When I sit down to make a menu for our family, these are the deciding factors in what is included on our menu:
1) Shop the pantry.
What do we already have in the pantry/fridge or what do I need to use up? If the potatoes are starting to sprout or I have an excess of milk or eggs (like this week), those items will be incorporated into the menu. I love www.epicurious.com for searching for delish foodie recipes because it lets me search by ingredient.
If I happened upon a case of awesome clearanced veggies or fruit then I'll include them on the menu. Last week we had meyer lemons and enjoyed lots of homemade lemonade and (one of my favorites!) lemon sour cream pancakes.
What is our schedule like this week? Does Sean have any meetings at night? Do we have a babysitter coming? Am I taking the kids to the city for the day? I need to figure out how much time I'll have each day for meal prep.
Am I including enough grass fed meats, wild-caught fish, veggies, dairy, whole grains, and warm protein filled breakfasts?
5) And finally fun.
Our family likes to try new meals and dishes from other countries so at least once a week I'll plan on something new. This week it is our Saturday St. Patricks menu and trying/attempting to make gluten free Irish soda bread.