Monday Menu & Recipe Review

Thanks to all your helpful comments, I’m going to try reviewing last week’s menu in addition to planning this week’s. If you haven’t already noticed it, you can often click on the recipe title and it will take you to the recipe if it’s available somewhere online.

Last week…

Monday: Polenta with Fried Eggs and Swiss Chard

I love this recipe and will be making it again–for breakfast or dinner! I ran out of cornmeal (polenta), so I used quick grits instead, which worked out just fine. The kids weren’t huge fans of the chard, but they each tried some. You can use any greens you have–I think they really make the meal.

Tuesday: Pasta pesto

This pesto was a “use up the odds and ends” version, so it had artichoke hearts, arugula, garlic, olive oil and lemon. Whenever you have pesto, make sure you reserve some of the pasta cooking water to mix in at the end. This is a staple in our meal rotation–we all love it and it’s incredibly fast.

Wednesday: Turkey burgers, homemade macaroni & cheese

There’s a really great but complicated Cooks’ Illustrated recipe for turkey burgers. These weren’t it, but they were fine. I always mix the ground turkey with a beaten egg, some bread crumbs, and random seasoning–garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire or soy sauce. I made a big pot of mac and cheese over the weekend and this was its second appearance.

Thursday: Pizza Margherita

I followed the recipe in the link for the pizza toppings, and I was underwhelmed. While I love the idea of an uncooked pizza sauce (just puree a can of tomatoes, add olive oil and salt), I found it pretty bland on the pizza and a little watery (I could have drained the tomatoes more). I used Jim Lahey’s pizza crust recipe, but forgot to heat the pizza stone, so I didn’t get a good crispy bottom crust. I still love this pizza dough, and I have two more balls of dough in the freezer for next time.

Friday: Crab & Shrimp Cakes, remoulade sauce, salad

We love these crab cakes, but I’ll admit that they’re a little fussy for a weeknight if you don’t prep them ahead of time. I made the sauce early in the day–10 minutes–and could have assembled and breaded the crab cakes, too, but didn’t. They don’t take long to fry. I’m going to share the recipe later in the week, despite the fact that I forgot to take any pictures. I just used canned crab (not the fancy kind) and frozen, precooked shrimp, but they were still wonderful. It’s a great recipe to get kids to start eating seafood.

Saturday: Korean short ribs, rice, Asian-style slaw

This is the second time I’ve made these ribs, but they weren’t quite as juicy as the first time. Maybe the boneless ribs were too lean? Maybe I had too many in the pot (I doubled the recipe)? Still, they were quite good and the sauce is delicious. The slaw was great, and I’m becoming a big fan of cabbage!

 

This week…

When I plan meals for the week, I look at the calendar first. Days with busy afternoons and evenings get assigned the easiest, quickest meals. Then I usually look at what’s already in the fridge or freezer that needs to be used up. We like to rotate things pretty quickly. This week, I already have a chicken and some shrimp in the freezer, so I won’t have to buy any meat. After that, I usually try at least one new recipe (sometimes more, especially if the Hub is planning the menu). Today the creamy turnip soup caught my eye. The kids are pretty good soup eaters, and this looks like a good candidate for trying a new vegetable. There’s bacon in the soup, and there’s a special drink on the menu to further excite them. And extra soup makes good lunches!

Monday: School Fundraiser

Tuesday: Leftover Korean short ribs–maybe shredded, mixed with sauce, and served in tacos

Wednesday: Creamy Spring Turnip Soup, mint limeade, bread

Thursday: Roast chicken, roasted vegetables

Friday: Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta

 

I’d love it if you shared one successful meal you made last week!

Monday Menu

Super Bowl Sunday is apparently the best time to go to Costco. It wasn’t empty, but there were an awful lot of empty spaces in the parking lot and the check out lines were short. We made a family outing of it, and the kids ate samples while we crossed items off our list. We rewarded the kids with a big box of Pirate’s Booty for school day snacks, and congratulated ourselves for only buying what was on the list–exciting things like pasta, rice and canned tomatoes. It felt good to go home, unpack the car, fill the pantry and know that once again, we’ve got the building blocks for some good meals without having to dash out to the store.

Monday: Pasta pesto (this one with a mix of herbs, basil and arugula)

Tuesday: Pot roast with pickles, noodles, steamed carrots

Wednesday: Soup & Salad Bar: Baked potato soup, salad, focaccia, hummus and veggies

Thursday: Sesame noodles, potstickers, edamame

Friday: Hamburgers

Monday Menu

It’s been a long weekend packed with family and beautiful fall weather. We spent a few hours with pumpkins and pony rides, cider and doughnuts at Johansen Farms. We enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner (never mind the calendar–we celebrate whenever we can gather the family), and now we’re having a slow morning of music practice, homework and a second cup of coffee. Grandparents are visiting, and the kids are on slightly better behavior than usual. It’s a good way to spend a holiday!

The coming week is packed with activities and deadlines, so I’m not feeling too ambitious with the menu. Just favorite comfort foods, and using up what’s in the fridge. I also have bounty of tomatoes and peppers to preserve thanks again to Aunt Karen. I’m excited to get out the canner and stock the pantry with tomato sauce and roasted peppers.

Monday: Leftovers, baby!

Tuesday: Pasta pesto (unless someone has a creative but quick suggestion for a bag full of fresh basil?); roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Wednesday: Meatball subs

Thursday: Slow cooker stuffed peppers, mac and cheese

Friday: Sandwich night (perhaps with the waffle iron)

Saturday: Thai red curry with pork and acorn squash

 

Last week on Home Baked

Cuban Sandwiches

The garden project: phase one

Monday Menu

 

Do you preserve any garden produce for the winter?

Monday Menu

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Tuesday. But yesterday was a holiday and we treated it as one, puttering around the house. (Mostly, I tried not to leave the house so I could ignore the oppressive heat and humidity. Fall, I am ready for you.)

Though the big kids have been in school for more than a week, this week marks the beginning of most of their extracurricular activities. Three nights a week we have two activities, with dinner sandwiched in between. On those three nights I will have to make dinner ahead of time, because there’s just enough time to eat and run, but no time for prep. I won’t lie–I’m a little anxious. We’re a family that needs our down time. And we still need to squeeze homework into the equation.

Monday: We received a bounty of garden veggies from Aunt Karen, so we had BLTs for lunch, and Moosewood Country Style Moussaka for dinner (2 out of 3 kids were not thrilled, but we made them eat it anyway).

Tuesday: Chili and cornbread (make ahead and reheat between piano and karate)

Wednesday: Asian Cabbage Salad (more garden veggies to use), grilled chicken and potstickers

Thursday: Pan-fried pollack and fried green tomatoes with avocado mayonnaise, Cumin seed roasted cauliflower

Friday: Pasta pesto

I’m also hoping to make a streamlined version of this Pasta and Chicken Gratin (using extra grilled chicken) and freeze it for next week. And if we have any leftover chili, I plan to freeze it immediately and use it later (maybe there will be enough for chili dogs).

How do you manage dinner when there are multiple evening activities to juggle?