Meal Plan Wednesday

I have been on some what of a roll with meal planning again- and since we are trying to work the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program I have to be intentional about my grocery budget anyways- which means I really have to meal plan. Summer is always much easier for me to blog my meals plans because I love the veggies and fruits that are available which give us such a variety of side dishes to have. Historically looking at my blog you can see I do better at blogging my meal planning this time of year and then taper off and quit blogging it come holiday time- I still meal plan I just don’t always blog it…anyways- Meal plan blogs will be back for now.

What I hope to see evolving in my meal plans are:

Improved planning that includes lunches or at least leftovers that can feed Jason AND myself for lunch the next day

Improved consistency- even if it means we are eating the same stuff each week at least I am planning it out.

Improved use of planning to the sales- I really have no pantry space and I want to be efficient with the staples I have in there –and while we have a deep freezer- we routinely are tossing freezer burned meat that is 6 months old and was at the bottom and forgotten under the big box of eggos and the bag of potstickers. I really prefer meat that is fresh or only frozen for a week or 2 at most anyways–So I need to do better at not grabbing a butt load of meat cause ITS ON SALE and we HAVE A FREEZER—that said I need to do better at portioning it out —we got lazy and were throwing the full trays of meat directly into the freezer….which means I have to thaw 9 chicken breasts and we eat chicken all week…so I need to do better at those things.

Right now planning and shopping on Wednesdays for the following Thursday- Wed seems to be working for my schedule so thats what I have been doing–that may change come summer but for now thats what it is.

Thursday

Mississippi Roast (crock pot)
http://bergecentral.blogspot.com/2011/01/mississippi-roast.html

potato and green beans

Friday

Sloppy joes
http://www.scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom.com/2011/03/healthy-sloppy-joes.html

fries and fruit

Saturday

Brunch French toast casserole and bacon and eggs
http://derosestyld.com/2013/05/23/non-soggy-overnight-french-toast-casserole/

Maybe something with mom and dad for “linner”

FUN FRIDAY NIGHT OUT– maybe a few cocktails and an appetizer at the karaoke bar after the comedy club

Sunday

Hot dogs- pasta salad and grilled zucchini

boys raviolis for dinner (fend for themselves)
J2 at Taryns wedding

Monday

Peanut chicken
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/20-minute-thai-peanut-chicken/8b265af7-f749-4b31-b996-6ac5736715c9?sc=20+Minutes,+20+Meals

Fried rice
http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/baked-sweet-and-sour-chicken-with-fried-rice/

pot stickers? (if we get to costco)

Tuesday

Copy Cat Olive Garden Five Cheese Baked Ziti Al forno and garlic bread
http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2013/10/copy-cat-recipe-olive-garden-five-cheese-ziti-al-forno-2/

Wednesday

Jas and Connor at science camp
Mom and Ty Red Baron Pizzas

🙂

Last weeks hits:

Laloosh’s Asian Meatballs are a big winner here- boys even gobble them up
http://www.laaloosh.com/2013/05/27/asian-meatballs-recipe/
I follow the recipe except I use 2 pounds of ground turkey and it yields 35 ping pong sized meatballs which satisfies me the hubs and 2 teen boys which served with a little jasmine rice- everyone is usually hankering for a snack after this one though so I may try adding in egg rolls or pot stickers next time to stretch it

We LOVE Herbed Basmati rice or what we call “wife rice” cause that’s what our friends who gave us the recipe call it.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/herbed-basmati-rice-10000001654642/ I cheated and used 2 of the 90 second Uncle Bens basmati rice packets in the microwave rather then cooking regular basmati in chicken broth and this totally was still really good –the fresh herbs and the cheese and pine nuts just really make this so yummy.

See hundreads of other Meal PLans at OrgJunkie’s Meal PLan Monday- here http://orgjunkie.com/2014/04/menu-plan-monday-april-2814.html

January 2014 Meal Plan

I can’t seem to get into the swing of meal planning anymore- so when I get the bug I just bust through- Last month I was able to do an entire month–but there was a lot of party planning and attending so it cut down the days I have to cook considerably— this month though..with its glorious 31 days…was a bit more challenging.  But I busted a Month of ideas out- which will at least get me started on grocery lists and push me when I am unmotivated.

20140103_040159

 

The boys return to their weekly Wednesday Night Small groups again where they eat pizza- so Jas and I usually plan a date night for just us two…So that cut down 5 meals that I have to cook–most every other night I have something planned—Without further chit chat  here are the meals (and by popular demand the LINKS to the recipes) I plan to make at some point this month:

Image courtesy of http://weddingswithinsight.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/theres-no-poutine-in-hong-kong/

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole
Sloppy Joes
Kahlua Pork
Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
Jambalaya
Pizza night at small group/date night
Easy Chicken Parm
White CHIcken Chile
sub sammies and grammy miracle whip chicken pastasalad
Onion CHicken
Turkey Burgers
pizza night at small group/date night for J2
Enchilladas
CHicken tortellin Alfredo
Bacon Party??
Mississippi Roast
Chicken and Spanish Rice burritos
BBB Meatball sliders
Guys at ASU game Jess FFY
Broccoli Cheese soup
Baked Ziti
* Image courtesy of Weddings with Insight blog post

 

 

I still meal plan

I just obviously haven’t been blogging it.

I do it a bit differently now- utilizing a printed off calendar to sort of “map out” the meals so we are not eating chicken or pasta four days in a row

2013-11-30 10.54.27

 

I typically will do 2 weeks at a time- if I am really ambitious I will crank out a full month- but it helps when there are multiple events in which I am not cooking or only bringing an item that has been assigned to me or we have so much planned that its an automatic eat out day or there is so much we will inevitably have left overs. So months like December are a bit easier to plan the whole month.

I also use my Pinterest boards

2013-11-30 13.01.12

I have them sorted out into categories so it is easy for me to find the quick “winners” that I know I can whip up with little issues from the kids- and also fill out a more “rounded” plan (back to that not having spaghetti 3 times a week issue)

Each week I will consult my calendar and see what I had planned on and then round up all the links to the recipes and email them to myself:

last weeks email
last weeks email

Then is have access to the recipes in my inbox for quick access and for the ipad when I cook.

I then make a grocery list based off of the recipes—then cross off everything I already have–then add on the items not meal plan related that we need– then put the list in order of the store I plan to shop at’s layout and I am done- At this point I can grocery shop or even better email the list to my husband and ask him to stop while he is out. LOL

I also found a need to add the “eh” board for things I pinned- tired and that were complete duds…like that awful crock pot pork tenderloin pin that for some weird reason gets re-pinned like 10 times a week- regardless of the fact that I posted lots of comments warning others of it disgust- LOL

So there ya have it- for those that have missed my weekly meal plan posts–sorry- I have a new process that works better for me -now that I am working again I don’t have the same blog time I used to have before.

 

HUGS

Bomb Diggity Potato Salad

bombdiggitypotatosalad

Our friends Dan and Bekka came over last week for a cook out and they brought the most bombdiggity potato salad I have ever eaten. So of course I begged for the recipe and have made it to take for a 4th of July BBQ so I can have everyone shower me in praise.

Here is Dan’s Way Good Potato Salad aka Bomb Diggity Potato Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

2¼ – 2½  Lbs White potatoes (about 6-7 medium) (White Potatoes: Secret Ingredient)

1 ½ Cups Mayo – (Secret: Use new, unopened jar)

1 Tablespoon Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Roasted Garlic (Nakano brand) – Secret Ingredient (Jessie note: I couldn’t find this brand of flavor so just bought regular seasoned rice vinegar and its still awesome)

½ – ¾  Tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ c? finely chopped fresh green bell pepper

A few chopped green onions

4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

3-4 Tablespoons sweet relish

Chopped black olives (Optional)

Could try some celery, but grate it so only some of juice or very small pieces come thru

the stuff

 

Preparation:

Cut potatoes into large chunks.  Heat 1 inch salted water to boiling.  Add potatoes.  Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Boil until tender, 20 to 25 minutes (Check at 18 min, might be OK.)  BE SURE NOT TO OVERCOOK.  Drain.

Place raw eggs in saucepan; add enough cold water to come at least 1 inch above eggs.  Heat rapidly to boiling; remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 22 to 24 minutes.  Immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking.  Tap egg all over to crackle shell.  Thoroughly roll egg between hands to loosen shell, then peel.  Hold egg under running cold water to help ease off shell. (Note from Jessie- Jas did the eggs the night before and he did another hard boil method where he got the water boiling then added the eggs and then boiled them for like 12 minutes then let them sit in the pot off the urner for another 10 or so-then we put them in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight and I peeled them in the morning…I had a 4th of July miracle when I I successfully peeled all 18 eggs without any casualities..so this method ROCKS)

perfectly peeled eggs

 

Mix mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper in 4 quart glass or plastic bowl.

sauce it up

 

Add potatoes, onion, and yummy black olives; toss.  Stir in relish- Stir in eggs.

mix it up

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  10 servings (about ¾ cup each); 260 calories per serving.  (Secret: Don’t refrigerate – serve right away, nice and warm.  Sound gross? You’d be surprised.) (Jessie note- we have tried this both ways- we had it warm the first time and it was DELISH and I chilled it for the potluck I took it to and it was also DELISH)

2013-07-04 10.39.42

 

**I some what “doubled” this recipe in the photos above—I used 8 large white potatos, abt 3 cups mayo, 1 tbl spoon mustard, 2 t. spoon salt, 1/2 t. spoon pepper, 2 table spoons rice vinegar,  1 large green bell, 1 small bunch of green onions, 7 hard boiled eggs, 6 tbls spoons of relish and about a half a small can of chopped olives.**

Tyco4th2013

 

Meal Plan {4/10/2010}

I am spending more time being intentionally OFF the computer so here is the meal plan this week minus “all the fluff”

HUGS

 

 

Monday

Ham and sides–got busy over the weekend and ended up making our Easter Ham yesterday.
Tuesday
Grilled (ham) and cheese sammies with tomato soup (obviously)
Wednesday
Arroz con pollo (chicken and spanish rice)
I just wing it with this one all prepackaged stuff mixed together—Cook some spanish style rice (knorr or rice a roni I perferr knorr) with a can of mexican style diced tomatoes add cooked shredded chicken (this is great for leftover chicken useage or grab a can of chicken)..simmer… serve as is or in tortillas
Thursday
Spaghetti Ham Bake (making one for the freezer as well)
Friday
Salisbury Steak
Saturday
Date night out
Sunday
Left over buffet YOYO prob something with HAM in it LOL

>Chicken Stuffed Shells

>

What You will Need:

Jumbo pasta shells, Miracle Whip, chicken stuffing, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, shredded cheese, shredded chicken*not shown here*

Oven Pre-heated to 350º Or Crock pot for 2 hours on low

You know how you buy that Family pack of chicken breasts for your family of 4 and there are always ALWAYS 7 breasts in it -one of which is a mutant one the size of a dinner plate and one no bigger than your thumb?

This is a great recipe to use the 3 “extra” breasts from that pack–just toss them in a pot of water and boil them up until cooked and shred them with a fork.

Alternatively you could use those cans of chicken that they sell near the tuna.

Cook up the jumbo shells, drain and let cool.

Follow the directions on the “stuffing” mix and prepare it.

Mix together the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth

Mix the chicken, stuffing and miracle whip together and stuff the mixture into the shells.

CROCK POT:
Grease your crock pot with some butter and pour some of this on the bottom of the crock pot (reserve enough to pour over the top of all the shells)

Arrange the shells in the crockpot

Cover shells with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the shredded cheese

Turn Crock pot on low..these should be ready in a few short hours since they are essentially already cooked you are basically trying to heat through and melt the cheese..so dont over cook them

OVEN:
Grease a 9×13 casserole dish-arrange shells in dish

cover with sauce and cheese

Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes

Verdict:
A++
Delicious, tangy, Tyler gobbled it up which gives it an EXTRA thumbs up(+)–I’ll remember Im making it earlier next time so I can do it in the crock pot and not heat up the house in the summer–although prob wont be able to cram as many shells into the crock pot…hmmm must borrow second crock pot..

Recipe:

Chicken Stuffed Shells (courtesy of Colleen’s Kitchen)

12 oz. box jumbo pasta shells, cooked and cooled
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup Light Miracle Whip
6 oz. box chicken stuffing, prepared
26 oz. can cream of chicken soup
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

follow directions above to prepare

Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker

>Our dear friends the Evers graciously let us bombard them nearly every day to swim at their community pool so as a thank you I wanted to cook “linner” for everyone on Saturday. Since its a bigger crowd with a couple teenage boys as well as my hunny in the mix I wanted something relatively easy and that made a large quantity. While meal planning I came across the recipe for Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker and since most of the Evers lived in or were born in Hawaii I thought I would try to bring them a taste of home.

This recipe gets a solid A from me. I would go all out with an A + but since not everyone can either do salty dishes or don’t like salty dishes I will just stick with the A. I did not make the boys eat any (this time) It was a “pick my battles day” and I did not want to ruin the glorious fun day with demands on either boy and I knew the saltiness would probably be a bit much for their palates. The Evers kids gobbled it up though and many went back for seconds so WIN! Amy says ‘ono grinds'(delicious eats in Pidgin or Hawaiian lingo)

Kalua Pig in the Crock Pot
* originally from All Recipes.com

Ingredients

* 1 (6 pound) pork butt roast
* 1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt
* 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

Directions

1. Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt then liquid smoke over meat. Place roast in a slow cooker.
2. Cover, and cook on Low for 16 to 20 hours**, turning once during cooking time.
3. Remove meat from slow cooker, and shred, adding drippings as needed to moisten

*I got 2 approx 3lbs each pork loin roasts from the “managers special” bin at Fry’s Food and Drug paying less than $10 total which is a good deal for pork loin roast–since there is no bone, no fat and we will eat every last drop of this meat its a spectacular deal. (this turned out to about $1.66 per pound but loin roasts are usually not that cheap) I am sure the traditionally less expensive pork butts and or bone in cuts of roast would be just as good as well.

** I only searched a few places for the Hawaiian Clay Salt before I settled with just getting Redmond Real Salt-Ancient All Natural Sea Salt (it has flecks of red clay and other minerals in it as well)–got it at Sprouts

*** I used Colgin Natural Mesquite Original recipe Liquid Smoke Got it at Fry’s Food and Drug

I took my large serving fork and poked holes all over both sides of each roast–then I rubbed less than a tablespoon TOTAL of the salt all over each one, then I rubbed about a table spoon TOTAL of the liquid smoke all over them as well and placed them in the slow cooker:

Then I set it to low for 10 hours and went to bed (this was at 1245am)

Was woken up to the smell (all the way on the other side of the house) at about 4am

At about 8:45am (after 8 hours cooking on low) I turned them over:

As you can see from the photo at this time they are nearly covered in their own juices…so if you are fearful when you put them in the crockpot about leaving hunks of meat in a dry crock pot for hours rest assured!

At this time the roasts were already beginning to fall apart easily. I knew right away that the 16-20 hour time frame that the recipe calls for would not be the case at all–

At 11am (little over 10 hours cooking time)I removed the roasts from the crock pot to a separate bowl and shredded them up with a fork. Then I tossed it all right back into all of that juice–the shredded meat sucked up every last bit of the juices. At this point I would have been happy to eat it right then and there but since I had not bargained on it being done for several more hours we had plans away from home. I set the crock pot to warm and we left until about 1:45pm.

When we got home I cut up a head of cabbage and sauteed it in the wok with a dab of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

We headed over to our pals house and served this up with some Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, some jasmine rice and some cubes of watermelon and YUMMO!!

I say bring a little Hawaii to your dinner table and give this recipe a try 😉

* All links provided for informational purposes only-none of this post is sponsored in anyway–real money was spent on everything.