Friday, June 29, 2012

Summertime Pantry Challenge

For the past couple of weeks, I've been toying with the idea of a Pantry Challenge.  It's a great way to make myself be creative with the food we already have, and helps to reign in grocery spending as well!

We have a fantastic garden, so that helps enormously.  I also have an order of chicken breasts and ground beef coming in this month, so we should be stocked for protein.  It should really only be necessary to get milk and cheese, or for a special occasion...

So here are my goals for this month:
#1  USE WHAT WE HAVE.  In this house, hubs (and I) are notorious for ignoring something we have in favor of "I feel like eating something else"
#2  Incorporate as many of our veggies into every meal as I possibly can
#3  Minimize my trips to the grocery store...that means only for SUPER GREAT stock up prices or absolute necessities.

Join Jessica at Good Cheap Eats and Life As Mom for inspiration and daily motivation as we work through this challenge!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This looks like fun!

So I've just signed up for - it looks like lots of fun and I'm anxious to try it out!  If you know about Smiley 360, what do you think?  If you sign up, I'd love to hear your experience!

Monday, June 25, 2012

June Menu the swing of Summer

Last week, we did MUCH better on the menu plan, which makes Mama happy!
The only real change was on Wednesday - we were scheduled to grill burgers & dogs, and when Marine Son and Hubby returned from their ballgame adventure, they were too tired and exhausted to deal with the grill.  So, we ordered some meat from a local BBQ place, and I whipped up the sides, and we had dinner.

On that evening, I also conducted an experiment of sorts, with my family.  We are known for grazing - we love a good 'appetizer' to munch on!  So, I made a variation on a ranch dip recipe, and put out pita chips (which I knew they'd devour), cucumber slices (from the garden), and baby carrots.  The pita chips were gone first, followed closely by the cukes, and then the carrots.  Which demonstrated to me that if VEGGIES are what we have to choose, then we *WILL* choose them (as opposed to leaving them alone).  Lesson learned: put out more veggies!

So, here's our plan for this week:
Sunday~ Chili made from Saturday's leftover taco meat.  Yum!  Homemade pico de gallo to go with it.
Monday~ working up at school, so the crockpot comes to the rescue... Stuffed peppers and spaghetti, zucchini chips
Tuesday~ Sausage with peppers, onions & mushrooms, red beans & rice
Wednesday~ local baseball game...realistically, we will probably eat there, but I'll have some sort of snack at the house before we go.
Thursday~ History Fair reception at a downtown museum for ds#3...we'll be going out.
Friday~ Pesto Chicken Pasta, Caprese Salad (the tomatoes are coming in with a vengeance now!)
Saturday~ Burgers & Dogs on the grill!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another menu plan...wonder if we'll stick to this one??

One of the things I love about summer is its flexibility.
One of the things that drives me crazy about summer is its lack of structure.
See the problem???

I've made beautiful menu plans with lots of yummy food for the past two weeks, and we've hardly followed them at all!  We have, however, enjoyed some beautiful, fresh-from-the-garden tomato sandwiches for lunch...

traveled to a nearby farm for fresh cheeses...

and adapted to another change in hubby's eating plan.
And life, and the lazy pace of summer, continues on.

This week, my goal is to incorporate two servings of veggies or fruits/veggies at every meal.  I'm planning lunches and dinners, so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday~ HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Hubby requested hotdogs, coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob for lunch.  I surprised him with peach cobbler for dessert.  For dinner, I'm planning a pasta dish with some leftover roasted cherry tomatoes (from the garden) with mushrooms and chicken.
Monday~ Cheese and tomato sandwiches on homemade bread for lunch.  For dinner, I'm planning Pasta Caprese Salad, Zucchini chips, and Herb roasted chicken breasts.
Tuesday~ Marine Son & Hubby are out of town for a baseball game.  Ds#3 & I will have FlatOut pizzas and tossed salad.  For dinner, I'm planning homemade macaroni and cheese, perhaps adding in some broccoli, and sliced tomatoes.
Wednesday~ The guys will be back in time for lunch, so I'm going to leave that open, unless I come up with an amazing genius idea to keep them from going out to lunch.  For dinner, we're having a big family dinner with burgers, hotdogs & sausage, along with veggie kabobs on the grill, Kettle Chips, and homemade ice cream for dessert.
Thursday~ Marine Son leaves today. :(  Chef's salads with turkey and hardboiled eggs for lunch.  For dinner, I'm planning leftover ham slices (frozen from last month), five-minute potato gratins, green beans, and cucumbers & tomatoes with feta.
Friday~ Sandwiches on homemade breadFor dinner, I'm planning a roasted veggie tart (topped with an egg for Hubs), tossed salad, and homemade bread.
Saturday~ We have to set up ds#3's History Fair project at a museum downtown, so we'll probably eat out for lunch.  For dinner, I'm planning taco salads and quesadillas.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The rain... the rain... and the menu

Well, last week, we hardly followed the menu at all.  I noted the changes...there were so many that it was like writing a whole new menu. :/

We've had 25 inches of rain this weekend, so needless to say, we've not gotten out much.  Which means we made do with what was in the fridge and pantry.  Not that we're having a shortage or anything.

For most of this week, it will just be Hubs & me.  Marine Son is on a baseball tour with some friends, and ds#3 is at Scout Camp.  So until Thursday, things will be yummy, but pretty simple.  I did make a blueberry cobbler for the two of us.... DELISH!

On to the plan for this week:
Sunday~ out to eat for lunch; Pasta w/zucchini, red peppers, and tomatoes (all from the garden) for dinner
Monday~ Chef's salad with roasted turkey for lunch; out for our Anniversary Dinner
Tuesday~ FlatOut pizzas and cucumber salad for lunch; Pioneer Woman's chili for dinner
Wednesday~ Leftover chili for lunch; Breakfast for dinner
Thursday~ Picking up Marine Son & friends from an airport about an hour away at lunchtime; Crockpot to the rescue for dinner!!!! Brisket, potatoes, green beans, and fresh sliced tomatoes
Friday~ Hot dogs, baked beans and coleslaw for lunch; Leftovers for dinner
Saturday~ ds#3 comes home from Camp!!!  Dinner is TBD.
Tomatoes on our windowsill with a view of our backyard

What menu marvels do you have planned?  Share at Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

We made it! June Menu #1

We survived the school year!  All that's left is paperwork to wrap up the year, but our students are off enjoying summer.  Ahhhhhh. :)

Our garden is in full swing:
Pictured here are blackeyed peas, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, and a purple Cherokee tomato.  Yum!
(We also have green beans, okra, cucumbers, collard greens, eggplant....etc....)

So our plan for this week will be using lots of these lovely veggies!
Sunday~ Roasted vegetable tart (topped with a fried egg for hubby), homemade ice cream for dessert
Monday~ Shredded bbq chicken (with actual barbeque sauce - not grilled), coleslaw, cucumber salad, roasted potatoes, and raspberries for dessert
Tuesday~ It's our last official day of work and Marine Son comes in tonight - woo hoo!!!!  Taco salad with beef & beans, banana 'ice cream' (I'm leaving out the peanut butter)
Wednesday~ Roast turkey, roasted squash, tossed salad with cranberries and feta, green beans, zucchini  turned into a Fend For YourSelf dinner...hubs wasn't feeling well.
Thursday~ Marine Son leaves for a baseball roadtrip with friends.  Chef salads with leftover turkey Turkey did not get roasted, so we had breakfast for dinner.
Friday~ Ham slices, tossed salad, individual potato gratins, cucumber salad, green beans, blueberries Out to dinner before taking ds#3 to load equipment for Scout Camp!
Saturday~ Ds#3 leaves for Scout Camp (a week!!!) and Hubby & I will be alone... I'm leaving the plan open! I finally roasted the turkey, so we had a very simple dinner of turkey and homemade gravy.