Menu Plan Monday: Aug 22

I'm a little late in posting the menu plan for the week. Sorry, but I've spent the last 3 1/2 days being sick, sick, sick!

I'm feeling better now and thought a little attention to what everyone is going to eat for dinner (except possibly me - I feel better, I still don't feel great) would be a really, really good idea.

Sunday: Hamburgers done on the bbq. I'd premade these a few weeks
back, then froze them, so hubby was able to just take out how many he wanted and fire up the bbq.

Monday: Club sandwiches, made by my oldest son. He actually requested this before I got sick, but it was still good timing all the way around.

Tuesday: Penne with tomatoes, garlic and chili. I know this is an old standby for us, but I could make this falling over and in my sleep.

Wednesday: Meatball subs.

Thursday: Grilled whole chicken with bbq roasted potatoes.

Friday: Boys are on their own, I will be working.

Saturday: Boys will be at a party, while I work, so no dinner here tonight.

And that's my menu plan for Menu Plan Monday.

Speaking of eating, the hubby's new place for our bird feeder has had some really good results. On any given day we find Blue Jays (a very noisy, noisy bird), Cardinals, Morning Doves, Grackles, Sparrows and Chickadees in our yard. Guess alot of "folks" like to come to our house to eat!

I Heart Cooking Clubs - Mark Bittman Edition: Can I have a sip?

Is that a face only a mother could love?

One sporting a "mustache."

This week's theme for I Hearts Cooking Clubs, Mark Bittman style, was "Can I have a sip?" A theme my son took literally, when he took my frozen hot chocolate from me and had a sip. Then a second, third, and finally he just walked off with my glass.

Similar to a Starbuck's Double Chocolatey Chip Frapaccino (a favorite among most of this household,) this has all of 3 ingredients in it, whips up in seconds, and is a special treat on a hot day.

Even without the whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top, which would make it over the top special.

You can find the recipe for this in Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express, a book I am taking out of the library for the second time, and maybe this time will get to make more than one recipe out of.

Menu Plan Monday: August 15

Being layed back last week really worked for us - we did end up having company, and things worked out just fine. Yes, there was take out involved, but only for one night.

I've got a bit of an easier schedule this week, working a few less hours, and have a bit more time for family and the kitchen. Over the last few weeks, I've been doing alot of food prep and catering, having a wonderful, wonderful time, but taking up alot of time. Having a bit of extra time this week will be very nice.

Hubby helped with the menu plan for this week, and here is what we came up with for Menu Plan Monday:

Sunday: Beef kabobs with grilled veggies.

Monday: It's Greekfest time! Picking up after work and bringing it home.

Tuesday: Make your own subs night.

Wednesday: Spaghetti with meatballs.

Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with honey-lime marinade.

Friday: Date night (kids are likely having pizza at home.)

Have a good week!

I Heart Cooking Clubs - Mark Bittman Edition: Potluck snack

It's Potluck time at I Heart Cooking Clubs (and thank goodness it is!) I've been busy, busy, busy, and while I've done a tonne of cooking, none of it has been for home.

Muffins are always a great thing to make and have on hand when you are pressed for time. They take minutes to come together, bake while you are showering, and are great warm right out of the oven, or at room temperature later on when you finally get a chance to eat one. Add in the flexibility of muffins, your choice of fillings and toppings, and they are the perfect choice for this week's Potluck.

I threw these together this morning, Mark Bittman's blueberry muffins, using local blueberries we picked ourselves (we like to pick here - don't forget to grab and ice cream while you are there.) Within minutes the house smelled of freshly baked goodness, always a nice smell, and there was a child standing over me, waiting, waiting....

I haven't tried one yet, but am already thinking that next time I will use buttermilk instead of regular milk in the batter. And double the recipe.

Menu Plan Monday: August 8

Is it Monday already? This summer is just flying by!

I'm not going to do a full week's planning this week. Part of it is because I'd like a week off, but also because I don't know how many people I will be cooking for this week. I could be cooking for just the 4 of us. Or I could have company and be cooking for 1-2 more people. Or my kids could be going away a few days and I could be cooking for 2 less. I don't know yet, so I'm going to be very flexible for the week.

Sunday: Dinner at my cousin's house (he and his wife made wonderful ribs, they were so good!)

Monday: Make your own pizza. No bbq used this time, but still a family favorite.

Tuesday: Bbq'd chicken, stuffed into corn tortillas with salsa and cheese. (Did I ever mention that my boys got me a tortilla press and tortilla holder for my birthday?)

Wednesday: I'm working, no menu plan.

Thursday: No plan here either.

Friday: Or here.

While it seems I'm taking it totally easy this week, I'm really not. Today found me in my kitchen with 10lbs of fresh ground beef, brought from a local farmer, premaking hamburgers and meatballs for my freezer. Tomorrow the trays I placed in there today, loaded up, will come out and I will make more meal sized portions of those two items.

This kind of batch cooking can be a bit time consuming, depending on what you make, but can really help out in the long run. Take those meatballs. I can come home and throw a bag into a pot with a jar of sauce - instant spaghetti and meatballs! Or spoon them out onto crusty buns and melt a little cheese on them - meatball sub night! And homemade burgers are so much better tasting and healthier than most store bought burgers, having them available and ready to go in the freezer will likely prevent a costly take out night.

I think the next farm order I get, I will try to get some chicken and see about packing them up in pieces, with some marinades. A well stocked freezer is very helpful in menu planning.

Have you submitted your plan for Menu Plan Monday?

I Heart Cooking Clubs - Mark Bittman Edition: Summer Heat

This week's theme for Mark Bittman and the I Heart Cooking Clubs could not have been more appropriate. It has been sweltering around here lately, and that's before you add in the extra humidity!

So when invited to Beat the Heat, I had a great idea and the ingredients on hand to do it.

Even better, I had a little helper desperate to be involved.

My little guy has been desperate for me to make lemon sherbert for him (which he is eating, right now, up way past his bed time.) Because of this request, I had two big bag loads of lemons, and a volunteer to make some homemade lemonade.

I also had family coming for dinner, on a hot, hot day, and felt lemonade would go over very well with dinner.

My little guy was amazingly helpful - he spent a full half hour with a lemon reamer, getting the most juice he could out of those lemons. (And when he was done with juicing for lemonade, he promptly juiced for his lemon sherbert.)

I used Mark Bittman's lemonade recipe from How to Cook Everything, which was simple and makes a tart lemonade. Personally, I like mine a bit sweeter, but as I had lots of simple syrup left, I could adjust my own glass to suit me.

Two pitchers of lemonade (a double batch) did not last very long, telling me this was a keeper recipe that I need to make again.

Pretty sure I still have a few lemons left, and likely a volunteer to ream more of them.

Menu Plan Monday: August 1

Long weekends throw me off, menu planning wise, though I do get more of a chance to mess around in my kitchen. I took advantage of the extra day to throw together a double batch of banana bread (half in muffin form) and some zucchini bread as well, making snacks for lunches.

Summer is going by way to fast for me. How about for you?

Simple plan for the week, hopefully one that will help clear up some of my freezer.

Sunday: Chicken kabobs with grilled balsamic veggies. I didn't take a picture of these veggies but I should have, they were so tasty.

Monday: Gourmet hamburgers with corn on the cobb and potato salad.

Tuesday: Perogies and left overs

Wednesday: Bacon and egg bagels.

Thursday: Not sure yet - I'm working day shift and haven't looked that far ahead.

Friday: Appetizer night. Whatever I throw together, but there will be hot, cheesy dip involved.

And that's my plan for Menu Plan Monday!