Welcome to Valentines Day week! Around here Valentines Day Week is also “Odyssey of the Mind Competition Week”–and with two kids on teams this year, last minute practices and the competition itself on Friday–well it’s a hectic week. I know I say it all the time, but weeks like this are why meal planning is so important! By planning ahead I will make sure that I know what I’m making, what I need to start ahead of time, what needs to be defrosted and what ingredients I need to have on hand. Win!
Here’s what I’ve got to plan around this week:
1. Lots and lots of kids activities. I’ve got kids at afterschool activities (OM, Chorus, Play Rehearsal) M-Th, plus scouts. Thank goodness the piano teacher suggested that we hold off on lessons until next week to cut down on the chaos.
2. Yankee Bill and I have a special steak dinner at a local place on Tuesday night, I have my first guitar lesson on Wednesday night, Yankee Bill has pool on Thursday night, we are going out to dinner on Friday night, and we are at the OM competition pretty much all day on Saturday. Ack.
3. In the fridge I’ve got leftover rice, leftover chicken in gravy, a couple dozen hard boiled eggs, carrots, lettuce, 1/2 can tomato paste, a couple of polish sausage, and 4 confit rabbit legs I made a couple weeks back and really want to try.
4. I’ve still got plenty of potatoes from our friend (about a sack and a half), home canned vegetables, frozen snow peas and corn, pork, venison and even some frozen fish.
5. As always my goal is to have one venison meal, one fish meal, one pork meal, one bean meal, one meatless meal and one soup meal per week. Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Rabbit Confit, Winter Squash Bake and Sauteed Snow Peas
I made rabbit confit a while back as an experiment. Confit is basically cooking meat low and slow completely in fat (in this case lard) with some added spices etc. This is an old French farmhouse technique that was used as a method of preservation–kept in a cool area (we use a refrigerator of course!) and completely immersed in the fat which would then harden, you had cooked meat in an airtight/preserved situation! To use you just let come to room temperature, remove the meat (which is on the bone) and then cook it to warm it up–I plan on browning it under the broiler for a bit.
This will be rich, but the legs really aren’t that big, so I’m pairing it with the butternut squash bake both because I need to use up some of the squash and because it will be filling. The lightly steamed or sauteed snow peas (frozen from last years garden) should be a fresh and crunchy counterpoint. It should be a delicious supper.
Tuesday: Chicken and Gravy over Rice with Green Beans
Well, Yankee Bill and I are going out for steak, but the kids can eat up the leftover chicken gravy and rice. I’ll just warm up a can of home canned beans as a vegetable. That’s fast and easy to make for them before we go out.
Wednesday: Potato Sausage Soup with Salad
This is a crockpot meal–which is good because I’ll be running errands on Wednesday! Having a warm soup ready to go in the crockpot will be a big help. Since my Potato Sausage soup doesn’t have any vegetables in it (I consider potatoes a starch in this case) I will make a green salad to eat with it. Soup and Salad for dinner!
This is my soup meal for the week.
Thursday: Spaghetti Carbonara and Vegetables
MMm. Spaghetti Carbonara. My best friend growing up used to call it “scrambled eggs and bacon spaghetti” which isn’t all that far off. A creamy sauce made with egg tossed with Parmesan cheese and bacon. I’ll use some of the bacon from our Organic 1/2 pig. Because man cannot live on pasta alone, I’ll include veggies for a side–probably a frozen broccoli & cauliflower type mix.
This is my pork meal for the week. (Go bacon!)
Friday: Eating Out.
Yankee Bill and I are eating out (he won’t tell me where) and my mom is watching the kids–so she will take care of supper.
I’ve got tons of eggs, so I’ll make a quiche with cheese & greens in it earlier in the week–I probably will make two actually–and then I can just warm it up for supper. We will be at the OM competition all day, and I’m sure I won’t feel like cooking. Plus–the kids don’t get back on the bus until like 7:30. . .and it’s easy to warm up a slice for them at that point.
This is my meatless meal for the week.
This is a one dish meal–although I could add a vegetable side dish. It’s actually is Mexican Pumpkin, Black Bean and Beef Tamale Pie–but I’m going to substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin and venison for the beef. Heck, I might even substitute white beans (which Buddy prefers) for the black beans.
This is my venison meal and my bean meal for the week.
Hmmm. Didn’t fit in a fish meal–but considering I was missing two meals this week I’m amazed at fitting everything else in!
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .