January is the perfect month for a Pantry Challenge in our house. After all the huge menus from Thanksgiving to Christmas, our waistlines AND our checkbooks could use a little scaling back.
Every year in January, I plan our menus for the month, to use up what we've got. I will go to the store and get milk and VERY necessary items, but for the most part, I'll use it up, make do with what we have, or change the plan and do without.
Jessica at Good Cheap Eats is sponsoring this challenge. She keeps running posts on what her family eats that day, and how they adapt for this challenge. I usually post weekly, but may try posting daily, just to keep track of my details.
Airman Son arrived on Friday evening just in time to have dinner with our extended family - grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunt, uncle, and nephews. It was amazing to have him home.
The weather was rainy, in the 70s, and very un-Christmas-like. But on Saturday...
...ds#3 got a letter from Marine Son.
As soon as he found out he had mail, he raced to get it, and sat down immediately to read it. He loves his big brother. AND... his brother loves him. It's enough to make a mama teary. Then, as soon as he'd finished the letter, Marine Son called! He was overjoyed. It was almost more than he could stand.
It's now Christmas evening, and everyone is enjoying their presents while Mom & Dad relax. Here's our plan for this week:
Sunday~ Merry Christmas!! Ham, roasted potatoes, Swiss beans, fried okra (Airman Son's fave), crescent rolls (another fave). Chocolate cake, apple cherry pie, and ice cream pie for dessert. Very full!!!
Monday~ Shopping day with my nieces. We'll have leftovers for dinner.
Tuesday~ Greek Fest! Because we haven't had enough to eat yet. My brother and nieces are in town, and we'll pull out some Greek delicacies that we've purchased to enjoy a feast: moussaka, pastitso, tiropeta, Greek salad, and some grilled chicken for non-Greek fans.
Wednesday~ Lunch at a wonderful seafood restaurant before my brother & nieces head back out of town. We did this last year and it was scrumptious, but we were so full that no one was hungry for dinner, so I'm not planning any.
Last week, our menu was a little wacky, but we survived. Things got shuffled around to accommodate that thing called LIFE, and we made it work.
This week, we learned that Airman Son will be in on Thursday evening/Friday morning (WOO HOO!!!) so the menus will definitely reflect his preferences.
We made it to Christmas vacation.... here's to a little relaxing!
Sunday~ Sandwiches for lunch, out to eat after a parent/child bowling tourney Monday~ Tacos and nachos Tuesday~ French Onion Soup (rain is in the forecast) Wednesday~ Party with friends, ds#3 spends the night with the grandparents Thursday~ Spaghetti and stuffed peppers Friday~ Our traditional outing with my grandparents: out to eat then back to their house for desserts and presents Saturday~ Dinner and present-opening at my parents' house Sunday~CHRISTMAS DAY!!! Honey Baked Ham, Swiss Beans, Fried Okra (ds#2's fave), Crescent Rolls, Mashed Potatoes. Wow. Already I feel full.
And there's more beyond that...
but I'll wait till next week. ;)
Last week's menu went fairly well, as I resisted hubs's advances to go out to eat until Friday - I could hold him off no longer.
Ds#3 and I did make sugar cookies on Sunday night.
11~The bowling tournament that would never end resulted in a trip for pizza. 12~ Meatballs, with either tomato sauce & noodles, or brown gravy, mashed potatoes & broccoli 13~ Out to eat then shopping with ds#3 (part one of History Fair for Dad) 14~ Quesadillas (ds#3's fave) 15~ Out to eat with the fam after ds#3's Christmas play! (part two of History Fair) 16~ Hamburgers & hotdogs.... CHRISTMAS VACATION BEGINS!!
Last week, I mapped out a plan for us up until Christmas Vacation begins. (WOO HOO!!!!) I also made homemade donuts, using this recipe form the Pioneer Woman. (But I baked them instead of frying.) They got two thumbs up from ds#3.
Then, hubs announced his plan to go back to a protein-heavy diet, which makes it challenging with some of the menus I've got planned. So... we'll probably have some revisions, but here's where we stand. 4~ Nachos (use leftover taco meat from Wed)5~ Breakfast for Dinner 6~**CONCERT NIGHT** Pasta Fagioliin crockpot (prepare pasta separately; combine to serve) 7~ Pepper Steak, rice 8~ Leftovers **CONCERT NIGHT** 9~ Frozen Pizza this already got taken from the freezer, so I'll have to come up with some other marvelous idea... 10~ Chili Mac **Christmas Parade**
It's a very busy week, but having a plan makes it much easier. This time next week, all of my pressing duties will be over, and I'll feel like I'm on vacation already!