Meal Planning When You’re Writing a Cookbook

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There’s a distinct irony in the fact that I’m currently in the throes of writing a cookbook, preparing mountains of food, and feeding my family more take-out than usual.

I chalk it up to the need for focus. On days when I’m testing and retesting recipes, we eat like kings. On days when I’m writing, we lean more on quick fixes and fast food.

This week, I decided to be a little more proactive in my planning — and did a quick inventory of the freezer. We’ve got lots of new creations chilling out in there. So, they are dictating our meal plan this week.

Some strategies I plan to use to keep me out of the drive-thru:

  • Cleaning out the fridge so that there’s room for freezer meals to thaw.
  • Pre-prepping salads and vegetable trays so that side dishes are easy at the ready.
  • Making a mess of baking mixes to make breakfasts and breads a little easier.
  • Taking a cue from Tammy, and preparing for stressful days with a few back-up plans.

Here’s my meal plan for the week:


Eggs and Toast
Yogurt, Fruit, and Muffins
Granola or Oatmeal


snacky lunch
pasta salad


Pasta with Vegetable Bolognese, Salad, Garlic Bread
Roast ChickenMashed Potatoes, Vegetables
Shepherd’s Pie, Green Salad
Pork and Hominy Stew, Rice, Salad with Pepitas and Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Sausage Ragu and Noodles, Steamed Veg
Pizza Night
takeout — because who are we kidding?

How do you avoid the drive-thru?

Need more ideas for meal planning? Check out Menu Plan Monday.

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  1. I hate drive through food, so that really saves us. But I made a tradition that on the way to church, since we go at 1 pm. to church on Sundays, to get them something from the drive through. They sit more still in church, which is 2-3 hours long, without any kid’s stuff, and it helps them to have something to look forward to.
    Otherwise, I have found planning my dinners out for the week, really, really helps!

  2. A Frank says:

    Take out is a no no, but visiting a great Mexican Restaurant on Cinco de Mayo is fantastic, especially if they serve a great Margarita!

  3. I become the freezer queen of Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s when I’m writing. I try to supplement frozen entrees with lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

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