This Week's Menu and Job Plans

The weather is hot and humid.  The air conditioning runs all day and most all the night.  I've enjoyed our mild and pleasant summer, but right now it FEELS like summer.  I like weather to be seasonal.  Cold when it should be cold.  Hot when it should be hot.  That's just me.  There are nice things about the warmth of summer, although I readily admit I am not a fan of humidity.

Summer finds me stumped when it comes meals and cookery.  Truth is, I like pot roasts and chilis and stews, hearty main dishes and warm desserts.  In summer...well those things just don't go, they sit too heavily upon the tummy and make me uncomfortable and leave me feeling dissatisfied.  And because my brain is often hot as the rest of me when I sit down to relax and do quiet work, when I plan my meals I find myself locked into a sort of formula that involves a hot meat dish, cold salad, cool dessert and seldom employ all those fresh vegetables and fruits that are available just now.

This week I'm taking my cues from vintage magazines and their suggestions for meals in the midst of July heat.  With articles about how to keep cool in the heat, how to dress a porch for summer living, how to eat alfresco meals, etc., you kinda get the idea they know their stuff!

Sliced Roast Beef, Tomato stuffed with cottage cheese, Shredded Lettuce, Pretzels
I suppose you could make the meat a sandwich if you wanted and put the pretzels on your snack menu, but the plate in the magazine (which was in color) looks so good and tasty that I just felt it was an all around good menu.  The side dishes seem just right with a mix of room temp and chilled items and certainly the beef could be served either warm or cold, to suit your own desire.

Hot dogs in buns, Potato Salad,Carrot and Celery sticks,  Fresh Fruit Sundaes
The meal is straightforward enough.  The dessert has all sorts of possibilities.  I could make milk shakes if we desire or smoothies.  And if it's sundaes we want then it's just a matter of deciding if we'd like peach or strawberry or blueberry.  Or I could serve chilled slices of cantaloupe around a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  That's very tasty in the summertime, too!

Chicken Waikiki, Warm Crescent Rolls or Crisp Crackers, Molten Lava Cakes
This is just a pretty chicken salad made with pineapple, strips of red bell pepper and sliced celery with a sprinkling of almonds for some crunch, dressed with mayonnaise to which you've added some lime juice and lime zest.  I think it sounds refreshing, don't you?  Nice use for leftover roast chicken.

Club Sandwiches, Potato Sticks, Fresh Peaches
Thin slices of chicken, crisp bacon, tomato, lettuce, cheese, even thin slices of avocado if you desire make a nice hefty sandwich with three slices of toasted thin bread per sandwich.  We often make these when it's really warm outdoors because it's a hearty sandwich but not heavy, a hard balance to find in most meals that have stick to your ribs possibilities.  It's a nice way too to serve a low meat menu because you only need a couple of slices of bacon and a thin slice of chicken to make the sandwich.

Beef Stew, Blueberry Muffins, Crisp Wedge Salads,  Orange Meringue Pie
The stew will cook in the crockpot or in a dutch oven on stovetop.  It's a one burner meal for the most part.  The meringue on the pies can brown alongside the baking muffins.  Make a big batch of the muffins and have some for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Red Beans and Rice, Corn Fritters, Coleslaw, Orange Meringue Pie
Use canned beans to cut down on cooking time.  I season mine with a bit of summer sausage or some smoked turkey bones, garlic, onions, celery and bell pepper.  I'l make corn fritters from canned corn today.

Pasta with Fresh tomato sauce and tuna, Crusty Bread, Mixed Greens Salad, Pineapple Sherbert
I thought I'd try the fresh tomato sauce with drained, canned tuna this week and the addition of black olives. I'll let you know how that experiment turns out, lol.

Work, work, work...

I spent quite a bit of time in my kitchen today cleaning cabinet fronts and wiping down counters and such.  It took a good portion of the morning, right up until dinner time.  After dinner I tackled the oven.  It took about 40 minutes and another 5 to get the oven door back on.  It's nice to have those tasks done.  I'm going to take some time out to play now, then I'll tackle other items on my list.

last week:
Mop Kitchen
Clean fridge deeply and well
Tag and take a few new items to booth
Grocery shopping
Clean front porch rails and siding
Straighten the linen chest 
Clean the oven
Wipe down insides of cabinets on the end wall of the kitchen

This week:
Tag and take a few new items to booth
Cull all items a year old in the booth that have not sold
Clean the oven
Wipe down insides of upper cabinets on the end wall of the kitchen.
Pull books and magazines to be read in August
Clean front porch rails and siding
Start working on yard.  (Must get up EARLY to do these last two jobs or I'll just melt away!)


Back Porch Writer said...

Your meals sounds wonderful. So good that you do meal planning. We SORTOF do it. We buy sale items, especially meat and we freeze it. And sides as well, we buy on sale. So each grocery trip is to bring fresh ingredients to the table along with our selections. I think your blog and mine are a lot alike as far as being organized. I work FT outside the home and get frustrated through not getting everything done. Have a great week!

Lena said...

Oh, I so agree with you! Summer is such a hard season for me to cook... At almost 100 degrees, all I want is watermelon :)

Anonymous said...

You have helped me so much! My menu making brain I think is on hiatus due to this heat and humidity! I Need some better summer menus and I have tweaked several of yours to use with things we have to cook this week. This is Good!! I could actually only eat one meal when it is this hot. I just want something to drink water and I have no appetite. We had slices of leftover chicken tonight topped with a relish I make from zucchini on it. Also some applesauce and tomato with some cut up cilantro on it and corn sliced off the the cob. A desert of cut up nectarines and cherries. All was cold except the corn. Then my brain closed and I came up with 0 for the rest of the week! I have meat etc. but as I said summer is a hard one for me to come up with meals that sound good. This meal at least used up some of the things I canned and garden produce too. All I want to do in this heat is go out to a cold restaurant and eat there! :) Our house is hot and humid inside too. I remember either the old Woman's Day or Family Circle always had a month of menus and the summer issues would have been a gold mine of menus to check out ! Thanks for looking for them for us! Sarah

Anonymous said...

I went out after it cooled after dinner and began clearing and cleaning out the big tall side bushes on the property. I only got a short section done. It is slow work and it will take me forever to get it all done. Least I started! :-) I was so glad to get out. It got hot quick though even though it had cooled down so much since the afternoon. I went all over the house disinfecting the phones and all the controllers, key boards and door knobs etc. Colds have been going around and it was time to do it anyway. The garden is looking at the peak of its prettiest but I can see too that all too soon it will go from early summer pretty to late summer doughty. It always does at this time of the summer. Time to can some of its goodness and think of fall garden planting soon. Even the trees are starting to loose some leaves. I wish the weather would turn more fallish!! :-) Then when it is winter we will wish to have some summer I imagine! Humans!!! LOL Sarah

Vicki in UT said...

Your oven door comes off? I never imagined such a thing! I wonder if mine does? It would surely make cleaning the oven a lot easier.

I don't always do it, but in my mind, a frugal meal in the winter is homemade soup, and in the summer, a main dish salad. My goal is to have the appropriate one at least once a week.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I'm more of a cold weather type food person. When it's hot I just like to eat light but I never know what to make besides some type of salad (which I get tired of no matter what's in it it's still salad)

I have been cleaning and organizing my kitchen. I've totally moved things around in the cupboards. We're still trying to get used to where things are :)

I also painted my bedroom last week and this week I'm tackling the master bath (which is tiny so it should be super easy)!

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