Monday, December 29, 2008

Weekly Menu: 29 December - 4 January

Monday: Chicken Tenders, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Applesauce

Tuesday: Chili Baked Potatoes, Green Salad, Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday: Chili Dogs & Hamburgers, French Fries, Melon Slices

Thursday: Baked Potato Soup, Green Salad, Rolls

Friday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Spanish Rice, Fiesta Salad

Saturday: Pizza (Meat, Cheese & Alfredo), Salad, Breadsticks

Sunday: Corn Chowder, Green Salad, Rolls

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken, butter, soup and onion in a slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on HIGH. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

*Note from Ranae - This is a versatile recipe. I use it as a base upon which to begin cooking. If using pre-cooked chicken, cook time would not need to be as long or even on HIGH. It would need to be turned to HIGH to cook the biscuits in the last 30 minutes or so. I have used chicken broth instead of water. I also use homemade biscuit dough cut into pieces. Vegetables add more nutrition to the meal and turns it into a one-pot meal.

Carrot-Pineapple Salad

I found this recipe on I was searching for an easy side dish salad to serve at a luncheon for 20 people. I am not a big nut-in-my-food fan, but I love this dish. I did not serve it topped with mayonnaise and still enjoyed it. This pretty salad takes less than 30 minutes to prepare which is nice too.

The can of pineapple shown is larger than called for in the recipe so there is more pineapple in the salad than the recipe states. That is what I get for making it when half asleep. IF I had paid more attention and done it right, the pecans would rise to the top with the orange and yellow of the carrots and pineapple underneath creating a pretty salad as appetizing to look at as it is to eat.

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8-ounce can crushed pineapple, well drained, reserving juice
2 carrots, coarsely grated

In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over reserved pineapple juice and let stand 2-3 minutes. Then pour sugar and salt on top of gelatin. Pour boiling water over all and stir utnil sugar and gelatin are dissloved. Add lemon juice and stir to blend. Add pecans, pineapple, and grated carrot. Pour into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cover and chill 4 hours until firm. Cut into squares. Serve topped with a bit of mayonnaise, if desired. Makes 9 servings

All ready to chill in the refrigerator

Tuesday's Tip

Schedules can be busy with two or ten in your family. Tips and ideas that can help me spend more time doing what I want are always welcome. One thing I am trying to incorporate into my weekly meal plan is what I dub "Two for Tuesday."

What that means is what I prepare for Tuesday will be enough to make a second meal later in the week. That is where the two comes into play. For example, tonight will be beef post roast. I will place enough roast in my crockpot so that we may eat tonight, and that I have enough for a later meal. This week I will shred the extra beef needed for the Beefy-Vegetable Soup on Sunday. I found I have to freeze the extra meat as my family will eat it if I do not. I season my pot roast with onion soup as well as salt and pepper as needed so that I can use the meat in other dishes. From a roast I can also make barbeque sandwiches, beef burritos, shredded beef chalupas, Italian beef, beef and cheddar rolls and more.

The same can be done for chicken, turkey, ham, and pork loin or roast. I cook once and save time. I also do this on Tuesday because I can use my roaster or crockpot to cook. It frees my time which is good as Tuesday is usually my shopping day. I also have meetings or like to take a night off to go out and relax.

It does not have to be Tuesday (that just works for me and had a cool ring to the name). It can be any day that you find you are gone most of the day. It is easy to put a meal in to cook all day and serve with a couple of 5 minute sides at dinner time. Having the meat already cooked for a second meal is a nice bonus. It is a tip and idea that saves time and money. Who couldn't use a little of both of those?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Menu: 22 December 2008

Monday: Shrimp Toss, Salad, Green Beans, Garlic Toast

Tuesday: Roast, Potatoes and Carrots, Salad, Rolls

Wednesday: Roast Duck, Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Carrot-Pineapple Salad

Thursday: Broccoli Beef over Rice, Egg Drop Soup, Orange & Pineapple Slices

Friday: Chicken & Dumplings, Apple Walnut Salad

Saturday: Pizza (Sausage, Cheese & Chicken Club), Salad

Sunday: Beefy Vegetable Soup, Rolls

Shrimp Toss

1 pound spaghetti
1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 - 8 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
5 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Saute mushrooms, garlic and shrimp in butter 5-8 minutes until shrimp are pink. Stir in sour cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until blended and pour over hot pasta.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

AngelFood Ministry Meal Ideas

(three units shown in the picture with no specials)

Unit Contents:
  • Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts
  • Pork Chops
  • Ground Beef Patties
  • Beef Roasts
  • Hot Dogs
  • Banquet Turkey & Gravy
  • Carrot Slices, frozen
  • Green Beans, frozen
  • French Fries
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Shelf-Stable Milk
  • Corn Muffin Mix
  • Chicken Broth
  • Rice
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Sweet Potato Pies

Meal Ideas:

  • Chili Dogs, French Fries, Coleslaw
  • Turkey & Gravy over Toast, Green Beans, Salad
  • Chicken Tenders, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Coleslaw
  • Grilled Pork Chops, Buttered Potatoes, Carrots
  • Herbed Chicken, Seasoned Rice, Tangy Carrots
  • Chili, Cornbread
  • Shredded Beef Chalupas, Spanish Rice, Fruit
  • Gravy & Biscuits, Fruit
  • Fried Rice, Egg Drop Soup, Fruit Slices
  • Chili-Cheese Fries, Vegies & Dip
  • Ground Steak with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
  • Scrambled Eggs, Pork Chops, Toast, Fruit/Juice
  • Beefy Vegetable Soup, Salad, Rolls
  • Chicken Parmesan, Salad

Many of the meal leftovers if your family is kind (or unkind depending how you look at it) enough to leave some can be used in other meals saving preparation time. Beef roast leftovers can be shredded and used in the shredded beef chalupas and/or beefy vegetable soup. Leftover chili can be used to make refried beans for the chalupas. It can be also used for the chili-cheese fries or chili dogs. Leftover scrambled eggs can go into the fried rice.

My family loves chicken tenders, but since I ordered extra units I can also use them in a shortcut chicken parmesan meal. I do not look at it only as chicken tenders. I looks at it as pre-breaded chicken and let my ideas go from there. I can bake the chicken tenders until crispy and then slice them using them for a yummy chef salad.

I hope these ideas can help or fuel ideas of your own. I know sometimes I need a little boost (& lots of sleep) to get my creativity running. Happy Planning!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Food Distribution Day

I pick up my food from both Angel Food Ministries and SHARE Foods the same day. This is my haul for today and should feed my family for a couple of weeks. It would probably last longer, but everyone will be home from work and school so food disappears at alarming rate.

This is my SHARE Foods order. It is three regular units plus 2 specials.

This is my Angel Food Ministries Order. It is 3 regular units.

This is all the food I received today. It cost me $167. That sounds like a lot (and it is), but that feeds nine people for two weeks. Groceries bought at a store will normally run me $150 a week. To put things into perspective, my table is over 7 feet long (88 inches).

What I received today:

  • Ham Slices
  • Italian Sausage, ground
  • Beef Steak Strips
  • Imitation Crab
  • Shrimp, pre-cooked
  • Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts
  • Pork Chops
  • Ground Beef Patties
  • Beef Roasts
  • Hot Dogs
  • Banquet Turkey & Gravy
  • Carrot Slices, frozen
  • Green Beans, frozen
  • French Fries
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Eggs
  • Shelf-Stable Milk
  • Corn Muffin Mix
  • Chicken Broth
  • Rice
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Sweet Potato Pies