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How do you accomplish your evening meal?
Old 11-18-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
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How do you accomplish your evening meal?

When you cook dinner on an average night do you:

1. Look through recipes and then go shopping for all the needed ingredients for the chosen dish.
2. Go to the store and buy what looks good and hope you have whatever other ingredients needed on hand at home.
3. Buy everything precooked/packaged/canned.
4. Cook so simple I don't use any ingredients other than the raw meat/fish or vegetable so I don't use recipes.
5. Have at least one weeks meals selected in advance with everything needed and buy everthing in one shopping trip.
6. Usually eat out.
7. Just sit down at the table and wait for someone to serve it up.
8. Don't care about food, cooking or recipes, I just scrounge up what I can, when and where I can.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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None of them really apply exactly to me.

I have enough food on hand to cook for a week or longer. When it's time to eat I use what's available and cook it up.

Often I'll cook a big batch and then eat it (intermittently) over the next few days. Sometimes I freeze some of it and eat that (intermittently) over the next several months.

I rarely use a recipe.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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I think it's a combination of many of these.

I did inherit my father's gene for randomly looking through the refrigerator and the pantry for stuff to throw together and actually have it (usually) turn out to be quite good.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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When I food shop I plan a few meals by what meat is on special and what ingredients I have . Occasionally I try to stall out my SO to see if he'll cook and it rarely works . He does cook if asked and always does Sunday Breakfast .
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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I usually have two or three days worth of meals in mind and go shopping at least twice a week, mainly just buying for the next few days. I don't usually cook the day we go shopping, but I will usually have leftovers available for that day, and I usually cook the day after we go grocery shopping.

I really only have to cook every other day, or 2 out of 3 days at most and reheat leftovers plus make fresh salads to go with leftovers. We also eat out fairly often. Sometimes we eat out on the way to the grocery store!

I'm really into cooking (mostly from scratch) and good food and I often spend time on-line exploring new recipe ideas. I sometimes have so many interesting ideas of things to try that I actually have a list on my computer of new recipe ideas to work through. It takes a while to go through such a list.

DH always does breakfast, and sometimes lunch. I do dinner and sometimes we have my leftovers for lunch.

So, I don't even begin to know how to put myself in your list.

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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Right now? Mostly (4), with a little bit of (2) and (8). I live alone, and I prefer to eat simply.

When I was married and cooking for my family, (5). I wrote a little program in Basic that would ask me what I planned for each meal during the week, and then make a shopping list for me with the ingredients (and quantities) needed for all the recipes in my meal plan for the week. The program would print out what I needed (including staples that I always wanted to have in the house, like paper towels) in order, by grocery store aisle.

Then I would take the list and quickly cross off the items that I already had before heading to the store. This made shopping very fast since I could nearly run up and down the aisles scooping up what I needed. That helps with a toddler in tow - - no time for baby to get bored.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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9. a. Get random organic produce delivered to my house mid week.
b. Decide based on this what I want to cook for the following week.
c. Buy any extra ingredients needed.
d. Spend a few hours on the weekend cooking 5-8 different things.
e. Freeze/fridge items.
f. Eat pre-made meals for lunch and supper all week.
g. Avoid chopping off my fingers by not cooking after work when I'm too hungry.
h. Repeat process.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
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I just see what's available in the house and either look for recipes on the net or in one of my books if I don't make something I'm familiar with; then run out to buy whatever ingredient I'm missing in the recipe at the nearby grocery whose cost is middle of the road. I usually have most everything always that I need for a full meal at home, but, of course, sometimes you do have to run out for an extra can of tomato paste or green pepper depending on what I'm making.
Since I'm cooking for 2 or 3 right now this seems to work for me. I admire those that can make a weekly plan, but I just cannot keep to it. I like winging it on a daily basis depending on my mood.
But I never go to the grocery stores without a list when I do go. And I alternate--depending on what's on sale--with 3 local stores plus good 'ole WalMart. I'm the Sale Queen, and it's amazing how much you can stock up on at the expensive groceries that carry a bigger variety than WalMart if you stick with it even just buying sale items (like this week Sara Lee pies for $3.50 and you get a 1/2 gal. of Breyer's ice cream free!)
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #9
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Mostly #4 for me, too. Once a week I do a hearty soup, stew or casserole and eat it for a couple of days with maybe a piece of bread and fresh fruit for dessert. Add an omelet to this mix one night, cereal and milk another night, maybe a steak or piece of fish and some kimchee or bean salad from the jar another. I eat out at lunch two or three times a week and usually make this meal a big leafy salad. I only dine out in the evening maybe once or twice a month, but I occasionally swing by Panera's on my way home and get a take-out Greek salad or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the deli.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:18 PM   #10
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There are 2 constants: I almost never use recipes and I cook everything from scratch. Then it depends.

I usually have a few dinner ideas for the coming week and shop for the necessary ingredients in advance. Some nights, DW requests something specific and I go shop for ingredients right before dinner. But on nights when I have no ideas I just go through the fridge/pantry and whip something up. I usually have stocks of basic ingredients such as rice, pasta, potatoes, carrots, frozen green beans, onions, couscous, tomato sauce, shredded cheese, flour etc... Tonight, we couldn't figure out what to eat. Since I had some chicken left over from yesterday, I decided to stir fry it with some carrots, green beans, onions and canned baby corn. I came up with the idea at 6:30pm and we were eating it by 7:15pm with enough leftover for DW's lunch tomorrow. I could also have made chicken soup (chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions and pasta) or chicken pizza (flour, tomato sauce, chicken, cheese).
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:30 PM   #11
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I'm out walking around almost every day, so I usually bring home some meat or fish. Maybe 2 days worth at times.

I most buy what I like of what is on sale, plus some things like grass fed burger which is rarely on sale, but I buy it anyway. Same with fish, I buy on sale if I can but if it looks good I'll get some anyway.

I would happily give up cooking, but not shopping for the food.

I like to cook extra vegetable and then pickle the leftover. Just ate some great pickled onion and Brussels sprouts that I started 3 days ago.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
None of them really apply exactly to me.

I have enough food on hand to cook for a week or longer. When it's time to eat I use what's available and cook it up.

Often I'll cook a big batch and then eat it (intermittently) over the next few days. Sometimes I freeze some of it and eat that (intermittently) over the next several months.

I rarely use a recipe.
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
There are 2 constants: I almost never use recipes and I cook everything from scratch. Then it depends.

I usually have a few dinner ideas for the coming week and shop for the necessary ingredients in advance.....
What they said...mostly! We always keep the cupboards full to overflowing, as well as the refrigerator and freezer. So if we want something, normally we have it in stock. Also, when we hit the grocery store, we look for other stuff to have for a change of pace, and also restock what we've used since the last grocery run.

We seldom use recipes, unless it's a totally new dish that we're trying out. Otherwise, we cook everything from memory....sometimes a smidgen more of this or a tad less of that...or just throw a bit of something else in to see how it turns out....experimenting! And we almost always cooked enough for at least 2 or 3 meals, and 'frigerate or freeze the extra for later use (especially true when grilling out...nothing like having a nice char-grilled brat on a cold, rainy or snowy night...without needing to go out in the weather to cook it!).

About the only real 'flop' that we've ever really had, was last year we did a stuffed zucchini recipe that sounded really good. It turned out so-so, looked fairly unappetizing, and tasted even worse! Threw it in the trash, along with the recipe, and ordered a pizza!!!
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #13
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1. All summer store food - freeze veg from garden, salmon we catch, wild berries we pick, can apples.
2. Buy low priced good quality fruit/veg at Costco or on weekly special at grocery, if the garden is not producing at the time, and other items (e.g. nuts, cheese, olives) needed for a specific thing I plan to cook. Buy organic 25-lb bags of oatmeal, beans, etc.
3. Cook from scratch, usually foods I've cooked a zillion times before (memorized recipe or have it in a folder to refer to), or new shared recipes from friends or bhg.com.
4. I used to make a weekly plan when I was working to save time shopping. Now I'm retired I don't have to shop during the busy times, so making a special run to the store when needed is no big deal, but I still try to avoid it. Most dinners are planned around what's already in the freezer or what was on special at the store. If I lived in an area with great farmer's markets (like haha) , this would be different.
5. Did I mention chocolate?
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:50 PM   #14
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I shop once a week (or so). Most mornings (sometimes the night before), I ask DW to find something in the freezer to have for dinner. Late in the afternoon I go see what ishe found and start then start thinking about it. I, usually, end up with four or five recipes assembled and then combine them into something way different.

Other times I start in the cubboard -- a can of beans, for instance -- and keep adding to it until my mind stops.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:52 PM   #15
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7. Just sit down at the table and wait for someone to serve it up.


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Old 11-19-2009, 12:50 AM   #16
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It varies a lot. Today I realized the supermarket delivery from last week included too much broccoli so I made a triple batch of broccoli/cheese blender soup which SO and I ate with some challah left over from yesterday. That was enough for me but SO went on to fry a burger and god knows what else.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:36 AM   #17
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For me, a combination of much of what was already said,
plus:
Every once in a while, my goal is to eat everything that's in the freezer (not all at once of course!) - this is my way of cleaning out the freezer, otherwise some things my be lurking in there for years.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cashflo2u2 View Post
When you cook dinner on an average night do you:

1. Look through recipes and then go shopping for all the needed ingredients for the chosen dish.
2. Go to the store and buy what looks good and hope you have whatever other ingredients needed on hand at home.
1 once in a while for special occasions
2 have ingredients stocked (winter squirrel habits)

I live out in the country.
My usual look-ahead mode is buy larger packages, and repackage into 1 lb portions for freezing.
Daily: I select a meat from freezer, and then look in my cookbooks, go online, or just wing it off the top of my head, as my mood takes me.

I stock up on a variety of dry and canned goods, so I have the full spectrum of ingredients. I freeze a lot of fresh veggies at local fall harvest time. I use a food rotation method (older in front of shelf/bin) in freezer and pantry.

I usually do crockpot cooking and then serve over rice or noodles. I love to make hearty soups and "from scratch" spaghetti sauce. I have a large collection of spices on hand for a wide variety of international foods.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:28 AM   #19
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For me, it is mostly:

4. Cook so simple I don't use any ingredients other than the raw meat/fish or vegetable so I don't use recipes.

I shop at the farmer's market in the summer and keep a stock of fresh fruits and veggies on hand. In the winter, I buy what is on sale or is reasonably priced. As DW still works, I fix meals 5 days a week and she is happy with simple but ready-when-she-gets-home meals. We eat very little meat.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:32 AM   #20
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When you cook dinner on an average night
Is this a trick question?
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