Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Menu Plan Week of January 16

So, you know how I said I thought we'd probably eat something last weekend? We did.

And I'm still doing pretty well on the eating from the pantry thing -- although I'm not being as strict about this as I have been in previous years (in part, because our January weather has been decent enough -- until now -- that going to the grocery store hasn't been as much of an ordeal as in other winters. I hate fighting the weather and the frozen fingers that have trouble manipulating the lists and the coupons).

What we ate on Saturday was "Mini Pot Pies," a recipe found on the Gooseberry Patch blog.
Ours were created with some cooked turkey from the freezer, the last can of cream soup from the pantry (I sometimes make my own, as it's basically used as an ingredient, but sometimes buy it if there's a really good sale), shredded cheese and refrigerated biscuits. We served them with applesauce. It wasn't a meal that took a lot of effort, but it was good.

We had our pizza meal last Sunday instead of Friday, because our family ended up needing to go to a memorial service for a former coworker of my husband's - who had been married to a woman I'd come to know through a church small group -- on Friday evening. We changed up our usual Sunday family meal out to Friday night, afterward.

This week, there are a lot of other things on the schedule, so the plans have seemed to come down mostly to "kid-friendly and fast" meals (sometimes I wonder if my own tastes have ever outgrown "kid meals"...).

Monday:Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup (from the pantry).
Tuesday:Parmesan Chicken (chicken from the freezer) and Mashed Potatoes (from the pantry; a free bag of one of those bag mixes).
Wednesday:Sloppy Janes in the crockpot (hot dogs and buns from the freezer from summertime sales, mixed with canned beans from the pantry) and Cornbread (made with pantry ingredients).
Thursday: some sort of Pasta

I also needed to use up the acorn squash that had been sitting on the counter since last fall -- and were starting to turn more orange instead of green. I scrubbed them off and put them in the crockpot for a few hours with some water, which created easily sliced squashes with pureed insides. I froze some of the puree and used about a cup of eat to make Squash Muffins. The recipe called for raisins, which would indeed have been healthier, but my kiddo is currently on an anti-raisin strike, so I substituted chocolate chips in the hopes of persuading her to eat them. (It didn't work.) She also helped me make them -- we're working on her cooking skills this year. I've been finding a couple of them to be a nicely hearty winter breakfast, particularly when consumed with a cuppa tea.

Speaking of the tea, I've changed my ways on that as well. Since I take morning medication that prevents me from eating until an hour after I've swallowed it, plus have to get people up and going and to places in the mornings, on the days that I work outside the house, I end up eating breakfast at my desk. I had fallen into the habit of buying chais from the vending machine (I don't drink coffee). This month, I've finally begun brewing my own tea at work, using tea bags and an electric teakettle (a wedding present from 13 years ago). It did take me a few days to remember, first, a mug, then something to set the used teabag upon (I do reuse it a few times), then a container to actually pour the water into the kettle, but -- by the second week of January -- I've managed to shift the habit away from the vending machine and toward the kettle. I have bought one vending machine chai, and also treated myself to one from a coffee shop -- yay for gifts cards so I didn't actually spend anything out of pocket! -- but, overall, I've definitely reduced my daily and weekly spending in this area, plus it's probably healthier, too.

Visit for more menu plans (many of them posted in a more timely manner). 

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