Category Archives: Menu plans

Menu Plans–April 19, 2016


It won’t be long now, until my menu plan includes cabbage and broccoli.  I also have lettuce, spinach, and several other things growing.  I spent last evening after work, and some time this morning working on the garden I am sharing with my sister, Rosalie.  A couple of Saturdays ago, we planted these little starts and some seeds, and last night I hoed around them.  I love gardening, and am so excited that I will not only get to garden this year, but that there will be two of us to take turns watering and weeding so there will be more freedom, with all of the benefits of a garden, for both of us.

We have been having quite a few “pick-up” dinners around here lately.  That is what we call it when we reach into the fridge and cupboard, and pick up whatever is in there and serve it for dinner.  So, last evening, we had cheese pieces, lunchmeat, some apple slices, and water, mainly.  Rob had actually grabbed some food and thrown it into a cooler and met me over at the garden after I finished work.  He had a load of fencing and hog panels to take over there.    Things are getting even crazier and busier around here, so we need a menu plan.

Wednesday:  Rob takes 2 youngest girls to the ortho really early, I work during the morning, and here at home late afternoon.  He will serve dinner to the rest of the family while I finish and we will bolt out the door for church.  So, crock pot it is.  I will do chuck roast with potatoes and carrots in it.  I never got around to that last week.

Thursday:  leftover chili from Friday, frozen corn bread   The girls have eye appointments plus their regular dance classes, so home late.  They are having Lovana work all the time, long, long hours right now since they are down some people and can’t seem to hire any more, so she won’t be asked to cook this week.

Friday:  BBQ chicken.   I will ask Rob to grill enough for Sunday dinner, as well while he’s at it.  There is a recipe that intrigues me in my new Clean Eating Magazine, for potato waffles, which basically looks like grated potatoes and chives cooked with some other things in a waffle iron.  I may try that.  I also have a friend coming in from out of town and some other appointments, so we will see how it goes.

Saturday:  The girls have an extra dance rehearsal, as recital is approaching, but I should be able to cook just fine.  Turkey meatloaf sound good, or I can do turkey burgers if that sounds better on that day.  Part will depend on what schedule my friend is on–and when she’s eating here or elsewhere.  We will work it out later.

Sunday:  Family dinner.  I will take chicken.  We will probably buy rolls, as my niece and nephew love them so much.  I may make a fruit crisp, if I get time, as I still have fruit to use up.  I will have others bring salad, I can do green beans.

Monday:  Rob can barbecue his choice of meat.  There is steak, pork chops, burgers—I’ll let him choose.  It will be my last Monday of work for a while, so I’d better enjoy him cooking as long as I can:)

For all the meals, we can have salads, and numerous veggies remain in the freezer and canned goods cupboards that will be added to the meals.  As the time of our move comes closer, I can see that I will have less and less time to cook.  Already, I used quite a bit of my day today packing with my mom and aunt (sewing room done), and hauling firewood with Rob (I went on one load, and he and J did the other).  There is lots left to haul.  We figure my sister’s family might as well get some good out of it.  If the buyers end up with some, I’m sure they will appreciate it, too.

Menu Plans–Use It Up Project-April 12,2016


I am going to combine the use-it-up post and the menu plan post, for the sake of time today.  Clearly, I am a bit behind in the game anyway.  Yesterday, we ate leftovers, and I packed a lunch for work.  The ones who were home, ate here for lunch.

Since we accepted the offer for the house on Saturday, and if all goes well we will be moving in about 6 weeks,  I am now feeling more urgency than ever to use up things off the stockpile shelf and freezers.  Rob had invited several men over on Saturday to help get ready for a sale he is having this weekend.  I was able to use macaroni, hamburger, a can of beans off the shelf, 2 small jars of tomato juice/drink that had been around forever and made chili mac.  I also made mac and cheese (homemade) while I was cooking for dinner and the week.  I used up several jars of home-canned goods in the last few days as well.  I took burger items, including home-made pickles to my sister’s on Sunday.  I’ve been using the bread from the freezers, as well as corn and a bunch of popsicles I found.  Of course, we continue to use frozen fruit in smoothies–my kids eat countless smoothies.

We ended up bringing Jake home with us on Sunday, as he has a bad cold and his mom and sister had important doctor appointments and his dad had to work.  So, his menu plan has been Cinnamon Toast Crunch (he’s eaten 1/2 of a box so far), bacon (his favorite), apple juice and a Happy Meal on Sunday night.  Pretty easy!  Our menu plan has been leftovers so far:)  I need a menu plan even more when I am so busy, so here goes!



He’s feeling much better now, after being catered to for 2 days by everyone in this house, because we all adore him!

Tuesday:  Tacos, green beans (I will be driving Jake home, and picking up Lovana from work—not at all near each other–so will be gone for several hours around dinner time–so will cook it earlier and leave it for everyone or have some of them eat early)

Wednesday:  Crock pot  pork roast cooked with carrots and potatoes (working until 5:15-30 and then leaving for church immediately–Rob and I decided to do a 10 week Bible class together–loving that!)

Thursday:  Lovana has to work a lot of extra hours this week, so I don’t think she will cook.    We are gone until 6:30 doing dance with the  2 other girls, so I’m guessing leftovers again if we didn’t eat them for lunch.  Otherwise, sandwiches.

Friday:  Rob is having a sale and there are going to be lots of extra people helping.  I also have 2 appointments that I still need to take people to.  So–Chili in the crockpot.  Needs to be cooked Thursday, and just keep warm in there so people can dip out what then need at any time.  I also have some frozen cornbread from last week that I will thaw.  I want to make a large veggie tray and will do a large fruit crisp for both days.  We have a birth-mom visit for Patsy at a restaurant that evening, so we will eat there.

Saturday:  I will do sandwiches.  I bought a large package of lunchmeat at Cash and Carry and have frozen bread.  I will also do veggie tray and the leftover crisp.  Other than driving Lovana back and forth (total of 2 hours of driving), I will stay home and help Rob.  There will also be some extras that day, helping.  For dinner, we will do leftovers.

Sunday:  Family meal—we haven’t figured it out yet.  I will communicate with my sister via email and we will figure it out soon.


I sure appreciate my right-hand helper during these busy times!

Menu Plans–Week of April 3, 2016


Yesterday, we took the cousins and Patsy to a park in Salem, Oregon.  She photographed this lovely yellow flower.  I thought it was a buttercup, and I was right.  What I did not know was that it is a Fig Buttercup and is on the invasive species list here in the United States.  And to think I wouldn’t let her pick any…………

The house showings have slowed down.  I got quite a bit of cooking and eating at home done last week, which is always better on my wallet and my stomach both!  It is so easy to get into some accidental wheat when I’m eating out or to feel very disappointed when I get my meal and compare it to what I would have cooked at home.  Hopefully, we can eat at home a lot this week, too.

Sunday:  Family dinner–chicken, salad, corn, rolls (purchased).  Leftovers for dinner.

Monday:  Chicken soup in the crock pot.  It is fully cooked from Friday, and just needs to be warmed while I am at work.

Tuesday:  I have a late haircut scheduled and a showing that will be held that day–just not sure when, plus many, many other things planned, such as the sewer being pumped and tested, my sister coming to clean some more……So, lunch will be leftovers if there are any or sandwiches or salad with my sister, and dinner will be beef stew in the crock pot, so it’s flexible.

Wednesday:  Barbecued beef steak, vegetable basket

Thursday:  Lovana cook.  She hasn’t for a while.

Friday:  Fish tacos

Saturday:  Sweet and sour chicken or pork

Sunday:  Family dinner:  hamburgers and relish tray (my part)  Potato salad, drinks, etc.–other people will bring.



Menu Plans–Week of March 27, 2016


Sunday:  We went to the beach and ate at Mo’s.   It was very different from our usual after-church tradition, but we enjoyed the scenery and the food, as always.

Monday:  Pork roast in the crock pot

Tuesday:  Lunch:  Chili (my sister is helping me do additional cleaning on this day)                 Dinner:  Fish tacos (with tilapia I got on super sale, and tortillas that need to be used)

Wednesday:  Pork enchiladas (Make Tuesday, as I work later on Wednesdays)

Thursday:  Lovana’s birthday.  We will take her out to eat, hopefully.

Friday:  Chicken  (If Rob feels better, we will have a garage sale, so oven-roasted.  If he doesn’t shake this super-bad cold I’ve had for 14 days now in time to sort and clean enough, maybe he will feel up to barbecuing)

Saturday:  Leftovers or soup in the crock pot. Maybe both.  My niece and nephew are coming to help with the sale, hopefully.

Sunday:  Dinner at my sister’s.  Since she is still on vacation, we have not discussed details.

Of course, this is all subject to change if they want to show the house.  I’ve noticed that the frequency of viewings is slowing down, which makes sense, so am hopeful that we will be able to work around them more easily with our meals.  I still hope they show it, though, and will happily leave, if need be.

Menu Plans


I have a few minutes to plan meals for the week, so here goes.  I just love having them planned.  It sure saves me a lot of agony during the week.  This week I don’t have to work, since it’s spring vacation.

Sunday:  Turkey meat loaf, green beans, instant mashed potatoes.

Monday:  Chicken sausage shish kabobs

Tuesday:  Clam chowder

Wednesday:  Tamale Pie

Thursday:  Barbecue pork chops (our pig should be picked up by then–can’t wait to try)

Friday:  Leftovers or pizza

Saturday:  Soup

Some of this menu is going to depend on how many times we are asked to vacate our home so it can be shown.  I’m reserving a large handful of gift cards for everywhere from Subway to pizza, to Applebees that I’ve had for a few months.  I’ve saved them for this time.  Here’s hoping we will have to get out often:)

Lunches will be leftovers, and breakfasts will be the usual things like pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, muffins, etc.

Menu Plans For The Week of March 6, 2016



This will be the last week I get home-grown eggs for a long time, unless they are a gift.  The chickens are going to the auction tomorrow.  So, I plan to wash the large bowl that was collected, the few that will be in the barn in the morning, and maybe collect an occasional egg from the 3 escapees that Rob could not catch.  He may catch them in the morning, though.  The eggs I get will store well, I will use them, and then begin buying eggs again.  We usually have scrambled eggs for breakfast several times each week, and sometimes do them easy over or in omelets.  We still will, but not quite as often, as eggs are expensive around here.  If they come down in price for Easter, I will get several cartons.

Last week, I was glad to have the menu.  I did not stick to it all the time, but it was good to refer to whenever I was at a loss.  I ended up staying home all day Friday and Saturday, sorting, pre-packing, organizing the camper, and cleaning.  We had help both outside and in.  I fed quite a few extras this week, and was glad for their presence.  I pulled a frozen casserole out on Saturday and it was slicked up quickly!

This coming up week is one of the busiest yet.  There will be many extra people to feed.  I love doing it, I just need a good plan that does not involve a crock pot that doesn’t cook the food by mealtime!

Sunday:  We ate at my sister’s house and she and my aunt provided it all.  Rob and I cooked a lot of the food, following their instructions.  She made a crock pot full of assorted meat (pork chops and a very small ham).  I made about 6-7 lbs. of mashed potatoes from the bag my aunt left on the counter.  Rob made gravy from the juices in the bottom of the crock pot.  I cooked a pot of home-canned beans and my aunt made salad.  It was great.  We only had 14 today, so it was just the right amount of food.  Our other sister, Rosalie, surprised us by joining us for the meal. I knew she might come, but Gail did not, so was super surprised and happy to see her.

For dinner:  Sandwiches and leftovers

Monday:  soup from Thursday–turkey vegetable, plus Rob will make something else like cornbread, etc. (I work all day, Rob has a list a mile long–glad for the leftover soup)

Tuesday:  Barbecued chicken.  Beans.  Berry crisp.  (guests for dinner–helpers in afternoon only)

Wednesday: Hamburgers (Rob again–love that barbeque–I’m teaching that day)

Thursday:  Lovana cook  dinner(Son-in-law helping during the day, may need lunch, no big deal)

Friday:  4H day.  20+ kids, plus parents, doing classes all day.  We will eat the food for lunch and dinner will be leftovers or hot dogs.

Saturday:  At the last count, I’m thinking 10+ for the noon meal. I think I will get ricotta cheese and make lasagna.  I have the rest of the ingredients and it could just be popped in the oven on such a busy day.  I will also make a large salad and some dessert of some kind. I may do carrots and celery and some ranch dip.

Sunday:  There are between 20-30 people coming to help at last count.  They are bringing soup and bread.  I will finalize details on Tuesday, but I will probably make another crock pot of soup.  I plan to do a moving update post and will explain more fully on there.

Menu Plans–February 28, 2016

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Today, I decorated the cake for my sister’s birthday.  We were supposed to have it last Sunday, but there were sick children, so we postponed until today.  As you can see from the pictures, I cut out a heart shape from waxed paper.  Then, I set the cut out heart on top of the iced cake and sprinkled the cake heavily with edible glitter.  After removing the heart shape, I placed the outer piece of waxed paper on, and sprinkled the heart cut-out with red glitter.  It was simple and looked nice.  We had lasagna my aunt made, beans, salad and this cake.  I took some roasted hazelnuts, as well.  We gave her some tea that her children helped Rob buy when they stayed here a couple of weeks ago.  It was just a simple, family birthday party, one of the every-day kinds of moments that actually mean a lot to me when I come to the end of a day.

We ended up being given a meal from a friend on Monday.   We actually ate 1/2 on Monday, and then ate the soup on Tuesday and Wednesday both.   So, I never did make up some of the meals I planned last week.  I love having the plan, though.  On the days when food doesn’t unexpectedly drop into my lap, it is good to have a plan:)

Sunday night:  We have some leftover pizza to eat.

Monday:  Chili (already made up from Saturday, just needs to be popped in the Crock Pot-busy day)

Tuesday:  Turkey burger meatballs.  I tried a sweet and sour pork recipe and there is an awful lot of extra sauce.  So, we will pick out the remaining pork pieces and eat them, and I will pour the remaining sauce over meatballs Tuesday.

Wednesday:  Soup in Crock Pot.  Probably turkey rice or vegetable beef.

Thursday:  Everyone going in different directions.  Leftovers–grab as you can!

Friday:  Lunch:  I have another sister and aunt coming to help with the big project.  I need to make extra soup on Wednesday to feed people for lunch.

Dinner:  Baked potato bar.  Rob and I are going to take the girls and spend the evening at some  friends’ house.  We are taking dinner, and spending time with their 6 children, ranging from ages 5 to 12 or 13.  They will be home around 9:30.  We will take a few games to play with the kids.  It should be a blast.

Saturday:  Leftover soup or baked potatoes.  Truthfully, Ja’Ana is heavily involved with a rummage sale for her upcoming mission trip, both Thursday evening and all day Saturday. It is an hour from our house, one way.  My niece is involved in a special Olympic-type basketball tournament, which she would like me to attend–2 hours from home.  I have no idea how Saturday is going to pan out.  I may be packing lunches.  I may be buying hot dogs or some such junkie food.  First, I need to decide how much of that I’m going to do, what Rob is going to take care of, and see how much energy I have after being so busy Friday.

Both on Friday and on Saturday, the new crock-pot I got for Christmas failed to cook the food by lunch time.  This is much different from my previous one, which cooked things really fast.  Of course, it was shorting out and probably wasn’t safe, but I’m having trouble adjusting.  On Friday, I had to make an entirely different lunch for the helpers and we had the crock pot for dinner.  On Saturday, I had to remove the chili and boil it in a pan, and it was still a little underdone, and I felt bad.  So, I need to keep experimenting, and allowing more time for cooking.  It actually caused me to feel pressured to have to scramble for food on days that were overwhelming to start with, and only made more stressful when I didn’t have food to feed these helpers.  So, I will cook the soup all day on Wednesday, and just re-heat it on Friday, and hopefully, I’ll get this new appliance figured out.

Menu Plan–Week of Feb. 21, 2016


Sunday:  Leftovers from fridge.  We did not do the family meal, due to ill children.

Monday:  I crushed up cornflakes from a box that has been around a long time, and will coat the fish with them.  Crunchy Fish Nuggets with Lemon Tartar Sauce from the American Heart Association Quick and Easy Cookbook is the recipe I’m using.  I confess I ate the green beans already after I took the picture, so I’ll get out another vegetable tomorrow.  This is very quick to make after work.

Tuesday:  Roast in the Crock Pot.  I will either do the pork or beef, whichever one I find on top or at the front of the freezer.  We have a couple of appointments on Tuesday, one is in the late afternoon.

Wednesday:  Leftovers.  I have green chicken chili, and turkey-rice soup and I work late that day.

Thursday:  Lovana’s choice.  It’s been Mexican food for the last 3-4 weeks, so I’m guessing Mexican…..?   Who knows, I might be surprised.  I chuckle because when my mom wanted me to cook, I would take the leftover roast beef from Sunday dinner and make French Dip–every single Monday–as my meal.  She though I was being difficult because she wanted me to practice cooking lots of recipes, but I really, truly, loved French Dip and still love it to this day.  So, I just let her make Mexican every week, my only rule is that we have to have the ingredients in the pantry or freezer.

Friday:   My mom and aunt are coming to help me clean, sort, etc.  I want soup in the crock pot for lunch and will serve leftovers for dinner since we have a late afternoon caseworker visit.  (Truly no pressure about getting the house pristine–this is our dear Nicole who has been out of the office for 3 months–she’s coming to see Patsy–not the house, and we are eager to see her.)

Saturday: Pizza.  We didn’t make it this week, so still have all the toppings from last week.

Sunday:  Family dinner. Since this week’s dinner was cancelled, the lasagna was frozen down there, the cake is frozen here–I will still make beans and salad.

As I was explaining to Patsy, the menu plan I write is mostly for my own benefit.  It helps me to have it written down in a place where I can refer to it easily.  When I have a busy week, like this one’s shaping up to be, it keeps the whole week moving more smoothly.

Menu Plan–Week of February 14, 2016


Yup, this is late.  The week has already started and we have already been eating.  Imagine that!  We had the pleasure of bringing a niece and nephew home yesterday evening for the night.  Their mama is out of town, their dad had to work today, and Uncle Rob was available.  Win-win!  Due to their special needs, feeding them has been a breeze.  They only like a few select items.  We simply fed them what they liked, and all was well.  When I left for work this morning, Rob was frantically frying bacon (they both like that), french toast (Michaela), scrambled eggs (Jake), and doling out the medications to the cousins and our kids.  Some “magic medicine” needs to be stirred into apple juice and given in a drink, some kids have pills, there is one patch involved, and that doesn’t even count my meds, which I gave to myself before waltzing off to work!  After eating their mega breakfast (not-they pick at it, especially Jake), they followed me into town and picked up Ja’Ana, who had her guitar lesson this morning.  They watched a movie, using a gift card my brother-in-law had, for most of the cost.  Then, as french fries are always involved on these visits, they grabbed lunch, and then came home. We fed them dinner, and he took them home.  Everyone had a great time.

Sunday:  We ate at my sister’s house at noon and brought hamburgers.  We had tuna melts and peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

Monday:  We ate the tuna casserole I made a few days ago, plus more peanut butter sandwiches.

Tuesday:  baked chicken, baked potatoes, green beans

Wednesday:  chicken soup

Thursday:  Lovana’s choice, maybe chicken enchiladas

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  Leftovers for lunch, dinner in Salem with our special needs son–we will hopefully get him from his group home and take him to a movie and dinner for his birthday.

Sunday:  family dinner- my aunt is bringing lasagna, I am bringing birthday cake for my sister, green beans and salad–no idea yet of how many people are coming.


Menu Plan–Week of February 7, 2016


Last night, Rob barbecued chicken.  He used a rub of barbecue seasoning, brown sugar and garlic powder and then cooked it on the grill.  That was an unplanned meal, but caused us no grief because it all came from the freezer and storage.  I sauted frozen green beans with butter and garlic, thawed squash, and cooked white rice from a 50 pound bag Rob got 2 summers ago.  We have put in quite a few hours the last 2 days packing, sorting, burning trash (lots and lots and lots of trash….), and the troops were all home working all day and were starving.  So, they burned through most of 2 pizzas, almost all of this chicken and vegetables, bacon, sausage, eggs, a huge pan of home-made hash browns, and I’m not sure what else.    Once I saw how the day was going, I cooked up a huge pan of rice, so there is rice left, plus a little chicken.

Sunday:  Family dinner–my sister made ham and mashed potatoes and gravy. We did green beans and my aunt brought salad.  I took cauliflower and a berry crisp.  We had 13 today, so a small crowd.  This evening, there is leftover chicken, salad, 4 pieces of pizza and peanut butter sandwiches to choose from.

Monday:  I found some chicken thighs in the freezer.  They had been in there too long, so I thawed them and trimmed off any suspicious areas and put them in a marinade to soak. I used ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar and water.  They will be sauted in a pan and will be teriyaki chicken, served with rice and broccoli.

Tuesday:  clam chowder

Wednesday:  Turkey noodle casserole

Thursday:  Lovana cooks.  She wants to do Mexican food, involving corn tortillas–her choice when the day comes as long as we have the ingredients.

Friday:  chili in the crockpot–4H day, so very busy and we are tired when they all go home

Saturday:  Cashew chicken.  I found some frozen pea pods from last fall’s garden, and some cashews when I was digging around in the freezer and want to use them.  I can make brown rice with this, as I have lots of that as well and we actually prefer it.

Sunday:  Hamburgers at my sister’s.  She and one of the girls will be out of town visiting our niece who is in college.  They will probably also visit Mickey Mouse:)  We will bring all of the dinner between us and my aunt and feed my sweet brother-in-law and the kids who are still at home.  He invited a couple of young adults also, and there are a couple friends of my kids who might show up, so we can just unthaw a bunch of burger from the 1/2 beef we bought last fall, and cook a bunch up, with hot dogs for Michaela and Jake.  I should know how much to thaw for sure towards the end of the week.  I will probably do potato or macaroni salad, a relish tray, and some kind of dessert.  Patsy and I made zucchini chip bars today–I may re-make them if they taste good.  Sometimes changing a regular recipe to gluten-free needs a few tries to make it work out.


We also made some brown banana bread with flax seed.  They were a little less sweet than we wanted, but definitely edible with a little jam!