The Modern Love Machine put together an amazing, hearty meatloaf for dinner tonight, a dish inspired by the November issue of the Food Network Magazine. I sank my tastebuds into the ground turkey/chopped spinach/sun-dried tomato concoction topped with bacon and declared, ‘the Food Network Magazine has changed our lives.’ I meant for the good, and the MLM did not disagree with me. I am not just saying that because I work for Food Network’s parent company. The MLM and I have cooked probably two dozen recipes out of the five issues I’ve nabbed from work, and every. single. one. has been amazing and worthy of a repeat performance. Food Network Magazine: Subscribe now.**
Dinnertime used to be a little bit of a battle between the MLM and I. My schedule as a sports writer had me working late enough each day that I didn’t have time to do much cooking, and neither one of us were doing much to plan out meals before grocery shopping. Add those together and puree, and you get a lot of last-minute, ‘What do you want to do for dinner?’ followed by ‘I don’t know, I just don’t feel like thinking about it.’
Frustrated by the battles and the damage that was being done to our budget and my waistline by too many dinners out, I took some inspiration from Dinner, A Love Story, and started a meal journal. Every Sunday or Monday for the past two months, the MLM and I have poured through our cookbooks, Food Network mag library, Pinterest food pins, etc., to come up with a meal plan, which I then record in our journal. The adorably anal-rentitive MLM sometimes goes a step further by organizing the subsequent grocery list by grocery store aisles. As someone who used to pass the time at restaurants as a child organizing sugar holders so each packet faced the exact same direction, the grocery store list organization is just one more thing on the list of reasons I like to make sweet, sweet love to the MLM.***
nothing says food journal like a chicken with a ‘fro
The results have been a lot of tasty meals and less money spent on food from month to month. Unfortunately, it has not resulted in a shrinking waistline, but in the words of the revered Meat Loaf (see what I did there, I just brought this post full-circle): two out of three ain’t bad.
My favorite meals from the past two months, which you should try for yourself
Marcus Samuelsson’s Fried Chicken
Light Chicken Enchiladas
Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara
Pesto Chicken Tart
Penne alla Vodka
Banana Bread (I add a scoop of chocolate chips to this recipe)
Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Squares
**Even if these opinions are my own, I’m not going to miss an opportunity to shill for the company.
***Also, he channeled his anal retentiveness into making chocolate chip cookies this week. It’s a process that takes several days, but the end result is so, so, so good.