Menu Plan for the Week of 5/19

So remember back in advent, I posted here about my desire to work on homemaking? Well as I settle into real-life, or ‘post graduation’, I find myself picking up that focus again. It’s wonderful to get caught up on making my home the comfortable, warm place that our friends and family want to spend their time. I received a nudge this weekend at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting. I’ve been a Weight Watcher for a couple of years now. It took me almost a year to reach my goal of 35 pounds lost and I’ve kept it off for almost 3 years! This week’s meeting topic was to work on ‘dining’ not just ‘eating’. The thought is that taking the time to enjoy food and the eating experience will leave us more satisfied and hault mindless noshing. This includes the appearance and temperature of our food, and the environment in which we eat it. Excellent!

So here’s the dirty confession time… we usually eat in a mess. My kitchen table looked like this on Saturday morning:

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or worse. BTW – I want total props for keeping it real. Yes, I just left a Weight Watcher meeting and I have a box of Daylight Donuts on the table. LOL. It’s for the sleepover kids! But that table is actually tidy compared to the usual set up. Things seem to collect there. As we sit down to dinner, my kiddos are usually excited to share the endless paper work that multiplies in their backpacks. Permission slips, homework, tests, and artwork seem to take over my place. Then toys, art projects, and of course books take over the spaces of those around me. I don’t know about you but clutter makes me cranky. This isn’t the best environment for the warm, relaxing family meals that I have planned in my head when I pour over these menus each week. I’ve griped about this over the last week or two but kept finding excuses to not address it. Until now. I came home on a mission to turn our family meal into a dining experience:

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The first thing I did was clear the table and make sure the entire space from light fixture to floor was scrubbed/dusted/spit shined. Then I flipped the leaf down into the table. I thought the smaller table would be more intimate – like the tables at restaurants. I tried a couple of table cloths, but as it turns out I don’t have one that fits the small round. So we went with our favorite placemats instead. And I think the ‘home’ is in the final details of flowers from the yard and a candle.

Already it has improved the experience. I don’t think the family is a fan of the smaller size. They were all instructed to take their random belongings off of the table. Which kept us distraction free for wonderful conversation. A side bonus: the family style serving platters needed to stay over on the counter instead of staring me in the face offering seconds. So my challenge to you is to make your eating this week worthy of the title ‘dining’ instead of merely eating. I hope to find the time to post some pictures of my efforts and encourage you to do the same!

This week’s menu includes two repeats. One day was just crazy enough to warrant a night out for wings & beer. And last week’s meat loaf was just too good so we made it dinner two nights in a row. So here’s this week’s plan:

Sunday: Tuna patties, zucchini sticks, roasted potatoes & beans

Monday: Hamburgers, french fries and coleslaw

Tuesday: shrimp, corn & chips

Wednesday: Orage Maple Glazed Pork Chops, veggies & rice

Thursday: Potato-Crust Chicken Quiche & fruit

Friday: An evening out 🙂

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