Category Archives: Menu Planning

Menu, Week of 1/12

Standard
I know, it isn't Monday anymore--the cold must have slowed me down!

I know, it isn’t Monday anymore–the cold must have slowed me down!

January is such a depressing time, budget-wise. Even though I really try not to spend too much at Christmas time, I always go a bit overboard. I don’t go totally crazy, loading up the credit cards, but I do spend enough to make January a bit tight, money-wise. I’ve been pretty good about cooking at home and not eating out, though, so I am feeling pretty good, so far.

At times like this, I am so glad that I bought that deep freeze last summer. We are still eating pretty well even though I don’t want to go to the grocery store, because I have lots of food on hand.

Also, I just have to add that I know it is Tuesday now. I had this menu plan completed yesterday, but somehow I wandered away from the computer before it got posted. I try to stay off the computer on Monday evenings, so that I am not on it ALL. THE. TIME. So, better late than never, right?

Sunday: Peanut Coconut Curry Chicken (I know, we have this a lot–what can I say, it is easy and I love it, 😉 )

Monday: Corned beef and cabbage, sauteed green beans and bacon ( added for the kids, who don’t like cabbage)

Tuesday: Sauteed shrimp with feta and lemon butter sauce

Wednesday: Chili Verde, low carb corn bread

Thursday: Pizza with almond flour crust

Friday: Crockpot Balsamic Chicken, sauteed green beans with bacon

Saturday: Bacon and eggs

As always, lots more menu ideas can be found on orgjunkie.com

Menu, Week of 1/5

Standard
I know, it isn't Monday anymore--the cold must have slowed me down!

I know, it isn’t Monday anymore–the cold must have slowed me down!

I didn’t plan for meals very well over the Christmas break. I did two nice meals on the two nights before Christmas, and then I ate leftovers for most of the rest of the week, since the kids were at their dad’s. I do cook sometimes when the kids

Monday, we had friends over and made a dinner of prime rib, mashed cauliflower and broccoli salad. I had never cooked a prime rib before, but it was so easy–I just threw it in a 300 degree oven for 2 ½ hours or so, then let it rest for 30 minutes and served. We had a meat and cheese tray for snacking before the meal, since I wasn’t certain when it would be ready, and I made some horseradish sour cream to serve with the steaks. Everyone loved it!

On Christmas Eve, we had my family over for dinner and the present exchange. For an appetizer I made bacon and avocado deviled eggs, and then we had pork roast, green beans sauteed with bacon and pickled beets.

This week I am getting back into my formal menu planning. Goodness knows, my budget can’t stand any eating out for awhile. Christmas time is fun, but expensive! Luckily, I stocked up at Costco and we should be good on food for a couple of weeks.

Sunday: Peanutty Coconut Curry Chickenpork with paprika

Monday: Pork with Paprika, Mushrooms and Sour Cream, gnocchi for the kids

Tuesday: Hamburgers

Wednesday: Bratwurst, cole slaw, buttered broccoli

Thursday: Corned beef and cabbage

Friday: Langostinos sauteed in butter over sauteed cabbage

Saturday: Leftovers

Can I just add that it is freezing here? We got about 9 or 10 inches of snow and passed around 35 hours with subzero temperatures. My furnace couldn’t keep this old drafty house warm enough! It is not a bad furnace, it usually works fine, but it was struggling with the extreme cold. Now that we are back up into the balmy 20s, it is doing fine, so I suspect it isn’t the furnace breaking. I think I need some more thermal curtains, maybe some plastic around the windows, a space heater and some kind of insulation if it is going to get that cold again!

As always, lots more menu ideas can be found on orgjunkie.com

Menu, Week of 12/15

Standard

Remember last week when I said that I needed to make fast meals? That is even more true this week, but it totally went out the window last night, when I came across the most delicious looking recipe for broccoli-cheese stuffed pork tenderloins wrapped in bacon. That was a time-consuming meal to put together, but once I saw it, I knew it HAD to happen, right away. It was worth every minute, too–the whole family agreed.

I did need that time, though, because the yarn I have been waiting for finally came in yesterday! I probably have about 20 hours left to finish my brother’s blanket, and I still need to finish the collage for my aunt and make some cool braided scarves with my daughter. I’d like to make some jewelry, too. See, even though I started early, I am scrambling at the end, just as I knew I would be. Oh, I want to finish some pottery stuff too! And I need to clean my house and plan the Christmas Eve dinner. And our tree isn’t even up yet!

So, the rest of this week will be as easy as possible. We need food that is fast, but not fast food, ;). I have been more strict on eating low carb this past week, and I have felt great and lost three pounds, so I am keeping that up this week, too. Also, I know that this is Tuesday rather than Monday–I started this on Monday, it has just been a very busy week!

Sunday: Chicken fingers, green beans sauteed with bacon

Monday: Bacon-wrapped, broccoli/cheese-stuffed pork tenderloin, sauteed zucchini and yellow squash with marinara sauce, cauliflower rice

Tuesday: Bacon and eggs

Wednesday: Bacon cheeseburger casserole

Thursday: Green chili made with pork roast, almond flour biscuits

Friday: Pizza, salad

Saturday: Kefta, tomato and egg tagine

As always, lots more ideas can be found at orgjunkie.com.

Menu, Week of 12/8

Standard

You know, I remember last time I did NaBloPoMo, I thought that that momentum gain would propel me into a lot of posting for the following month, even if not every day again. But I think that is one of the problems with the timing of the official big NaBloPoMo–the month after it is December which is full of all kinds of busy-ness. Everyone is so busy with parties and cleaning house and shopping and making gifts (in varying amounts, depending on the person, 🙂 ), that it is hard to keep up with anything, especially a relatively new habit. I will have to jump in on this earlier next year, so that next December I already have a deeply ingrained habit, I think.

One habit I am determined to keep going, though, is the menu planning. It is even more crucial when I am busy–on any given day of running around and projects, I don’t have time to make decisions about what to cook for dinner, and with gift buying and holiday entertaining, I don’t have the money to be buying pre-made food. The key words this week are fast and easy–even more than most weeks. I always like easy, but I usually throw in a few more involved dishes because I really do enjoy that when I have time. This week, I don’t have time!

Monday: Peanut Coconut Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Bacon and cheese omelette

Wednesday: Pork with Paprika, Mushrooms and Sour Cream, gnocchi for the kids

Thursday: Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole Skillet

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Chili

As always, you can find a lot more ideas on orgjunkie.com.

Menu, Week of 12/1

Standard

We had an eventful weekend. My daughter had a car accident, and the important thing is that no one was hurt. On the other hand, the minivan was pretty damaged, and it is old enough to not be worth repairing–the thing is only worth about $1000, and I would be shocked if we could get it repaired for twice that. Luckily, my brother sells cars and he found the perfect replacement vehicle for us It is another Ford Windstar, 3 years newer than the old one, and it didn’t cost very much!

Isn't it pretty? The power doors and the heater work! The back windshield wiper works! Hmm, maybe I needed a new van anyway....

Isn’t it pretty? The power doors and the heater work! The back windshield wiper works! Hmm, maybe I needed a new van anyway….

Now we are ready for a nice uneventful week (hopefully!), and we are not looking to spend any money for a while. We stocked up at Costco right before this started, so we should be in good shape. We are getting back to eating at the dinner table every night–we used to be so good about that, but lately we are struggling a bit. It does make the evenings go better, and limits the amount of TV we watch, though, so I am keeping at it.

Sunday: Salmon burgers, leftover veggies

Monday: Chicken Thigh Supper, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans and bacon

Tuesday: Thanksgiving leftovers

Wednesday: Salmon casserole with green beans and cauliflower, noodles for the kids, sauteed spinach

Thursday: Hamburgers, buttered broccoli, sauteed mushrooms

Friday: Bacon and mushroom omelette, salad

Saturday: Appetizers at a trivia night–I am thinking avocado bacon devilled eggs and maybe a Spanish frittata with carmelized onions and some kind of tomato-red pepper sauce

As always, you can find a lot more ideas on orgjunkie.com.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Standard

Today I used my leftovers two ways: Thanksgiving hash for breakfast, and curry cauliflower and turkey soup for dinner.

First, for breakfast, I took some leftover cauli-rice/mushroom stuffing and mixed it with a handful of diced leftover Brussels sprouts, a handful of diced leftover butternut squash and an egg, and fried up little patties of hash.

Thanksgiving hash

I thought this was delicious, but the kids were not fans. That’s okay, I love hash with leftover Brussels sprouts, and I will definitely have this again whenever I have the right kind of leftovers to do it.

For dinner tonight, I decided to use up some of my leftover turkey.

Curry cauliflower Turkey stew

We had a huge turkey, because I wanted a lot of leftovers, but we didn’t get as much as I thought we would. This Curry Cauliflower Turkey Stew used up most of what we had left today. It was really good, in my opinion, and my son agreed, even though he is not generally a cauliflower fan. My daughter thought it was too spicy, though.

We still have a fair amount of leftovers, but I am feeling good about making a dent in them. Does anyone else have any creative ways to use up the leftovers and still enjoy them?

Getting a Start on Thanksgiving

Standard

There are two keys to a successful big meal: cooking a few things ahead and having a plan. I got started on this meal yesterday, making cranberry sauce while I made dinner.  Then today I made the first of the desserts: apricot-almond cake.

apricot cake

Originally, I’d planned to make this a raspberry cake, but I didn’t read the recipe closely enough. I bought frozen raspberries, but the recipe calls for sugar-free jam. Luckily, I did have some sugar-free jam on hand, but it was apricot. I like apricot though, and I had already started making the cake when I realized my mistake, so I went with it. It smelled amazing, but I am resisting until tomorrow.

Other than that I didn’t get a lot of cooking done today. I baked some sweet potatoes so that all I have to do is mash them with some coconut cream and cinnamon tomorrow. I made some coconut oil candies to distract myself from the cake.  I did get a lot of kitchen cleaning done, which will help me get a good start tomorrow.

Here is my rough plan for the day:

  1. Key lime cheesecake–that will need some time to set up in the fridge
  2. Cauli-rice dressing, cooked, then set aside to be re-heated before we eat
  3. Slice mushrooms for cooking later
  4. Mix up pumpkin pudding/crustless pie
  5. Put Brussels sprouts into the oven 45 minutes before we eat
  6. Put butternut squash in 15 minutes later
  7. Saute green beans with bacon
  8. Saute mushrooms
  9. Put pumpkin pie in oven as we are getting ready to eat

Overall, I think this will be a pretty easy day, actually. I still need to do some table clearing in the dining room, and I would like to do some other cleaning, too, but I will have the kids to help, and although there are a lot of dishes, most of them don’t take a lot of work.

Do you have a plan for the day? Is it much easier than mine?