Menu Planner – Week of April 30th

Meal Planner week of April 30th

Last week was a week of some extreme successes and some dismal failures when it came to food. That’s ok though, it’s all part of the wonderful world of recipe hunting and  my family seems to take it in stride.

The week’s biggest losers were the Quinoa Mac n Cheese recipe and the Spring Asparagus Pasta with Feta. Now I knew going into it that the quinoa might not be as good as I’d hope, but wow…it was truly and utterly disappointing. It’s not that it was bad or inedible…it just tasted like a cheesy polenta casserole. And to be honest, polenta costs a LOT less than it’s mostly pointless to me to eat one over the other.

The Spring Asparagus Pasta with Feta was surprising because we love every ingredient. It just didn’t really come together. It was a bit bland…

You won’t see full recipe posts for either of these popping up this week.

On the other hand, Tuesday night’s pairing of the Chipotle Lime Rice with both chicken and beef with taco seasoning was outstanding. We basically made our own little Chipotle style assembly system and the results were delicious. This recipe is one of my favorite new ways to make rice.

We also had some of our other plans go by the way side. An out of state friend came in to town and invited us to dinner Thursday, so we left Hair and the kids with leftovers. We scrapped our plans for a romantic Saturday dinner date at home in exchange for hosting a bunch of friends for an impromptu game night and my Sunday slow cooker chicken got tossed out the window when I forgot to remove it from the freezer.

I know that makes it sound like I didn’t cook much this week…but it doesn’t factor in the kitchen experimenting I did on my own and on Sunday afternoon with Hair and Mr W’s sister came to hang out. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Goat Milk ice cream, Triple Berry Lambec Sorbet, Homemade Gnocchi, Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Pepperoni Bites and a few other treats.

Now, here’s the plan for this week!

Monday (Use it up before it goes bad meal)

I had taken chicken out of the freezer Thursday morning and didn’t get around to doing anything with it, so I absolutely HAVE to use it tonight. I’ve been dying to try a knock off recipe for P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps and I have all the ingredients, so we’re going that direction tonight.

Orange Chicken (Freezer Bag from Aldi)
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Basmati Rice
French Green Beans

Chicken lettuce wraps

Tuesday (Small Group – No Cooking)

We have small group with our church on Tuesday night and we’re not hosting. That means I don’t have to make dinner…but I will make some type of snack or treat to take over and share. Chances are high it will be one of these items…

Chocolate Yogurt Cake
Zesty Low-Fat Lemon Cake
Bite Size S’more Cups

Chocolate Yogurt cake

Wednesday (Freezer Meal)

Wednesday is usually the day I go to the grocery store, so it’s the time of the week you’ll start seeing fresher items like salad’s show up on the list. We’ve got all the kids around and are doing some hosting over the weekend though, so I’ll still be pulling from my freezer stash for Wednesday night’s dinner. This one is a big hit with the kids and uses cooked, chopped chicken from my freezer stash.

Chicken Divergence Casserole
Egg Noodles
Fresh Salad

Chicken divergence casserole

Thursday (Freezer and Grocery)

Time for some fresher foods to start coming in to the mix. Our farmer’s markets will be opening up in the next few weeks…so I’m getting in the mood for things like tomato salad and deliciously grilled yumminess. We’ve got some gorgeous pork chops in the freezer, so I’ll edit one of my existing recipes to work on that. We’ve also still got a few potato puffs in the freezer from a package of Omaha Steak Company treats we ordered last year.

Grilled Balsamic Pork Chops
Fresh tomato and onion salad
Omaha Steak Company Potato Puffs

Fresh tomato and onion salad

Friday (Freezer and Grocery)

We’re having friends and their children over on Friday so everyone can enjoy the creek and the playground. It’s supposed to be in the 80’s, so it will be a great chance to enjoy the outdoors. To that end, I have no desire to spend the day cooking. We’ll have a combination of grilled items and make ahead items for dinner. Plus, I’ll likely whip up a few quarts of ice cream for us. I’d like to think I’m brave enough to make cones, but I think we’ll just buy them.

Grilled Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
Bacon-y Potato Salad
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Homemade Ice Cream for dessert

Bacon-y potato salad

Saturday (Grocery)

It’s a Saturday! And a Saturday with the kids around! That pretty much always means a big breakfast together. And it also generally means either waffles, pancakes or french toast. We haven’t had belgian waffles in awhile and I’ve been craving them, so I’ll likely go that direction.

Waffles of Insane Greatness
Fresh Fruit and Greek Yogurt

Waffles of insane greatness


And it all rolls back around to the end of the week again. There’s a good chance I won’t cook at all on Sunday. I’ve been going at it in the kitchen pretty hard lately and quite honestly, I’m ready for a day off. I’ll make dinner either Saturday night or Sunday night though, so here’s what it will be one of those days. On the other, we’ll just eat leftovers. If I can get the kids down to the creek with me one night, I’d also like to see if we can pick enough mint to make some mint chip ice cream.

Homemade Pizza with whatever toppings we have laying around
Fresh fruits and Veggies
Backyard Mint Ice Cream

Backyard Mint Ice Cream

Keep an eye out for quite a few recipes this week. I’m still working overtime on my book to free up more time for summer when the kids are out of school, but if I can find a free night this week, I’ll be sure to get a slew of posts scheduled for the next few weeks. I’ve got more than a dozen tested and photographed recipes I’m sitting on. Just need to find the time to post them.






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