Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Back to School Time


Sadly, school started last week and our leisurely tuna and egg salad picnic at the beach days have come to an end. Mama K started a new job too (YAAAAAY!!!) so it is time to get our act together and get back to menu planning and a little more structure.

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but since I started this blog our household has grown from 2 adults to a total of 5 adults and 3 kids. We are actually 3 families living under one roof now and although we have found it challenging at times I don't know of any nefarious plots being hatched, BUT Little K has some strange dreams about the kids setting rattlesnakes loose in the house and some of us packing up and leaving. HA! It was actually yours truly who stormed out of her dream and left her here to fend off the snake!

Last week we did a pretty decent job of getting meals planned and on the table about the time that Big K got home from work and I know she really appreciated that. This week I want to try to use up what we have on hand and keep shopping to a minimum until payday.

Monday - Baked Steak with gravy, baked potatoes, corn (recipe below)
Tuesday - Pinto beans, green chile, tortillas

Wednesday - Spaghetti with meatballs

Thurday - Smothered bean and cheese burritos
Friday - Hamburgers, oven fries
Saturday - Pizza and salad

Sunday - Chicken fajitas with pico de gallo, refried beans, corn on the cob

Fresh Pico de gallo: diced onion, finely diced jalapeno pepper, diced tomato and chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving.

Here is how to make good restaurant style fajitas. DO NOT slice the meat and cook in a skillet with the vegetables. I have seen so many recipes that say to do this and the result is that the meat braises in the juice and ends up overcooked and really just plain awful.

Slice the peppers and onions and cook in a hot skillet until slightly tender, turn up the heat to carmelize them. Chicken or steak should be seasoned with garlic salt and pepper and grilled on high heat, then slice and place on platter over vegetables. Chicken takes about 10 minutes if using boneless skinless breasts, steak should be cooked to med/rare about 6-8 minutes depending on thickness. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over before serving. Serve with cheese, lettuce, avocado, sour cream and fresh pico de gallo. Perfection!

Sorry, I didn't get pictures of this but here is my dad's baked steak recipe, a family favorite for 3 generations and it can actually be prepared 2 ways, both are super delicious and kid friendly with mashed potatoes or wide egg noodles!

I use thin cut sirloin steak for this, but you can also use a good quality top round.

Trim fat and cut 1 1/2 lbs of steak into serving size pieces. Pound with a meat hammer to tenderize a bit. Season generously with your favorite grill seasoning or garlic salt and pepper. Dredge meat in a little flour and kind of pound the flour in with your fingers. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in skillet on med/high heat, add meat and brown on both sides. Transfer to 13"X9" baking dish when browned.

Add a tablespoon of flour to skillet and a little more oil if needed to blend in all the flour. Cook for a minute or so and then slowly add 1 can of beef stock, bring up to a simmer blending in the flour mixture.

Version # 1 - Sprinkle one package onion soup mix over meat then pour the gravy mixture from the skillet over the top. Cover with foil and bake in 350 oven about one hour.

Version #2 Swiss steak - Pour one can of stewed tomatoes over the meat, add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce, then pour the gravy mixture from the skillet over the top and bake in 350 oven about one hour until meat is tender and sauce is thickened.

Enjoy!


I am linking up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Go check it out!

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