Tag Archives: easy weekly menus

Weekly Menus: Week of 2/17/2013

Gentle Readers, three cheers for The Practical Cooks Junior. Not only have they mastered several breakfast items, they are now taking on school lunch, snack, and meal planning with great enthusiasm. This is a great help in not having to guess what they want.

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The flipside, I’m raising two strong-willed women with advanced and particular palates. Please send help.

Without further adieu, and before they make additional editorial changes, here are this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

Which translates to:

Sunday: Fish and Chips
The Eldest opted to have a slice of bacon at dinner the other night. It’s unclear if this is a change or a one-off. We shall see. Meanwhile, I’m going to try homemade fish and chips again.

Monday: Beans and Rice
Love this meal for simplicity and creating possibility through leftovers.

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Tuesday: Rustic Veggie Tart
This rustic tart will be caramelized onions, sweet potato, and goat cheese.

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Wednesday: Pasta and Salad
Probably cheese tortellini, but potentially spaghetti and veggie meatballs.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
This is so simple and variable I struggle not to serve it daily. Never fails to please the crowd.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Friday: Leftovers
I am thinking either soup or burritos based on the week’s bounty.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Getting ready to travel again, so one last celebration on the way. Probably over a salad. 🙂

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

How does your crew feel about cheese sticks/pre-cut cheese? TPCs Jr are firmly against, and have started a movement to make our own. Discuss.

Send inspiration, desperation, and chocolate to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Sour Cherries on Top: One Ingredient, Three Ways

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Sunday Menus: I’m Eating Your Dinner Edition

Gentle Readers, for more than a month of Sundays, The Practical Cook has been supplying weekly dinner menus. The time has come to request a favor/issue a challenge. I want to eat your dinner!

Breakfast for dinner, any hora.

Breakfast for dinner, any hora.

Yes, I am fortunate to be asked to dinner to try new things, but let’s go a step further, shall we? I will still show up for dinner, please don’t hesitate to ask, but I will also cook your favorite dinners for the world to see.  (If you are in need of some meal plans, visit the Weekly Menus archive for ideas!)

Bruschetta for dinner: the perfect way to use up a little bit of everything

Bruschetta for dinner: the perfect way to use up a little bit of everything

So send me your dishes of pride, your Punt! dishes, your make-it-in-your sleep dishes, your new discoveries. What are YOU eating for dinner? Bonus points for things I can turn vegetarian, but I will try anything that won’t kill me. Shellfish is out, and I will not appreciate hazelnut or licorice suggestions.

Sunday Dinner with the Practical Cook

Sunday Dinner with the Practical Cook

If it’s served by a mime, forget it. Everything else, fair game. I will feature menus from you Gentle Readers either as a whole week or guest stars in upcoming posts.

Strawberry Spinach Salad, You're Haunting My Food Memories

Strawberry Spinach Salad, You’re Haunting My Food Memories

Okay, I’m on vacation again. More field research to be done. So please start your ovens and fire up those grills. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments section, on Twitter, or in an email.

Serve the sweet potato bacon rustic tart warm or room temperature with fruit or a salad.

Serve the sweet potato bacon rustic tart warm or room temperature with fruit or a salad.

Send your dinner, your questions, and your brilliant ideas to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday, Quinoa Melange Plus Chickpeas!

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Weekly Menus: Week of 8/12/2012

Gentle Readers, it is hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close. I will fully admit that I’m reaching the end of my tomato consuming capacity, I’m done with humidity, and I look forward even to the structure the school year will bring. Perhaps that’s because this was a summer like any other for Team Practical Cook: we embraced it with both arms and squeezed.

Mango dessert at ONE Restaurant. "I'm going to eat this until it's gone." --The Youngest

Mango dessert at ONE Restaurant. “I’m going to eat this until it’s gone.” –The Youngest

I haven’t been in the kitchen as much it seems, but when I am, there has been great joy and relative simplicity. It has been about cooking with and for more people, new adventures, new places, new tastes. There’s an incredible backlog of things to try, and I look forward to working through that list this fall. Please keep your challenges and questions coming, they will be addressed as the seasons turn.

Summer adventures in the Guggenheim.

Summer adventures in the Guggenheim.

Enough waxing poetic, we still all have to eat. Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Weekly Menus: 8/12/2012

Weekly Menus: 8/12/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 8/13/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 8/13/2012

The above is still so lean because we continue to get vegetable drive-bys from the family. Not complaining, just explaining how I can feed the family without ever apparently shopping for food.

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Eggplant Parm or Dine Out
I know, I know, we are dining out a lot. But the Juniors have a much richer social calendar than I do, and I have to accommodate the requests for their time. Field research has been fantastic, more on this upcoming. Otherwise, we’re making Italian food at home.

Monday: Nachos!
A family favorite. We’re taste testing different chips, and this is a good way to use them up. Our version is with black beans and sweet potatoes, cheesy without being gloppy, and no meat.

Tuesday: Salad Surprise
The other trick of this summer has been lots of salad. Great way to use up leftovers. Always evolving, and make it according to your own personal style.

Wednesday: Pancake Courses
We’ve been challenged to create a 3-course pancake meal. This will either be the test run or the live edition, if the guest of honor (aka, the challenger) is available. It will be appetizer pancakes (small cornmeal ones), savory crepes, then a dessert pancake (like an apple fritter).

Thursday: Beef and Veg
We really have to use up the cow in the freezer. It’s becoming a friend at this point.

Friday: Soup and Sammie
The heat has broken enough that soup (not just gazpacho) is on my mind again.

What is your summer food memory for this year? Share your comment below! It’s wide open there, like the beach first thing in the morning.

Send all challenges, strokes of brilliance, and gold medals to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Wednesday: Simply Herb Pasta Recipe.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 6/3/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is unsure where June came from, but it has arrived. The good news is with it comes lots of great vegetables. It also means the end of school for most, and more meals to plan! But, never fear, we will be addressing summer lunches in an upcoming post.

For now, let’s see what’s on the menu for next week. After some serious time away from the kitchen, it is back to eating down the stores and enjoying the bounty of the season and the CSA. So the weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

And the limited Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The CSA from Brinkley Farms:

2 lbs cucumbers
1 bag lettuce mix
2 pointed head cabbages
1 bundle red beets
1 bundle chioggia beets

Which translates into:

Sunday: Pigs in a blanket, sweet potato chips, veg
The Jrs have been requesting sweet potato chips, and the pigs in a blanket are simple and a sure-fire hit.

Sweets in the Oven

Sweet Potato Chips in the Oven

Monday: Pasta and salad
We haven’t eaten much pasta lately, it’s time to go for the basics. The last week of school is a busy one, and this is easy!

Tuesday: Juevos rancheros
Mainly because I both like to say and eat it. With black beans. And green onions. Which I am currently obsessed with.

Wednesday: Pork chops, greens, and cooked apples
I heart Brinkley Farms pork chops a lot. If you haven’t had a thick-cut pork chop lately, run don’t walk. Cooked apples are a great way to use up less than crispy apples. I can’t abide a mealy apple.

Beautiful Pork Chops

Beautiful Pork Chops from Brinkley Farms

Thursday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green veg
I am determined to make meat loaf work for the family. There will be add-ins and toppings, which will include bacon. Or guanciale.

Friday: Pizza and salad!
School’s out for the summer, birthday party on the horizon. There will be wildness. Here’s hoping something gets eaten.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Birthday girl’s choice. We shall report on what that is!

And this week features a special project, Birthday Cake! It will be Birthday Carrot Cake per request. The Practical Cooks Junior are big fans, complete with Cream Cheese Frosting. The theme: fairies. Wish me luck. What are you cooking these days? Share your ideas in the comments section below. It’s fresh as a clean sheet of paper, just awaiting your culinary delights!

Mime jokes, licorice, and Nutella can be quarantined by sending them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Can this supper be saved? The Practical Cook is challenged to create a meal plan from the contents of a loyal reader’s freezer! Game on.

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Weekly Menus, Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook wishes you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Here’s hoping you’re getting to take some time off and be outside somewhere. Preferably with watermelon. Without it, I don’t think one can fully celebrate. But I am deeply Southern that way.

Watermelon is key to celebrating Memorial Day. As important as the white shoes rule.

Watermelon is key to celebrating Memorial Day. As important as the white shoes rule.

I digress, as usual. This week, I’m actually in my own kitchen, cooking. Wow, what a concept! However, I have several upcoming guest blog posts. I have been out eating other people’s food, and talking to anyone and everyone about food. I know, it’s not an easy task, but someone must do it. I am here for you.

Rainbow Jell-O in order! Not mine, but I plan to tell you all about it.

Rainbow Jell-O in order! Not mine, but I plan to tell you all about it.

Worry not, at least one guest post will be dedicated to bacon. Bacon on bacon. I shall say no more for now, but I hope that guest poster is reading this and making a bacon lattice as we speak.

On to the Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 5/27/2012

Weekly Menus: 5/27/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery List: 5/27/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List: 5/27/2012

My CSA from Brinkley Farms:

1 dozen eggs
1 pk pork chops
1 bundle rainbow carrots
1 lb cucumbers
1 qt. yukon gold potatoes
2 lbs zucchini

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Chicken, veggie, TJ’s brown rice medley, and fruit
We’re having guests, I’m craving comfort food, and half the people present could eat their weight in fruit. Thus the detailed listing.

Monday: Dine Out!
We’re eating out a couple of times in order to cover requests made by each of the Juniors. This is what compromise looks like in a foodie family.

Chinese Tapas, the phrase coined by the Eldest as she calmly ordered half the appetizers.

Chinese Tapas, the phrase coined by the Eldest as she calmly ordered half the appetizers.

Tuesday: Leftovers!
Because I will die under the weight of them if I don’t serve them regularly.

Wednesday: Ham and Cheese Sammies with Sweet Potato Chips
This is a recipe TPC’s Mom made growing up, and she fed it to my kids last week. Now they’re hooked, and we’re blogging it.

Thursday: Beans and Rice, Mexican Style
I’m overrun with tortillas, and I am pro any reason to eat avocado.

Friday: Beef and Bok Choy
I just like the sounds of it. This will be experimental in an attempt to convince the Jrs to eat both.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Though I may advocate for staying home and eating leftovers, or a salad. Road food is killing me softly.

Send kitchen challenges, kind words, and charming anecdotes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Wednesday, Peach Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe. It’s like a crisp, in bar form.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 4/29/2012

Gentle Readers, lean in close, it is confessional time for The Practical Cook. Sometimes, I am not my chirpy upbeat self. Sometimes, just like you, life kicks me in the teeth. This was one of those weeks. I caught both hooves square in the mouth. (Life is in fact a horse in this analogy, work with me.) So sitting down to plan a menu can be tough. I even, wait for it, lost my appetite last week.

Trust me, this is a rare occasion.

The kitchen brings me solace, but this week I don’t have a lot of time to chop and mince, relaxing activities for me, and even less time to truly create and execute. This will be one of those off weeks, where I slug it out because I must. Because tossing a simple salad is still easier than hauling the Jrs out to dinner multiple times. So do forgive my lack of chirp and chop, I think it will return soon.

Good news, I still found room for this awesome cake.

Good news, I still found room for this awesome cake.

And these faboo cupcakes.

And these faboo cupcakes.

I soldier on after two kids’ birthday parties and a smidge of dessert, and this week’s menus will be:

Weekly Menus: 4/29/2012

Weekly Menus: 4/29/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List is:

The Four-Square Grocery List: 4/29/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List: 4/29/2012

And the CSA from Brinkley Farms:

1 bundle cress

1 bundle spring onions

1 dz eggs

2 bundles small white hakurei turnips

Which translates into:

Sunday: Lasagna or Rotisserie Chicken
I have work to do, so how much time is leftover will drive the meal decision. Either way, I have plans for these meals . . .

Monday: Leftovers with salad and starch
If you’re unsure which way you’re going, plan the leftover meal to be flexible. Salad goes with everything, and the starch could be mac and cheese or garlic bread. I shall flex to the moment.

Tuesday: Dine Out!
I will be rolling with some bloggy moms. Love the restaurant we’re going to, let’s hear it for inspiration.

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner!
Bet the farm this will be pancakes, or grits, or both. And there will be bacon, lots and lots of bacon.  Comfort food I can crank out in my sleep.

Thursday: Chorizo Burrito
Because my chorizo is not long for the freezer, I’m thawing and eating it this week. Straight from last week’s Brinkley Farms CSA, it is so good with pinto beans in a burrito I could weep openly, and may. Okay, I do still love food, even in my teeth-kicked-in state.

Friday: Leftovers
I look forward to finding out what this becomes. Will it be nachos? Will it be tea and toast because everything was actually eaten?

Saturday: Dine Out!
Let the field research begin anew.

What do you turn to when you’re not feeling inspired in the kitchen (or anywhere else)? Where do you draw food inspiration? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way.

Ideas, suggestions, challenges? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, How to Cook Grits, And Why You Should.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 2/26/2012

Gentle Readers, this week The Practical Cook was ready to accept a personal challenge. Excepting a very few fresh items, what could be made from what is at hand. You see, I do dearly love the grocery store. And sometimes I buy more than I should, or stockpile. This accumulates over time, and while I can make any one of 10 meals at any given time, I have to make those meals to deplete the inventory.

So this week is about not adding to the problem. What will I do? How will I adapt? Will this make me more grateful for the deep freezer or the fresh foods? Fear not, there are plenty of frozen veggies here at The Practical Cook Kitchen. So aside from the fresh fruit I bought today on my quest to buy 10 types of bacon, I’m buying milk.

Here’s proof, the Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 2/26/2012

Weekly Menus: 2/26/2012

And the very bare Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/26/2012

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/26/2012

Which means we’ll be eating:

Sunday: Dal and Rice
I have a cabinet full of both, time to man up and use them up.

Monday: Beef Stew
Slow cooker, meet my busy lifestyle. This takes some time in the morning, but it is low-fuss during crunch time. And you know what’s good in beef stew? Bacon, of which I have an abundance.

Tuesday: Leftovers
Perhaps I’ll combine meal one and meal two and put it in a tortilla.

Wednesday: Salmon and Greens
I have a wicked salmon craving right now, and the salmon I had last week was not 100% satisfying. Perhaps with some quinoa on the side?

Thursday: Sausage Surprise
I have sausage, and whatever else I put in there will be a surprise to even me. I’ll keep you posted. Probably some tomatoes, beans, and even a hint of chicken stock.

Friday: Bacon Squash Tart
This one needs to happen soon! I’m trying something new with puff pastry. We shall see what happens! If it fails, there’s always pasta.

Saturday: Dine Out!

Because if you’re like me, you have the added challenge of someone, ahem, bringing more food into your house when you leave town than gets eaten while you’re there! I only have one stomach you know who, and I’m not raising cattle.

Want to join me in the don’t buy much for a week challenge? What are your cupboard meals? Post a comment below! And there’s still time to vote for a favorite local bacon! Start filling out your brackets and taste testing, the results are coming for Bacon Brackets: Round 1 this week!

Send in your questions! We’ll be doing a mailbag edition soon. Email them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Throw in the Dish Rack, Keep the Towel.

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