Try It Tuesday/#JusJoJan 22 ,2019: Do I Have to Wear A Chef’s Hat?

My #oneword for 2019 is: Embrace. I want to open my arms wide to life in the new year –even Tuesday, the day so often seen as ho-hum.

I’m giving poor maligned Tuesday a hug.

What’s This Try It Tuesday thing, anyway?

Try It Tuesday is one part how-to, one part home lab, and one part journal – a way to explore some things I’ve always wanted to try, but never quite got around to.

Oh…and I record every step of the way.

I’m hoping it will not only inspire me, but also help you find something you’ve always wanted to try, and, well – Try It!

How It Works:

I share the process: initial research, gathering materials and resources, and on to the actual nuts, bolts, laughter and tears (or laughing so hard I cry, as the case may be) along the way…all of it!

When I finish one project, I’ll do a wrap-up highlight post, and replace it with another, all year long!

So… what’s this week’s Tuesday Try-It?

Menu Planning[

I’m not especially motivated by food, but I do want to feel healthy and be nourished by what I eat. I also want to create a workable family budget.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been hearing more and more about menu planning. For some time, I didn’t think it would work – we are a family of autonomous eaters, and each of us has very different ideas of what is “good.”

But, since my chef husband passed away a little over a year ago, I’ve become the family’s main food provisioner. Both kids can prepare foods they like, but there needs to be an adult making sure there’s food to prepare, and something nourishing available to them if they don’t feel like making their own meals.

Without Jim to bring me a dinner each night he worked, and make a family dinner on his days off, I have a growing curiosity about cooking, and discovering things I really want to eat. But the experience of standing in the kitchen trying to muddle out a plan at 4pm while the kids napped, and later having them refuse to try my exhausted and halfhearted efforts, is not one I care to repeat.

So I’m meal planning mostly for myself. If the kids want to try what I make, they’re welcome. Jeremiah, at 17, is a more adventurous eater (and cook) than 14 year old Lise, but she may sample something here and there.

The Instant Pot is going to figure strongly in my meal planning. It’s easy to use, versatile, I don’t have to babysit it (hence more time for writing and blogging and The Rest of Life), and meals come together quickly and deliciously.

Wunderlist is another tool I’ll use regularly. Once I’ve gotten my plan pulled together, I’ll add any needed items to our running family grocery list, so I know I’ll have the ingredients I need when it’s time to cook.

Eventually, I may combine meal planning with bullet journaling – I’ve seen some cool spreads for that which might be perfect for us, and I could explore two of my current Try-Its at once!

To start, I’m choosing four meals and a snack to make each week. One will be something I’ve made before, so I build confidence as I grow in my abilities. I will find recipes online. I already have a couple of favorite sites:

And will be exploring a couple more:

This week, I plan to make:

Most of this week’s meals come from this meal-planning post, which I expect to be referring to often.

The tie-dyed chef’s coat and hat aren’t the only things she inherited from her dad!

Will I end up with loveliness, chaos – or a liberal blend of both?

I’ll find out by trying. You can find out by popping in on Tuesday, January 29 to see a recap of what kind of (potentially beautiful) mess I’ve gotten myself into this time. That’s also when I’ll share the date for my next Meal Planning post.

If you don’t want to wait that long, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram, where I’ll be posting updates randomly along the way.

What’s On Tap for Next Week?

Month One Recap!

Since we’ve got an extra week in the month, let’s peek back at all my intro posts, and see what kind of lovely chaos I’ve created so far!

Until then, I’m off to plan (and create) some meals!

Got a Try It of your own?
Want to share?

Go right ahead!
There are three ways to play:

Comment below.

Tweet to the #TryItTuesday hashtag and tag me, @shanjeniah.

Snag the logo above, plop it into your own post, and link back to this Try It Tuesday post.

This post is part of Just Jot It January, where today’s prompt, “curiosity”, comes from Pamela. Click the links to learn more or join in!

Till Next Time!