Sunday, August 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday August 18th

What's new for this week? I am starting to add recipes for some of the meals. If you need them scaled larger please let me know as I have that done since I enjoy freezer cooking. Also note that I will play with recipes. What that means is if I am short on something or have a bit more I will adjust to make it work for what we will enjoy.

Last week had a few bumps and it caused some problems but it is a new week and a new menu. I will be going shopping today and in an effort to avoid some of the issues from last week I plan on correcting the menu if I am unable to get the needed items. I will not wait and hope to get them later in the week since that didn't work last week.

Here goes:
Monday - Steak, seasoned potato cubes, and broccoli (hold over from last week)
Tuesday - Italian sausage with peppers over spiral pasta, Side salad
Wednesday - Rice bowls (using pork and broccoli)
Thursday - Chicken with wine sauce, side salad
Friday - Leftover night as I'll be busy prepping for Saturday
Saturday - Block party no real cooking just "doing it all, LOL!"
Sunday - Birthday party so no cooking :)

Looking for more menu ideas? Check out I'm an Oranizing Junkie. Have a great week!

Chicken with Wine Sauce

Serves 6
6 Boneless chicken breasts (yes, you can use bone-in)
6 slices ham
6 slices provolone cheese
¾ package green onions chopped
12 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups half and half
2 cup water
2 teaspoons chicken base
½ cup white wine
½ cup sherry
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon butter
1 package dumpling noodles

1.. Place chicken in baking dish
2.. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees
3.. Saute garlic, green onions, and mushrooms and set aside
4.. Make a roux with the butter and flour
5.. Mix water with chicken base and add to roux, along with sherry and wine. Stir to thicken.
6.. Add garlic mixture and half and half. Heat through and turn off.
7.. Turn chicken and lightly salt and pepper
8.. Arrange slices of ham and cheese on top of chicken.
9.. Pour sauce over the top of chicken
10.. Bake for another 35-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce is bubbly.
11.. Serve over lightly buttered noodles.

I freeze chicken portions in rigid freezer containers and reheat in the microwave.

Spanish Rice

Recipes: 1
Servings: 8


2 pounds Ground beef
1 medium onion
1 medium Green pepper
28 oz tomatoes canned
16 oz tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 ½ tsp Chile powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup rice, uncooked

Assembly Directions:
Brown ground beef. Onions and peppers chopped. Place everything in Crock pot. Stir. Cover, cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3 hours.
***Can be done stove top about 25-30 minutes.

Freezing Directions:
Freeze in plastic containers.
***Optional: Put all ingredients in a bag and freeze prior to cooking in a crock pot

Serving From Frozen Directions:
Heat and serve.

Italian Sausage with peppers and onions

Servings: 4
Makes: 1.5 Qt

1 pound Italian sausage
26 oz Garden style Ragu (T, O, & G)
1 Multicolor pepper (I like yellow, orange, and green in this)
1/2 Onion
1 pound pasta (we like spiral)

Assembly Directions:
Cook sausage and cut into bite sized pieces
Clean and cut veggies then lightly brown them
Add cooked and sliced sausage, Ragu and seasonings.
Simmer between 20 minutes and 2 or more hours (the flavors meld as you cook longer but it is good both ways).

Serve over cooked pasta

Freezing Directions:
Freeze sauce mixture separate from pasta

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It costs how much!?!?!

I am sure I am not alone in having this statement run across my mind and even my lips lately. I was chatting with some ladies a few weeks ago, grumbling about prices and mentioned that I guess I was going to have to dig out my price book again and start using it. I had used one for a number of years but then realized that I had learned and was keeping most of the information in my head so I gave it up as other things in life became more important. Well, my freezer is pretty much empty of meat that was bought before prices took off and as I try to find replacements to at least make dinner I am confronted with prices I just can't understand. I know I am not alone. As I started learning about the world of blogging I have found several people who came to the same conclusion recently as well.

I also ran across a lady's blog yesterday that is trying to keep her budget for food and such to only $50 a week. I am still processing this idea. It is very similar to the pantry challenges that run regularly on Friendly Freezer. I do need to work on doing a good look through the cupboards and use up what is in there. But I also know that much in my cupboards is really a rotation of items.

Example: This week I made a version of Chicken Cacciatore and used a large & small can of diced tomatoes and a medium can of tomato sauce. I will replace them most likely when I go to the store next because they are items I keep on hand and use regularly. This is how much of my pantry items are used.

So what does this all come down to?
I have started my price book up again and am going to pay more attention to what is in my freezer and pantry that need using at the same time, I am going to see about paying additional attention to how much are meals costing for the week. It may cut down on variety but will most likely add to my account balance. I'll keep you all updated as I continue.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday August 11

As you can see by the missing menu week we ended up with that emergency trip out of town for 11 days and during that time we had a power outage. :( I checked the freezer and it must not have been out too long as the ice cream in the freezer shows no sign of ever softening but as I check refrigerator items I wondered just how long it was out. DH & I together decided to error on the side of caution and pretty much pitched everything from the fridge that would spoil. Talk about putting another dent in a much dented budget!

Oh BTW, I am actually linking up to MPM on "I'm an Organizing Junkie" this week!!! I had planned on doing this a couple of weeks ago but it took me some time to figure out how to do links and such so I waited and I played and then I went back and fixed some previous weeks so welcome!

Anyway, on to the meal plan for the week! Note that we will have guests here for a few days so I will do my best.

Dinners: (yes, I included Sunday as I wanted it planned since I didn't get a menu done last week)
Sunday - Chicken Cacciatore served over rice with a side salad - Went over well with the company including a picky teenager.
Monday - Lemon & Pepper Hamburgers, pasta salad, & fresh fruit salad ~moved to Tuesday since company ordered a pizza for lunch at 4pm
Tuesday - Grilled Steak, slice & bake seasoned potatoes, & broccoli ~ moved to Friday as we had leftover buffet of pizza, hamburgers, and Chicken Cacciatore
Wednesday - Turkey & gravy with mashed potatoes, salad, & cranberry sauce
Thursday - Grilled Pork chops, rice pilaf, corn, & applesauce ~ messed up and made the Taco Ring here
Friday - Taco Ring ~ became pork chop night
Saturday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, & broccoli ~dinner out
Sunday - Freezer buffet

I do want to mention here how I plan to deal with the other meals of the day since I have extra people in town this week and dh may or may not be working the whole day all week.

Breakfast choices:
Hot cereal
Cold cereal
Bagels and cream cheese
eggs & bacon
fresh fruit

Leftover buffet
PB & J
Macaroni and Cheese
Canned soups

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My first challenge card!

I finally got a chance to do a SCS challenge and I am thrilled to share it. I know, you are wondering what challenge this was for. It was the July mini-VSN challenge number 1 "Distressing Times" and yes, this was my very first attempt at doing a "distressed" looking card. Talk about going outside my comfort zone, LOL! I had problems with my computer and camera working together so I was not able to get my project loaded onto SCS before the cut off but I hope you enjoy viewing it here.

I will try and get back on here to add the materials list soon.

Please note that any projects I share may have unknowingly been CASED. If I know for sure I copied an idea I will post a link and credit back to the originator but since so many ideas come and go to many of us with the same materials at hand I will not drive myself batty by going and searching out a card that may or may not have inspired me. Feel free to send me a private note if you feel I copied an idea more directly from you and failed to mention it. I will happily correct the oversight.

Regrouping from travel

Have you ever noticed how tired you can get after being away from home for a few days? Of course, it does not get any easier when faced with a pile of laundry and luggage to sort through clean and put away. That is what I am doing this weekend. Trying to recover from being away from home. You could say that the one good bit of news is that I had just finished giving the house a good pick-up and clean-up before we left so I didn't return to that mess as well.