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I am a stay at home Mom of 3 living in Southern NH. This blog combines my love for my children, photography and cooking. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2 Week Menu Planning

I mentioned on facebook http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=503306084&ref=profile a few weeks ago that I had just completed 2 weeks of menu planning and the grocery shopping that goes along with it. Since I have been so bad about keeping up with my blog lately I am going to post all of the recipes at once (and post-date this post so that I am not so behind).

In order to keep me on track making dinner every night I sit down and plan the meals 2 weeks at a time. If I don't then I end of staring blankly into the freezer at 5pm with a freezer full of food but nothing to make for dinner and we end of ordering out for pizza.

As you may have already guessed I have many, many recipes that I rotate through and I try to make one new recipe during this time as well. Once the menu is planned then I sit down with all of the recipes and make a grocery list. I usually make the meal that use fresh veggies first and save the ones with frozen veggies for towards the end. All of the meat goes in the fridge until I need it. At the beginning of the second week I make a quick, short trip to the grocery store for more fresh fruit, deli meat for lunch, milk, bread etc. I make a copy of the menu for the 2 weeks and I post it on my fridge to keep me on track.

2 week menu recipes below
Sunday - Roast cooked in crockpot with beer bread.
Monday - Lemon Chicken with wild rice
Tuesday - out to dinner with friends
Wednesday - Broccoli and Garlic Penne
Thursday - Meatloaf and garlic smashed potatoes
Friday - Homemade Pizza and garden salad
Saturday - Sticky Chicken and white rice
Sunday - Corn Chowder
Monday - Ritz Poppy seed Chicken
Tuesday - weekly dinner out with friends
Wednesday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
Thursday - Bruschetta Chicken
Friday - Fettuccine Alfredo
Saturday - Dijon Turkey Burgers


Recipes part 1

Pot Roast
I don't have a real recipe for this. I used a top round roast and browned it in a frying pan before putting it in the crockpot. I added sliced carrots, potatoes and celery and poured a bottle of beer, a packet of lipton onion soup mix and a cup of water of the top. I cooked it on low in the crockpot for 10 hours and made a gravy with the drippings. It was SO good. I served it with homemade beer bread

Beer Bread
Beer Bread
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle beer
3 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoon melted butter

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add beer and continue to mix using a wooden spoon. Batter will be sticky. Pour into a 9 x 5 inch greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter on top. (I also usually sprinkle it with Seasoned Salt from Tastefully Simple.)

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees ) for 60 minutes. The top will be crunchy, and the insides will be soft.

Lemony Chicken Breasts with Rice (adapted from recipe in All You magazine)
4 tbs. unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 boneless chicken breast (cut in half)
salt and pepper
4 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups (uncooked) long grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scrape into slow cooker.

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium high heat until foaming. Add chicken breast halves and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add 1 cup broth and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add to the slow cooker, along with remaining broth, rice and 1 tsp. salt. Stir, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, 2 to 3 hours. Remove chicken, stir parsley into rice and season with salt and pepper. Divide rice onto 4 plates and top each with a piece of chicken; serve immediately. I served this with steamed green beans.

Broccoli and Garlic Penne Pasta

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups broccoli crowns (fresh tastes much better but you can also use frozen)
4 1/2 cups hot cooked penne pasta (medium tube-shaped pasta), cooked without salt
3 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Mix broth, basil, pepper, garlic and broccoli in skillet or wok. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 minutes or until broccoli is tender-crisp. Mix corn starch and water together with a fork and then stir into skillet. Add pasta and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Serve with cheese.

Meatloaf
I can't take credit for this recipe, it is Martha Stewart's Moms recipe. A friend who is a personal chef made it for me when Zack was born. Although I am not usually a meatloaf kind of person but this was so delicious that I had to get the recipe from her.

4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large egg
1 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add ground beef.
Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine. Add to meat mixture, using hands to mix well. Add egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, salt, and pepper; use hands to combine thoroughly. Place in an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, remaining teaspoon dry mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl; stir until smooth.

Brush mixture over meatloaf; place in the oven with a baking pan set on the rack below to catch drippings. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees, about 90 minutes. If top gets too dark, cover with foil, and continue baking.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes this can be made on the stovetop by boiling the potatoes and then adding the ingredients listed below or you can follow these direction to make them in the crockpot.

3 lbs red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream cheese with chives and onions (from an 8-ounce tub)
1/4-1/2 cup milk

Halve or quarter potatoes as necessary to make similar size pieces. Place in a 4 to 6 quart crock pot. Add garlic, oil, salt and water; mix well to coat all potato pieces. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours or until potato pieces are tender.

With a fork or potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Stir in enough milk for soft serving consistency.

Serve immediately, or cover and hold in slow cooker on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.
Save any leftovers and reheat in the microwave the next day, adding milk if needed.

Homemade Pizza we make pizza all of the time at our house. I usually keep some frozen pizza dough in the fridge but I prefer to make my own. The best part about homemade pizza is that everyone can pick their own toppings. Occasionally I will cut the dough in half and make calzones instead.

Breadmaker Pizza Dough
Makes 1 1/2 lb. dough
7-8 ounces water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

Combine all ingredients into bread pan. Select dough setting. Press start/stop. When the unit signals and the display reads 0:00, press Start/Stop and remove dough. Pat dough into 12 X 15 inch jelly roll pan or greased 12-inch round pizza pan. Let stand 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle toppings over sauce. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Sticky Chicken - I can't remember if I have shared this one before but it is a favorite at our house. I got this from one of the ladies on my online scrapbooking board. I serve this with white rice and pineapple chunks. My kids cannot get enough of this and beg me to make it every other night.

1 cup apricot preserves (the recipe calls for 1/2 cup but we like it really sweet)
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 uncooked boneless chicken breasts cut into large chunks

Preheat oven to 425°. In large bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Coat chicken pieces in mix. Place in greased baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken. Bake 15 minutes. Baste chicken with sauce using pastry brush. Cook 15-20 minutes longer, basting every 5 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.Boneless chicken breasts only take about 20-25 minutes total before they are done.

4 comments:

Karen said...

Thanks Sarah! This would be an amazing feat if I could pull something like this off. Of course with 2 of my kids not really eating at home anymore I can do it on a smaller scale. Thank you very much for the recipes!

CloverGirl said...

Mmmmmmmmmm. Great menu!! I want to come eat with you -- especially since you like to cook. I HATE cooking. I'll do the dishes, though!! :)

Crazyredhead said...

Brandi, you're on. I love to cook but boy do I make a HUGE mess. LOL

Carla said...

What a great idea! I wish I was half as organized as you are! I need to start planning like that! Must make the grocery shopping a little easier. Your recipes are great - you should make a cookbook!!
On another note - we have to get together soon! Let me know what works fo you. Hugs to everyone.