Prepping for Dinner

I had a week to prepare for dinner with Mom and Dad and it wasn’t a normal week.  We invited them over to thank them for all their help with moving including painting, hanging things and moving all my furniture out of their house and into our new apartment on Saturday.  I made the invitation on Sunday.  That meant that I had to finish unpacking and decorating, deal with a ridiculously frantic week at work and plan a great dinner.  The key word for me was plan.

The only thing I knew I had to make was strawberry shortcake.  Not only are strawberries in season but, it’s the perfect dessert for my dad who doesn’t like sweets and my mom who is trying to eat healthier.  Plus, I absolutely love strawberries.

I had an entree in mind but, definitely needed to do some research on it and side dishes.  Plus I wanted to find a great biscuit recipe for the strawberry shortcake.

For my recipe research I turned to a blog that I’ve been following for awhile, Big Girls Small Kitchen (in fact, I finally purchased their book last week).  I searched and printed and searched and printed some more. Then, I took the recipes, studied them and made some adjustments. Finally, I narrowed down what I wanted to make and put together my menu.  Once I had the menu set, I took out my notebook and made a list of all the ingredients.

Then I broke down the ingredient list into “Grocery Store” and “Farmers Market.” It was important to me to be able to use as many fresh, local ingredients as possible.  For my protein, I placed an order with my local butcher.

Next, I studied the recipes and cooking time and made and estimate of prep times.  Based on this, I made a plan for prepping and cooking.  With my plan in place, I set out for the grocery store.  There were several things I knew I wouldn’t be able to get at the market and I wanted to pick them up on Friday night so I had more time on Saturday. Yes, this potentially meant two trips to the grocery store in two days but, it was worth it for the time I would save on the day of dinner.  Saturday morning we headed to the farmers market and I was able to get everything I had planned.  We did make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home for a couple extras but, I was ready fairly early.

At the end of this week, I’ll give you a recap of my prepping and cooking schedule for the dinner.  Tomorrow I’ll start with the recipes.

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