Tag Archives: Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday – 11/21

Menu Plan MondayAnd here it is – Thanksgiving week. How are you feeling?

I think I’m ready. Well, as ready as I can be without having done my shopping yet! But my menu is planned and my shopping list is prepared. I’ll be shopping this evening and doing a lot of pre-cooking on Wednesday. My boyfriend Bill, his son and I will be going to Bill’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving, so I need to have everything ready by Thursday morning, ready for transport and a quick re-heat.

When I was growing up, all of my extended family was in other parts of the country – it was just my parents, my sister and I. We called ourselves orphans. There were a couple of other families in our little town with the same problem, so all of our families would get together and share our holidays every year. We would rotate from one house to the next for each holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas), and each family would bring dishes to contribute. It worked out really well.

As a child, I didn’t really participate with any of the planning or execution – just the eating and some of the cleanup. But looking back now, I can see how well it worked. No one person had to do everything – the hosting family would make the turkey and a couple of sides, and the visiting families would bring everything else. The work was divided, saving anyone from *too* much stress (don’t think that stopped my mother from staying up way too late the night before and getting up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving day, anyway, to make sure that everything was done. I’m a lot like my mom.).

My family is very small but the same can’t be said for Bill’s family. In addition to his parents, two siblings, and their kids, there are numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Every time we go to another family party, I meet yet more people I’ve never heard of before! Yowza! It’s a little overwhelming for someone like me. Fortunately, they are all really nice, warm people who have welcomed me with open arms. For Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we almost always go to Bill’s parents’ house. Sometimes it’s just a small gathering with his parents, us and maybe one or two others, but this year the whole clan will be there – parents, the siblings, spouses and kids, plus some neighbors! It’s gonna be a loud, crazy day, I expect. Good thing it’s not as my house, huh?

In order to help out, I’ll be bringing several side dishes and two pies. Plus, my boyfriend has decided he’s going to make a pie (so I guess my house will be a little loud and crazy, too), as well! With all of that to do, I have to be organized and get a lot of work done on Wednesday.

Consequently, the rest of this week is a fairly light cooking week. Thank goodness for that freezer meal I’ve got, just waiting to be baked!

Menu Plan for week beginning 11/21/11:

  • Monday - Leftovers
  • Tuesday - Lemon-spiced Chicken with Chickpeas (quick, easy & delicious healthy meal.  Check it out!)
  • Wednesday - Thanksgiving pre-cooking (mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin, stuffed mushrooms, pie crusts).  Layered taco bake from the freezer for dinner
  • Thursday - HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I’ll be baking off my pies that morning, but should be quick and easy since all the prep will be done Wed.
  • Friday - Banana bread scones for breakfast, leftovers for dinner
  • Saturday - Apple, Butternut & Sausage casserole (perfecting this recipe so I can share with you!)
  • Sunday - open

(Click image to enlarge)
Menu created with Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

So, what about you? Are you ready? Do you have a big celebration with crazy relatives to look forward to, a small family get-together or do you skip Thanksgiving altogether?

Menu Plan Monday – 11/14

Menu Plan Monday

You may notice a couple of dishes that have been appearing week after week. That isn’t because we love it so much we eat it every seven days. No, it’s because I still haven’t managed to get them made! Schedules change, things come up, and next thing I know, it’s end of the week. Hopefully, this will be the week for enchiladas and mini-meatloaves!

At the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday, I picked up a whole bunch of mushrooms – oysters and cremini. Yum! So I have to use those up soon (oh, darn!). We do love the fungus at my house, so it shouldn’t be a problem. One thing I’ve noticed – everybody says to shop the Farmer’s Market for better prices on the freshest veggies, but so far, my experience has been that the FM is MORE expensive than the store. What about you? Does your local Farmer’s Market have good prices or are they sky-high like mine?

As usual, I have left a couple of days open. Wednesday is my usual grocery shopping day, and after working all day, then spending a couple of hours running around town, then putting everything away, I’m too pooped to do any real cooking. So, leftovers or a freezer meal are the usual suspects. And then, I typically leave one day open just for wiggle room.

Here’s this week’s plan:

  • Monday – Lemon Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas
  • TuesdayCheese Enchiladas (gonna make these this time, doggone it!)
  • Wednesday – shopping day
  • Thursday – Mini Meatloaves (third time’s the charm, right?)
  • Friday – Open day
  • Saturday – we’ll be attending a family party in the middle of the day,  and will probably end up eating with the fam in the evening, too.  If not, we’ll wing it.
  • Sunday – Apple, Butternut & Squash Casserole – working out the kinks on this delicious fall recipe that I’ll be sharing with you as soon as I’ve got it perfected!

(Click image to enlarge)
Menu - 11/14
Menu created with Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Stay tuned this week for a Monthly Munchies post, plus I’ll be posting for the Cake Slice Baker’s group on Sunday 11/20. It’s a recipe that would be a great addition to your holiday table, so be sure to check it out! Next week, of course, we’ll all be gearing up for Thanksgiving. I’m attending a big family gathering and am supposed to bring at least one side plus a dessert. And I still haven’t heard how many people will be there (argh!).

What’s your plan? Are you hosting or attending a big family feast, or having a small intimate dinner instead? Are you ready for the holidays or feeling stressed as it comes creeping (screaming?) up on us?
Don't Forget Delicious!

Menu Plan Monday – 11/7

Menu Plan MondayIt’s Menu Plan Monday again!

As I mentioned sometimes happens, my plan from last week got mostly preempted. Visits with in-laws and working overtime meant a lot less cooking than I had planned, so you’ll see that several items originally scheduled for last week got moved to this week.

This week is Staff Meeting at my office, and I always bring “Monthly Munchies” to keep the mood sweet. Since the holidays are coming soon, I figured I’d do something a little out of the ordinary, yet totally seasonal – caramel dipped apples. These actually make great party food because one apple can get sliced into many pieces. And even though it’s got some caramel (and probably chocolate and other topping) on it, it’s still a slice of fresh apple, which means it feels just a little less guilty than some other treats. Caramel apples are actually really easy to make, even when you make the caramel from scratch, and everyone is always so impressed!

The only trick to serving sliced caramel apples to a crowd is to remember to brush the slices with something to keep them from browning. You can use lemon juice or, I just discovered, ginger ale! I’m going to test out the ginger ale the night before to make sure it works (what a shame, we’ll have to slice and eat one of those apples…. oh darn!), and I hope it does because that sounds like a delicious choice.

I’m also planning on making some of these fun and tasty-looking Peanut Butter, Pretzel and Toffee Bonbons. Don’t they look awesome? I love making candy and these are just a little different and sound really easy to make. Plus, they also have that slightly more indulgent “holiday” feel I’m going for with this month’s Monthly Munchies.

Otherwise, it’s just business as usual. Trying to get fresh meals on the table every night. A couple of the items on this week’s plan will provide some freezer meals for future dates when cooking just isn’t in the cards. I love those!

This week’s plan:

  • Monday – Leftover Night – I’ll be grocery shopping tonight, then making some meatballs to go into the freezer, so we’ll finish off some leftovers so I don’t have to add another task to today’s busy schedule.
  • Tuesday – Quick and easy Meatball Subs (using Monday’s frozen meatballs) so that I can get right to work on those caramel apples and bonbons.  My boyfriend loves “cookie night” (when I make Monthly Munchies for staff meeting) as we call them, because he gets to be my taste-tester.
  • Wednesday - Now that the craziness of Monday and Tuesday are over, I can spend a little more time on dinner, so going to experiment with an Apple, Butternut Squash and Sausage casserole.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  If I have time, I’d like to make a batch of Breakfast Cookies for the freezer.
  • Thursday - Trying to get into the Fall spirit (even though it’s still 80 degrees here most days) with an Autumn Salad paired with some quick, easy and delicious Mini-Meatloaves (another one that makes extra for the freezer).
  • Friday – The Boyfriend and I both love cheese enchiladas, so we’re going to splurge on Friday and make these delicious-looking Cheese Enchiladas from SimplyRecipes.com.
  • Weekend  - I haven’t figured out what we’re going to do for dinner on Saturday and Sunday yet.  I expect we’ll have some leftovers to finish off, and I may come across a new recipe by then I’d like to try.  The weekend is my time to do a bunch of stuff for the freezer (breakfast burritos, lunch strombolis, etc.), so we’ll see what I manage to fit in.
Here’s the full schedule (click to enlarge):

11/7 Menu Plan
Menu created with Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

What’s your plan for this week? Are you gearing up for the holidays? Do you find your schedule getting busier already, or is it business as usual?

Menu Plan Monday – 10/31

Menu Plan MondayGetting back on the menu planning horse!  I’ve menu planned semi-regularly for the last few years.  Whenever I start getting lazy and stop planning, my cooking activity also starts to drop.  I find that planning is essential to actually getting fresh, from scratch meals on the table.

Thank goodness for Menu Plan Mondays to keep me honest.  I’ve only listed the dinners here, as that’s currently the most challenging meal. But I have a goal to improve our breakfasts and lunches, so you may see some of those on my plans going forward.

I find that my actual activity often changes during the week, but it’s still helpful to have planned it out so that I can make sure I have ingredients on hand and can plan ahead as much as possible. I try to plan for at least one or two meals that makes extra for the freezer, so that on a future day when I’m wiped out and don’t want to cook, I’ve got something ready to go.

Click to enlarge the image and see more details.

Menu created with Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Here’s the basic plan, in case the image doesn’t work for you:

  • Monday – Jambalaya (from freezer) and rice
  • Tuesday – Layered Taco Bake (plus an extra for freezer)
  • Wednesday – Tortellini with Garlic Cream Sauce
  • Thursday – Mini Meatloaves with Honey Garlic Sauce (plus some extras for the freezer)
  • Friday – Open
  • Saturday – Cheese Enchiladas
  • Sunday – Meatball Subs (plus extra meatballs for freezer)

What’s your style? Do you plan your menus ahead of time or fly by the seat of your pants? When you plan, do you stick to it or do you end up changing it all?

Menu Plan Monday: April 27, 2009

Menu Plan MondayDo you make a menu plan? Or do you just wing it?
I find that I go back and forth. Sometimes I’ll go weeks and weeks where I’m very organized, make my plan each week and from that, a shopping list. Then, it’s as if I’ve used up my organizational juice and I just go with the flow for a long time afterwards, picking out recipes the day of, or at the last minute when it’s time to make dinner.
I actually much prefer it when I’m organized. Things just tend to work out better – shopping is easier and more straightforward with a specific list, dinner is more likely to get made on time and with what we have in the house, rather than some special ingredient that catches my fancy. And we’re less likely to just give up and order in.
So I’m not sure why I sometimes get lazy (um… maybe ’cause I’m lazy?………Nah!). But having just discovered Menu Plan Monday over at the I’m An Organizing Junkie blog, I’m inspired to get back on track!
Who’s with me?
Here is the plan for this week, in no particular order. I actually have one too many recipes here because I have to work Friday nights, so that is usually frozen pizza (or corn dogs or something equally fabulous) for the boys. One of these recipes will therefore end up getting cut, but I want to try them all, so we’ll just see how it plays out.