Monday, January 3, 2011

What's Cooking This Week?

Well, its time to get into the swing of things with our brand new year 2011. I've been talking about all kinds of things I plan to do in 2011 and my hope to be more consistent in doing them. So, here's where the rubber meets the road!

The new menu plan work sheet is available by Crystal at the Family Homestead blog HERE. I printed mine out last week and have filled out the first week. Crystal is so organized that she as posted her menus for the entire month HERE.

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for meals, checkout her list. There are links to her recipes on many of the meals and it would be very helpful if you are having a menu planning mental block. I noted that on the 7th she is making split pea soup from the frozen ham bone from Christmas. I have one in the freezer too! I will need to check her recipe out!

I am really loving my menu planning recipe binder! Its still in progress, but is so helpful. The secret is only having recipes and a list of the meals that your family actually likes in there. I am adding recipes and also just plain old instructions for making the meals we eat all the time.

For example, on New Years Eve morning, hubby requested french toast. I don't make it that often and there's really no recipe, just eggs and bread, but I took note of how many eggs, how much oil, etc. I used and then wrote down the instructions in the book. Now if my kids or hubby ever want to know how I made french toast, they will know. Its also there for inspiration when I am searching for meals when menu planning. By the way, the French Toast was yummy!

On New Year's Day I made ham and potato soup, using the last little bit of leftover Christmas ham and it was wonderful. So I made sure the recipe was in the binder and even made a note on it that read, "A winner on 1-1-11." I can see this dish becoming a New Year's Day tradition at our house.

I plan to make a section in the back of the binder that has my menus for special occasions, such as Christmas, 2010, New Year's Day, 2011, family members' birthdays, etc. These would be inspiration for future celebrations. No more wondering what I cooked "last time". When I am cooking a meal for company, I make a list of everything, which lays on the counter so that I can refer to it while cooking. This helps me to stay on track and to not forget anything. So I could just save this list and file it in the binder.

Here are the meals I have written down for this week:

Saturday: (New Year's Day Smorgasbord) Ham, Potato and Corn Soup, Black Eyed Peas, Pigs in Blankies, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Chex Party Mix, Cheeseball and Crackers, Fried Cornbread and chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday: Hamburger Stroganoff, Noodles, Garden Peas, leftover Black Eyed Peas. (A little chopped onion is wonderful on top of Black Eyed Peas)

Monday: Chicken Fried Rice, leftover veggies. (I will make extra rice for Tuesday night)

Tuesday: Crock pot roast, Rice and Gravy, Green Beans

Wednesday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, leftover veggies. I will be using the Cooks Magazine method of pan frying pork chops. This is supposed to produce juicy, tasty pork chops, even on a week night.

Thursday: Chili, crackers

Friday: Pizza

So.... I have planned our menus for the first week of 2011. One week down and 51 to go! Yikes!


Rita said...

I have pork chops just waiting to be cooked but I don't have this recipe. Would you share it with us?
It is my first day back at work, mine will be a frenzy :) I hope yours is good. Have a great day.

Rhonda said...

your last line is funny, but true. we homemakers always have something to do.
I never understand how homemakers can complain of being bored.

your menus sound good.

Deanna said...

Menu planning saves SO much time and money! I use a combination of what I have on hand, what we want to eat and what's at the store. I often make my plan after I go to the store so I can incorporate any to-good-to-pass-up deals I find there. It gives things a little more variety.

The tried-and-true binder idea is a lifesaver. I hauled mine out the other day and Husband said, "You about need a new one of those." He is right, it is starting to split and come apart, but it is full of the best stuff!

Thanks for sharing!

Pen Pen said...

It all sounds so yummy. I made a pot of chicken and rice soup, using saved chicken broth and chicken pieces from earlier cookings. It was so good. For New Year's (I had to work), I barbequed a chicken in the oven, opened a can of black eyed peas (with onions on top) and made potato salad.... not bad!!!

Alexandra said...

Thanks for the links. Crystal's freezer looks like mine! We had a black-eyed peas and rice casserole tonight. I made a huge batch of the peas, so we'll be eating it for a while. It was good tonight with a little shredded chicken, tomato, and cheese.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Debbie,
Looks yummy. I posted my plan today too. Maybe this year we can help each other stay on task. :)

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