Monday, August 4, 2008

Yay me! I have a plan!

After weeks and weeks of sort-of-but-not-really menu planning, I finally quit trying to be so fancy and creative and just DID IT.

On a whim one afternoon last week I sat down at the computer and made a list off the top of my head of all the meals that I most often make. I think in the past I've gotten way too bogged down in searching out new recipes. Half of which I would end up actually... you know... cooking.

So with my list of our old favorites and stand-bys made, I have over 15 main dishes! I went back an added in sides to go with them.

I spread them out over 3 weeks, arranging by beef, chicken, or other meat and separating any dishes or sides that were similar.

And since I had time on my hands and was really on a roll (and knew all these dishes by heart) I made a master grocery list for anything I would need to cook for three weeks.

It feels so good to be heading into this 3 week rotation. I feel like a major part of my life has been simplified! I'm planning on penciling in (on my printed sheet) what we have each day for breakfast and lunch and maybe purposefully planning for those in the future.

So, without further explanation, this week's menu:

Monday: Crockpot Lasagna, green beans, salad
Tuesday: Pressed chicken, veggies on the side
Wednesday: Salmon patties, macaroni & cheese, english peas (or pea salad)
Thursday: Smoked sausage, black beans, & rice
Friday: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie

Yes, I'm actually going to FRY chicken... in SHORTENING.

I know - I can't believe it either. I hardly ever ever ever fry anything. But it's so good. Once every 3 weeks can't hurt, right?

Here's the how-to for our other chicken dish this week, one of our very favorites (and good with fried okra! But what isn't good with fried okra? Huh. Well.... ok. Apparently I fry more than I realized.)

Pressed Chicken
bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
olive oil


Sprinkle chicken on both sides with seasonings of your choice. Be generous. A little salt (or seasoned salt), and then plenty of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper... whatever you like and whatever you've got on hand.

Heat enough olive oil and butter to generously coat the bottom of a large skillet. Place chicken in hot oil; cover with a piece of foil. Place a heavy skillet (I like to use my little iron skillet inside the big one, for extra weight) on top of the chicken.
Rachael Ray uses a brick.

Turn the chicken only ONCE, halfway through cooking. About 10 minutes, I think? Depends on the thickness of your thighs. :) Either way, when they look about halfway done, turn, replace your weights on top and cook the rest of the way.

So good!

Interested in seeing what everyone else is eating this week? Head over to
Organizing Junkie!

1 comment:

A. said...

Oh, real fried chicken. What time should we be there?

Everything sounds great!