December 16th, 2008

Menu Plan Monday #3

Menu Plan Monday

I'm finally back home for a full week, so it's time to post another weekly menu plan. And, yes, I know I'm late in posting my plans for the week. Therefore, the "plan" includes a couple of days that have already passed. I've also included breakfast and lunch plans this week.

  • Sunday (12-14)
    • Breakfast: eat out
    • Lunch: help-yourself
    • Dinner: Sausage, mac & cheese, peas (on-hand)
  • Monday (12-15)
    • Breakfast: oatmeal muffins
    • Lunch: help-yourself
    • Dinner: eat out
  • Tuesday (12-16)
    • Breakfast: Yogurt & fruit
    • Lunch: local diner
    • Dinner: help-yourself
  • Wednesday (12-17)
    • Breakfast: Hot cereal
    • Lunch: help-yourself
    • Dinner: Soft tacos, Mexican rice, lettuce, tomatoes
  • Thursday (12-18)
    • Breakfast: oatmeal muffins
    • Lunch: eat out (shopping trip)
    • Dinner: Sticky Chicken, noodles, broccoli
  • Friday (12-19)
    • Breakfast: yogurt & fruit
    • Lunch: eat out (shopping trip)
    • Dinner: Meatballs, potatoes, green salad
  • Saturday (12-20)
    • Breakfast: help-yourself (cook is sleeping in)
    • Lunch: hot dogs or help-yourself
    • Dinner: Oven-fried chicken, rice, carrots, green beans
  • Sunday (12-21)
    • Breakfast: eat out
    • Lunch: help-yourself
    • Dinner: Pulled-pork sandwiches, coleslaw

While we're eating more meals at home, I don't feel obliged to cook and eat at home every meal. My menu plans acknowledge the reality. For example, we don't fix a typical cooked breakfast at home. Instead, we go out to a local diner for breakfast on Sundays and sometimes one other day in the week. Their eggs are great and it's much easier for hubby to get a couple of slices of bacon from them than it is to cook bacon at home. We also like to patronize the local restaurants—a traditional diner, a Mexican restaurant, and a pizza/pasta shop—since we've become friends with the staff at these places.

Our "help-yourself" meals are typically eating up the leftovers. I like Laura's "Leftover Buffet" idea. There are only the two of us, and we may choose to eat at different times, depending on what's going on. Leftovers may be from a home-cooked meal or may be the "doggie bag" leftovers from eating out.

The soft tacos on Wednesday will be made from Mexican-seasoned ground beef that I'll be cooking for freezer plan-aheads.

Mexican-seasoned ground beef

    5 lb. ground beef
    10 tsp. chili powder
    8 tsp. paprika
    2.5 tsp. cumin
    10 tsp. instant minced onions
    2.5 tsp. garlic powder
    2 Tbsp. corn starch
    2 tsp. onion powder
    dash cayenne

Brown ground beef in large skillet or dutch oven, stirring well. Pour off fat. Stir in spices and 2 cups water. Simmer over low heat until very thick. Divide into five portions and freeze if desired. Each portion will fill 8-10 tacos.