Brrr. The temperatures have finally started acting like winter here in Upstate NY. As I write this the temperature outside is a chilly 7 degrees! Weather like this makes me crave warm and filling meals like soups, stews and casseroles!
This week, as always, I have things to take into consideration while putting together my meal plan
1. Monday was off from school Tuesday hubs is taking me to Mama Mia so the kiddos are getting to spend the night with their Uncle-since he’s doing me a favor I want to have dinner ready to go (crockpot!). Wednesday night is scout night, plus Hubs plays pool. Friday night Hubs has a meeting so it’s just the kids and I.
2. I’ve got some mashed potatoes that are leftover from the Senior Lunch at church (dude-don’t throw away 2 cups of mashed taters-I’ll find something to do with them). I’m actually doing pretty well otherwise with food in the fridge-the 3 day weekend used up a lot of leftovers! I do have a bit too much milk-so something to use some of that up would be good.
3. I need to start using up some odds and ends in my side by side freezer. I’ve got fish from my BIL and fish stock I made from bones and shrimp shells a while back. There is also some tomato sauce frozen in there, and I think a ham bone.
4. My goals are always to include a fish meal, a venison meal, a meatless meal, a bean meal and a soup meal. Some of those can double up-like a soup made with fish 😉
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans
The kids were off from school so I asked them what they wanted and this was it! I did buy the sweet potato fries frozen–the stuffed burgers are just two very thin hamburgers with about a tablespoon of blue cheese sandwiched in between. Then you squeeze the edges together so all your cheese doesn’t ooze out.
Tuesday: Chicken Stuffing Casserole with Gravy and Green Beans
I’ll make the chicken stuffing casserole in the slow cooker so it’s all ready for Uncle to serve to the kiddos. The green beans are leftover from yesterday’s diner. The gravy I am ashamed to admit will be out of a packet. It’s a quick, easy and tasty dinner. And their should be leftovers for our lunch the next day!
Wednesday: Fish Chowder with Impossible Beer Bread
I’ll make the fish chowder using some of the fish from my BIL and the fish stock I have frozen. I’m sure I’ll toss in dehydrated corn & veggies as well! I didn’t get around to making the Impossible Beer Bread last week, but now I’ve got it in my head so I need to make some!
This is my fish meal and my soup meal for the week.
Thursday: Hunter’s Pie
Hunter’s Pie is Shepard’s pie made with venison instead of beef! I’ll use venison from the freezer in the pie and then use the leftover mashed potatoes from the luncheon as the topping! I really don’t need a veggie side as I make the pie heavy on the veggies inside, and the taters on the top are the starch. So it’s a one dish meal.
This is my venison meal for the week.
Homemade pizza made with the Pizza Hut Crust Clone of course!
Saturday: Pork Ribs, Rice and Butternut Squash bake
I’ve got some ribs down in the freezer from my 1/2 pig (maybe I need to add pork into my goals eh?)-I’m going to try them in the crockpot via a recipe a longtime reader & friend gave me! Rice will be a good general side (maybe I’ll get fancy and do it some different way). I’ve got a ton of Butternut Squash still-so I’ll make a bake with it again. If I like the recipe this second time I’ll post it for you guys soon!
Sunday: Homemade Baked Beans with Sweet Northern Cornbread and Glazed Carrots.
Homemade Baked Beans on a Sunday evening is a New England tradition. Of course they usually serve it with that really sweet brown bread that comes in a can these days (if you don’t know, don’t ask) but I’ll make my Sweet Northern Cornbread instead. The carrots will be dug from the garden-now that we’ve got a snow cover I’m interested to see how much effort it takes to dig out those deeply mulched carrots.
This is my meatless and my bean meal for the week.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .
Just an option for your squash: I needed to use mine up, as they were starting to turn color, so I steamed them in the crockpot for a day, then scooped out the puree this created. I froze some of the puree and used some to make squash muffins. (They would be healthier with raisins, but my kiddo won’t eat them these days, so I substituted chocolate chips. 🙂 ) I’m finding them to be a great winter breakfast.
Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says
Great Ideas Joanna (and hello! glad to “see” you!). Right now my squash seem to be holding firm up there on top of the kitchen cabinets-I just want to make sure I actually USE them since I’ve got, oh, about 7. . .
Mmm blue cheese burgers! My favorite hole in the wall cafe “The Bad Ass BBQ” in Black Canyon City, AZ, makes the Tiajuana torpedo burger with the same method. The exception is they but a whole grren chile stuffed with monterey jack cheese inside so good…….The cafe’s are huge! I tried to recreate at home, you really have to manipulate the meat just right to avoid it coming a part. It is a great technique for burgers.
I’m impressed with this menu. We aim to eat two fish meals a week (one tinned, one not-tinned), which should be pretty easy given we live a five minute walk from where the boats unload their catch… Tonight I’m going to try to make crepes for the first time, from The Frugal Gourmet cookbook I got for Christmas. Wish me luck.
Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says
Shelley-I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve made including fish, soup, beans, meatless etc goals not only to ensure that I give my family a varied diet and save money…but also to help give others ideas! I’d love to hear more about your fish meals!