Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 3 Menu

We had another great week of easy, ready-to-go meals and it was awesome! I feel like these meals could actually reduce our monthly grocery budget which is so exciting. I know we will get better at them as we go along too! 

I'm going to try to new ways of container-ing the food so that it saves me on freezer space and dishes. I will admit that I was a bit lazy this week and I just used my pyrex dishes. I had planned on lining them with foil but it seemed like a lot of work! 

Another little trick I read about is to put a container in the freezer that we put our leftover veggies in until it is full. Then those veggies can be used for vegetable beef soup! I think this is a really neat idea! I got it out of one of my Paula Deen cookbooks. 

I made a sauce in my slow cooker to use for lasagna and spaghetti and hopefully a 3-cheese baked ziti. Then whatever sauce I have left over can be containered up for later! Easy, easy! All I did was pour two large cans of plain tomato sauce and added lots of different spices and herbs. Then I browned some hamburger meat with minced garlic and drained that. Then I added my meant and chopped onion. It is delicious! 

I guess I should tell you my menu plan, huh? You can click on a couple of the meals for the recipe if I used one as a guideline! I actually altered all of them though. 

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole (I meant to have chicken in this but I forgot it!)
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Noodle Soup
3 Cheese Baked Ziti
Chicken and Tortilla Casserole

We had the lasagna on Sunday. Oh my was it good! I wish I had paid more attention to what I did on that because I'm not sure if I can do that again!

For the chicken and dumplings and the chicken noodle soup I just decided to make the "base." I bought bullion cubes instead of broth because I wasn't sure how much I needed. I ended up buying the bullion cubes that had herb seasoning mixed in them. Then I added a couple of large cans of cream of chicken soup to about 4 cups of the broth and I boiled that with some celery and pepper. You don't really need a lot of salt with bullion cubes. I felt like it was a bit too creamy but there was no room in my pot to dilute it with broth so I decided to go on and divide it and just planned to add more broth when I cooked it. I added chicken that had been boiled and shred into larger pieces too.

So tonight we decided that's what we would eat. We had a guest so we decided at 5 this was the best thing to make. Of course it took a lot longer because it had to be thawed. I like to use the Pilsbury biscuits for my dumplings. Their buttermilk biscuits taste more homemade than any other biscuit I've tried. All I did was add about 3 more cups of broth to what I already had and I felt like that was perfect. Then I brought it up to a boil and added my dumplings. I let those cook for about 15-20 minutes until they're not too doughy! I like to lean on the doughier side of things but Derek prefers them cooked all the way!

It was probably a lot easier than I just made it seem! My dumplings tasted great too! Anna-Kate and I went back for seconds and thirds!

So that's what we are eating this week and probably next week too! I'm going to work on a few breakfast ideas for our next cooking day. I think that would be really fun! 


Ashley E. said...

Those sound good!

Nicki said...

Thanks Ashley! You should try the Texas Tortilla Bake (click on it in my post to get the recipe)- I think you would like it!

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