Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Meal Planner, Sept 21 - 27

Here's the latest Weekly Menu.  I've been a little lax the last couple of weeks, which of course has meant extra trips to the store.  But tonight, I'm caught back up (with this, at least).  Plus, I finally picked myself up a new sD card for my camera so I can actually use it.  Whoopee!

Saturday:  Broccoli Cheese Soup with Crusty Bread

Sunday:  Slow Cooker Philly Cheese-steak Sandwiches with Bacon Ranch Suddenly Salad
              (Recipe is for chicken, but I used beef)

Monday:  Busy Day!

Lunch:  Leftover Broccoli Soup  

Dinner:  BBQ Chicken in the Oven, Baked Potato, and Glazed Baby Carrots
Reminder:  Bake some extra (plain) chicken for leftover


Lunch:  Stuffed Peppers with Philly Steak & Rice

Dinner:  Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with Zatarain's Yellow Rice and Black Beans


Lunch:  Soup and Sandwich

Dinner:  Chicken Salad or Wraps (whichever we feel like) using leftover chicken and
homemade ranch dressing
              *Plain Chicken and Fries and fresh cut veggies for wee one

Thursday:  Date Night!

Lunch:  Pork Taco Salad

WeeOne's Dinner:  Something easy:  Nuggets and Cheese Quesildilla

Date Night Dinner:  CopyCat Bang Bang Shrimp, edamame, potstickers


Lunch:  Sandwich and chips or salad

Dinner:  Tortilla Soup with leftover pork

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shopping List Sept 1-7

Now here's my shopping list, for those who may want to follow the menu plans.  Keep in mind this is not the entire shopping list - this is the list of what I actually needed, plus some items we need for breakfast, lunch, etc.  So, if you were following the menu for the week you'd need to see what you have on hand in your own kitchen and plan accordingly.  For example, we're having pizza, but we have pizza sauce on hand already, as well as the veg for mine.  If you were following my list, you'd find  yourself without sauce at the last minute, which wouldn't be good.  Of course, pizza sauce is easy enough to whip up IF you happen to have tomatoes and Italian Seasoning on hand.  Sometimes in the summer, I'll just put thin slices of tomato down as my "sauce" and sprinkle the Italian Seasoning all over.  But, I'm rambling.

My system is this:  List the items and my guesstimate for how much they will cost (the number after the item).  For example, I have "bacon - 4" on this list.  What that means is I need one package of bacon, which I expect to pay about $4 for.  The averaging works out pretty well, with some practice, and helps me stay on track, budget-wise.  As I'm shopping, I also note each price in a column on the left of my list, and calculate as I go, so I know I'm staying on track.  It's never perfect, but it's a pretty good system nonetheless.

The notes at the bottom of my list are for Wal-Mart's price matching.  Basically, I go through the online flyers right before I go shopping and note any deals on things I need to buy.  Takes just a little bit of time and can add up to some good savings.  I should note, though, that my local Wal-Mart no longer asks to see the flyers as you check out, you just tell them the price and where it's from.  You may need to bring the flyers with you in order to get the price match deals.

For this week's list, I spent $85.  I had some things on hand, but not much.  I will likely spend about $10-15 more through the course of the week.  There is some bread and produce I will pick up mid-week (so it's fresh), and probably a couple of add-ons then too.  Some weeks we go through milk and bananas like the dickens, some weeks we don't.  I'd rather do a quick mid-week shopping trip than have sad looking produce or fruit that goes bad.

As I mentioned, it's not a perfect system, but it's working pretty well so far. Considering my old method was to go shopping EVERY SINGLE DAY this is a vast improvement.  I'd like to do more couponing, and some day eliminate my dependence on the Wal-Mart evil empire, but for now, I'm happy with my plan.  I'm always looking for great new ideas though, so send them my way!

Shopping list

One bag pizza crust - 1
Motz cheese - 2
Broccoli - 3 crowns - 2
Pepperoni - 2
pork roast (2+ meals) - 5# - 9
spaghetti - 1
soy sauce - 2
rice vinegar- 2
snap peas - 2
scallions x 2 - 2
packaged cole slaw - 2
bacon - 4
bag onions - 2
chix bouillion - 2
3# russets - 3
Cheddar cheese - 2
Sour Cream - 1
Ham - 3.5
soft taco shells - 2
taco chips - 2
Mexican cheese - 2
black beans* - 1
green peppers x 2 - 2
rice - 1
chicken sausage - 3.5
egg roll wrappers - 3

Goldfish crackers - 2
NesQuick chocolate syrup - 2
Peanut Butter - 2
Half & Half - 2

Pick and Save
Boneless Chix Breast - 1.99#
Jumbo Sweeties green sdlss grapes - 0.88#
Butter - 1.88
Kraft Shredded or Sliced Cheese - 8oz - 0.88
Bush's Black Beans - 15-16oz - $1

Piggly Wiggly
Deans sour cream 160z - 0.99
bunch cilantro - 0.59 ea

Milk - 2.49
Maxwell House 11-11.5oz - 2.99
General Mills cereal 12.2-14.5oz 1.67

Pick up Wednesday
Panini bread
avocado x3
green pepper x2

Weekly Meal Planner - Sept 1-7

Here it is, my weekly meal plan for the week.  We have been trying hard to plan shopping trips better, to not impulse buy as much, and to not have to make those last minute trips to the grocery store for dinner because there's "nothing to eat!"

Here is the shopping list, if you're interested.

Sunday:  Grocery Shopping night  = Easy Peasy Dinner night

Ian - Nuggets and Fries
Me & B - Nuggets and Appetizers

Monday:  Labor Day! Pizza Night

 Pizza Night - One bag of crust mix + pie pans = a pizza for everyone!

Mom's Veggie Bonanza - Crust + Sauce + Extra Crushed Garlic + Motz + Whatever Veg we have on hand!
Dad's Mega Roni: Crust + Sauce + Motz + Lotsa Pepperoni
WeeOne's Cheesy Monster:  Crust + Sauce + Lotsa Motz

(No lunch needed Tuesday - lunch meeting at work/ lunch provided)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
Need: Shells, lettuce, olives, cheese, salsa, refried beans or black beans

(lunch bonus:  Pork Lettuce Cups or Taco Salad)

Wednesday:  Soup night - Slow Cooker Potato Soup and Ham Paninis

(stop after work for fresh panini bread and avocado for Thursday/Friday)

Thursday:  New Recipe Night Pork and Snap Pea Lo MeinEgg Rolls

(Left over bonus: Dish it into lettuce and it's instant lettuce wraps for work lunch)

Friday:  Date Night!
Something fun for WeeOne: Nuggets and Fries or PB&J + apples

Date Night Menu: Spicy Stuffed Peppers and Southwestern Egg Rolls or Guy Fieri's Chicken Avocado egg rolls
Green Peppers, Rice, Veg, Spicy Sausage

Saturday: Day at the Farm! Mom will feed us :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

No Fuss Ice Cream

No Fuss Ice Cream, featured in Women's Day (Aug 2012)

Amazing!  I didn't know you could make ice cream without an ice cream machine.

Plain Jane Vanilla

Fruit Swirled

Strawberry Ice Cream Cheesecake (all freezer; no bake!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Watermelon - Yum!

Aaah, watermelon.

It is the absolute essence of summer.  Juicy, fresh, bursting with sweetness - watermelon is our family's favorite summer treat.  Up until this year, I had only ever served it as a slice of fruit, as a snack or alongside a grilled feast.  Sometimes, if I'm feeling adventurous, I even cut it into cubes so my family can devour it even faster.  This summer, though, it seems every magazine, cooking show and blog has something delicious and wonderful to do with watermelon, I had to break out of my fruit rut and give some a go.

Here's some of the best:

Watermelon Popsicles
Cool, icy and refreshing, these popsicles hit the spot on a hot summer day.  My two-year-old adores them!  Recipe found here at The Butterfly Mile.

Watermelon Limeade 

This refreshing drink recipe was found in a clipping I'd saved from Organic Gardening (Vol. 57.5).  It is a delicious treat - and if you like watermelon and lime, you're sure to love it.  A pdf of the recipe is downloadable from my MediaFire, it is not available on the internet.

pdf of Watermelon Limeade

Martha's Watermelon Limeade 
                 (p.s. There's vodka in this one)

And, finally, leave it to Martha to take the basic limeade above, and turn it into an amazing cocktail.  I bet her parties are kick ass.  Recipe here at Martha Stewart Living online.

There you have it, a collection of basically the same easy-peasy recipe, done three ways.  All were insanely refreshing and de-lish.  Plus, depending on if you add sugar, insanely good for you as well.  

If you're as much of a watermelon fanatic as I am, make sure to check out good old as well, for useful tips and tricks.  Did you know you were supposed to wash a watermelon before cutting into it?  I didn't, but I do now.  The site is enormous, and chock full of useful information, such as the following tips on how to pick out the best watermelon:

1. Look the watermelon over.
You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

2. Lift it up.
The watermelon should be heavy for it's size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the 

weight is water.

3. Turn it over.
The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it 

sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Whatever you do, have some melon this summer, kick back, and enjoy!

Martha Stewart Creamsicle Meringue Swirls

These Creamsicle-inspired meringue cookies look heavenly!

  Recipe here.

pdf here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Easiest-Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

Claims to be the easiest ever cookie recipe with no flour - just 4 simple ingredients.  Will have to pick up some peanut butter and give it a whirl.

Recipe at Woman's Day website.

pdf of original magazine clipping here.