Cure “Cooker’s Block” Once and for All

Photo By WayTru

Now, I’m sure you’re asking, just what in the world is “cooker’s block?” Well, let me explain. Think of it as “writer’s block,” but for the cook. Of course, this only happens to me when it’s time to sit down and plan my menu for the following week.

Sure, I have all my recipes in a three ring binder and on my computer, but there are a lot of simple things I like to cook that I don’t need a recipe to prepare, for example, asparagus topped with cheese, corn on the cob, grilled pork chops or chicken ‘n’ rice.

If I only look through my recipe collection, I am very likely to forget all those other tasty possibilities. Well, I found a solution that allows me to easily see almost everything I like to cook, from the simple to the I-can’t-fix-it-without-the-recipe foods, all at once.

The solution is listing by category all the foods you like to cook and eat.

How this makes menu planning easier:

When you get “cooker’s block,” you can pull out your list, see what looks good to you, and add it to your menu. The list will also help remind you of those foods you may not have cooked in a while, which helps ensure more variety week to week.

I must add, however, to first check your refrigerator before sitting down to make out your menu, you don’t want good food to spoil.

Once you have completed your menu, then you can pull out your recipes and prepare your grocery list accordingly.

Here’s how to set it up:

I know this method may seem long and time consuming, but it really is a simple process. There are two basic ways to set up your list, either by preparing a spreadsheet or simply getting a notebook and making a page for each category.

Begin by listing your food category headings. Here is a list of some of my headings to help get you started:

  • Vegetables
  • Meats/Poultry
  • Bread
  • Pasta Sides
  • Sandwiches
  • Soups and Salads
  • Breakfast Foods
  • Desserts
  • Appetizers
  • Casseroles/One Dish Meals

After determining your main headings, you will want to create sub-headings. For example, under Vegetables, sub-headings might include Corn, Peas, and Squash. Then, just list out the options you have for preparing those vegetables. For instance, underneath Corn, you might list creamed corn, whole kernel corn, Mexican corn, and corn on the cob.

You probably will not be able to list everything in one sitting, but all along as you think of other items, you can just add them to the list. I found that the easiest way to begin was to basically think about each food group and mentally go through the list of foods in each group.

I’m sure that most of you already know how beneficial it is to plan your menu regularly, and my hope is that this food list will help make that process even easier for you, as it has for me.

By the way, don’t forget to add any new foods or recipes you try and enjoy.

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Posted on March 10th, 2009 in Home and Organization | One Comment
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