Today I made a master menu sheet for the warmer weather. Here's what I do: I divide my excel sheet into categories, then I look at my basic recipes and try and make sure I have at least five really good recipes in each category. I generally don't add the so called "leftover recipes" until later. Things like chicken ala king with leftover chicken isn't on the list right now. This number of recipes gives me a good basic list to rotate with. Later I can add and make small variations. In my case we are carnivores, so most of my recipes begin with the protein or meat.
Just to give you an idea, this is what I have so far. Its still a working list. I only include the main menu, because sides are made according to what is in the pantry as well as what is fresh on a day to day basis. Basic sides used regularly include a huge variety of salads (spinach and raspberry, Caesar, tomatoes and basil, green bean salad..) a variety of pastas including pasta salad; coleslaw's; lots of homemade breads and rolls and; roasted and baked potatoes and so on. you get the drift. We also try to have both salad and veg or salad and fruit as often as possible, and easy desserts a few times a week.
Since we're creative and adventurous eaters, my basic categories look like this:
Chicken/Poultry (grilled breasts, barbecued thighs, chicken skewers, Thai Chicken, Chicken Salad)
Beef: Flank Steak, Buffalo Steak, Beef Kabobs, Warm Beef Salad, Beef Ribs
Pork: Grilled Tenderloin, Beer Marinated Pork chops, cherry stuffed Pork Chops, Barbecued Ribs, stir fry Pork
Fish: Teriyaki Tuna Steaks, Citrus Salmon, Paella, Tuna/Pasta Salad, Grilled Shrimp, Lobster Salad
Lamb and Veal: Lamb Chops, Veal Chops, Grilled rack of Lamb, Scalloppini, Lamb Kabobs
Ground Meat: Burgers, Sloppy Joes, Make your own Tacos
I still need to fine tune the menus even more adding the sides, but I do intend to do the "big" meat and fish and staple shop today. I get organic meats and veggies at a local store and ask them to double wrap for freezing when I buy them.
Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be totally stocked for awhile except for fresh produce and dairy products.
Off I go............