Monday, February 22, 2010

MenuDay ...

Wow! It's certainly been a while since entering a MenuDay post. Our life was literally a little crazy for several months. My crock pot was, without any doubts, a life saver during all the home remodeling and repairs. I am rejoicing that I can actually see some resemblance of routine returning to our lives.
Baseball and softball season are starting up down here in S. Texas. So, like last year, that means I'll be planning to prepare simple, easy and quick meals. Of course our meals will continue to be prepared from scratch. Not only are homemade meals generally healthier and more flavorful, they are also more economical.
I often meet family's who think they simply don't have time to prepare wholesome homemade meals. It is my hope that as others peek into our busy life, they will realize that homemade, form scratch, doesn't always mean long labor intensive hours slaving away in one's kitchen. In my home, the key to "homemade" is making a plan and working that plan.
I recently discovered Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals on Food Network. Her prep-ahead tips and suggestions are the same concepts passed down within my own family. The concepts of "making a plan and working that plan" are presented in a manner that will give the most novice of home cooks confidence to serve hearty and nutritious homemade meals. I encourage anyone who longs for evenings spent around the dinner table, but has trouble actually finding the time to partake, to tune in or record a few of Food Networks Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals. Before long, you, too, will have the mastered the concepts that allow busy families the gift of enjoying meals around their own dining table.

Mornings are always a busy time for us, therefore most of our breakfast meals are ready to eat within 15 - 20 minutes.
Monday - spinach, bacon and cream cheese omelets, toast (20 minutes)
Tuesday - fried grits, elk sausage patties, canned peaches (20 minutes)
Wednesday - banana nut oatmeal, toast (20 minutes)
Thursday - birds on nest (poached eggs on toast), fruit salad (15 minutes)
Friday - sliced friendship bread, elk sausage patties, apple wedges (15 minutes)
Saturday - quiche Loraine, tangerine wedges (baking time increases this to 1 hour)
Sunday - sliced friendship bread, assorted fruit (5 minutes)

various leftovers, peanut butter & jelly or toasted cheese sandwiches w/ fruit

Supper time doesn't have to equal 1-1 1/2 hours in the kitchen. With a little planning, advanced preparation and even one's crock pot or slow cooker, you can have many homemade, from scratch meals, on the table in under 30 minutes.
Monday - lemony talapia fillets, polenta w/ besicamella sauce, steamed broccoli (on the table in under 40 minutes)
Tuesday - apple, maple turkey meatballs (cooked in my crock pot), carrots, salad (on the table in under 30 minutes)
Wednesday - glazed beets, sauteed beet greens, zucchini w/ onions (on the table in under 30 minutes)
Thursday - pinto beans (cooked in my crock pot), Mexican rice, homemade flour tortillas (if you make the tortillas ahead of time on baking day, this meal will be on the table in about 30 minutes)
Friday - chicken nachos (prepare chicken topping in a crock pot and have this fun and easy dish served within 30 minutes)
Saturday - chili (cooked in the crock pot), cornbread, salad (again, a crock pot works wonders for marrying all those delicious flavors in the chili and the entire meal will be served within 30 minutes)
Sunday - leftover buffet

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