Category Archives: Menu plans

Menu Plans–June 23, 2016


I feel like I’m finally getting adjusted to living in the camper and am ready to make some menu plans.  So far, I have been flying by the seat of my pants–eating and using whatever needs to be used next.  To some extent, I will continue to do that because space is at such a premium.  If there are any leftovers, they have to be used before I cook more food or there is no where to put it.  So, here’s a tentative plan for the next week.

Friday:  We will eat the lovely crab Rob caught.  I will probably make Crab Louis with it, as I have lots of lettuce, eggs and Thousand Island dressing on hand. For dinner, I am making a small pork roast in the crock pot.

Saturday:  Pack a lunch for the road, as we are traveling back to the valley again, this time to stay at my sister’s for 10 days.  For dinner, we will eat leftover pork roast and whatever garden produce is ripe when we get back, most likely lettuce salads.

Sunday:  I need to make a plan with my other sister for our family Sunday dinner.  For the evening meal, we will have something light, such as salads or leftovers.  If there are not enough, we can make burritos or tacos from frozen refried beans I have.  I need to put beans on to soak for Monday.

Monday:  I want to make a pot of refried beans in the crock pot.  I have all of the ingredients.  I use soaked pinto beans and water, jalepenos (or whatever peppers I have), and onion, and cook all day, then mash.  The onions and peppers add flavor, but not much heat.  I salt and pepper to taste.  My kids love them and will eat beans and cheese constantly.   Lunch:  soup  Dinner:  Beans, cheese and salad–maybe leftover meat if there is any left

Tuesday:  Chicken:  I made a new marinade this week and we grilled it at the beach.  It was so good, I want to make more:)


Wednesday:  Lunch:  leftover chicken, sandwiches or salads   Dinner:  trout, potatoes, salad  (we still have 1 meal of trout left from our fishing trip–frozen, of course)

Thursday:  Lunch:  leftovers or soup   Dinner:  grilled steak salads.  I saw a recipe in the Pioneer Woman cookbook I’d like to try.

This week will be busy, but not too busy–just perfect.  Ja’Ana is going to be a junior counsellor at a day camp, ran by the church we are attending.  She will need to be driven down to church (about 1/2 hour trip each way) every morning and picked up each evening.  That will mess with dinner, but if I have things marinading, Rob can barbecue while I’m driving, or I can cook while he is.  We are excited for her to have this opportunity, so it’s worth the driving to us.  We also have a few appointments, but thankfully, not many.  I hope to work on the garden some more, and might pick some blueberries at an u-pick patch.  I will also be watering flowers for someone on a few days when I drop J off.  We will probably go house hunting some more as well.  This menu plan will help on those busy days.



Menu Plans-May 27, 2016


For the last week, since we’ve moved, we have tried to eat all of the extra food that was in the fridge and the freezer connected to the fridge at the old house.  At the last minute, at my direction, all extra food was crammed into 2 coolers and brought over to the camper.  I purposely left extra food in the freezer to defrost for this past week, but I misjudged and left too much out.  Things went very smoothly, so if that’s the worst that happened, I’m satisfied.  Some of the meals included meatloaf, beef brisket on the barbecue, chicken marinated in zippy sauce, and lots of salad from the garden.  Also, strawberry spinach salad was yummy, made from garden spinich and strawberries I u-picked.

Thursday:  Macaroni and Cheese (this was some my sister gave me–yummy!) Sandwiches in the car with some chicken thighs I had cooked before we moved.

Friday:  Tacos with the turkey burger that was thawed.  Other leftovers in fridge.

Saturday:  Hamburgers (there was a pack that finished thawing a couple of days ago)  Also, clam chowder with the clams we caught.  We had not clammed for over 25 years until this morning.  We had great success, had to watch U-Tube to figure out how to clean them, and can’t wait to cook them.


I have to say, mine is the bucket with only 4 clams in it.  J limited out, with 15, Patsy 10, Rob 10, and me—4.  What a great outing:)

Sunday:  Turkey soup.  I boiled the bones of the turkey legs my sister gave me and have the broth to use.  If Rob wants to cook over the fire, he can, or I will do it over the stove.  It also could become turkey and dumplings. There is also some leftover beef that could be turned into stew or soup.  We may have a potluck for the 4H families that are camping with us.

Monday:  We will travel this day, back to my sister’s.  So, sandwiches for lunch in the lunch pail while on the road.  We never go through drive-throughs while pulling the camper–doesn’t work:)  Dinner:   Leftovers from the weekend.

Tuesday:  Pack dinner.  We need to pick Patsy up from school and will kill the time between school letting out and her band concert by me getting my hair done, and everyone else having a little picnic at the library park.

Wednesday:  Chicken strips.

Thursday:  We will pack food for the road.  We are off to see our very dear friends who live about 8 hours away.  I will take some food, but she will feed us all weekend.

I am still adjusting to the small space of the camper kitchen.  I still can’t find much of anything, but seem to have way too much stuff sitting around.  I’ll figure it out.  We are all eating, and it tastes great, so that’s what matters!

Menu Plans–May 3, 2016


Last week, I picked several recipes from the current Taste of Home magazine.  I made substitutions according to ingredients I had, and cooked happily away.  Soon, I realized, there was much too much food in the refrigerator, and I stopped cooking.  Leftover time!

On Wednesday, I made the Slow Cooker Beef Tostadas on page 33.  I used frozen peppers I had from last summer’s garden instead of what they called for, and then added a jar of my Salsa Verde.

I just grabbed a package of round steak from the freezer, and did not pay any attention to how much was in the package.  There were 3 nice-sized pieces of meat.  So, Wednesday night, while I finished my last lesson, they ate the meat as tacos.  I ate taco salad with the meat in the van on the way to church.  We again ate tacos over the weekend, and again, last night for dinner.  Today, I took the rest of the meat/sauce and put some black beans and tomatoes with it and we will have taco soup for dinner.  I sure hope that finishes it off!  Wow, I got a lot of mileage from that.

Friday, there were several appointments I had to do with my kids, and went shopping in the middle.  The last one was Patsy’s caseworker, who, through no fault of her own, got involved with another case.  So, after calling, she ended up coming late.  She did not leave until  5:35.  I had to be in a near-by town by 6 to get ready for my piano recital. Yikes! So, no one got dinner that night, for the first time I can ever remember. Surprisingly, no one died or even thought they were going to.   Afterwards, we grabbed this and that to eat and went to bed.

This week, I am home more than normal, but am packing up.  I hope to do simple meals based on things I want to use up.

Tuesday:  Black bean taco soup (using the last 2 cans of black beans and leftover meat) French bread I got on clearance a while back.

I am packing  a lunch with tuna sandwiches, celery sticks, cut up apples and drinks.  I am going to the used home-school book store to turn in the rest of my un-needed books.  What they don’t want I will donate.  I plan to get a Biology book for Ja’Ana for next year in exchange.


Lunch:  My aunt will be here helping.  We will have salad, and leftover soup.

Dinner:  Turkey rice soup in crock pot.  We will be busy all day, packing, and doing school with Ja’Ana, and taking a load to the storage unit.

Thursday:  Lunch:  Pack a lunch.  We have to be gone for the appraisal during the lunch hour.

Dinner:  Leftovers or sandwiches after dance class.  OR:  Pull something from the freezer that looks easy to cook, or off the shelf (such as a can of soup)

Friday:  Lunch:  Soup or quesidillas

Dinner:  Barbecued chicken, potatoes, green beans

Saturday:  Pack lunch:  We plan to take a load to my sister’s, till in the morning, and work in the garden in the afternoon.

Dinner:  Rob will barbecue pork chops.  Frozen veggies, potatoes

Sunday:  We will go out for lunch for Mother’s day, and eat leftovers for dinner.


Menu Plans– April 26, 2016


Last evening when I was taking my nightly walk on the treadmill, I looked through my latest Taste of Home magazine for inspiration.  I found several recipes that I though I could make, using items that need to be used up.  Again, this is a really busy week (what’s new?) and so the crock pot will be used part of the time.

Tuesday:  Chicken wings in crock pot.  I found a couple of bags we’ve had for a LONG time, and thawed them. They look ok to me.  I’ll put some kind of soy sauce mixture on top.

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Beef Tostadas (from the TOH April-May magazine, p. 33)  I will modify and put in whatever peppers I have frozen, and probably won’t have time to make the tortillas into tostadas, as I work until dinner time, bolt my food, and head off to Bible study class.  Because it takes an hour to get there, sometimes I eat in the car while Rob drives, which is much more restful. The rest of the family will eat while I finish up lessons.  This will be the last Wednesday that I do that, as I am stopping work after this week to focus on the move.  Every time we go, we will take a van load of boxes for the storage unit.

Thursday:  Mandarin Pork Stir Fry (p. 20)  I will sub out some snow peas frozen from last fall’s garden, some whole grain rice (I have several part packages of brown/mix/forbidden/etc.) and might add frozen sweet peppers as well.  I will make this earlier in the day and warm when we get back from dance.

Friday:  chicken soup in crock pot–(I have several appointments for the kids, plus a piano recital that night)  corn bread (frozen)

Saturday:  Chicken nuggets (p 25)  Basil salad dressing (p 12)  I need to address the basil plant my aunt gave me to make the kitchen look nice for the showings.  It’s going to bloom and looks kind of sad now.  So, we will eat the good parts and that will be that.

Sunday:  Family Sunday dinner: Spaghetti (make sauce on Saturday in crock pot), l.o. basil salad dressing on salad my aunt is bringing, green beans, fruit crisp if I get time Saturday.

Monday:  Leftovers

As always, I have many frozen and canned vegetables we will add to these meals.  I was feeling stressed because I didn’t have a plan, so I made one.  If I am not able to stick to it, I’m ok with that. I wonder if I might have a lot of leftovers in the middle of this plan, but if I do, I’ll adjust. For me, having the plan removes stress during super busy times because  I don’t have to think, I just have to start cooking.  Also, when I check it ahead of time, I can thaw what’s needed and I’m good to go.  It takes me less time to cook this way than it does to drive to a restaurant and order food, and eat it, unless I’m driving around anyway.

You many notice I do a lot of cooking ahead of time, i.e. earlier in the day, the day before, etc. and re-warm.  Yesterday, that’s what Rob did.  He took the roast beef from a few days ago (stored in the crock pot container) and just popped those leftovers back into the crock pot and warmed them up that way.  It was delicious, and saved us time.  On Saturday, he barbecued 3 chickens and we had chicken that night, for Sunday dinner, and I had some for lunch yesterday.

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.