Sunday, July 26, 2015

July Menu #5... heading into August

Summer is drawing down.
Even though it's still plenty hot here (heat index of 113, anyone??),  the end of July signals back-to-school.
I'll be out of town at a pre-school convention toward the end of the week, and then it'll be a flurry of back-to-school activity until we are officially back on the clock.

Hubs is back from a month of grad studies in Ohio, and we have loved having him back home.  We have feasted our way through this week, and I am getting used to having his appetite back in the kitchen. :)

Meanwhile, ds#3 continues to eat everything in sight.  I have resorted to buying cereal to keep him fed.  Yes, yes I have.

On the menu this week:
Sunday~ dinner with the fam to celebrate my grandfather's birthday.  He's 87 years young.
Monday~ I will have a night out with the girls and the boys will use a gift card to Chick-fil-A.
Tuesday~ Sticky chicken in the crockpot, twice baked potatoes, coleslaw, broccoli
Wednesday~ I'll make a big pot of spaghetti for the boys before I hit the road.
Thurs - Sat~ I'm out of town, so the guys will be fending for themselves.  There are plenty of options to eat at the house, but I'm sure they will eat out a couple of times.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July menu #4... and my man is home!

My husband has been away for a month taking grad classes, and he got home this weekend.  AND WE ARE ALL SO HAPPY!!!!!!

In other news, I got 25 pounds of peaches to deal with this week.  In case you were wondering, this is what 25 pounds of peaches looks like:
I have made peach crisp, peach cobbler, peach tea, and frozen some slices for later.  I shared some with my mom & sister.  And I still have a few more peaches to go.

Here's what's on the menu this week:
Sunday~ Hawaiian chicken, rice, broccoli.  Peach cobbler for dessert.
Monday~ Spaghetti, tossed salad, garlic cheese biscuits (if I get to it).
Tuesday~ Breakfast for dinner: eggs, bacon, hash browns, fruit
Wednesday~ To a baseball game with the fam.  We'll eat at the stadium.
Thursday~ BBQ chicken, coleslaw, potato salad
Friday~ Burgers on the grill and any leftover sides we like
Saturday~ Tacos with all the trimmings!

For lunches this week:
ham or turkey slices with salad (like a chef salad), or on bread if someone prefers a sandwich
chicken salad
frozen pizza
loaded potatoes
leftovers from any meal

I have found that during the summer, if I don't have some sort of plan for lunch, I will spend more time and money at the grocery store than I would like.  So... while leftovers are always a choice, we've got some other options as well.  Plus my teenager is handling most of the leftovers these days.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hot July, and menu #3

Holy moly, it is hot.
Heat indexes are soaring into the 100s daily, with not much rain to cool things off.
So what's a body to do?
Lucky for us, Sonic had ice cream cones at half price this week...
so that was a nice treat.
Meanwhile, I've gotten some super-fun freebies during the last month.  My favorite is probably Tazo tea from Smiley360 - I got a coupon for a free box, and have been loving this to cool off on our hot days.

But as long as the air conditioning works, we will be fine.  We just don't do anything outside between 12-3p.m.  :)

As far as our menu, last week was all mixed up.
But everyone ate, and it's all good:
Monday~ chef salad for me, turkey sandwich with chips for ds.   
this became a fend-for-yourself sort of night...
Tuesday~ out to dinner with the girls :)  Ds & my dad will do something fun.
this actually happened!
Wednesday~ Broccoli Chicken Alfredo (with noodles for ds)
this turned into loaded baked potatoes - topped with some leftover chicken, cheese & broccoli
Thursday~ Leftover spaghetti (from dinner out last week) for ds and some other leftover concoction for me.  
first, there was no leftover spaghetti because ds is eating me out of house and home.  But we ended up meeting my mom, sis & her boys at chick-fil-a and mom bought dinner.
Friday~ Sloppy Joes -on bread for ds, on a sweet potato for me. 
this is where we had the broccoli chicken alfredo above.  Ds LOVED it and requested that it make a regular occurrence on the menu.
Saturday~ Frittata with ham, cheese, and broccoli (really more of an egg bake, but you get the idea).  I'll probably make hash browns for ds, and we'll have some fruit too.

Where we used to have leftovers to eat for lunch, they are vanishing.  My son is eating tremendous amounts of food!  So if I want leftovers, I'm going to have to double recipes and stash it.
Sunday~ chili in the crockpot
Monday~ salad, loaded baked potatoes (sweet potato for me)
Tuesday~ going to see The Minions, so we'll prob have dinner out with my mom, sis & boys after.
Wednesday~ leftover chili (I'm making a big batch!)
Thursday~ sloppy joes that never made it last week
Friday~ my mom is coming over to teach me how to make her famous potato salad, so I'm leaving things open.
Saturday~ HUBBY COMES HOME!!!!  Ham slices (from freezer), swiss beans, twice baked potatoes, salad.  And peach cobbler.

This week will be busy - ds is working with friends at VBS every day, and I'm expecting 25 pounds of peaches, so I'll be dealing with those (hence the peach cobbler for Hubs).  My man has been gone a month, so I am anxiously awaiting the weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2015

And now it's July... and our menu!

We stepped into July with a bang -
we had a great time celebrating with family from out of town and stayed busy from Thursday through Sunday.  We ate as a (huge extended) family for almost every meal, so I did very little cooking.  I made some cookie bars and a tomato salad, and that was it.  Which made it easy on my wallet! :)

So this week, there will be some carry-over from last week.  I'm diligently tracking my grocery spending... when I looked at what I've been spending the last three months, I was shocked at my totals, so I'm really hoping to get creative and bringing the budget under control.  I'm working through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it is very eye-opening.

Here's our plan for this week:
Sunday~ dinner with the family and a visit to my brother's graveside.  This week marks two years since his unexpected death.
Monday~ chef salad for me, turkey sandwich with chips for ds.  Keepin' it simple.
Tuesday~ out to dinner with the girls :)  Ds & my dad will do something fun.
Wednesday~ Broccoli Chicken Alfredo (with noodles for ds)
Thursday~ Leftover spaghetti (from dinner out last week) for ds and some other leftover concoction for me.  Basically we're cleaning out the fridge!
Friday~ Sloppy Joes -on bread for ds, on a sweet potato for me.  I will modify this recipe a little (and not using frozen texas toast).
Saturday~ Frittata with ham, cheese, and broccoli (really more of an egg bake, but you get the idea).  I'll probably make hash browns for ds, and we'll have some fruit too.
Then it will be one week until Hubs is home.  WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lunches this week will be:
Chicken Tenders 
and all the tomatoes we can tolerate.  They are coming in everywhere!

Share your menu marvels at Menu Plan Monday!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pantry Challenge Menu #2 - finishing June and starting July

We just finished the first week of a Pantry Challenge.  We did pretty well, eating all our leftovers and not shopping.  It turned out slightly different than planned, but still good.

Mon- chili in the crockpot
Homemade macaroons for dessert. Yum!
Tues – Ds spent the night with a buddy so I was by myself in the house – and it was weird!!!! I was starving when I got home so I had chicken tenders.
Wed - picked up DS and after Bible Study… he had leftover pizza and I had a leftover chili.
Thurs - I went out with for a planned dinner with friends, and one of them bought everyone's meal, which was a sweet surprise! I made ds a pizza from the freezer before I left. And he ate it ALL.
Fri - Homemade burgers and fries (mine was bunless)

So here's our plan for this week:
Lunch: Sticky chicken in the crockpot, broccoli, twice baked potatoes, cucumbers & tomatoes
Dinner: Salad (for me), chicken tenders or leftover BBQ chicken (for ds)

Lunch: Pizza for ds, salad for me
Dinner: Leftover BBQ chicken, leftover baked beans for ds, salad for me

Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Tacos

Leftovers for lunch & dinner

swimming at my parents' house for lunch, going to a ballgame with the family that evening

family day and a fishing trip for all the boys :)

4th of JULY!  Happy Independence Day!
picnic lunch with the fam at the beach, and snack dinner at the fireworks that night

Our garden is bursting with tomatoes and green beans, so I am sharing those with family and including them everywhere I can.

What's on your menu?
Share at Menu Plan Monday.
And feel free to jump into the Pantry Challenge at Good Cheap Eats!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June Menu, and a sort of Pantry Challenge

Happy June!
It is H-O-T here, but I am not complaining as long as I can retreat to the air conditioning. :)
I've taken a look at our budget, and we need to tighten up a little, so we're beginning a small pantry challenge this week - just using what we have, and trying to do without if we run out, when possible.
I've inventoried our freezer, and I believe we can go to the the end of the month with no shopping trips, so that's my goal.
Here's the plan:
Sunday~ HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! My sweet hubby will be away from us doing graduate coursework, so we celebrated with my dad (and mom) with burgers, cucumber salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, and banana pudding at my parents' house, followed by a swim in the pool.  Not a bad deal at all!
lunch: chicken tenders, salad (tons of lettuce, tomatoes from the garden)
dinner: chili
lunch: frozen pizza, salad
dinner: chicken taco salad with tortilla chips
lunch: turkey sandwich (ds), salad
dinner: leftovers (turn chili into nachos if desired)
lunch: chicken tenders, salad
dinner: dinner out with friends for me. Ds may be spending the night with friends.
lunch: leftovers
dinner: hamburgers & fries
lunch: leftovers
dinner: sticky chicken, potatoes, broccoli or green beans, salad

I've tried to plan out lunch and dinner to save some coin.  All these recipes use what we already have on hand.  I will supplement with some baking and we should be in good shape!

I had a chat with ds#3 about summertime lunches, asking what he liked, explaining that we won't go out much in order to save money.  He gave me the teenage favorites of chicken tenders and pizza!  A few weeks ago, I received some coupons from BzzAgent to try Red Baron Brick Oven pizzas, and my son really liked them.  I purchased a couple since the initial trial, and he specifically requested those for the lunch rotation.  We have a winner!  You can see above that I have included them in our lunchtime specials! :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer's here - woo hoo!!!!!!! It's a June Menu!

Happy Summertime!!!
We made it through the last weeks of school...
stressful and crazy busy....
happy and bittersweet...
And now people are clamoring for FOOD all the time around here! :)

So here's the plan:
Lunch: out
Dinner: Mexican beef in the crockpot, with rice, diced tomatoes from the garden, cheese, and whatever other toppings you'd like

Lunch: a sandwich experiment with yuca rolls and assorted insides (ham, salami, cheese, chicken)
Dinner: Sticky Chicken in the crockpot with mashed potatoes, green beans and cucumbers from the garden, and these Paleo rolls

Lunch: Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad from FishMama
Dinner: Burgers & Sausage on the grill, cucumber spears, fries

Lunch: Nachos or leftover rice bowl ingredients from Sunday
Dinner: Chef salads

It's our 21st wedding anniversary, so I'm not planning anything for today!

Lunch: BBQ chicken (using leftovers from Monday) or Sausage (from Tuesday) with fries
Dinner: Spaghetti (I'll have mine over zucchini) with tossed salad

not planning lunch... because it's summer and we can!
Dinner: Hawaiian chicken over rice with broccoli and salad