Monday, November 2, 2020

Menu Monday 11/2/20 Finding Groove


We are finding our groove! After a season of ups and downs, I am absolutely relieved for this fact. I was talking with my youngest yesterday on how to clean and stay on top of messes, she's been struggling with keeping her bedroom in order and came to me for help. I explained that it is a process.... take 15 minute bites out of the chaos each day and when new items enter her room, put them away immediately. She agreed this plan was totally doable and she has reached that stage of life where she very much enjoys an orderly space.... "But then I get sick [she is a teacher's assistant in a pre-Kinder class and has been catching everything the kids bring in!!] or I work extra shifts at my 2nd job and I get behind..." Oh, sweet one, I know the feeling.

This is the story of my life... anyone's life, I suppose. You find a groove and then something comes up and throws a wrench in the plan. So what do you do? Well, you do what you can. Sometimes that wrench un-grooves us for a while, other times, it may be a day or two or three set-back. The best solution: pick back up where you left off and move forward from there. You know the term; Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is a clean house or orderly schedule! 

Add cooking to the mix and, at times, it can be a taxing occasion. But even this can find its groove. Make a plan, set-up specific and realistic meal times, and begin prep and cooking within realistic time frames to avoid discouragement. For example, if you know dinner prep could take 30-45 minutes, don't start 15 minutes before you plan to serve. But above all, give yourself grace because, even our best-layed-plans can end up off-track sometimes. Just take each next step and the groove will come.

This Past Week

This past week was relatively low-key. Basic housework done on time (yay)... a chick-flick movie night for my daughters, MIL and myself... completed main parts of a major switching spaces around project... and maneuvered 2 of MIL's doctor's appointments in one day. The "kids" (they're adults but they will always be my "kids"!!) had friends over for a game night on Saturday, I tidied the house and they handled all the rest (food, table cloths and clean-ups) so I even enjoyed some time alone. For the most part, our menu stayed steady, except for lunch and breakfast as business or appetites changed those a bit.

Lets have a look (an asterisks indicates a change of plans)...



Breakfast: Muffin Pan Popovers *and Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Lunch:  Grilled Cheese and Chips (MIL likes tomato on the grilled cheese ☺️)

Dinner:  *Pan Butter Fried Garlic and Onion Chicken with Veggies (Only changed slightly in what way I intended to season: Tarragon Chicken)


Breakfast:  Breakfast Bowls 

I usually make these with eggs, sausage and hash-browns (if I have extra potatoes from the night before) all topped with cheese. Last week I shared an easy way to make hash browns using leftover baked or boiled potatoes. Click here to see.

Lunch:  Chicken Salad

Using leftover chicken from night before on a bed of lettuce, tomato and green onion.

Dinner:  Meatloaf, Mashed Potato and Green Bean 

Team-effort dinner, one perk of Covid lay-off! Hubby cooked the meatloaf and I made the homemade mashed potatoes.


Breakfast:  Eggs and *Fried Potato Patties (had planned hash browns)

For Fried Potato Patties I heat on medium-high a layer of oil just to cover the bottom of my pan (coconut oil is best but any oil you prefer works), take leftover mashed potatoes, put in a dash of flour, one egg and some pepper, mix well and form 2-3" diameter patties. Carefully place patties in hot oil and fry until brown on each side. Be careful when flipping, they may want to fall apart at first, I use a wide pancake spatula and flip gently. I serve with a fried egg right on top. (tip: this will not work well with instant potatoes, it has to be homemade mashed potatoes)

Lunch:  *Everyone on their own. MIL wasn't feeling well and I was trying to kick out the Newsletter on time so I left everyone to their own devices (BLTs were planned)

Dinner:  General Tso's Chicken with Rice


Breakfast:  *Eggs and Turkey Sausage (had planned Pancakes for "kids" and Breakfast Smoothie for MIL but after not feeling well or eating much Tuesday she opted for a proper meal)

Lunch:  *everyone did their own thing again, MIL opted for a simple baked potato. (Planned Chili Dogs, still got the chili out of the freezer but I was the only one that had it)

Dinner:  Whole Roasted Chicken with Potato and Carrots and Stuffing on the side


Breakfast:  Eggs, Turkey Sausage and Hash-browns (using leftover potatoes!)

Lunch:  *Chicken Salad (I had planned Chicken Soup with the leftovers)

Dinner:  Order Out


Breakfast:  MIL still a bit queezy, skipped breakfast so we all did our own thing (had planned Apple Muffins and Sausage)

Lunch:  No Plans (forgot to make any!!), had some freezer Lasagna

Dinner:  Taco Salad


Breakfast:  This is my only 'sleep-in' day all week so I typically leave everyone to their own devices, however, ended up cooking up some eggs and sausage.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Taco Salad

I dressed as an 80s Aerobics Instructor on Saturday and had my lunch out of Tupperware!! Totally Radical!
Dinner:  Smoked Sausage and Chips

Spider Man Noir (from the 1930s) and 1940s Fashionista

We don't "celebrate" Halloween but we do like to dress up and offer an alternative to partying and carousing by opening our door to friends for a fun, clean, wholesome game night with dinner, snacks, candy and loads of laughs. We also hand out candy to trick-or-treaters as a way to be that Light in the Darkness. This year we were out of our customary "Jesus is the Light" glow in the dark bracelets which we always toss in alongside the sweats. With Covid I didn't think we would get them in time. We did have a few kids show up but it was relatively quiet otherwise. 


So that was my week in the kitchen... what does yours look like? Also, do you have a "Finding the Groove" testimony or question you would like to share? Would love to hear!

Happy cooking and prayers for easy Groove Finding!

*** Why the asterisks? ***
Planning ahead with menus is always a good idea. It helps to stay on budget and balanced in diet... but lets be real, not every day goes as beautifully planned. I know, when I was a young wife, I found menus fascinating but was also often quickly discouraged by how hard it was to stay-on task. As I collected kids and schedules and all those unexpected demands on my time, I learned how to juggle. I like to alternate meats, spice levels and the nutritional balance from meal-to-meal and day-to-day. I also like to try 1-2 new recipes each week, though some weeks are all old favorites! I hope, seeing not just what we ate, but also how it changed, encourages you to menu plan and give yourself grace and flexibility to change it up a bit when needed! 


For an old article on one way I've done menu planning (free printables included) you can visit:

Menu Monday: Menu-Making Edition!


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