Weekly Menu Plan
The Autumn breezes are blowing and the leaves have that tissue paper sound they get this time of year. I've been listening to it all day long, winding it's way down from the North and bringing a slightly cooler air to us. Mind you, it's plenty warm in the sun yet. I've aired pillows today and dried the load of sheets I did early this morning. I took down the summer curtains in my bedroom and hung a pair that better matches my quilt. I've contemplated the possibilities for the guest room's autumn/winter look and piddled about the house looking at the work I might be doing if only I felt like settling in to do something that takes more than twenty minutes tops. But not even planning holds my interest for long. I'm up to do a quick task, sitting down once more to think about the quilt's next portions, dreaming of the next quilt I'll make, then up again to do another chore or to plunder amongst the craft items to see if something inspires me.
I'm also contemplating the shelves of books. I feel strongly it's time to start spending some quality time with one of my old dear friends but which? Or should I make time for a new one? Or just stack books by my chair and read a bit here and a bit there until I feel I'm ready to settle in for a long, long spell? There's a tall stack of vintage magazines from 1925-1959, all from past Octobers to peruse as well. Of course, I'll have to streamline meals, because we can't have cooking interfering with reading! Slow cooker or quick and easy meals? It does depend on the weather (doesn't it? so changeable in our neck of the woods), but I feel it, the cozy season is coming nearer and I'm ready to feather my nest anew in preparation for it.
The housework is done for the day, time now to turn my attention to the meals for the week ahead. I should note here that about half our meals were never made at all last week. We ate take out once, and ate out once. I had leftovers to use up, John had mentioned a steak dinner and since we went to the meat market I prepared that. So you might note a few items turning up this week in different menus that were meant to be in meals last week. A couple of meals required ingredients I'd planned to pick up but didn't in an effort to keep costs down.
I'll start out with what we had today:
Cubed Steak, Mac and Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, Pan fried Caramel Apples over Vanilla Ice Cream
The mac and cheese was frozen leftovers, just enough for two servings and since we had only one piece of cubed steak each (and they were only about 3 ounces each) I didn't mind having two protein servings in this meal. I had one apple from the bag bought to make apple pie three weeks ago and one apple that had a good sized bruised spot on one half from last pay period. I knew John wouldn't eat either of those two apples, cooking for dessert dish seemed the best solution.
Barbecued Chicken Wishbone, Legs and Wings, Black Eye Peas, Oven Fried Okra, Coleslaw
I want to get as many meals from this chicken as I possibly can so I plan to cut it into serving pieces. One of the items I discovered I had plenty of in my freezer: black eyed peas. These are fresh peas, not dried. I want to start using them. I may pass along a bag to Katie.
Chili, Green Salad, Cornbread
I'll make a large batch of chili. Enough for this meal, enough for a leftover makeover meal and a bit to freeze for a future meal of chili. The salad may be plain, but the cornbread will be dressed up with jalapeno, red bell pepper, cheddar cheese.
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, Green Peas, Waldorf Salad, Biscuits
I'll boil the back and thighs, the bones and skin from the chicken breasts to make broth. The cooked chicken will go into this casserole. I expect I might have leftovers from this dish for another meal. Do you ever make Waldorf salad? It's really a sort of old fashioned salad but I love it in apple season. My kids liked this salad as well and it was a good way to get them to eat their fruit.
Black Bean and Yellow Rice Burritos, Xochitl Broiled Corn on the Cob, Pico de Gallo and Green Salad
Serving a meatless meal this day, but it won't feel like a meatless meal with all this flavor. I found two ears of corn in the freezer and this meal offers me the opportunity to use it and try a new recipe, too.
Chicken Kiev, Wild Rice, Green Beans, Fresh Pear Salad, Butter Nut Cake
The boneless/skinless breasts are the last of this chicken. I think I'll have about 5 meals from it (there should be enough chicken bits and broth for chicken rice soup for supper one night). I haven't made a Butter Nut Cake in nearly two years. I love to make it this time of year. It's really just a pretty yellow cake flavored with a butter nut flavoring and a butter nut flavored cream cheese frosting. I'll sprinkle nuts over the sides I think.
Chili Mac, Orange and Red Onion Salad, Cornbread Muffins
John loves Chili Mac and I know he'll enjoy this meal. There will probably be a few leftovers of this too. I've yet to figure out how to make just enough for two, but it's no hardship to him to have to eat this twice, lol. The oranges are frozen segments I sectioned and froze a couple of months ago when no one was eating the oranges I'd bought. They thaw just fine and will be nice sprinkled over a green salad with the onion (and if I have them, some sliced black olives).
Well if you only knew how long this has taken to type up! I started about 3pm and it's after 8 now. I folded laundry, fed the dogs, made sandwiches for our supper, stopped to read a few recipes, walked to the mail box, sat on the back deck and admired the sunset, chatted with John, restrained Maddie from helping John...It was a full afternoon/early evening. But the day is done and so is this menu at last.
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