Weekly meal plan #2

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This is My second menu posted. I will be trying to post menus every Monday, Look for it to use while planning your family’s menu.

I want to add that I don’t have exact recipes for any of these items. I have some on my Pinterest i like to use as reference. most of the time i just do what feels right. do some research and find recipes you like. through doing these you will learn what is necessary and what works. then you will just be able to cook from heart.

Menu:

1. Chicken Pot Pie

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  • Pie crusts are fairly simple. Butter must be cold and this makes the dough easy because you dont have to wait for the butter to come to room temperature. Find a recipe you like online for a pie dough. The dough simply consists of Flour, salt, butter and Ice water (water better be super cold) Just mix flour and salt in a bowl. dice up cold butter and start squishing between your fingers with the flour. The mixture should be mealy and have a few pea sized chunks of butter left. then a spoon full at a time start adding the ice water (no ice, just cold water). mix until it all comes together but not sticky, just wet enough. (you have to make a few pie crusts in order to know what feels perfect. if its too dry you will have a hard time rolling it out because it will keep breaking.)  wrap in plastic and chill for like 30 minutes. (you have to let it rest in the refrigerator for a bit so that the dough will be more tender, keep the butter cold.) Its a piece of cake, really. practice makes perfect. If this isn’t up your alley just buy a crust from the store, no judgement do what you have to.
  • The pie filling is simple. first, dice onions small and saute with small dice garlic, carrot and celery. when this is all cooked tender add more fat and then flour equal to the amount of the fat  you added to make a roux. this will thicken your gravy. cook this roux, stirring, for a minute or two. slowly while stirring add in stock. allow this to come to a simmer and thicken then turn down the heat to low. add in cooked chicken, taste and adjust seasoning and this is done.
  • place bottom crust in your pie dish (trim it to just hang over the dish maybe 1/4 inch.) then, place in filing. put top crust on  and try to tuck it in behind the bottom crust. crimp with your finger. make some slits on top to allow steam to vent.
  • bake this on 350 until it is golden brown.

2. Pasta carbonara, Salad, Bread

  • this one sounds fancy but it really isn’t.
  • First get your pasta cooking. I like linguine.
  • then dice up some bacon or pancetta . cook until crispy brown but not burnt (freeze it  until firm before you start cooking, it will be easier to cut.)
  • next, you need to small dice some onions and garlic, saute in left over fat until onion is translucent. don’t brown these.
  • third grate up some Parmesan cheese and add egg, heavy cream and pepper all into a bowl big enough to hold your pasta as well. Mix it all together.
  • When your pasta is done, drain it reserving about a cup of the water.
  • add hot pasta into the cream, egg, cheese mixture. Stir, stir, stir. (if you don’t stir you risk the possibility of the egg turning into scrambled egg instead of a nice creamy sauce) the egg will cook from the hot pasta added and the sauce will be creamy cheesy delicious. if the sauce is too thick go ahead and add a bit of the reserved pasta water until its the consistency you like.
  • add the bacon, onions and garlic you cooked earlier, mix together
  • When everything is combined, taste and adjust your salt and pepper to your preferences. serve with some fresh cracked pepper and grated parmesian on top.

3. Meatball sub sandwich

  • This was a huge hit with the family but I didn’t make enough for everyone to have more than one sandwich. Please be sure to make enough.
  • you need a roll or hoagie that can stand up to the challenge here. make sure its got a crusty outer shell so that its not going to get soggy and flop, causing your meatballs, sauce and cheese to spill out.
  • Meat balls are an easy item to make. choose a ground meat, we used turkey. I added bread crumbs, an egg, italian seasoning, salt,pepper, Parmesan. don’t be shy when adding ingredients flavor these things up.
  • next, place your sauce of choice in your skillet and add in meat balls (uncooked), cover and let simmer for a while. This can be done in the crock pot.
  • When your meatballs are done, its time to get the bread ready. carve out a trench to set your meatballs in. I toasted my hoagies to to add a bit of stability.
  • place meatballs in trench and add some sauce, top with cheese and place under broiler to melt and toast the cheese.
  • TIP: After I first made these i decided that it would be delicious to add some oil to the buns before toasting then rub with a clove a garlic before adding meatballs. GARLIC BREAD MEATBALL SUB!

4. Corn chowder, Bread

  • Chowders are an easy and quick meal.
  • dice up onions, carrot and celery, garlic and bay leaf. saute until translucent.
  • add extra fat if needed then flour to make roux. cook roux for a couple of minutes
  • add in stock and a can of corn with liquid form can. allow to come to a simmer and it should thicken.
  • add some heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. your done. If it isn’t thickened to your preference you can make a mix of equal parts of corn starch and cold water and bring to a simmer to thicken more.
  • you can get as fancy as you like. before you saute the veggies render some bacon and set aside, saute your veggies in the bacon fat. add bacon back at the end before tasting for salt and pepper. add some potatoes and let simmer for a bit to cook. let your creativity reign. maybe use left over mashed potatoes to thicken your soup or add some left over baked or fried potatoes.

5. Artichoke chicken bake, salad

  • this was a quick and easy dinner to create. I made the casserole a day ahead and just placed it in the oven 40 min before I wanted to serve dinner.
  • I referred to a couple recipes for this dinner and created my own master piece. First get your pasta cooking. I used a tube pasta for this. try what you like.
  • get the pasta cooking. its done at al dente (almost done, not quite.) the pasta will finish cooking in the oven. if you cook your pasta until done then it will get over cooked and mushy in the oven. No Bueno!
  • dice up some onions and garlic and saute until translucent. you can begin with bacon and saute in the fat if you like. Yumm.
  • remove vegetables and add diced chicken breast. brown it on all sides. remember GBD (golden brown delicious)
  • remove from pan and set aside. add some new fat to the pan and then the flower and cook your roux.
  • to the roux, slowly whisk in some milk. add some nutmeg, salt, pepper and parmesian cheese. taste it to be sure that you
  • grease your baking dish with butter and add your chicken onions, garlic, and jar of artichoke hearts. ( cut your artichoke hearts to a size that you like). mix these up however much you want.
  • pour the sauce into the baking dish evenly.
  • top with bacon if you used any and a cheese like a mozzarella and parmesian combination.
  • this should bake at 400. if you notice that its browning too much cover lightly with some foil

6. Boneless pork chops in a creamy mustard thyme sauce with caramelized mushrooms and mustard thyme sauce with mashed potatoes.

  • this recipe is DIVINE. my family and I loved it and its great reheated. the recipe isn’t written out how most recipes are : ingredients/ amounts and directions. its all up to you to decide what looks good to you.
  • when I made mine, I placed the chops back into the sauce to simmer and piled the mushrooms and caramelized onions on top of the chops and then placed the lid on and let it simmer for a bit.
  • I will make this again for sure. give it a try. its so rich and creamy, I would expect to pay at least $25 for a plate like this at a restaurant.

http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2012/10/warm-and-cozy-fall-dinners.html

7. Ricotta stuffed Chicken

  • this recipe is found on the blog from the above link(#6). its right under neath the pork chop recipe.
  • I followed this recipe all the way through. The picture just looks so Yummy! well, I am not a fan of sun dried tomatoes and I didn’t like the texture of the ricotta. none of the family really cared for this his recipe much.
  • I love how the chicken is butterflied, I think that I wan to to all my roast chickens like this from now on. it was easier to serve up and seemed like less waste to me.
  • if you’re a fan of sun dried tomatoes and ricotta, give this a try. I think that I would like to try this one more time with halving the ricotta with a basil pesto and omitting the tomatoes or decreasing the amount. Maybe blend the tomatoes with the ricotta.

Here is my monthly menu plan template. I fill this in and record my menu each week for the month.  I keep in a clear plastic sleeve on the refrigerator. feel free to change it how you like. I hope you can use it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukbgrhqsv4o4bfr/MONTHLY%20MENU%20PLAN%201.0.docx

Here is one weeks planned menu. I sincerely hope that some or all of these meal ideas will work for your family.
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