Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday LogoLast week Mother Nature treated (and I use the word loosely) Austin to quite the winter weather. We had highs in the 20s and even snow on Friday! Of course Texas is completely incapable of dealing with even the smallest taste of true winter weather, so we experienced rolling blackouts, impassable streets, and all sorts of other fun. Luckily I had a menu plan and had gone grocery shopping so we were well prepared. I did change up my plan a little on Thursday so break out some chili from the freezer because the weather called for it. And because this is Texas our day of snow was followed by a gloriously sunny day with a high in the 60s which made me almost think about grilling on Saturday.

But, enough about our winter woes. It’s time to talk about menu planning. This week I’m continuing to both raid and fill the freezer in an attempt to use up ingredients and replace them with easy-to-cook dishes. I’m also revisiting some blog favorites so I can take some updated pictures. Finally, we’ll end the week with a weekend getaway to a new restaurant in San Antonio, a mini-vacation I’m very much looking forward to.

How do you keep to your routine when unexpected things like snow days and even illness crop up? Let me know in the comments.


Pumpkin Walnut Muffins in a basketMonday is one of those days that starts early with a client call, ends late with an evening event, and has back-to-back meetings in between. I’m going to give myself a break and order lunch in. The pita shop near my office is nicely priced and they deliver quickly, so I can have a healthy lunch even though I won’t be making it myself. I am looking forward to finding out what’s in store for this year’s food and wine festival, so it’s a nice trade for a late evening.

Prep Ahead

  • Place all of the ingredients for the pulled pork sliders in the slow cooker insert so all I have to do is set them to cook on Tuesday morning.


Pulled Pork SlidersOn the snow day last week I experimented with the 60 second scrambled egg made in a more round container to simulate a poached or fried egg. I added that to an English muffin to create my own fast version of a drive-through sandwich. It was a pretty slick move if I do say so myself, and I’ll try it again this week to further test the recipe so I can share it in a future post. To make dinner I’ll put my crock pot to use in the early morning so dinner will come together in just a few minutes on Tuesday evening.

Filling the Freezer

  • The pulled pork slider recipe makes enough for 24 sandwiches and there obviously won’t be 24 people at our dinner table. I’ll save a couple of servings for lunches and freeze the rest for quick dinners in the future.


I love days like this because they combine food with friendship and I can’t think of two better boon companions. A light breakfast of oatmeal will tide me over to a birthday lunch with my team and girls’ night out a local favorite spot. I have a run on the schedule for the early morning as well to make room for the feasting.

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with walnuts and dried fruit
  • Lunch
    • Lunch with my team
  • Dinner

Prep Ahead

  • Chicken and apple sausage from the freezer


I’m looking forward to trying this sausage and potato skillet because I think it will quickly become a family favorite. I’m a big fan of anything that only gets one pan dirty, and I can use the chicken and apple sausage I buy in bulk at SAMs Club which I think will go nicely with the potatoes. I’ll raid the freezer for breakfast and my refrigerator for a leftover lunch.


John Besh, New Oleans’ native son and chef extraordinaire, has opened a restaurant just down the road in San Antonio. We’re going for a visit as an early Valentine’s Day treat. In anticipation of an amazing dinner I’m going to run in the morning, have a breakfast taco to replenish myself and then bridge the time in-between with a smoothie. Dinner will be well worth the wait.

  • Breakfast
    • Breakfast taco
  • Lunch
    • Smoothie
  • Dinner


On our way back from San Antonio we’ll stop at a lovely little spot in Wimberley, Texas for a brunch out under the trees. The Leaning Pear uses fresh, local ingredients and has new items on the menu most weekends to keep things lively. After a weekend of indulgence, a light dinner of lean beef skewers and broccoli will be just perfect.

Fill the Freezer

  • I’ll triple the beef skewer recipe and cook ½ of the meat for dinner and leftovers next week. I’ll split the remaining ½ of the uncooked, marinated meat into two packages and freeze them for future quick dinners.


I’ve never been a fan of cooking one dinner for the adults and another for the kidlet, but I’m still working on helping her enjoy fish. I want to try to have fish at least once per week, and preferably twice, so until I can get her taste buds over the fish hump, I’m willing to make a different protein for her on select nights. I really enjoy this trout recipe because it’s crunchy but not fried, and the citrus salsa adds a bright touch. I’ll make extra grilled chicken to have in my own lunches next week.

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