Tuesday, April 6, 2021

3 Weeks of Food

We enjoyed a fun and delicious Easter weekend with parents and hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend as well. Maggie is so glad you enjoyed her story and also sad the Easter Bunny did not bring her a single honeybun. I'll write up our Houston visit soon, but until then, I need this blog to link to all the recipes I pulled for this week, so for my future reference, here is our next 3 weeks of food.
I started planning 2-3 weeks at a time at the start of the pandemic and found it helps me create a more well-rounded menu. It also prevents us from eating out because there's always a recipe and ingredients ready for the next day (particularly through the weekends; I used to plan Mon-Fri and Sat and Sun often fell through the cracks). I don't mind spending money on restaurants, but I want it to be anticipated or needed, not because I can't think of anything to make. We're a family of five that eats like ten- it's $100 minimum to get food from anywhere and that needs to be a deliberate expense.

When I plan our menus I always try to spread out the proteins, include a few vegetarian meals, vary the flavors, and take into account my work schedule (witness interview days require short prep and/or a crockpot), kids' activity schedule (football game days are Tuesdays and we need something that reheats well for when Landon gets home late), etc. I reassess weeks 2 and 3 as we get closer, but it helps me to have ideas sketched out in advance.

Our division of labor: I make the menu plan and the grocery lists (reading new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies), James does all the shopping (big trips on weekend with small ones scattered throughout the week for fresh ingredients, since he works from home even in non-pandemic times), and I do the cooking (he coaches until 6:30 pm most days, but back when I went to work he'd put together crock pot meals as needed during the day and always helps wrap up any tasks when he gets in from coaching). Cora clears the table, Claire wipes the table, Landon does the dishes and wipes the counters, and Claire empties the dishwasher in the morning. It works!

My mom always sets the prettiest tables for every meal

Menu for April 5-25

Mon: Leftover ribs and sides from Papa & Gigi's with Honey Mustard Broccoli Slaw for something fresh
Tues: Honey Mustard Chopped Chicken Salad
Wed: Leftover brisket from Papa & Gigi's to make Brisket Enchiladas, Mexican rice, black refried beans
Thurs: Sheet Pan Sausage & Vegetables (subbing in Brussels sprouts for bell pepper), Parmesan Orzo
Fri: Date night!! James and I are getting fancy to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the swim school and the kids are having mac and cheese and we are all VERY EXCITED.
Sat: Sunshine Lentil Bowls with Garlic Dressing
Sun: Sunday Chili!, toppings, corn chips

Mon: Greek Pasta Salad with grilled chicken
Tues: Crockpot Creamy Chicken Taco Chili, chips, toppings
Wed:: Best-Ever Farro Salad (I haven't made this before but the title sounds promising)
Thurs: Panko Crusted Cod (from Costco), Rice Pilaf, frozen mixed veg
Fri: Detoit-Style Pepperoni Pizza (x2), raw veg on side
Sat: Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadillas
Sun: Steak Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette (adding bleu cheese crumbles)

Mon: Pineapple Pork with Coconut Rice
Tues: Caprese Pesto Gnocchi (cooked/drained gnocchi tossed with pesto, fresh mozzarella balls, and cherry tomatoes), TJ's pre-grilled chicken, TJ's balsamic glaze drizzled on top
Wed: Ground Beef Tacos, Mexican rice, refried black beans, toppings
Thurs: TJ's Gyros with Naan, Tzatziki, toppings (tomato, cucumber, Kalamata olives), and Roasted Potatoes on the side
Fri: Homemade Calzones!
Sat: Lemon Chicken Pasta, steamed broccoli
Sun: Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas, Cilantro rice

Also, we had some of my most ever delicious recipes over Easter and I need to save them here:
Sat Dinner Side Dish: Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole (served with our chicken fajitas; I skipped step 1 and just lightly sauteed the squash and zucchini with the pan at the end of the onion time. I used panko bread crumbs and halved the recipe to fit in an 8x8 pan. It was SO GOOD.)

Brunch: Eggs Benedict Casserole with Blender Hollandaise Sauce. New favorite breakfast casserole. I love Eggs Benedict but poaching eggs for a crowd is risky and time consuming. This was so easy and so delicious. The sauce came out perfectly and I'll never make Hollandaise another way.

Treats: The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. More work intensive than other recipes I've made but OMG SO GOOD. My entire family declared them my best ever, so I guess this is my recipe now.
The Best Carrot Cake. I also made this last year for our quarantined Easter and now everyone else got to share in its deliciousness. This time I did one thick layer of cake in a 9x13 pan with the Cream Cheese Frosting (I halved the cream cheese amount but kept everything else the same) and crushed candied pecans sprinkled over the whole top. Easier, allowed the cream cheese haters to more easily separate it from the cake (weirdos), and all in all was completely amazing.


  1. Thank you, thank you for all of this. You and your blog brighten my days!