February Carroll Cafe

Do you menu plan?  I’ve been working on planning and cooking ahead for the week, but it’s a challenge.  I have a hard time knowing what I’ll want to eat later on in the week, and as I’m cooking more meals just for the boyfriend and me, it’s hard to know how quickly we’ll go through things.  But each week gets easier.  I find that I enjoy spending a longer amount of time on one day cooking, as opposed to having to think about what to make each day.  But I usually have to make at least one other meal during the week so I don’t get bored of the leftovers too.  Any helpful tips on what works for your meal planning?

For Carroll Cafe, I usually have set categories that I try to fill each month.  I do two savory items (a soup and a salad usually) and 3 desserts.  I like to have one chocolate-y dessert, one fruit dessert, and then a wild card.  I also usually only have 1 cookie, 1 bar/cake, and 1 wild card (like individual pots de creme or lemon cakes, etc.)  Also, so far this year I’m trying to be a bit more inclusive with the vegan and/or gluten-free items (as long as they meet my high dessert expectations).  So with all those parameters, I’m also looking for things that won’t take forever and can be made ahead, and don’t cost a fortune…. It probably takes me about 2 hours talking it alllllll through with Mom before I decide on a menu (and that’s after I’ve stock piled tons of options on Pinterest and in magazine cut-outs).

Which leads to this month’s perfectly crafted menu*:

Asian Cabbage Salad with Ginger-Lime- Soy Sauce Dressing (vegan)

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sorghum (vegan, gluten-free)

Nutella Dark Chocolate Cake

Coconut Raspberry Tarts (vegan, gluten-free)

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

*Subject to change without notice

Hope to see you Friday night (the 13th!) for delicious treats, excellent music, and great company!

If you’re looking for a decadent dessert for Valentine’s day, check out previous Carroll Cafe menus.

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