Savannah’s Savory Bites

Posting Schedule - Monday: recipes from other sources that I’ve enjoyed, Wednesday: my original or family recipes, Friday: themed recipe blog hop

March 19, 2012

Post St. Patty's Day Recipes and Menu Planning

After enjoying our Corned Beef meal on Saturday I trudged into the kitchen to put away the food.  As is it so often happens, the meat had been hit hard but there were still plenty of carrots, potatoes and cabbage.  Then I had an inspiration.  I chopped up the remaining meat and returned it to the slow cooker with the vegetables, added four cups of chicken broth, and covered the crock pot.  I let it cook on low all night and in the morning we had Shamrock Soup.  All I had to do was turn it to warm and head out the door to church.  When we returned starved, and nothing seems to make my family hungrier than going to church, the soup was ready and waiting.  Everyone enjoyed it and we now have not only a regular St. Patty's Day meal, but a day-after-St. Patrick's Day-meal.

Now if you have a little sour kraut leftover, here is a perfect solution - South Georgia Irish Casserole. It too, was loved and we ate like we were Irish (kind of) and celebrated the holiday all weekend long.

South Georgia Irish Casserole
(printer friendly version)

2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup sour kraut
6 cups mashed potatoes
1cup cheddar cheese

Brown beef with onion, drain when cooked.  Add barbecue sauce and cook down for about five minutes. Add to oiled two quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle sour kraut over top, and then add mashed potatoes.  Bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes.  Add cheese and bake until melted.

Menu Planning - it reduces stress, is healthier...and saves money.

I've had a few people ask me how I schedule two weeks of recipes in advance.

So, here ya go...

I start with the supermarket weekly sales ad.  I pick what we are going to eat based on what I can find on sale.  Many times I can make the meat specials go further by chopping, deboning or grinding it myself.  Here are a few ideas:

Chicken Breasts - If the chicken breasts with bones are on sale I buy them and debone them myself.  I add the bones to a pot and make broth to freeze.  The skin is cooked and given to the dogs as a treat.  It is good for their skin and hair and doesn't allow the food to go to waste.

Pork Chops - Many times this cut of meat will be on sale if purchased with bones.  Although they are not the best chops I can usually cut the bone out of half of them and they create great oven baked chops.  I cut a few pounds into strips for stir fry and grind the remaining pounds.  This can be used to make breakfast sausage or used in place of beef in meat loaf, spaghetti or something similar.  With the recent pink slime scare, this is a great way to know what is in your meat.  The bones are not wasted as I cook them with the extra fat and give them to the dogs as treats.

Whole Chickens - After roasting and being served in a meal I use the carcass to make cream of mushroom soup.

Vegetables - buy your own and chop them up.  Salads in a bag are more expensive than heads of lettuce.  Carrots cut up in bags are not only more expensive but processed with bleach - a known carcinogen.

Yogurt - full of bad additives and corn syrup, and quite costly in individual servings.  Make your own in the slow cooker.  It is easy and I will share that recipe later this week.

Desserts - I do not buy packaged cookies and chips but I do make about three desserts a week.  They are not on the menu but are available after dinner.

By reducing costs in this way and having a few meatless meals per week, we can then afford a few nicer cuts of beef and seafood.  Keep in mind though that we do raise rabbits for meat and the men usually stock the freezer with venison and ducks.   Many of the recipes that I use that call for beef are substituted with venison and the chicken is replaced with rabbit.

After making two weeks of menus based on the weekly ads, I use my master grocery list to check off what I need to buy at the store that week.  I do not include lunch on my menu because I try to make large dinners, allowing the leftovers to be eaten mid-day.  I cook at least one soup each week and that combined with peanut butter sandwiches fill the gaps when the dinners don't give us enough leftovers.

This is our menu for the next two weeks.  It is not a perfect list and some of it is short hand.  I will make changes as needed.  If you have questions post them in the comments section.

Thursday, March 15
Breakfast: Cinnamon Bread, hard boiled eggs
Snacks: strawberries, yogurt
Dinner: Roasted Chicken, baked beans, salad
Friday, March 16
Breakfast: toast, oatmeal
Snacks: carrot and broccoli dip
Dinner: Sour Cream Noodle Delight, yw squash
Saturday, March 17
Breakfast: strawberries, french toast
Snacks: peanut butter crackers, bananas
Dinner: brisket, sour kraut, mashed taters
Sunday, March 18
Breakfast: bananas,fudge muffins
Snacks: cottage cheese; celery peanut butter
Dinner: spoon burgers, baked taters
Monday, March 19
Breakfast: toast, hard boiled eggs, smoothie
Snacks: fudge muffins, bananas
Dinner: tuna Casserole, brussel sprouts
Tuesday, March 20
Breakfast: apple, smoothie
Snacks: yogurt, oranges
Dinner: Stuff Cabbage, mashed taters, rst carrots
Wednesday, March 21
Breakfast: toast, egg cassesrole
Snacks: popcorn, apples
Dinner: meatloaf, salad
Thursday, March 22
Breakfast: oranges, oatmeal
Snacks: cream cheese crackers, carrots
Dinner:  chicken and dumplings
Friday, March 23
Breakfast: strawberries, grits & smoked sausage
Snacks: celery, peanut butter, oranges
Dinner: fried nutella/biscoff sandwiches
Saturday, March 24
Breakfast: waffles & smoked sausage
Snacks: popcorn, yogurt
Dinner: sloppy Ham sandwiches, potato soup
Sunday, March 25
Breakfast: pound cake
Snacks: tomatoes, carrots and dip
Dinner: tuna/pineapple tortilla, potato soup

Monday, March 26
Breakfast: apples, french toast
Snacks: bean tortilla with cheese
Dinner: creole chicken, with salad
Tuesday, March 27
Breakfast: toast, sausage and grits
Snacks: peanut butter crackers, cucumbers
Dinner: Ginger Pk Stir Fry
Wednesday, March 28
Breakfast: egg casserole
Snacks: peanut butter, apples, celery
Dinner: Hamburger Corn Pone Pie, salad
Thursday, March 29
Breakfast: breakfast tortillas
Snacks: yogurt, popcorn
Dinner: chicken cacciatore
Friday, March 30
Breakfast: hard boiled eggs, waffles
Snacks: blueberry muffins
Dinner: roasted chicken, salad
Saturday, March 31
Breakfast: pancakes w/ chocolate chips,cool whip
Snacks: almonds, apples
Dinner: grilled cheese, tomato and Chicken soup
Week 1
  1. Irish Soda Bread
  2. monster cookies
  3. orange and olive oil cake 
Week 2
  1. White Chocolate popcorn
  2. Lemon Pound Cake
  3. Blueberry Pie
Vegetable Soup
Cream of Chicken Soup with White Beans
Roasted Tomato Soup
Savannah McQueen is the author of Hammock Tracks which includes Savannah's Savory Bites - dedicated to recipes and cooking with simple ingredients, Hammock Track Tales - a photographic journal of our life on the hammock, and Hammock Home School - includes editorials, book reviews, and educational link posts.  You can follow Savannah on Twitter and Facebook.
Upcoming this week on Savannah's Savory Bites - "How to cook with the basics" - Join us Thursday in the Hammock Tracks Family Forum as we discuss cooking without canned soups and prepared foods.

This recipe and menu are linked at and Life as Mom.

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