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Faith's Firm Foundation: Timely Tips on Tuesday: My Newest Menu Plan

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Timely Tips on Tuesday: My Newest Menu Plan

French Beef Stew
(photo courtesy of Taste of Home)
We were getting a little bored with the same old recipes, and so I sat down and made up a Menu Plan, incorporating new recipes which I found at Taste of Home online.  We have registered, so we can keep a recipe file.  But that's not what I love best! I love being able to pick from the highest rated and award-winning recipes.  I headed straight to the Top Recipes of 2010.  And I love reading the reviews.  Other cooks' ideas for tweaking the recipe and what substitutions they made and how it worked for them, plus how well their family liked the recipe, is so helpful. I also LOVED the Top Cheap Meals category, including info on how much per serving each recipe cost!

My Menu Plan:
Sundays: Special Meal
Mondays: Beef
Tuesdays:  Chicken
Wednesdays:  Non-Meat or Fish
Thursdays:  Cook's Choice
Fridays:  Cheap Meal
Saturday:  Eclectic (Whatever we feel like:)

I immediately clicked on the Top Slow Cooker Recipes! I don't know why, but somehow cooking in the morning, when there's no pressure to get it done FAST (I guess that's the key) and when I also have more energy, makes the whole process seem easier.  My kitchen is on the east side of the house, too, and the area is sunnier in the morning, which encourages my mood, especially in the winter.  Funny how little things like that can affect a woman!

I also chose and printed out some of the Top Chicken Recipes (and also narrowed the results to only the low-fat ones) and of course, chose the Quickest recipes.

I thought you might like to see a few of the recipes we're going to try in the next few weeks.

Slow Cooker Recipes:

  • French Beef Stew: Highly rated recipe; normal ingredients, plus two I had on hand: tomato juice and tapioca!
  • Indonesian Peanut Chicken: Sounds delicious with peanut butter, chili sauce, served over rice and sprinkled with peanuts and sweet red pepper. It came with a tip for preparing it ahead and freezing it to really save time!
  • Squash 'n' Chicken Stew: I've been wanting to incorporate more orange vegetables, and my husband loves squash, so this one's perfect.  They say its a favorite with kids, too! Good thing, since my kids don't especially "love" squash:)
  • Beefy Vegetable Soup:  My husband loves beef vegetable soup.  This recipe adds kidney beans and optional cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, which my daughter and I love, and has a little "kick" to it, with chili powder.  You can always add more or less of this ingredient to your own family's taste.

Quick Beef Recipes:

  • Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry:  I have a bunch of steaks of different kinds in my freezer, because we ordered a hind quarter of beef from a local farmer a while back.  But my husband doesn't like steak! So, I've been looking for some ways to use the steak that he would like. This uses top round steak.  It also incorporates a number of vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and red or green pepper, which in the winter time is a great thing.
  • Teriyaki Finger Steaks:  This one should be fun, as I can grill it--hopefully we won't get a ton of snow, and I can find a day above freezing:)  Good thing the grill's right outside the sliding glass door.
Chicken Recipes:

  • Orange-Maple Glazed Chicken:  At $.99 per serving this is a winner!  Uses maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard, with orange peel. Grilled. Sounds delicious!
  • Forgotten Jambalaya:  Ok, this one might be tricky, as my family doesn't like shrimp (but I LOVE it!) but I'm hoping that I can just have them take out the shrimp.  Another slow cooker recipe.
  • Chicken Chili:  I like to eat beans at least once a week, and we love chili, but this will give us a new twist on that traditional dish, with chicken.  Also done in the slow cooker, an added plus.

Chicken Chili(photo courtesy of Taste of Home)
Under "Cheap Meals" we're going to try Roast Pork with Apples and Onions.  Though we rarely eat pork, at $1.10 per serving, it sounded great.  Other cheap meals I love to make are the breakfast-type, like French Toast and Scrambled Eggs, or Poached Eggs in Milk on toast.

My favorite help in the kitchen is using my slow cooker (actually I have several of different sizes).  Knowing supper's all taken care of early in the day just takes a huge load off of my mind.  The aroma wafting through the air throughout the day of a delicious home-cooked meal is very encouraging.  It keeps on saying to me all day, "You're doing a great job! See, you've already got supper done!"  And, it says "Welcome Home" in a lovely way to my husband the minute he opens the door (and sometimes before he opens the door) from work.  What are your favorite tips for getting out of a cooking rut?
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Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

You are such a wonderful HOME-maker, Wendy! Thanks for all your recipes - and for taking the time and thought to put them all together! You're a true Proverbs 31 woman - I'm rising up and calling you "blessed!"

You want my true tip for getting out of a cooking rut? GO OUT!! (Sorry! Just had to say it...HA!)


January 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Haha, Sharon! I surely can't receive that compliment! But thanks for being a kind friend:)
Still waiting on the rising up and calling me "blessed".......and don't think I'll see it anytime soon!

January 25, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Sharon, I have to make a correction on my earlier comment! In my haste to go and answer the doorbell--my moms were starting to arrive--I didn't read your comment correctly!
What I mean is: I am still waiting for my FAMILY to rise up and call me blessed! Because I don't deserve it. With the Lord's help, may I move more and more in the direction of being a Proverbs 31 woman. The Lord's been showing me some of my sin pretty clearly lately, and I'm very thankful for the forgiveness and mercy of the Lord, for I fall far short so often. I had my "Mom Thing" meeting tonight--just 2 gals could make it, but I'm leading younger moms, and feel SO unqualified, and SO unworthy, and like Moses, I feel like saying, "But I can't and I'm not, and are you sure, Lord?" May He by His grace and His power do His work through me. And make me a better example of what I'm trying to teach.
I do appreciate your very kind words, though, Sharon, and hope I didn't offend you by my earlier comment. (I had to laugh, though, because the buzzer was going off for the rice on the stove in the kitchen, and I was trying to finish my comment, and my husband was saying, "Don't burn our dinner!" just as I was reading what a wonderful "Home-maker" and "Proverbs 31 woman" I was. So you see, there you have it! The truth is out.)
Blessings, friend,

January 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM  

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