We Plan Wednesday: MIL and SFIL Trip 2017!!!


We Plan Wednesday

Good morning, We-Plan-ners!

At the end of June, my mother-in-law (MIL) and stepfather-in-law (SFIL) will be visiting from Ontario.  For their visits, I start earrrrrrrrrly planning things that I hope they will like to eat.  I am not sure when they are arriving or leaving, but Josh has booked off June 24-July 4, so I planned the menu (breakast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and beverage) for each of those days.

The beauty in planning ahead means that I can make ahead.  When having guests (Tip Tuesday alert), it is best to do as much cooking as you can ahead of time in order to enjoy your company.

As I write this, I have several dishes freezing away in the deep freezer in preparation for their visit.

Also, Tip Tuesday aside, June and early July in northern Louisiana translates to one thing and one thing only:  hot and humid.  You almost pray for the 100 degree temps to burn away some of the humidity.  The more heat and cook time that is saved, the better!

June 24

Lunch:  La Madeleine’s Tomato-Basil Soup, crackers

Dessert:  Margarita Cheesecake Pie (Kraft Recipes)

Dinner:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas (Life in the Lofthouse), Jumbo Pico Salad (Pioneer Woman), rice, beans

Snack:  Churro Chex Mix (Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Beverages:  Margaritas/Limeade (Flavored)

June 25

Breakfast:  Donuts/Kolaches

Lunch:  Meatball Subs and Chips (using the meatballs from The Slow Roasted Italian)

Dinner:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, greens, biscuits, green beans

Snack:  fruit tray

Beverage:  sweet tea

Dessert:  Red Velvet Sheet Cake

June 26

Breakfast:  Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole, fruit

Lunch:  lettuce wraps

Dinner:  Red Beans and Rice, French bread, salad

Dessert:  pralines


Snack:  Crackers and Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

Beverage:  Hurricanes and mock hurricanes (or daiquiris and slushies)

June 27

Breakfast:  pancakes with toppings, sausage

Lunch:  cold cut subs, veg sticks

Dinner:  tacos, refried beans, guacamole


Dessert:  Twinkie Strawberry Shortcakes

Snack:  chips and pico de gallo and salsa (and guacamole)


Beverage:  Sangria/Non Alky Sangria

June 28

Breakfast:  cereal, toast, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  nachos/bean burritos

Dinner:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops (Debbiedoo’s), rice, broccoli

Dessert:  mini cheesecakes

Snack:  Boursin (homemade) and crackers

Beverage:  Chick-Fil-A lemonade

June 29

Breakfast:  Quiche, fruit

Lunch:  picnic lunch (Cane’s/Chick Fil-A)

Dinner:  Cannelloni (Land O’Lakes), salad, garlic bread

Dessert:  Tiramisu (Top Secret Recipes)

Snack:  Antipasto Plate

Beverage:  Italian Cream Sodas

June 30

Breakfast:  Big Breakfast (Josh’s responsibility!)

Lunch:  cold cut subs, chips

Dinner:  Pizza Rolls (Broke A Gourmet), corn, salad

Dessert and Beverage:  “Float”/”Fizz” bar

Snack:  Popcorn

July 1

Breakfast:  cereal, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  Pasta Salad from Land O’Lakes, crackers

Dinner:  Hot Dog Bar, chips

Dessert:  Strawn’s-Style Strawberry Pie

Snack:  veg sticks and dip

Beverage:  Sweet Tea Bar

July 2

Breakfast:  Baked Crock Pot Oatmeal (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), Bacon

Lunch:  leftover hot dogs and chips

Dinner:  Chicken and Dumplins, cornbread, salad (Pineapple Cheese Salad for me)

Dessert:  Apple Pie Bake (Imgur)

Snack:  Fruit and Yogurt Kebabs

Beverage:  Arnold Palmers:  Sweet Tea and Lemonade

July 3

Breakfast:  Breakfast Burritos (the Denver Omelet ones from Tablespoon), fruit

Lunch:  Big Salad

Dessert:  Baked Ziti, rolls, salad

Baked Ziti Plated

Dessert:  Coconut Cream Cake

Snack:  Cheese and Crackers

Beverage:  Iced Coffee Drinks

July 4

Breakfast:  Breakfast Sandwich Bar

Lunch:  English muffin pizzas

Dinner:  hamburger bar

Dessert:  Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Snack:  Veg Sticks and Dip

Beverage:  Cran-Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch with Orange Slices

What are your tips for easy entertaining (food) while keeping cool in the summer?



Meal Plan Monday: Prepping Leftovers for Josh’s Oven

Meal Plan Monday

How about this weather, huh?  Sure makes one not want to eat a cold sandwich or salad outside while you work on electronic equipment, huh?

That was my thinking when I bought my favorite Christmas present of Josh’s…the 12-volt vehicle oven.  He’s been enjoying it, and I’ve been trying to come up with cooking options to make plenty of leftovers for him to have options to “cook” in his van.

Josh actually trumped me; if you read yesterday’s Summary Sunday post, you know he made a HUGE pot of spaghetti and was able to fill two loaf pans with meals for the week.

This week my intent is to provide him options.  Also, I hope to try out some recipes as a dry run for the week of comp’ny in June (some have been made before, but many have not).  This is also a hefty make-ahead week.  I have several meetings at work this week, and Josh will be beating me home most days.  Sunday was a busy day around the house trying to prep for the week.

But here’s how it goes:

Saturday:  We met my parents to renew our Sam’s membership and ate the cheapest fast-food meal.

Sunday:  Natchitoches Meat Pies, canned green beans

Monday:  My sister’s method for making my grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplins (a special recipe post forthcoming), veg sticks and dip

Tuesday:  Dr. Pepper pork chops (meaning Muffin will be happy–see below for linky), Missy’s Twice-Baked Potatoes (from Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen)

Wednesday:  Slow cooker Pizza Meatball Subs, chips

Thursday:  Chicken Spaghetti (Six Sisters’ Stuff), green veg, garlic bread

Friday:  mini pizzas (made from sliced sandwich bread), canned corn

Saturday:  Margarita Grilled Chicken (Thank you, TSRI), beans (as in refried, made in the slow cooker again)

Sunday:  Mississipi Roast (from The Southern Bite cookbook and blog…thank you, Mom, for that lovely cookbook for Christmas!), mashed potatoes, glazed carrots

Special treat for the week:  Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies (from The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke…By the way, Hallmark Channel–or Hallmark Movies and Mysteries–has purchased the option to produce a MOVIE based on Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder!  I am so so so very excited!  I may have to have another Joanne Fluke party for the premiere!)

I have hopes of the Natchitoches Meat Pies, the Chicken and Dumplins (probably kept in his thermos), the Dr. Pepper pork chops and Twice Baked Potatoes, the meatballs (as a sub starter), the Margarita Grilled Chicken and beans, the Mississippi Roast and sides, and the Chicken Spaghetti making appearances in his “oven” next week and beyond.  I know I will enjoy some of the leftovers in my lunch in the next week (or so…if I make plates for the freezer!).

I made ahead the Dumplins, the Twice Baked Potatoes, the meatballs, and the chicken spaghetti this weekend (as well as the cookies).

As usual, I hope to link up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday:

Jambalaya Crawfish Pie Fil-ay Gumbo!

Jambalaya Crawfish Pie Fil-ay Gumbo!

This is what I made for dinner tomorrow (when I work a basketball game at school and the “boys” are left to fend for themselves and Wednesday…and possibly Thursday as well). I posted this recipe originally to Food.com when it was still Recipezaar, but since it’s pretty much my recipe, I’m going to post it here as well.

Jambalaya Mix: It makes a great gift in a jar as well!

1 cup raw long-grain rice

1 tablespoon onion flakes

1 teaspoon dried celery flakes

1 tablespoon green pepper flakes (I know Zatarain’s puts these out, and they can sometimes be found in bulk spice bins)

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 bay leaf (I used 3 small ones)

2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules (I used 2 bouillon cubes)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (always use freshly ground)

1/2 teaspoon thyme (I used leaves, not the ground)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne

3 cups water (low sodium if chicken broth) or 3 cups chicken broth (low sodium if chicken broth)

1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes (I used tomatoes with chilies and some complained about the spice)

12 ounces cooked smoked sausage, chopped

8 ounces cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped

Combine through cayenne pepper in a jar or baggy to make as a gift. Attach ingrdients and the following instructions to the gift. (Or, simply make the mix to use at home.).

Place mix, water (or broth), and tomatoes (with juice) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add sausage and cook 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed (It will probably take more, closer to 30 minutes). Add chicken and cook five minutes more. Remove and discard bay leaf.

A single recipe of this serves about 8. I doubled everything except the sausage, so that there would be plenty for this week.

For the printable version of this recipe, please see my recipe page.

I will say this: prepare it in a stock pot or a dutch oven. I used my blue Emeril enameled dutch oven. Also, in this case, I used regular diced tomatoes (Josh couldn’t find the petite diced in the garage, and since that is Angel the demon cat’s new hunting ground, I don’t go in the garage if I can help it).

Muffin Approved