We Plan Wednesday: The September 2015 Menu

We Plan Wednesday

When I sat down a few weeks ago and planned out the menu for the remainder of the year, I did so in an attempt to sketch out something useful for the remainder of 2015, knowing that once school started things were going to be busy.

Note that I said, “sketch.”  This monthly plan is not intended to be the end all and be all.  If I can’t manage to follow the weekly meal plan 100% of the time, I DEFINITELY can’t expect to do so for the monthly plan.  Life and poop happens.

That being said, I think this advance planning will alleviate the meal plan monotony that hit a few months back.  I’ve included new recipes with a mixture of old favorites hopefully leading to some level of comfort with the menu.  I tried to be seasonally conscious.  I tried not to heat up the kitchen too much in the planning for August and September.

And the kicker is, I’ve tried not to plan too much for weeks that I know will be busy.

There is a method to my madness, as the old bard once said.  I hope there is no madness in the method.

1:  Beef Nacho Pie from The Tidy Nest

2:  Mini Bacon and Egg Toast Cups from Fifteen Spatulas

3:  leftovers/scrounge

4:  One Pot Pizza Pasta from Budget Savvy Diva

5:  Happy Birthday, Mom!  (Make S’mores Granola Bars from Recipe Girl)

6:  Crock Pot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet (This was planned for earlier this month, but we re-did the Houston trip.)

7:  Red Beans and Rice (in the slow cooker!)

8:  Chick-Fil-A calendar card meal

9:  Bacon, Corn, and Cheddar Pancakes from Foxes Love Lemons

10:  leftovers/scrounge

11:  Pizza Rolls from Broke A** Gourmet

12:  Crock Pot Pizza Meatball Subs (I will also make Chex Lemon Muddy Buddies from Six Sisters’ Stuff.)

13:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken from Recipe Girl

14:  Slow Cooker Easy Quiche from A Spicy Perspective

15:  Chicken Street Tacos from Life in the Lofthouse

16:  Grilled Margarita Chicken from The Slow Roasted Italian

17:  leftovers/scrounge

18:  Salmon/Tuna Patties from Deep South Dish

19:  Crock Pot Asian Chicken from Country Cook (I will also make No-Bake Biscoff Granola Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod.)

20:  Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken from The Recipe Critic

21:  Super Quick Spaghetti Carbonara from Budget Savvy Diva

22:  Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner from Deep South Dish

23:  Herbed Baked Eggs and Praline Bacon, both from Fifteen Spatulas

24:  leftovers/scrounge

25:  Pizza Quesadillas from Macaroni and Cheesecake

26:  Crock Pot Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Life in the Lofthouse (I will also make Loaded Rice Krispie Treats from Life in the Lofthouse.)

27:  jambalaya

28:  Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan from Mom on a Mission

29:  Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas from Mommy Hates Cooking

30:  Huevos Rancheros from Fifteen Spatulas

I’m very excited about this month’s menu!  I’ve always wanted to try huevos rancheros, and I never have.  I’m also excited about the carbonara, the praline bacon, and the chicken cheesesteak sandwiches.  Those are all out of my cooking comfy zone.

But the one dish I’m most hopeful about is the guacamole enchiladas.  When we go to Dallas and go to Abuelo’s, I always order the avocado enchiladas.  I hope these are just as yummy!

What’s your plan for September?

Family Heirloom Recipes: Chicken and Dumplins

Family Heirloom Recipes There are dishes in my family that have been created (at least) through three generations:  my great-grandmother, grandmother, mom, sister, and me (and sometimes my eldest nephew).  One of those recipes is my grandmother’s chicken and dumplins.  Yes.  Dumplins.  There is a recipe written on lined paper in my grandmother’s hand that says dumplins.  Unfortunately, she left off the recipe for the first half of the equation (as well as the all-important “juice” or soup). My late uncle Billy also had a chicken and dumplins recipe that was so close to my grandmother’s that eventually they melded.  My sister has spent the last several years perfecting the recipe.  My nephew even makes the recipe, and he’s 11. This is not a veggie broth chicken and dumplins.  This is chicken…and dumplins. And the “juice”/soup is what makes it.  At least in my opinion.  For some in our family, it’s the dumplins.  For me and a few others, it’s the juice.  I would be happy with a bowl of juice with one lone dumplin and one square inch of chicken.  I’m weird that way, I know. A few years ago, my sister invited me over to learn how to make chicken and dumplins.  I wrote down what she did, and I’m ready to share that with you now.

Chicken and Dumplins

1 whole chicken, cut up (do not think to get by with boneless, skinless chicken breasts–you need the big kahuna)

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)

1 teaspoon salt

water to make the dough

1 can evaporated milk + 2 tablespoons/pats worth of butter or an equal amount of half-and-half (My sister insists the half and half is closest to our grandmother’s recipe)

1 can cream of chicken soup

2-3 cans chicken broth, if necessary

Boil chicken.  Take out of broth to cool.  (My sister recommends cooking the chicken the night before and separating the chicken from the broth.)  Add broth if necessary to “boiled chicken water.”

In a big bowl, place dry ingredients and shortening.  Use whisk (my sister does not use a pastry knife) to cut shortening into the flour.  Add water and work with hands until workable (as a dry biscuit dough).  Roll, a “snowball size” at a time on a floured surface until “pie crust” thickness.  Cut into dumplins (strips 1″x2 1/2″) with a butter knife.

Heat the broth to a rolling boil.  Drop dumplins in one at a time.  Boil at “high” until there is a crackling noise, then reduce to about medium-high (“7” on your stove settings, if you have it).  While boiling, scrape the bottom of the pan, adding broth to ensure that nothing “sticks.”

Cook 15 minutes.  Whisk together cream of chicken soup and evaporated milk/butter (or half-and-half) mixture.  Add this and the chicken to the pot and stir gently.  Turn off heat and tightly cover with a lid.

When ready to serve, reheat over medium until hot.

Meal Plan Monday: Suppers and Muffin’s Lunches, Too!

Meal Plan Monday

This week marks Muffin’s second week of Kindergarten.  We are (slowly) getting into the groove of things, as this is a complete 180 degree change from the last five years.

Sometimes, I think Muffin is taking it more in stride than we are.

This is also a busy week.  Last week was a bit lazier, as Josh was off Wednesday and Thursday and was able to prepare meals.

I’m trying a few new ones (and a few oldies but goodies) this week.  I will also include my plan for Muffin’s lunches below, too.

Saturday:  tacos, chips, salsa

Sunday:  pizza waffles from Life in the Lofthouse, salad, corn

Monday:  dinner at Chick-Fil-A with the Calendar Card (Chick Fil A Deluxe Sandwich for Josh and me and a nugget meal for Muffin)  (shh!  Muffin doesn’t know; it’s a surprise for if he’s a good boy at school!)

Tuesday:  Crockpot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet (Note:  I already made this recipe, altering it slightly, and it was fabulous!  I ate some for breakfast this morning and brought some in my lunch.), salad, canned veg

Wednesday:  Pancakes, bacon, and fruit

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff (I will use my indoor grill pan.)

Saturday:  Fuji Chicken from Mandy’s Recipe Box (by Muffin special request), rice, egg roll, fortune cookie

Sunday:  Crock Pot BBQ’d Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from A Year of Slow Cooking, vegetable

And, Muffin’s Lunches:

Monday:  taco (meat and refried beans on a tortilla, tropical juice box, banana, with lettuce, tomato, olives, and cheese to top the taco with, “tree” cookies (Piroulines)

Tuesday:  slice of cheese pizza, olives and cucumber slices, fruit cup, water, Churro Chex Mix (if I can get this made tonight) or “tree” cookie, dip for the veggies

Wednesday:  roll-up sandwich (sandwich sushi), pretzels, sweet pickles, grapes, shelf-stable milk (Tru-Moo), candy

Thursday:  ham roll ups, mini pancakes, grapes, shelf stable milk, syrup

Friday:  leftovers (maybe another slice of pizza or spaghetti), veg sticks and dip, juice box (apple juice), cheese stick, Hostess cake

What are your plans for this week?

Meal Plan Monday: If I Follow It, This Will Be Miraculous!

Meal Plan Monday

This week marks Muffin’s first week of school…of kindergarten.  It also marks the end of our Houston trip, which was a lot of fun (see future We Plan Wednesday post).  That being said, a lot of things that were intended to be on the menu didn’t happen last week (remember the heat?).

Today, I wanted to make something special for Muffin’s first day of school.  And, wonder of wonders, the mercury hovered right at the 90 degree Fahrenheit mark (32 degrees Celsius for all you metric types).

So, here is the menu for the week (Saturday-today represent what we had…the rest of the week is a guesstimate…hopefully a more accurate one this time).

Saturday:  supper at King’s Biergarten (Josh had the Wurstfest special for $9.95 and I had the one sausage and side.)

Sunday:  pizza rolls (a pineapple one and a pepperoni one for lunches this week and Muffin’s lunch on Monday)

Monday:  Bourbon Street Chicken from Life in the Lofthouse, rice, English peas, and a fortune cookie

Tuesday:  pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and pickle slices

Wednesday:  Quesadillas and refried beans, chips and salsa

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday:  fried rice or hot dogs

Saturday:  pizza meatball subs, veg sticks, chips

Sunday:  Fuji Chicken, rice, egg roll, fortune cookie

I also hope to make a cookie or dessert for the next week’s worth of lunches.

What’s your plan for this week?

 

Meal Plan Monday: A Familiar Week

Meal Plan Monday

No, the meal plan has gone to someplace not nice the last few weeks.  I had great intentions.  But, then, it has been, as I’ve mentioned previously, catch as catch can on the eating front.  After several days over 100 degrees, I can safely say that IT IS TOO HOT TO EAT!

Some of this will probably look familiar as I try to make sense of this first full week back at work.

Saturday:  Josh grilled meat and ‘taters!

Sunday:  leftover meat and taters!

Monday:  Korean “Beef” over Rice

Tuesday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday:  leftovers or breakfast for dinner

Thursday:  leftovers (Clean the fridge out!)

Friday:  on the road

Saturday:  on the road

Sunday:  snacky supper

What’s your plan for this week?

Meal Plan Monday: A Bit Late

Meal Plan Monday

This is the week I ease back into work, that is, this is the week of the teacher meetings.  And Josh is working, working, working.  So Muffin and I (even though I made the fantabulous meal plan below) are just kinda grazing.  Too hot to cook, etc.

I’m making intentional leftovers because I know that Thursday is our open house, and I won’t feel like doing much cooking when we get home.

The goal is to go easy peasy with many old favorites.

Saturday:  Korean “Beef” over rice from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Sunday:  grill something

Monday:  Perfect Mini Meatloaf from Artsy Fartsy Mama

Tuesday:  tacos (x2 meat for leftovers)

Wednesday:  French Toast Kababs from A Beautiful Mess, fruit, breakfast meat

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs

Friday:  Pizza Rolls from Broke A** Gourmet (make 3x batch and freeze for Muffin lunches), corn

Saturday:  Crock Pot Cashew Chicken, rice, eggrolls, fortune cookies from Favorite Family Recipes

Sunday:  Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole from The Country Cook, green veg

What’s on your meal plan this week?

We Plan Wednesday: August’s Menu Plan

We Plan Wednesday

I sat down last week and planned out the menus for the rest of the year.

Now, don’t get excited.  I haven’t completely lost my mind.  I simply saw my Chick-Fil-A calendar sitting on the table, pretty much blank, and felt the need to fill it (or, at least, August-December) with meal plans.

Now, do I honestly believe that all of these items for the remaining four months of the year will be made (and eaten) as planned?  Uh, no.

But a girl has to have a plan as the school year gets ready to gear up.  I can always fall back to the plan in the event things get crazy and my mind is fried as far as Meal Plan Monday is concerned.

The goal for August?  To heat up the oven as little as possible.

Here we go:

1:  Korean “Beef” Over Rice from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2:  Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole from Country Cook

3:  Perfect Mini Meatloaf from Artsy Fartsy Mama

4:  Mexican Pizzas from Life in the Lofthouse

5:  French Toast Kabobs, fruit, breakfast meat from A Beautiful Mess

6:  leftovers/scrounge

7:  mini pizzas

8:  Crock Pot Cashew Chicken from Favorite Family Recipes

9:  Pork Loin Roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots

10:  Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta from Gunny Sack

11:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from Life in the Lofthouse (Hopefully, this time I will get a good picture!)

12:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff

13:  leftovers/scrounge

14:  Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes from Kayotic Kitchen

15:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup from A Spicy Perspective

16:  Crock Pot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet

17:  pulled pork (from freezer) sandwiches, cole slaw, chips

18:  tacos

19:  breakfast for dinner (pancakes)

20:  go to Chick-Fil-A (for the Chick-Fil-A deal) and lemonade for National Lemonade Day

21:  mini pizzas

22:  Fuji Chicken from Mandy’s Recipe Box

23:  Crock Pot Bacon Garlic Chicken from Crock Pot Ladies

24:  Mexican Lasagna (try to make it as a slow cooker dish) from Artsy Fartsy Mama

25:  carnitas bowls using carnitas from the freezer

26:  English Breakfast Burgers from Foodtastic Mom

27:  leftovers/scrounge

28:  Pizza Waffles from Life in the Lofthouse (plug the waffle iron in outside)

29:  Waffle Iron BBQ Chicken Sandwich from Buns in My Oven (plug the waffle iron in outside)

30:  Crock Pot BBQ’d Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from A Year of Slow Cooking

31:  Olive Garden Copycat Chicken Vino Bianco from The Slow Roasted Italian

I also plan to make two dessert dishes for inclusion in Muffin’s lunches.

On the weekend of August 22, I plan to make Churro Chex Mix from Six Sisters’ Stuff.  On the weekend of August 29, I plan to make Star Crunches from Crock Pot Recipe Exchange.

What are your favorite keep-the-kitchen-cool meals?