Friday, January 13, 2012

Update: Menu Planning at the Farm

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have undertaken to plan our menus for the week as a way to make life easier and hopefully cheaper.

This week is almost over, and I thought I would share my progress. 

I've already reported Monday night's meal in my previous post, so I'll begin with Tuesday.

First, I must confess that I have been suffering with sinus and ear issues since November.  I should have gone to the doctor . . . I would have a couple of days where I felt fine, and then I would be struck down with a terrible headache that would last for 3 days.  It's just . . . I hate going to the doctor. 

I woke up Tuesday morning with my ears bothering me terribly. . . pressure. . . dizziness . . . So sweet Dave insisted on taking me to the doctor.  I'm glad he did.

I feel so much better now.

But Tuesday night, we altered our menu plans.  After being at the doctor's office and with me feeling so bad, Dave and I decided to have the planned menu for Friday night on Tuesday night instead. . . Mike's take-out pizza! 

After that . . . I re-arranged all the other night's meals.  Here's how it went:

Tuesday:     Take-out pizza   (It was sooooo good!)

Wednesday:  Crockpot roast/gravy/rice/carrots/rolls  (Soooo good!)

Thursday:     Spaghetti and meatballs/garlic bread   (Good or not -- It was a toss up)

I mix up the Pioneer Woman's (PW's) meatballs on Monday night.  I wanted to get the meatballs made ahead of time and frozen before the meat went out of date.  Here they are after they had been in the freezer overnight. 

I rolled them in flour before freezing them because I had seen another recipe for meatballs where they floured them before freezing them.   Not sure about doing that again.

On Tuesday morning after they had been frozen overnight, I divided them into two freezer bags to keep in the freezer until I was ready for them.

On Thursday night, when I got them out to cook, each frozen meatball was still loose in the bag.  Pretty cool.  I didn't have to thaw out the whole bag, but just get out the number of meatballs I wanted.

I browned them a little without cooking them all the way through. (This is according to PW's recipe)

At this point in PW's recipe, you put the meatballs in a dish and pour the tangy BBQ sauce over the meatballs and put them in the oven to cook for 45 minutes.  Here is where I changed it up a little.

I poured Prego spaghetti sauce over the meatballs along with a little water instead of the BBQ sauce. 

I then cooked them in the oven for 45 minutes.   Now in PW's cookbook, she says these meatballs are more of the meatloaf-comfort-food kind of meatballs and not the kind of meatballs you have in spaghetti.

I should have listened to her.  She is afterall . . .  the Pioneer Woman!

Here's my spaghetti sauce and meatballs after cooking in the oven . . . we had eaten some of it at this point:

Here's what the Ferrell boys had to say about the spaghetti and meatballs supper:

Dave and Zach would only eat the sauce and pasta.  They wouldn't even try one of the meatballs.   

Alex and Shane loved the meatballs!  Shane actually ate 2 whole meatballs!

As for me . . .  I didn't like them too much in the spaghetti sauce.  I can't explain why . . . I just don't think I'll be cooking them for spaghetti ever again.   However . . .

The meatballs were delicious when I made them in the BBQ sauce.  The whole family loved them.  You can read about that HERE.  So I know I'll be making them again . . . afterall I have a whole other bag of meatballs in the freezer!  I'll just be making them with PW's BBQ sauce recipe.

I still can't get over Shane eating 2 whole meatballs!  He came in my bedroom with a spaghetti sauce beard!  I tried to get a cute picture but this is all I could get:

He didn't want his picture taken with spaghetti sauce on his face!  He's hollering "NO!" in this picture:

And then he just wouldn't have anything to do with me!

So funny!  And cute!  He's going through a phase where he wants to carry a lunchbox to daycare just like his big brothers.  I have to put a drink and snacks in a lunchbox for him even though he gets snacks and meals at daycare!

And on top of that . . . when he gets home in the afternoon, I have to put his afternoon snack in his lunchbox so he can eat out of it instead of his plate. . . .  And tonight, he wouldn't eat his chicken until I put it in a ziplock bag and in his lunchbox!  Talk about high-maintenance!  But at least he's eating. 

So far the planning ahead each day's menu for the week has been great! 
  • I had all the food I needed for each night's supper. 
  • Also, I knew what I was going to cook each night so I didn't waste time trying to come up with a dinner plan. 
  • And surprisingly, I didn't have to go to Tems any during the week!  And I'm one of those people who goes to Tems almost every day!
I learned some stuff this week too . . . . and I'm going to apply it to next week's menu.   

Hope you are learning something from my efforts.  It's been fun.  I like to cook and luckily, Dave is a pretty good sport at trying my cooking experiments!

Hope you have a great weekend!  Spend some time doing something fun with your family or friends . . . or just hole up in your house and watch movies all weekend!  Just make plans to do something!  Don't let the weekend slip by you with nothing to show for it!

As for me and the Ferrell boys . . . I have some craft/diy projects planned . . .

That is if we aren't sick.  As I'm writing this post, my sweet Zach is laying in the bed next to me feeling like he needs to throw up!  He's asleep so I'm hoping it passes and he feels better in the morning!

Sweet dreams from the Ferrell boys and me!

1 comment:

  1. Tina, I am so impressed!!!
    You are really doing a great job by planning ahead. (kinda making me feel guilty girl)
    Enjoy those boys & make memories along the way.


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