Menu Plan Monday (7/7/14)

I started working full-time from home this last week, and as it’s been well over a year since I have worked 40 hours a week, I knew I needed some help in the evenings with getting dinner ready. So I’m back to menu planning and thought I would share!  I will share recipes and a fun printable with my notes later this week.

Sunday (last night):

Dinner:  Chicken Cacciatore (slow cooker) with pasta and garlic bread


Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Beef & Broccoli (slow cooker) with rice, Pull Apart Oat Rolls and fruit


Breakfast:  Pumpkin muffins and smoothies

Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Stuffed shells with sauteed vegetables and leftover rolls


Breakfast:  Cinnamon Swirl Bread and fruit

Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Salsa Chicken (slow cooker) with rice, cornbread and a vegetable

Thursday:  Have a dentist trip 2 hours away so an easy meals day.

Breakfast:  Leftover muffins or cinnamon bread or cereal with fruit

Lunch:  Packed lunch for after dentist (sandwiches, chips, fruit and cookies)

Dinner:  Minestrone (slow cooker) and panini-style sandwiches made with Italian bread from bread machine


Breakfast:  Breakfast burritos (making extra for freezer)

Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Salsa Fiesta Chicken, Mediterranean pasta salad and a vegetable


Breakfast:  Yogurt with homemade granola and fruit

Lunch:  Leftovers/sandwiches

Dinner:  Oven-Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable, Make Ahead Butterhorns


Breakfast:  Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip muffins and smoothies

Lunch:  Leftovers/sandwiches

Dinner:  Twisted Pizza Breadsticks with vegetables, fruit and Peanut Butter Cup cake (slow cooker)


Some stuff I will be making for the freezer or making just for fun include:

  • Breakfast bowls
  • Glazed cinnamon scones
  • Pumpkin crescent rolls
  • Freezer biscuits
  • Pumpkin dog biscuits

Need some money-saving ideas?

bread loafI love the Money Saving Mom website.  Crystal and her team do such an amazing job of providing useful content for stretching your family’s dollars.  The 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year is a wonderful series they did last year.  I’m on a breadmaking kick lately so revisited the post on baking your own bread.  Check out her site and find at least one idea to implement to help control your family’s expenses!  Scroll to the bottom of the breadmaking page to see more of the 52 ideas.

Grab a free pair of glasses! Coupon Applicable Glasses is offering a free pair of glasses to first time customers.  Read the fine print and browse through the frames you can get free.  There were hundreds for me to choose from, and I liked so many of them it was hard to choose just one!  Enter code FIRSTPAIRFREE at checkout to receive the discount.

You do have to pay shipping and required shipping insurance.  My total was $14.85, which is a steal compared to the last time I purchased a pair!

Creamy Corn Chowder

I have a go-to corn chowder recipe so almost passed up this one.  However, this one is lower in fat and calories and a bit quicker to fix so went ahead and gave it a try.  It’s really yummy!  I didn’t want to use up the rest of my half-and-half so I substituted a 12-ounce can of fat-free evaporated milk I had in the pantry; you could also substitute any other milk product.  For convenience, I chopped the onion, celery and red pepper in the food processor.  Try the Herb Bread with this soup!

Creamy Corn Chowder

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or substitute)

Cook bacon over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, corn, thyme, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle flour over; stir until thick, about 3 minutes.  Stir in broth and bay leaf; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, then simmer 25 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.  Stir in half-and-half or substitute.  Cook until warmed through.

Herb Bread

You will love this recipe!  It makes the whole house smell like an Italian bakery.  Mix and match herbs to fit whatever dish you’re serving with it.  This version with rosemary, oregano and basil goes well with Creamy Corn Chowder.  You can also substitute 3 teaspoons of an Italian seasoning blend to make it even easier.

Herb Bread

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and basil or 1 tablespoon each fresh
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Place ingredients in machine per manufacturer instructions.  Bake on large loaf, light crust.  Use any combination of herbs.

Makes 1 loaf