Sunday, October 6, 2013

Menu Monday {Week 6}

Here we go--5 days of Family Dinners to fill up this week! Do us a favor and pick up a piece of fresh Parm from the cheese department instead of using the bagged or canned variety. This week we'll use it twice--you'll taste the difference and it keeps in the fridge for a good while.

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches-buy it, roast it, slow-cook it.... Whatever works for you.

Salmon Salads- I just do mine with lemon pepper and use a grill pan--main dish in 10 minutes flat. I serve a salad with bacon, mandarin oranges, nuts and balsamic vinaigrette. This is a chicken or grilled cheese night for the kids mandarin oranges.

Melt in your mouth Chicken. I would try to give proper credit for this recipe, but I discovered it in the  newspaper years ago and a quick Google search tells me half of the free world claims this recipe as theirs. So, here's what I do and my family likes it. Also, a great way to start using chicken thighs if you have never done so. Inexpensive and tasty.

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 (or a little more) Parmesan cheese
about 1 teaspoon garlic salt
few grinds of black pepper

Spray glass dish with cooking spray. Place uncooked chicken in your dish. Mix mayo and seasoning, spread over chicken. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Serve with a salad and maybe fried okra or lima beans, or whatever veggie you like and some fruit for the kids. Home run, Mom.

Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchiladas. This one is one to fix while the kids are napping or at school, but it is totally worth it. Yum.

Cavatappi with turkey and peas. Yes, your kids will eat peas....just go with me on this one.

1 pound of ground turkey (or chicken or 3/4 pound diced ham)
1 pound cavatappi pasta-it's like elbows, but longer. Rigatoni or Farfalle would also work well. Perhaps small shells, whatever you like.
1 bag of frozen peas
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Brown meat (unless you're opting for ham), drain set aside.

Boil pasta 7 minutes, drain and put right back into pot, add frozen peas, place over low heat. Add milk and cheese. Stir to combine and melt cheese. Salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately.

Join the clean plate club

Headed to the Gulf Coast this weekend for Shrimp Festival....can't wait to share lots of new shrimp recipes next Monday!

This is what's for dinner at our house this week, what's cooking in your kitchen?

What is Menu Monday....sharing what we're having for dinner just to take the burden off of other moms who struggle with "What am I going to cook tonight?!?"

For our family, we eat dinner together every night right now. Usually at our house. Its a time to connect and doesn't really serve so much to end the day as start the evening. The "mood" at dinner is the determining factor in what kind of night we'll have as a family. It's the launch pad for whatever the next 3 or so hours before bedtime will become. Its VERY important for me that it is a positive time and not a stressful time. I will not say that it is perfect, more of a constant work in progress.

If I'm stressed about what we're gong to eat, it can negatively impact our evening.

If its a battle to get the kids to eat, we're all in an rotten mood and that's no way to end the day.

If we can't get through a meal relatively peacefully, there's a good chance the rest of the night will not be peaceful.

Planning the weekly menu, getting prepared for an hour to help make sure the week nights go smoothly is totally worth it to me. I blog these plans with the hope that it helps some of my friends or other wives with their plans as well.

It also serves as my own personal "idea archive" when I start suffering from mealtime amnesia. I think its a real condition. ;)

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