I am continuing to try and find ways to love my instant pot. On Friday, I read that you could brown ground beef using frozen meat, so I gave it a try. I will have to say that honestly it was more work than it was worth. I did have success with beef stew on Sunday so at least I can make a new delicious Sunday lunch now.
Our other really good food news of the week is that our garden is continuing to produce, not huge amounts but just enough. I have already frozen what I hope is enough diced tomatoes for the winter. My goal over the next couple of weeks is to collect enough tomatoes to make a batch of spaghetti sauce a week, this means I need to collect 8 pounds of tomatoes. We are also eating tomatoes on a daily basis, if I cant collect the 8 pounds I will continue to freeze half cup packages for the winter. Matt harvest pimentos and made an awesome homemade pimento cheese but my favorite still remains the watermelon we are getting.
Finally in food news, we are continue to plan and eat out of the pantry and freezer, I currently have a meal plan until September but with school starting we may have to make some small changes to this.
Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King-treat before the swim meet. Sunday- French toast with a freezer stash made as well. Monday-Choice Tuesday- Sausage biscuits and gravy Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Baked Oatmeal with blueberries?. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal, pop-tarts
Lunch- This week sandwiches and left overs make the list for lunch. No special plans at all.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch-Pasta salad . Dinner- -Pizza from gift card
Sunday- Lunch-Beef stew in instapot . Dinner- left-overs
Monday- Hamburger helper and fresh green beans
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday
Wednesday- Breakfast casserole
Thursday- Coconut shrimp if I am home.
Friday- Pulled pork and glazed carrots.
This week is starting out to be a little different than expected. Amanda purchased an electric pressure cooker for my birthday (August 10) and it arrived on Friday. I was so excited to try it out! I started with a “New York ” style cheesecake which was a success and then attempted a roasted chicken on Sunday which was a failure. Hopeful we will be able to use for a second meal this week. I currently have 4 crock pot full of bones and water from the above chicken. My goal is 60 cups of chicken stock in the freezer. Our garden is continuing to provide a small harvest. So far I have been able to freeze 10 1 cup container of tomato sauce and make a batch of spaghetti sauce as well. I also have frozen green peppers! Finally we are continuing to eat from pantry and freezer. It will start to get interesting as our go to favorite food are starting to run out.
Breakfast– Saturday-BLT. Sunday- Biscuit King Monday-Choice Tuesday- Sausage omelet Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal, pop-tarts
Lunch- Zachary is attending a Summer Reading camp that provides daily lunches, Lily is on a mission trip so the rest of us will have sandwiches, salads or left-overs.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch-chili. Dinner- -Steaks, baked sweet potato, cheesecake for desert- this meal was just Matt and I.
Sunday- Lunch-Sandwiches for Matt and I, . Dinner- , Deviled eggs, 7-layer salad, ranch potatoes, watermelon and cucumber salad- this meal was suppose to included roasted chicken but it did not cook in the pressure cooker so we ate the sides and call it a night after helping Amanda move.
Monday- Roasted chicken with all the left over sides and glazed carrots.
Tuesday- Spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes
Wednesday- Chicken enchiladas from remaining roast chicken
Thursday- I may attempt a beef stew in the crock pot or Pasta salad at the pool after picking Zach up from school.
Friday- Salisbury steak and gravy, rice, watermelon and cucumber salad.
What does your menu plan look like
I am sitting in a really quiet house, except for the occasional dog bark, it should stay this way for at least the next twelve hours or so. Lily left this morning for a missions trip to Mami Florida, she will not be returning until next Sunday. This afternoon, Amanda, Haley, Lily and Zach left to camp overnight and play at Sliding Rock NC. We do have an Amanda dog but that is really not a big deal. In the past, we would have taken advantage of the kidless night to go out for dinner most likely a very expensive dinner just because it was two of us instead of five. But not tonight!! We have definitely tighten the budget this month as we enjoyed Michigan in June and have plans for Myrtle Beach in August and Disney in November.
Tonight, Matt and I saved money by eating at home. Our menu was T-bone steaks (from freezer), baked sweet potatoes (last year’s) and a strawberry cheesecake. I made the cheesecake in my new Instapot that Amanda bought me for my birthday. We even chilled a bottle of wine from the wine rack to make the meal complete. The meal cost us zero out of pocket and was honestly one of the best I have eaten in a while.
Menu Planning for this week looks a little bit different than normal for a couple of reasons. First Zachary and Kendall are attending Vacation Bible School at a local church that provides dinner each day they attend. Zach is also attending a reading camp where lunch is provided. The next reason, however, will effect our menu planning for the entire month if not next 3 months. I want to clean out our freezers and pantry. I will continue to freeze any vegetables we get from the garden that we can not use but at the same time I am going to not buy additional items from the store unless absolutely necessary. For us that looks like milk and eggs with occasional other items thrown in for fun. We did purchase a whole cow in December which provides beef and we are looking at the idea of purchasing a second one again this year. On Saturday, Matt and I did some researching into the pantry. I even made a list of what was available in addition to adding some items to the plan for August. I will try and update on how the clean out is going.
Breakfast– Saturday-French Toast. Sunday- Sausage Biscuits Monday-Choice Tuesday- Fried eggs and Bacon Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.
Lunch- Matt and the girls will use quick meals, sandwiches or leftovers for this week. I have a salad packed for Monday, Tuesday- tomato sandwich, Wednesday and Friday will be leftovers.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch- Pasta salad. Dinner- -Coconut shrimp, cheddar broccoli rice and watermelon.
Sunday- Lunch-Chicken pot pie, watermelon and cucumber salad. Dinner- Leftovers
Tuesday- Pasta salad at Swim meet.
Wednesday- Remaining left-overs or sandwich
Thursday- We will most likely eat out because of eye appointments for the kids.
Friday- Salisbury steak and gravy, rice, watermelon and cucumber salad.
I ended up only working 5 hours today which means I had some extra time at home. The weather here is rain rain and rain so in addition to having a short day at work, we also are home this evening. I did make a monthly menu plan over the weekend but made a small change already as Kendall was requesting hamburgers. Matt made a grocery store run yesterday so buns were bought and Hamburgers made the dinner. I am starting to get excited as we are cleaning out items and at the same time starting to re-stock the freezer. We have tons of squash coming in from the garden right now so I am hopefully to get this stocking up done quickly.
Breakfast– Saturday-Bacon and Biscuits. Sunday- Matt and Zach attended the men’s breakfast. The girls ate eggs and grits. Monday-Cereal. Tuesday- Breakfast burrito bowls Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : fried bologna, eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.
Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, grab and go, and salads. I have a salad packed for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and leftovers for Friday.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch- Pizza bites Dinner- -BBQ chicken plates from a local church
Sunday- Lunch- BBQ ribs, baked beans and squash casserole . Dinner- Leftovers
Tuesday- Mini Corn Dogs
Wednesday- Chicken fried rice
Thursday- Fried squash and something. I planned to freeze another couple of bags of fried squash. Not sure about the meat so this should be interesting
Friday- Steak Fajita
As we continue with our busy lives and race into the Summer, meal planning becomes even more important for us. We enjoy spending time at the pool. In fact we spent close to 18 hours at the pool just this 3 day weekend. If we are not diligent about making and sticking to a menu plan, we often end up ordering pizza, picking up fast food or Chinese on the way home. Today was our anniversary, so as a treat we had planned to order pizza, we spent $33 for pizza for our dinner. Even at once a week, that adds an extra $120 a month to our budget, over the course of the summer that is half the cost of the condo we rent at Myrtle Beach, so 4 days at the beach vs. pizza once a week. We have built in a little bit more flexibility this summer as we are beginning to start some harvesting from our garden. I want to use and maximize as much of this food as possible.
Breakfast– Saturday-Pancakes. Matt ended up making a super double patch, which means they will be a choice for breakfast over the next couple of weeks. Sunday- Gray biscuits. (I made extra gravy, to use as dinner or as a choice as well.) Monday-Banana/chocolate chip muffins. Tuesday- Choices Wednesday- French toast in crockpot . Thursday- choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : fried bologna, eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.
Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, grab and go, and salads. I have a salad packed for Tuesday, chicken salad wrap for Wednesday and leftovers for Friday.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch- Hot Dog with chili and slaw Dinner- -Pasta salad with chicken
Sunday- Lunch- Roast and sauté squash. Dinner- Leftovers (Zach-hot dog with cheese grits, Kendall-broccoli cheese soup, Lily pancake, Matt- sausage ball, and me egg over grits and gravy.)
Monday- Pizza to celebrate our anniversary
Wednesday- Pork chops with squash and/or carrots
Thursday- ?? Beef and broccoli
Friday- Grilled chicken salad.
After starting this post I realized that I have not posted this since mid March. Opps. So I thought I would give a food update as well. We have used approximately 1/2 of our whole cow. One of the biggest problems right now is not eating beef 5x a week. We are actually starting to run out of vegetables which works out well. I did purchase and freeze 2 gallons of strawberries earlier this month in addition to make jam. We have to finish up out sweet potatoes from last year before September. A final food challenge of the month is our planned trip to Michigan at the end of the month. I need to sit down and make a plan, at least for our travel days, we have already been gathering gift cards that will make it much easier and decrease the overall expense.
I am very hopeful that Spring has finally arrived and will be staying around for awhile. This week, we have 3 baseball practices, 2 nights of cheerleading for each of the girls, piano, church and Matt will be working 3 nights this coming week. Thankful our breakfast choices have definitely improved after a trip to Aidi on Sunday.
Breakfast– Saturday-Breakfast burrito bowls. Sunday- limited choices Monday-choices Tuesday- Spinach egg cups Wednesday- Baked oatmeal. Thursday- choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : poptart , fried bologna, eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.
Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, chicken nuggets, , homemade lunchable and salads. I am taking left-overs this week. Nothing new or exciting here. I have gotten slack with taking my lunch so I already have a salad packed for Monday!
Dinner- Saturday Sandwich and chips Dinner- Dinner out for Haley’s birthday
Sunday- Lunch- Hamburger and hot dog’s at Mom’s Dinner- Gumbo over rice
Monday- Grilled chicken pasta and mandarin orange salad
Tuesday- Chicken Enchilada
Wednesday- Beef and Broccoli
Thursday- left-overs or homemade pizza
Friday- Breakfast casserole.
Crazy busy and what appears to be normal, yes that describes my life these day. This week we add to the normal chaos with me attending a continuing education class on Saturday and Matt work both Friday night and Saturday night.
Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuits and Gravy. Sunday-Waffles Monday-choices Tuesday- Choices Wednesday- Baked oatmeal. Thursday- Scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits. Friday- Choices. Choices include : baked oatmeal, eggs, grits, French toast, toast or cereal.
Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, chicken nuggets, , homemade lunchable and chips w/salsa. I am taking left-overs this week. Nothing new or exciting here. Except the fact it keeps us from spending money on lunch.
Dinner- Saturday Fajitas using left over steak and chicken. Dinner- Chicken and Broccoli casserole
Sunday- Lunch- Chicken pie at Mom’s Dinner- Cheeseburger pizza
Monday- Salisbury steak rice, carrots
Tuesday- Cheeseburger pie
Wednesday- Sloppy joes
Thursday- Beef and broccli
Friday- spaghetti or pizza
As hard as I try not to think it and dare not speak it, my life continues, I know that I will continue to mourn and miss my dad forever but time does not stand still so I keep praying and stepping out in faith. We have our typical busy week going on with four evening of multiple activities this week and most likely a cheer competition on Saturday. Menu planning is the only way we can function.
Breakfast– Saturday-French toast. Sunday- Cereal for kids and baked oatmeal for me. Monday-Baked oatmeal for everyone Tuesday- Choices Wednesday- choices. Thursday- Scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits. Friday- Choices. Choices include : baked oatmeal, eggs, grits, French toast, toast or cereal.
Lunch- Zach and Kendall have chicken and stars soup, chicken nuggets, , homemade lunchable and chips w/salsa. I am taking left-overs this week. Zach has decided he wants to purchase lunch at school this week, he will be using his own money as well. We did limit it to one time per week.
Dinner- Saturday- lunch chicken wings, fried pickle chips and cheese sticks. Dinner- Grilled chicken
Sunday- Lunch- Panda Panda (local Chinese place) Dinner- choice of left-overs
Monday- Rice Creole
Tuesday-Steak and baked sweet potato
Wednesday- Roast in crock pot
Thursday- Corn dogs (Sonic has for $0.50)
Friday- Spinach Ravioli .
Do you have your plans made?