It’s great to be back home and to be able to do a full week of menu plans! Now if I can just shake this cold. . .
This week’s considerations:
1. I’m out of the house almost all day Monday & Tuesday for appointments. Dinner on those nights needs to be either all cooked up in the crockpot or something that goes together in a flash.
2. Wednesday night is our typical total chaos night with Yankee Bill at pool and both kids at scouts.
3. “Winter Break” starts on Friday-so the kiddos will be home. I should get Princess and Buddy involved in dinner for that night (I am working on building their helping skills-and while it will be a long time before they can cook dinner by themselves you’ve got to start somewhere)
4. We’ll be out of the house most of the day Saturday for a school event, and Sunday night I’m going to a “girls night” game party at a friends, so the family will be eating dinner without me.
5. I was the recipient of a windfall of organic ham last week. I cooked, cubed and canned 12 pints of it (pictures & discussion are over on the Frugal Upstate Facebook page – if you use FB & haven’t liked Frugal Upstate, you are missing out!). I now have 4 huge meaty ham bones and a can of ham that didn’t seal in the fridge.
6. Eggs were on sale at the store when hubs stopped to buy creamer the other night, so I have an extra 2 dozen in the fridge. I’ve also got a chunk of butternut squash (peeled, uncooked) and three different containers with just a bit of spaghetti sauce in each one. Oh, yeah. I also only made one pizza last Friday-I stuck the other pizza’s worth of dough in the fridge and it’s still there.
7. My goals are to incorporate 1 venison, 1 fish, 1 meatless, 1 bean and 1 soup meal in each week’s menu plan.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Ham and Beans, Sweet Northern Cornbread & Green Beans
I’ve got two different pots of beans simmering away in crockpots as I type, each with a nice meaty ham bone in it. I actually thought ahead and soaked the beans last night! One pot is black beans, another is cranberry beans. My intent is to make some bean soup out of it as well and to can the stuff up tonight or tomorrow in the pressure canner-so I’ll have a meal and then some “heat and serve” stuff ready to go!
The Sweet Northern Cornbread will be from scratch (and the extra can be snacks or breakfast later in the week) and the green beans are canned from the garden.
This is my bean meal for the week-and since it’s made in the crockpot (the cornbread is easy to whip up) it can cook while I’m gone for my appointments and errands today.
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Lasagna and Salad
I need another “ready when I get home” meal since I’ll be in Syracuse for a doctors appointment, so I’ll make slow cooker lasagna. It will also use up all those odd jars of spaghetti sauce I’ve been collecting! I always have mozzarella, powdered Parmesan cheese and lasagna noodles on hand, and I’ve got Italian sausage cooked & frozen in my side by side freezer, so I’ll just pick up some ricotta or cottage cheese while I’m out today (whichever is cheaper). I can put the entire thing together in the cooker tonight and then just take it out of the fridge and pop it into the cooker on low in the morning. Viola!
The salad will be made from some lettuce I’ve got in the fridge, onion (always on hand), carrots from the garden (yes, buried under 4 inches of leaves and a bit of snow now) and some canned beets julienne up (we all like the dash of color & flavor)
Wednesday: Venison Burgers with Homemade Hamburger Buns, Oven Fries and Scalloped Tomatoes
I’ll use some of the ground venison from the freezer to make burgers and my Homemade Hamburger Bun recipe for the buns (I’ll probably make those up earlier in the day so I’m not rushing at suppertime). The Oven Fries are an easy recipe-again, I’ve just got to make sure I give myself enough time to cook them. The Scalloped Tomatoes will be made from some of my garden tomatoes I canned this fall. Luckily I can have the Oven Fried Potatoes and the Scalloped Tomatoes in the oven at the same time. Multitasking!
This is my venison meal for the week.
Thursday: Oven Fried Fish with Wheat Pilaf and Greens
I’ll make my Oven Fried Fish recipe with some of the fish in the freezer that my BIL gave us. I’ve still got wheat kernels sitting in the cabinet-I’ve been meaning to try using them as a cooked grain-I think I saw a recipe somewhere online for wheat pilaf-I’ll have to see if I can find it. Lastly for the vegetable I’ve got greens down in the deep freeze-chard, dandelion etc. I’ll pull out a package & cook them up.
This is my fish meal for the week.
Friday: Kiddo’s Choice
I’m not sure what Princess will pick out of the kids cookbook we have-but we’ll find a recipe and she will help me make it.
Saturday: Chicken Soup & Biscuits
We’ll be out all day so I’ll get some soup started in the crockpot before we go and just whip up some biscuits to go with the soup when we get home. Tada.
This is my soup meal for the week.
Sunday: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese with Steamed Carrots
I’ll put the homemade macaroni and cheese together and stick it in the oven, cook up the carrots and then abandon the family for my girls night out. Yankee Bill can totally handle serving it up to the kiddos
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .