Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting back into a routine

This summer, it seems, has been full of interruptions to any kind of routine.
Some of these, like vacation, were planned for and welcomed and anticipated.
Some, like the death of a close family member, were not.
And as much as I'd like a couple more weeks to deal with these things, I don't have them, so we've got to get ourselves back into a routine before school begins.

I was out of town for most of last week, so my guys were on their own for meals - they had plenty of food in the house to eat if they chose, but also had the freedom to go out to their favorite restaurants that I do not enjoy.  This week, we're all at home.

So, here goes!

Sunday~ hubs bought some lovely steaks that he grilled, and we had salad and green beans fresh from the garden to go with them.  Alas, the steaks were enormous and we could not eat even half of them, which brings us to...
Monday~ said steaks, along with new potatoes, tossed salad, and leftover green beans.
Tuesday~ Penne with chicken and pesto, cucumber salad.  I've got tons of basil in my garden, so I will make homemade pesto for this dish.  Yum!
Wednesday~ BBQ chicken sandwiches, grilled sausage, homemade pasta salad
Thursday~ Leftovers or some other magic I dream up...
Friday~ Pasta with sauteed veggies, tossed salad
Saturday~ Breakfast for dinner

Monday, July 22, 2013

Travelin' Woman menu

This week is more of a non-menu than anything else... I'm traveling to attend a conference from Tuesday-Saturday, which means that, for 5 days, my guys will be fending for themselves.

They enjoy this, because they go out for Chinese (which I cannot do) and 'man food'.  We have plenty of lunchmeat and cheese for sandwiches, along with spaghetti, grilled hotdogs and sausages, and a myriad of side dishes to satisfy.

Here's what we do have planned:
Sunday~ my parents are over for dinner.  Grilled burgers, mushrooms, sausages and hotdogs, along with cucumber salad, homemade baked beans, and a family recipe for Cheese & Cracker Salad.  Homemade chocolate cake (made with whole wheat flour to try to make it a little healthier!), homemade vanilla ice cream, and honey pecans for dessert.  YUM!

Monday~ out to eat for a family birthday celebration

Tuesday~ Mom's traveling, and the boys will play...

We'll see what I find when I get home on Saturday!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The week after the funeral, a menu and the Pantry Challenge

What an awful week last week.
On Monday, I received news of a devastating death in our family, so the whole plan was off.  On Monday evening, the entire family gathered at our house and I spent $50 to pull together hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, fried okra, and ice cream pie for dessert.  The rest of the week, food was delivered to our family and no one has cooked.  Which was really nice, because quite frankly, no one wanted to cook.
Flowers from the family at my brother's memorial service

So this week's menu will be lots of repeats from last week.
Sunday~ food provided for the family after the service
Monday~ probably the last family dinner with extended relatives
Tuesday~ The Pioneer Woman's simple perfect chili that I made last week and froze when it became evident we would not be eating it any time soon
Wednesday~ Roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, green beans from the garden, we also have some cucumbers in the garden that need to be used, so we'll also have cucumber salad with this meal.
Thursday~ miscellaneous leftovers that have accumulated and need to be eaten - also known as "Must-Goes"
Friday~ Breakfast for dinner
Saturday~ planning to go to the Farmer's Market and find some lovely stuff!

Take the opportunity this week to tell people you love them, to let them know that they matter in your life.  You never know how short the time will be...

Check in on the Pantry Challenge at Good Cheap Eats
Get some menu inspiration at Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fruits and veggies, oh my! July Menu #2

UPDATE on our Pantry Challenge:
This week, we returned to some semblance of normal after our almost two-week vacation.  We didn't have much in the fridge, but the pantry looked okay.  I started off the week at the grocery store and bought milk, yogurt, ricotta (I wanted to make lasagna), cheese, eggs, and some other miscellaneous items.  I spent $70.19 at Publix.

We got a freebie coupon for Coke in the mail, so I went back to Publix to buy 2 and get 2 with their sale (using my coupon, I actually bought one and got three free!).  I spent $6.82.

Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, hubs & I went to the local Farmer's Market.  We bought a dozen ears of corn ($4), a nice fat watermelon ($7), 2 pints of blackberries ($7), homemade ricotta and homemade mozzarella ($12), artisan bread ($5 - yes I know I can make this, but hubs knew the vendor and I don't feel bad supporting local business), local honey ($8), and some local bacon and sausage ($21).  Total spent at the market: $64.

Then I went back to Publix on Saturday to get things I didn't get at the Farmer's Market:  beef broth/chicken broth (B1G1), organic milk, organic cream, and organic butter.  I had some coupons for the organics and I spent $15.41.

Which brings the total spending for the week to $156.42.

I've not tracked my spending like this before (I know....yikes!) so this will be eye-opening for everybody.

We have been trying to eat fruits & veggies with every single meal, which we're not very good at.  And we ran out of fruit fast, so I tried to buy more this week.  Last week, I made lasagna on Monday, and we ate the last piece on Thursday for lunch, so I guess we stretched that!  Tuesday, we ate leftovers for dinner. Friday, we ate at a friend's birthday party so Mom didn't have to cook.  Saturday, I re-purposed leftover roast and added some mushrooms, made gravy & mashed potatoes, and green beans to go along with the meal.

Hubs has a workshop to attend all week this coming week, and he has already agreed to take his lunch, which will save us some dough.  I made the veggie tart pictured here from last week's eggplant, tomatoes from the garden, and zucchini from our friend.  I'll eat this for lunch during the week.  Ds#3 is a pasta lover, and his teeth have been sore from braces, so that's probably what he will be eating.

Breakfast is usually our time to incorporate fruit; I'm experimenting with all kinds of smoothies in my Nutri-Bullet (Mother's Day present).  I'd love to hear your successes!  I usually fix a bowl of cut-up fruit for hubs before he eats his eggs & bacon.  Ds#3 has been sleeping late, so he's been missing breakfast (but hasn't been too hungry because his teeth hurt).  I'm trying to find a smoothie he'll love so I can get some fruit in him.

And now.... for the Weekly Dinner Menu!
Sunday~ Mexican Rice Casserole, Taco Salad
Monday~ Roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, green beans or broccoli (both in the freezer, from the garden), zucchini 'fries'  edited to add: had some cucumbers in the garden that needed to be used, so we'll have cucumber salad with this meal.
Tuesday~ Breakfast: scrambled eggs, local sausage, grits, fruit
Wednesday~ Depending on how much is left, Leftover beef from Sunday's Taco Salad morphs into the Pioneer Woman's Simple Perfect Chili.  Or nachos.  Just depends on how much there is.  My guys love this.  edited to add: the verdict is chili.
Thursday~ We may have my parents over for dinner; waiting for confirmation and then I'll make a plan.
Friday~ Ds#3 goes camping for the weekend, so I'm leaving it open for Hubs & I
Saturday~ Parents Choice night (the kid's gone camping)

Join in the Pantry Challenge with Fish Mama at Good Cheap Eats.  

And jump into Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie.