Menu Planning Monday – 01/08/18

Happy 2018!!! I LOVE new years. I’m always optimistic and excited for the days to come and this year is no different. Our holidays were low key and laid back. Because we have boys with lives of their own now, I scheduled our family Christmas for 8:00am on New Years Day. We didn’t have plans to go out and we don’t usually stay up until midnight so I wasn’t concerned about the time……… And then we got an invite to go to friends’ house. “Okay. No big deal.” I thought “We probably won’t stay the whole time.” Except we DID. So I was not exactly in the Christmas spirit when my alarm went off on New Years Day. But a quick cup of coffee and setting out gifts turned that around right quick.

Anyway. Food. That’s the topic today, right? I did not do a lot of cooking over the holidays and even less planning. What I did cook was uninspired at best and this week hasn’t changed a lot.

Monday: grilled cheese sandwiches and soup (that I have in the freezer from last time we had this)

Tuesday: brupper (breakfast for supper) – I’ll make pancakes and heat up some beef Lil Smokies sausages. Yum. They’re my favorite.

Wednesday: Is youth group/fend for yourself night. I’ll be swimming (triathlon training season is fully upon us) so I’ll need to plan something in advance that’s pre-made or quick*.

Thursday: Life group night!

Friday: I’m hoping to have a girls night but there’s no definite plans so who knows!

But I would love to share with you one of my absolutely favorite recipes. (*This is probably what I’ll eat Wednesday night). My obsession lately has been gyros. I crave them all the time. I LOVE the warm, soft, fluffy pitas but I don’t need to eat them often (or at all). So my compromise is this recipe I found during The Husband and my ill fated Whole30 experiment several years ago. Deconstructed Gyro Salad Don’t be turned off by the Whole30/paleo label. This salad is AHHHMAZING. I have the meat cooking right now and it smells terrific. I don’t use lamb. I had some steaks in the freezer that needed to be used. I’ve also used stew meat. And while the dressing recipe included is to DIE for, you don’t have to go with that, especially if you’re not Whole30/paleo. I bought some tzatziki ranch in the specialty dressing section. It won’t be as good, but it’ll do the trick. You could probably also make the dressing with plain Greek yogurt although I haven’t tried that. If you like gyros but are watching your carbs for some reason, or just want to get more veggies in (who doesn’t?) try this. You’re welcome.

Menu Planning Monday – 12/04/2017

Here’s a tidbit about me. I’m a list maker and planner. But I don’t like those lists and plans to be set in stone. So if I have a meal planned and we decide to eat out, or that we (or I) want something else, no problem. A couple of weekends ago I came home from grocery shopping. Per the schedule/plan I had in my head, I was going to the gym next. But The Hubby had not left to visit his Grandma yet and asked if I wanted to go. I had not seen in her a few weeks and was not meeting anyone at the gym so I changed my plan. I didn’t make it to the gym that day and was perfectly okay with that. I don’t have to stick to my lists and plans.  I just need to HAVE a plan. It would actually stress me out if I felt like I had to stick to it – except for commitments obviously. If someone had been expecting me at the gym, I would have gone. Anyway. My point is sometimes (often times) I might “repeat” a meal from the prior week. That just means something changed and we never had it. Except for pizza. That I would eat every week.

Oh. And the smothered burritos I had planned for last Monday? I made them (although of course I switched up the recipe a smidge.) They were DELICIOUS. Everything I had hoped and more.

Monday:  Chicken pot pie – This was planned for last Tuesday but I didn’t prep it ahead of time so dinner would have been late. And I was feeling lazy. So we had frozen Tyson buffalo style chicken strips and tater tots instead. (Yum. I love those chicken strips. And with leftovers I made a salad for lunch the next day. Delish.) The pot pie is prepped and ready to go this time.

Tuesday: Taco soup – I’m working a bit late on Tuesday so my family will have a warm meal to come home to without waiting on me or eating out.

Wednesday: left overs/fend for yourself

Thursday: Pulled bbq pork, chips and a variety of snack cakes & cookies (I’m providing snacks for our small group at church.)

Friday/Saturday: No idea! It will just be The Hubby and I so we’ll wing it.

Sunday: pizza

Menu Planning Monday – 11-27-17

Confession time!

  1. I did not cook nearly as much as I planned last week. Tuesday night was just The Hubby and I and by the time I climbed in his truck after work, I just leaned back in the heated seat and said “I don’t want to cook.” So the Colonel fed us that night (aka as KFC). And we spent part of Friday afternoon playing with a puppy some friends just adopted. Two nieces and one nephew were coming over to spend the night so The Hubby texted his sister and told her to feed them first then stopped at Sonic for us. Did I object? No…no I did not. On the flip side, I baked TWICE….a loaf of lemon blueberry bread for breakfast when the nieces/nephew woke up and a loaf of banana bread for the family Sunday morning. Anyway – that means some meals from last week got bumped to this week.
  2. I will not be cooking much this week at all. My book study is done so I won’t cook Wednesday night. Although I think one of our nieces is spending the weekend with us so I’ll plan some meals with her around.


Monday: Smothered burritos – This was supposed to be last Friday but I really want to try it. I could eat tex-mex pretty much seven days a week.

Tuesday: chicken pot pie

Wednesday: left overs/fend for yourself

Thursday: church small group

Friday: eat out or spaghetti & meat sauce

Saturday: possibly chicken & macaroni and cheese

Sunday: possibly pizza

That’s a lot of “Possibly”es so we’ll see!

Menu Planning Monday – 11-20-17

I spent last Monday and Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday and all day last Wednesday being excited that I could wear jeans the next day on “casual Friday”. Then I woke up Thursday morning trying to figure out where the week went. That’s pretty much a summary of my whole fall so far. What day is it? What month? Where did time go? I guess it’s no surprise that I feel a bit blindsided by Thanksgiving week. But I’m not hosting, only cooking sides, so there’s less to do. I LOVE to host, don’t get me wrong. I love cooking the whole meal, including desserts. I love decorating and bustling around making sure everything is ready at the right time. I love having a table full of people. But I also have family who enjoy contributing as well. And? Grandma is 101. She’s still going strong but it does exhaust her to spend the day at someone else’s house. So my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I will take over Grandma’s kitchen and prepare a delicious dinner together. I’m looking forward to it!

However, APPARENTLY my family expects to eat the rest of the week too. So here’s my plan:

Monday: Chicken chili – This is is one of my favorite recipes EVER. But of course I modify. I throw everything in the Instant Pot, including frozen chicken tenderloins and cook it. Then I shred the chicken in the pot. Also, instead of canned diced tomatoes and green peppers, I use a can of Rotel. It could be done in a slow cooker too.

Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs – There’s no real recipe. I make my own meatballs but it’s just ground beef, bread crumbs, minced garlic, salt/pepper/Italian seasoning and some Italian dressing. Oh. And an egg or two. I just add stuff until it “looks right”. (My oldest son used to get SO irritated when trying to help me in the kitchen.) Then I shape them and bake them on a boiler pan in the oven at about 375 for half an hour or so. Maybe twenty minutes? I’ll usually put them in a slow cooker with sauce for the day. There’s no recipe for that either but I’ve been really lazy lately and using Newman’s marinara.

Wednesday (aka Thanksgiving Eve): Deconstructed stuffed peppers – I’ve never tried this exact recipe (although I’ve made something similar for my lunch before). I’ll report back.

Thursday: ALL THE THANKSGIVING FOODS! (Especially rolls and potatoes and pies)

Friday: Smothered burritos – Also a new recipe but really…how can this one go wrong?

Saturday: Chicken spaghetti – Again with the no recipe thing. Cook chicken, shred it. Make your favorite cheese sauce. Cook spaghetti. Mix the chicken, pasta, & sauce with some veggies. Dump into a baking dish and bake. Serve with your favorite salad and/or bread.

Sunday: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans. Gravy. Of course with the gravy. I don’t have a particular recipe for this one either but if you google “chicken fried steak” there’s a plethora of them. Basically dredge cubed steaks in milk and flour and fry them.

I’m excited to have more opportunities to cook this week. I do so love food.

Menu Planning Monday 11-13-17

It’s supposed to be in the 50s this week, and only rainy one day. But I’m feeling fall lay heavy on us and my menu this week reflects it. In fact, yesterday I made burgers and tots as planned for lunch. But I really wanted broccoli & cheese soup so I made that (with garlic knots found in the bread section of the freezer section) for dinner. I almost never cook twice on Sundays…or any day. But there’s something about fall/winter that drives me into the kitchen.

Monday: Breakfast casserole – I think I found a recipe for this years ago. But these days, I kinda throw it together. Mix a couple of eggs into a generous splash of milk, season with salt, pepper and onion powder. Pour in some frozen hash browns and mix real good. Mix in browned ground sausage (I use Jimmy Dean’s regular although I really like the “hot” flavor. My youngest doesn’t though.) Throw in a couple of handfuls of shredded cheese. Stir it all together. Dump it into a casserole dish. Depending on how many I’m feeding I either use 9×13 or 8×8. If I have bacon or bacon bits I’ll throw that in. The frozen pepper/onion mix is good in there too. Really you can use any veggies/meats that you want. Bake at 375 until it’s bubbly/hot/the cheese is melted.

Tuesday: Beef stew & homemade bread – Again, no recipe for this. I dump stew meat, tomato juice, beef broth, seasoning, & veggies in the slow cooker. I happen to have some in the freezer and I have a meeting this night so it’s a good match. I’ll use the bread machine for homemade bread.

Wednesday: Cheesy vegetable potato chowder and gluten free cornbread (using a mix) for my book study ladies.

Thursday: (Tentative depending on our small group plans) Chicken enchiladas, refried beans and spanish rice. I don’t have a recipe for the chicken enchiladas. I’ll cook & shred chicken & use canned green enchilada sauce, packaged spanish rice. But the refried beans…that recipe is linked and one of my faves.

Friday – Sunday: No plan. We’ll eat out or I’ll throw something easy together. I’m working Sunday evening so my family will figure things out on their own. They’re pretty good about that 🙂

Have a great week! Feel free to share your dinner ideas in the comments.

Menu Planning Monday 11-06-2017

Recently I found myself in a dinner planning rut. It happens on a pretty regular basis actually so I started a list on my phone of “dinner ideas” but I like to add to that list on occasion lest I fall back into the rut. And I get new ideas from other people’s menus. I love finding blog posts with menus listed. I don’t always find a new recipe I think my family would like but I enjoy looking at them. So if that’s your thing, here’s what I have planned this week (with links to recipes – if they exist. They often don’t).

Monday: Brupper (Breakfast for supper) – This will just be pancakes and sausage. LilBit* doesn’t like eggs and they make me sick so I don’t make them. (Poor hubby. He would probably appreciate it if I would.)

Tuesday: Crockpot Roast – no particular recipe here. I dump the roast in my crockpot with Yukon gold potatoes (cut into 4ths or 8ths) and baby carrots. Salt/pepper, add a packet of onion soup mix, maybe some Worcestershire, and beef broth. Cook on low for like 8 hours. It’s a very fluid “recipe”. Sometimes I dice an onion instead of using soup mix. Sometimes I toss in a can or two of french onion soup.

Wednesday: Chili and rice krispy treats – Wednesdays are Youth Group nights. Hubby doesn’t have time to eat before taking LilBit so I don’t usually cook. (LilBit eats a sandwich or left overs.) But there’s a book study meeting at my house right now so I cook for those ladies. Anyway. My favorite chili recipe is this Chocolate Chili from Well Fed. Although I will confess, this week I am using McCormick’s seasoning packets. Because lazy.

Thursday/Friday/Saturday: I don’t usually have anything planned. Thursday is our small group at church and we eat there. Friday & Saturday we do something quick or hubby grills, or we eat out.

Sunday: Burgers and tater tots. Again, no recipe. I use Worcestershire and McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning to season the burgers and grill them on my little George Foreman grill. I use frozen tater tots – whatever brand is on sale. If I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll butter and toast the buns.

Nothing exciting this week. And I realized typing this out it’s a lot of beef! Usually I try to alternate chicken, beef & occasionally pork but obviously that doesn’t always happen.

*Lilbit informed me awhile ago that he is no longer a “lilbit”. In real life, he prefers to just be called by his name. He’s 14, can wear his dad’s shoes and will surpass me in height real soon…so he has a point. But alas, he may forever be “LilBit” on here. My baby sister is still “the baby” in our family although she’s in her 30s, married, has two kids of her own and her own business. There’s precedence is what I’m saying.

Menu Planning 01/06 – 01/10/2014

2014. How weird is it to type THAT?!!? I remember twenty years ago thinking how FAR AWAY our “big” class reunions were. Come to find out – NOT THAT FAR. Anyway. 2014. I thought I’d kick the year off with a bang and share some menu planning!

Monday, 01/06/2013 – We have Krav from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. And I have somewhere to be at 7:00pm. So I’ll have a lasagna prepped for the family to pop in the oven.

Tuesday, 01/07/2013 – I’ll be off work at noon but will be at the Krav gym from 5:00 – 7:00pm. So that morning I’ll toss some chicken breasts in the crockpot and cover with raspberry vinegrette dressing & garlic powder. Sounds odd but my boys LOVE it. We’ll round that out with some rolls and a veggie of some sort. Probably green beans. Because easy.

Wednesday, 01/08/2013 – Classes haven’t started yet so I’ll be home but the older two have youth group at 6:30pm. So I’ll have a ham in the crock pot and potatoes ready to boil for mashed potatoes. And broccoli. Must have broccoli.

Thursday, 01/09/2013 – We have Life Group at 6:30pm. Dinner will be fajitas. My mother posted a recipe for oven cooked fajita stuff so I’ll prep that the night before to pop into the oven as soon as I’m home from work. Yummers. I hope.

Friday, 01/10/2013 – I don’t have anything on the calendar. Well. I DO. But I’m not going. Because I’ll be gone all day Saturday. Planned dinner? Ham & bean soup & homemade bread (yay for bread makers!). Warm. Comforting. Easy.

Friday plans often get changed. And I rarely “plan” the weekends. Because….um…I just don’t. We eat a lot of sandwiches & left overs unless I get REALLY productive and put something together. But otherwise, that’s it. That’s the plan. I use very few recipes and I don’t take the time to document when I cook. I couldn’t be a “food blogger”. But there’s a glimpse into my week and our menu. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.