Thursday, January 3, 2008

Month Menu and ramblings

I decided that after the first month of trying the month menu, I want to share my evaluation. As I knew about myself, I did not follow the menu to the T. Sometimes I don't feel like cooking. Sometimes in December we ended up eating with family when I hadn't anticipated doing so. I even ran out of ingredients sometimes so I wasn't always able to cook what I had planned. I knew before I started that these things would happen. I'm just a little sporadic in my cooking. So it goes. This made me reluctant in the first place to even try such a thing. The point of all this is: I'm glad I tried it even though December was a little crazy. Two days of work to prepare the menu and do the major shopping saved me lots of work throughout the month. I loved that. Matt also loved that I was more likely to cook more real meals since I was so planned out. So I like it. I got a late start this month, but I decided that that is OK because it gave me a chance to see what many of you are cooking this month so that I could steal ideas. I also decided that for this month I am including on my own list the amount of time each recipe is supposed to take. That can help me plan ahead a little I hope.
So here is the list:
Tuesday (Mexican except on New Years, I just through something together because I didn't have a plan):
1 Spaghetti
8 fajitas
15 southwestern casserole
22 tacos
29 mexican meat loaf

2 pizza
9 tortilla soup
16 parmesan chicken fingers
23 skillet lo mein
30 chicken stuffing casserole

Thursday (Chicken):
3 chicken rolls
10 Italian tomato-herb chicken
17 chicken a la king
24 Stoeffer's Skillet & ice cream - This is Matt's birthday. He chose the dinner. It's a nice freezer dinner. Lucky me.
31 chicken kiev

Friday (Rice-ish stuff):
4 Baked Rice with Green Chilies
11 risotto
18 polenta (and a side)
25 curried rice

Saturday (Beef):
5 mexican beef and bean
12 meatballs
19 chicken-fried steaks
26 sloppy joes

6 Leftovers
13 Leftovers
20 Leftovers
27 Leftovers

Monday (Breakfast for dinner):
7 Santa Fe Brunch bake
14 huevos rancheros
21 breakfast burritos
28 classic cheese souffle

Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole is one of our favorites that we happened upon soon after we got married. We have it every few months and love it. So here's the recipe:
1 lb. ground beef
2 cans (15 to 16 oz. each) pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup thick-and-chunky salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shreaded Monterey-Jack cheese (4 oz.)

1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Brown beef.
3. Mix beef, beans, tomato sauce, salsa, and chili powder in ungreased 2-qt casserole dish.
4. Cover and bake 40 to 45 min, stirring once or twice, until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Try it. It's delicious. Thanks for all your dinner ideas!


Krystal said...

*laughs* i do that same thing! i create my menu, and then sometimes I forget to pull the meat out of the freezer, or Matt's working late and I don't feel like cooking until he comes home and then it's late enough we don't want a full meal. That's another perk to having only a two week menu, if I happen to skip a few meals in those two weeks, I have the space in the next two weeks so I can try them again before some of the ingredients go bad.
and that casserole sounds good! I'll have to try it

The Buchanan's said...

I don't stick to my menu to the T either but I did find out that I was more willing to cook because I did have a menu. Things come up so the menu does change a little. I still like that idea and I hope it works better for me this month.