I’ve found that the Romgi and I are likely to eat fast food, expensive (but delicious) take-out, or cereal for dinner unless we plan a dinner menu at least a week in advance. But there’s always the question of what dishes to put on the menu. A while ago, I sat down and made a list of all the meals I could think of that we like, and I used that for a while. Then I sorted the meals by main component (like chicken, beef, pork, seafood) and tried to get a good variety every week.

Recently I took things a step further. You know how much I love spreadsheets, right? I created a spreadsheet with a tab for each component – now chicken, pork, vegetarian, beef, seafood, and miscellaneous – with the dishes and links to recipes. We have a rotation now where each of those 6 components shows up once per week on our menu, with Sunday being a chance to toss in an old favorite meal. Then I used my handy Google calendar to plan out weekly menus through November. Yes, I’m like that.

I had to do a lot of hunting to find more recipes to fill up the calendar. We’ve tried a few new tasty meals recently, and I thought I’d share.

Chorizo hash

Cuban pork tenderloin with soffrito rice

Lemon ricotta pancakes

Moroccan-style tilapia

Balsamic mushroom chicken

Pork chops with apples

What are some of your favorites? How do you plan your dinners? This week I’m looking forward to chicken-tomatillo chili, barbacoa pork burritos (a Cafe Rio knockoff), steakhouse shepherd’s pie, and blackened catfish. The Romgi caught a couple catfish not too long ago and we have a great seasoning for them. Incidentally, the seasoning is usually used for “blackened red snapper” or “blackened red fish,” which I always heard as “black and red fish.” So when we made a batch of the seasoning early in our marriage, I labeled the jar “Black & Red Spice.” Much hilarity ensued. I may have been embarrassed, but let’s just say that we all thought it was hilarious.

The end.