It’s menu time! Between work trips and meetings, dinner has been rather, uh, spontaneous around here. And while I like to fly by the seat of my pants for 90% of life, a little bit of structure in the kitchen makes me a happier cook. 🙂
Monday 3/11 – Leftovers. Exciting, I know, but I won’t be home until after 7:30, so it’s every man for himself when it comes to dinner.
Tuesday 3/12 – Tortellini soup
Wednesday 3/13 – Roasted shrimp with feta and green beans. It’s been ages since I’ve made this dish, so I’m looking forward to it! (Hopefully it’s as good as I remember.)
Thursday 3/14 – Shredded beef tacos! (I’m not observing pi day this year… whoops.) But, I might get home late Thursday night, so it’s winner winner, crockpot dinner.
Friday 3/15 – BBQ chicken pizza on my favorite sourdough crust. I just fed Fester this afternoon, so I can mix up the crust later this week.
In other food-related news, I have a hold request at the library for one of the newest books from America’s Test Kitchen, Vegetables Illustrated. I can’t wait to check it out, and I’m sure it’s going to make me want fresh, in-season produce even more! My goal is to check it out before farmer’s market season and see if it’s worth adding to my personal collection!
Finally, Andy and I spent a quick weekend in San Diego last month, and while we failed at my goal of getting tacos, we did enjoy some great beer and food at Legacy Brewing Tap & Kitchen. The peanut butter milk stout was like drinking a peanut butter cup. Too bad I couldn’t figure out a way to get a growler on the plane. 😉
Fantastic Brussels sprouts!
PB Milk Stout. It’s pretty much dessert beer.
It’s time for a weekly menu! I haven’t done a great job of sticking to a menu lately, so I’m putting this out there so I have a little bit of accountability. 😉
Monday 4/23 – Meatless Monday this week with Zucchini fritters!
Tuesday 4/24 – I’m leaving Andy to fend for himself while I get tacos with some girlfriends. Hopefully there are still leftovers by the time we get to Tuesday night. 😉
Wednesday 4/25 – Skillet Lasagna. This is one of my favorite things from Cook it in Cast Iron. I’m pretty pumped for dinner on Wednesday.
Thursday 4/26 – Brats with TBD sides. I have almost no inspiration right now, so we’ll see what sounds good when Thursday actually rolls around.
Friday 4/27 – Pizza! I think we’ll order out this time. Glass Nickel sounds like a good way to start the weekend.
So, that weekly menu. I’ve been fairly consistent about it for the last month or so, which means it’s probably about time for me to fall off the meal-planning wagon. In an attempt to stay organized, here’s what I’m making next week.
Sunday 2/11 – Baked Butternut Squash Pasta and roasted Brussels sprouts
Monday 2/12 – Couscous pilaf with roasted carrots, chicken and feta (new recipe from Southern Living)
Tuesday 2/13 – Salmon of some sort, corn, and roasted beets
Wednesday 2/14 – Pork chops, roasted potatoes, salad, and since it’s Valentine’s Day, chocolate pots de creme from Cooking at Home with Bridget & Julia (I might be using Valentine’s Day as a way to justify fancy desserts on a Wednesday.)
Thursday 2/15 – Grilled cheese or leftovers, since we’re going to a lecture about the battle of Midway.
Friday 2/16 – Indoor pulled chicken, a vegetable of some sort, and biscuits. I’m pretty excited to try this recipe from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated.
There you have it! We’ll see how well I stick to the plan this week.
I have really fallen off the meal planning wagon (AGAIN), and the holiday travel certainly didn’t help matters. However, we’re home for a few weeks, and our fridge and garden are full of produce, so I’m trying to get back on track.
Monday 7/10 – Pizza night with friends! Our friends from Florida are in town visiting, so several of us are getting together for dinner. We’re having pizza, and I will most likely bring a salad too.
Tuesday 7/11 – Drunken beans, with rice and mango salsa. I’ve had my eye on this recipe ever since I checked the Best Mexican Recipes cookbook out of the library, and I finally remembered to pick up poblano peppers. I’m pretty pumped about this.
Wednesday 7/12 – Salmon, bread and a TBD CSA vegetable (or salad)
Thursday 7/13 – The “Best Chicken Parmesan,” according to Cook’s Illustrated and a CSA vegetable of some kind
Friday 7/14 – Pasta with vegetables (current front runners are these two recipes, but I reserve the right to change my mind). We have a busy day on Saturday, so I’d like an easy dinner the night before!
I have to admit, I feel like a slacker with this week’s menu. Not cooking for two out of five nights? I’ve been feeling uninspired though, so if there’s ever a time to be lazy with the meal plan, I guess this is it. I am trying two recipes from “The Best Mexican Recipes,” so we’ll see how they turn out!
Monday 6/5 – Grilled salmon steaks with lime cilantro sauce, asparagus and roasted potatoes
Tuesday 6/6 – Chickpea cakes with chipotle lime cream and sliced cucumbers.
Wednesday 6/7 – Pizza! One of our favorite pizza places has a half-off deal going on this week, so we’re breaking up the week with takeout. Win-win.
Thursday 6/8 – Apricot chicken pasta and a vegetable. (This was one of Andy’s suggestions as he saw me browsing the internet this afternoon. He’s a smart guy, so I’m taking his advice.)
Friday 6/9 – Dinner out! Friday is our 10th (!!!) anniversary, so we are going to celebrate and have someone else do the dishes. Location TBD, but Stone Arch and Carmella’s are current front-runners.
Saturday 6/10 – Bonus meal! I don’t know if we’ll be home Saturday, but if we are, I’d like to try a new recipe that America’s Test Kitchen shared on Facebook: Grilled lemon chicken with rosemary. I thought about putting it on the menu earlier in the week, but since it’s a whole chicken (and one that requires a brine), I think it’ll be better suited to the weekend. Maybe I’d even get around to making some bread to go with it.
We are a week or two away from our CSA starting again, and I cannot wait. I think that’s part of my inspiration problem. I don’t want to buy any produce at the store when I know that we are just days away from the real stuff. Lettuce with flavor! Fresh strawberries! I can taste it already… 🙂
Look at this! A meal plan two weeks in a row. We’re making progress, people. 😉 I’m including Saturday again since Andy’s parents will be in town, which means we’ll probably be home for dinner.
Monday 5/1 – Chickpea tomato pasta – starting the week off with Meatless Monday!
Tuesday 5/2 – Carnitas bowls, made possible by this weekend’s instant pot experiment with my friend Kelsey. She sent us some with some of the leftovers, so I’ll make some rice and saute some onions and peppers to go with the pork. (A couple thoughts on the whole instant pot experience: The flavor was incredible, but it took MUCH longer to prep than the recipe said. I bet I could have the same results with my crockpot. I’d just have to put the meat and marinade in before work, rather than after.)
Wednesday 5/3 – Roasted broccoli, squash orzotto and steak – the weather looks decent, so we’ll probably throw them on the grill.
Thursday 5/4 – Breakfast for dinner! We didn’t have the egg sandwiches last Friday, so I’m moving them to this week’s menu. I made a loaf of onion-bacon sourdough bread over the weekend, so we’ll use that for the sandwiches. (And yes, the bread is about as wonderful as you’d imagine something with three-quarters of a pound of bacon would be.)
Friday 5/5 – Salmon, corn and carrots.
Saturday 5/6 – Roast chicken, vegetables and bread / biscuits. This is the current front-runner for the bread, and I may try spatchcocking the chicken. I have a few days to make up my mind on that.
Have a great week, everyone!
A few weeks ago, we cleaned all of the clutter off the front of our refrigerator. It’s amazing how big of a difference that makes in our small kitchen! The only downside is that I ditched the dry-erase board that I used to write down our weekly menu, and not having a menu board seems to be derailing my dinner plans. So, in an attempt to get organized again, I figured it was time for me to put a menu together.
Monday 4/24 – Italian Pot Pies and salad
Tuesday 4/25 – Mexican Quinoa (I was going to make this on Monday, but when I checked the pantry shelves this morning, we were all out of black beans. How does that even happen? Guess it’s time for a run to Aldi.)
Wednesday 4/26 – Pork chops and roasted beets
Thursday 4/27 – Chicken bruschetta bake (I’m making this to share with a friend who just had a baby, so I plan to make enough for us to enjoy as well.)
Friday 4/28 – Egg & Bacon Sandwiches on English Muffins
Saturday 4/29 – Carnitas! I typically don’t plan meals for the weekend, but we plan to spend Saturday evening with some friends. Kelsey and I are going to experiment with her Instant Pot, and carnitas seemed to be a good place to start. (I’m skeptical about the entire instant-pot process, so we’ll see if this changes my mind.) I still need to come up with a dessert for us to enjoy as well.
Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I shared a meal plan post, so I figured that would be a good way to kick off the week. (Plus, I haven’t had time to finish writing about any of the things I’ve been baking lately.)
Monday 3/13 – Roasted red pepper penne with sausage and salad
Tuesday 3/14 – Black bean and cheese quesadillas (I know it’s pi day, but we are finally going to see Hidden Figures that night, which means no time for baking.)
Wednesday 3/15 – Salmon, asparagus and couscous with cilantro and carrots
Thursday 3/16 – Chicken bruschetta bake, salad, applesauce and dessert (We’re having some new friends over for dinner, and this is my go-to “first time” meal. It’s easy, and almost everyone loves it.)
Friday 3/17 – Homemade pizza! I have been using my discarded sourdough starter to make pizza crust, and I recently discovered that I can throw the pizza dough in the freezer. Now I have a steady supply of pizza crust on hand, which is perfect for lazy Friday nights. I just have to decide if we’ll have BBQ chicken or pepperoni and sausage pizza.
In other food news, I baked a chocolate stout cake for a friend’s 30th birthday last week, and it was incredible. It was a dark, moist chocolate cake with delicious, stouty (is that even a thing?) undertones. It’s definitely a keeper. Of course, we were too busy having fun to take any pictures of the cake, so it’ll be a while before it appears here.
I’m still enjoying the sourdough adventure. Sourdough pancakes are becoming one of my new favorite things with the starter. King Arthur Flour has become my go-to source for new sourdough ideas, and I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet.
I’m working on cooking from cookbook closet more often as well. I pulled at least one new recipe this week from my Everyday Food archives, and I have a couple more bookmarked for next week.
January has been unusually busy for me this year. Between a work trip to Florida and a wedding in Ohio, I spent a lot of time NOT cooking this month.
I’ve been trying to make up for lost time over the last week or so though. I finally got the ball rolling with my sourdough starter (which we’re affectionately referring to as “Fester”), and it seems to be growing nicely. Last night was the first time I had to discard some of the starter as part of the feeding process, and I decided to use the discarded portion to make some cinnamon raisin bread. It’s rising now, and I can’t wait to see if it’s a keeper. Andy came home from work, observed the bread-making process and declared this sourdough adventure a “good thing.” 😀
We also celebrated Andy’s birthday this past week, and he wanted to stay in, rather than go out, so we invited Andy, Bethany, Judah and Sadie over for birthday burgers. I made the fried onion burgers from Cook it in Cast Iron, and we finished off the meal with the monkey bread from Bread Illustrated and vanilla bean ice cream. (The monkey bread, by the way, was incredible. I will never make monkey bread any other way again.)
Here’s what we’re eating this week:
Monday 1/30 – Ham and cheese pie and salad
Tuesday 1/31 – Salmon and root vegetable gratin (I actually made this in November and froze half of it. I figure now’s as good a time as any to eat the second half!)
Wednesday 2/1 – Pasta e Fagioli (New recipe for the week!)
Thursday 2/2 – Chipotle chicken tacos
Friday 2 /3 – Homemade pizza (It’s Friday, after all!)
It’s safe to say that I’m glad to be back in the kitchen again. 🙂
*We could also title this week’s menu “Cooking with Cast Iron.” The library let me borrow a copy of Cook It In Cast Iron, and I cannot wait to start trying some of the dishes. I tend to be a ‘try before you buy’ girl when it comes to cookbooks, since I don’t want to overrun the house with impulse buys, but this one is definitely moving up on my birthday wish list. (Are you listening, Andy?) Three out of my five meals are from the book, and I am hoping to have some time next weekend to try a couple of the desserts and breads as well. I mean, hot fudge pudding cake? Rosemary focaccia bread? Be still my beating heart.
Anyway. Let’s focus on what we’ll actually be eating, rather than my mile-long dessert bucket list. 😉
Monday 3/7 – Corn and potato chowder with biscuits. This isn’t seasonal at all, but I have corn AND corn cobs in the freezer, so it’s the next best thing. (I figured that saving corn cobs for soup was just like saving chicken bones for stock.) And just like I did with the great garlic soup, I added spinach to make it a one-pot meal.
Tuesday 3/8 – Chipotle chicken tacos – CIICI #1!
Wednesday 3/9 – Skillet macaroni and cheese with salad – CIICI #2!
Thursday 3/10 – Blackened chicken with pineapple cucumber salsa and rice – CIICI #3!
Friday 3/11 – Breakfast for dinner! I’m going to try these chai-spiced waffles with some fruit. I may make some bacon to go with this as well, but if I was feeling really ambitious, I’d try the homemade breakfast sausage patties from the cookbook too.
And there you have it! .