Monday Menu and Recipe Review

It’s strangely quiet in the house this morning. No chattering television, no rattle of marbles or crash of Hotwheels on the hardwood floor. I can hear the cat snoring on the back of the couch and the clocks ticking. Little Five is taking a “vacation” at Grandma and Papa’s house this week, and I just sent the older kids off to school. In about an hour, I will sneak into the school assembly and applaud as Mr. Ten receives a Student of the Month award. After that, I’ll have FIVE hours in which to contemplate my overly ambitious to-do list and possibly cross a few things off. And then four more days of the same!

Miss Seven’s First Communion party was a great success: a happy girl, beautiful weather, lots of family and friends, and plenty of food left over. We didn’t cook again all weekend. And the cake–oh, the cake! I made the S’more Layer Cake from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Miss Seven picked it out, and it seemed to go well with the BBQ theme (ribs, slaw, mac-n-cheese, green beans, cornbread). The recipe is really perfect, though I scaled it up by 50% to make it a 10-inch cake. I also used a slightly different frosting method (Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Light Italian Meringue, from The Cake Bible), because I know how to make it in the stand mixer and I was confident that it would hold up nicely if I made it the night before. As you can see, it held up beautifully. The cake didn’t last the weekend, so no worries about deflated meringue after that!

This week

Monday: Indian Butter Chicken curry, roasted cauliflower, spinach salad (never got around to making it last week)

Tuesday: Chickpea and Artichoke Heart Stew, bread (swap with Jen)

Wednesday: Lazy Spanakopita

Thursday: Cumin and Smoked Paprika Chicken with Potatoes (from Jen)

Friday: Kitchen Closed!

Last week

Monday: Spaghetti with cheese and black pepper

Little Five and I were suffering from a stomach virus, so this spaghetti was quick and easy to make from pantry staples, and comforting as well.

Tuesday: Meatballs and polenta, broccoli with lemon zest and olive oil

I love this lazy meatball and sauce recipe. I doubled it and stashed the extra in the freezer for another busy day.

Wednesday: Sesame Noodles, edamame, potstickers (swap with Jen)

A stand-by. We eat this at least once a month. Frozen potstickers (gyoza) from Trader Joe’s are our favorite convenience freezer food.

Thursday: Asian Chicken Sandwiches, fruit salad (from Jen)

Such tender, juicy chicken! Kids ate it dipped in ketchup, but the adults had it with a tangy slaw on a whole wheat bun–yum.

Friday: Tabbouleh with garlicky pan-fried shrimp

SO GOOD. The shrimp turned the tabbouleh into a main course, but it would also be a great side for a summer barbeque. We’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch.


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

After a weekend packed with holiday fun (concerts, elementary school dance, dinner with friends, the annual trek to Home Depot to pick out a Christmas tree), and more to come this week, we are keeping it simple in the kitchen. We’ve got to pace ourselves–and save some time and energy for cookie baking.

Everything on the menu is a pantry or freezer meal (several are pulled straight from the freezer and just need reheating), and the only grocery shopping required was for a few supplies for this final week of packed lunches and some cookie ingredients.

Monday: Roast chicken, Thanksgiving sides pulled from the freezer

Tuesday: Potato soup

Wednesday: Lemon-parsley pasta with chicken, fruit salad

Thursday: Hoisin burgers, sesame noodles, edamame

Friday: White bean and ham soup, sandwiches, broccoli salad


Do you have enough in your freezer or pantry to put together a few meals this week?

Monday Menu

Those cabbage rolls I was going to make last week? Too ambitious for a weeknight. I ditched the plan and made grilled cheese sandwiches instead. The Hub made the cabbage rolls on Saturday (along with a Polish apple cake…mmm…) and they were worth the effort. (His effort, that is. My efforts on Saturday involved a paintbrush.) There was enough left for another full dinner, so I packed them into the freezer for another week.

This week we included one slow cooker meal (pot roast) and one meal created from leftovers (ragout made from leftover roast). Wednesday is the most complicated meal, but I’ll cook the barley in the morning. If you’re not home during the day, you could cook it the night before–it takes about an hour.

Monday: Sesame noodles, potstickers and edamame

Tuesday: Pot roast (slow cooker), mashed potatoes, broccoli

Wednesday: Chicken breasts with bay leaves, barley with carrots & scallions (Cook This Now), roasted brussels sprouts

Thursday: Beef ragout on pasta, salad

Friday: Pizza Night


Last week on Home Baked

Getting organized for homework and music practice

Monday Menu


What are you cooking this week? Share a meal in the comments!