This Week’s Menu

Lately, I’ve surprised myself with how well I’m doing cooking just a couple of days a week and having food for all week and maybe longer. Mondays are definitely the busiest day but the rest of the week is smooth sailing. On Monday morning I make bread and, depending on what bread I made and how much I made, I may make more on Thursday. I almost always make yogurt during the night on Sunday so Monday morning that has to be poured into the strainer to make the thick Greek yogurt we like. It’s very easy, just takes a second but it’s still another step in my my Monday morning chores. On Monday I also make sure everything I need for the week’s meals is here and if it has to be pulled from the freezer, that is done as needed.

This morning, Monday, was the usual . . pour off the yogurt . . 

Yogurt Draining

Yogurt Draining

. . make bread (regular loaf and no knead dough to keep in the fridge) . . cornbread muffins for lunch – nothing was baked yet in this photo.

Breads

Breads

. . check to be sure everything I need for the week is here. If it isn’t, I can either adjust the menu or go to the grocery store. You know what I choose!  🙂

This week’s menu:

Monday
Red Beans, Sausage and Rice (the sausage is what we grilled the other day) 
Coleslaw
Cornbread Muffins
**I’m making enough to have two extra meals of red beans and sausage in the freezer

Tuesday
Hot Links on buns (the hot links were grilled the other day)
Potato salad, Pickled Beets

Wednesday
Meatloaf (already mixed up – just needs to be baked)
Mushroom Risotto
Roasted Pumpkin
Hawaiian Rolls
Spinach Salad
**This recipe made 2 – 1-1/2 pound meatloaves so one is in the freezer plus one meatloaf makes two meals for us.

Thursday
Creamy Mushroom Chicken (I’ll use some of my home canned chicken for this)
Pasta
Crusty Bread**
Eggplant Salad
**Extra crusty bread will be made for seasoned croutons for tomorrow’s soup and for having French Toast over the weekend.

Friday
Corn Chowder in the PC (There will be leftovers which we’ll have over the weekend.)
Meatloaf Sliders (from leftover meatloaf and Hawaiian rolls)
Coleslaw

I don’t plan meals for the weekends because that’s when eat anything left over or meals we may have missed because something took precedence over my plans. We’ll make pizza or grill something one night over the weekend.

From this week, we’ll have two meals in the freezer for another time – red beans/sausage and meatloaf.  If I do at least 2 meals per week for the freezer, that means I can basically cook for 2 weeks and pretty much eat out of the freezer every third week. Not bad!

 

Arancini

My Sicilian inlaws would not approve of my food attitude but . .  for the most part, Italian food not one of my favorites. I do not like red sauces. I’m not crazy about garlic. White sauces are ok but I’ll take Mexican or cajun food over Italian any day. And, I know there are many other ethnic foods than those few but around here, it’s Mexican, cajun or Italian. I feel bad for Vince that I don’t like red sauce because he likes that as much as I love Mexican and cajun. But, really folks .. with just a few lessons I could have him operating the stove like a pro, but that isn’t going to happen so when I start feeling guilty about opening a jar of Ragu, I say to myself . . he COULD learn to cook too!

Arancini is a stuffed rice ball that is rolled in bread crumbs and fried. That’s a real treat for Vince and a rare treat, I might add. First, I do not like frying much of anything and second, they’re so darned messy. I just don’t like making them.

But he’s moaned and begged for arancini and then he ordered me a new Samsung tablet so I made arancini. I hope there are no authentic Italians reading this because I sometimes add the “Judy shortcut” and butcher traditional recipes. This was on the menu for Monday but since it would be harder to get it done for lunch, I went ahead and made it yesterday and got it over with.

Speaking of that, I can’t remember if I told you about when I was telling my Weight Watchers friend about spaghetti squash. I told her “I think spaghetti squash is a really good Weight Watcher’s item”. I proceeded to tell her how I cook them. She laughed and said “You have just un-weight watchered the hell out of that recipe!” I guess it was the butter and cheese!  🙂

So, as I think about my arancini, I know I have “un-Italianed the hell out of this recipe!” Vince likes it and that’s what matters. Notice . . butter and no red sauce on my pasta! Vince had marinara . . yes, from a jar!

Arancini

Arancini

I do know how to make traditional arancini – use arborio rice, cook it like risotto, make it into balls, make a hole in the center, stuff it with goodies and fry it. Marinara sauce is served for dipping.

Arancini

Arancini

But the lazy Judy way is to use leftover regular rice because we always have that on hand, add the goodies to the rice, stir it all together, make a hole in the middle and put mozzarella cheese in the hole and fry it. The problem with the regular rice is it doesn’t stick together very well and it isn’t all creamy and yummy. OK! Next time I’ll do it right and use risotto.

The easiest way to do it closer to right is to use this recipe for Creamy Lemon Risotto with Baby Peas since arancini often has peas in it. 

No matter how I make it, the good news is . . there’s always extra that go in the freezer.

Arancini

Arancini

When I cook them, I cook 4 and Vince gets 2-1/2 and I get 1-1/2. There were 13 in this batch so 5 of the smaller ones will go into one bag and 4 bigger ones into the other bag and we’ll get three meals out of this recipe – not bad.

Fry Daddy

Fry Daddy

I use my Fry Daddy and that’s about the only time I use it so I put fresh oil in it the first them, then stick it in the fridge and over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have arancini again . . and again, and then I’ll dump the oil, clean the Fry Daddy and stick it back in the cabinet til I get shamed into making arancini again.

 

Cooking for a Crowd?

Nope, just cooking for us! I am determined to use enough food so we have one freezer empty before hunting season, which will be here before we know it.

I went to get lamb chops out of the freezer and only saw one package. There are more in there but they’re buried. I’m seriously at the point of whatever I pull out . . that’s what we’re having for dinner.

Food for the Freezer

Food for the Freezer

There’s the one package of 5 lamb chops, 2 T-bone steaks, 1 pack of sausage, 1 package of hot links, 1 package of smoked pork loin, one package of ground beef, a package of beans from the garden and one package of tamales. That’s more than enough food for the entire week.

Last night we grilled the lamb chops, the two T-bones, the sausage and hot links. Here’s the plan:

  1. Last night we ate the lamb chops and one steak, along with the beans baked potatoes and salads.
  2. For lunch today, we are having hot link sandwiches and spinach salad.
  3. For dinner tonight, we’ll have meat loaf from part of the ground meat, black eyed peas and roasted cauliflower.
  4. Monday – Arancini with the rest of the leftover ground meat. We will have a pasta salad and garlic bread, along with marinara sauce for dipping the arancini.
  5. Tuesday – Red beans, sausage and rice using some of the sausage. We’ll also have cornbread and coleslaw.
  6. Wednesday – Spinach Salad with Steak Strips (the remaining T-bone cut into strips)
  7. Thursday – Tamales, hot links, beans and cole slaw.
  8. The smoked pork loin is mostly used for breakfast but one day we will have baked potatoes with shredded smoked pork, grated cheese, chile peppers, and sour cream.

Leftovers, which mostly was sausage and hot links . . we’ll eat those as snacks. Mostly, especially during the week, we eat our main meal at lunch and then we snack for dinner.

I feel like a very lazy cook but we will be quite happy with these meals and that’s what matters.