Meal Plan Monday: I Hope I Follow This One!

Meal Plan Monday

Last week, I was fairly successful with the meal plan.  The only item that never got made was the ramen noodles, oddly enough.

The problem with planning a week’s worth of meals and NOT making them is that you often find yourself committing expensive mistakes.  First, you have massive food spoilage.  Second, you then waste money in the drive through or, worse, at more expensive sit-down restaurants.

I’ve been guilty of both.

Now, I’ve already spent the money and bought this week’s groceries.  So, it’s extremely important that I make the list count and work for me.

I have several new ones on my list, so I’m kinda worried about it.

Just as last week, I lazily ingeniously focused on one main blog of recipes I had saved from Dropbox (A Spicy Perspective), I did the same this week with Deep South Dish.

At the last minute, I switched around the menu.  Tonight, we attend Muffin’s first official meeting as a cub scout.  So, I’m hoping that the plan still happens as planned.

So, here we go!

Saturday:  Pizza Meatball Subs (Kraft Recipes), Welch’s strawberries from Aldi  (Note:  I decided not to cube the mozzarella into the meatballs, but I instead put sliced mozzarella directly on the bread.  I couldn’t find any Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette, so I put some more chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the sauce mix with some Tuscan Italian salad dressing–Kroger brand.)

Sunday:  Cabbage Patch Casserole (Deep South Dish):  This is a meal-in-one-dish.

Monday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (A Spicy Perspective)

Tuesday:  Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner (Deep South Dish), chips and salsa

Wednesday:  Pancakes, sausage, fruit

Thursday:  hot dogs or leftovers

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Deep South Pinto Beans and Rice (Deep South Dish), cornbread

Sunday:  Bacony Chicken and Rice Bake (Deep South Dish), green veg

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Please Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge: Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Please Don't Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge

Recently, we made a recipe a reader sent me from the newspaper in Naples, Florida.  The truly odd thing was, shortly after I received the recipe, someone offered me a whole bunch of eggplant, and I was going to make it then, but things happened.

Namely the eggplant went bad before I could arrive to receive it.

But Kroger has been having a New Lower Price! for eggplant (which I NEVER purchase by the way) of 99 cents each.

So, one day, I just had to buy the eggplant to make this.  Well, it involved the grill, and only Josh knows how to operate the grill in our house, so I did all of the prep work, and Josh cooked it.

We ended up serving it as a side, but this could so be a main dish for a meatless meal.  We served it with buttery garlic mushrooms and pork chops.

It tasted awesome, but there are a few changes I would make.

  1.  Eggplant skin is very chewy/rubbery when grilled.  Think chewing on a rain slicker.  I would grill it skin on but remove it before I begin building the yumminess.
  2. Make extra breadcrumb topping so that you (as the cook) can crunch on some with a spoon.  I didn’t and I regret it.
  3. Make even more extra breadcrumb topping so that you can add more topping on top of the stacks.  Trust me.  The topping rocks!

So, here is the plate o’goodness:

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Yes, it truly is as awesomely beautiful and vibrantly colored as was in the picture.

And here’s what (Josh and) I did:

Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana

Source:  Naples News/Banner

1 large eggplant

kosher salt

3/4 pound roma tomatoes (often called plum)

2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing on the eggplant

1 largish clove minced garlic

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (Panko is like sweetened condensed milk.  All recipes with it are automatically awesome!)

1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parm cheese (no Kraft green cylinder)

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

fresh basil, shredded a la chiffonade, to garnish

(Note:  Just noticed that the recipe calls for you to peel the eggplant.  Oops!  I still think grilling it first and then peeling it would work best)

Slice the eggplant in rounds 3/4 inch thick.  Salt both sides of each slice, then set the slices aside for 45 mins.  Slice the tomatoes into 1/3-inch-thick rounds.  Salt both sides of each slice and transfer the slices to a rack to drain until the eggplant is ready.

Prepare the grill with a hot and indirect cooking side.

In a medium skillet (inside the house) over medium low, combine the measured 2 T oil and garlic.  Cook, stirring, until your mouth waters from the smell.  Add the panko.  Increase the heat to medium and cook until the crumbs turn golden and crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and set aside.  Repeat so that you have plenty to taste test and some extra for the topping.

Pat the eggplant slices dry and brush one side of each with olive oil.  Add to the grill and cook over the hotter side until the slices are nicely browned on the bottoms, 5 to 6 minutes.  Brush the top sides with more oil, turn the slices over grill until browned on the second side, about another 5 minutes.  While the eggplant is grilling, pat dry the tomato slices.

Transfer the eggplant slices to the indirect heat on the grill, then top each slide with enough tomato slices to just cover the top.  Top the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons (or more if you made more) of the panko mixture, then divide the mozzarella cheese evenly among the slices.  Cover the grill and cook 4-6 minutes until the mozzarella is melted.  Transfer 2 slices to each of the four plates and top each portion with some basil.

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What is your favorite grilled veg recipe?

Meal Plan Monday: On-Call and Back at Work!

Meal Plan Monday

Good morning, Pinteresting Blogosphere!  It is a super busy week here!  This is week two of me being back at work, and Josh is on-call this week.  In addition, Muffin has decided that he wants to become a cub scout (thanks to a flier sent home from school), so he and I will be attending his first cub scout meeting this week, as well!

This week I return to the cook and prep on the weekend in readiness for the week.  Last week was a mess because I didn’t cook and prep on the weekend.  It was catch-as-catch-can and grab stuff on the way home.  Oh, and shove things to this week.

So, I am determined to be more successful this week.

Oh, and please don’t judge me for Wednesday.  Every once in a while I get nostalgic for things like ramen noodles, and, in an extremely odd bout of August weather, it’s supposed to be rainy and (fairly) cool that day.  I consider (especially the way I make them) ramen noodles to be soup, and I am going to stretch things a bit and say Wednesday will be soupy weather.

So, here we go!

Saturday:  Beer Macaroni and Cheese (with bacon!) from A Spicy Perspective

Sunday:  chicken fried rice, egg rolls

Monday:  Asian chicken quarters (made in the slow cooker), rice, vegetable

Tuesday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from Life in the Lofthouse, Mexican rice (Mahatma), chips and salsa

Wednesday:  ramen noodles (possibly with a veg added), fruit

Thusday:  hot dogs or leftovers

Friday: pizza

Saturday:  Pizza Meatball Subs (Kraft Recipes)

Sunday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (A Spicy Perspective)

What’s cookin’ with you this week?

Meal Plan Monday: The Back-to-Work Edition 2016

Meal Plan Monday

Yes, it’s that time again, folks!  This Thursday the 2016-2017 school year begins (for teachers at least) in our district.  I believe that my mom mentioned that my sister (who home schools) actually started her school year today, so that made this post even more pertinent.

To all of you who are not starting school yet, I hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacay as they dwindle down to a flurry of school supplies and school clothes’ buying.

My apologies for the less-than-stellar food choices at the beginning of the week.  I returned from my best professional development experience ever late Friday night and it’s taken until now to recover from the awesomeness of it.  In other words, meal cooking was not exactly on the list of “to do’s.”

So, how bad of a mommy was I in terms of presenting food to my only child?  Check it out below!

Saturday:  pizza from Little Caesar’s

Sunday:  barbecue from Dickey’s (You can’t say I didn’t warn you!)

Monday:  spaghetti and meatballs

Tuesday:  taco Tuesday

Wednesday:  waffle Wednesday (chicken strips and Eggo waffles–yes I’m a horrible parent!)

Thursday:  hot dogs

Friday:  Is it wrong to contemplate Little Caesar’s twice on a meal plan?

Saturday:  I’m contemplating Kings Ranch Chicken because there will be plenty of leftovers.

Sunday:  roast (either chicken with forty cloves, pork loin, or beef roast)

Also, as it is the return of the school year, I am planning on doing my big weekend cooking rounds to avoid the craziness of the school year.  So be prepared (or scared) of casseroles and crock pots oh my!

What’s on your meal plan for the week?

Meal Plan Monday: The Out of Town Edition

(The graphic seems to not want to insert, but y’all know what it looks like.)

This week, I will be out of town for an all-expenses-paid conference that will be super exciting!  I’ve been looking forward to it with anticipation for months, ever since I found out I was selected.  I’ve been reading and readying materials and supplies for it for the last several weeks, and I can’t believe it’s almost here.

However, in the spirit of the blog, I’m going to leave you a full Meal Plan Monday post (without the graphic grr), with lots of neat stuff to eat.

Where will Muffin be?  With his Granny and Granddaddy. (Thanks, Mom and Daddy!)  He’s looking so forward to his mini-vacay with them.

Josh has to work all four days, so he’s not coming along either.

So, here’s the meal plan, some real, some not.

Saturday:  grilled pork chops, grilled eggplant parmesan (recipe forthcoming), buttery garlic mushrooms, watermelon

Sunday:  Josh and Ren ate–after a day chasing after Pokemon and Poke-stops (that surely is a Thoughtful Thursday post forthcoming) I was too tired to eat, but I think they had macaroni and cheese

Monday:  tacos

Tuesday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas (originally from Life in the Lofthouse), rice, beans

Wednesday:  Make-Your-Own-Frittata Bar, fruit

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Asian style leg-quarters in the Crockpot, rice, peas

Sunday:  roast and potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots

What’s on your meal plan for the week?

Meal Plan Monday: The Josh Is Gone for Part of the Time Meal Plan

Meal Plan Monday

Well, I know it’s a bit late.  I’m a bit busy getting everything ready for a trip next week and coming down from being in single-parent mode the last few days while Josh was away in Alexandria for work and my back was locked up tight.

On the upside, Muffin decided to wait on me hand-and-foot, including serving me breakfast (pop tart) in bed.

But y’all came here for the menus!

Saturday:  BBQ chicken, crescent rolls

Sunday:  roast beef in au jus, crescent rolls, ligonberry preserves

Monday:  burritos (made with leftover roast beef mixed with taco seasoning), chips and Rotel dip

Tuesday:  spaghetti and meatballs

Wednesday:  Make-Your-Own fritatta bar

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  grilled something

Sunday:  roasted something

What’s on your meal plan for this week?

Meal Plan Monday: A Second Week of Eating the Theme Nights

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Fourth of July!  As you are reading this post, I (probably) am scurrying about the kitchen, prepping the fruit and veggie trays as well as the beans for supper tonight at my parents’.

In keeping with my most-popular post (I don’t get it!), I am again trying to eat by the daily themes.  Last week went really well, but I realized that we almost always follow the plan regardless on the whole.

Away…we…go!!!

Schezwan Saturday:  Crock Pot Cashew Chicken (Favorite Family Recipes), rice, veg and fruit tray

Sunday dinner:  20-40 Garlic Clove Slow Cooker Chicken (A Year of Slow Cooking), stuffing, peas

Fourth of July Monday:  hot dog bar, baked beans, veg tray, fruit tray

Taco Tuesday:  Beef Nacho Pie (Taste of Home), avocado salad, fruit

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Waffle Wednesday:  make-your-own mini quiches, fruit

Thrifty Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza from Little Caesar’s

Saturday:  dinner in Dallas

Sunday:  dinner on home from Dallas

What is on your meal plan this week?