Monday, August 27, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I've been debating for a few weeks now if I wanted to join Menu Plan Monday. I plan meals for the whole week with Zak every Sunday night, but with all of the other things that I have going on, I wasn't sure if I would have time to post my menus for the week and/or a recipe, but Jakson is asleep right now, I am feeling ambitious, and maybe someone will even get something useful out of it.

Menu planning run-down: Quickly I'll explain how this works in our family (I know everyone does it differently, if they do it at all). We have budgeted $25-30 a week for groceries. I usually try to stay more towards $25, not including toiletries, baby Tylenol, diapers, etc. I know this doesn't sound like much but, with the help of the Grocery Game, comparing ads of other stores, and menu planning, I have been able to make it work without really giving up luxury foods (like ice cream :)). I only go to the grocery store once a week (on Mondays) with a specific list and that really helps too-when I was teaching, I swear I was at the store EVERY DAY and I never had a list-we spent a lot more then and had one less person!! The hardest part of the week is actually planning the meals, which is why I involve Zak. I hate having to be creative about meals-for some reason my brain goes dead. Thankfully, I have a lot of really great friends and family members who have shared recipes with me. That's usually where I get my meals, I hardly ever use a recipe book, unless it's like a ward one or something because I feel like professional recipes (Betty Crocker, etc) don't ever turn out as well (and are often harder) than the tried and tested ones I get from people I know. So, if you've ever given me a recipe and you read this, you may eventually see your recipe here-I'll give you credit if I can remember that I got it from you :)
I don't have enough time to type out every recipe I use, so I'll just post one or two a week-if there's one you're dying to have, just email me and I will get it to you.

The first ever Menu Plan Monday on this blog:
Monday: Lone Star Fondue (recipe below) and Salad
Tuesday: Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style (recipe below)-whole chickens only 57 cents at Basha's this week!
Wednesday: Chicken Roll-Ups with leftover chicken
Thursday: Quizfaux's (we started calling these sandwiches this after we couldn't afford the real Quizno's :))
Friday: Beef Tacos-Zak cooks! :)
Saturday: Lasagna-used this recipe for the first time a couple weeks ago-LOVED IT!! I used oven-ready lasagna noodles though-much faster!!
Sunday: Barbecued Pork Ribs and Potatoes

Lone Star Fondue-from Cheryl Gibson

1 round, firm loaf of bread (8-10 inches in diameter)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c. sour cream
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 c. diced cooked ham (3 oz)
1/2 c chopped scallions (I use green onions)
1 (4oz) can green chiles, drained and chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice off the top the bread and set aside. Hollow out the inside with a small paring knife, leaving a half-inch shell. Cut the removed bread into 1 inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups. In a large skillet, combine the oil and butter. Add the bread cubes and stir until thoroughly coated. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
To prepare the fondue: In a large bowl combine the sour cream, Cheddar and cream cheese. Stir in the ham, scallions, chiles, and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed bread, filling it. Replace the top of bread. Wrap the filled loaf with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the loaf on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the cheese filling is melted and heated through. To serve, remove the wrapping and put the loaf on a serving dish with the bread cubes placed around it for dipping

*I will usually buy a french loaf and make some extra bread cubes for dipping.

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style from Annie Reynolds
**Start the night before and let it "marinade" over night or it won't be as good-this is key.

4 tsps salt
2 tps paprika
1 tps onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional-to make it extra spicy)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 onion quartered
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs)-or you can get young chicken, but use same amount of each ingredient.

In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity and pay dry with paper towel. Rub chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Place chicken in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 4 to 5 hours. Let chicken stand for 10 min. before carving. The cooking time will be less if you are using a young chicken.


Mama Pajama said...

I love the Quizfaux's...funny. Thanks for the recipes!

Mique said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...your menu looks yummy and I want to try the recipes. How in the world do you spend less than $30 a week? I thought I was doing good by staying under $100 a week (though we do have 5 in my family and 2 in school which makes it worse- snacks & lunches, etc)...I'm in awe!

The Andrews said...

Hey this is a great idea! I want to get everyone on my link list to post menus each week. I always make a menu, but it's fun to get ideas from other people too. SO I think I will start posting mine!

Dancin Queen said...

I was just writing a comment for you when I got your comment! What a coincedence. Anyway, I like your menu ideas a lot. Enjoy your chicken pillows/roll-ups! Is that the way you make them too? Let me know if you have any secret to jazzing them up.

Nicole said...

Welcome to MPM! The sticky chicken sounds really good. I have book marked it to try soon. Have a good day!

Stam House said...

What a neet idea, those recipies look so good!!!

Danielle said...

I was looking at the Grocery Game website... how many stores do you subscribe to?

j&krosser said...

I tried to comment but I guess it didn't work. SO you should make your Olive Garden alfredo sauce and post it so I can have the recipe. That sounded good the other day.

Org Junkie said...

Wow, I am in awe of you only spending $30 a week on groceries. I spend $200 a week for a family of five...yikes!
Thanks so much for joining us and linking up your menu!


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