25 April 2010

April 26- May 2

My menu this week has been so hard to put together. For some reason my heart was not in it this week. Regardless, here it is:

  • Breakfast - Tiny Grape Upside-Down Cakes
  • Lunch - Play date - cheese, fruit, crackers
  • Dinner - Frozen meal (mom has to work)
  • Snack - Peanut Butter bread
  • Breakfast - Oatmeal with raisins
  • Lunch - Quesadillas
  • Dinner - Dinner Out (Joshua's birthday)
  • Snack - Fruit
  • Breakfast - fruit parfait
  • Lunch - PB&J
  • Dinner - Hilltop Farms Chicken, spinach and strawberry salad
  • Snack - carrots and peanut butter
  • Breakfast - Pink Pancakes
  • Lunch - Left overs
  • Dinner - Quesadilla Casserole (Everyday with Rachel Ray)
  • Snack - yogurt and granola
  • Breakfast - cereal
  • Lunch - crudite with cream cheese/yogurt, dill dip
  • Dinner - Chicken Baked Samm (never made it last week), Brussels sprouts!?!
  • Snack - cinnamon tortilla chips
  • Breakfast - Muffins and bananas
  • Lunch - PB&J
  • Dinner - Tuna Hot Dish (we have a lot of tuna), peas
  • Snack - Zucchini muffins
  • Breakfast - Mini quiche
  • Lunch - Chicken wraps
  • Dinner - Crock Pot Lasagna, salad
  • Snack - fruit
I need:
  1. Cheese
  2. Zucchini
  3. Assorted fresh fruit (on sale only, I have a lot of canned)
  4. Cream of Mushroom soup
  5. Egg noodles
  6. Potato chips
  7. Assorted fresh veggies for crudite (anything I think the family will eat!)
  8. Bananas
I have already spent a little of my food budget this week on Joshua's birthday present so I am going to have to stretch what I have left. Think I can do this with $40? I thought so. I am going to wait until Tuesday to do my shopping at Checkers this week. They have a good deal on bananas that day and maybe I can find other produce sales as well. Making a big dent in the pantry. Not as much in the freezer. I did find another almost full flat of diced tomatoes in the garage. We may need to have goulash again before Joshua leaves. I may even need to learn how to cook it. That is if I am allowed to stay in the kitchen this time.

19 April 2010

April 19-25

My menu is not finished but it is pretty close. I spent a larger portion of the weekend working than I normally do so I am a little behind. Surfing around looking at other menu plans I came across a woman who posts a selection of meal options under each type of meal and then, I am assuming, makes a decision which one to prepare before hand. I am going to try that route as my plan seems to get shifted each week anyway. Joshua and I have tickets to see David Sedaris this week some time so we may cut one meal back and eat out. I also may change one meal to a crock pot chicken meal for the family while I am working Monday.


  • Pink pancakes
  • Cereal
  • Popovers
  • Yogurt
  • Fluffy eggs
  • Oven baked oatcakes
  • PB&J
  • Chicken roll ups
  • Quesadillas
  • Leftovers
  • Goulash
  • Chicken Baked Samm
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Shake-n-Bake pork chops (help?)
  • Turkey Sliders
  • Leftovers / sandwiches
  • Fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Cottage cheese

13 April 2010

I would like some yard greens

I have not posted much about dinners recently. It is not because we have not been having them, but simply a time constraint. My resolve to keep the house cleaner coupled with the fact that I have been working outside of the home a little more have zapped my time. That and a teething baby and an active toddler do drain me most days. Saturday evening we ended up having pizza instead of Chicken in Citrus Sauce because the baby was running a fever and I had to hold her constantly. Last night I ended up staying at the office and Joshua came home with the girls. Needless to say he did not follow my meal plan but instead fed the toddler hot dogs and he ate an awful frozen meal his parents left. So tonight I cooked the chicken. It was going to go bad otherwise. I loved it. Audrey would not touch anything and Joshua said he does not like chicken with the bone in. Also, I am not to feed him mixed salad greens and expect him to eat them. He wants iceberg lettuce or spinach. I went to a cooking class tonight and left Joshua to put the baby to sleep and get the toddler to eat her chicken. I came home to find her plate untouched. When I mentioned this to Joshua he said she offered to eat pie. We did not have any pie so she went to bed with no dinner. I had even provided pears for her salad and mandarin oranges as a side. This family is picky.

11 April 2010

April 12-18

Again, it was one of those weeks. Here is the menu. I am going to spend the evening looking everything over to see what I still need. I will post a grocery list later. Joshua and I are trying to eat healthier and closer to home so I may make a trip to the local Coop first to see what is fresh.

  • Breakfast - cereal
  • Lunch - Turkey Wraps
  • Dinner - Citrus Chicken, rice, salad
  • Snack - granola bars


  • Breakfast - oatmeal/yogurt
  • Lunch - PB&J
  • Dinner - (Not so) Spicy Black Beans and Rice (Thanks Jenn!)
  • Snack - fruit & cheese


  • Breakfast - Eggs in a Basket
  • Lunch - Won ton cup surprise
  • Dinner - Tilapia, rice, salad
  • Snack - Carrots & peanut butter


  • Breakfast - Oven Baked Pancake
  • Lunch - Egg salad sandwiches
  • Dinner - Meatloaf, peas, potatoes
  • Snack - cottage cheese and fruit


  • Breakfast - cereal
  • Lunch - left overs
  • Dinner - Lasagna, broccoli w/cheese, fruit
  • Snack - Acini Di Pepe salad

Saturday (Earth Day!)

  • Breakfast - muffins
  • Lunch - Downtown for the parade
  • Dinner - left overs / sandwiches
  • Snack - bananas


  • Breakfast - cereal
  • Lunch - PB&J
  • Dinner - Mushroom soup chicken, seasonal veggies (from Farmers Market)
  • Snack - Black Bean Brownies

09 April 2010

Did I mention rice?

The week is quickly coming to a close and I noticed I have not begun to plan for our meals next week. While cleaning the kitchen I took a minute to look through the pantry and saw these items:
  • peanut butter
  • tomato sauce
  • kidney beans
  • dried lentils
  • diced tomatoes
  • rice
  • more rice
  • tuna
I could go on. Help? I will try to spend some time on Allrecipes.com tonight but I am running out of time. No ideas are bad at this point.
I am adding a linky here so that I can see what is on other menus. Be warned, I may steal your ideas!

Save us!

Dinner last night was fine. It was not great. Audrey ate some of it so that is always a good thing. Still, I do not think we will put Orange Teriyaki Chicken on regular rotation. There are sadly few items my family will eat on a regular basis and I am trying to widen that selection. Do you have any ideas for me? I do not eat beef and I am not a huge fan of pork (although I am open to tasty, easy recipes.) Please, save us from our boring chicken dinners. If I get time this evening I will put a linky up so sharing is easy.

08 April 2010

Over the mid-week hump

Several good dinners in a row. This week has been much easier to follow as there are no holidays or dinners with relatives to contend with. Cooking with Audrey has gone better this week as well.
I was trying to find photos of dinners and came up short. On looking over my menu I realized why: Monday, leftovers; Tuesday, thunderstorm; Wednesday, Nachos (see above); Thursday, in progress. The other picture is of lunch. Audrey and I had a great time making turkey wraps. Check out her blog for the recipe and photos of her helping make them. Tomorrow night's meal is one we have had recently, Tuna Hot Dish, but since we are going for the Pantry Challenge I need to clear out a few cans of tuna. 
As soon as we get a little more space in the pantry I am going to work on just keeping staples for our favorite 28 meals. As this will include perishable items I don't see this being a large quantity of stuff. If you scroll down the right-hand side of my blog you will see I have already begun this list. Items will be added after both adults in the household deem them worthy of repeating. After 28 main courses are picked out I will work to combine these with side dishes to make complete, nutritious (read: vegetables and fruit) meals. I have a feeling that most of these meals are going to be casserole, crock pot, or one dish skillet meals as I am not all that fond of cooking. I welcome feedback and recipes to help me along this journey. Hope your dinner is tasty!

06 April 2010

Gobble, gobble

So we had a major Kansas storm tonight which took out the power and my dinner plans along with it. Audrey begged for a peanut butter sandwich all evening and when the power went out she got one. I did go ahead and cook the Chicken Parm and noodles and pack them for a lunch for Joshua. On the bright side, I am making homemade turkey broth and freezing it in ice cube trays. I had a turkey I cooked last week and my in-laws cooked another one for Easter so I have a lot of bones. That means Turkey Barley Soup will have to be on the menu for next week. Maybe we will make it a nice starter instead of a full meal in hopes that Audrey will still eat something. She used to love soup but lately she will not even try it. Any other recipe ideas for left over turkey meat and broth?

Still trying

Some of my efforts to clean out the food stockpile have been thwarted by the fact that my in-laws have moved out of their Lawrence home and left me with food. They will take a few items with them when they move to the summer cabin but that will not be for another week. On the plus side I did get the cottage cheese I needed and some fresh fruit for Audrey's snacks. I may have to have another leftover night this week to make room. C'est la vie.

05 April 2010

Saturday, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Saturday we did end up having spaghetti with meat sauce. I was able to use up a can of tomato sauce from the garage, turkey meat from the freezer and some pasta we have had around for a while. Joshua does not like whole wheat pasta so instead of tossing it I decided to mix a little whole wheat in with the regular for a few meals until I use it up.

April 5-11

I am sitting at my table finishing my meal plan for the week and a beautiful spring breeze is blowing through the open window. That is a good sign. With spring comes the Downtown Farmer's Market and this year a half share of a local farm. Even though those local goods are not here yet I am excited just thinking about them. So I must make room in the freezer and pantry so I have a place to store all of the good food yet to come.
Here is the menu for this week:

  • Breakfast - cereal
  • Lunch - quesadillas
  • Dinner - Chicken Parmesan, broccoli
  • Snack - fruit & cheese
  • Breakfast - pink pancakes (left overs from last batch)
  • Lunch - mini cheese pizzas
  • Dinner - Tuna Hot Dish, peas
  • Snack - Smoothie
As an addition I volunteered to deliver meals to two families with new babies this week so I will make a turkey cheese quiche for each. I have turkey from Easter dinner and a lot of eggs. These are also easy meals to transport. My shopping list looks like this:
  • cinnamon
  • carrots
  • cheese
  • chicken thighs
  • orange
  • English muffins
  • egg noodles
  • cottage cheese
  • ranch dressing
  • pie crusts
  • tortilla chips
  • avocados
  • lime
  • puff pastry
  • feta cheese
  • salad mix
  • milk 
Even with so many items to purchase I am still using up stuff from the pantry and freezer. Most of our side dish veggies come from the freezer at this point. Can't wait for fresh, local veggies. 

03 April 2010

Better Luck Next Time

This week was packed with holiday meals and relatives visiting. Try as I might I was only able to cook Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and (hopefully) Saturday. The meal I had scheduled for Thursday (Tomato Lentil Soup) I added to the meal Friday night as we ended up having both sets of grandparents over for dinner. I did not add to the pantry but very little was used up this week. Next week should be calmer and possibly we will be able to double up on pantry staple usage to make up for slacking this week.

Recipes: Asparagus, Chicken Bake Samm

Recipe for Chicken Bake Samm:

  • chicken
  • chicken broth
  • mushrooms
  • onion
Place chicken in oven safe dish. Pour enough broth over to have half inch in the bottom of dish. Broil chicken on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until golden. Remove chicken and add mushrooms, onions and enough broth to maintain the half  inch in the bottom of the dish. Cook until done.

This is a basic recipe and easy to adapt to quantity of chicken and type (breast, thighs, boneless, etc.) We like boneless thighs in this house and they are quick to cook. I also use canned mushrooms and dried onions. That means all I have to purchase is the chicken and then I can raid the pantry for the rest of the ingredients. I recommend keeping this recipe in mind for quick, delicious meals.

Recipe for Roast Asparagus:
  • Asparagus
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Italian Dressing
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic
Line a baking sheet with foil, place asparagus on top. In a bowl mix honey, garlic and italian dressing, pour over asparagus. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. I cook mine a little less because I like it crisp.