Every new year, my goal is to cook more dinners and actually eat at home. I felt like towards the end of 2018 we were actually semi-successful and think it has carried into the first few weeks of 2019. That said, I reviewed our 2018 finances in Mint two weekends ago and there’s still room for improvement.
This New Year’s Resolution (as some would call it), stems from my early professional life as a sports journalist. Back in those days, I was lucky to get to cook one dinner a week. Working 4 p.m. to midnight meant a lot of meals on sports desk or from a drive thru on the way back to the newspaper to make our 11 p.m. deadline. Occasionally I miss that adrenaline rush — and this week, I’m missing being able to watch the Australian Open live. I’ve since settled into the 9-6 NYC work day and enjoy the nights where my trains aren’t late and I can get dinner on the table by 8 p.m. or meet friends for dinner in the city.
In our daily lives, cooking dinner, not just eating at home, is where there’s attainable room for improvement. I’ve nailed breakfast at home, except for #BagelFriday at the office because any foodie who passes up a true New York bagel with cream cheese gets a strong side eye and heavy does of skepticism from me. Lunch has mostly been conceded to the streets of Midtown and currently MealPal — definitely a good deal and cool concept, but the supply of warm healthy options is a little low for February in NYC. We moved to a bigger apartment with a great kitchen (but not the prettiest countertops; spoiler: that’s just a marble pastry board in my photos) in the fall, so there’s no good reason to not cook almost every night.
Blogging should come naturally as a former journalist, but not for me, which is evident by the previously stalled attempts. So, I decided I need a project or series to keep this one alive. As a millennial, I also obviously need a hashtag so that you all can easily follow along and join in. Introducing #MoreMealsIn!
The premise is simple: cook more dinners, especially on weeknights. The next few weeks will be a soft launch/experimentation phase. Week 1 will officially begin on Feb. 3. I’ll create a plan with at least four meals for the week and share it here. Come the end of the week, I’ll report how we did. Throughout the week, there will be updates on Instagram, which my gut says will mostly be via Stories and maybe a gallery with the weekend update.
I wanted to call this series #28MealsIn with a focus on February to be cute, but realized quickly that sets me up for another abandoned blog. Sometimes, I’ll make a crazy declaration like “no more sweets” and my husband will have to remind me how unrealistic it is. This time I didn’t need him to remind me. He works in college athletics and it’s the heart of basketball season, so I really only have dinner with him about four nights a week. While I’ve much gotten better at not ordering every night he’s gone, I rarely cook myself a full meal. There’s also Valentine’s Day which obviously is a date night, plus I’m due for dinner with various sets of friends in the city. That’s already like half the month gone, and I also don’t want this to be a one month project. Some weeks we might fail, some weeks we might purposely skip (i.e. in June when we are in Jamaica for our anniversary). In the summer, Shore Weekends might get in the way and rules could have to be adjusted, but we’ll revisit that when the time comes.
Last week was accidentally a successful one. We ate the exact four meals I planned (bottom picture). So, here goes nothing. This week’s plan and grocery list below, which is just made in a Note on my phone because I love the check bubbles.