Menu Plan Monday: Rubber Chicken

August 26, 2012
Camilla, the rubber chicken who went to space
Image courtesy of NASA
Well, it’s another week to stretch the budget. The easiest way to do that is with a rubber chicken. Don’t worry, I’m not eating, nor feeding my kids actual plastic. That’s reserved for certain fast food restaurants that make me feel ill now that I’ve been eating clean for so long.

We’re going to make a whole chicken stretch as far as humanly possible in one week. And with another heat wave hitting the southland, I am breaking out the crockpot. The rest of the week will either be no cook or 30 minute or less meals.

Monday: Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Tuesday: Santa Fe Chicken Salad (I’m going to cheat because Fresh and Easy has a bagged southwest salad that is pretty tasty)
Wednesday: Back to School Night so we’ll probably pick up Subway
Thursday: Chicken Curry

We’re road-tripping this weekend to visit family so Friday might include some chicken salad sandwiches to take on the trip.

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Ghetto Fabulous Chicken Cordon Bleu

August 20, 2012
Sometimes you just don’t have “quality” (high-priced) ingredients on hand, but you have have the general idea for something.

A typical chicken cordon bleu recipe calls for the following ingredients:
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
But sometimes all you have on hand is:ccb
  • chicken breast tenders
  • bleu cheese dressing (with actual bleu cheese crumbles)
  • canadian ham
  • mixed veggies

  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. In an oven safe pan sauté the chicken in butter or olive oil.
  3. When browned, pour dressing over chicken and top with ham. 
  4. Place in oven and broil until the dressing forms a crust – about 5 minutes. 

Enjoy! (Tastes better than the picture makes it look)

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was pretty busy. We had the first day of school, buying yet more school supplies because the public school funding in California sucks monkey balls, and Saturday … sending my firstborn off to college.

I hate being unemployed. It makes creating menus so much harder because I’ve had to cut back on my budget, plus my daughter is the picky eater, so I think I’ll be trying a lot of things on my own. She’s officially tired of spaghetti. Especially after having it for two days as lunch plus dinner.

One of the best investments from this year’s school shopping was a thermos soup tureen. We set aside a serving of dinner in this, nuke it in the morning (in a separate microwaveable container) and put it back in the Funtainer. She gets a hot lunch that she likes and a portion size that’s right. Because, apparently, you can have too much PB&J.

Sunday: Leftover pizza because it was too hot and I was too lazy to cook.

Monday: BBQ Raspberry Hoisin Chicken (may substitute chicken fingers and veggies) with Chinese Fried Rice

Tuesday: Tilapia & Summer Vegetable Packets

Wednesday: Soccer Night – Chicken in Basil Cream with steamed broccoli

Thursday: (Turkey) Bacon Cheddar Apple Frittata (this will be an experiment since my daughter isn’t always keen on egg based dishes)

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: YOYO.

Wordless Wednesday: First Day of School

August 15, 2012

The first day was Monday and she's still this happy and excited two days later. It helps that she got the teacher she wanted.

Menu Plan Monday: Cooking for Two

August 7, 2012
I know I've been out of it for a while, but I'm back! I even planned a menu three weeks ago, but the last two weeks I've been going by the seat of my pants. That's not good for the budget you know. Especially when the budget says "tighten your belt!"

Long story short, my latest contract ended on July 27th. Last week I enjoyed the week off, took my daughter to Disneyland (making that annual pass pay for itself), had an awesome interview with a company that I would love to work for, and paid bills.
First time on both Goofy's Sky School and Toy Story Mania!
and my daughter's first time on Star Tours since it reopened.

That's about when I realized that I need to get to living a frugal life. Which I haven't exactly done since college. I've lived fairly fiscally responsibly, paying down debt, etc., but now it's time to really crack down. Those UI checks don't cover nearly enough, you know what I mean?

But you're not here to read about my private life, are you? You want the plan and the recipes. Mind you, these are just guidelines. Like, tonight's plan was salmon, but I asked my daughter how she wanted it and her (very) enthusiastic response was "SPICY!" -- so we're having grilled Cajun salmon (I still need to post that recipe) with brown rice and steamed veggies instead of Soy-glazed (link to recipe below).
This week my son is out of town visiting friends, so it's just me and my daughter. Each of these meals makes 4-6 servings, so some will double as lunch leftovers and other I have to cut in half so there's no waste. Also, my daughter is the pickiest in the family, so these are the most kid-friendly recipes I could think of.

Monday: Soy Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Avocado Salad (turned into grilled Cajun salmon with rice and veggies)
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread and salad (filling and makes great leftovers!)
Wednesday: Curried Turkey Cutlets with Dried Apricots. (This has become a favorite around here, I usually use turkey patties)
Thursday: Tortellini Primavera
Friday: No worries, my daughter is with her dad and I'll be celebrating my birthday.
Saturday: ditto
Sunday: ditto - but will plan for the next week. School starts on the 13th!

So what's on your plate this week?

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