Back at Last: Weekly Menu 12/27/2011-1/1/2012

Well, here I am, back again after an extended absence.  I found the way I was blogging before just wasn’t sustainable for me – I was spending too much time finding the “right” recipe and making it perfectly. I needed to find the right balance, and I’m not sure that I know what it is yet, so bear with me. For now,  I’m going to start by posting things that I create every week anyway – weekly dinner menus.

Some news from the Nest:  We’re expecting our first child in April 2012, so you’re likely to see many references to my pregnancy in anything I post.  Future Baby Nest is affectionately known as “Tot.”

I find many people think I create elaborate meals on a daily basis, or that you have to be a talented home cook in order to eat well – definitely not the case! Most of our meals our quick and easy.  I use my crock pot at least once a week, and do some food prep on Sundays to keep my cooking times down.

And, let’s be real, I get frustrated with menu creation too! Some weeks I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall.  It’s not always fun!

This is the menu for the rest of this week – today (Wednesday) through Sunday.  The beginning of this week was off a bit  – we had Chinese on Monday, and I wasn’t feeling well yesterday so I didn’t make what I planned and shifted the menu around.

Our veggie choice depends on what we’re in the mood for that night. We keep a variety of frozen organic veggies in our freezer (staples are green beans, broccoli and corn)and just heat up what sounds good. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and make fresh brussels sprouts or a particular veggie recipe, but if that’s the case I will specify it.

Wednesday:  BBQ baked chicken thighs, Sweet Cornbread, Veggie of choice

For the baked chicken thighs: put as many thighs (I use boneless, skinless) in a baking dish as you need, cover them with your favorite BBQ sauce (usually Sweet Baby Ray’s or homemade at our house) and bake at 350 until they’re done.  It’s super simple and we both love it.

Thursday: Butternut Squash Chili (1/2 recipe) w/ leftover cornbread

This is our first time trying this. Pregnancy has somehow made me like chili (WEIRD. I always hated it before), and my MIL discovered that we enjoy squash and I think she bought out the entire stock of butternuts and acorns at a local farm stand. We have an entire cooler full! This will probably be topped with some light sour cream and avocado – because avocado is one of my biggest pregnancy cravings (next to curry – oh I need to make another Thai curry trip soon! Nom.)

Friday:  Beef, potato and quinoa soup, bread

Mr. Nest wanted something light but comforting for Friday since we have Christmas #4 on Saturday, so we’re using this recipe as a base since we have most of the ingredients hanging around the house. I’ll probably modify a bit using jarred tomatoes instead of fresh, skipping the Badia Sazon and adding whatever veggies I need to use up or that sound good.

Saturday: Christmas #4 – nothing planned. I hear someone is making Cornish Hen…I wonder if they taste different than most other poultry.

Sunday: Butternut Squash pasta w/ chicken apple sausage (Al Fresco has a good version, and Johnsonville just came out with one that’s pretty good too).

I base my b-nut squash pasta after this recipe from The Kitchn.  I like it because the squash is roasted instead of pureed and the quick pan-fry provides marvelous texture! We don’t usually use the sage or pine nuts (Mr. Nest isn’t a huge pine nut fan) and I like to stir fresh spinach into my serving right before I eat it for an added punch of nutrition. It wilts just enough and I love it, plus it’s good for the baby – right?

So there it is! Hopefully this helps someone else out. 🙂


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