Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday LogoSome weeks menu planning happens but menu planning blog posts don’t. That was true for most of the month of October. School, extra curricular, and food event season were in full swing and I was lucky to get menus planned and food made. With the holidays staring me square in the face though, I’m doubling-down on menu planning and posting so I can stay on track as things only get busier.

How do you handle menu planning when family commitments and to-do lists grow like a well-tended plant? Please share any tips or secrets you have to staying in menu planning mode in the comments.

This Week’s Plan

We have a few extra activities this week including Halloween (boo!), a Top Chef Texas pre-view party and a perfume launch (why not – it sounds like fun), so I’ll be relying on my freezer stash and a rotisserie chicken to help feed the family those nights. Happily next weekend is nice and quiet so I’ll use the time to make a few batches of chili and maybe even bake a couple of batches of cookies for December blogging.

  • Monday: Make your own healthy pizza
    With the kiddo getting older our Halloween schedule is much less predictable. Middle-school kids seems to be the epitome of spontaneous. To make the evening manageable I’ll prep toppings for pita pizzas and everyone can eat as trick or treating plans allow.
  • Tuesday: Dinner at the football game
    We only have a couple more weeks of football this season and eating at the game continues to be the most stress-free option we have. The hot dogs have been a bit questionable so I’ll stick with chicken sandwiches to be on the safe side.
  • Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken, steamed vegetables, mac and cheese cupcakes (freezer stash)
    I’ll grab a chicken from the store on my way home on Wednesday so the family has a healthy dinner while I attend my Top Chef party. Frozen mac and cheese reheats quickly in the microwave and frozen vegetables steamed and tossed with a little bit of olive oil and herbs will satisfy everyone’s appetite while leaving me time to have my fun.
  • Thursday: Chicken Tostadas with Avocado Dressing, Mexican rice
    Leftover rotisserie chicken will become quick tostadas as we round the corner of the week to the weekend.
  • Friday: Walnut and Rosemary Oven Fried Chicken, egg noodles with butter and parsley, Thyme-Roasted Carrots
    This weekend is one of our last quiet ones until the holidays are over. I’d like to start it out with a soul-satisfing dinner but I also know I’ll be tired after a long week so I’ve picked recipes that come together easily and quickly. Oven fried chicken is healthier than the traditional alternative and the noodles and carrots need almost no attention from me after a bit of peeling and herb chopping.
  • Saturday: Lamb chili, green chile madelines
    Over the next few weekends I’ll be filling the freezer with three different kinds of chili to get us through the winter season. This first is a new recipe I’ve tried before and enjoy with a few modifications.
  • Sunday: Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, garlic bread
    This easy pasta dish is a family favorite and crazy-easy. I’m expecting a full day of baking on Sunday so I’ll need an easy dish to round out the weekend.

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