First Day Using The Menu Planner - Hello World - A Nerd Who Can Cook Blog at - 258783

Hello World - A Nerd Who Can Cook

First day using the menu planner 
Nov. 29, 2011 4:05 am 
Updated: Nov. 30, 2011 9:18 pm
"What a neat idea," I thought, "and only $1/mth, for this site?  I'd give that too them anyway for the recipes I've gotten here."  I am sure one or two of us have stories of taking a dish they've found on here over to some party, or maybe something less formal and yet more intensive like cooking for the family and having them all just thinking it -- and you -- are the bomb (now if I can just train them right to clean up for the chef afterwards).

Anyway, the examples of the menu planner looked awesome.  For myself, I was already doing this "to-the-t" by hand every time I'd plan for however many days of groceries to buy.  There was no difference in the process, and to see it all just already laid out in computer digital form for a nerd like me to use, I mean, what can I say, it was a must.

Once becoming a supporting member (something we should have been doing for quite some time anyway), I started to play around w/the menu planner.  The menu planner seems fairly strait forward, for the most part.  If you don't have any recipes in your recipe box yet, it will kinda make it difficult, but you can search while building your menus.  It was fairly strait forward for me, but took a few minutes to really grasp what was going on and how to build menus.  With coffee in hand, I probably spent 90 minutes learning how to build, modify, and save menus.

After saving the menu, a shopping list can be built from it.  If you know your grocery store (why don't you if you are the cook), then the shopping list allows you to just go in, grab where everything is, and leave.  Most stuff is listed in the right place, but not all of it on the shopping list (at least for my area).  I am sure it is slightly different for every part of the country.

What made yesterday's Japanese Dinner a total failure you ask?  The international sections at both local grocers did not have three key ingredients I needed, and the international market was so broke down that they could not take any cards :/

Hopefully day two will be better, we will see :)
Nov. 29, 2011 5:21 am
Glad you joined the blogs~ I have never taken the time to figure out the menu planning feature. Now after your simple explanation I think I will go ahead and play around with it. Hope your next shopping trip is more successful!
Nov. 29, 2011 1:17 pm
I am not utilizing 90% of the features of this membership. I think they are not making a big enough effort to tutorial. What do you guys think? Esp. new members.
Nov. 30, 2011 9:15 pm
Welcome, ThoHug! I love the planner so much I blogged my best tips. It's really long and detailed but it boils down to a few things. First, make sure to set up folders in your recipe box that make sense to you. I found the default folders completely inadequate. Sub-folders help, too. If you've got a lot of recipes it takes a long time to get them all into folders, but it pays off in the end. I stick things in as many folders as make sense. I have a dressings sub-folder in salads, for example. 2nd, if you have dishes that go together, like spaghetti and Caesar salad, save them as a menu, then just pop that menu into the planner when you're having spaghetti. Simple. I also have a menu that reads "Dinner Out" for nights we eat anywhere else. If you order pizza every Friday, why not make a menu (using write-ins) called Pizza Night, with the name and number of your pizza guy? Sweet! I use "write in your own item" a lot. It's great for adding sides like green beans, or chips, hamburger buns, things you'll want to have show up on your shopping list. But it's also the bomb for adding notes, like "defrost chicken for tomorrow". There is a note feature but the notes don't show up in the main planner window, while write-in items do.
Nov. 30, 2011 9:18 pm
CG, you're right. Tutorials would help, especially for things like the planner, and to teach us that almost every feature has an option drop-down arrow where the good stuff is hidden. It took me forever to figure out that I could change folders in my recipe box.
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About Me
I am a father of 2 children. Recently divorced, I fill my time cooking and playing cards.
My favorite things to cook
Soups are so easy, yet so diverse, we truely love the wintertime, for we can go overboard on soups. Frying comes next (with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans being a family favorite that gets cooked at least once a month). Next to this is sautee and grill items.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Hoppin' John and BBQ are my family "traditions"...
My cooking triumphs
Breads are by far and away one of those things that you learn through error. I can safely say I feel very comfortable making bread now. I do not recommend bread making machines, as "hands on" tends to allow you to really get to know what bread is, and how it is made. The machines leave something
My cooking tragedies
When I was a child, I burnt a steak to death on the grill. The grill took some time to get used to, including chicken (over and underdone), and bbq (over chared). Making bread was also a tragedy originally, with bread that didn't rise, or did but too much, or was burnt. Bread was hard... but now, a true enjoyment.
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