Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Menu Planning...

The first thing that I do, when it is time to plan the menu is to look at what is on the family calendar. Does Conrad have an early meeting? Are we hosting game night, so have to have the kitchen cleaned up earlier than usual? Are we having company?

Then I begin with dinner. Some of the dinners that we have when it is a "fast dinner night" are hamburgers, fish sandwiches, frozen conveniences such as frozen pizza. I like to alternate types of meat, or meatless. When the budget doesn't need to be especially tight, and I'm watching my carbs (which I should be doing all of the time), I usually don't plan casseroles. I will plan a meat, two vegetables (one low in carbs) a starch and a fruit. When things are tighter we do lots of casseroles and soups.

This week we have had company. I really try not to go over board with "show-stopping" meals, and this is a real temptation for me.

On Monday, we had Jambalaya, salad, carrots and applesauce
Tuesday, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, Vidalia Onion Casserole and fresh green beans.
Tonight we are having baked macaroni and cheese, salad, stewed tomatoes, and homemade applesauce
Thursday, we are having a roast, with pasta, saute'd zuchini and yellow squash and carrot salad
Friday, I was going to make BBQ sandwiches with slaw, but have changed my mind because I think it will be too acidic for one of our guests who has reflux I'm thinking perhaps potato soup, salad and rolls.
Saturday, a Father's Day dinner of baked spiral sliced ham, pineapple sauce, scalloped potatoes, baked spinach casserole and harvard beets.

Sunday is congregational meal, so I'm going to dice some leftover ham and throw it into a hash brown casserole and make another vidalia onion casserole.

We have been having muffins and fruit for breakfast because our guests are usually hurrying to get to their tours on time. Lunch is leftovers or sandwiches.

I haven't yet planned the menu for my next wave of guests next week. I'll have to see what's on sale this week (the ham was just over a dollar a pound at the Commissary last week.)

Heather asked for my Quiche recipe:
In the bottom of an already baked pie shell, distribute about 3 Tbs grated cheese and one cup of cooked meat, vegetables or a combination.

Mix 3 large eggs blended with enough milk or cream to make 1 1/2 cups. Pour over the contents in pie shell.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Here are some favorite combinations: Cheddar, Chicken and toasted pecans. Salt, tarragon.

Swiss, Crab, green onions. Red pepper, salt.

Swiss, Sausage and Onions.

Swiss, fresh, stemmed, washed, blanched & chopped spinach, minced scallions. Salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Swiss, 6 Sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled. Salt, pepper, nutmeg.

The time of year that we are able to get Vidalia onions on sale is a big event. This is always a great, mild side dish.
Vidalia Onion Casserole:
1/4 cup butter
7 medium vidalia onions, sliced
1/2 cup uncooked rice
3 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
2/3 cups half & half or evaporated milk
Melt butter in a large heavy pan and saute' the onions until soft and transparent, stirring frequently. Cook rice in boiling water 5 minutes. Drain well. Blend rice, onions, cheese and 1/2 & 1/2. Put into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. This dish travels well and is still tasty at room temperature.


Carol in Oregon said...

I'm copying the Vidalia Onion recipe. Oh, how I adore sweet onions. Out here in Oregon, we usually eat Walla Walla Sweets, but the season is just about over.

It's fun to see your menus.


Mrs. Wilt said...

Oooh, LOVE those Vidalia onions! Anyone who has never tasted one can't understand how delicious they are compared to regular ones. Thanks for the recipe- I think I'll alter my grocery list to make this one this week! :o)