Dinner Menu for the week of September 8th

Last week’s menu recap:

The apple and bacon stuffed pork chops were really tasty.  If it were not for all of the “meat handling” in this recipe, it would be a keeper.  If you do not mind the meat handling aspect, or if you do not have minions that need attention during meal prep, than it should be something you try for sure.

The tostadas ended up being chicken sandwiches, and the irish nachos became baked potato slices and shredded chicken left overs.  Both nights, I ended up having business meetings, and I was unable to complete either meal.  I am SO grateful for the chicken in the crock pot though because it fed us for two nights, and made yummy stock!

The rest of the menu items were good, but do not need extra praise.  They are staples.  🙂

Before getting to the items for this week, I have a quick garden update.

My monster zucchini plant met the compost bin yesterday.  It was trying to take over the ENTIRE box, and the leaves were getting this funky white fungus-y looking fuzz on them.  It was just better to call it a total loss.  The lettuce was also pulled after fulfilling its duty to provide us with many salads.

The remaining watermelon, basil, kale, cucumber and peppers are still doing well.  In fact, the jalapeno plant is producing WAY more jalapenos than this mama needs.  I mean taco bell mild sauce is too spicy for my liking.  Ya dig?  Trevor thinks it is fun to “help” in the garden by picking the peppers.  Here are some that were picked before their prime.  Oh well.

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I am eagerly anticipating the bell pepper harvest.  I have several LARGE peppers that are looking amazing.  This particular pepper grows big and green, but turns red as soon as it is ripe.  I cannot imagine that they will get much bigger, but they are all still green.  CANNOT wait!

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Here is our plan for the week:

Sunday:  Quinoa and Salmon salad

Monday:  Chicken enchilada soup from the freezer

Tuesday:  Chicken Marsala pasta with asparagus

Wednesday: Cheeseburgers with roasted sweet potato squares

Thursday:  Cheesy broccoli orzo and a garden salad

Friday:  Chicken couscous salad

Saturday:  Potato breakfast casserole thing inspired by this recipe.  I will change it up and use local sausage, freshly diced potatoes and just might add some bell peppers.

Happy eating everyone!

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Dinner Menu for the week of July 7th

It has been so very nice to have a few days off, and to have Dave home.  We went to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, enjoyed a Fourth of July parade, and took turns sleeping in.  SLEEPING IN!  Despite the few relaxing days, I have neglected food shopping and bulk cooking.  Oy!

While I put together a menu for dinner each week, there is so much more planning and cooking that we do every week.  Breakfast, lunch, snacks and all of the prep that is needed for each nightly meal.  In addition, we are still working on Trevor’s limited palate.  He does eat real food, but we cycle through the same 10 or so items that he will gladly swallow.  So…cooking for him adds to the to do list.  Thank goodness Lucas will eat anything.  Then when he is done, he will eat what is left on Trevor’s plate.

So, taking a few days off from food duties, leads to Dave standing in front of an open fridge/cabinet in search of something to eat for lunch or snacks.  It is time to get cracking.  Tomorrow is going to be a cook/prep/freeze ahead day.

For this week’s menu, I am doing a week of repeats.  These are all getting made again because they were a hit in a past menu.  Some of my very faves will not be highlighted simply because I will not have ingredients.  The items I picked can either help me stock my freezer (chili), or will be easily made with much of what I have on hand.  I am excited!

Sunday: Chili and cornbread.  For the chili, I leave out the sugar, bacon bits, hotsauce, and corn chips.  I use one whole beer.  Cornbread recipe is modified to use whole corn meal (that I will grind in my Vitamix from organic popcorn!!!), whole wheat flour (ground in the Vitamix from whole wheat berries!), olive oil instead of veg, no sugar, and a bit more honey.  This meal usually does a really good job of stocking the freezer.

Monday: Left over potato soup (on last week’s menu) and a small salad.

Tuesday: Chicken pot pie I plan to make this interesting by not using any crust, and instead covering the top of the filling with whole wheat biscuit dough that will be dropped on top prior to cooking. I tried this the last time, and it was AMAZING!!! I will post pics of the process.

Wednesday: Lemon Butter Salmon, and steamed broccoli. Plan to add some garlic to the salmon prior to baking.

Thursday: Spring quinoa salad.  Just plain delish!  Naturally there would have to be a quinoa dish right?!?!

Friday: Chicken Parmesan cutlets over whole wheat spaghetti with corn on the cobb.

Saturday: Spinach quiche

Last week I promised pictures of my sweet little garden project.  Oh how it has grown!  Today I added four types of lettuce and two types of kale.  I had to move the peppers to the front too because the monster zucchini and cucumber plants were trying to swallow them.

garden1 kale

lettuce zandc

Before I wrap up, I have a request.  If anyone out there has a favorite real food recipe, please post a link to it in a comment.  Or, even if it is not made with real food ingredients, but it is a favorite, I might be able to modify it by swapping a few things out.  PLEASE send me some inspiration!

Have a great week!

Dinner Menu for the week of June 30th

The last few days have been HOT in the bay area.  The kind of hot that makes everything a chore.

Like most people in the area, we do not have AC at home.  HOT + no AC in the house = zero desire to cook.  Zero.  Like, I have not even turned on the oven since the middle of last week.

On Friday night, I attempted my first batch of home made ice cream.  I was inspired by this post, but did not have any strawberries, or heavy cream on hand.  I did have frozen blueberries and half and half though, and that was going to have to be close enough.  I mixed up the ingredients, and then pulled out the ice cream maker base out of the freezer.  Just an FYI…it is ill-advised to attempt ice cream when it is 92 degrees INSIDE your house.  So Friday night’s attempt failed because the frozen container did not stay cold enough, and we had to give it another go in the morning.  The subsequent attempt was a success.

YAY for ice cream on a HOT day!

icecream

It tastes amazing, though next time I will reduce the amount of both the vanilla and honey.  Next up later today, berry yogurt pops!

My menu this week will contain very little that requires the oven.  Here is what is in the plan.

Sunday:  Grilled lemon shrimp salad with corn on the cob.

Monday:  Left over chicken burritos made last week.

Tuesday:  Grilled pineapple and avocado burgers.

Wednesday: Potato and bacon soup in the crock pot.

Thursday:  Chef’s salad with bacon crumbles, broccoli, hard boiled eggs and avocado.  If we end up over at someone’s house for a BBQ, I will bring this to share.  Happy 4th of  July!

Friday: Simple Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti using whole wheat spaghetti.  Adding steamed broccoli and sauteed kale.

Saturday:  Filled pancakes.  I have fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.  YUM!

Next week I will share some pics of the progress of my garden.  So exciting to see the veggies growing!

Dinner Menu for the week of June 17th

Right.  It is Tuesday.  Sickness has taken over my house, and consumed several boxes of tissue.  With illness comes a SLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW down of all activity.  Including the posting of this week’s menu.

Before I get to the menu, I have to share some excitement over our tiny little garden.  Saturday I loaded Trevor into my dad’s truck to go get the dirt from a local garden supply place.  He was SO excited, and was talking the whole way there and back about “Papa’s white truck.”  He eyes were full of wonder as the dirt was loaded into the truck by some huge yellow front-loader machine.  Really glad I took him along with me.

We got home with the soil, and Dave brought load after load back to the raised bed.  Trevor was right there with Dave the entire time.  Cutest thing ever.

Our first planting included watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, red bell pepper, jalapeno, parsley and basil!  Cannot wait to nurture these little guys!

garden

Of note, some of the plants will need to be moved.  I guess I underestimated the needed space for several of the items planted.  Joy.

Last quick update.  It is almost blackberry season!!!  My neighbor has a bush that is jumanji-ish, and reaches over the fence into our yard.   Plucking these gems will be the highlight of my summer fruit bounty!

blackberries

Onto what we are eating this week:

Monday:  This is our use it up day, so we scrounged for leftovers, and it worked out well. Dave actually tried to finish off the Mac and cheese from last week. I did not touch it though, because it was gross. Like, a waste of pasta gross. Cannot seem to get the ratio of pasta to sauce right, and it always turns out a sticky mess.

Tuesday:  Tonight we are eating shepherd’s pie.  Not normally something I like, but Dave is a huge fan.  It was a Father’s Day request, so I am going to give it a go. I am counting on being amazed.

Wednesday:  Spring Quinoa Salad.  YES please!

Thursday: Chopped Salad with Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Friday: Steak Fajitas. These were such a hit last time, that we are making them again! Planning to make fresh corn tortillas too. YUM!

Saturday: Brinner night, so it will either be whole wheat waffles, or pancakes. Whatever I feel I can manage.

Starting next week, my menus will go Sunday-Saturday. This will make it easier to shop on the weekends, and also my menu app on my iPhone uses Sunday-Saturday, so it was getting weird. Technology…rules my life I tell you.

Enjoy your week everyone!

Dinner Menu for the week of June 10th

Let me begin by saying, tonight’s dinner was quite possibly the best thing I have ever eaten.  It was most certainly the best thing I have ever cooked!  Dave agrees with me btw.

The homemade corn tortillas were a smash.  So easy, and as a bonus, I got to put my tortilla press to use.  For real this time.  Combine homemade tortillas with amazing fish, and sauce that brought it all together, and you have tiny fireworks of amazing going off in your mouth.  Try them.  Soon.

The rest of the meals on the menu for last week were also good.  I would say my least favorite was the BLT salad.  Shame, because it was the thing I was most excited to make.  I think the issue was that it needed more bacon.  Dave would argue that everything needs more bacon.  I should also note that my son with the expressive speech delay, is able to say, “More bacon” consistently,  so I think we know where he stands.

I forgot to mention last week, but we are trying a new cash budgeting system for groceries.  It is pretty 1986, but something had to be done about our (my) grocery overspending.  Last week, I came in $10 over my weekly allowance.  This meant that I SHOULD be $10 under this week to make up for the overage.  I got the money out of the ATM on Saturday, and after hitting up Costco, Whole Foods and the farmer’s market, I would like to report that I now have $30 left for the rest of the week.  Shoot.  Due to the fact that I spend $11 every few days on just milk, I am pretty sure that I am screwed.  Sigh.

Last update before I get on with it.  Operation “Veggie Bed” is under way.  Dave’s parents designed a raised garden bed for us that is enclosed.  They came over on Wednesday, and put it together.   Here is what it looked like after the frame was built.

veggies

Here is what it looks like with the fencing on that is designed to keep out vermin.  (Featuring a curious one year old.)

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The dirt, and actual planning will be next weekend’s project.  Naturally, I will also be spending WAY too much time on Pinterest in the evenings this week trying to find the perfect planting blueprint.

HUGE thank you to Jo and Rich for all of the work you put into this for us.  I will feed you with fresh yumminess when this project bears fruit.  (And veggies…)

And the menu…

Monday:  Leftover night.  AKA…Fend for yourself night.  Could be an Amy’s burrito,  granola and yogurt, eggs over asparagus, Lara bars and water.  Like I said…fend for yourself.

Tuesday:  Our very very favorite chicken in the crock pot, wild rice and steamed parmesan broccoli.

Wednesday:  Cobb salad with chicken from Tuesday, eggs, avocado, shredded carrot and cucumber.

Thursday:  Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

Friday:  Taking a night off from meat and giving Mac and Cheese another go.  It was dreadful the last time, but I found a new recipe that gives me hope.  I also plan to put a few bread crumbs on the top and bake it for a bit.

Saturday: Omelettes with avocado, spinach and cheddar.

Sunday we get to celebrate Dave and my sweet Daddy-O.  Leaving this day open to the possibility of hangout sessions, and good chats, and maybe even something on the grill.

Cannot wait to share more pics of the veggie bed progress next week!