Apr 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 04/26/10

This week we will be eating.....

Monday - Hamburgers, Salad
Supposed to be on last week's menu, but flexibility is our middle name! I mixed these with dry onion soup mix, put a bit of cheese in the middle and grilled them on the George Foreman. Fast, easy, and yummy. These will become part of my next freezer plan.
Tuesday - Swedish Meatballs over pasta, Salad
Cheating a bit here as I bought up a bunch of meatballs at Safeway when they had them on sale.
Wednesday - Chicken topped with Cream of Chicken Soup & Parmesan Cheese, Veggies
Thursday - Balsamic Beef ‘n Pasta, Salad
This is a new recipe and I'm hoping it is a keeper as I'm getting a bit tired of our standby crockpot roast recipe.
FridaySpicy Chicken ‘n Rice, Veggies
Another new recipe; it sure sounds like something my family will like.
SaturdayCrockpot Kielbalsa ‘n Dirty Rice
And yet another new recipe. I love to try new recipes!
Sunday –Oriental Porkchops, Salad

If things go like most weeks, we won't get to all of these meals this week. We usually end up eating out one day a week. Eating from the freezer is great for our lifestyle as I know the food won't spoil if we don't eat it right away. I also like to swap my planned meals to different days during the week depending on our schedule.

So that's the plan...we will see how it goes!

Apr 23, 2010

Ultimate Beef Stroganoff

I originally found this recipe at My Kitchen Cafe. The original poster changed blog locations and hasn't yet added this recipe to her new site so I will post the recipe here.

Ultimate Beef Stroganoff

2-3 pounds stew meat
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 onion, sliced
¼ tsp. garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth or stock (made up from cubes or granules)
1 tablespoon ketchup

Put first four ingredients in crockpot.

Mix next four ingredients in small bowl. Pour over meat.

Cook in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

When cooked make a simple roux by whisking 1/3 cup flour with enough apple juice (about 5-6 tablespoons) to make a thick but still pourable flour mixture. Whisk the roux into the crockpot and add 4 ounces sliced mushrooms.

Cook on high for 15-30 minutes. Then stir in ½ cup sour cream. Serve over pasta, rice or baked potatoes (pasta is my favorite option!).

*Freezable Meal: The leftovers of the stroganoff can be frozen. I store the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and then thaw in the refrigerator (usually takes about a day) and reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

Here's how I prepped it for the freezer:

First cube beef, then combine first four ingredients in a ziploc bag. In a second quart or sandwich size bag, combine next four ingredients. Put both bags in a large freezer bag and freeze.

When you want to cook, put beef mixture in crockpot and pour sauce over it - cook on low all day. Continue with roux once done.

Note: I've made this three times, each with variations.

The first time I didn't have apple juice, so I substituted broth. It turned out really good.

The second time, I made it exactly like the recipe. I didn't care for it as much as it was a bit sweet from the apple juice. Family didn't notice.

The third time, I simply mixed in a can of cream of mushroom soup into the crockpot and served it over noodles. Worked like a charm with no effort at all.

We are actually eating this week....

...even though I didn't post a menu plan!

I tend to get busy with life. And forget that I wanted to regularly post our menu plans so that I would be able to go back and use them for those future weeks when I have no idea what to cook.

So...better late than never...here is what we had/will have this week.

Monday - Ultimate Beef Stroganoff
The link is no longer working for this recipe so I am guessing the original poster removed it for some reason. I will post the recipe right after this post. (Although I did cheat a bit when making it this week - I didn't make the roux, but instead mixed the beef with a can of cream of mushroom soup - it was still good.)
Tuesday - Mexican Penne
This recipe is one that I love. Even after freezing, my family still really likes it. I was worried that the pasta would lose it's texture after freezing, but it doesn't and I plan on putting this on my next freezer cooking plan. It's a keeper!
Wednesday - Roast
In the crockpot w/cream of mushroom soup and a packet of onion soup mix. Throw in a bunch of baby carrots and some cut-up potatoes and dinner is done.
Thursday - Sue Sue’s Casserole
This is another tried 'n true recipe that freezes well. Sue Sue's casserole is one of those meals that is perfect for giving away or for potlucks.
Friday – Hamburgers
I plan on mixing the ground beef with a packet of dried onion soup mix - maybe putting some cheese in the middle. I want to come up with something a bit different than regular hamburgers that I can add to my next freezer plan.
Saturday –Fajitas
I will be using the fajita seasoning mix I posted about here or the mix here.
Sunday – Porkchops
This is a recipe my mom used to make. And so easy. Simply put porkchops in a baking dish, cover with cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onions and bake. My family loves it and I love how easy it is to make.

That's it for this week and next week will (hopefully) be posted soon.

Apr 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 04/12/10

Well, this week will be a bit different as hubby is out-of-town for a few nights.

My first thought was "I'm not cooking!" Then I mentally tallied up how much take-out or fast food would cost. It is so much cheaper to eat at home. And after I spent a whole five minutes this morning throwing a chicken and some potatoes into the crockpot, I realized that dinner doesn't have to always take a lot of time to prepare.

That being said, I retain the right to change this week's plan at a moment's notice!

Here's our tentative plan:

Monday – CP Chicken w/Red Potatoes
Tuesday - Little Caesar's or Domino's (we will probably eat leftovers instead)
Wednesday – Eat Out
Thursday - Pancakes w/Eggs or maybe something else
Friday – Korean Tri Tip
Saturday – Pork Chops, Rice
Sunday – Chicken w/Salsa & Cheese

Such an easy week! Wednesdays are always rushed, so I will stick to something simple that day. I will have to run to the grocery store to get the green chilies for Friday and the french fried onions for Saturday. And the salsa for Sunday. But that's four whole days away, so I've got plenty of time. And maybe I can convince hubby to take us out to dinner Sunday after church like I did last week!

So that's my imperfect plan...what are you eating?

Apr 9, 2010

Taco/Mexican Seasoning

Continuing on with my make-ahead seasoning posts....

I like to keep several packets of seasoning around for quick fix meals like tacos and other mexican dishes. I also like to make up several bags of mexican meat to freeze when I can find a good sale on hamburger.

In the past I've used this recipe, but I'm not completely satisfied with it. I think the red pepper flakes make me feel like the spices aren't well mixed.

So, next time I'm needing a mexican seasoning, I plan to try the following:

All-Purpose Mexican Seasoning

2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. garlic powder
2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper

This comes from 'FishMama' and you can view her original post here.

Apr 7, 2010

Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning

This seasoning is one of my favorites for chicken! Whenever whole chickens go on a good sale, I buy up a few just for this. I clean the chickens and remove the skin. Then I put it in a ziploc bag, rub on a packet of this seasoning, and freeze. When I want to use it, I plop it into the crockpot and let it cook on low all day. It always comes out great. I have even put it in the crockpot frozen (even though the freezer cops warn against this) and it was still great.

I like to make up several packets of seasoning at once. This saves a ton of time. I originally found this recipe here at Recipezaar.

Rotisserie Chicken

1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 lbs roasting chickens
1 cup chopped onion

You will love this!

Fajita Seasoning

Next week I plan to try out this fajita seasoning I found at About.com. If we like it, I will make up several packets to have on hand. Fajitas are a new item for my next Freezer Cooking Plan and I want to find a good seasoning mix for them.

Fajita Seasoning

•3 Tbsp. cornstarch
•2 Tbsp. chili powder
•1 Tbsp. salt
•1 Tbsp. paprika
•1 Tbsp. sugar
•2-1/2 tsp. crushed chicken bouillon cube
•1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
•1/2 tsp. garlic powder
•1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
•1/2 tsp. cumin

This will make the equivalent of three seasoning packets.

Make Ahead Mixes

I am wanting to prep some make-ahead mixes to keep on hand.

Right now, I'm just in the planning stages, but I figured this would be a great place to start cataloging the different mixes I want to prep. That way I will have them all in the same place once I'm ready to throw them together.

Having different seasonings and/or mixes ready to go takes half the work out of preparing items in the kitchen.

So far I want to prep packets of:

Rotisserie Chicken seasoning

Fajita seasoning

Taco seasoning

Prime Rib seasoning

Hidden Valley Ranch Copycat seasoning

I also would love to make up some mixes for muffins and such.

I've found that ziploc snack size bags work perfectly for the seasoning packets. I'm guessing the quart size bags would work well for larger mixes.

Apr 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 04/05/10

Wow, it has been awhile since I've posted my weekly menu plan!

That doesn't mean I haven't been making weekly menu plans - in fact, I have come to rely on my weekly menu plans to get me through the week! The last few weekly menu plans have been based on my four month freezer plan that I posted about several months ago. Let me say this - having my weekday meals ready to go with little to no effort has been a lifesaver! Some nights I'm so tired and I know that I have would resorted to fast food or pizza many times rather than prepare dinner at home.

This week, since I'm home for the week, I will be cooking. The original meals that sit in my freezer will fit nicely into Sunday slots as those days are usually busy and I like to have something easy for those days also.

Here's what we will be eating this week:

Monday – Enchilada Casserole (left over from last week)
Tuesday - Chicken Spaghetti, Roasted Cauliflower
Wednesday - Taco Pasta, Green Chili Rice
Thursday - Wonton Manicotti, salad
Friday – Potato Soup
Saturday – Chicken Bacon Lo Mein
Sunday - Crockpot chicken

The wonton manicotti is a recipe I made up from some ideas I got online and if it turns out I will post the recipe here. The crockpot chicken will be a whole chicken that is in my freezer right now. I will throw it into the crockpot with some spices and let it cook away.

That's it for this week - what are you eating?

For more menu ideas, check out Orgjunkies site with links to hundreds of ideas.