Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Plan (almost) Monday

It's official: fall is here. The weather has turned rainy and chilly. We turned our heaters on (yes, we are very fortunate to have control of our own radiators in this new apartment!) yesterday after some clothes had been hanging up for almost 48 hours but still weren't dry. It's been raining, or at least drizzling, for about a week straight. And we're swamped with busyness. I can't believe my due date is two months from today...we have way too much to do before this baby comes!

I've been trying to get better at planning our menus for a month at a time in preparation for when the new baby comes. It's a little bit more effort, but it's quite nice in the long run. I spend 2-3 hours coming up with a menu and a nonperishables-grocery-list at the beginning of the month (or, actually in our case I do it in the middle of the month when Shannon gets paid). I try to make one big shopping trip to stock up on everything we'll need for the month that won't spoil. And then each week I can decide what we'll eat from my monthly menu and buy produce accordingly.

This month I'm trying something new. We usually eat leftovers for lunch, since Lane isn't really into the sandwich thing, and I'm not big on processed meats. I made a huge pot of minestrone soup on Wednesday for dinner that we're still finishing up (and that's after I put about two meals' worth in the freezer) and I thought that it would be nice to try making one big pot of soup at the beginning of the week to eat for lunch every day. It'll cut down on the amount of meals I have to cook (only 22 or so instead of 30 or so) over the course of the month. And it will save me time as well, since it'll just involve an extra 15-20 minutes of work when I make the soup as opposed to the time spent to make an extra three meals that week. We don't mind eating the same thing every day, as long as we get some variety for one of our meals! And if I'm making a soup with meat in it, I'll just freeze half of it and pull it out mid-week.

So, without further ado, here's what we're eating this month:

Soups (for lunches):
Tomato with grilled cheese

Baked potatoes with broccoli
Pizza (x4)

Spaghetti with salad or broccoli
Whole chicken with potatoes and a veggie (x3)
Enchiladas with Mexican rice

I'll also be making some homemade chicken broth, chai shortbread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin french toast, and hopefully an apple crumble or two. I'll get recipes up for you as soon as I can. I'm trying a lot of new recipes this month since I'm getting tired of some of our old staples. I also have a crockpot again, so I'm trying to utilize it at least twice a week. Tonight I made the whole chicken in the crock pot and it was quite easy and tasty...I will be doing it again.

What are you eating this month (or week) for dinner? Anything I should add to my repertoire?


  1. This post just made me so hungry. I'm going to have to try some of those out. I'm so jealous we can't control the heat in our building so we just have to freeze until they decide it's cold enough to turn on!

    I kept forgetting to reply to you too. I used to have the problem on my Mac but started using Mozilla rather than Safari and that fixed the problem. I don't know why it happens with Safari and blogger.

  2. I'm making Ratatouille tonight - or I'll probably add some cooked, sliced sausage to it since Clay likes having meat with his dinner.

    Later this week, I'm making Hot Chicken Salad, which my MIL's recipe.

    From my MIL (all notes hers):
    Hot Chicken Salad

    1 whole chicken cooked and meat pulled off
    2 cups Celery, chopped I use a little less
    1/2 onion, chopped
    8 oz can water chestnuts drained & chopped
    1 can cream chicken soup ( I used 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth from the cooked chicken instead of the soup)
    2 Tblsp lemon juice
    3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)

    Put in a 9x13 baking dish and top with buttered bread crumbs (I did not use buttered). Bake at 350

    I also added a little salt and pepper since I did not use canned soup.

    I make rice and serve the salad over it. You can make the rice and mix it in before you bake it. I bake until bubbly and the celery is soft.

    I'll probably make BBQ chicken legs too, which is basically this recipe - - except that I make my dad's BBQ sauce recipe and use that instead.

    BBQ Sauce
    1 ¼ cup ketchup
    ¾ cup chunky Picante type salsa
    ½ cup soy sauce
    1 cup brown sugar
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ¼ teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoon parsley
    Combine all the ingredients. Heat through and simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

    The BBQ sauce can be made with all ketchup, but I'd cut back on the sugar then (probably halve it) or you can make it with all tomato sauce instead of the ketchup and salsa, but then you'll need more sugar (probably double it). You might want to add some onion powder or chopped up onion too if you don't use salsa.

    I made this recently - and it was really good. You could probably leave out the artichokes and it'd still be good.

    If you want yet another pumpkin recipe, I made pumpkin bread pudding last week and it was really good and very simple.

    If you can still get good tomatoes there, this salad recipe is awesome -


Thanks for commenting!