Tentative Outline: Chez Moi

Title?  Tentative.

1.  Intro

  • Purpose:  Spend less money, spend less time cooking when you don’t want to, spend more time with the people you love.
  • Sweet spot:  finding the restaurants where you go when you don’t feel like cooking but don’t have a special reason to go out to eat.
  • Past vs. present:  We used to spend more time cooking rather than eating out, and more time eating together…but this time we’re not going to make ourselves miserable doing it.
  • Determining success:  nobody’s in tears and we spent less time/money than we would have at a restaurant.

2.  Determining your perfect fallback recipes

  • A flowchart to help you find out your top Chez Moi recipes for main dishes, side dishes, and desserts:  likability, adaptability, cost, time, and PITA factor
  • Creating a pantry list
  • Creating a menu for apathy nights: the regular menu
  • Advanced: Should you buy equipment?
  • Advanced:  Eating more healthfully

3.  Cooking like you just don’t care

  • Cooking on autopilot (crockpots, rice cookers, minimizing prep time)
  • Surplus cooking:  once a month vs. the double batch
  • Food prep and storage
  • Magically all better sauces
  • Eating:  picking your base rules for behavior (yours and your family’s) and getting through a crappy night
  • Advanced:  Kitchen slavery–how to make your family do the work for you
  • Advanced:  Throw it in the freezer–what raw materials to toss, and what to save for a day with ambition
  • Advanced:  What not to keep in the house to make at the apathy level

4.  Recipes (Apathy-level suggestions; the regular menu)

  • Suggested pantry list
  • Make it or buy it?  Cost vs. hassle
  • Pull it out of the fridge/cupboard (five minute or less with fridge and microwave)
  • Breakfast
  • Crock pot
  • Rice cooker
  • Freezable delights
  • Guilty pleasures:  questionable food proudly eaten solo
  • Baking (yes, baking–for those days when you’re stuck with an unprepared birthday or a @#$%ing bake sale)
  • Seasonal (grilling!)
  • Advanced:  Lunch at work

5.  Developing Chez Moi beyond the apathy level

  • Cooking and eating for fun, not fuel
  • Designing a cooking/eating space on a piecemeal budget
  • Identifying personal flavor profiles
  • Adding favorite meals and the special of the day
  • Cooking ahead
  • Experimenting
  • Cooking as a team
  • When people come over: what to find out first, what to make, how to adapt on the fly, how to force them to do your will (i.e., clean up the kitchen)
  • Deliberately inviting people to come over and trying to impress them (what were you thinking?!?)
  • Cooking parties

6.  Advanced recipes:  The Specials

  • Most common takeout and delivery
  • It looks like more work than it really is
  • Fancy restaurant foodie food
  • Ethnic crack
  • Cooking as therapy:  broth, bread, red sauce, pasta, and more.
  • Cooking party suggested menus

7.  Recipe index (by cooking time)

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