I hope you don’t mind me tooting my own horn for a second here, but I have to admit it: I’m pretty darn good at menu planning. I know a lot of people hate planning out their meals for the week, so I’ve tried to figure out what exactly makes this job (that so many people dislike) fun for me, and something I’ve done consistently for quite a few years.
I think I like menu planning because I’ve found a pretty good balance of cooking meals I know we enjoy and trying out new recipes and flavors. I get bored if I cook the same thing over and over again, so I like the variety and excitement of trying new things and discovering new favorites. But I also love returning to older recipes that I know everyone will enjoy (and will eat without complaint-- I’m looking at you, children), so I make sure we’ve got a mix every week of classics that everyone is sure to love, as well as new recipes or techniques or flavors that I know I’ll have fun cooking. It’s all about finding what works for you.
I know that it can be tough to get started with menu planning, or to make a habit of it. So for the month of May, ConAgra is hosting the Great American Cook In to help you learn new cooking skills, master menu planning, and get more creative in the kitchen. Pick a week in May and challenge yourself to learn some new tips and gain confidence in the kitchen! Visit Forkful.com for recipe ideas and kitchen tips, and pledge to be a part of the Cook In challenge for one week!
And I’m happy to help you out by giving you a week’s worth of dinner menu ideas! You can find it at the bottom of this post, after the recipe.
Today’s recipe is a perfect blend of an old favorite with a fun new twist. My kids’ favorite dinner is always a “breakfast for dinner” spread with waffles or pancakes, fruit, and scrambled eggs. We all love it, it’s fast and easy to make, and I’ve always got the ingredients on hand. But to scratch my itch of wanting to try new ideas and flavors, I experimented with a new syrup and topping idea for our dinner waffles. And it was a huge success. If you’re a breakfast-for-dinner fan, I bet you’ll love it too.
I started with a simple whole wheat waffle recipe for a wholesome base (if you’re in a hurry, you could speed things up by using a waffle mix!). But I wanted something special to make this dinner a little more interesting. That’s where this syrup came in. It is awesome. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was eating it with a spoon while I waited for the waffles to finish cooking. It’s that yummy. If you’re a peanut butter fan, you have got to try it ASAP.
All you need to do is make a simple syrup with water and sugar on the stovetop. While you wait for it to boil and the sugar to dissolve, place your peanut butter in a bowl.
I love Simply Ground Peter Pan Peanut Butter, because it has the perfect blend of creamy and crunchy consistencies. It is perfect for this recipe since it’s smooth and blendable, while still having a bit of crunch.
When the syrup is ready, slowly add it to the peanut butter and stir to combine. You can use as much or as little of the syrup as you want to reach the syrup consistency you like best. I kept mine a bit thick by using about half of the syrup, but if you want it thinner, just add more syrup.
Since I kept my Peanut Butter Syrup a bit on the thick side, I wanted to add some smooth creaminess to the final dish. Time to bust out the Reddi-wip.
Top with some chopped fruit, and you’re good to go! This was easily one of my favorite breakfast for dinners we’ve ever done. The syrup was awesome, and the Reddi-wip took it right over the top. Crazy good.
Peanut Butter Syrup
Slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 cup water
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup Simply Ground Peter Pan Peanut Butter
Combine water and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place peanut butter in a medium bowl. Slowly add the water-and-sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Add as much or as little of the water-and-sugar mixture to create your desired syrup consistency. Pour over waffles and enjoy!
Now, as promised, here’s one week’s worth of dinner menus, planned out for you so all you have to do is the shopping and the cooking (that’s the fun part, right?).
Monday: Whole-Wheat Waffles with Peanut Butter Syrup, scrambled eggs, and fruit salad
Tuesday: Cashew Chicken served over brown rice with green beans and grapes
Wednesday: Italian Meatball Subs with salad and steamed broccoli
Thursday: Chicken Ranch Burgers with corn on the cob and watermelon
Friday: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup with salad and garlic bread
Find more tools for success at Forkful.com, including a guide to planning meals ahead of time, grocery shopping tips, recipes, and more. Don’t forget to pledge to participate in this one-week challenge by using hashtag #GreatAmericanCookIn on Twitter or Instagram!
Visit Forkful.com for your guide to the #GreatAmericanCookIn, including tips, tricks, and delicious new recipes.