Thursday, May 7, 2009

Menu Planning Monday, er Thursday

I’ve menu planned for a few years now. (*cough and sputter*) What I meant to say is that I’ve off and on menu planned for a few years now. Oh okay, I’ve more off than on menu planned for a few years now.

I always start out with good intentions. I use Microsoft Works Calendar and input recipes about every other day with the assumption that the in between days will be leftovers. (I just love leftovers, don’t you?) I try to plan it out for the whole month. I think this is my downfall.

You see, it’s hard to predict what you will have opened and needing to be used up when you’re trying to do it thirty days in advance. Every week I end up rearranging, pushing recipes back a week or two, and then coming up with new ones to use up what’s currently on hand. And then finally, enough is enough, and using my calendar goes by the wayside, and we fall back into our old habits.

I’m going to make more of a concerted effort to stick with it this time. Today and tomorrow what I currently have planned out is (1) stale bagel pancakes (doesn’t that just sound de-lic-ious?!) and (2) fish stick casserole. (I know, I know. I really know how to pick ‘em)

I think I picked the wrong time to start blogging about my menu planning since both of those things sound admittedly nasty. I have some items to use up though, and both of these recipes fit the bill.

For the pancakes, basically you grind them up, add milk, eggs, and spices, and fry like a regular pancake. As it turns out, they're pretty freakin' fantastic :) The only thing I would do differently is add a little more milk because the batter was pretty thick. If you click on the link above, you'll see he called for onion powder and sugar. Since I was using strawberry bagels, I figured the onion powder would be a no-no and left it out.

And as for the fish stick casserole… I don’t know why but awhile ago when I was at the grocery, fish sticks sounded good. Not surprisingly, they’ve sat in the freezer ever since. I found several recipes, and I liked portions of several of them, so I've combined them into my own concoction.

Basically what I'll do is crumble some hash browns into a 9x13 pan (actually I'll use chopped frozen French fries because that’s what I have). Pour over some milk (that about-to-expire half gallon should be gone after this recipe!), spices (whatever I feel like at the moment), and cheese (can use shredded or a can of Campbells cheese soup), maybe a can of cream of mushroom soup depending on the consistency thus far... perhaps throw in some veges from the freezer... and [in my best fake French accent] the piece de la resistance…. The ever-popular, four-star restaurant worthy fish sticks. Lots and lots of fish sticks. Pile 'em on top, bake, and voila, a not-so-nutritious but oh-so-delicious treat (hopefully).

These recipes are both great for the Eating from the pantry challenge that I’ve just begun. Hopefully they will not disappoint!

1 comment:

  1. I would suggest just planning for a week or two. That way you have a list of 10-14 dinners that you can move around in that time period as you feel. I can't say that I am going to eat tacos on tuesday, because I may be craving pancakes or stirfry that night. So I like to have an option list(which I have the supplies for) and then go with what I am craving most off of the list that day :) It saves alot of money though!