Menu Planning & Cooking in Less Than Ideal Situations

Day 17 kitchen 4

Day 17 kitchen 4

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If you’ve been reading the blog recently, then you know we moved into a fixer upper about 3 weeks ago and it has no kitchen.  Obviously, not having a kitchen makes menu planning and cooking complicated.  But despite my complicated circumstances, I’m continuing to menu plan and cook meals.

“Why?” you might ask.  “Why wouldn’t you just eat out?”  Well, there are several reasons:

1.       My husband only likes to eat out occasionally.  He likes the food I make at home and will choose my food over out food every time!

2.       Eating out is expensive.

3.       Eating out isn’t usually as good for you as eating at home.

I’m not telling you this so you’ll think I’m some awesome homemaker.  The reason I’m telling you this is to show you that even if your situation is complicated, you can still menu plan and cook at home if you want to.  If you don’t want to and eating out fits your budget and dietary needs, then go for it.  But if you’d prefer to eat at home, you can!  You just have to get creative.

In my case, I don’t have a stove but I do have a whole arsenal of kitchen appliances.  These appliances give me a lot of options.

Here are a few meals I put together recently:

Barbecue Pork Chops (crock pot)
Couscous (microwave)
Steamed Vegetables (microwave)

(browned meat on a hot plate & then put everything in the crock pot)
I’ve heard you can brown meat in a crock pot.  I haven’t tried that yet.

Round Steak w/a rub (George Forman grill)
Baked Potatoes (crock pot)
Steamed Vegetables

Mexican Chicken (crockpot)

Turkey Burgers (George Forman grill)

Tomato Soup (canned, heated in microwave)
Grilled Cheese (griddle)
Steamed Vegetables

Herb & Garlic Chicken (George Forman)
(I normally would make my own marinade, but since my kitchen isn’t functional,
I took the easy route and purchased a bottle of marinade)
Parmesan Pasta (microwave)

In addition to the appliances mentioned above, I also have a rice cooker and toaster which I will be using soon.

I miss making bread, pizza and dessert.  I’ve heard you can make bread in the crockpot and I’m going to try that soon.  I know there are lots of dessert recipes that don’t require an oven but we’ve just been eating candy or ice cream if we get a craving for something sweet.  If this goes on too long, I’ll be looking into some of those recipes.

So if your situation is complicated but you want to cook at home, you can!  If you need ideas, leave a comment about your situation and we’ll see if we can help.  And if you’ve ever made bread in your slow cooker, let me know how that worked out.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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4 thoughts on “Menu Planning & Cooking in Less Than Ideal Situations

  1. I don’t have all these small appliances you have. When we moved, I had an old electric stove I got for free to cook on temporarily. It ended up having an ideal oven for bread baking. I agree, no reason to eat out just because the kitchen is not ideal.

  2. one of our favorite pies doesnt require baking and is super yummy!! It’s a couple drops red food color (or not if you don’t care) 3/4 cup raspberry lemonade concentrate, one can sw. cond. milk mixed together. Then fold in a container of cool whip, pour into store bought graham cracker or shortbread pie crust and refrigerate for at least six hours…SO yummy…if you like citrus. It can be with any citrus juice mix, really.

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