Sunday, July 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was another one of those weeks where nothing quite went to plan, so this week will be a week of re-treads and re-runs and do-overs to use up all those ingredients I bought but didn't turn into the planned meals, especially as we will be moving house in a couple of weeks (only just to the next suburb, but still best not to overstock the fridge and pantry in the meantime).

As for reviews on last week's meals, basil pesto chicken was shelved due to laziness, tuna cakes were okay (I think i will stick with salmon next time), ham & pea fritters were really tasty, impossible quiche is moved to this week, as is the risotto (like I said, last week was a write-off).

So this week looks like this:

Sunday - Impossible Quiche
Monday - Chicken, herb & feta risotto
Tuesday - Easy Creamy Mexican Skillet
Wednesday - Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff
Thursday - date night
Friday - Little Cheddar Meatloaves
Saturday - at the in-laws

Don't forget to check out all the other super menu plans and menu planning ideas at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Another week rolls by - at this rate it will be Ramadan before you know it (at this stage, it's scheduled to start on my birthday - 11 August) and I will be making greasy snack foods for a month straight! Last week was a bit of a blur, to be honest. The tuna cakes didn't get made, so they will make an appearance this week. The Chicken Stuffed Croissants were like manna from heaven and will assume a permanent place in the roster (FYI, I found the source - here!). The meatloaves were (as always) exceedingly tasty. The cauliflower fritters were nice but I think next time I will make them more pancake-style or shallow-fried, rather than deep-fried - it lost a lot of the summery goodness in the deep frying! The curried cheese and bacon chicken was ueber-delish - definitely make-again food (note to self - reduce salt a little)!

This week is shaping up like this:

Sunday - Basil Pesto Chicken
Monday - Tuna Cakes (from last week)
Tuesday - Ham & Pea Fritters
Wednesday - Impossible Quiche
Thursday - date night
Friday - Chicken, Herb & Feta Risotto
Saturday - at the in-laws

So, as before, that's what will be cooking at our house this week. Head on over the for loads more menu plans from regular people like me and menu planning ideas from people far more organised than me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday rolls around again ...

Recap on last week - work continues to be ridiculously busy (I really wish everyone would just go away on vacation already!), so there were some gaps that developed in the plan. The stromboli was divine, especially with the BBQ chicken and bacon, although next time I would probably drizzle a bit more BBQ sauce over the whole thing before I roll it up, since the flavour wasn't quite "barbecuey" enough. We didn't get around to making the stroganoff, but it will hold over. The garlic chicken pasta was nice but too high-maintenance to do on a regular basis - the one thing I like about normally cooking pasta is that it's a little bit set and forget - constantly having to watch over and stir the pasta in the milk was a PITA. Shepherd's Pie was delish (as usual).

This week is shaping up like this:

Sunday - Tuna Cakes (the original is with salmon, but I think tuna should work)
Monday - Chicken Stuffed Croissants (can't remember who I stole it from, but this will be the first time I try it - if it's good, I will track down where I got it from)
Tuesday - Mini Cheddar Meatloaves (using the texas muffin pan, instead of faffing around with shaping them into little loaves)
Wednesday - Cauliflower cheddar fritters
Thursday - out with DH
Friday - Curried Cheese and Bacon Chicken (adapted to crockpot, since I'm lazy like that sometimes)
Saturday - at the in-laws

Plus I will also be making some Bacon and Vegetable Slice for my lunches.

So that's what will be cooking at our house this week. Head on over the for loads more menu plan and menu planning ideas.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (again? already???)

Last week sped by like nobody's business and this week is looking like being the same kind of hell on wheels!

A recap on last week's menu - the Southern Battered Fish was really nice, but I think next time I'll try it with a different fish - the tilapia is nice but full of bones. The spicy chickpea fritters were a bit dry and heavy (maybe because I blitzed them too long in the food processor) so if there is a next time, it will be with some extra baking powder and maybe a spicier curry paste - the only thing that redeemed them was a lime and coriander yoghurt I made up out of nowhere. Cajun chicken was divine as always (moreso because it's sooooo simple). The Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole was kinda meh - not bad but not worth making again. Spag and meatballs - lovely - even the cheapest frozen meatballs taste tender and flavourful after crocking for 6+ hours!

This week, the menu looks like this:
Sunday - Easy Stromboli (jazzed up with BBQ chicken and bacon, instead of plain old turkey slices)
Monday - Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff (recipe below)
Tuesday - Hamburger night
Wednesday - Garlic Chicken Pasta
Thursday - out with DH (DD will have nuggets and fries)
Friday - Shepherd's Pie (strictly speaking, it should be called Cottage Pie, since it's beef and not lamb, but I'm not here to judge!)
Saturday - with the in-laws (I may make the Creamy Mexican Skillet thing again - yum)

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff
3 FROZEN skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1lb)
1 (10 3/4oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (1oz) package of onion soup mix
16oz sour cream
1 (14oz?) can mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 (4 1/2oz) can tomato paste

Dump the FROZEN chicken breasts (yes, still frozen - I know, I know, just trust me!!!) into the crockpot. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl then pour on top of the chicken. Put the lid on and cook for 6 hours on medium/low. After 6 hours, remove the wonderfully moist, tender chicken and shred with forks, then return to the sauce. Stir until all mixed and delicious. Serve over fettucine, or rice, or mashed potatoes, or just spoon it straight from the pot into your gob! YUMMM!!!

As always, don't forget to check out all the other super menu plans and menu planning ideas at Have a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (barely on time and a week late)

So the last week has been all kinds of crazy. We went away to Dubai for a long weekend and had a fabulous time. DD loved seeing the Wiggles in concert and keeps asking when we're going back, as well as wanting to know when we can go back to the "big swim pool" - the hotel pool and kid's club were huge and we were really spoiled for a few days!

But the crazy comes from work, not from home (so much). While I was away in Dubai, my colleague/de facto boss was made redundant, apparently due to "difficult market conditions". Unfortunately for me, the only other lawyer in the bank is also out of the office (in South Africa watching the World Cup), so I am the only lawyer left to advise on a whole range of stuff, inlcuding some big-ticket stuff that is keeping me more busy than usual. The end result of all that is that I didn't have time for anything last week - no gym, no shopping, no meal planning, no lunches even! And to add insult to injury, DH was out of the country for 5 days. So I was solo-parenting as well as flying solo at work. But it all kind of came good in the end, when I got told that I am being promoted to Head of Legal! Woo and Hoo!!! No fun right now being the chief without any indians to boss around, but I can't complain too much!

So anyway, last week was a write-off in terms of meal planning and cooking, but this week I am trying to be a bit better. So far, this week looks like this:

Sunday - Southern Battered Fish
Monday - Spicy Chickpea Fritters (from Super Food Ideas magazine, February 2010, p. 28)
Tuesday - Cajun Chicken & Coleslaw Sandwiches
Wednesday - Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole (based on a Rachael Ray recipe apparently, but I forgot to note who the lovely person was that I stole it from !)
Thursday - out with DH to celebrate my promotion!
Friday - Slow Simmered Spaghetti & Meatballs (crock pot)
Saturday - lunch/dinner at the in-laws

So that's what we'll be eating this week. What's on your menu?

Don't forget to check out all the other super menu plans and menu planning ideas at

Friday, June 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (a few days early)

So last week's menu plan was fairly successful up until about Tuesday, when it all got rather complicated and fell apart at the seams.

The Tuna Mornay on Sunday and the Quiche on Monday were great - super tasting and not complicated to assemble. Tuesday I got stuck at work and didn't get home until after 5:30pm, but I figured (driving home) that the Microwave risotto would be easy enough to get on the table in time. I arrived home to find the house in utter darkness, with nary a whisper of sound emanating from our life-saving air conditioners (this is the Middle East in June, remember?). We had no electricity! And no electricity ... and no electricity, until 7:15pm by which time we had packed it in and gone to Chili's for dinner (and some air conditioning!). Wednesday I had to go out to a client dinner, then Thursday morning a major investment deal Ihave been working on fired up with the intention of closing in the early hours of Friday morning; DH called at 5:30pm to say DD had a fever of 38.5C so I left the office and promptly got stuck in the Thursday evening traffic jam going home. Once I finally got home, dealing with DD and trying to close a major deal at the same time left no time for cooking, so we settled for chicken nuggets for DD and a couple of toasted waffles for me (DH was out to work as soon as I got home). Again today, the deal still hasn't closed so I have spent 6+ hours in the office and numerous more hunched over the laptop at home, with in between time visits to the paediatric clinic for another 38.5C fever for DD (and a trip to the pharmacy to get all the requisite drugs), followed by a 39.2C fever spike this afternoon just before I got home again. Waaahhhhhh! This last week really has been a nightmare and I can't wait for it to be over!

So, onwards and upwards …

This week's menu plan looks like this:
Sunday – last week's Risotto with Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
Monday – Crock Pot Ravioli
Tuesday – Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Wednesday – Easy Creamy Mexican Skillet
Thursday-Sunday – we are taking a short holiday/vacation and going to Dubai for a couple days, to take DD to see The Wiggles in concert, then lay by the pool at our luxury hotel ! I. Can't. Wait.

Have a great week!

As always, check out for more great Menu Plans and menu planning ideas!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First ever blog post

Wow. This will probably never win any awards or be seen by anyone but me, but I need somewhere (and something) that will help me stay organised. Mainly, I need to keep a running record of my menu and meal planning, and recipes that I want to add to my "keepers" file for regular use. Right now, I have a mish-mash of files on my laptop, printed recipe pages in a collection of folders and a drawer stuffed with odds and sods.

I have a page of "menu ideas", grouped under useful headings like Pasta, Pizza, Sandwiches/Burgers, Soup, Crockpot, Mexican, Asian (Thai/Chinese), Meat and Veg, Pie, Seafood, and some monthly and weekly meal plans, but I never managed to get it all working for me. Now I have a simple one-page Weekly Dinner Plan that goes on the fridge, with the recipes clipped behind, and a simple Grocery List that I fill in once we have agreed on the next week's menu. So ... next week's menu looks like this (I shop on Friday, but we eat at the in-laws on Saturday, so Sunday is my first day of the week):

Sunday: Tuna Mornay
Monday: Crustless Bacon & Cheese Quiche
Tuesday: Microwave Mushroom and Green Pea Risotto
Wednesday: Cajun Chicken & Coleslaw Sandwiches
Thursday: Take-away night
Friday: Sour Cream & Bacon Chicken (crockpot)
Saturday: lunch/dinner at in-laws (breakfast will be Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes)

I also want to link to things I want, or websites I find interesting. I am trying to lose weight and as the kilos drop off, I love shopping more and more - lately I have been obsessed with maxi dresses and my wardrobe is almost bulging with them these days - it's a good thing they're in style this summer!

Well, enough talking to myself. Off to crash on the couch for a while, to revel in a sense of satisfaction that I am getting organised!

You can find loads more great menu planning ideas at