18 March 2013

Menu Planning Monday

I have blogged in the past about how I meal plan.  I wrote that over 2 years ago, before we had a kid, but that's still how I do it! The basic premise is that I don't assign meals to actual days. Instead I just have a list of about 7-10 meals that I shop for, and then decide the night before which meat to thaw and what to eat the next day. We don't live near a commissary any more, so my shopping is now done at Aldi, then Meijer, and occasionally Kroger or Wal-Mart.

Linking up with The Young Retiree and Taingamala
One of my newer issues with meal planning is our gym time (or Saturday night church) combined with keeping the baby on schedule. We usually get home from the gym or church a bit after 6, and the baby needs to eat at 6:30 so that she can go to bed at 7:30. It's a bit of a scramble, but we often start giving her food before all of our dinner is ready.  She generally eats what we do, but about 70% of the time our side dish is mixed vegetables (from the freezer aisle), and she loves those. They take less than 10 minutes to make, so that has been our solution lately! (And sometimes I pre-make dinner or use the slow cooker, of course.)

Instead of telling you what we're going to have this week (I need to go grocery shopping and do some planning today and tomorrow), I am instead going to tell you what we had for the past week!

Monday: Pork chops, dipped in an egg wash then breaded with Italian bread crumbs and baked in the oven in a bit of melted butter. Both Betty Crocker and Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks have easy pork chops recipes, if you're starting to think about it!

Tuesday: Leftover pork chops. We have been doing a small faith community for Lent and had to be there at 6:30, so I try to plan leftovers for those nights.

Wednesday: Sausage and pepperoni freezer pizza (DiGiorno--yum!)

Thursday: Chicken roll-ups, served over rice mixed with peas and carrots and topped with cream of chicken soup. I have seen some recipes for these on Pinterest, but they over-complicate it and kill it with extra and unnecessary types of cheese. Mine is just boiled-then-shredded chicken mixed with a little cream cheese (which I'm starting to think might also be optional) and then shoved into crescent rolls and baked. Throwing the cream of chicken soup over the top is what makes these really good, no matter what you put in the rolls. These are a big hit at our house, and one of my personal faves.

Friday: Went to our church's fish fry! That was an adventure, to say the least, but the fish was yummy.

Saturday: Hamburgers and tater tots. We can't own a grill (apartment livin'), so I made the burgers in a cast iron skillet. I even made a small "slider" for the baby.

Sunday: Leftover hamburgers, more tater tots.

Tonight we're having baked fish topped with a bit of melted butter and Season-All. We're going to the gym, and hey, fish is quick and easy!

Side dishes were either frozen mixed veg (I combined the peas and carrots with the rice on Thursday) or a salad. Baby likes croutons =)  Out of the past 7 days, I only really cooked 3 nights, but we only ate out once. That's just the way I like it.

Oh, I forgot to mention dessert! After a self-imposed 2-week ban on eating sweets, I finally tried out the cake pop-making pan that my MIL got for Christmas and let me borrow. Here are a few of the sweet, sweet results:
Chocolate cake on the inside. Yum!


  1. Well first thing first: those cake balls look AMAZING! I love that you shared what you already had, as my weeks NEVER go as planned! I might actually have to start doing that! Sounds like you have it down to a T!
    Also: when Gene and I lived in the Hague Towers (downtown Norfolk) we were allowed to have a grill on the patio, I think, but didn't want to, so we found a George Foreman that looked like an actual old school charcoal grill! The links is silly long, so I'll tweet you it! It was a bit of an investment for me as far as cooking things goes, but for Gene it was worth the $100 we bought it for so he could sit outside with his root beer and grill on the weekends! When it rained, we just brought it inside and used it too! We loved having it!

    AND: those chicken roll up things sound amazing! I might have to look into those more!
    Thanks so much for linking up with us!

  2. That is such a neat way to menu plan! I like the idea of having an option of ideas for each night. And your menu from last week sounds delicious!! Those chicken roll ups sound to die for! Your cake pops look great!! Yum yum yum!

  3. Chicken roll ups sound great! We have chicken very often and I need to add more recipes for dinner. Thanks!

  4. Hi! I'm Janelle, and I found your blog while searching for military spouse blogs. I am marrying my Airman next year, and I'm really glad I found your blog! I can't wait to read more! Consider me your newest follower! :)

    Janelle ( http://janelle-and-dan.blogspot.com/ )

  5. I have a recipe for chicken roll ups that I LOVE. They are kinda rich though, so we don't have them very often. You have the sweetest looking little girl!

  6. Those chicken roll ups sound so yummy! I bet my kids would love them!! Especially my little boy - he rarely eats meat if he can see it. If its tucked inside the rolls, I bet he wouldn't even notice!! As for the cakepops --- you can never go wrong!