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Monthly Archives: June 2012

New weekly (hopefully) feature!

New weekly (hopefully) feature!

I was chatting with my bestie earlier and telling her how much I have changed my shopping habits. i.e. weekly shopping and weekly menus planned in advance. She suggested that I share my menu. What a great idea! It is, admittedly, a tedious task to sit and really plan out a menu, look thru recipes and also through grocery store ads to see what’s on sale this week. I am going to start posting my weekly menus and also link you to the recipes (if there is one). Not every night is a crazy gourmet meal. Not possible or practical. You will see ‘leftover’ night, ‘breakfast’ night and maybe even ‘tuna helper’ night once in a while. You will also see fun, easy recipes that I’ve found. When possible I try to find meals that I can make from leftovers too. My hope is that you can take the menu (or mix and match with your own), make your grocery list and head to the grocery store with a purpose. No more ‘what should we make for dinner’ conversations is the goal.

Week 1:

SundayForty Garlic Chicken, Fresh french bread. Make sure you allow plenty of time to cook this. It takes a couple of hours to cook but it is AMAZING. Reminder – refer to my garlic blog for garlic peeling tips. It’s essential for this recipe. Save leftover chicken for Tuesday’s dinner.

MondayBroiled Tilapia Parmesan, Green Giant potatoes with veggies.

TuesdayBBQ Chicken Pizza, Romaine lettuce salad. This recipe is about as close as you can get to California Pizza Kitchen’s version. Use your leftover chicken from Sunday, cut up into smaller pieces and dip in the BBQ sauce. I use refrigerated biscuit dough for the crust and make individual ones so that I can make cheese pizzas for the boys and the BBQ Chicken for Eric and me. I also sprinkle the baking sheet with italian bread crumbs and a little garlic salt before I put the pizza’s on the sheet. It adds a yummy flavor to the crust.

WednesdayEasy Slow Cooker French Dip, Sweet Potato Fries (frozen) and corn (frozen). Save leftover beef for Friday’s dinner.

Thursday– Breakfast for dinner. The boys always love this. It could be an omelot night or a pancake night. Mix it up!

FridayEasy Beef Stroganoff, Green Beans. I use the leftover beef from the french dip and cut into small pieces.

Saturday– Date Night. Everyone needs a break from cooking all week. Order pizza. Order chinese. Thai. or my favorite SUSHI!! I will try to put in one ‘break’ night per week. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Plus, if you plan your meals and maximize your leftovers, you are saving money.

Also, here is a link to a printable menu so that you can print out and write your meals on it and stick on the fridge. Then when you’re ready to cook, just click on the link for the recipe.

Menu Planning Templates

I hope this helps you. Please give me feedback on this. Is this something you would like to see weekly? What else could I add that would be helpful?

Happy cooking!

All Blogged Up.

All Blogged Up.

Ok. So I admit it. Summer has swallowed me up. My blog has clearly been the first to suffer. However, my love of all things kitchen has remained firmly intact. While my days are filled with fun at the pool, my evenings have been spent trying new recipes and searching the web for fun tips and tricks for the kitchen.

A few of my fun finds:

1. To save $, grocery shop once per week– I am on week two of this and so far so good. I have cut my weekly spend by a 1/3. Wahoo. The theory being that even if you go into the store to buy a gallon of milk, you’ll never walk out with only a gallon of milk.

2. Plan meals at least two weeks out– Sort of a pain at first to sit down and really plan out meals but soooo worth it. Pet peeve ‘o mine #1 – a daily conversation with E on what we should have for dinner. This has virtually been eliminated and I am LOVING it. Not to mention it is much easier to shop. I plan the meals, make the grocery list and go.

3. Prolonging the life of our bananas – pull them apart after you get them home to slow ripening. The result is TBD since I just did this for the first time the other day.

4. Sterilizing sponges– Pop them in the microwave (wet NOT dry) for one minute after every clean up to kill 99% of germs. I am pretty sure this is an old tip that somehow passed me by before. Happy to know this now, especially since the ‘norovirus-megedden’ hit the Warsaw house.  Must. Keep. Germs. Out.

5. Garlic peeling – In a previous garlic blog, I posted a video of a chef putting garlic cloves between two metal bowls and shaking them (see link below). I made Forty Garlic Chicken the other day and it totally worked. I was shocked at how much easier it was to get the skin off the cloves. WOW.

Garlic Peeling Trick

I hope everyone is having a happy Summer.  More blogs, tips and tricks to come.