Tag Archives: Dinner

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 24 (6/10/13-6/14/13)

It’s raining!

That’s not particularly exciting news to the rest of the world, but hopefully the half-dead Gerber daisies on my front porch appreciate this. Sidebar: is it just me, or are we actually experiencing “April” in “June”?

More exciting than the weather: we find out what flavor baby we are having on Monday!

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Any early guesses?

Yeah, me either. I vacillate back and forth based on which “gender test” I’ve taken during the week. The Chinese Gender Predictor tells me it’s a girl, and the ring/string test tells me it’s a boy…so there’s no telling what we’ve got. But, we’ll know for sure on Monday!

I know–you’re here for a menu. Sorry.

This week, only 4 new recipes because I still have an abundance of food in the freezer (mainly breakfast food), and because really…let’s not overexert ourselves, OK? It could potentially stop raining, and we may want to actually do something fun this weekend (or take a nap or 5)!

New recipes:

Oldies:

**A note about the Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak: the recipe I posted calls for 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. Since I don’t subscribe to the “cream of (insert type) soup” club, I make my own using this recipe: Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute. It takes only a few minutes to make, and it’s much better for us than that old goopy canned junk. Just double the recipe, add some chopped mushrooms and you’ll have the Cream of Mushroom soup that you need for the salisbury steak recipe. Amen.

p.s…I didn’t put the “Cream of Yuck” soup on your grocery list because I can’t support that type of behavior. If you MUST buy the yucky stuff, make sure to add it to your grocery list.

My second side note on this recipe is that it calls for dry onion soup mix. You can make your own soup mix too…as well as several other of those dry packet mix thingies. I came across a link on Pinterest a while ago, and since then, I’ve made all of the combinations mentioned (taco seasoning, dry onion soup, and ranch) with great success using spices that I already have on-hand. It’s very cool.

I’m also going to whip up some mashed potatoes to go with the Salisbury Steak…I’ll use my own recipe, but it basically resembles Paula Deen’s Garlic Mashed Potato recipe. Um. Yum. And, you can make these in advance and freeze them. They reheat lovely in the oven or on the stove top (just keep the burner on low, or you’ll burn them).

Here’s the menu (with all of the recipes attached to the pdf document), the grocery list, and the game plan.

So there you have it, kids. I’ll be running out of breakfast food soon, so we’ll probably have to make some muffins next week. Get your muffin tins ready!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 17

Better late than never??!! It’s been one of those weeks, ya know?!

Now that we’re Facebook official, I feel relieved.

13 Months

There is a baby on the way, folks. And this particular baby does not like:

  1. Meat
  2. Salad
  3. Anything that doesn’t contain at least 50% carbs

Hence, the reason why my menu plans have been positively carb-o-licious for the past several weeks. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to prepare most of the planned meals that contained meat…much to my husband’s dismay. My poor, meat-deficient husband.

Hopefully, this passes soon, because I can only eat so many crackers. I’m (sort of) happy to report that much like during my previous pregnancy, I am fully capable of eating pho several (most) days of the week. So, luckily I’m receiving some sort of nutritional value from the veggies and bone broth in that.

Hopefully, THAT doesn’t pass soon. Because mama loves her some pho!

In any case, we have several weeks to go, as I’m not quite through the first trimester yet. But, we’re excited and can’t wait to see how much more “lively” our household becomes with two.

This week is no exception to the “carb-friendly” thing that I’m experiencing these days. You’ll have to bear with me for a while until I’ve fully excited this phase.

*All from the freezer

Here’s the grocery list for 04/22/13-04/26/13 , the plan for 04/22/13-04/26/13, and the full pdf version of the menu for 04/22/13-04/26/13, which also has all of the recipes attached.

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 16

Another week is upon us!

This week’s menu is heavy on the freezer, so I hope you’ve been keeping up! Why is it heavy on the freezer, you ask?! Well…because Mama’s feeling lazy! And we might as well use that food in the freezer–that’s why it’s there, right?!

There are FIVE freezer pulls on the menu this week:

  • Vanilla French Toast
  • Mini Pizza
  • Apple-Pear Bran Muffin
  • Spinach Lasagna Roll
  • Baked Oatmeal

 

If you haven’t stocked your freezer with all of these recipes yet, that’s OK. Just improvise until you get them all stocked in there. Most of these are sort of the staples that always remain in my freezer, so when I get ready to run out, I add it into my schedule to make more. Actually, I make Vanilla French Toast every single Saturday with the previous weeks’ leftover bread and eggs! It’s a great way to ensure that I always have it in the freezer.

The star of last week for me was the Blueberry-Raspberry Baked Oatmeal.

oatmealSo delicious! I’ve made a mental note that next time I need to add a crumbly topping to it prior to baking it, because that would make it even more delicious.

Here’s this week’s menu:

And the recipe list (starred recipes are from the freezer):

 

Here’s the full pdf version of the menu for 4/15/13-4/19/13 (if you click on this link and then “download”, all of the recipes are attached to the pdf), the plan, and the grocery list!

Have a fantastic week!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 14

How did everyone do with last week’s plan?! Did you make one recipe? Two? Three? The whole darn thing??

I made most of the recipes, but I definitely didn’t get it done over the weekend. I enlisted a combination of “wing’ it” and “call in some help from mom” this week. I did manage to throw together my Italian Mixed Green Salad with Pasta and Herbs, and my mom very lovingly cooked the PaleOMG Meat Sauce (and had it warm and waiting when I got home from work, to boot), but that was about the extent of it.

This week, I fully intend to get my crap together and actually cook the full menu.

Despite the fact that my brain kept whispering “pasta…pasta…pasta” while I was planning this week’s menu, I tried to throw some non-pasta dishes in. Pasta seems to be my go-to lately, even though the rest of the family is not all that fond of pasta in most forms.

I sourced all of the new recipes this week from Tasty Kitchen, which is one of my favorite recipe collection sites. I had intended on just going on there to take a look, but I just couldn’t pull myself away!

There’s no way I could walk away from these breakfast burritos.

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Impossible.

Here’s the menu for this week:

 

I’m probably a little too excited about the Italian Sausage, Kale and Blistered Tomato Fettuccine.

Here’s the grocery list for 4/1/13-4/5/13 and the Plan 040113-040513!

Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list!

Have a great week everyone!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 13

Happy new menu day, everyone! Hopefully you were much more plan-ish, organized, and able to manage your time than I was last week.

My chicken enchiladas never happened.

My Sweet Potato Chai Muffins turned into Apple-Pear Bran Muffins, since the 2 sweet potatoes floating around in my produce drawer turned out to be hairy.

The Crockpot Migas? I didn’t even get my crockpot cleaned after I made the Ham & Egg Casserole.

So yeah. Some weeks just don’t look as good in real life as they do on paper, and that’s OK. Looking on the bright side, I did make us one breakfast in addition to the dozen muffins (11 of which went into my freezer for the future), and I was able to bake one pan of Old School Mac ‘N Cheese for the week, and I put a second pan in the freezer for another day.

We also thoroughly enjoyed Pioneer Woman’s Italian Pot Roast.

pot roast

Some of us more than others, obviously.

Despite the fact that I didn’t exactly execute the menu fully last week, I don’t consider it a total bust. I was able to stock my freezer with enough muffins to last us at least another week or two, one dinner for the future, and now I have 2 fully cooked rotisserie chickens in the freezer (since my chicken enchiladas never came to fruition).

But we ate a lot of pot roast.

This week, I’m going to keep things as simple as possible. My “tiny little baby” turned one yesterday **cue the tear-shaped confetti**. My family is coming to town from Central NY on Saturday morning (hooray), and we are having a relatively low key birthday bash fit for a one-year-old!

52 weeks

She’s totally ready to party!

In light of Saturday’s festivities, I am not going to have time to prep anything, so all of my cooking will happen on Sunday…and I don’t want to spend my entire day in the kitchen, considering that most of my family will be going home that day, so I want to spend some time with them!

My mom is going to be staying with us for the whole week next week, and she really likes salad…so get ready–we’re going to eat salad this week. But, I promise that it’s yummy salad.

My Italian Mixed Green Salad w/ Pasta & Herbs recipe uses the fancy word “Chiffonade”, which I have no idea where I even learned. And I wasn’t even sure that I was using the correct word until I just Googled it up again. If you don’t know what “Chiffonade” is, don’t get nervous–just check this out: How to Chiffonade Basil.

Easy, right?!

I know that you’re looking at me right now and saying, “Eewww…I’m NOT eating leftover salad throughout the week”! But just hear me out on this one. Under the proper conditions, this salad will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and the last time I made it (the last time my Mom came to visit, ironically), it lasted nearly the entire week.

salad

This was on day #4 or 5. No joke.

The key is to make sure that the ingredients going into the salad are as dry as possible. Prior to combining each ingredient, I spin everything in a Salad Spinner—especially the pasta, black olives, and artichoke hearts, since they’re all going to involve extra water to begin with. If you get mozzarella packed in water, spin it! If your sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, spin those suckers! Extra liquid will cause the salad to get really mushy and gross. But! If you keep everything as dry as possible before it touches the lettuce and such, your salad will last well into the week. I promise!

Here’s what we have going on this week in terms of recipes:

So that’s pretty much it. Keeping it relatively simple this weekend, but you’ll have some minimal cooking during the week (but only if you are making the breakfasts from the menu). As always, I left off some of the obvious stuff that doesn’t need a recipe (tacos, cheesy eggs, grilled cheese). Those are pretty self-explanatory!

Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list!

Here’s the grocery list 032513-032913 and the plan for 032513-032913.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest–there’s a widget on the left that’ll take you to the menu for this week, and you can follow me from there.

Have a great week everyone!

1 week

Did I mention that this teeny tiny baby is one YEAR old? I’m going to go cry in a corner now.

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SONY DSC

My Ridiculous Mac N Cheese

**this is a reincarnated recipe post from Joggerslife, so excuse the ancient references to cookie parties.**

Although I am a baker at heart, I also love cooking.  My favorite things to make are comfort foods, and I love nothing more than to whip up a huge pan of mac ‘n cheese or grits ‘n greens for potlucks and family parties.  [I also have an affinity for food names that have an ‘n in them].

One of my most requested contributions for parties is my mac ‘n cheese.  In the past, I’ve actually lay awake at night, conjuring up ways to make my mac ‘n cheese even better.  Now, I think that I’ve come to a resting point with the recipe.  Rather than try to change it any further, I’m going to leave it just the way it is.

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There are several things that I love about this recipe, but the one thing that puts it over the top is the pasta.  Please don’t use elbow noodles.  I’ll cry if I hear about it.  I promise you that it’s only about 32% as good when you use anything other than cavatappi or cellentani pasta.

cellentiani

This one…the corkscrews!

I brought this ridiculicious mac ‘n cheese yesterday to the annual Cookie Party, and it was a total hit.  So much that it’s prompted me to post the recipe here, allowing me to share it with all of my blends as well as my real friends at once [hi friends!].  I only wish I had taken a picture yesterday of its’ beautifulness.  I guess you’ll just have to make it yourself!

Let me know if you try it.  I promise it’s delish.  This would be the perfect thing to bring to Mom’s house (or Grandma’s) for Christmas dinner.  Everyone will love it.

Beth’s Ridiculicious Mac & Cheese

2# Cavatappi or Cellentani Pasta (they hold the most cheesy goodness!)

1C White Zinfindel

1C Heavy Cream (or milk, if you must)

3 T Worcestershire Sauce

1 T Horseradish

1/2 T Garlic Powder

1 t Pepper

1 t Paprika

1 T all purpose flour

3 T Milk or water

24 Oz. Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (I buy the huge bag already shredded from Safeway)

12 Oz. Shredded Cheddar & Colby Cheese Blend  (Ditto above, but use only ½ the bag)

1-2 C Corn Flakes (crushed), or Bread Crumbs

1 C Fried Onions (canned or homemade)

1)   Boil pasta al dente, drain and set aside.  Noodles should be a little chewy, or they’ll end up mushy after you bake the mac n cheese! Reserve about 1 cup of the noodle water in case you need it later.

2)   In a large pot (think: big enough to hold all of the noodles and be able to stir and mix at will), bring the White Zinfindel to a low boil, and simmer on low/medium for about 3-5 minutes.  Whisk in the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, garlic powder, pepper and paprika.   Simmer on low/medium for another 3-5 minutes.

3)   With the mixture still at a low simmer, start whisking in the shredded cheese gradually.  Keep the heat high enough to melt the cheese fully, but not high enough to burn.  Continuously stir the cheese as it melts, or it won’t make a nice smooth sauce.

4)   After all of the cheese has melted, whisk together the flour and milk/water until it’s fully dissolved and not lumpy anymore.  Turn up the heat on the cheese mixture slightly, then begin quickly whisking the flour/water into the cheese.  You have to do this quickly and whisk the whole time or it will end up lumpy.  After it’s all dissolved and combined, turn heat down to low/warm.

5)   Hot noodles work best, so if you weren’t able to keep them warm while you were making the cheese mixture, re-drain them in hot water to warm them up a bit.  Add the noodles to the cheese mixture in 3 parts, making sure not to add too many noodles to the cheese mixture.  I always end up with extra noodles in the end [which is perfectly fine with me…that means I have buttered noodles for days!  …oh, buttered noodles!]  If things get a little dry, just add in some of the reserved noodle water (from above).

6)   Top with crushed corn flakes or bread crumbs and fried onions.  Cover in foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, removing foil for the last 10 minutes.

7)   Eat!

Let me know if you make it–I’d love to know how it went!

Click for printable version!

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 12

Isn’t the new website pretty cool?! I sort of just threw it together in the past few days, so you’ll notice that things will probably continue to morph and grow over the coming weeks. I’m slowly adding the past Weekly Menus onto the site, but for now I’m just focusing on making sure that you have this week’s new menu on time!

New Menu

If this is your first time, you can read all about my menus here.

I’ve just started scouring my old website (RIP Joggerslife) for recipes that I may want to reincarnate, and there is some good stuff on there!  Now I’m deciding if I want them to live on the 52 Menus | 52 Weeks site, or if I want to put them somewhere else entirely. I’ll let you know how that goes.

This menu is a little “comfort food” heavy, and I even added a recipe for Old School Mac N Cheese. Don’t question the deliciousness…just go with it! I promise we’ll only do this every once in a while.

Here’s the recipe list:

Just a few things to remember…I only include items on the grocery list for new recipes. That means that if you’re just starting out and you want to incorporate one of the two ‘freezer pulls’ this week, you’ll have to add the ingredients for Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls and Vanilla French Toast to your own grocery list. The grocery list is completely modifiable (it’s provided in Word format), so you can add what you need to it.

This week I also added a text box on the right side of the grocery list for “Weekly Items”, which is what I do with my own list. That way, you can add the things that you need to pick up in addition to your 52 Menus | 52 Weeks stuff (or add the other miscellaneous items that are on my menu like apples, pears, mixed veggies, etc.). If you’re in my household, you NEVER forget the mandarin oranges. That would put us in crisis mode.

Here’s the Grocery List for 031813-032213, and here’s the Game Plan for 031813-032213

I added a batch of Mini Pizzas on to the ‘Make Ahead’ list this week, so just do that when you have a little bit of spare time. You can do it any time during the week–we’re just stocking the freezer for future meals!

As always, just email me with any questions! Hope everyone has a great week!

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p.s…If you want to download the pdf document that has all of the recipes, as well as the grocery list and game plan, it’s right here (just right click and choose “Save Link As”, then you can open it in Adobe to view all of the attachments).

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 3

I was slowly figuring out the process of menu planning still–this was only my second week of trying to ensure that my kid was fed 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. I wish someone told reminded me that I was eventually going to have to FEED her! I kid. Since we did Baby Led Weaning, she has been “eating” since around 5.5 months, but when she started daycare (at 9.5 months old), she was a full-on ‘3 meals a day’ girl already. I couldn’t just send her with baby food and call it a day–she needed real, healthy food!

[insert ‘overwhelmed, first-time mom’ expression here]

Tuna noodle casserole was a major fail in terms of feeding it to the baby. She was not a fan of the taste or texture of tuna, and every time she would put a piece in her mouth, she proceeded to promptly spit it directly out. It was entertaining at home, but I didn’t realize that I should have been sending a backup for her daycare meals in case she hated something that I sent for her. I learned that fairly quickly…but not without a few days of grumpy baby-ness.

Here’s the menu:

For this menu, I added the recipes into the pdf, so if you click print, you’ll actually get all of the recipes printed out as well.

If you want to see all of January’s menus at once, they’re on the January Page.

Recipe links are as follows:

You’ll probably notice that I started to add little instructions to myself within the menu so that I could have little reminders of when thing were supposed to happen throughout the week. This was what I did before I typed up an actual plan–now put notes on the menu AND type up a plan.

Again, no grocery list and no plan…because I just wasn’t there yet.

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 2

I’d say this wasn’t a terrible effort for my first week of meal planning! We learned some foods that baby girl absolutely won’t touch when they’re presented together (sweet potatoes and pork, for example), and some that she loves (this was the original week of putting mandarin oranges on daily repeat, FTW).

I hadn’t really figured out my mojo yet, so this is very basic and a little fragmented, but hey…I was working out the kinks I guess.

Some of the obvious stuff doesn’t have a recipe (I figured that tacos, cheese on toast, almond butter & jelly sandwich are pretty self-explanatory), and the butternut squash ravioli was store bought.

I put all of the January menus together on the January Page, but here’s this week’s menu:

 

If you click on the recipe name below, a new window will open with a pdf of the recipe that you can print out. Recipe credit will show up on the pdf when it prints. If it’s my recipe, it’ll either say “Joggerslife” somewhere, or just look like a Word document. Otherwise, someone else is the genius behind it.

I didn’t really have my crap together at this point, so nothing was organized, and I had no game plan. That said, I don’t have a grocery list or a plan to add here…I didn’t figure that out until a few weeks later!

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meatballs1

Turkey Meatballs with Zesty Marinara

[note: this post has been resurrected from my old website, so the references to “pregnancy” are from 2011 when I was pregnant with my daughter. Don’t mistake this for an announcement. =)]

I’d really like to be able to tell you that I made this recipe for unselfish reasons. That my dear husband requested turkey meatballs randomly one day, or that he had a hankering for some zesty marinara sauce out of the blue. That would be a lie. He is a simple man, and he has only ever requested two things from me: tacos and pancakes. In five years.

Tacos (because they’re kind of like a religion in our house), and pancakes.

It’s actually kind of tragic for someone who loves to feed others as much as I do, that the love of my life only requests tacos and pancakes from me. I’ve learned to cope.

Prior to being pregnant, I would often try to cook things that I knew my husband would want to eat. It was more like mind-reading than anything, since my question “what would you like for dinner?”, was always countered with “ehh…I don’t care”. But at least I tried to cook food with his desires in mind. These days, I cook for me. I have no choice–with the onset of pregnancy came this mind blowing need to immediately cook or procure every food that I get a hankering for. It’s kind of disturbing, actually.

So, although my husband would probably sell his soul for a good taco, I’ve only made tacos once since I’ve been pregnant. And I only feel mildly guilty about this fact.

In a particularly self-serving fashion, I decided last week that turkey meatballs and marinara needed to be added to to the rotation this week. If not, I was convinced that I would die. I’m not kidding you guys. It’s really that bad. I’ve walked around since early last week daydreaming about turkey meatballs in marinara sauce. I really think I might need an intervention. And my husband needs tacos. There is a compromise in there somewhere.

meatballs1

I’m just not ready to find it.

The only thing that makes me feel a little bit better about my selfish menu selection this time is the fact that these freaking meatballs and this damn marinara sauce is so good. So good that even when I was completely full of meatballs, I was still dipping leftover noodles in sauce and eating them. Standing in front of the stove. While doing dishes.

I need an intervention for real.

meatballs2

Turkey Meatballs with Zesty Marinara Sauce

Yields ~40  1.5″ meatballs

[printable recipe]

 

For the Meatballs:

2 Pounds ground turkey (I’ve found that the best mix is 1.5 pounds of 93/7, and 1/2 pound of 85/15)

1/2 Cup breadcrumbs

1 Cup milk (dairy or non-dairy–any milk will do)

1 Small onion, chopped

2 T Dried basil

2 T Dried oregano

1 T Granulated garlic

1/2 T Crushed red pepper

1/4 t Salt

1/4 t Pepper

 

For the Marinara:

2-28 oz. cans of Diced tomatoes (I prefer the pre-seasoned ones for a little extra zip)

2 T Dried basil

2 T Dried oregano

2 T Granulated garlic

1 T Crushed red pepper (more or less, depending on your love for the ‘zest’)

6 oz. (1 small can) Tomato paste

12 oz. (2 tomato paste cans) Water

1 T Balsamic vinegar

1/3 C Bread crumbs

3 T Sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and set aside for approximately 5 minutes. It should turn into a mushy-pasty substance. It looks kind of gross, but you need this–it makes your meatballs tender.
  3. Combine remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl, then add the breadcrumb/milk mixture, and mix with your hands until combined.
  4. Roll meatball mixture into 1.5″ balls (I use a medium ice cream scoop to make it easier), and place on a baking sheet.
  5. When you’ve filled your baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, you can put together the marinara. Combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a blender. Blend just long enough to combine the spices with the tomatoes. You just don’t want to turn it into tomato juice.
  7. Place blended sauce in a pan, and bring to a simmer. Add balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, and water, and stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer, and add bread crumbs and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  8. When meatballs are finished baking (and sauce is finished simmering), place a small amount of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, then place cooked meatballs on top. Pour remaining sauce over top of the meatballs, cover the baking dish (with a lid or foil), and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

You can serve these delicious meatballs with pasta, atop steamed veggies, or eat them all by themselves. If you want to be like me, you can serve them with egg noodles, garlic bread, and string beans. Even though egg noodles and zesty marinara don’t really ‘match’ from a culinary standpoint.

Why egg noodles, you ask?

Because that’s what this girl wanted. And these days, in a race between culinary sensibility and pregnancy cravings, sensibility loses every single time.

Luckily, this recipe makes enough to serve a small army. If you want to make yourself feel a little better about making selfish menu choices, just put a pan of them together for a friend. That’s what I did, and then I kind of felt like I redeemed myself.

Which means that I’ve now cleared the way for at least one more self-serving menu selection in the near future.

And it probably won’t be tacos.

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