Monday, January 23, 2017

Pantry Challenge Week 2

Last week's plan worked pretty well.  We only made one change - we had leftovers on Thursday night and soup was moved to Friday. On Saturday, we laid low and I tried a new recipe for roasted balsamic chicken and vegetables.  I had all the ingredients on hand, so I made it, but we didn't love it.  We ate it, but I'm not sure what I'll do with the leftovers.

On Sunday, Hubs had a planning meeting with a colleague for a joint field trip coming up, and that involved dinner.  It wasn't planned, but it was okay. I used a coupon and took ds#3 to his fave spot, Moe's.

The rest of the week will be pretty fluid.  My sister is moving on Tuesday, and we are all enlisted to help.  There's carpet to be removed, and tile to be busted, and painting to be done.  Oh my!  Here's the plan, but it is definitely subject to change.

Monday~ roast in the crockpot. Hubs has been fighting some sort of stomach bug all weekend, so we went with random leftovers: ds#3 ate his leftovers from Moe's; Hubs had rice; I had a baked potato with leftover balsamic chicken & veggies.

Tuesday~ moving day for my sis!!!  I will pick up ds#3 from tennis practice and head out to the new place.  She will probably text me to pick up dinner on the way (with funds from my grandmother).

Wednesday~ The roast that we didn't eat on Monday, along with the veggies, and perhaps some rice.

Thursday~ Hubs has a professor friend coming in town for the aforementioned field trip, so he will be out to dinner.  This has been planned for several months, so I don't count it against our challenge.

Friday~ Hubs may have dinner duty with his professor and friend, but if he does not, we will have a quiet dinner at home of spaghetti with gluten-free noodles.

Saturday~ Hubs will be with his professor all day so ds#3 & I will be on our own.  Depending on what my sister needs for move-in help, we may be there.

I did go to the grocery store on Sunday for items for lunches during the week.  I spent more than I wanted to, but some of that was food I didn't have on hand for Hubs' sensitive stomach and medicine as well.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wow - six months later....

Holy moly.
I guess you could say life has been busy!!

So now it's January, and we are beginning our annual Pantry Challenge.  Don't know what a pantry challenge is?  Get the details here.

Every January, I try to tighten our belts a little and use the food we have, as much as possible, for our meals.  Sometimes this forces me to get pretty creative.  Every January, I also go out of town for work for a few days.  For years, I tried to have my guys continue the Pantry Challenge while I was gone, but my husband hates to cook, so it never worked.  This year, I just decided to begin it after said trip.  So here we go!

For breakfast, Hubby almost always has eggs.  He loves eggs.  Ds#3 drinks a protein chocolate milk shake and sometimes some solid food.  I am not a normal fan of breakfast foods, so I have a cup of chai tea, and a protein bar or leftovers.

For lunches, I pack lunch boxes for everyone.  This week, Hubs will take chili, ds will take chicken & rice, both in their thermoses.  I have a microwave in my classroom, so I usually take whatever leftovers we have that need to be eaten.  This week, we've got some turkey that needs to be used, so I will make lettuce wraps until the turkey is gone.

Sunday~ Burgers on the grill, french fries in the oven.  I returned from my trip late Saturday night.  The leftovers were still in the fridge, as the guys chose to eat out for dinner while I was away.  I took stock, and we had patties in the freezer as well as frozen french fries.  I don't eat bread, but I made some gluten-free buns for my husband and son.  Quite satisfactory.

Monday~ Shepherds pie, an experiment.  I have seen a ton of recipes for shepherds pie, and have planned to try it many times, but it never materialized.  In light of the pantry challenge, I diced leftover short ribs (which were so tender and delicious!!), added the gravy from the first cooking/meal, kale from our garden, diced mushrooms, half a zucchini on its last leg, and some diced carrots.  I made mashed potatoes with some potatoes growing eyes, layered them on the beef and vegetables, then sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top to convince any skeptics.  They liked it so well, that they agreed to have leftovers on Tuesday!

Tuesday~ leftover Shepherds pie!

Wednesday~ Hawaiian chicken with bell peppers and pineapple over rice.  I discovered this dish a couple of years ago on a pantry challenge when I needed to use up some chicken.  Hubs loved it, so it has become a regular on our rotation.  I've got everything I need!

Thursday~ Beef vegetable soup.  A hearty soup - almost like a chili - made with carrots, celery, kale, cabbage, diced tomatoes, and pretty much whatever veg you want to throw in.  Makes excellent leftovers too.

Friday~ Breakfast for dinner.  This is a comfort meal.  Eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries (with some diced peppers and mushrooms thrown in), and maybe grits.

Saturday~ I will assess where we are for the week and plan from there!

Check out Menu Plan Monday for menu inspiration.
Try your own Pantry Challenge and get ideas at Good Cheap Eats!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The end of July menu

July is coming to a close.
School starts for us next week.
Sigh...summer is done.

Also, hubby is home after a month away at grad school (laundry has quadrupled) and I will be traveling to a music convention at the end of the week.  So there's that.

And while I'm certain my guys will eat out while I'm gone, I'm doing my best to make food readily accessible at the house so it will be just as easy to grab something from the fridge.

Here's the plan.
lunch: snack at the house
dinner: out for my Grandpa's 88th birthday
lunch: miscellaneous items and leftovers as I clean out the fridge
dinner: Hawaiian chicken, rice, broccoli
lunch: tomato sandwiches (from the garden) or salad
dinner: at Son #1 & DIL's house. My job is to bring jalapeño poppers and Paleo-friendly chocolate chip cookies.
I leave to go out of town.  Leaving my guys with:
sandwich fixings
Hopefully the damage won't be too bad.
I will be away at the convention and my guys will be...doing what they do. ;)

Sunday after I return, we'll have lunch at my mom's house, so I will have a day to plan the following week. Yay for Mom's lasagna!!!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Second Menu of July... and other things

Our 4th of July celebration was so much fun - family, baseball, fireworks... very full weekend and heart.

This week, school is on my mind.  While it is still early summer for most people, my thoughts are beginning to turn to my classroom in August.  Which I wish I could stop, but after 25 years, I guess I'm conditioned.

Anyway, hubs has two more weeks away at grad classes, and ds#3 continues to eat everything in sight.  I made a quiche for breakfast last week and he ate ALL BUT TWO PIECES IN ONE DAY.  Yeah, he's a machine.
Here's the plan for this week.

Lunch: at my mom & dad's.  Mom, sis & I bought two boxes of peaches last week and I picked up the rest of Mom's to freeze for her.  So she made lunch. :)
Dinner: Fend For YourSelf.  Neither of us was really hungry.
Lunch: with ds#1 & family.  Details TBD.
Dinner: Chicken Bacon Alfredo.  Made from leftover chicken from last week, and coconut milk instead of regular dairy.  Ds#3 will eat over noodles.  I'll eat mine over broccoli.
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Eggplant (from the garden) Parmesan with spaghetti (for ds#3, just eggplant for me)
Lunch: salad w/cherry tomatoes from the garden & baked potato (if needed)
Dinner: BBQ chicken (crockpot), broccoli, chips
Lunch: pizza for ds, salad for me
Dinner: leftovers. I have a rehearsal.
Lunch: out
Dinner: Burgers at home!
Leaving it open.  My brother-in-law has a concert that evening that we'll attend, so we may treat ourselves to a meal out.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July's first menu

Grandparents and great-grandparents
with my sis's baby girl.
It's been a whirlwind weekend.
My brother has been here from out of town, so we've gone fishing, had a family cookout, gone to a baseball game, and beach with fireworks. Whew!  The rest of this week will probably be a little quieter.

Jalapeno poppers

Sunday~ lunch: leftovers at home; dinner: at the ballpark
Monday~ lunch: at the beach picnic; dinner: leftovers from the picnic at the fireworks
Tuesday~ lunch: eggplant 'pie' for me and pizza rolls for ds; dinner: I'm going to try my hand at fish.... we'll see how it goes... and a baked potato and salad
Wednesday~ lunch: out w/a friend for me, and ds will fend for himself at home; dinner: homemade chili
Thursday~ lunch: leftovers; dinner: rotiserrie-style chicken in the crockpot, salad or broccoli
Friday~ lunch: leftovers; dinner: out w/the girls for me, and ds will have frozen pizza
Saturday~ TBD... we'll see what veggies we have and what needs to be eaten! :)
Eggplant pie - all ingredients fresh from the garden!
(Except the cheese)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wrapping Up June Menu!

Wow, what a busy week we had!
Hubs left on Sunday for a month of grad classes in Ohio, so ds#3 and I are on our own for a few weeks.  We'll be having a pantry challenge to try to save a little money (we had to buy a new fridge!).

So here's our menu plan for this week:
Sunday~ leftover burgers from last week's cookout
Monday~ leftover taco meat and homemade salsa
Tuesday~ ds is spending the night with his big brother, who has moved back in town.  So I will probably eat something simple at the house by myself, or use a gift card to splurge
Wednesday~ ds will still be gone, so I'm having a girls night with my sis & friend!!
Thursday~ salad
Friday~ the men of my family are going fishing, so we will probably have some sort of fish fry at my parents' house
Saturday~ beach day and picnic with the fam

Not terribly exciting, but it'll get the job done!

Monday, June 20, 2016

June Menu #3 and garden updates

Jalapeños are going crazy.  Using them in poppers and homemade salsa.

Homemade salsa!  Cherry tomatoes, jalapeños from the garden.  Fresh and delicious.

Holy moly - the eggplant!  If you have recipes, do share!!

This week's menu:
Sunday~ HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Hubs requested homemade sub sandwiches for lunch, tacos for dinner, and peach cobbler for dessert.  Marine Son & his family joined us for dinner, so it was a great end to his happy day.  And easy for me!
Monday~  Pizza-stuffed peppers that we didn't get to last week.  We will also have leftover meatballs, and use some eggplant in fried eggplant spears.
Tuesday~  Big chef's salads.  The tomatoes are starting to come in and they are gorgeous! 
Wednesday~ BBQ chicken in the crockpot, Paleo 'cornbread', and whatever veg is coming in from the garden.  Maybe some fried okra.
Thursday~ Family cookout for the extended family to meet Marine Son's new baby girl! Since they've just arrived from Hawaii, none of the family has met her yet, and we are ALL excited to have another GIRL around!!! 
Friday~  Leftovers. Something very simple.
Saturday~ The last meal we will share with Hubs for a month - he leaves to go take graduate classes.  So this will be his request.

What's cookin' in your kitchen?  Share at Menu Plan Monday