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Ok, I have a plan! And it's the LEAST wiggly plan I've had in MONTHS!!! This month, I am not QUITE doing a pantry challenge, but definitely trying to burn through some of what we have this month and next...

Tonight we had Beef/Vegetable/Barley "Old year's soup"... made up entirely of leftovers, freezer stuff, and one "new" can of tomatoes (from the pantry stash.) Even the bread was from the freezer. And nobody complained!!!

2- Breakfast-for-dinner= bacon, eggs, and pancakes... our hens finally started laying a couple of weeks ago and we have a bunch of eggs to use up. It's a very nice "problem" to have!

3- Broccoli beef + rice
4-Spaghetti + meatballs, garlic bread
5- The giant turkey we didn't cook for Christmas or New Year... to be featured repeatedly in leftovers (* Starred)for the rest of the month, stuffing, sweet potato casserole that is already in the freezer. (This is 12th night...)
6- Bean soup
7- Steak subs
8- Family coming for dinner, menu evolving
9- *Chicken and dumplings
10- *Buffalo chicken casserole
11- Tacos
12- Tea party
13- Chicken Fricasse (with actual chicken, not leftover turkey, wow!!!)
14- Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes
15- Bagel pizzas
16- Grilled chicken sandwiches
17- Cheeseburger macaroni
18- * Peking "duck"
19- Pastitsio
20- Lemon-Basil Pork chops
21- Clam Chowder
22- Hot wings and salad
23- Quiche
24- Chili and cornbread
25- *Southwestern Egg rolls
26- Burgers and fries, maybe even milkshakes...
27- Bourbon Chicken with rice and broccoli
28- Blueberry pancakes, eggs, and sausage links
29- Frito pie (and I will be eating something else...)
30- Sloppy Joe's
31- Kielbasa with sour cream noodles

Lunches will be leftovers, some of our myriad soups, mac n' cheese, stuff from the freezer, and some frozen fish fillets (for me, whenever H is not around because he hates the smell...)

Of course, the biggest variable is the appetite of my silly teenagers and the pickiness of H. But this is the plan, list is written, and we will see how it goes!!! Hooray!!!
 

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CH- I am either planning for a whole month, or not at all... no in between with me!!! (My retirement pay comes on the 1st, so it makes sense for me.) Most of what is on my plan is based on what we already have in the freezer and pantry. The deep freezer needs to be defrosted, but I have to use up enough stuff for that to happen, first...

I COULD just put the extras into a cooler and quickly do the defrost with a heater or hair dryer or something... but I'm too lazy! :D It can wait a couple more weeks!

First edit-- I did tater-tots instead of pancakes tonight because I have a ridiculous quantity of frozen potato products (which I don't even really eat...) in the freezers...
 

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So, the plan was...

3- Broccoli beef + rice
4-Spaghetti + meatballs, garlic bread
5- The giant turkey we didn't cook for Christmas or New Year... to be featured repeatedly in leftovers (* Starred)for the rest of the month, stuffing, sweet potato casserole that is already in the freezer. (This is 12th night...)
6- Bean soup
7- Steak subs
8- Family coming for dinner, menu evolving
And for the most part, I stuck to it pretty well... The turkey was not all the way thawed on the 5th, so we ordered the Chinese food we didn't get for Christmas eve, then did the turkey yesterday for the family gathering (originally we were going to do it on the 5th, with leftovers as part of the menu for the 8th... it worked out ok.)

Friday DD18 started training at the local convenience store (which has a sub shop) and instead of having steak subs at home, we went there and ordered subs and harrassed her. :)

And the big family gathering yesterday was ok, I ended up buying a lot of pre-made stuff for variety and convenience, not sorry at all-- and I'm happy to say that people took home a lot of the leftover desserts while leaving plenty of the turkey, so it worked out pretty well!

H's surgery last Thursday has been moved to Tuesday of this week, but the menu should still work...
 

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Welp... This week was 0/0 for us doing what was actually planned!!! 🤣 I'm blaming H's surgery...but also 2 teens with PMS, etc...

Tonight I made pastitsio (like a greek lasagna-esque casserole) that was scheduled for later this week just because the weather is yucky and it is a very cozy recipe... so we will have leftovers from that at some point, and I might drive some over to my niece/sister who like it in the next day or so...

Shout-out to MAGGIE TRU for mentioning a while back about using the cold weather outside as a natural freezer... You inspired me! It was below freezing here this morning, so I quickly defrosted my deep freezer while all the stuff sat on a table just outside (or the chickens would have assumed it was for them...) Worked great!!!

The big freezer's still not quite organized, but better, and hopefully now I can move some stuff out of the regular (overfilled and chaotic) freezer and do a better inventory of what we have to use up. Meanwhile, now that it is better, I allowed myself to stock back up on a few convenience items, which helps with my anxiety and will hopefully cut down on the crazy food-ordering that has been going on around here lately (H can't drive post-surgery quite yet, and is too lazy "sore" to cook, so yeah, it's been BAD... doordash is the devil...
 

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Can you believe it has only been 4 weeks since Christmas?
Bless youx1000!!! for saying that... since I just today finally was able to get up on the roof and get down our Christmas lights, which are now in the middle of the room waiting to be bundled neatly and put up in the attic. That does not excuse the fact that my rotting pumpkins remain on the porch, though ... (but in my defense, a LOT of people around here seem to have that going on this year...)

The week in review= better than last week (not saying much) and at least we didn't order anything...


17- Cheeseburger macaroni leftover pastitsio, and WOW was H mad... he actually LIKES Hamburger helper...🤮
18- * Peking "duck"
19- Pastitsio Salisbury steak and pierogies-- special request from my little COVID prisoner...
20- Lemon-Basil Pork chops
21- Clam Chowder vegetable beef soup
22- Hot wings and salad frozen pizza, fried mushrooms
23- Quiche Frozen Stouffers mac n cheese from the convenience food stash, because I am sad and do not want to cook. That is what it is there for!

Not looking forward to chili tomorrow... just not something I really love... but looking forward to the southwestern eggrolls on Tuesday...
 

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I just finished my February Meal Plan, working on the shopping list, but not much needed I shopped the pantry and freezer. We ALWAYS have homemade pizza of some variety on Friday.
I'm still looking for a great pizza crust recipe, wanna share yours?
And I LOVE your plan for heart-shaped brownies on the 14th...

miteigenenhaenden--
As always, your menu sounds like the chef's table at a restaurant :)


kids have been on a different eating schedule and one sick now so.. ramen stuff like that teen food.
I know, right!?!? They are STARVING and can't wait for dinner, then don't eat dinner, then want to make something else after dinner... ARGH!!!! :rolleyes: On the upside, it means they CAN technically feed themselves, which is a good thing, I guess...


Ok, so with DD14 off isolation, DD18 and H ON isolation, and me in perpetual quarantine for the crime of living with them... here's how last week went...

24- Chili and cornbread
25- *Southwestern Egg rolls
26- Burgers and fries, maybe even milkshakes...
27- Bourbon Chicken with rice and broccoli
28- Blueberry pancakes, eggs, and sausage links
29- Frito pie (and I will be eating something else...)
30- Sloppy Joe's the weather demanded pot roast
31- Kielbasa with sour cream noodles leftovers/fend for yourself

I honestly don't even remember what we did some days. After DD18 tested positive for covid on the 25 (AFTER 2 weeks of quarantine with a regular cold and a C+ sister) I just about lost my mind. Ok, on to February!!!
 

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SUPER IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE!!!
On the 22nd, it will be Tuesday 2/22/2022. The ULTIMATE taco TWOS-day! Anyone NOT having tacos(by the pair!!!) this day is missing the opportunity of a lifetime!


The plan for February:
1- (Lunar New Year)- Beef and broccoli, rice
2- (Groundhog Day)- Our traditional groundhog-shaped meatloaf... it's disgusting looking :)
3- Spaghetti (DD18's night to cook)
4- Potato soup
5- Steak (H's night to cook)
6- Chicken fricassee (DD14's night)
7- Fettucine Alfredo
8- Cabbage rolls
9- White chicken chili
10- Baked chicken (DD18)
11- Beef Stroganoff
12- Chicken and Dumplings (DD18 even though it's H's night)
13- Superbowl-esque finger foods (DD14)
14- Mini beef wellingtons with fancy veggies and something chocolate for dessert
15- Bean burritos
16- Oven BBQ chicken, coleslaw
17- Pork chops (DD18)
18- Chicken stir fry
19- Chili (H)
20- Chicken parmesan/eggplant parmesan (DD14)
21- Pulled pork sandwiches
22- Ultimate Taco Twos-day!!!
23- Lemon pepper chicken breasts
24- Sloppy joes (DD18)
25- Roast beef
26- TBD (H ran out of ideas)
27- Pierogies (DD14)
28- Tea party (aka leftover and sandwiches on fancy plates...) 🤣
 

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How it went last week... (Hard to believe we're a week in already!!!)

1- (Lunar New Year)- Beef and broccoli, rice
2- (Groundhog Day)- Our traditional groundhog-shaped meatloaf... it's disgusting looking :)
DDs were both elsewhere, so I just made the meatloaf regular shaped...
3- Spaghetti (DD18's night to cook) But they didn't eat much, so now I have leftovers to deal with...
4- Potato soup The kids were out, I wasn't hungry, so I told H to fend for himself... :)
5- Steak (H's night to cook)
6- Chicken fricassee (DD14's night) Frozen pizza
7- Fettucine Alfredo The fricasse we were supposed to have yesterday

I think next week will be a bunch of changes just because we have a lot of leftovers to use up...
 

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Maggie- I see you make a lot of grains and beans/lentils, but you also mention being off the grid... can you share more about that? I love doing beans in my slow-cooker, but if you are working with real fire, how do you adapt?
 
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8- Cabbage rolls
9- White chicken chili
10- Baked chicken (DD18)
11- Beef Stroganoff
12- Chicken and Dumplings (DD18 even though it's H's night) Carne Asada
13- Superbowl-esque finger foods (DD14) The chicken and dumplings we didn't have yesterday, and I ended up making it with a little help from DD14...

This week ended up being a lot of "fend for yourselves...." There was a rotisserie chicken in there somewhere earlier in the week, but I don't recall when. I did thaw the meat for the cabbage rolls, but never cooked them, so I'll have to do something with that tomorrow...
 
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I think I forgot to do the accountability last Sunday...oops... with the fridge/freezer going bad, the whole month has been... well, nevermind... it seems like things are ALWAYS wacky around here... 🤣 Anyway, catching up the last week or so, at least...


19- Chili (H)
20- Chicken parmesan/eggplant parmesan (DD14) took DD14 out to buffet she has been wanting
21- Pulled pork sandwiches
22- Ultimate Taco Twos-day!!!
23- Lemon pepper chicken breasts legit don't remember...
24- Sloppy joes (DD18) tomato-basil soup that nobody but me liked...
25- Roast beef H made frozen lasagna
26- TBD (H ran out of ideas) went out for pizza-- not sorry! :)
27- Pierogies (DD14) Lobster from the freezer that I was too tired to make on V-day...

Oh wow... that looks worse than I realized!!! H started swing shift weekends for his school last weekend, so he is gone on Sat/Sun evenings for the next few weeks-- meanwhile DD18 is working at least one swing each weekend, it seems. DD14 is generally around on those nights, but not always hungry enough that we feel like cooking for just the two of us...

I got next month's menu planned out, but don't feel like typing it right now... the plan is leftovers tomorrow, then pancakes on Tuesday, of course. Next month the plan is DD14 cooks (for whoever is around) on Sunday, DD18 on Monday, and H on Tuesday... I still cook the other 4 days of the week :confused:... we are going to do seafood on a couple of the Saturdays when H is at school, since he hates the smell and we can only do that when he is away. (He still complains when he gets home, but oh well...
 
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