Monday Menus ~ Week of June 28th

Just in case you are new to our family, you should know I make my menus each week based on what I have in my stockpile. You will only see six menus listed because everyone needs a night off. On that night, we eat leftovers from the freezer, sandwiches and soup, or go out to eat (with coupons, of course).

I cook these at random throughout the week. I have everything in the refrigerator or prepped in the freezer and can cook whatever I feel like each night. This might work for you or you might need to assign certain meals to specific nights.

And, why desserts? I have three small children (with one being autistic) and this helps me bribe them to try new things.

Need a peek at Penny’s Pantry? Click HERE.

Batch Cooking ~ Whole Wheat Pancakes, Famous Sausage Balls Muffins (from Southern Living 2009 Annual Recipes)

Mixing It Up ~ Whole Grain Baking Mix

Basic Cooking ~ Wheat Bread (always!)


This Week’s Menus ~

1) Italian Pasta Toss
An adaptation from a recipe I discovered when I was pregnant with our second child. It became an obsession! I hope it is equally addictive for you.

8 oz rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup homemade basil pesto
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt & Pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together well, except the lettuce. Add the lettuce and toss just before serving. No basil pesto? No problem! You can also use Italian dressing. That gives it an entirely different flavor but it works really well.

2) Grilled Chicken with Lentils, Garlic and Tomatoes
My first experiment with lentils brought me to the recipe you can find HERE. It is surprisingly simple and fast for a dried beans recipe. Serve it with grilled chicken or alone.

3) Celebrate the Beach Night

Having been back from vacation for a week, our children are missing it and the disturbing images on television are causing a lot of questions.  So, to try to bring something positive back to our lives despite the disaster, we are having a Celebrate the Beach night.  More details will be revealed on Friday but here is the dinner plan:

Octopus Hotdogs
Shells & Cheese, sprinkled with peas and goldfish crackers
Almond Sand Dollar Cookies
Blue Jello

4) Asparagus & Mushroom Risotto

One of my newest appliances is also my new favorite, a wonderful rice cooker from my parents.  I am diving into more serious recipes aside from plain rice and looking forward to the Asparagus & Mushroom Risotto on page 132 of The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.

5) Mexican Chicken Salad

Did you think I could go a week without Mexican flavor? HA!  You are talking to the lady who mixes salsa with her cheese grits. So, I will be trying Mary Ostyn’s recipe from page 211 of Family Feasts for $75 a Week.

6) BBQ~Huh?, Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon

I asked Bill what he wanted for July 4th and he said, “Something barbecue.” Yeah, that helps.  So, I am hoping for a smokin hot sale this week on something I can BBQ in a true Independence Day fashion. As for coleslaw, I only eat it fresh and without a lot of slushy stuff.  So, I will try the recipe HERE.

Desserts ~

1) Sand Dollar Cookies and Blue Jello

See above for recipe link.

2) Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Poached Fresh Cherries
If you are southern, you probably have a favorite pound cake recipe but just in case you don’t, you can try THIS recipe. As for the cherries, I will use the recipe on page 299 of The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. Yup, using my rice cooker again!

3) Chocolate Pudding

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