I usually write my Menu Plan Monday posts on Sunday night, but last night we were busy watching the finale of LOST. It wasn’t what I expected! Did you watch it too? I won’t say much about it in case some of you haven’t gotten to watch it yet. Anyway, here I am at 7:30 on Monday morning trying to finish my post before MPM goes live at 8:00! I feel kind of like I’m back in college and I procrastinated on a school project. :)
Before I post our menu for the week, I thought I’d share a really easy way to give brownies a little something extra. My coworker told me about this, and I decided to try it when we had friends over last week. Buy a brownie mix and follow the directions on the box to get the batter ready. Pour half of the batter into a 9×13 pan, and then here’s where the “something extra” comes in: break up two large milk chocolate bars (I used Symphony bars – and I mean the reallllly big ones) and place the chocolate pieces evenly across the batter; then pour the remaining batter on top and bake according to the box directions. The result is what I’ve decided to call a chocolate truffle brownie – the candy bar really gives the effect of the center of a truffle. SOOO good! It’s pretty inexpensive to make, too. The Symphony bars are normally $1.99 each, but I got them on sale at CVS – buy one, get one for a penny. My brownie mix was $1.30, and I already had eggs and vegetable oil on hand. I usually like to make desserts from scratch, but I have never had a successful attempt with brownies. If you have a good recipe let me know and I’ll test it out!
Ok, on to the menu for the week. You’ll notice I’m only posting Monday-Friday this week; Saturday we will be painting our house if the weather cooperates, so I’m not planning to cook!
Monday: Homemade pepperoni pizza and salad. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but I always make our own pizza sauce – it only costs me 40 cents! I buy a small can of tomato paste and thin it with water to the desired consistency, and then I add minced garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and a little bit of red pepper flakes to give it a kick. I’m a little excited about our salad tonight because we went to the farmer’s market for the first time this weekend and got some really beautiful lettuce (never thought I’d say lettuce was beautiful!) and other fresh veggies. I think I may be hooked on the farmer’s market! Things are a little pricier but I love how fresh everything is.
Tuesday: Nachos. We also bought ground beef at the farmer’s market, so I’ll brown that up with some of the onions we got, and we’ll also have black beans, rice, and queso. I’m just making Rotel for the queso. If you haven’t had that before, it’s just 1 lb. of Velveeta cheese and 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles. I bought an extra can of diced chiles to give it some extra spice, and I’ll probably add some sauteed onions and a little Monterrey Jack to it, too.
Wednesday: Chicken strips (I’ll bread them and bake them) and skillet-fried potatoes and onions. I just use a tiny bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for the potato/onion dish. It’s not something we make often, but I love potatoes made this way! We’ll probably have some raw carrots and cucumber too.
Thursday: Pasta with sauce. I bought some whole wheat Gemelli, which we’ve never tried before, but I think it’s really pretty! I’m going to make tomato basil sauce to go with it, and we’ll have green beans and salad to go along with it. We’ll also make some Italian bread from scratch – we LOVE this bread! Here’s the recipe for the dough – we make ours with the bread maker on the French Bread setting (this makes a 2 LB loaf):
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons dry milk
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
Friday: Leftovers! We may start prepping the house a little Friday night, so it’ll be nice to have dinner taken care of.
Be sure and stop back buy tomorrow – I’m doing a giveaway for a really fun personalized item for your baby or toddler (it’d make a great gift, too). Also, my giveaway for the $60 gift card ends tonight, and I have a cookbook giveaway that ends next Monday!
Take care and have a wonderful week, everyone!