Menu Day

I took a few hours last weekend to make out a month of menus to use this month.  I find cooking very tedious when the weather is too warm to very hot.  Unfortunately I still like to eat, lol.  It's a struggle to think of good meals when I know that cooking means heating up my home and myself.  To that end, I went through two or three of my cookbooks and chose a few recipes.  I've already begun employing this menu as of June 1.  New recipes mixed with old favorites, leftovers pre-planned into meals...I think this is going to prove to help save money as well as time and those unfortunate heat flares I experience in the summer kitchen.

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Steamed Rice, Green Beans, Watermelon
I cooked two boneless skinless breasts and set half aside.  I also went ahead and prepped vegetables for the pan roasted vegetables.  I want to add here that I had planned to buy snow pea pods and other vegetables but the ones that appear here are the best priced, in season vegetables or frozen (such as the green beans).
I used onions, red bell pepper, carrot and pineapple in the chicken dish and made my own sweet and sour sauce quite simply by mixing pineapple juice, catsup and cornstarch.  I found this a bit tart for my taste, since I used unsweetened juice.

Macaroni and Cheese, Pan Roasted Vegetables, Sliced Tomatoes, Fig Bars
The weather cooled off nicely yesterday and this dish hit the spot.  It was such a luxury to put dinner in the oven and walk away from the kitchen, too.  The pan roasted vegetables were a mix of zucchini, orange bell pepper (I got a 3 pack of orange, red, and yellow for about $1 at Aldi), mushrooms, sweet onion and garlic.  The fig bars are Aldi brand Fig Newtons.  We really like these cookies and buy a pack each time we go to the store.  We like them so much that this week we both slipped one into the shopping cart and it wasn't until we got home that I discovered we'd bought two packages!

Beef Pot Pie, Fries, Salad, Coffee Frappe
John working today, so a frozen pot pie, frozen fries baked while I showered after working all morning long.  I made a plan green salad to go with my meal.  I made my frappe using Smart Balance milk, ice cubes, instant coffee and sweetened condensed milk.  It was quite good and I'll indulge in this treat again during the hot days of summer.

Southwestern Chicken Salad, Corn Muffins, Apricots
A new recipe.  Corn kernels, Black Beans, tomatoes, chicken pieces.  I'll use the extra chicken from my sweet and sour dish.  I thought Corn Muffins (or Crisp fried cornbread) would make a good accompaniment and satisfy our appetite for something hot.  I indulged in apricots and cherries this past week.  Pricey?  Yes, but fortunately not so terribly if you buy just 3-4 apricots or a half pound of cherries.

Pastitio, Tossed Salad, Berry Cobbler
Leftover Macaroni and cheese will top a simple hamburger and tomato sauce base (I'll use just 1/2 pound of hamburger).  I had a bit of leftover cheese sauce which I'll mix with an egg yolk left from another dish and top off the macaroni.  Fresh berries picked here on the place will be the cobbler fruit.

Black Beans and Rice, Tortilla Chips, Pico de Gallo, Avocado and Orange Salad
I'll need to open a can of black beans to make the Southwestern Salad but won't need to use them all.  I thought making yellow rice and seasoning the beans will make a complete protein main dish.  Homemade tortilla chips with homemade pico de gallo will be a nice crunchy and spicy side dish.

Tuna Pasta Salad, Crackers, Peaches and Cream
I had extra pasta when I cooked the macaroni.  I will mix with peppers, onion, grated carrot, diced olives and make a favored summer salad.  John will carry his in his work lunch.  We prefer just plain old fashioned saltine crackers with this salad.  It's my hope to have fresh peaches but if not, we have watermelon.


Rhonda said...

your menus sound good as always. My imagination or they easy on the meat on purpose?
We bought our months worth of groceries today, since we have chicken and ground beef in the freezer, we only bought 2 bags of fish filets, lunch meat and 3 kinds of chicken sausage, made fresh daily in a new store. I thought of you when I saw it on sale, will let you know how we like it. We got a hot Italian, a green chili and a jalapeno chipotle that the butcher said was very spicy.

BelleDiabolique said...

I have really got to get back in the menu habit. I've been winging it for the past few months, mostly because my brain has been so foggy. I've been going through the motions of keeping house half asleep and frequently waking up on the couch realizing I dreamed it all. That's extraordinarily depressing since it's all still waiting to be done.

My freezer is skimpy, and my budget is in tatters from all the impromptu eating out or indulgences (like ice cream, tater tots, and the gallons and gallons of milk we've been going through.)

Deanna said...

I bought blackberries yesterday and was thinking about a cobbler, too. Would you share your recipe? Also, next time you make sweet and sour sauce and find it too tart, add some brown sugar. I make mine with pineapple juice, brown sugar, a splash of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and a little ginger. I've never thought of using ketchup but that sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

you all ways give me such wonderful menu and frugal ideas and tips! So glad you stopped by my blog. :)-jewelofthelord

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