Weekly Meal Plan

We've just a few days of this vacation/off period left and then it's back to work for John.  I caught myself slipping into the work week routine one evening this week when John was working in the music room.  I dashed about the house and got a few chores done so we could have a free day the next day.  I'm ready for a bit of routine again, I reckon.  All these 'free' days begin to wear a bit after a while and routines look pretty good.  That's probably why I've been slowly working on deep cleaning the kitchen, one small area at a time.  Oh the woes of a desperate housewife, sneaking in a few extra licks at her housekeeping!

One thing we've not missed much of: home cooked meals.  I've been cooking and/or preparing three meals a day most every day.  It's a good thing I really enjoy cooking and don't mind clearing up, either.  However inspiration is wanted/needed.  I've turned to cookbooks, former menus and Pinterest many and many a time over the past three weeks.

I didn't find a whole chicken nor breasts on sale this past week.  Instead I bought a whole roasting hen...which got left at the grocery store, ack.  We had to go back the next day to get another but the store was very nice about it.  I put that in the crock pot when we went out Friday because I didn't want to greet another Shabat with the necessity of cooking a meal.  Glad I did cook that bird.  I had thought we'd have warmed leftovers for dinner, but we had company.  That chicken, meant for supper sandwich meat and a few other meals, came in handy at dinner.  We only used one breast for that meal (sandwiches, chips, apples and caramels). 

Now to plan how I'll use the rest of that chicken.  While I'm listing all three meals right up front, they won't be served that way at all.  I will mix the menu up so that we have chicken one night and another meat  or entree the next night.  No need of making anyone in this house feel they might cackle and lay an egg from eating so much chicken.

Chicken and Dumplings,  Coleslaw, Apple Sauce, Gingersnaps
I had a quart of broth in the crock pot as well.  Perfect to make a nice cool weather treat with.  I usually add some mixed vegetables to my broth mixture, and John prefers the big fluffy drop dumplings rather than the rolled out dumplings I grew up.

Chicken Enchiladas, Yellow Rice, Lettuce with Pico de Gallo
I know I have tortillas, chicken, cheese, etc.  I also have a can of diced green chilies which will add just a hint of warmth to the dish.

Chicken Fried Rice, Pear and Lettuce salad with Ginger dressing
I expect to have leftover rice from the enchilada meal since the packets I have on hand are larger than the ones I'd normally buy.  Plenty of celery, onion, broccoli stems, green peas and carrots to toss into the pan with the rice and chicken.    I'm not just sure how I'll make this ginger dressing, but I mean to play about and figure out something.

Sausage Veggie Calzone, Green Salad, Ranch dressing
I'll make my own pizza dough, brown some turkey Italian sausage and mix with cottage cheese (I'll employ an accidental discovery.  Freezing the cottage cheese makes it more 'dry' so it's perfect for a dish such as this), use some tomato pesto as seasoning.

Chili Bean and Corn Tamale Pie, Pineapple Salad, "Fried" Ice Cream
A chili sauce seasoned dish of kidney, black and red beans and corn with a  cornbread topping for the main dish.  A long time ago I figured out a way to have a faux 'fried' ice cream: roll scoops of ice cream in toasted coconut, graham cracker crumbs, shortbread crumbs etc.  I happen to have some shortbread cookie crumbs in the freezer.  I'll top with some of my homemade hot fudge seasoned with a bit of cinnamon powder.

Pot Roast with Vegetables, Harvest Cabbage Salad, Corn Muffins
Just a small portion of roast to cook with a potato or two, carrot and onions.  The salad is sliced cabbage with walnuts, craisins, and diced apples, with a mayo dressing.

Potato Soup, Hot Dog with Sauerkraut, Caramel Apples
It's my plan to get two meals from this package of hot dogs (the brand we use only has 7 per package)...I think John will be happy enough with this meal that I can carry that off quite well which will leave four for a meal later on.

There...That should do us this next week, and is not so heavy on the meat end of things.  You'll note most of these dishes rely more on the added ingredients than on the meat.  My goal is to be on target with the next month's budget so I'm planning hard to stretch out our meat supply.

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