January 14, 2012

Meal Planning Challenge...Week 2

Well, I've already had to make a change to this weeks plans haha! Dear hubs came home for lunch today and as he was leaving he asked what was for dinner tonight (Sunday), I told him that Spaghetti was on the menu - which is on the fridge. Apparently he had Spaghetti for lunch at Grandma's yesterday so we had Chicken George for dinner tonight, Lane also requested popcorn (he asks almost every day for popcorn) so we had that to finish off the meal. Tomorrow night I will make Spaghetti w/ Garlic Bread and Salad before my MOPS Steering meeting. Every once in a while we run into these little hiccups in our meal plans and it usually happens when I'm really wanting to make that meal! Most of the time I haven't started it yet, so I can switch - but if I'm mid meal, I'm not turning back...

I have to say, it has been fun coming up with meals for the next 3 weeks. I have a few new recipes that I will be trying out but many of them are already favorites of ours. I was successful this last week in serving the meal I had planned along with a side dish - although I did forget the sweet potato fries to go along with the Crescent dogs I rallied and served peaches!

There are a few things on my inventory list that will probably stay on there like soups and tortellini as they are something quick that I can pull out on short notice or busy nights. Also, the fish sticks and chicken nuggets are in there for Lane - he has hit a picky stage and if I am making something that I know he won't eat then he will have one of those two things instead (or a PB & J sandwich). I have to say though, the kid loves his fruits and veggies which is great for Jay & I! Lane's favorites are grapes, apples, bananas and oranges and I haven't made a veggie that he has turned away :) 

I had planned on making Stuffed French Toast for lunch tomorrow but since we are still eating on the pan of Baked French Toast from Thursday, I think I will rearrange a few things. Here is the menu plan for this week (Sun-Sat). 

  • Lunch: Fried Egg Sandwiches
  • Dinner: Chicken George and Popcorn
  • MOPS Steering mtg - Spaghetti w/ Garlic Bread and Salad
  • Honey Sauced Chicken w/ Rice & Salad (new recipe)
  • Baked Mac & Cheese w/ Applesauce
  • Leftovers
  • Goulash w/ Garlic bread & Corn
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: White Lasagna w/ Garlic bread & Salad
I have 2 frozen bags of hot dog buns that I will be using for Garlic Bread (I am so excited that I have an oven w/ a working broiler now!). If you are  wondering what Chicken George is, it is fried chicken breast strips served with this delightfully yummy sauce called Jans Sauce. It comes from The Candlelight Inn, located is in Rock Falls, IL (there is also another location in Sterling). We usually bring home a pound or two each time we visit my grandparents.

Last week I made Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup, it was a new recipe and I had made it one other time but improvised and it didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. This time I made it almost according to directions with a few minor improvements based on previous experience. For instance, I actually made the roux instead of using cream of chicken soup which made a world of difference! The only improvements I made were to add 2 boxes of Rice A Roni and then I added in the mushrooms along with the celery & carrots. Delish!  This is another recipe that will be added into my rotation!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Crockpot)
CFYF board, Baby Center

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 pkgs of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 can mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1 cup half and half

Mix the broth, water, carrots, mushrooms, chicken and rice seasoning packet (leave out rice until shortly before serving) in the slow cooker. Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four hours. About an hour before serving, pull out the chicken and shred it (using your Kitchen Aid mixer w/ paddle attachment works well), add it back and then add in the rice.

Mix the salt, pepper and flour in a small bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add in the flour mixture. Stir well, slowly add in the half and half and whisk until smooth. Stir this yummy mixture into the soup and let it cook for 30-45 minutes. 

Notes:  I used all of the roux the first time I made this and it was more like a thick stew.  Still delicious, but if you want more of a soup consistency then add in about half of the mix to start with.

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