Sunday, January 24, 2016

What we've been eating, and the (Failed) Pantry Challenge

Well, I usually do a Pantry Challenge in January.  But this year, I failed.
It didn't happen.
So I'm moving it to FEBRUARY!!!!! :)

Life has been chaotic and unpredictable, and I had to go out of town for nearly a week, so I decided not to sweat the pantry challenge.  Although we do really need to save some money, it will be in the upcoming month instead of this one.

So here's what we've been eating in the midst of our craziness:
Sunday~ Out to lunch.  I had been out of town almost all of the preceding week, and needed to go to the grocery store.  So we went out.
Monday~ Rotisserie-style chicken and steamed broccoli.
Tuesday~ various leftovers in the fridge.
Wednesday~ Tacos.  I tried a gluten-free tortilla, and it was surprisingly good!
Thursday~ Fend For Yourself.  Mom had a late practice.
Friday~ BBQ chicken, twice baked potatoes (from the freezer), broccoli
Saturday~ Tomato soup.  It is COLD.
Sunday~ A pretty amazing Sausage, Potato and Spinach soup.  I put it in the slow cooker and let it simmer while we were at church.  When I got home, I added the spinach, and made some cheesy bread for my guys.  It was a hit with everyone - my 15 y.o. said, "I can't even taste the spinach," to which my husband replied, "But it's so good for you".... MY HEART WAS PROUD!! And I forgot to add the cream - my guys loved it without.

This week should be a little calmer, and payday is this week.  (It's been six weeks since our last payday, so we are READY for it!!!!)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Pantry Challenge for a New Year?

Christmas was wonderful -
we celebrated with family and friends who were here, and called and sent pictures with those who are far away (but they will all be here next year!!!).
We ate a lot and enjoyed each other's company and exchanged gifts.
And, of course, talked about the upcoming year.

Each year, we usually do a pantry challenge in January.  It is a way for us to be more mindful of our grocery budget and use what we have.  I've learned that we are pretty good at repurposing leftovers and using them up.  Going out to eat is a way to handle stress for my hubby, and we haven't yet figured that one out!  He has, however, agreed to try a gluten-free diet for the new year.  And since sometimes, with dietary restrictions, it's easier to eat at home, I'm hopeful.

So I'll be working on a plan for the month during the course of this week, but for now, here's a New Year's week plan :)
Sunday~ leftovers... turkey breast, mashed potatoes, swiss beans, cranberry sauce
Monday~ Chicken Parmesan with gluten free noodles, and a tossed salad.  I was sent a sample of Ronzoni's Gluten Free pasta, so we will try it with this.
Tuesday~ Doctor's appointments and hitting lessons call for something fast and easy.  I think tacos will do.
Wednesday~ Ds#3 has an appointment with an allergist :( We have decided to treat him afterward... so whether it's a movie or out to dinner, we'll see what he wants to do, and then go for it.  (If it doesn't include dinner, we will probably have leftovers when we get home.)
Thursday~ New Year's Eve! We are typically a low-key group for New Years.  We hardly ever have big plans.  So unless something changes, we'll be staying in, and will have a simple dinner of breakfast.
Friday~ Happy New Year!  Having some friends over for a cookout.  Grilling burgers & hotdogs, and friends will bring the trimmings.  Here's to a great 2016!
Saturday~ TBD.  Getting organized for the new year and mapping a menu to match. ;)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Catching my breath... and this week's menu (and other adventures!)

Merry Christmas!

It's been three months... life has been a whirlwind but we are all doing fine.

Ds#3 has started high school.

We've had concerts.

Marine Son & his wife welcomed a sweet baby girl just in time for Christmas.
A GIRL, ya'll!!!
I'm excited.
(We have ALL BOYS in our family.)
Isn't she beautiful???

And we have eaten well; it's just been crazy busy and I haven't posted it!
This week will be full of family gatherings and celebrations, and lots of good food.
Sunday~ burgers on the grill (courtesy of Hubs) for lunch; chicken broccoli alfredo for dinner (over egg noodles for the guys, and with mushrooms and broccoli for me).  I just make this in a skillet instead of baking it in the oven.
Monday~ leftovers for lunch (pizza, Sunday night's leftovers, or sandwich stuff if they so desire).  For dinner, I'm going out to dinner to celebrate a friend, so my boys will fend for themselves.
Tuesday~ I'm not planning for lunch.  I'm getting my hair cut, so I may not be home.  For dinner, it'll be something quick as ds#3 has a hitting lesson.
Wednesday~ Our annual family Christmas dinner with my grandparents.  This year, we'll be going to a favorite local spot that is closing at the first of the year, so we're creating one last memory there.  Then we'll go to my grandparents' house for presents and dessert.
Thursday~ My brother and niece will be in town, so we will go have dinner at my parents' house.  It will be wonderful to see them; I'm sure we'll have lots of shenanigans as well as some good food (my mom's a great cook!).
Friday~ MERRY CHRISTMAS!  It will be just Hubs, ds#3, and me.  We've decided to go non-traditional and have steak on the grill, with mashed potatoes and our family recipe of Swiss beans (a variation on green bean casserole).  I will make pecan pie and pumpkin pie, because those are my guys' favorites, and top with homemade whipped cream.
Saturday~ We'll be having leftovers, because the week will be filled with lots of feasting!

Here's a wish from our family to yours, that your holidays are filled with joy and peace.
Please visit Menu Plan Monday for menu inspiration!

Monday, September 7, 2015

And now it's September :) A Labor Day Menu

It's been a month since I've posted!  ACK!
You can rest assured that life has been speeding ahead and everyone's been eating just fine...
We've been swamped getting back into school routines.
And ds#3 has begun playing Fall Baseball, so it's not slowing down.
We've been lucky the past three years while he's been in middle school - his activities have been our activities too, since he went to school where Hubs & I both teach.  That has come to an end, however, as he is stepping into high school.  Sigh.

So this week's menu looks like this:
Sunday~ family cookout.   Burgers, dogs, shrimp, with potato salad, cheese & cracker salad (a family recipe), broccoli salad, pineapple, chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  And there were even leftovers. :)
Monday~ leftover chicken (from last week) gets morphed into BBQ chicken (with a bun or without), hotdogs from yesterday, leftover potato salad, and baked beans.  Ball practice later this evening.
Tuesday~ previously cooked and frozen beef roast with gravy and mashed potatoes.  Tonight is high school's Open House, so I'll cook everything ahead to reheat and eat quickly.
Wednesday~ Tacos or taco salad or nachos.  Again, a fast, easy meal, as Hubs has bowling.
Thursday~ ball practice night, and Hubs' online grad class which starts before we get home.  A snack beforehand, and then every man for himself.
Friday~ WHEW - a night at home!!  Rotisserie-style chicken in the crockpot, baked potatoes, tossed salad and broccoli.  Comfort food at the end of a very busy week.
Saturday~ TBD.  We have a brisket in the freezer, and Hubs may smoke it, depending on the weather.

What's cookin' in your casa?  
What suggestions do you have have for fast, easy meals on busy nights?

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Menu #2, back at work!

Well, the day has come...
teachers are back to work.
Kids come next week.
Usually I am ready for more routine days, but this year I am longing for just a little more time.
Perhaps it is because my youngest boy begins high school this year... a bittersweet milestone.  He, of course, is very excited.

And what will we eat, you may ask?
Here it is:
Sunday~ spaghetti for lunch, and hotdogs for dinner.  Hubs is watching his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates on TV (which is a rarity) and he asked for celebratory dogs.
Monday~ BBQ chicken (sandwiches for the guys, over a baked potato for me)
Tuesday~ Fend For YourSelf.  Mom has a late meeting.
Wednesday~ Tacos
Thursday~ Greek chicken in the crockpot, rice, steamed broccoli
Friday~ Breakfast or nachos.  Depends on what we're in the mood for!
Saturday~ Something on the grill

Sunday, August 2, 2015

School's coming... August Menu #1

I did not go out of town last week, because I caught a horrible virus.
Which gave me a no good, very bad, horrible day (or two).
And I could not drive.
Because I kept running to the bathroom.
I have not been that sick in a very long time.
Luckily, I had made a huge batch of spaghetti and taco meat, so my guys had plenty to eat because there was no way I was setting foot in the kitchen.  I was doing good to make it from the couch to the bed (or bathroom).
I feel much better now - nothing like a nasty virus to make you appreciate feeling good!

In other news....
It's here.
School officially begins for teachers in one week; students will come back in two.
And because any work I really want to get done will have to happen this week, I may as well consider myself back to work.
And my baby is starting high school.
(I may or may not be freaking out about that fact.)

In the meantime, here's what we're eating this week.
Sunday~  for lunch, chicken bacon broccoli alfredo, with noodles for the guys.  For dinner, pancakes made with Pamela's.  It's better than Bisquick, which is hubby's preference.
Monday~ interviews at school, so the crockpot to the rescue.  Fiesta chicken with rice (sub cheddar cheese, and leave out the black beans and corn).
Tuesday~ burgers on the grill, thanks to Hubs, served with coleslaw and fries.
Wednesday~ breakfast for dinner is the plan, but this could change.
Thursday~ sloppy joes (no bread for me), the rest of the coleslaw, and fries.  Unless I feel very ambitious, in which case I will make homemade fried okra with the crop in our freezer.
Friday~ the guys are going fishing, so I'm leaving this open.  Our 'Plan B' is leftovers.
Saturday~ TBD, but possibly smoking a brisket from the freezer.  This will depend on whether or not Hubs feels like doing it, and how the weather is (rain makes it difficult...)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July Menu #5... heading into August

Summer is drawing down.
Even though it's still plenty hot here (heat index of 113, anyone??),  the end of July signals back-to-school.
I'll be out of town at a pre-school convention toward the end of the week, and then it'll be a flurry of back-to-school activity until we are officially back on the clock.

Hubs is back from a month of grad studies in Ohio, and we have loved having him back home.  We have feasted our way through this week, and I am getting used to having his appetite back in the kitchen. :)

Meanwhile, ds#3 continues to eat everything in sight.  I have resorted to buying cereal to keep him fed.  Yes, yes I have.

On the menu this week:
Sunday~ dinner with the fam to celebrate my grandfather's birthday.  He's 87 years young.
Monday~ I will have a night out with the girls and the boys will use a gift card to Chick-fil-A.
Tuesday~ Sticky chicken in the crockpot, twice baked potatoes, coleslaw, broccoli
Wednesday~ I'll make a big pot of spaghetti for the boys before I hit the road.
Thurs - Sat~ I'm out of town, so the guys will be fending for themselves.  There are plenty of options to eat at the house, but I'm sure they will eat out a couple of times.