Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Week - Menu Plan Monday

Finally, the week we've waited for all year! It seems like each year the month of December gets shorter and shorter, and we end up not having enough time to do it all. I keep reminding myself to slow down, to not worry about doing everything, and to just focus on the important stuff. The presents will be shipped out late, we won't get to all of the holiday activities in town, but that's ok... we'll enjoy time together as a family and have a couple of really nice days with each other.

And to ensure that the next few days are a little less hectic, here's the menu plan for this week.

scrambled eggs w/ bacon or sausage (we're using up the powdered eggs in my pantry), assorted toasts (might be frozen waffles, bagels, etc.)
Christmas morning: Breakfast Bread Pudding (from Dream Dinners), sausage, orange juice

Winter Solstice: turkey medallions w/ cranberry sauce, apple-sausage stuffing, green beans
Tuesday: chicken with roasted root veggies (beets, rutabagas, turnips, carrots) and leeks
Wednesday: Leftovers Buffet
Christmas Eve: shrimp & crab cocktail*, spaghetti and meatballs, sourdough bread (shaped like a Christmas tree!), salad, grape juice
Christmas: prime rib roast (Dream Dinners), roasted potatoes with rosemary, green beans, chocolate cheesecake
Boxing Day: homemade chicken vegetable soup, sourdough bread, applesauce
Sunday: Leftovers Buffet or chicken fried rice and orange segments

* - Growing up, we always had fish, bread, and grape juice on Christmas Eve. I tried carrying on this tradition as an adult and we had a similar meal for several years. A couple of years ago I realized that most of the family disliked fish and actually dreaded the meal. We decided to instead have spaghetti each Christmas Eve and we've all been happy with the new tradition. All the same, I try to have some kind of seafood on Christmas Eve in homage to my childhood traditions. ;)

For more menu planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

this week's menu plan (posted on Sunday, but called Menu Plan Monday)

Monday: beef stir-fry -- sliced beef, Napa cabbage, peppers, carrots (and possibly some mushrooms that have been hiding in the pantry) -- and rice, egg rolls (from the freezer)
Prep tonight: soak beans for tomorrow's dinner; pull Monte Cristo Chicken from freezer, put tray in fridge to thaw
Tuesday: crockpot chili -- ground beef and ground pork (really need to use up the pork), beans, canned tomatoes, peppers and onions (from CSA basket), spices, other veggies -- and leftover rice from yesterday
Prep tonight: Pull corned beef out of freezer, put in fridge to thaw
Wednesday: Monte Cristo Chicken (Dream Dinners entree... we haven't made any new entrees there in a while; still using up the freezer stash!), green beans
Thursday: MUNCHKIN COOKS DINNER -- meatballs (from freezer) and spaghetti, homemade garlic bread, peas (she picked out this menu by herself)
Friday: pot roasted (in the crockpot) corned beef with root veggies (carrots, potatoes, beets), onion, and green beans
Saturday: leftovers or quick homemade soup
Sunday: lentil & rice tacos (with shredded lettuce or cabbage, salsa, avocado, etc. -- this feels like it needs a side dish, but I'm stumped. If we load the tacos up with veggies, do we *need* a side dish?

Wednesday and Friday are busy days, so I hope I've planned accordingly. I've posted the little reminders so I remember to pull stuff out of the freezer in time!

Breakfasts: toast/eggs, baked oatmeal, yogurt & fruit parfaits*, cold cereal (with almond milk)/scrambled eggs

* - (tricky since we seem to be becoming lactose intolerant, but we need to use up the yogurt & are crossing our fingers with the hope that we'll be ok with yogurt -- we aren't ok anymore with glasses of milk or heavy cheese dishes)

Lunches: English muffin pizzas, soup & peanut (or almond) butter sandwiches, sliced chicken sandwiches, hummus vegetable wraps, green smoothies & hummus with tortilla chips

For more menu planning ideas, see I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Menu Planning Monday (need better titles for these posts)

In a hurry tonight (baby needs my attention soon), so here's this week's menu plan without the usual chatter that I like to include. We're out of the house a lot this week, so some of the meals are ones that can be quickly prepared or don't require a lot of attention.

Monday: oven fried chicken, green beans, spoonbread
Tuesday: teriyaki meatballs with stir-fried veggies and rice
Wednesday: stuffed pork chops, mixed veggies
Thursday: no one at home -- some of us will be at a wedding and having dinner at the reception, the rest will be eating elsewhere
Friday: Hawaiian chicken with jasmine rice (Dream Dinners entree), broccoli
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner - scrambled eggs, sausage, English muffins, fresh berries... or maybe we'll get industrious and make red flannel hash with eggs (we've got beets that we don't know what to do with this week!) and serve them with the English muffins and some applesauce

Breakfasts (the ones during the morning): eggs & English muffins, eggs & waffles, eggs & cold cereal (there was a really good sale on eggs this week), yogurt and berries

Lunches: peanut or almond butter & jelly sandwiches, cioppino (Dream Dinners), leftovers, frozen "TV dinners" from the back of the freezer (not sure how long they've been there & they need to be eaten!)

For more menu planning ideas, join in this week's fun over at The Happy Housewife!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

camping out with Menu Plan Monday

We're going camping in Yosemite tomorrow! This means I had to plan the menu for this week a little more carefully, taking into account the meals that have to be eaten at the campsite (dinner on Monday, all of Tuesday's meals, and breakfast on Wednesday) and cooking after we get home. We're having some of the leftover ham from last Saturday's dinner for a few meals and making use of some of our dehydrated foods. Since I know we're likely to be tired when we get home, we're relying on one of our freezer meals for an easy dinner after traveling back.

I'm also planning on making a big green smoothie to drink before heading out and another when we get back since we're not going to have a lot in the way of fresh produce while camping. I'll also be taking a few packets of Greens To Go along with us.

Camping Day Meals
Monday: [B] eggs, toast, fruit [L] peanut butter or almond butter & jelly sandwiches, canned peaches, pickles [D] BBQ pork sandwiches, green beans
Tuesday: [B] scrambled eggs, ham, grits [L] cheese, crackers, ham, apple slices [D] baked beans, hot dogs, blueberry applesauce, green beans
Wednesday: [B] bacon fried rice, [L] burgers at Sonic on the way home, [D] chicken enchiladas (Dream Dinners entree), summer squash

The remaining dinners
Thursday: chicken vegetable soup with butternut squash ravioli (added instead of noodles)
Friday: sloppy joes, CSA veggies (no idea what's coming yet)
Saturday: Cornflake Crusted Chicken (Dream Dinners entree), buttered potatoes, CSA veggies
Sunday: all the fabulous leftovers!

For more menu planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, July 20, 2009

another Menu Planning Monday!

Here's what we're having this week...

Monday: ham & beans, sliced beets, corn
Tuesday: hot dogs, sodas, cotton candy (we're going to the beach boardwalk for their 75 cent night)
Wednesday: Honey Garlic Orange Chicken (Dream Dinners entree), rice, carrots
Thursday: teriyaki pork tenderloin, rice, stir fried veggies
Friday: spaghetti & Italian sausages, garlic bread, Zucchini Moons

Saturday: Christmas in July! - ham, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, sparkling apple cider, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, Christmas cookies
Sunday: all the awesome leftovers

Breakfasts: eggs & toast, eggs & cereal, smoothies
Lunches: leftovers, bean & rice burritos, egg salad & crackers with fruit, PB&J, canned soup

For more meal planning ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, June 22, 2009

green smoothies

Everyone's talking about green smoothies lately, and I have to admit I've hopped on the bandwagon. Not only do they help me to use up the produce in the fridge before I have to toss it in the compost, but I actually feel better on the days that I drink them.

Yeah, I know. It sounds like propaganda, right? It's just vegetables, fruit, and sometimes water!

Maybe it's the chlorophyll content in the vegetables. After all, a mango-banana smoothie doesn't make me feel the same way... adding some spinach or kale to that combination makes a big difference. Maybe it's the vitamin content, or maybe there's more oxygen in the leafy greens? Maybe it's all in my head?

Either way, it's been getting me to eat more vegetables and that's always a good thing.

Here's a few of my favorite green smoothie combinations:
  • kale, apples (1 or 2, depending on how sweet they are), and a big handful of mint *** #1 FAVORITE ***
  • pineapple, collards, and banana
  • green grapes and celery
  • cucumber, tomato, avocado, and celery (savory smoothies are still good! Think gazpacho)
  • pomegranate-blueberry juice, pineapple, spinach, banana, and blueberries
  • parsley, pineapple, apple
Sometimes I add ice, but usually just 1/2 a cup of water in the bottom of the blender (unless I use juice in the smoothie) is enough.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend at the farm + Menu Plan Monday

We had a nice, relaxed couple of days this weekend. Saturday we went to our CSA's community day at the farm. This was Chickadee's first visit to the farm, although Munchkin has visited there several times. We got to see their new baby goats, pick blackberries, meet the farm dogs, and the kids climbed all over the straw bale forts. Chickadee had a great time pulling handful after handful of straw out of the bales!

Father's Day breakfast was the traditional cinnamon rolls and orange juice, and the girls presented Daddy with a bound picture book titled "Daddy's Adventure Book" (inspired by the scrapbook from the movie Up!). The book showed pictures of him with the girls (mostly Munchkin since Chickadee is less than a year old, and has had fewer years to accumulate pictures) from 2001 to the present. He cried and said it was the best present ever. :)

The rest of the day was spent dismantling Munchkin's bed and rearranging her room in preparation for her new bed arriving tomorrow morning. She has slept in one of those lofted beds with a ladder and a slide for the last 6 years, but she's a bit too big for it now. While she's going to miss her old bed, she's pretty excited about the new one.

eggs & cold cereal/toast/waffles, sausage or bacon, radish hash browns

Lunches: leftovers, green smoothies, tuna salad and crackers, Monterey Chicken quesadillas, cioppino (maybe... we have some in the freezer and only two of us like it, so it's a better lunch option than one for dinner)

pulled smoked pork w/ BBQ sauce, collards, cornbread
Tuesday: linguine with chicken & Alfredo sauce, salad or broccoli
Wednesday: veggie chili (from freezer), salad or broccoli
Thursday: Teriyaki Tomato Rice & Beef, zucchini
Friday: Leftover Buffet or grilled sausages, peppers and onions
Saturday: Blackberry Balsamic Chicken (Dream Dinners entree from freezer), salad, cornbread
Sunday: soup (canned or a simple homemade veggie soup) & grilled cheese sandwiches

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, June 08, 2009

This week's menu

Kind of an odd week -- trying to use up things in the freezer, so we have to make sure we schedule enough time for thawing. We're seeing Up! one night this week (thanks to Diaper Days at Camera Cinemas) and I have a meeting on Friday, so we also have to schedule around those events.

Monday: Italian sausages and hotdogs, sauteed mushrooms with peppers and onions, carrots
Tuesday: pizza (from the pizza place next to the movie theatre)
Wednesday: Orangey Asian Chicken (from freezer - never got around to this last week), rice, stir fried asparagus with onions and mushrooms
Thursday: stuffed shells (from freezer), summer squash, garlic bread (if there's any left in the freezer)
Friday: leftovers? (or dinner out, depending on length of meeting)
Saturday: Monte Cristo Chicken (from freezer - Dream Dinners), veggies
Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner (using waffles and sausage from freezer)

For more menu planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Finally - Menu Plan Monday!

It's been a while (again) since I posted a menu... for the past few weeks we've kind of followed one that was hurriedly jotted down on paper, but I'd rather get back into the habit of posting these again.

Monday: Corned Beef Casserole (minus the cheese and potato chips), summer squash
Tuesday: ham & beans (from freezer), sauteed greens, cornbread
Wednesday: turkey soup with rice & vegetables (made with meat and stock from $0.49/lb. organic turkey backs that I bought on Christmas Eve and cooked over the weekend), fruit
Thursday: steak (cut from $1.49/lb. beef tenderloin purchased 2 months ago, sauteed fava beans & carrots (a variation on this recipe), Israeli couscous
Friday: Orangey Asian Chicken (frozen Dream Dinners meal - and yes, it's really spelled that way!), rice, stir-fried mei qing choi (similar to bok choy) & whatever other vegetables we need to use up
Saturday: The elder child keeps asking for pizza, and I may just give in. We have a couple in the freezer that I could pull out.
Sunday: canned soup & grilled cheese sandwiches or Leftovers Buffet

Breakfasts: frozen waffles (because they're taking up a lot of room in the freezer), eggs & toast, corned beef hash (made with radishes instead of potatoes)

Lunches: tuna salad or PB&J sandwiches, frozen veggie "chicken" nuggets with ketchup, leftovers from dinner; apples or chips or pretzels on the side

For more menu planning ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

long time, no menu!

I did it again. I got too busy to make a menu, but found that the week(s) ended up even more hectic without one. I'm still pretty busy, but I'm going to try to post SOMETHING so I have some sort of a guideline.

The temperature was in the 90s today and it's expected to stay pretty hot for the rest of the week, so I'm gearing meals towards using the oven as little as possible.

quiches (we have several single serving quiches from Trader Joe's)
blueberry bran muffins with yogurt (or another smoothie)
French toast (freezer) or waffles (freezer) with yogurt

Salads (chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, green salad, fruit salad, etc.)
smoothies with hummus and crackers
sandwich (PB&J, meat or egg salad, veggie, etc.) with yogurt

Beef Carbonara with noodles (Dream Dinner entree from freezer, make in crock pot)
Carrot Top Soup
Subway $5 footlong sandwich (evening activity at the school, so we're having dinner out)
steak tacos (cook steak on Foreman grill, slice, saute vegetables in skillet)
Brown Rice Vegetable Risotto (substitute broth for the wine)
BBQ Pork Sandwiches (Dream Dinners)

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

My two girls wish you a happy Easter (ok, I do too)!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 23, 2009

slightly late Menu Planning Monday

Since I was out of town last weekend, I didn't have a menu plan. Once again I was reminded of how much easier the week flows when I do have one!

Monday: hot dogs, mac & cheese, assorted leftover veggies
Tuesday: Hoppin' John, greens
Wednesday: Steak & Onions with Potatoes (from the freezer, Dream Dinners meal), asparagus
Thursday: Chicken Parmesan (Dream Dinners), garlic bread, salad
Friday: lentil & rice tacos, corn, carrot sticks
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: frittata, salad or other veggies (depending on what produce we have left by then)

Breakfasts - Amish Baked Oatmeal and bacon or eggs, frozen breakfast sandwich, biscuits & sausage gravy with eggs

Lunches - egg salad, baked tofu, PB&J or corned beef sandwiches (made from last week's leftover corned beef), yogurt or cottage cheese and soup, cheese & cracker plate with fruit

See what other people are planning for their menus this week at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mountain Pie

I'm not sure why it's called this, but we had this a lot when I was growing up. It's good with canned peaches, fruit cocktail... and probably just about any other kind of fruit that comes in a can!


Melt 3/4 stick of butter or margarine in a baking dish or pan.

Mix a batter of:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
Pour the batter over the butter in the baking dish.

Pour a 16-20 oz. can of fruit (including juice) over the batter.

Bake at 350F until well browned, approximately 45 minutes.

Menu Planning Monday - better late than never!

We're going out of town Sunday evening, so I only have to plan this weeks menu from Monday to Saturday.

Monday: pumpkin ravioli, oven fried chicken, sauteed greens
Tuesday: cheese manicotti (from freezer), garlic bread, sauteed greens
Wednesday: Oven Fried Pork Chops, roasted beets, sauteed cabbage, applesauce
Thursday: "Breakfast for Dinner" - sausage links (from freezer), waffles, applesauce
Friday: Bacony Lentil Stew (I have a bunch of bacon ends that I need to use up), sauteed cabbage, Mountain Pie
Saturday: leftovers

Breakfasts: yogurt, cereal; eggs, toast
Lunches: nori rolls (avocado, carrot, rice, nori), teriyaki meatballs; leftover oven fried chicken, fruit; PB&J/ham & cheese sandwiches, tortilla chips or pretzels; Crock Pot Falafel, hummus, pita chips, carrot sticks and/or cucumber slices; smoothies, popcorn

Sunday, March 08, 2009

it's coming...

I've had a busy day and am now too tired to type out this week's menu plan (although I did finish it). I promise, it's getting posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Coconut Rice

This works well for a breakfast dish or a dessert, although some people serve it on the side with a spicy curry. It's quite nice with slices of fresh mango, but it's good on its own as well. This is an especially nice treat for those who are avoiding gluten and/or dairy.

Coconut Rice
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups coconut milk or cream
  • 1 cup sugar (I prefer either raw or brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp. salt
Cook rice. While rice is cooking, combine coconut milk or cream, sugar, and salt in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir well and set aside.
When rice is cooked, remove from heat; pour coconut mixture over hot rice and stir well. Let sit covered at least 30 minutes to allow rice to absorb mixture. Do not refrigerate.

Sloppy Joes

I'm not sure where I originally found this recipe... maybe the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, or the Betty Crocker cookbook? In any case, around here we like it better than sloppy joes made from Manwich sauce -- plus it's a whole lot cheaper!

Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion
Cook beef in a skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns or over cooked noodles.

Sloppy Janes/vegetarian variation: Rehydrate 1 cup TVP with 7/8 cup boiling water or vegetable broth. Let stand until liquid is absorbed. Substitute the TVP for the browned ground beef.

Curried Beans & Rice

(I'm posting some of my recipes so I'll have easy access to them later.)

Curried Beans & Rice
  • 2 cans baked beans
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. honey (if you think the beans are sweet enough already, leave it out)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • cooked rice
  • sliced almonds (0ptional)
Saute the onion, cumin, and curry powder in a little oil until onions are translucent and aromatic. Add bag of broccoli to skillet; cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add baked beans and honey; stir and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with cooked rice, garnished with sliced almonds.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Grocery Outlet bargains

We stopped by the Grocery Outlet on the way home today in hopes of finding some green chiles. We didn't find those, but we did find a few good bargains, including:
  • Stonyfield Farms organic Caramel Underground yogurt cups - $.50
  • Stonyfield Farms organic blueberry Greek yogurt cups - $.50
  • 1/2 gallon Silk unsweetened soy milk - $1.99
  • Purely Decadent dairy-free ice cream single serving cups (chocolate obsession, cookie dough, pomegranate chip, and cherry nirvana) - $.50
There were lots of other yogurt bargains, both soy and dairy (including Rachel's Exotic Yogurt), but I only have so much room in my fridge right now. I also got a few cartons of shelf-stable organic unsweetened soy milk, but the refrigerated Silk was by far the better bargain.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

time for Menu Planning Monday (with recipe links)

Our schedule has been shuffled around this week -- my class on Thursday has been cancelled for the week, but Munchkin won't be riding in her usual carpool to class on Friday! Just when I thought there'd be a little extra free time, I find it's being traded elsewhere. Oh, well!


Monday: white chicken chili, tortilla chips, broccoli
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Hamburger Barley Stew, muffins
Thursday: Turkey Medallions with Savory Cranberry Sauce (Dream Dinners meal from freezer), stuffing, green beans
Friday: lentil & rice burritos with salsa, lettuce, and cheese
Saturday: pumpkin ravioli (from freezer), oven fried chicken tenders, green beans
Sunday: frozen or homemade pizza, veggies

quiche (from freezer)
muffins (freezer) and eggs
sandwich made from English muffin, sausage patty, and fried egg
smoothies (to use up the browning bananas)
cereal and eggs

yogurt and bacon & cheese muffin
PB&J or ham sandwich
leftover chili
things from freezer like burritos, pot pies, etc.

See what other people are planning for their menus this week at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

...and we're back! Menu Planning Monday

I certainly missed having a menu plan last week! From Wednesday on, every night I had to figure out what we were having for dinner. Planning it out in advance certainly makes it easier.

Dinners -
Monday: roast chicken, roasted root veggies (sweet potatoes, rutabagas, beets)
Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner - since it's Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day/Mardi Gras for much of America, having pancakes for dinner seems like a fine idea! Pancakes, sausage, yogurt and fruit smoothies
Wednesday: black bean & vegetable soup, corn bread
Thursday: "Pizza Fondue" (pizza or spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese melted together) with meatballs, Italian sausage slices, mozzarella sticks, and garlic bread as dippers
Friday: Mango Glazed Pork Chops (from freezer), rice pilaf, carrots or sweet potatoes
Saturday: homemade chicken soup, crackers, fruit salad or smoothies
Sunday: leftovers

Breakfasts - scrambled egg burritos, smoothie and hard boiled eggs, breakfast sandwiches (the remaining pre-made ones from the freezer plus fried egg/cheese/toast sandwiches), cereal and eggs, waffles (from freezer) with sausage and eggs

Lunches - salmon burgers (from freezer), soup with bacon & cheese muffins (modified from this recipe), yogurt with bacon & cheese muffins, ham & cheese sandwiches or PBJ, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, hummus with tortilla chips & veggies

For more meal planning ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

short menu week - Menu Plan Monday

We won't be home from Friday to Monday, so it's a short menu this week.

Monday: burritos, Spanish rice, caulflower, greens
Tuesday: Thai ginger beef kabobs (freezer), rice, broccoli
Wednesday: spaghetti with meatballs, green beans
Thursday: crockpot chili, tortilla chips, corn

We have lots of yogurt and cottage cheese to use up before we leave, so they'll be included in this week's breakfasts and lunches. I haven't planned much beyond that!

For more menu planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Anyone have any suggestions for eating in hotel? The hotel's restaurants are EXPENSIVE. There are restaurants nearby, but I'll only get a chance to leave the hotel once a day (maybe). I might be able to eat from the hotel's continental breakfast selection, but it's mostly just starch and sugar. Technically they don't want us to cook in our rooms, but I've used a crock pot and a rice cooker in this hotel before... I just have to use them in the bathroom so the fire alarm doesn't go off. As it is, I'm not sure if I'm taking these appliances or not; we don't know if we're going to be able to get a fridge or not.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's time for Menu Plan Monday!

It's been confirmed -- with the busier schedule now that I'm back in school, the menu plans really help.

  • eggs and toast/bagel/English muffin (with butter or butter & Marmite)
  • homemade breakfast burritos (salsa, scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese in a tortilla)
  • Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich
  • eggs and hot cereal
  • monkey bread and eggs (probably weekend morning)
  • cottage cheese (we have a lot!) and soup
  • ham sandwich, fruit
  • PBJ (or something equivalent made with cashew butter) and yogurt
  • chicken nuggets (from the freezer, I swear!), mixed veggies
  • taco salad (I'm hoping to make a batch of it sometime this week)

Monday: homemade tacos, mixed veggies
Tuesday: Poppy Seed Chicken casserole, green beans
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: pork chops with raisins and apples (from freezer), roasted Brussels sprouts
Friday: chili dogs, corn, fruit cocktail
Saturday: roast chicken, rutabagas
Sunday: Soup & Bread Night -- hamburger soup, cornbread or scones

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I forgot the breakfasts and lunches!

I typed out the plan for this week's dinners, but I forgot to add the breakfasts and lunches... right after I had just said I was planning those out too! Fortunately I can type up another post and link it to the original. ;) The dinner portions of the weekly menu can be found here.

  • eggs and toast (with butter or butter & Marmite)
  • Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich (found a few boxes of them from the grocery salvage outlet for less than I could make them from scratch)
  • eggs and cereal
  • banana bread, eggs, and bacon or sausage (probably Saturday)
  • repeat one or two
Notice a theme here? If I don't have eggs for breakfast, I can really tell later in the day. I'll get tired and cranky, and I need all of my energy right now.

  • tuna melt, tomato soup
  • salmon burger patty (frozen), tartar sauce, mixed vegetables
  • enchilada (frozen), mixed vegetables
  • cheese and crackers, canned soup, fruit
  • dinner leftovers

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday -- Back to School Week!

This week I go back to college for the first time since the baby's birth in September. I'm only going to be away from her for an hour and a half, but it's going to be so hard!

Wednesdays are probably going to be my long days; I'll take her in with me on those days, but I'm not sure yet what the schedule is going to look like. Wednesday dinners will probably become my "simple meal" day (like this week). I'm also going to start planning out breakfasts and lunches again (not sure how often besides Wednesdays that I'll need to carry my lunch, but it will make it easier here at the house to have something planned ahead of time).

Monday: Hamburger stir-fry with Bejing Vegetables (frozen veggie & sauce combo from Trader Joe's), mandarin oranges
Tuesday: Hungarian Paprikash (frozen), noodles, beets
Wednesday: Breakfast For Dinner -- scrambled eggs, turkey sausage (frozen), waffles (frozen), juice and milk
Thursday: Chicken enchiladas (frozen), green beans or corn
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: baked beans, macaroni and cheese, greens
Sunday: PIZZA NIGHT!! -- pizza (either frozen or homemade), mixed vegetables

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm An Organized Junkie!

ETA: I forgot to list the breakfasts and lunches! I typed up a second post and included them here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

things I need to restock in the pantry/freezer/etc.

  • vanilla
  • white vinegar (although some more apple cider vinegar would be good too)
  • bleach
  • TVP
  • dried chopped onion
  • some more canned fruits and vegetables
  • nuts
  • soy sauce
  • ibuprofen
  • toothbrushes
  • cold/flu meds
  • fluoride rinse for the Munchkin
  • chili powder (we're running pretty low!)
I'd also love to get some more butter, eggs, and ground beef.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the (usually) posted on Sunday "Menu Plan Monday"

I'm a bit behind this week. We took a long hard look at our finances last night... I won't get into all the ugly details, but we're going to continue to eat more from our pantry and freezer for a while. Our last session at Dream Dinners (for a good while at least) is this Saturday, so that's worked into the this week's menu.

Monday: white chicken lasagna (from freezer), cauliflower
Tuesday: pork fried rice (made with boneless pork ribs leftover from Sunday's dinner), mandarin oranges, green beans
Wednesday: sausages (freezer), sauteed peppers (freezer), butternut squash
Thursday: Soup & Bread Night -- turkey chili (in the crockpot), cornbread, peaches
Friday: Chicken Mirabella (from freezer), broccoli -- the chicken dish contains capers, so our resident non-caper eater will have some leftover entree
Saturday: "Dream Dinners Surprise" (one of the entrees made at Dream Dinners today... possibly Steak and Onions), roasted beets
Sunday: leftovers

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm An Organizing Junkie!

A few words about Dream Dinners: This is a company that supports the OAMC idea by doing all the shopping and prep work for you ahead of time. You choose which meals you want to make from that month's list, schedule an appointment, and assemble the meals on your scheduled day. It does cost more than if I were to buy and prep all the ingredients myself, but it saves HOURS of time and is still less expensive than going to a restaurant. We first started using them right before the baby was born and found them to be tremendously helpful. Unfortunately we're going to say goodbye to them for a while so we can trim a bit off of our budget, but I'm glad they were there when I needed them!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week's menu may get shifted around depending on how soon that turkey finishes thawing so I can roast it!

Similar to last week, this menu is based around emptying the fridge and freezer. We also get veggies from the winter CSA drop this week.

Monday: roast turkey, stuffing (from freezer), green beans
Tuesday: fajitas (from freezer), tortillas, broccoli
Wednesday: turkey vegetable soup with barley (made from Monday's turkey)
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: chicken parmesan (from freezer), rosemary bread (from freezer), CSA veggies
Saturday: ham beans (from freezer), cornbread, CSA veggies
Sunday: teriyaki pork rice bowls -- made from boneless pork ribs (freezer), teriyaki sauce, carrots, broccoli, and rice -- and canned pineapple

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the best laid plans...

We had planned to roast a turkey today. It was pulled out of the freezer on Thursday and placed in a coolerful of turkey brine.

It's still frozen. :(

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

things I need to use up in my pantry

Thanks to careful shopping and couponing over the summer and fall months (as well as holiday sales), my pantry is fairly well stocked right now. I also have several things in there that have been sitting on the shelves for a while because I didn't know what to do with them. Over the next few weeks, I need to make an effort to use up these items:
  • "cream of" soups
  • other soups (vegetable, chicken noodle, etc.)
  • stuffing mix
  • pie filling
  • spaghetti sauce
  • baked beans
  • olives (mostly black, but a few "exotic" ones too)
  • dried mushrooms
  • crackers
  • cold cereal
  • boxed macaroni and cheese
  • canned fruit
  • random sauces/toppings that I don't know how to use (olive tapenade, portabella mushroom relish, red pepper spread, etc.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

cheerful girl

Just thought I'd share a few moments of my happy daughter. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

something new -- Menu Plan Monday

Lately I've been making an effort to rotate the foods in my pantry and freezers. I have a bit of a backstock built up and want to make sure it is used rather than just hoarded. I think planning out the weekly menus will help with this (not to mention it will help to eliminate those "what the heck am I having for dinner?" moments), so I'm going to be participating in the Menu Plan Monday carnival that's hosted on the Organizing Junkie's blog each week.

Monday: Chicken tetrazzini (from Dream Dinners)
Tuesday: Baked beans and assorted sausages/hot dogs
Wednesday: Assorted leftovers
Thursday: Frozen pre-packaged noodle based meals from the freezer (those "just add chicken" things)
Friday: Orange Chicken (frozen, from Trader Joe's) and Bejing Vegetables (frozen, also from Trader Joe's)
Saturday: Assorted "leftover New Year's Eve junk foods" -- mini tacos, flautas, etc.
Sunday: Chicken pie (from Costco)

For more meal planning ideas, go to I'm An Organizing Junkie!

You're probably looking at this list and thinking, "There's a lot of pre-packaged convenience stuff in that menu." You're right. Some of them are things that I found on sale somewhere and then were buried in the freezer and forgotten (except for the orange chicken and the Bejing veggies... we just like them and they're cheaper than going out to eat!) for a very long time. They're taking
up precious freezer space and really need to be used up.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

the tradition of resolutions

So here it is... another new year, another new beginning.

At the beginning of every new year, like many Americans, I make new resolutions. I resolve to exercise more, to eat better, to blog more, to read more, to spend less, etc. Somewhere around the 2nd week of February (or even earlier) I get frustrated/bored/annoyed with my resolutions (or rather my lack of resolve) and go back to my old ways.

Will this year be different? I don't know. I hope so. I haven't chosen any resolutions yet, mostly because I want to make worthwhile ones. There's no point in making them if I'm just going to break them.

There's some conflicts between some resolutions I'd like to make... I'd like to live more simply and frugally, and I'd like to make better food choices. At the same time I've got several things in my pantry that are, well, poor choices. Should I throw all of that away? That seems like the wrong idea, yet what's the point of having it take up space in my cabinet if I'm not going to eat it? I could argue that other people in the house might eat it, but do I want them to eat stuff I think is bad? And let's face it -- if it's in the house, I'll end up eating it at some point.

Stuff to think about.

Happy 2009!