Menu plans for the week of January 5 do not include visitors.
We've had company since Christmas Eve — first my family, and then Jeff's — and the last visitors left this afternoon. So now the house is quiet, a little emptier, and I can now contemplate a return to our normal routine, such as it is.
I cooked only a couple of times in the past two weeks since we were able to eat out a couple times (thanks to some wonderful gift cards!), and Jeff's mom cooked dinners while she was here. Now I have the chance to dive back in and work on some of those New Year's goals I made last week, such as menu planning.
We start school back up tomorrow, so I'm again faced with the challenge of preparing dinner even though I'm teaching lessons from 3-6 p.m. each day. Consequently, you might notice a slight change in my menu plan; I'm adding the prep steps to my menu as a way to help me think through how I can make sure the meal gets cooked each night. It happens all too often that I finish with lessons and I'm too tired to even think about starting the meal from scratch. If I've already done a lot of the prep work, the time and effort I'll have to expend after lessons will be decreased dramatically (and maybe you won't see the same meals on next week's menu!).
So here goes — our menu plan for the week:
M: Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry w/ spaghetti noddles
- Jeff makes this so he'll start dinner while I'm still teaching.
- PREP: Thaw the chicken in the freezer. Set out the wok and the canned foods needed.
Tu: Oven Baked Chicken, Potato Wedges, and Green Beans
- PREP: Thaw the chicken. Make up the coating mix. Set out the baking dishes. Wash and cut the potatoes and refrigerate. Set out the green beans.
W & Th: Yo-Yo
- There's hardly any time between lessons and evening commitments, so dinner will be "You're On Your Own"
F: Pita Pizzas
- I STILL have not been able to make these yet!
- See the recipe for this super-easy, super-delicious pitas below
- PREP: Mix the dough in the AM. Bake the pitas in the afternoon before lessons.
S: Chicken Taco Salad (of some kind) and Corn
- I'm thinking of doing a variation of Kate's recipe here. Do you have a good recipe? I'd like to do something other than just refried beans and salsa!
- PREP: Thaw the chicken, or possibly use the crock pot to cook the chicken mixture. Set out the corn, tortillas and/or chips.
Makes 12-16 pitas
- 4 tsp yeast (use instant yeast if you add the yeast directly to the flour; use active dry yeast if you dissolve the yeast in the water before adding it to the dough. The directions below are for use with instant yeast.)
- 2 1/2 c. warm water
- 3 c. whole wheat flour (I add extra whole wheat flour if the dough is too wet after I first mix it. I add about a 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is no longer super-sticky.)
- 3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 T salt (I use Kosher salt)
- 2 T honey
- 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine the flours, salt, and yeast and mix thoroughly.
- Add honey, water, and olive oil. Add more water if necessary, although I’ve never needed to.
- Knead dough by hand for 10 minutes. (I knead for 7 minutes in my mixer.)
- Place dough in oiled bowl and flip to coat both sides. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled.
- Punch down dough and divide into 12-16 pieces. I use my “chop and scoop” to divide the dough.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then set the balls a couple inches apart on a cookie sheet or large cutting board, and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out each ball into a circle (or a square if you’re so inclined) on a lightly floured surface. A thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch is the norm, but it’s really up to your personal preference.
- Place the dough on a preheated pizza stone or cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven. Bake each pita for about 5-7 minutes.
This recipe can be finished, from mixing to baking, in about 2 1/2 hours. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a large area to let the dough rest and for rolling out the pitas. I like to use the two large cutting boards I keep over my stove, and as you can see in the picture, it can get kind of messy!
And check out my new planner for Menu Planning. My sister-in-law gave one to each of us for Christmas and it's PERFECT for menu planning!
For more Menu Plan Mondays, visit Organizing Junkie.