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Home > This week's meals - suggestions and ideas needed

This week's meals - suggestions and ideas needed

March 9th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I love to cook. It's one of my all time favorite past times. I check out cookbooks from the library, haunt garage sales for deals on them, and am just generally obsessed with cooking and books about it.

Unlike so many fruglies who give up all subscriptions, I subscribe to three magazines - National Geographic, Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. The three of them are worth every penny to me - NG for the sheer pleasure I get looking at the breathtaking photos and reading the stories of far away places and CI and CC for the kitchen knowledge they impart.

But over the last month I've gotten away from cooking so much and I really have to find my way back.

I have absolutely got to get back to planning meals at least a week in advance. Without that, we eat out too often, and that's a real budget buster! Spring Break is here so the 16 year old male bottomless pit is visiting and his 15 year old sister, almost as bottomless, will be here for a few days, too. In light of these facts, I need a little help planning meals. I've done it for years so I know how but my brain is tired of doing it and I need a little push.

In my freezer, I have a couple of whole hens (tough when baked or roasted but I can use the pressure or slow cookers for stewing), a package of charcoal steaks (5 small steaks), some ground turkey and turkey breakfast sausage, a package of beef smoked sausage, a dozen chicken tamales, lots of vegetables, and plenty of cheese.

In the fridge I have a dozen eggs but will get more today. I need to buy milk and bread, too.

In the cupboards I have plenty of canned vegetables, rice, beans, pasta, flour, salt, all those necessary things.

I have three slow cookers, a microwave, a digital pressure cooker, and an electric skillet. We have no oven or grill right now so baking/roasting/grilling are out.

Here are some thoughts I have on meals I can make this week:

Cut one to one and a half of the steaks into bite size pieces and use it to make 'beef tips' and rice. Rod and Stephen both love that. Serve it with a salad and a green vegetable.

Have breakfast one night, using ground turkey to make turkey sausage and have that with eggs and toast.

Cook beans in the slow cooker one night.

Make chili with ground turkey one night.

Cook a hen in the pressure cooker and use that for a few dishes. I have a few stand bys we like with cooked, cubed chicken but need some more ideas. If you have something you make with cooked chicken, please let me know!

Any other ideas?

5 Responses to “This week's meals - suggestions and ideas needed”

  1. HouseHopeful Says:

    I put chicken in the crock pot with either water or chicken broth and some taco seasoning. I either have chicken tacos, or just eat the taco flavored chicken by itself. If you leave the chicken in the crockpot long enough, it will shred and you can have shredded taco chicken sandwiches. YUMMY!

  2. KellyB Says:

    I saw this link over on The Simple Dollar, you can put in infredients that you have and it will give you recipes. Check it out http://www.supercook.com/

  3. aevans1206 Says:

    I know this sounds odd, but my dad adds corn, carrots and potatoes to his chili. It adds bulk to the meal and also makes it last longer (I like to make a big pot and eat it a couple of nights during the week instead of cooking). You can add just about anything.

  4. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Househopeful, thanks for sharing that about the taco chicken. I hadn't thought of that but will probably try that this coming week or the week after.

    Kelly, I'll look into that. I use cookingbynumbers.com which is similar, I think.

    And aevans, that doesn't sound odd to me but it does sound like the chili is more like a soup if you do that. It sounds good to me!

  5. midlight21 Says:

    Denise - Do you save your menus? I do.

    Here's how it goes...I have a 'Menu File'. Duh! Smile In it are the past menus. When I get bored or need a menu to fit a certain financial situation I go back to the file.

    On one sheet of paper I have printed out a menu calendar. Look around you'll find one online somewhere. On the front on the day squares I make out the actual menu and on the back side of the paper I write out my grocery list. Very helpful in the store to be able to look back and see that I need 6 chubs of HB this week for what goofy reason? Oh yeah, chili for church and spaghetti sauce for two meals and one for the freezer. Anyway, it's handy to have the menu in the store with me. Then when I get home I staple the cash register receipt to the menu/grocery-list, and stick the thing in the menu file.

    Now I don't rotate thru 30 meals like some folks do, but try to mix it up, and it can be really helpful to have all the info on a weeks worth of meals all on one page w/approximate costs for what it will take to make it. Of course since I'm a 'big pantry' kinda gal, the figures aren't exactly the same as a new shopping trip but I can usually substitute something from the pantry to keep the new shopping list pretty much $$wise in line w/the old one.

    Hope this helps.

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