Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Go-To Meals

I'm not one to make a menu for the week and buy my groceries based on what I plan to make. Why? Because I like to feel inspired in the kitchen.

...Okay, really, I just like to cook whatever I'm craving around 5:30.

Which means, at any given time, our pantry usually looks like this:

It may seem a little excessive for two people. But I assure you it is all eaten. And no I did not organize my shelves for this picture. Labels-facing-forward is a 24/7, 365 days/year insanity of mine. Straight lines and front-facing labels make me happier than they should.

These are the items you will most likely always find in my pantry, fridge, or freezer:
  • Soups (Cream of Chicken, Mushroom, and Celery to be exact)
  • Rotel
  • Rice a Roni and Pasta Roni for sides
  • Pasta (duh)
  • Tuna
  • Canned Chicken
  • A jar of sauce if I don't have any of my homemade one frozen
  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Chicken Stock
  • Cream Cheese
  • Pillsbury french bread (which can double as a last-minute pizza crust or calzone dough)
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese (usually cheddar, sometimes mozzarella)
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Onions or Shallots
  • Parmesan
  • Meats: Chicken breast, ground beef, pork tenderloin, tilapia, shrimp
  • Broccoli, broccoli, and more broccoli (plus carrots, green beans, and cauliflower)

Most of those items can be used to make as one of these go-to meals:

And when one of those items does not sound appetizing, or when I am running late from work, or when I just don't want to cook (yes, I love cooking, but no, I do not always want to do it)- Papa Johns Pizza (half cheese for me, half pepperoni for Matt) or Publix rotisserie chicken with a side of their steam-in-bag broccoli and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese fills the what-do-I-cook-for-dinner void. Yes. I cook Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. This one or this one to be exact. 

So maybe I'll become a meal planner one day, but for now, I'll stick to my overloaded (and over-organized) pantry and fridge so that I can have all kinds of options for what to make. :)

So what works for you? Are you a meal planner or impromptu-cooker? Have any go-to meals I need to add to my rotation?! 

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. Meal planner for sure! I shop once a week and plan meals through the weekend. I make it easy by having set meals for certain nights....Thursday is clean out night, Friday is always homemade pizza. I usually plan a Saturday meal with leftovers to have after church on Sunday. And then we do not cook again on Sunday night. It is usually a late lunch so we do snacks that evening. I usually try to plan a Tuesday meal big enough for leftovers on Wednesday. With homeschooling it is a must for me to plan.
    If I forget I hope you have a Happy Birthday...tomorrow right? Any big plans?

  2. you're so cute! i'm such an impromptu cooker...i maybe plan a meal a couple times and week and the others, we're either out or i just wing it. poor steve. ;) luckily, he'll eat pretty much anything...he's a piggie. lol. now that fall is here, i'm thinking of starting a meal plan (somewhat) for at least the week. i hope you're having a great day!! xoxoxox

  3. You forgot 2 things: garlic and sweet onions. If I know you, I know those are always on hand. :) haha. And love that you called yourself out on the labels facing out. I can confirm that the picture was not posed.

  4. I am a recent convert to meal planning an am loving it, we have had no beans on toast or last minute take aways for a couple of months now!

    Off to look at some of your recipes again, need some new ideas for my menus!