Meal plans – Jan 7- 12

Monday Jan 7 – leftovers

Tuesday Jan 8 – Tortellini soup sort of based on what I’ve linked here and other stuff I’ve done before, with sourdough bread.

Wednesday Jan 9 – Whole chicken in crockpot, rice (freeze some chicken or use for other meals later in week too)

Thursday Jan 10 – Lentil tacos

Friday Jan 11 – Homemade pizza – likely chicken bacon ranch and something with provolone

Saturday Jan 12 – soup?  leftovers?  Depends on what comes in Bountiful basket too.



Meals for January 2-6 and New Year’s Activity

I am very happy with the sourdough starter I ordered from King Arthur flour.  I would say the sourdough loaves I made are the best I’ve had, but I don’t eat a lot of sourdough.  Dakota Guy seems to agree and this is his favorite kind of bread.  I also made a sourdough pizza crust for lunch Dec 29th and it was really good.





I have made bagels before from the egg bagel recipe from the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine cookbook.  They were better than anything we can buy locally which means they were better than grocery store bagels.  They weren’t perfect though.  About half of them each time I made them were funny shaped and didn’t rise really well.  The recipe also doesn’t involve a retard in the fridge step and I didn’t really know how or if I could include one so they require getting up really early to have bagels for breakfast.  Dakota guy and his mom who was here one time I made them really liked them.  But, I wanted something better.  So, knowing how happy I was with the sourdough from Annie’s Eats I checked if she has a bagel recipe she loves.  AHA!!!  Perfection.  An dough I can make up to two days ahead making the morning easy – boil, bake and eat!

Everything bagels

Everything bagels

I also tried measuring the flour the old fluff/sprinkle/level method I’ve always used and then weighing it to compare to the weights.  My measured amounts were significantly heavier than the corresponding weights.  So, I’m going to try to start weighing ingredients.  Perhaps that can be my New Year’s resolution.

Dakota guy home brews.  He has made many great beers (and really no bad ones).  He just made his first batch of mead right before the New Year in the hopes that we can drink it to bring in 2014.  Someone on a knitting forum had recommended a mead recipe to me called Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead.  And I decided I wanted to make a one gallon batch of  it NOW.  The ingredients are all easily available and were mostly in my kitchen already.  I only needed a 1 gallon jug/carboy.  Apple cider doesn’t really come in these anymore.  Online (which would have impeded the instant gratification of making it NOW) they would be about $12-17 to have shipped here.  I ended up buying a gallon of Carlo Rossi wine that is currently in a tupperware pitcher and may be made into Glühwein.  The jug is holding the must and waiting to reach room temperature so we can pitch the yeast.

Ingredients for JAOM

Ingredients for JAOM

Wednesday Jan 2 – Mexican Lasagna

Thursday Jan 3 – Tangerine/Orange Pulled Pork with homemade buns

Friday Jan 4 – Pizza

Saturday Jan 5 – Potato Chip Chicken

Sunday Jan 6 – Creamy taco mac and cheese or French onion soup from last week that didn’t happen

Some day soon? – Crab Cakes

Stuffed Shells – to make soon and freeze some for a rainy/busy day

Post Christmas meal planning

We had a fabulous Christmas meal complete with Prime Rib  with a creamy mustard sauce, brown sugar glazed rainbow carrots from How to Cook Everything, and cranberry relish that I do carefully in the food processor rather than a grinder and mashed potatoes (a mix of red, russet and yukon gold from bountiful baskets).

Now I’m on to planning for the week ahead.  I took today off from work, which is great.  I can go to the grocery store and get organized around here.  Plus my new computer (Christmas gift from dakota guy) came today!!!

Wednesday Dec 26 Bacon and Pea Mac and Cheese


Thursday Dec 27Brie and Brisket Tacos

Friday Dec 28Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Saturday Dec 29Gyro – although I suspect ground lamb isn’t going to come from our grocery store.  Seems the substitutes I’ve seen suggested are ground chicken or turkey.  So I’ll go with that.

Sunday Dec 30 –  French onion soup – my sister made this for Christmas and the pictures looked so good.  I’m going to try the smitten kitchen version.

I’m also really excited because I ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour.  I know I could have made my own.  But I wanted to start with trying this.  I’m excited to try this bread that is described many places as being “THE ONE”.  I’m also excited to make sourdough pizza crust to keep in the freezer rather than throwing the cup of starter that needs to be discarded when feeding the starter weekly.

Dakota guy has been begging for sourdough bread for ages.  So, here goes!  Excited for the starter to come…

Bread and Soup (and meal planning)

I had coffee with two good friends yesterday.  We talked some about food.  One of them had made a roasted cauliflower and carrot soup.  I had both of those in my fridge from recent bountiful baskets, so I made the soup today.  It was good, although the verdict from Dakota guy was that it wasn’t really a main course evening meal.  He also suggested that perhaps one of my friends would enjoy the surprise of trying the leftovers. But he did like it.  Dakota boy, not so much.  Dakota guy also looked ahead at the meals for the week and noticed we have carrots with Tuesday’s meal as well.  Not so excited by that.

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Soup
1 pound carrots
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 large onion
Olive oil
Kosher Salt
Vegetable broth or chicken broth (I use better than bullion)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder
Milk or half and half

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Peel carrots and cut into small pieces (or use baby carrots).  Separate cauliflower into florets.  Toss carrots and cauliflower with olive oil and kosher salt.  Roast 20-30 minutes.  In a dutch oven or large pot put a small amount of olive oil.  Saute onions.  Then add roasted vegetables and enough broth to cover.  Simmer 40 minutes.  Puree with immersion blender or in batches in food processor/blender.  Season to taste.  Can add small amount of milk or half and half for a creamy flavor.

To be roasted

Yummy roasted veggies

I have mentioned my love for my new bread machine a few times.  I should share our current favorite recipe.

Oatmeal Loaf (adapted from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook)
1 1/2 C buttermilk (I use a shelf stable powder from King Arthur Flour)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons butter, softened

3 1/2 C bread flour
1 C multigrain rolled cereal (original calls for oatmeal, but I use something like this I get from our health food store)
4 teaspoons gluten
2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 3 teaspoons bread machine yeast (I use SAF)

1) Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set crust on dark and program for the Basic cycle; press start. 

2) When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove bread from the pan and place it on a rack.  Let cool to room temperature before slicing.

3) Makes a 2 pound loaf.  Can half for a sampler loaf or if your machine doesn’t accommodate a 2# loaf. 

And finally, meal plans for the week

Monday Nov 5 – Roasted cauliflower and carrot soup

Tuesday Nov 6Thai beef, rice, broccoli.

Wednesday Nov 7 – Spaghetti squash with ground turkey and spaghetti sauce

Thursday Nov 8Panko salmon (I should get more creative with salmon, I can make other salmon meals, but this is so easy and we all three love it, so….)

Friday Nov 9 – Pizza night

Saturday Nov 10 – Potato chip chicken?

Meal planning (Oct 28 – Nov 4)

Well, it has been a long time since I’ve updated this.  Sadly I’ve only been good about meal planning about half the weeks since I updated.  The other half have been an assortment of takeout and the same meals over and over.  Hopefully I’ll be better.

This week’s bountiful basket plus the Italian add on was fabulous as usual.  The basket itself included a spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, broccoli, butter lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 1 yellow squash, cauliflower, 7 bananas, blackberries, 3 pomegranates, and 4 bosc pears.  The Italian basket was as good as I remembered the last time.  It included an eggplant, 2 yellow squash, a red onion, a yellow onion, garlic, amazing looking mushrooms, thyme, basil, Italian parsley, and another herb I have yet to identify.

So, I’ll meal plan so I get all of this used.  I also need to remember I can and should freeze the herbs I don’t get used in olive oil.

Sunday Oct 28Salmon, rice, brussel sprouts

Monday Oct 29Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday Oct 30Eggplant Parmesan

Wednesday Oct 31Indian Butter Chicken, rice

Thursday Nov 1Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies (make ahead) or leftover chicken

Friday Nov 2 – Homemade pizza

Saturday Nov 3 – Spaghetti Squash with something

Sunday Nov 4 – Soup


Meal planning: August 27- Sept 2

Monday August 27 – Spaghetti and meatballs and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower (I don’t follow the meatball recipe exactly, no bread crumbs for us)

Tuesday August 28 – 20-40 clove garlic chicken, quinoa, veggie of some sort

Wednesday August 29 – pork chops with black beans and salsa (BHG 11th ed cookbook, here’s a link adapted by someone)

Thursday Aug 30 – just Dakota Boy and I for supper.  I think I’ll go lazy and have pb and j’s.

Friday August 31 – Pizza

Saturday September 1 – Best pulled pork ever, homemade buns, baked fries, corn on the cob

Sunday September 2 – Depends on who we have around – Brats, burgers or lentil burgers?


We might have company for dinner Friday through Sunday.  Dakota guy has some buddies camping in our yard and I’d like to be able to offer them a meal here and there if they are around.  So, I’m going with easy, no specific time meals so I can be flexible.

Meal Planning: August 20 – 26

Monday August 20 – Breakfast burritos with bountiful basket’s tortillas and homemade salsa

Tuesday August 21 – Applesauce chicken, quinoa and broccoli (homemade apple sauce)

Wednesday August 22 – Burgers, broccoli or cauliflower and homemade buns

Thursday August 23 – Fragrant Red lentils and rice

Friday August 24 – Pizza

Saturday August 25 – Turkey breast? or Salmon? or Mac n cheese

Sunday August 26 – Red Quinoa and black bean chili

Week in review
I’ve done a lot of canning the past week.  Dakota boy and I went to see my parents last Monday and picked some apples.  He had so much fun picking them.  Mostly he gathered them off the ground.  But those are great for applesauce and that was my plan.  I knew I had tomatoes coming the next weekend so I made and canned the applesauce that night.  I ended up staying up until about 1 am, way past my usual bedtime.  I made 19 pints.  For our family of three I prefer canning stuff in pints so it gets used up and doesn’t take up fridge space for too long.

The next Saturday was a Bountiful Basket day and I ordered an excessive number of   a few add-ons.  I got 40# of tomatoes ($24) and 7 dozen tortillas ($10.50) as well as a gallon of organic olive oil.  Preserving the tomatoes took the bulk of my weekend. I had a few left from the previous basket and there were about 7 in the current basket and we had a few ready in our porch garden.  I started Saturday night after Dakota boy was in bed and made spaghetti/pizza sauce with about 20# of it.  Again I underestimated the time it would take me and was up until 1 am or so.  7 pints of spaghetti sauce canned and 2 in the freezer because I was too lazy to stay up for another canner’s worth.  The next day I planned to finish the remainder of the tomatoes.

First, Zesty Salsa from the Ball Blue book of canning.  I did a lot of reading about salsa recipes.  I wanted to use jalapeno and habanero peppers from our garden but didn’t want the whole thing to be too spicy.  I know with canning you can’t alter recipes much or you can have food safety issues.  Tomatoes are acidic but fairly low acid so canned salsa recipes call for vinegar.  Onions and peppers are lower acid and therefore the quantity can be decreased some but NOT increased.  The salsa recipe used about 6 pounds of tomatoes.  It isn’t very spicy, but Dakota Guy loves it!

The remainder I just canned whole.  There was also juice that remained from making the spaghetti sauce and I canned that with the intention of using it as a stock.  A fair number of recipes (soups, crockpot meals) benefit from some tomato juice for flavor instead of water.  I was done with the project and cleanup before suppertime – totals 12 pints of salsa (one didn’t seal so we tested it tonight – great).

I intended to take today off from food prep other than meals.  But, I couldn’t do it.  The tortillas looked so good!  I made breakfast burritos and beef and bean burritos to freeze.  Made 8 breakfast and 11 bean and beef.