Jul 092012
 

The Elegant Steak Dionne, last week, was a good recipe.  It was a new one for us that turned out to be so easy and tasty.  I made two.  One went straight into the crockpot and one went to the freezer.  You dump the ingredients in the freezer bag, add the meat and freeze.  When you are ready to use the recipe, thaw overnight and place the contents in a crockpot.  So easy.

Freezer meals have quickly become a favorite of mine.  I did not do much with these until last winter.  I had heard how great they were, but thought it was just hyped up.  Boy was I wrong.  I will admit it.  I was wrong.  Not only are the meals already made, but the time savings is great.

To show you just which recipes are able to be made ahead and froze, and also to demonstrate their presence on my menu plan, I will put an * by the freezer recipes this week.

Breakfasts:

  1. Crepes, fruit
  2. Cereal
  3. Eggs, toast, fruit
  4. Strawberry Bread and cream cheese spread
  5. Shakes
  6. Eggs, toast, fruit, meat

Lunches:

  1. Eat out
  2. Spaghetti
  3. Salad
  4. Pizza
  5. *Sweet and Tangy Pork Loin
  6. *Grilled Flank with green onion ginger chimichurri
  7.  Spicy pan fried steak with noodles

Supper:

  1. Beef curry, rice, bananas
  2. *Salisbury steak, rice
  3. Toast/sandwiches, tea
  4. Sandwiches, fruit
  5. Leftovers
  6. ????

Also, a friend of mine asked if I had ever tried homemade pizzas.  I had not mentioned it here, but the pizzas on my menu are mostly homemade.  I do buy the dough as a frozen dough ball, from GFS, add my homemade sauce and toppings.  We like the flavor more, the size is larger than we get at the store, and they cost less than a frozen pizza.  There is a bit more time involved.  However, this would be less if I didn’t add so many toppings and as much sauce as I do.

After buying flank steak last week, for this week’s menu, I will for sure be watching ahead for sales after this month if we find we like the recipe.  It isn’t exactly on the budget friendly side.  Okay, not a all.  The first store I found it at, it cost $6.99/lb.  Any suggestions for a substitution?

What is on your menu this week?  Have you tried something new that you liked or perhaps something you decided was not quite to your liking?  Please share.

 

Jul 022012
 

 

I like order. Or rather, I like to have a plan.  However, it isn’t always achieved.  It took me only 7 years to figure out that not only do I like to have a menu plan, but also the best way for me to do so.  Well, the best way at this phase of life. The thing is, the plan doesn’t always happen.  Then I feel lost.  I was reminded of that again a few months back when our computer had trouble and I lost that month’s menu plan.  It then took me two more months to remember why “winging it” doesn’t work for me.  We ate.  However, at the end of that time we were eating about the same 10 meals each week.  Without a plan I was losing my creativity.

Honestly, if it was just me, no other people to cook for, my menu plan would be so much simpler.  That was something that became a glaring reality very quickly into my marriage.

“What?  You don’t want that again?  I know we have had it twice this week already, but there are leftovers…. Oh, you don’t want leftover.  Well, what if I change the flavor of sauce?  Then it would be different…… Well, yes it would technically be the same recipe, but it would taste different…..Fine.  What about spaghetti?… Yes, we had it on Sunday.  But you like it…..”

Now, that you have gotten a glimpse into my way of thinking, perhaps you can understand why, at the beginning of my adult life, I was okay with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yogurt and a piece of fruit for lunch for months and months.  See, it wasn’t always the same.  The flavor of the jelly would change, as would the flavor of the yogurt.  The type of fruit would also change.  Sometimes I drank water, sometimes tea, and every so often I would have a soda.  There were random days when I would join my coworkers for lunch, but it was definitely not the norm.

Meanwhile, my husband ate out almost all of his lunches.  I don’t think he took a single lunch to work the first two years of us being married.

I’ll explain more about how I finally got to where I am today on a later post.  Today, I’ll give you the gist of how I use my plan, in its current form, and what this week looks like.

Rule #1 – I made the plan, I can change it.

Rule #2- My husband also has a say in the plan and can change it (with enough warning).

Have you noticed I have not said the work “menu”?  That instead I have called it a “plan”.  The reason? That is what it is, a plan.  Plans change.  Plans adjust.  Sometimes Plans are thrown out the window.

Life happens and this is one of those things that must adapt with it.

At this stage in our lives, my  husband is able to come home for lunch during the work week.  It is his preference that lunch be the bigger meal, with supper being lighter.  This is opposite of what most Americans do, and different than how I grew up.  I’m still not good at it, but think I might be getting a little better.  I’ve tried to put what I normally might make for lunches into the supper slots and vice versa.

Also, I don’t make separate meals, unless it is for a guest and they need something different.  All kids and adults eat the same thing.

Your family and lifestyle will be different.  Do what works for you.

Now, onto this week’s plan:

Sunday

  • Pancakes or crepes, fruit, meat
  • Lunch – eat out
  • Supper – Leftovers (watermelon, orange chicken, cheese, fruit)

Monday

Tuesday

  • Breakfast – eggs, leftover pancakes, fruit
  • Lunch – Elegant Steak Dionne, rice, beets, peas
  • Supper – Salad

Wednesday

  • Breakfast – scones
  • Lunch – Italian Lemon Chicken, rice, side salad
  • Supper – Spinach feta stuffed shells

Thursday

  • Breakfast – shakes
  • Lunch – herb crusted pork chops, lemon potatoes, peas
  • Supper – Date night/leftovers or sandwiches for those at home

Friday

  • Breakfast – Hot Rice Cereal
  • Lunch – pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, beets
  • Supper – ????

Saturday

  • Breakfast – eggs, toast, fruit, meat
  • Lunch – ?????
  • Supper – curried chicken, coconut rice, beets