Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

So, I hear Dad's the meal planner now. Well... you all helped me to learn to cook, so now I want to be able to share what I've learned about cooking just for 2.

I'll be posting our 2-week meal plans, tips, helpful websites, whatever I come across.

Here's today's tips!

What do you do when a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese?
Well, we have that on Sunday 6/15, but then we're having stuffed shells on Monday to use the rest of the cheese.

And did you know that tomato paste freezes wonderfully? Just spoon the leftover the recipe didn't need into an ice-cube tray, then later you can have a ziplock of 2 TB portions of paste. I'd advise keeping a list or whiteboard on the refrigerator, though, so you can keep track of all the little bits you have in the freezer. (Tomato sauce freezes well, too - as do both chicken & beef broth).

When boneless, skinless chicken breast is on sale (it only ever goes as low as $1.99 here on sale - but the regular price is $5.00+!!), we'll buy 4 packages and have "meat packing night." I cut up the chicken into portions, and Dinah labels the freezer bags. All the little bits I cut off to get portion sizes end up in a freezer bag labeled "stir fry." Then, into the freezer they go! We do the same thing for pork, ham, fish.. you name it.

MENU Sat June 14th through Sun July 6th

So, last week (Sat 6/7 through Fri 6/13) we were winging it, b/c I didn't plan meals over the weekend. Now, here's what the next 2+ weeks look like.

6/14 Sat - Kleftikeo (Med/115), boiled red potatoes

6/15 Sun - Stuffed Chicken Rolls (Med/131), served w/ tagliatelle pasta & mushrooms

6/16 Mon - Stuffed Shells (recipe online), cook chicken to go with it, have with broccoli on the side

6/17 Tue - Chicken Fajitas (RR/92)

6/18 Wed - Shrimp Jambalaya (TOH2/Wint08/22) served w/ rice

6/19 Thu - Angel Hair Pasta w/ Chicken & Shrimp (QH&DC/36)

6/20 Fri - Sausage Calzones (RR2/56)


6/21 Sat - Grilled Chicken (marinade recipe in Joy/529) with pasta salad (italian dressing, pasta, squash, pepper). Make 4 servings of pasta salad - it comes back on Monday!

6/22 Sun - Puerco Pibil & rice (recipe on YouTube)

6/23 Mon - Tarragon-Crusted Chicken (TOH2/Wint08/7), serve with leftover pasta salad from Saturday

6/24 Tue - Taco Salad night!! (no official recipe - we cook flatbread in metal bowls in the oven, then fill it with taco goodness)

6/25 Wed - Salmon w/ caper relish (recipe online), wild rice mixture, veggie (whatever's on sale)

6/26 Thu - Vodka Cream Pasta (RR2/186 - this recipe is a variation of RR/44), serve w/ baked chicken & good bread & a veggie (again, whatever's on sale)

Fri the 27th through Sunday the 29th - already have plans for dinner w/ others

6/30 Mon - Pork chops, mashed potatoes, canned corn

7/1 Tue - Pot pie (I made some a long time ago & froze it) & salad

7/2 Wed - Grilled italian sausage w/ onions & peppers, served in rolls, salad.

7/3 Thu - Mom arrives! Not sure yet what dinner will be.

Fri the 4th through Sun the 6th - already have plans for dinner w/ others.

squash & pepper for pasta salad
lettuce, tomato, pepper, sour cream, onion, avocado for taco salads - be sure to have flatbread on hand
veggie x 2
1/4 c. heavy cream
good bread (for dipping in oil & spices)
I have a basil plant as of today, so I don't have to purchase fresh basil for the cream sauce

That's it for the next couple of weeks. We have weekend plans for the 4th of July weekend, which would be the next time I plan meals, so we'll see what happens that week. Might be winging it again for a week. We'll see.