Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And so it begins...

Over the years, I have been asked on several occasions to put together cookbooks, meal plans, recipes, you name it.  I love to cook, bake, grill, anything having to do with food; there's something about the feeling you get when others enjoy something you create!

Recently, I returned to Virginia Beach for several weekends in order to visit my ailing grandfather.  I stayed with my dad and step-mom, which presented an added bonus of quality time with them along with my step-grandmother.  After the first visit, I began to feel like I was "home" for those three days each week, so felt like it was best to contribute to the household and start helping with dinner!  Of course, having my Grandma B. in the kitchen with me made it even better still! 

Well, the last few weekends have been quite busy and weekly trips that took 5 hours there and back were costly in both time and money, so I decided to scale back my visits to once a month or so.  Two weeks ago, my dad called to wish me a happy birthday, and the conversation turned to the dates of my next visit.  Apparently, my family had become accustomed to our family dinners, so much so that earlier that day when my step mother was wondering what they were going to do for dinner, my dad and Grandma B. both told her, "If Charlene was here we would know!"  Gotta love cheerleaders!  :)  Dad went on to tell me the next time I am in town, we would be heading out to The Fresh Market (one of my favorite stores) with a blank sheet of paper so that I could write down a dinner ideas.  Clearly, the guilt card works!  I promised to send an email each week with 5 dinner ideas; well, I wrote them down in a notebook, but didn't send the email!

So, this is my blog, dedicated to my dad.  My plan is that each night I will update with what I had for dinner, how to prepare and include pics if it makes sense.  Some meals will be very simple while others will be a bit more complicated.  Of course, substitutions can make things even easier (Pillsbury pie crusts versus scratch-made, etc.).  It probably should be said that in general, I do NOT plan my meals and then shop.  I normally buy the things that are on sale at my local grocery and then decide what I want out of my freezer.  I do buy core things each week:  fresh veggies, fruits, herbs, milk, etc. (less than $25 per week), but anything in my pantry and/or freezer is 99% of the time there because it was a weekly special, so watch the front page of the local grocery ads. 

Well, that's it.   This is for you, Dad! And so it begins...


  1. Charlene,

    Thanks to your Dad playing the guilt card and your wonderful ability to organize and prepare great dinners, we will not be at a loss for dinner ideas at the Hutto household.

    Thanks for blogging!


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Mark! My dad is already a fan, and I am finding it to be a bit therapeutic as well! Hope you get a few ideas, from my kitchen to yours! :)