menu plan monday - 4/21

first things first, having my menu planned out in advance last week was huge for me. i wasn't in the middle of doing one thing, then suddenly realizing that, crap! i have no clue what dinner is and it's 4:30! i made sure that in my day planner i made as a task for the day before to take out what i needed from the freezer so i wasn't hoist on my own petard.

just as a recap for my own neediness in this endeavor, a recap: monday through thursday pretty much went off as planned; friday j went out with the boys from work after a busy day/week, so i nuked some leftovers; by saturday, j was very very sick - not hungover, mind you, honest to goodness sick - so we had chef boyardee ravioli for dinner instead of the dijon rice and egg dish; hence it reappears on this week's menu (boys need comfort food, too!); and sunday i roasted the chicken, but we kind of picked at it - j's appetite still isn't up to par and i'm hoping that all he has is a bad cold, not the flu.

and now for the menu for the coming week:

monday: spanish rice casserole - this sounds so very yummy; most likely i'll make it with ground beef, but i've got some ground chicken that would also do well, i think. we'll have it with white rice, because i absolutely hate the texture of brown rice, i do not know why. apparently i'm unhealthy to the very core of my being, lol...but we will probably have a veggie alongside, like corn or broccoli, because i'm not all terrible.

tuesday: herbed pork chops with raspberry sauce - i knew when i saw this that i'd have to make it. j is a little twitchy about pork chops, but he yummed when i showed him this recipe. most likely i'll make this with blackberry jam, because that's what i've got hanging around at the moment.

leftover veggie frittata - this just sounded awesome, and i'm really looking for ways to work more "not as heavy on meat" ideas into our regular rotation. both of us are definite carnivores, so left to our own devices, we tend to aim for meat. we try to balance that out, but both of us like egg dishes, so...this will likely have some leftover roast chicken in it, and we're both really looking forward to trying it.

SOS - bless my honey's heart, he confessed while we were talking food that he's had a hankering for some SOS, so we're a havin' it. i've found a few recipes for it, here and here most notably (probably will use one of the recipes from the second link), but the gist of it, for the uninitiated, involves ground or chipped beef browned then heated with a white(ish) gravy of some sort, then served over toast. it's an old military recipe, and is pretty good from what i remember, depending on who made it and how. haven't had it in years, but it's thursday's dinner and it sounds easy - sold!

spaghetti with meat sauce - no recipe for this, but i think this is really my go-to meal. when i'm tired and cranky and don't wanna cook, this gets made more than anything else in our arsenal. j absolutely loves pasta and meat individually, but put them together and he's one of the happiest campers ever. i do it the simplest way possible: brown ground beef, pour off the fat, dump in a can of hunt's spaghetti sauce, heat through, ladle over cooked spaghetti. i've tried getting all super domestic and making my own sauce, but my attempts - although none have really flopped except one that i can remember - just haven't had the same joyous taste to j that hunt's has...so hunt's he gets... :)

dijon rice and egg skillet - i don't know why i'm so fascinated by this dish, but i cannot wait to try it.

leftovers - something from the freezer or from this week's adventures.

for more menu adventures for this week, head on over to the organizing junkie and share the menu love!


expired coupons and coupon trains

i just finished going through all of my coupons and pulling the expired (or the ones that are about to expire) ones. some i knew i probably wouldn't end up using, some i genuinely thought that i'd find a use for, and others i wanted to use but the item even *with* the coupon just didn't warrant what various places wanted to charge for it.

it's been a few months since i've done this, but i've put all of the coupons that i've pulled into an envelope and i'm getting ready to send them off to a navy base where i hope someone is able to get some use out of them. in case you hadn't heard, families on military bases are able to use expired coupons on base up to 6 months past the expiration date. the list i use most frequently i found here, and it's broken down by branch of the military, so if you'd rather send to one branch or another, you certainly can. i chose a navy base in japan simply because j's son is in the navy and is currently stationed in japan...very complex system i use to select a destination, i know...

i'd love to start a coupon train. they can be very fun, and it gives you a chance to get coupons that you might not have seen otherwise, or gives you duplicates for things that you actually would buy and use. for example, this morning there were a *ton* of baby coupons that i clipped because i know *someone* will be able to use 'em...but i don't have any real need for them. now, pet coupons? send 'em my way, pretty please... :D

i've only done a coupon train a few times, and it was something on a forum that i frequent. someone else organized it, and i was just a car on the train. i know there are pros and cons, but overall it was a positive experience for me and i know it has been for many others. plus, it's probably fairly difficult to get off the gound...so, the debate rages on for me. if you're interested, let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me an email at cricket@dagnabbitalready.com.


chicken stroganoff

i didn't have a specific recipe when i made this the other night, was more winging it than anything else, but it turned out fabulous, and here's what i did...

what you need:
1 pound ground chicken (or beef, whichever)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can milk
1/2 envelope onion soup mix
8 oz cream cheese
olive oil

first off, brown the mean in olive oil with the onion soup mix. since i was using chicken, there wasn't anything really to drain off. add the can of soup and the milk. i cut the cream cheese into chunks to make it a bit easier to incorporate, then i just stirred over low heat until everything was all melted together and looked heavenly.

i served it over rice, but i bet it would be equally delicious over egg noodles. enjoy!!


menu plan monday!

in keeping with my "to do" list, here's what (tentatively) we've got going in terms of our weekly menu:

monday: chicken alfredo (no recipe, using last week's roast chicken leftovers and bottled alfredo sauce)
tuesday: pork roast, veggies, mashed potatoes
wednesday: "chicken stroganoff" with rice
thursday: beefy mac skillet (from the campbell's kitchen meal mail that i can't remember exactly how i signed up...probably just from a link on their site)
friday: leftovers (or "breakfast for dinner", whichever is most appealing by then)
saturday: dijon rice and egg skillet (i found this recipe on the incredible egg site, i don't think it'll let me link to it directly, but i will likely reproduce the recipe here if it's any good...very like a sopa seca recipe - never mind, the link works now! *happy dance*)
sunday: whole roast chicken, veggies, rice

visit menu plan monday over at the organizing junkie's blog for more ideas!

hopefully this becomes an easy habit for me to keep...happy "menuing", all!


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