Saturday, February 11, 2012

let's eat!

Menu Planning
Family Menu Board Tutorial

i've been seeing a lot of menu boards around 'town' lately. so many different ones to look at and so many different concepts - weekly, two-weekly (is that a word?), monthly, you name it. i fell in love with one i saw - made by kimbo at a girl and a glue gun.

her whole concept made me happy. EXCEPT i want my kids to be able to help more with meals around here. i don't like either having to recite the recipe to them (because i have it in my head) or let them use my precious laptop or ipad in the kitchen. near all of those liquids. liquids that don't stay where they're supposed to. just the thought of that makes me cry! (SO not a pretty picture)

so i took kimbo's idea and ran with it. my idea was to type up all of my recipes, group them into categories (11, to be exact), and print the recipes so they can be easily accessed. i got all of my supplies together and got started. i was under the assumption that it wouldn't take much time. i was mistaken! big time. i had forgotten that i would need to type in every recipe. in all my 'spare' time.

 the supplies - gosh there were a lot of them! :)

magnetic calendar, magnets, lots of rings, cardstock (it is SO hard to find 11 different colors in multi-packs!), hole reinforcers 

i was able to find the calendar at walmart - it was about $10. sweet!

i polled the family members to find out their favorite meals. i gathered recipes for each meal, others 'i' love, and also some that my mom had made for us when we were kids. nostalgia and all that. i separated the recipes into 11 categories (the reason i needed 11 different colors):
  • seafood
  • breakfast
  • mexican
  • italian
  • pork
  • poultry
  • asian
  • side dishes & vegetables
  • breads & soups
  • desserts
  • beef
it took more time than i had planned for to type everything up. of course, i had to use my own special logo (thanks to wonderful teresa!) - it's a cupcake with a tiara. it's a princess thing.

aalong with typing up each recipe, i typed each recipe title and a menu category title page. i also put a special page into each category with cooking measurements - 3 teaspoons equals 1 Tablespoon; 1 cup equals 8 oz of liquid ingredients and 16 T of dry ingredients.

the 11 categories - recipes typed, title pages, recipe titles, and measurement pages in their respective colors.

close-up. you can see the titles of the recipes. i also made quite a few empty recipe title cards for each category - in case i find more recipes we want to use or for new recipes we want to try.  

measurement pages - it made more sense for our family to have one measurement page per category rather than one for the entire menu board.

i printed the recipes 2 to a page. i could have done 4 to a page, but with the kids using the recipes, i wanted to make sure the print was maximized and the readability was increased. i figured if i made it too small, i 'd get the excuses of "i can't read it, mom - it's too small!", etc.

i cut each page in 1/2 - the original size of the paper was 8 1/2 by 11.

after each card was cut, i punched a single hole in the top left hand corner. then i put a hole reinforcer on the BACK SIDE of the card. as you can see below, i tried putting it on the front of the card, but on the back, it was less noticeable. and that made me happy.
hint - after punching a hole in the first card, use it as a guide to punch the rest of the cards so that they are all laying quite nicely on the ring and aren't jabber-wocky.

i got everything cut, punched, organized, and ready to laminate. i love laminated things - they're washable. and we aren't neat cookers. i used to think we were, until i started looking thru cookbooks. wow.

i turned on the laminator and waited for it to heat up. and waited. and waited. i swear it takes forever for that sucker to heat up! at least it does when i'm dying to use it.
still waiting ...

i got the green light. let's go!

i laminated everything at once - recipe cards, recipe titles, cover pages. basically, i sat at the laminator for three days straight. ok, not that long, but it seemed that way. i'm not laminating anything else for a while ... ;)
after everything was laminated, i cut things apart and sorted it all. i then punched holes thru the recipe cards where the hole was that i had already punched. i did it this way because if you punch a hole in something that is already laminated, there is a greater tendency for it to get air in the laminated portion and make it look cloudy. then i put each category of recipe cards on a ring.
at this point, i realized that the calendar needed numbers. and magnets to hold up the recipe titles. yeah, i could have written the numbers and put magnets on the back of the recipe titles, but that's not how i roll. so i typed up the numbers of the month, printed them out, and laminated them. i put magnets on the back of each number. i also found some sparkly little 'dots' that i fell in love with. i put magnets on the back of each of them and am using them to hold up the recipe titles. did i mention they're SPARKLY?!?

the dates and one night of dinner on the board

up close - it's so SPARKLY!! i LOVE it!

i was just about ready to put the whole thing together. but i couldn't just write the names of the month out, could i? noooo! of course not! i needed to print out the name of each month with my sweet cricut (i LOVE scal - the coolest program ever). i got each month printed out, glued it onto a white sheet of cardstock. then glued THAT onto a black sheet of cardstock. for some continuity. just go with it.

i laminated each of the month's names but they looked a wee bit plain. so i looked thru my stash of buttons and found buttons to 'represent' each month.

yeah, i know that october is usually signified by orange, green, or bats. but it's MY birthday month, so a crown it is. i am a princess, remember. my oldest freaked out (she is more anal ocd than i am)

i put the monthly menu together. the month of february was done! sparkly magnets and all.

now to hang it on the wall ... we have the perfect spot! a wall in the kitchen. the menu board is now mounted there - complete with recipes hanging underneath.

to store everything, i'm utilizing an index card storage box. it will hang out on top of the fridge - all the recipe titles that i'm not using will be stored in there - along with the other names of the month.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Lots of work, but a FANTASTIC outcome! Let me know how it works for you guys!