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New Year, New Flavors!

Chiles, Harissa

A new year, some new flavors!  I got a few cookbooks for Christmas, and one of the things I really want to keep up on this year is actually menu planning!

I can’t see a downside to menu planning… it’s fun to look for recipes, it’s a puzzle to balance out meals and flavors and difficulty of prep levels, there’s no guessing what’s for dinner when dinner should be already in my belly, and it is SO much easier to stay within a reasonable grocery budget when I have a legitimate shopping list.

New Cookbooks

Weekly Menu Plan

This week I pulled a couple of brand new recipes out of my new cookbooks and mixed them in with some classic favorites.  A key I’ve found to menu planning is not to plan a crazy hard dish every night… some nights you just need/want to boil some pasta and down it ten minutes later!  Go easy on yourself!  That being said, don’t be afraid to take a couple nights to experiment in the kitchen!


One of my experiments this week is using some middle-eastern flavors!  There’s an egg dish in my new egg cookbook that I’ve planned for Wednesday night, but it calls for a spice paste called Harissa.  I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store, so I found a recipe and made my own!

Bonus: I already had all the ingredients!


I can tell you, after trying a dab of this spicy paste… I’m already looking forward to Wednesday!

But having planned a great menu for all week, first up are some Roasted Orange Chipotle Shrimp atop a veggie filled salad tonight!

A healthy and quick weeknight dinner after hubby and I get back from the gym tonight!  <<hello, following through on new year’s resolutions  ;)

Now, if I can keep this up… I’m sure this year is in for some AWESOME new flavors!  And maybe Aaron won’t make me wait until next Christmas to get more new cookbooks ;)


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