Menu Plan Monday ~ 14 November 11


Can you believe it? Only one more week and it’s Thanksgiving!

And then, we’re rushing headlong into Christmas…

I can hardly believe we are here already.  Seriously. Where has the last year gone?

I think we need to add another month in the calendar… something between Halloween and November that will allow us to get a little leg up on holiday preparations.  It’s almost too much to jump out of our Halloween costumes, straight into Turkey Day and before you know it, we’re drinking eggnog and singing carols.

Somebody slow down the merry-go-round!

All this holiday craziness, added to some big work projects (for SuperMan and me) means that I’ve got to get my act together… menu planning becomes even more important. I don’t want to be caught unprepared and not knowing what to cook – that will just mean added (unnecessary) stress and angst and I have enough of that without going looking for more!

I’m working on something my mom told me to do a long time ago (and I’ve actually been working on it for a while now) – I’m compiling a list of all the different dinner ideas I have – things I know my family likes and that I can refer to when I’m at a loss as to what to cook (or feel like I’m stuck in a rut)

I’m not doing anything fancy with it (although the temptation to make a cutesy little list is there) – I’m just keeping a running list on index cards for right now.  But, I’m finding it really helpful in coming up with some variety in our dinner planning. Especially when I’m cooking from the pantry and want to see what I can come up with based on what I have (and avoid a shopping trip!)

So, after referring to my ever-growing list, here’s what’s on tap for this week:

That’s the week!  What are you planning?  Anything yummy?

You can check out more menu ideas over at

Menu Plan Monday ~ 3 October

Happy Monday!

I’m happily returning to my usual routine this morning.  After last week’s craziness of commuting, classrooms and traffic, I am quite happy to be back working from home and spending time with my family.  Today is a special day – our anniversary – and so I am even happier to be home!mealplanmonday_v2

Here’s what we have planned for dinners this week – the weather is turning cooler (hooray!) and so my thoughts are turning more to soups, stews and heartier home cooking.

Are there any fall-weather favorites you cook for your family?

Here’s our plan:

Hop on over to for some more menu ideas!

A day late and a dollar short

Well, maybe not a dollar short… but definitely a day late.

As I posted yesterday, I had a stomach bug thingy going on –  not sure if it was from something I ate or a virus, but I was pretty much horizontal and green most of the day.  Little Bit ended up coming home from school early with a virus of her own – of the snotty kind, not the tummy kind – so we spent the afternoon on the sofa together. Big Girl became our nurse and we had a quiet day.

I woke this morning feeling MUCH better (thankfully) and found that Little Bit was still under the weather. She’s spent most of the day on the sofa watching TV, playing on the computer and drawing pictures. I think it’s just a cold virus type of thing, so we’re holding off on the doctor for now.  No strep-like symptoms or fevers to be concerned about. She’s just puny. But she will be back to school tomorrow.

So, today, I was finally able to focus on figuring out what our menu for the remainder of the week without turning green.  Even though the thought of food was rather nauseating yesterday, it bugged the heck out of me that I had no menu plan in place. (Yes, I know, I’m a little uptight that way. I like my routines!)

I’m very happy to have my plan in place now… It frees my mind up so that I can worry about other things… (and trust me, there are a lot of other things to worry about!)


  • Monday: BBQ Chicken tenders, homemade macaroni & cheese, grilled broccoli
  • Tuesday: homemade Salisbury steaks
  • Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, cous-cous and grilled veggies
  • Thursday: Beef Stew
  • Friday: Baked Potato bar w/ salad
  • Saturday: Homemade Mexican – tacos, nachos & fajitas
  • Sunday: Crock Pot “Baked” Chicken, mashed potatoes & salad
  • Monday: grilling out or Low Country Boil

I’m also craving my veggie chili, but it’s just been too darned hot for that yet. Hopefully it will cool off soon so we can enjoy some. I will eat it for lunch if nothing else. Winking smile

I guess I’m just going to be a day late all week – since today is Tuesday and I really should be posting my Project Life pictures today.  Oh well.

Hop on over to for some ideas for more menus.

Menu Plan Monday ~ 11 Oct

Happy Monday!!

I am so loving this fall weather. Makes me feel so alive and so much like baking and creating. 

Busy week in our house this week – the girls had a break from dance classes last week, but we’re back on the normal schedule this week so we will be busy. I’ve got some comfort foods planned and hoping to find time to do a little baking as well, but we will see.

menu plan monday

Here’s what’s on the menu for us this week:

  • Country Fried Steak & Gravy
    I use cubed steaks for this and cook them low & slow on the stove for about an hour. Makes a really tender steak. I’ll serve with some mashed potatoes and veggies.
  • Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
    This is one of Big Girl’s favorite meals and comfort food for me. I make it the easy way – I use Paul Newman’s Garlic Alfredo sauce (I watch for it when it’s on sale and stock up) and whole wheat noodles.
  • Sesame chicken bites
    One of my go-to easy recipes that the kids love. I’ll serve it with some baked french fries and fruit.
  • Salmon Croquettes
    SuperMan loves the leftovers for breakfast sandwiches.

And, well, I don’t know what else.  I’ll see where the week takes me, I guess, but this gets me started. I’ll probably toss in some chili or a crock-pot meal in the mix but I will wait to see where the week’s agenda goes.

I hope you have a great week! Check out other menu plans over at

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 4 Oct

I’m not going to be cooking much this week.  That is because I spent a lot of time cooking this past weekend. We had company all weekend and dinner guests Sunday night – I cooked several big meals and we’ll be enjoying the bounty of leftovers for a few days.  I love it when that happens.  I love cooking, so it’s not a chore to me, but it is really nice when you cook a little extra and can take a break – especially after a marathon cooking session.

Here’s what we have planned for the week:

  • Monday: Rotel Chicken Pasta Bake (leftover from Sunday night)
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti (leftover from Sunday lunch – may make this into baked spaghetti to mix it up a bit)
  • Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings (using leftover chicken from the 2 5-lb chickens I grilled this weekend)
  • Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan (using leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday)
  • Friday: BBQ Ribs & baked acorn squash

That should take us through the week quite well.  I have no idea what we will do Saturday night – SuperMan and I have plans and so the kids will probably do something easy like pizza.

What are you doing this week?  Any good recipes to share?
Join us over at for your Menu Plan Monday.

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Barbeque Dry-Rubbed Chicken

I subscribe to Cook’s Country magazine. I love it for many reasons… the fact that it has no advertising, the fact that they give reviews of cooking tools/appliances and foods… but mostly for the awesome recipes.  Their sister magazine Cook’s Illustrated is also great (I subscribe to that one, too) but I find I cook more of the recipes in Cook’s Country than the other one. 

They are two magazines that I can’t wait to sit down and read when they arrive in the mailbox.  And I mean read, not browse through, like I do most magazines. I find I learn something new in every single issue. So, when I got the latest issue, I couldn’t wait to dive right in.  And, I found a mother lode of recipes to try this month (in fact, this week!)

Last night, we tried the Barbeque Dry-Rubbed Chicken.  One word to describe it?  YUM.

We love barbeque chicken.  But the girls are a little picky about the “black stuff” on the chicken (also known as the caramelized barbeque sauce, which, to me, is the best part) so sometimes it is a little tricky to prepare. I was also intrigued by the fact that the recipe promised great tasting chicken – most of the time, what you taste is the barbeque sauce, not the chicken itself.  The chicken is just the transport vehicle for the sauce. 

I decided I had to try it.

I bought two packs of thighs and legs at the grocery store the other day.  So, yesterday morning, I made up the dry rub mix.  SuperMan and I decided to triple the recipe for the rub mix… once I made one batch it didn’t seem like enough. I am glad we did. We had just a tiny bit left over when the whole thing was finished and our chicken was well coated in the rub (did I say it was yummy!?! It was!!)BBQ

Recipe is below.  I served it with saffron rice and steamed vegetables.  I think grilled corn would be a great compliment to the rub seasonings, too. (the picture is a scan from the magazine. I didn’t think to take a picture last night.)

Oh, and I did not include the cayenne the recipe calls for. I am allergic (think  swollen, puffy lips and you get the idea) to cayenne, so I left it out.  Even without that kick from the cayenne, it was awesome. 

Next time I think I will add a teaspoon of smoky paprika and see how that does.  I love the flavor of smoky paprika and think it would add even more depth of flavor to the recipe and maybe replace the flavors from the cayenne.

And the girls’ verdict? They ate every single bite.  Gotta love that!

Try it!

Cook’s Country Barbequed Dry-Rub Chicken

(serves 4-6)

3 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

3 lbs bone-in, skin on chicken pieces

  1. Rub chicken – Combine brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, salt and cayenne in small bowl. Transfer half of dry rub to shallow dish; reserve. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and coat over and under skin with remaining rub. Transfer to plate and place in refrigerator, covered, for one hour.
  2. Grill chicken – Grill chicken (skin side down) until skin is well browned and crisp (15-20 min)
  3. Dredge chicken – Lightly coat skin side of chicken with reserved rub and return to grill, skin side up. Continue to grill, covered, for 15-20 min (until rub has melted into a glaze)
  4. Rest – Transfer chicken to a plate, lightly tent with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I have to say, this was the juiciest, most flavorful barbequed chicken I have ever eaten.  We will definitely be making this one again and again.