Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 04/30/12

My Two Boys
I absolutely love this picture of J and his dad. We took J to one of our favorite pre-child hiking spots, a place called Baxter's Hollow Nature Preserve. We did a little hiking, checking out wildflowers and bird watching. I love how J is looking up at his daddy as they walk side by side.

 At Benvenutos in the Holiday Inn
I earn a little money on the side doing mystery shopping with Beyond Hello. Last week, I did a mystery shop evaluating a restaurant in town called Benvenutos. I have to wait three months in between visits, so we go about every three months. What's great is that they pay for up to 3 guests at $16 per person for a total of $64. Here's J sitting in the lobby after dinner.

On to the menu ...
I am trying again to "eat through the freezer and pantry". I don't keep much of a stock pile, but I do want to save a little money by using up what we have on hand. I would love anyone's ideas on ways they've reduce their grocery bill.

Here's what's cooking at our home this week:

Rice and Beans
We've been wanting to do just a simple rice and beans meal for a while ...I just take a can of kidney beans and mix it in with the rice with a dash of curry powder. Since I didn't have kidney beans today, I used some Great White Northern beans and also threw in a can of Fiesta Corn (corn with green and red peppers). It was not bad! 

Simmered "Fried" Chicken with Oven Potatoes and Broccoli (never made last week)
This recipe from Window on the Prairie calls it "Fried chicken", but I renamed it. The "frying" part is done for the first few minutes, but then you simmer it in chicken stock for 45 minutes or so. The chicken comes out so nice and tender that way. 

I'm tweeking this recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures to use up food in the pantry. Instead of pinto beans, I'm using refried beans. I'm using Pato sauce to replace the plain tomato sauce and chili powder and also adding diced tomatoes with chilies. I'm also cooking Spanish Rice to use as a bottom layer for the casserole.


We have a friend from down South who is a wonderful cook. We loved this meal she made for us a few years back, which is a favorite Southern recipe. It's the only recipe I have for black eyed peas, and they're so good.

Possible Date Night!

Always my night off!

Special Treats:
The Parsnip Cake from Animal Instinct was delicious! I made it this morning. It is very light and has a gingery flavor with a touch of cinnamon. The recipe made two cakes; one in an 8-inch round pan and the other in a glass bread pan. J really liked the cake too so next time I'll use my mini-muffin pan. He'll really enjoy eating the cake as little muffins. 

My new treat to try this week is Silky Smooth Bean Fudge. It's another recipe for me to try that uses coconut oil, and at the same time something healthy like Beans!! I am really eager to try this and see how it turns out. 

This reminds me that I found a really fun show for J this week called "Fizzy's Lunch Lab". He is always asking me about food items and we talk about what's healthy and what's not. This animated PBS show has tons of food information like whole wheat versus white, muscle cells and protein, bananas as brain food. It generates a lot of discussion and it gets J excited about healthy eating.

Click on the links below to see what others are making this week!
Linking Up To:

Thanks for visiting!


Lynsey said...

We don't keep much stockpile either but eat what you have in the pantry and freezer always make for interesting new meals!

tea said...

Such cute pictures! How do you like mystery shopping? I'm just getting ready for my first shop, and a little nervous. ;)

Tracey M. said...

Tea - I just sent you a little email with some details. Hope your mystery shopping goes well!!

Rachel said...

The "simmered" fried chicken sounds good!

Thanks again for linking up this past week!

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