Menu Plan, month of February 2010

Well, this month Jason is switching shifts at work. Instead of being on the 4 pm – 2 am shift he’ll be moving over to the midnight – 7 am shift. It’ll allow him to take on Watch Captain duties, get scheduled on more flights, and get more things done for his next promotion. All good stuff. Also, since he’ll be getting home just in time for breakfast, he’ll be able to watch/snooze with our soon-to-be new baby while I take a shower, get my 3-year old out of bed, and the household fed before he goes to sleep until the middle of the afternoon. I cannot fully express in words how happy this will make me, to be able to start off a morning without being rushed and crazy, that’d be truly awesome.

Anyhow, all of the above means we’ll be eating “dinner” at dinner time instead of at lunchtime like we have been for the past six months. While I kind of liked eating the larger meal in the middle of the day, Jason will be sleeping at lunchtime and I don’t want to cheat him out of the best meal.

Here’s our plan for February…

Breakfast:
Rotation of cold cereal, bagels, oatmeal, eggs & toast, waffles, and muffins.

Lunch:
Various sandwiches (grilled cheese, tuna salad, PB&J, cold cuts), macaroni & cheese, quesadillas, and leftovers.

Dinner:
1st: Chicken Pot Pie Soup (my family cannot get enough of this, thanks Kate!) & Cornbread
2nd: Tacos, simple and no-fuss, I’ll make some kind of dessert too.
3rd: Lemon-Herb Pork Chops, Crash Potatoes, & Carrots
4th: Orange Chicken & Fried Rice
5th: Potato Cheese Casserole with Ham & Jell-O Cookies
6th: Beef Stew with Rosemary Rolls
7th: Lemon Pepper Chicken with Rice-a-Roni and Skillet Corn
8th: Cheese Enchiladas and Rice
9th: Jason’s Birthday Dinner Date (our favorite steak house and a movie)
10th: Monterey Chicken with Red Potatoes and carrots in the crock pot
11th: Potato Soup (I usually use Kate’s recipe, but I wanted to try out another one that uses the crock pot) and Garlic Bread
12th: Fajitas and Seasoned Rice
13th: Jason and I are attending a Mardi Gras Ball and having a fancy dinner with friends.
14th: Shake & Bake Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
15th: Lemon Parmesan Chicken Penne (I’m going to wing it and see about coming up with something good) and Apple Pie
16th: Pot Roast with Baked Potatoes and Corn
17th: Baked Ziti (meatless) and Salad
18th: Chicken Pot Pie Soup & Rolls
19th: Beef Stroganoff with Roasted Red Potatoes and Peas
20th: Cinnamon Rolls and Bacon
21st: Chicken & Gravy over Egg Noodles with Baked Apples
22nd: BBQ Pulled Pork and Individual Scalloped Potatoes
23rd: Pizza Braid
24th: Soy Sauced Pork Chops with Rice and Corn
25th: Balsamic Thyme Chicken with Fried Potatoes
26th: Barbacoa and Rice, I’m also going to try my hand at making beans for the first time ever (not out of a can).
27th: Italian Meatball Soup
28th: I’ve been dying to try this recipe for ages, and now I will… Pioneer Woman’s Marlboro Man’s 2nd Favorite Sandwich with Potato Cheese Casserole

Whew! I’ve been really lazy these last couple of months by not including links to all of the wonderful recipes I use on a regular basis. My family thinks I’m an awesome cook, but only a few of these are actually my recipes. Almost everything I make is someone else’s creation – without those people we’d still be having Hamburger Helper and pizza every day.

A couple of desserts and snacks I want to do this month, but I’m not sure yet where they fit in my menu plan:
– Homemade ice cream using the ice cream maker we were given as a wedding gift seven months ago and haven’t taken out of the box yet.
– Smoothies (I’ve made them before, but not in quite a while).
Banana Chocolate Muffins (new-to-me recipe).
Soft Pretzels (we ran out of frozen ones that I bought from a boy scout fundraiser, my family is addicted, so I need to make more).
My Lemon Pie (I’ve made it a million times, but it’s been months).

With the baby coming sometime between the end of March and early-April, I need to start planning some freezer meals and getting those packed away so Jason doesn’t have to do too much while I’m taking a break. He’ll be on Jeremy duty while I’ll be taking care of the baby. Jeremy loves to help in the kitchen, but his kind of “help” isn’t usually all that “helpful”. Jason will only be off work for about ten days, so I definitely want to have enough frozen dinners to last us that long, he can easily handle breakfasts and lunches on his own. After his ten days at home, I’ll be more than ready to take my house back. Though I LOVE to sleep in and relax, I’m not really one to do nothing all day. He’s going to give me a break for the first two weeks while the baby’s brand new, but after that I will most definitely be wanting my kitchen back.

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