Menu Plan 4/3/14-4/9/14

I mostly followed last week’s menu plan, including using up a bunch of leftovers (yay!) but in the distraction of making the most of the last few days of my sister’s visit, I made simpler meals in place of taco salad and chicken thighs with sides. I think I’ll use the taco salad meal as leftover stretching plan for lunches this coming week, and just skip the chicken thighs meal for now.

Lunches this past week varied from tuna salad with crackers to leftovers to frozen pizza (only once…) and were occasionally supplemented by a large batch of mandarin orange gelatin. We also ate a lot of garlic cream cheese on crackers as snacks, along with the bananas, pineapple, mangoes and oranges I bought on my fresh fruit spree during my last grocery shopping trip. Also, spinach salads are still surprisingly good.


Salmon and potato hash (with mushrooms and onions) and spinach salad

Deep Dish Pizza

Leftovers/Fridge Scrounging

Herbed Potatoes (for fellowship meal)

Pork Chops with  potato salad and creamed spinach

Ground turkey ‘pork’ dumplings with roasted carrots



We should be back on a pretty good leftovers for lunch schedule now, and as I mentioned, I’ll probably go for a main dish salad if we need to stretch out our leftovers.


Last week was pretty much the same kefir smoothies, eggs and fried potatoes we’ve been doing for breakfast. Kefir smoothies are currently on hold while I wait for a new blender blade to come in, but meanwhile I need to start up some refrigerator oatmeal again. I’m sure there will be more eggs and fried potatoes as well.

Baking and Extras:

I still haven’t made bread. It’s been ages since we’ve gone this long without homemade bread around. We haven’t missed it too badly, but it is weird not to be able to fall back on toast for breakfast, or grilled cheese sandwiches for an easy meal.

So, top of my list is making bread. After that I really need to get back to the oatcake idea, and maybe start some sprouts and make banana bread.

Shopping List:

It’s my non-shopping week, and I didn’t see any deals I can’t pass up, though there were some decent sales at Aldi:

pineapple, $1.29

mangoes, .49

boneless, skinless chicken breast, $1.69/lb


Also, Kroger has chicken thighs for .99/lb and is at their lowest standard sales cycle price for sour cream this week, which is $1.


Menu Plan 3/27/14-4/2/14

I thought we’d followed our menu plan pretty well this week until I went back at looked at it. Well… We ate two of those things… We ended up adding two more social events this past week, which is a really good reason to adjust a menu plan. So, some of last week’s dishes will be moved forward to this week’s menu plan.

Lunches continued to need supplementation, which varied from mandarin oranges to hamburgers to couscous and ham slices (both pulled from the freezer).



Social Event

Deep Dish Pizza (Starting the dough a day ahead this time to see if the crispiness improves after being in the fridge overnight.) with fruit

Leftovers (More specific that normal as I’ve taken stock of what needs to be used up in the fridge and think that combine the leftover couscous with leftover meat juices and various veggies that need to be used up would make a good casserole. I’ll probably top it with some homemade cheese, too.)

Bubble and Squeak

Taco Salad (It’s hitting the feel of spring, if not quite spring weather, and I’ve starting wanting the fresh vegetables of spring. Hence main course salad in such a form that my husband won’t mind it.)

Potato Chowder

Chicken Thighs with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots



The usual range of leftovers, plus I’ll probably make up a pasta salad to stretch out the leftovers. And maybe we’ll do some spinach salads. Spinach sounds inexplicably good right now…


Last week was pretty much as I predicted: lots of kefir smoothies with occasional eggs and oatmeal, though we also had fried potatoes one morning. This week is probably more of the same.

Baking and Extras:

I finally made the fermented ginger carrots. I also made a batch of ketchup, some vinegar cheese, more or less kept up with my kefir, and made some fruit gelatin (that may or may not be properly setting in my fridge right now… if for some reason it doesn’t turn out I guess I’ll add it to smoothies). I also made some good ‘zippy pea hummus’ from those dried whole peas I got a good deal on, and will probably be making more of that in the coming week. I didn’t get around to baking bread yet, so that’s high on my list for the week, though again, I’m not setting large baking goals for the week.


Shopping List:

As usual, the amazing sales happen on my ‘off’ week, and when I want to go grocery shopping again, the sales are underwhelming. I’m  even becoming less excited about the .69 mushrooms at Aldi at this point… Aldi *does* have organic grass fed ground beef on sale for $4.49 a pound, though.

Here’s a smattering of what I am planning to buy this week at Aldi (it is as yet undetermined whether I do a Kroger run too or not):

canned tuna, 8/$5.50 (I like to have several cans of tuna on hand for last minute unplanned meals, or for if I forgot to thaw meat out ahead of time)

rotini/elbow macaroni, about 5/$5 (Apparently spring is also time for pasta salad…)

blue tortilla chips, about 4/$6.75

tortillas, 3/$5 (I still really need to find a recipe for homemade tortillas that works well… one of these days…)

ramen noodles, about $2 (Don’t judge… This is also a really good ‘fast food’ for emergencies… or Saturday afternoons.)

bananas, 10lb/$4.40 (Need more bananas for smoothie bases!)

tomatoes, $1

hamburger patties, 3lb/$6.99

Menu Plan 3/20/14-3/26/14

I feel like it’s been a crazy week. It’s been a fun week, with lots going on, but not a productive getting things done sort of week. Surprisingly, we did follow our dinner plans almost to a T, just replacing the Bubble and Squeak with ‘pizza while helping someone move and leftovers for supper’ day. Lunches were a bit crazy with fewer leftovers than normal as I wasn’t completely calculating in having an extra person around for meals. Also, to my shock and dismay, we completely ran out of cheddar cheese this week, so my plan of throwing together some quesadillas  for one lunch turned into a slightly runny process of heating vinegar cheese between tortillas. (Thankfully it was as tasty as it was runny.)

Also, I got approximately none of my baking projects done this week (except, of course, irish soda bread). Sigh. I think they’re all just going on the back burner for now, and I’ll get to them when I get to them.


Social Event

Chicken Thighs (Something with lemon, maybe lemon basil chicken…) with potatoes and peas

Leftovers/Fridge Scrounging

Bubble and Squeak

Scampi with Sauteed Veggies and Pasta

Turkey Dumplings with Sauteed Cabbage

Cheesy Lentils with roasted carrots


I definitely need to start taking better note of what leftovers in the fridge need to be used up, and probably start using more freezer meals to supplement lacks in leftovers, instead of cooking up new food. I’ve had that feeling of simultaneously being overwhelmed with overly full fridge and freezers, while never having any leftovers to base a meal on when I go to look. Part of this is because I still have a large amount of fermented dairy sitting in my fridge, which doesn’t generally make a good dinner base. Still, I overall seem to need better food management lately.


Lots and lots of fermented dairy! We’ve been doing kefir smoothies most mornings anyway (except for using up some boxty batter, which was also taking over the fridge), so we’ll probably continue that, with the usual eggs and oatmeal for variety as needed.

Baking and Extras:

I need to bake bread and make fermented ginger carrots. Everything else is on hold for now.

Shopping List:

Not my shopping week, though Kroger has a few tempting sales, such as:

asparagus, .88/lb (Thursday through Sunday)

Ataulfo mangos, .50

chicken thighs, .99/lb (Hyvee has them for .88/lb, but nothing else of note.)

It’s also worth checking to see if the Izze bottles are included in the buy 5, get $5 off sale, as they’re not listed in the ad, but I’ve seen some reports that they’re included.

Aldi also has a couple of  good produce sales:

lemons, .79/lb

strawberries, .99/lb (I normally would only recommend buying organic strawberries, as they’re on the dirty dozen list, but sometimes when conventional strawberries get super cheap, I make an exception.)


Menu Plan 3/13/14-3/20/14

Nothing wrecks your menu plan for the week quite like  having stomach flu in the house. I didn’t even come down with it (though I hovered on the brink for a while), but when my husband’s not eating I feel very uninspired to cook full blown meals. So, he avoided food or nibbled on rice pudding and applesauce, and I ate some fried potatoes, some cooked carrots, some leftover mexican food and eventually ate some ramen noodles (my own spices though, no msg filled spice packet).

As he was getting over the stomach flu and ready to eat real food, and I was getting tired of thrown together snackish meals, but still uninspired to cook, I pulled a lasagna out of the freezer and we ate off that for a couple of meals.

This coming week, because my normal leftover night is getting overwritten by other stuff going on, I may need to put off one of the scheduled meals in order to use up leftovers. I still decided that I’d rather have a plan for all the meals though, just in case. Also, because my sister is coming into town for a few weeks, we’re likely to have a lot of last minute social events. Again, I’d rather know that I have a plan that may need to be scrapped, than need a plan to fall back on and not have it all.


Social Events x 2

Bubble and Squeak (This is a potato and cabbage dish, flexible to using whatever meat you have available, seasoned with salt and vinegar.)

Boxty  for fellowship meal (I’m not sure if this is the same recipe I used last year, but it looks similar. Except, of course, I fried mine in butter.)

Corned beef brisket with cabbage and potato (probably cooked with the brisket, possibly mashed or leftover boxty), irish soda bread, and maybe something green




If we get short on leftovers I’ll pull some soup or something out of the freezer. Still want to try making a cold roasted carrot salad. Ooh, and I really should make some potato salad…


Since I just got some kefir grains last week, and fortuitously also was given several extra gallons of raw milk, we seem to be heading into a kefir smoothie breakfast kick. I still need to try making oatcakes as well, though. And, of course, we have the standard eggs, oatmeal and yogurt to fall back on if necessary.

Baking and Extras:

Mostly just a copy of last week’s list, though I did make rice pudding to get my husband through the ‘bland food’ stage of the stomach flu. Not quite the same as using it for a fun breakfast, but probably not something I want to make again right after that experience either.

I *really* need to make fermented carrot relish this week, and am still hoping to make oatcakes. (I really hope oatcakes aren’t the new chocolate chip pancakes when it comes to baking projects…) I also want to try making fermented ginger ale. I was intrigued to see a recipe that called for whey as a starter, because last time I tried to make ginger bug I forgot about in the fridge for so long it may or may not still be good. I’m a lot more likely to make fermented soft drinks on a regular basis if they call for ingredients (such as whey) that already have around, instead of needing a whole new ferment to keep track of.

Frozen yogurt would probably be a good way to use up all the yogurt I have right now…

Oh, and I have to make irish soda bread for St Patricks Day.

Shopping List:

It would help me in planning if Aldi had Irish food on sale this week, but instead they inexplicably have sales on German food, which doesn’t help me a whole lot when I need corned beef brisket. (Actually, they do have a more expensive cut of corned beef brisket in their ad, so I may go there first and see if they also have some at a comparable price to the cheaper cut at other stores, and then Kroger if I still need to.) Here’s my ideal list based on the sales this week, and staples that I need to pick up:


crackers,about  3/$5.40

tortillas, about 2pks/$3.40

mushrooms, 6pks/$2.80

avocado, about .99

eggs, about 3doz/$4.50 (I’ll get them at Kroger if they’re more than this)

ground beef, 3lb/$6.99



fresh parsley, about $2

green onions, about .59

cabbage, 6lb/$2

celery (Not sure of the price, but I can stand to pay for it, I’ll get organic celery.)

corned beef brisket 10lb/$20 (If you want to eat corned beef brisket at all the rest of the year, now is the time to stock up.)

ice cream, $5 (I know, but like I said, my sister’s coming into town. What kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t even have ice cream in the house?)

Menu Plan 3/6/14-3/12/14

It ended up being an interesting food week around here: in the past three days we’ve used up almost four pounds of butter, and I may have to make a shopping trip to get more, even though it’s not my normal shopping week! We ended up having a couple of my husband’s siblings stay with us for a couple of days this week, and his sister and I had a baking day: she made fudge, bread and lemon meringue pie and I made eclairs. My first batch of eclair shells was a total flop (we dubbed them bread sticks and ate them with soup), but I figured out what I did wrong and made another batch that turned out much better.

I didn’t get to any of my other baking projects I mentioned  as possibilities for the week, but I did make eclairs, and they turned out very well. Sometimes splurges just need to take precedence over practical choices…

I didn’t end up making deep dish pizza again either–it was one of those days and we ate frozen pizza instead. However I *did* make the oyster soup, which was basically a simple potato soup with that addition of the the can of oysters. (I keep wanting to call it a tin of oysters every time I mention it. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many British tv shows recently…) We ate the soup with grilled cheese sandwiches to stretch it out for having guests, and garlic sauteed asparagus, because asparagus is already going on sale cheap at the grocery stores.

I also tried the spinach gratin recipe, and it was a hit. I used milk instead of stock and parmesan cheese instead of swiss. It still tastes distinctly like spinach, so if you’re looking for a disguised spinach recipe, this won’t help you much. But it did have a soft, almost creamy texture that was lovely, and as an added bonus, 1 lb of fresh spinach made barely three servings (two of us could have easily finished it off), so if you get overwhelmed by trying to eat a whole package of fresh spinach in salads and smoothies, this recipe will easily help you finish off the package.


Sausage and sweet potato hash (This will probably get a last minute side, after I decide whether I feel like counting the sweet potato as a carb or a vegetable that day.)

Deep dish pizza with fruit

Leftovers/Fridge Scrounging

Ground beef and potato hash

Chicken thighs with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes

Turkey ‘pork’ dumplings with peas

Crockpot meatloaf with potatoes and carrots

(Can you tell I’m trying to use a lot of organic potatoes and carrots I got a good deal on?)


By my calculations, I should have leftovers for every lunch except one. I’ll plan on finding something to pull out of the freezer, and hope I’m feeling more creative about it that day than I am right now. I’m getting low on lettuce, so I do need a plan for vegetables for lunches. We still have fresh pineapple, which would do for a couple of lunches. I wonder how long it would take us to get tired of roast carrots if I cooked up a lot of them at once and them used them for lunches several days in a row. What if I made some sort of cold, marinated roast carrot salad to switch it up a bit? I’ll have to think on that.


(I hardly followed last week’s breakfast plan at all. I never made muffins or rice pudding, and we ate eclairs for breakfast the day after I made them–but don’t tell anyone, this is supposed to be a healthy food blog.)


Oatcakes (I’m really intrigued by this, both because of my Scottish heritage, and because it’s a way to eat oats without the oatmeal texture my husband doesn’t like. Plus, another way to switch up which grains we’re using on a regular basis, instead of falling into the lazy ‘wheat for every meal’ habit.)

Chia Pudding

Yogurt and/or fruit, on it’s own, or with the above

Baking and Extras:

I need to make fermented ginger carrot ‘relish’ this week, plus I’m sure I’ll go through at least one batch of homemade french onion dip for snacking between meals. Obviously I need to make oatcakes and chia pudding if we’re going to eat those for breakfasts. (I’m off the hook for trying the pancakes because we’re out of chocolate chips now.) I may also try to make the rice pudding and/or the muffins I planned on making last week. I got a lot of ‘fun baking’ out of my system with the baking day, but I’d like to continue my developing habit of trying new (or rarely made) fun recipes on a regular basis, so maybe I’ll try something like fermented ginger ale, or homemade granola bars, if I find the time for more baking this week.

Grocery Shopping:

(Sales are for the central IL area.)

As I mentioned, I need to go buy butter even though it’s not my normal shopping week, but I don’t want to make too much of a shopping trip out of it. After a large Azure order this month as well as a Costco trip and needing to buy a gallon of raw honey (a large expense for two person grocery budget), I want to save most of the grocery money I have left for St Patrick’s Day, both stocking up on corned beef when it goes on sale, and having a little extra money to throw at fun food to celebrate St Patricks Day.

That said, there are a few tempting sales this week. Fresh asparagus is on sale again, the cheapest being at HyVee for 99 cents a pound. Aldi’s canned (wild Alaska) salmon is 20 cents cheaper than normal, so 2.49, which makes it a good time to get ahead if canned salmon is staple for you. (Aldi is the cheapest place I’ve found to get canned salmon anyway, so even a small price drop makes it an even better deal.) They also have frozen salmon fillets discounted, and fresh lemons for 99 cents a pound.

Menu Plan and Shopping List 2/27/14-3/5/14

Most of last week’s menu went according to plan. I even tried out making deep dish chicago style pizza for our pizza night, it was a definite success! (Okay, it didn’t quite taste like Giordano’s pizza, but it was still really good.) The chicken strips were also notable, as they turned out so well I commented that maybe I should make a video showing my recipe for them, and my husband’s reply was, “Yes, you should definitely do that, because then you’ll have to make them for dinner again”. So chicken strips are on the menu again!

I even got most of my baking projects done, except, of course, once again it proved to be a bad week to make pancakes, as my husband ended up needing to work on our car Saturday morning and it just didn’t make sense to plan for a leisurely pancake breakfast in that case. Does anyone else have these cooking projects that repeatedly get put off? Please, comment and let me know if I’m not the only one…


Social Event (1 or possibly 2)

Deep dish pizza with salad

Leftovers/fridge scrounging

Ground Beef/Potato Hash

Oyster Chowder (This is completely new ground for me, but I was curious about the canned smoked oysters at Aldi and decided to give them a try in some interesting sounding recipe) and fruit salad

Homemade Chicken Strips (with homemade ketchup, or perhaps more ambitous dipping sauces) and Spinach Gratin


Leftovers, and probably quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup if we run short of leftovers. (I love to throw extra ingredients in both quesadillas and grilled cheese, so with mushroom or onion or tomato in there, it should make a sufficiently full meal.)


Rice Pudding



Yogurt and/or fruit with any of the above

Baking and Extras:

I want to make rice pudding to have in the fridge for a couple of easy breakfasts, plus some raisin nut muffins. I also need to make some bread, which will probably be my whole wheat version of irish soda bread, since we’re currently out of the hard red wheat I use for making yeast bread. And probably another batch of yogurt… But on top of those fairly basic baking needs, I’d really like to make a fun dessert this week. Maybe lemon mousse? Or homemade eclairs? Or is that too ambitious for someone who can’t even seem to make pancakes and I should scale down to something like brownies? I guess we’ll just have to see how the week turns out…

Shopping List:

While Aldi does have avocadoes on sale (.59) I think this week I’m sticking with Kroger, including such buys as:

fresh pineapple, 2/$2

pinto beans, around 2lb/$2.50 (I normally would buy these in bulk, but in this case I’m going to buy a few pounds at the store to tide me over to the next bulk purchase.)

pepperoni, 4pks/$4 (I know, I know, nitrates, etc. But that’s why I haven’t had pepperoni around for a while, and I’m starting to miss it, and it’s on sale this week.)

sour cream, 5/$5 (On sale for $1–time to stock up!)

Chicken leg quarters, about 5lb/$4.00 (I usually buy leg quarters, as that’s the cheapest cut of chicken you can get, and sometimes divide it into thighs and drumsticks myself.)

Menu Plan 2/20/14-2/26/14

Because of some tired/sick days and extra leftovers we had a couple extra leftover nights this week. I’m trying not to let the fact that I’m posting my menu plans affect the fact that I need to adjust for real life. In fact, one of my main goals with my videos and this blog is to show the ‘real life’ side of cooking with real food, and admit to the flops and fails and changes and even the frozen pizzas when those happen. It’s just sometimes hard, as a food blogger, to announce to the entire internet when you didn’t serve vegetables with a meal.

Speaking of which… I was, in fact, a little lax on the veggies this week. We had vegetables included in our meals, but some of them were more in the realm of handwaving and ‘onions count as vegetables, right?’. This tends to happen when I’m tired or focused on other things, and this week I was both. I’m concentrating on some other health habits this week, and so the veggies took a back seat to that, but don’t worry, I have not abandoned vegetables forever.

(Crazy thought here, but I kind of wonder if truly eating seasonally would mean eating fewer vegetables in the winter. I mean, traditionally you’d have a few high carb vegetables that store well, but you’d mostly be eating grains and potatoes during the winter months right? Which makes sense if you don’t keep your house at a fixed 72 degrees year round and actually need to burn a lot of carbs and fat to stay warm all winter.)

Anyway, I did make the turkey dumplings, and need the bump up the seasonings more if I use turkey in the future (instead of pork), but they were still really good. After a bit more tweaking, the recipe will likely show up here.


Homemade breaded chicken strips with homemade dipping sauce (depending on my mood, possibly barbecue sauce, ketchup, sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard or ranch, or any 2-3 of those) and stuffed mushrooms

Homemade pizza

Leftovers/fridge scrounging (This is our Saturday meal, and basically means ‘anything easy that sounds good’. So, yes, sometimes it’s my code word for frozen pizza.)

Ground Beef and Potato Hash

Salmon Patties with homemade bread, lemon yogurt sauce and onion rings

Lasagna with homemade noodles (Yep, this did indeed get bumped to the next week. But this time it’s totally happening! Yeah…) and garlic green beans



Leftovers, as usual. We may not have enough lettuce to do side salads all the time, but we should be able to do fruit salads as a substitute.

If we end up short of leftovers for one of the lunches I might make some soup. I keep a bag of veggies in the freezer and add to it when I have a slice of tomato left over after making sandwiches, or a couple spoonfuls of sauteed vegetables that aren’t worth saving to reheat. The bag is getting close to full, and being cold season, it’s probably about time for some nice brothy soup anyway.


I made (regular, white flour) waffles for breakfast last Saturday, having not planned ahead enough to make the soaked pancakes that have been on my list for weeks. I think this may be the week to finally make the pancakes though…

Soaked Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes


Fried Potatoes

Yogurt (with chia, honey, fruit, etc)

Hopefully I’ll bake muffins or something too…

Snacks and Other:

Nearly miraculously, I made both oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate covered strawberries last week. This week I need to make sauerkraut and ketchup, saute and freeze mushrooms, make the soaked pancakes, and either make muffins, or at least make some baked oatmeal ahead for breakfasts this week. Hopefully that’s not too ambitious…

Grocery Shopping:

It’s my ‘off week’ for grocery shopping again, though I’m really hoping to get to make a Costco trip soon as I need several things including:

organic carrots, 10lb/$6.99

organic tomato paste, 12/$5.99

shredded cheddar cheese, 5lb/$12ish

Also, I noticed some good vegetable deals at Aldi:

mushrooms, .69 (Again! Anyone who’s trying to shop on a budget should be using a lot of mushrooms right now!)

roma tomatoes, 1lb/.79 (Under a dollar pound… Great week to make homemade salsa.)

zucchini, 1lb/.69

onions, 3lb/.79 (Like the mushrooms, still on sale, but even cheaper per pound than the mushrooms, and you can throw a chopped onion in just about everything you cook, in addition to making onion rings, stuffed onions and other onion based dishes.)

I also noticed boneless, skinless chicken thighs for 1.49/lb at Aldi. I tend to buy my meat on the bone, cut it up as needed, and make stock from the leftover bones, but for a ‘convenience food’ the boneless, skinless thighs could be a good deal.

Menu Plan and Shopping List 2/13/13-2/19/13

I’m tired today as I’m menu planning, so my plans are even more subject to change than usual, as I may go ‘what was I thinking?’ when I look at this week again with a clearer head. 🙂

We stuck to last week’s menu plan surprisingly well, with a few small changes, such as going out for chinese instead of making pizza, and switching chicken thighs for drumsticks. I found the Creamy Mushroom Peas to not be that impressive–perhaps in a different mood I would differently, but I felt I’d just as soon eat plain peas with bit of butter.

Menu Plan


Potato Chowder

Turkey Dumplings (in the style of pork dumplings, but experimenting with using ground turkey–I never got to this when it was on my menu plan a couple seeks ago) with sauteed veggies

Seasoned Ground Beef (I’m thinking something in the style of Italian Beef, but based on ground beef instead of roast)

Social Events x2

Salmon Patties with homemade bread, lemon yogurt sauce, tomato and mayo plus stuffed mushrooms

Lasagna with homemade noodles (Yes, this is ambitious, and so will be the first thing to get bumped from the menu if I’m have a tired day or week, but I did it once before and it was really good, so I really need to try it again.) plus a salad


Leftovers, possibly with side salads added

Judging by the layout of the week and the way food has been going lately, we won’t have any shortage of leftovers for lunches.


I *still* didn’t make those soaked pancakes, having failed to take into account that I had an event to attend on Saturday morning and didn’t really have time to do pancakes for breakfast. I did remember that we had some cooked squash in the freezer, and added some variety to our breakfasts this week by warming it up with some salt, sugar, butter and cinnamon.

For this week:

Fried Potatoes with cheese and homemade ketchup (We finally got our Azure Standard order in and are really enjoying having organic potatoes on hand again.)

Oatmeal with yogurt, chia and raisins (We also got organic raisins in this order.)


Sides of fruit with any of the above breakfasts.

Snacks and Other:

I don’t know if I’ll get to it this week, but now that I have organic raisins again I’m really badly wanting to make oatmeal raisin cookies. I’m also hoping to buy some strawberries and make chocolate covered strawberries… We shall see.

Grocery Shopping:

I generally found the sales to be uninspiring for this week, though there were a couple of good items on sale at Aldi. This is a smattering of what I’m buying there this week:

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, $1.69 (While they’re made with run of the mill not so healthy oils, they use organic blue cormeal, so a good mostly healthy option for Aldi only weeks.)

Yellow Onions, 3lb bag for .89

mushrooms, .69 (I still haven’t used up all the mushrooms I bought two weeks ago when they were on sale, but at these prices I’m going to try sauteeing and freezing a bunch.)

strawberries, $1.99 (Yes, they’re out of season, and normally I would only eat organic strawberries because they’re on the dirty dozen list… but I’m splurging because I inexplicably wanted to make chocolate covered strawberries. Why do I post my grocery list for everyone to read again? 🙂 )

Pineapple, $1.29 (They had one sad looking pineapple last time, so I didn’t get one, but I really want to get one this time if they have any decent looking ones, so I can make tepache again.)

Menu Plan 2/6/13-2/12/13

As often happens, some plans changed after coming up with last week’s menu plan. We ended up with more leftovers than I’d planned on and going to fewer social events than I’d planned on. Also, I was more tired than I planned on being.

The upshot is that some of last week’s planned meals are being moved to this week, and I’m going to try to account for leftovers a little better so I don’t have to throw away so many next time I clean out the fridge!

(We did have the bacon guacamole grilled cheese sandwiches on my birthday as planned. I added tomato and they were AMAZING! I left the guacamole off my husband’s sandwich at his request, but he did really enjoy his bacon tomato grilled cheese sandwich as well.)

Menu Plan


Hot Cheesy Artichoke Spinach Dip with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (I may put another dish with this at the last minute, but since it clearly contains veggies and the cheese has protein, I’m willing to let it pass as a fun meal without too much angst over whether it’s as balanced as the rest of the meals this week.)

Homemade Pizza (Usually using Sally Fallon’s yogurt dough, homemade pizza sauce and seasoned ground beef or white sauce and chicken, plus mushrooms and onions. One of these days I’m going to get adventurous and try making chicago style deep dish pizza at home.)

Leftovers/Fridge Scrounging

Ground Beef and Potato Hash

Salmon Patties on homemade rolls with lemon yogurt sauce and garlic green beans

Chicken Drumsticks (Probably using leftover sweet and sour sauce I have in the fridge) with Creamy Mushroom Peas (Haven’t tried this recipe, but was looking for a good way to use up mushrooms. Truth be told, I’m going to be throwing mushrooms into most dishes this week because they were cheap at Aldi last week and I stocked up.)

Indian Spiced Lentils and Rice with Roasted Tomatoes


As usual, leftovers, sometimes with an extra side salad. I don’t anticipate running short on leftovers this week, but if we do have a lunch without sufficient leftovers I’ll either make a main dish salad or pull some soup out of the freezer.


Last week we pretty much only did fruit, yogurt, toast and eggs. This week I’d really like to make up the batter for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes on Friday so we can have them for breakfast on Saturday.

Also, more yogurt, fruit and eggs. I’ve also been contemplating making up some chia pudding for breakfasts, but that’s unlikely to happen in the next couple of weeks.  (For one thing, it’s cold season and we’re going light on the dairy right now.)

Grocery Shopping

I try to keep my grocery shopping to once every two weeks, except when I’m tempted by a lack of fresh produce at home or unusually good sales at the store. I’m probably going to stick other errands besides grocery shopping this week, but there are a few deals that stood out to me as I was glancing over the ads (central IL area).


mangos, .49

chicken breast, 1.59/lb


(2 day sale, Thursday and Friday) bananas, .28/lb

Menu Plan and Grocery List 1/30-2/5

Menu Plan


Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese with roasted cauliflower (This is for my birthday meal: fun, but easy to make. The idea for the sandwich is from this recipe, but I’ll be making up my own version.)

Salmon Patties on homemade rolls with a lemon yogurt sauce and sauteed spinach, mushrooms and onions

“Pork” Dumplings, using ground turkey (I use this recipe for the filling, and this recipe for the wrappers, and as always, I adjust seasonings to my taste.) with fried cabbage

Some kind of meat for fellowship meal on Sunday (I know this is a little vague, but I’m going to have to do some looking and pricing at the store to decide on exactly what I’m getting this week.)

Social Events x3 (This is more than normal for us, but we happen to have several events going on where we’ll be contributing various snacks and drinks, but not having to make a a full dinner. One of these might actually be  a dinner of sandwiches in the car on the way, depending on how details work out.)

(Normally we have burritos/Mexican once a week, but for this particular rotation, because of the social events, it’s getting pushed aside.)


Lunches are almost always leftovers from dinner the night before. Because of the number of social events in the evenings, I’ll probably have to pull some soup out of the freezer for one or two lunches. Also, I’ll probably add a salad to the leftovers most days, as there’s rarely enough vegetables left from the  night before.


(I don’t plan my breakfasts in detail, but these are the options we’re likely to use in the next week.)

Homemade yogurt with chia, honey, fruit and/or cinnamon

Oatmeal with yogurt, chia, honey and cinnamon (for me)

Eggs (for my husband)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes (if I get ambitious about breakfast this week)

Shopping List:

(This is just the highlights as opposed to my full shopping list. Even that much is subject to change depending on the deals I find when I get to the store. Price are for the Central IL area.)


Organic mild salsa, $1.50×3

White sugar (only because I used up the last of mine around Christmas and it’s good to have some on hand), not sure of price

Tuna, .69×4 (I like to keep tuna around for a quick and easy meal, or in case I run out of salmon and still want a fish meal for the week.)

Organic Bananas, .59/lbx5 (Aldi just started carrying organic bananas, so I want to try them out.)

Roma Tomatoes, about .99

Pineapple, about $1.29

Mushrooms, .69×4

Organic spinach, 1.49×2

Eggs, about 1.39×4

Feta cheese, 2.99 (This helps with making salads more interesting.)

Butter about 2.39×8 (The price of butter fluctuates a lot at Aldi. It’s often cheaper at Costco, but since I don’t have my own Costco membership it’s usually simpler for me to go ahead and buy it at Aldi.)

Ground beef 5lb/8.99×2 (Nope, I don’t buy organic ground beef. And yes, when I can get ground beef on sale for under $2 a pound, I buy a lot of it at a time.)

Ground turkey, about 1.79

I may or may not be going to Kroger this week, but they do have sour cream on sale for $1, which is the cheapest it gets anywhere in the  normal sale rotation around here. I usually buy a few of the ‘natural’ line of sour cream every time it hits $1. (Natural has only cream and cultures. Original has a bunch of junk added for texture.) I also like to cruise the meat markdowns at Kroger when I get the chance, as when you can find them, they’re often really good deals.

If you noticed any good sales this week, or found any good clearance or manager’s specials on your shopping trip, leave a comment and let me know!