthly plans or dig around and find some others you would like to include.
The goal is to have three months worth ready by September 1st!
Here are some tips:
1. Start a file for copying and pasting the recipes I post here. You can also copy and print which ever suits you best. Call this your Fall Menu Challenge file. (You will see why it needs a name in a little bit.)
2. Start some online recipe boxes at sites like allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com I am trying hard to use more technology and have less paper clutter so I challenge you to try this also if you haven't already done so.
3. Print the three monthly calendars or make a list so you can see the months and the days. I just happen to like a calendar format the best.
4. Consider your days of the weeks and your schedule. Are there some days when you have more time for cooking dinner? If so plan on putting the new recipes on those days of the week and the family favorites on days when you know you will be short on time.
5. When you are ready to write the menus develop a code so if it is a menu where you need to look at the recipe you will know where the actual recipe is "housed". If it is one from the challenge you can use the code FMC (Fall Menu Challenge) then you will know you need to look at the file on your computer or here on the blog. If it is a cookbook that you have then jot a short hand version of the title and page number so you can locate it quickly. If it is your allrecipes box then you would list that. I can't tell you how many hours this has saved me!
I will not post on a predetermined schedule...like every Wednesday or whatever but I will try to get several posts in each week with recipes. I'll update with the Facebook group and at the forums at MHH when new recipes are posted. Good Luck...let's get fall planned so we can create yummy meals for our families!
If you are planning to join the challenge, please leave a comment. If you plan on blogging the challenge on your own blog, please include the link. I'd love to visit!