Summer is in full swing. The kids are done with school, the morning and afternoon bus no longer dictate our schedule and the non-consistent “do we have kids this week or don’t we” craziness is well upon us. In many ways, that throws menu planning into disarray. After all, when it’s just the two of us, it’s so much easier to forget about dinner and just snack our way through the evening.
On the other hand, that’s not really the healthiest of options. And I’ve been working really hard at getting us back in the swing of healthy eating and as we all know…with no menu plans, it’s WAY too easy to just get lazy and not eat right. So with full disclaimer that deviation from this menu is not uncommon in the summer…here’s this week’s plan.
We actually cooked over the weekend. Crazy, I know… But that means we still have leftovers in the fridge. We’ll likely be eating those tonight. That said, I worked this morning on getting a double batch of Yates Chicken in the freezer and fed my Amish Friendship bread starter so it will be ready to split up and share with a friend tomorrow. Since I haven’t yet posted the Yates Chicken recipe (shame on me!), I’ll give it to you her. It’s about the easiest recipe I have and holy smokes is it tasty. Simply mix four cups of cooked and shredded chicken breast with 8oz of cream cheese and one small can of cream of mushroom soup. Spread it in a casserole dish, top with crushed Ritz crackers and baked at 350 for 20 minutes. That’s it. And it’s like crack. Since I need a pretty picture, for this listing, let’s go with the starter for the bread.
Tuesday (Free Night)
We’re actually planning to go visit friends of ours tomorrow night so Matt can help them build their chicken coop, so I get off scott free on dinner! Woot! I just need to take wine and the Amish Friendship bread starter. That said, there’s a chance of rain. If the rains show up, we’ll reschedule and fall back on plan number two, which is to make some almond pesto and have a big yummy sald.
Pasta Alla Trapanese
I’ve got a gorgeous tri-tip sitting in the fridge right now from Trader Joe’s. Two pounds of the most fabulous cut of beef you can grill. (No joke, I’ll put this right up there with filet mignon, it’s that good of a cut!) Wednesday night will see Mr W taking that baby out back and grilling it up into a tasty portion of absolutely yum. Of course we’ll need a few side dishes, so I’m going to zap some edamame and probably throw together either some cilantro-lime rice, or…try some basil lemon rice. (Since i have both basil and lemons on hand already.
There’s a good chance we’ll be helping friends move on Thursday, so we may or may not be around that night. If we are, we’ll be pulling stuff out of the freezer. I know we have some very nice looking pork loin chops up there, so I’ll give those a go with a new recipe I pinned last week. Will also pull some mashed potatoes from the freezer to go with them and toss a steamer bag of veggies into the microwave. This is one of those easy meals that I can keep on hand to use (or not use) for a few months and is exactly why I love freezing things.
Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce
Friday (Freezer & Pantry)
This will be an odd Friday for us as we’ll have Thing Three, but not Things One or Two. That will likely mean we do a movie together and have something easy like Pizza. In fact, I have two 16″ pizza in the freezer right now, so I probably won’t even make pizza. (See how summer makes me lazy?) Instead, I’ll start doing some cooking to get ready for a camping trip we have coming up at the end of the month. I’ll probably make a few loaves of banana bread and a batch of the best ever blueberry muffins as well. (Mom brought me two huge bags of frozen blueberries from last year’s backyard crop.)
I have had a hankering for scallops that I just can’t shake lately. I think it’s because I made the mistake of looking at them at Sam’s club and saw the scallops the size of Thing One’s fist sitting in the seafood case. Either way, it’s time for scallops! I’ll have to rustle up some other protein substitute for Thing Three this night to replace the scallops, but that should be easy enough as he’ll love the noodles from this new recipe. (And amazingly, I actually have almost every ingredient in this recipe, including the soba noodles in the pantry, so absorbing the cost of buying scallops won’t be so bad.)
Soy Citrus Scallops
Pan Fried Sugar Snap Peas
Sunday (Freezer and Grocery)
With all the chaos of the book and summer and trips and movie nights, I feel like I’ve been slacking a bit on the new recipes. We’re having a lot of repeats whereas we used to only have a few repeats per month. In an effort to get back to trying more new recipes, Sunday will mark the third brand new recipe for the week. Let’s see if I can pull this one off. Apart from the mushrooms, I have everything on hand. That makes this another great chance to try a new recipe with minimal impact on the grocery budget.
Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta
Now, don’t go holding your breath on this menu. I’ll try my best, but I promise at least one night will go awry, if not two. Of course in my defense, I’ll also start getting ready for our weeklong camping trip toward the end of the month, so as I do research this week, I may pick some new recipes just to have things in the freezer for that trip. I’ll let you know how things go during next week’s wrap up.