Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Menu Plan

This weekend, I did quite a bit of cooking to prepare for baseball season and all of the other things happening in the month of March. It's a busy time for us, and all to easy to eat out, if we don't have a plan. (Sometimes we eat out even if there *IS* a plan, but if there's no plan, it's almost a certainty!)

Here is this week's plan...
Sunday~ I was not feeling well so we just picked at the food in the house. No real cooking.
Monday~ hubby has class and ds#3 has ball practice, so we'll fend for ourselves, which probably means mac'n'cheese or miscellaneous leftovers from the fridge.
Tuesday~ Spaghetti & meatballs, mozzarella sticks. Ball practice @ 6:30.
Wednesday~ BBQ pork tenderloin sandwiches (from the freezer), coleslaw, oven fries. Meeting @ 4pm.
Thursday~ Pancakes & sausage
Friday~ Rachael Ray's chili cheese fries OR out to eat after ball practice @ 5pm.
Saturday~ Flank steak (from the freezer), twice baked potatoes (from the freezer), tossed salad, rolls (made from this recipe).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

March Madness - Freezer Cooking

I'm doing some cooking ahead for the busy baseball season. Crystal and Jessica are hosting the March Meal Madness and I decided to join in. Here's what I've accomplished so far:
  • brown ground beef
  • make double batch of Pasta Fagioli soup
  • make Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Cook tenderloin and shred for BBQ sandwiches
Still to do:
  • make apple crisps with all the apples we have around
  • bake this Really Good Bread (for which there is no official name)
Here's hoping that this bit of freezer prep will make life MUCH easier as we head into an extremely busy time of year for us!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last Menu of February!

So baseball started last week. Which means our menu was shot to shreds. We did not eat the Orange Chicken for the second week in a row (we went out for pizza instead). We did not have tacos (we had leftovers instead). We did not have red beans & rice until Sunday (we went out to Chick-fil-A with baseball buddies instead). We actually ate spaghetti on Monday (I broke up the burgers I made and turned them into sauce), breakfast on Wednesday, leftovers on Thursday, and had friends over to grill on Saturday. It's a good thing it's only a plan.

Hubby & I had a chat about setting limits for going out to eat during baseball season. Any mom who has to transport children to and from sports knows that dinner is always an issue. You need a snack before practice and dinner must be IMMEDIATELY afterward. After 15 years of 'doing' baseball, this routine is all too familiar to me. And we always have discussions about it. How does your family handle this?

With all that said, here is our plan for the last week of February:
Sunday~ Red beans & rice
Monday~ ball practice. Leftovers for ds#3 & me; hubby has class.
Tuesday~ BBQ chicken in the crock pot, sweet potatoes, salad, cornbread (I will not be at ball practice - Dad has the job tonight - so I can actually COOK dinner.)
Wednesday~ Tacos that we did not eat last week.
Thursday~ Pot roast in the crock pot, mashed potatoes, broccoli, rolls
Friday~ open for out to eat with teammates, etc...
Saturday~ TBD

Share your menu and find inspiration at Laura's!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday... baseball season begins.

Well, Friday was a 'snow day.'
In Florida.
Nope, I'm not kidding!

But it totally threw a wrench in my menu plans.
That, and my oldest son came home for a visit.

So on Friday, when it was sleeting/snowing, my hubby requested chili and this bread, which was perfectly suited for the weather.
And on Saturday, we ended up out to dinner.
Which means that the burgers I thawed for Saturday's dinner will have to be cooked by Tuesday.
And baseball practice begins, which means late dinners & quick meals.

So this week looks like this:
Sunday~ out to dinner with the fam to celebrate 25 years of marriage for my grandparents (pretty good considering each of them lost their first spouse, and this is their second marriage. They never dreamed they'd be married for 25 years!)
Monday~ baseball practice and class for hubby. Must-goes.
Tuesday~ likely another ball practice, but gotta cook those burgers. So, burgers & hotdogs with fries. Probably late.
Wednesday~ Breakfast for dinner.
Thursday~ Spaghetti & french bread
Friday~ Orange chicken, rice, broccoli, mandarin oranges
Saturday~ Friends over for dinner. TBD.

Baseball practice will probably be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Wednesdays are off nights. So I have to readjust to quick easy meals.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow and homemade bread

First, let me say that we live in Florida.
The last time it snowed in Florida was about 14 years ago.
People don't know how to behave here when it snows.
That would explain why schools were closed today.

It was freezing and wet all day, although we did not see any actual snowflakes until about 1pm. Ds#3 immediately donned his coat and ran outside to catch snow in his mouth. (Should I worry about that?)

Anyway, with such a cold day, I decided to make some homemade bread. Because it's yummy and comforting hot out of the oven on a cold day, and because the oven would help keep the house warm. I put the ingredients in the bread machine to knead the dough, and then bake in the oven (we prefer the texture from oven-baking).

And the recipe (I cannot find the source, so please forgive me)....

1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp dry milk (I subbed regular milk)
1 Tbsp up to 1/3 cup sugar (we like 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour (start with 3 cups and add as necessary - it usually turns out to be about 3 1/4 for me)
1 1/4 tsp yeast

I add all ingredients in the bread machine and put it on the 'dough' setting. When it's finished, I let rise for about 45 minutes and bake in a 350 oven.

I also use a combination of white and wheat flour for this recipe with good results (that means no complaining from my guys).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February's menu... and another pantry challenge??

I just finished our taxes. Bummer. We don't have to pay, but our refund is relatively small. Ugh. We're trying to save some money for upgrades to our house before hurricane season, so I'll be pulling from what we already have in stock, only hitting the stores for milk, bread, eggs, and REALLY AWESOME specials.

This week, we followed the plan really well. Of course, going out to eat twice helped! :) On Saturday, I had planned Chicken with mushroom gravy in the crock pot, but we still had some leftover beef tenderloin to use up. So, I sauteed some baby bella mushrooms, sliced the tenderloin very thinly, and added some gravy. I served it all over mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side. Easy, cheap, and great way to use up those leftovers. (By the way, those tenderloins can be pricey - $9 on sale - but they last my family three meals, so they turn out to be a good deal!)

So, because of our slight modifications, this week will hold a couple of changes as well.
Sunday~ Rachael Ray's Chili Cheese Fries (made with leftover chili from last week, and instead of a cheese sauce, I just sprinkled shredded cheese on top). Fun treat for Superbowl Sunday!
Monday~ Hubby has class, so ds#3 & I will fend for ourselves.
Wednesday~ Potato-Bacon Torte (this is such an easy, delicious recipe!!), French Onion soup
Thursday~ Chicken in mushroom gravy, egg noodles, broccoli, rolls (looking for a good recipe - any suggestions?)
Friday~ Sandwiches & chips (Olympic opening ceremonies)
Burgers & Dogs on the grill, baked beans, fries (Baseball tryouts)
and for the next week...
Sunday~Happy Heart Day! My grandparents are renewing their wedding vows today and we are going out to eat afterward.
Monday~ Spaghetti, french bread, caesar salad, and in honor of President's Day, Apple Cherry pie for dessert
Tuesday~ Orange Chicken, (I cheat and use chicken nuggets from the freezer, so I only have to make the sauce) rice, mandarin oranges, broccoli, won tons
Wednesday~ Breakfast for dinner: eggs, bacon, grits.
Thursday~ Tacos
Friday~ Red beans & rice, cornbread
Saturday~ TBD.

Share your menu at Laura's!