Menu: Aug 6-12; Batch cooking ideas

With Mr. Moon's new job, we are finally able to get back to a Monday through Sunday mean plan again. I don't know why, but the Thurs-Wednesday week was making my brain hurt.

The last couple weeks have been meaty goodness heaven for Pops, and it's time to get our routine and food choices back under control. I've still managed to make sure he's gotten one good vegetarian meal each week for the last month, but the rest of them that were planned he decided to take Mum to dinner--at Carl's Junior, or Wendy's, or what have you. I'm not really sure if this is rebelling against my cooking or the diet itself, but he insists everything I've made has been excellent, so I'm going to assume it's not me.

In any event, with the heat wave, cold meals are a happy thing. However, I simply don't function well without a hot dinner--never really figured out why. Monday we're going to cook over the fire pit and have cold soup as a side. Crock pots don't heat up the house as much as any other heating appliance (microwaves don't count), so that's getting utilized a lot this week. Ancho steak was specifically selected as a meal that Mr. Moon and I are eating separate from his parents, so that Pops isn't really tempted by it--it'll be spicy, so he wouldn't have wanted it anyway, even if he'd love some steak. I am putting swiss steak on the menu next week though, we're all craving it again. I'm trying to get one clear "treat" item on the menu each week so no one feels deprived. Also trying to put something decidedly exploratory on the menu each week, such as cucumber-watermelon soup.

I've got a metric tonne of marinara sauce in the crockpots right now, cooking up before we freeze it. I've started embarking on a modified "monthly" meal planning system of making batches of food, freezing them in serving & family-meal sizes, and after a couple weeks we should be able to start rotating through. Making a big batch of something one day a week, using up a frozen meal at least twice. This week our batch foods are Enchiladas and Sloppy Joe (which is replacing the Lasagna listed here). The plan is to make a couple batches of stuff thru August, and then drop down to one batch meal per week. We will see how that lasts us.

As for food storage, I'm still debating, though I think I've chosen. Ideally I'd like whatever we store in to be reusable, and safe for both microwave and oven cooking. Compostable containers aren't going to be reusable; plastic isn't oven safe, and tends to crack in the freezer, ruining good food with plastic chips; glass is great but limited supply; Ziplock bags are fantastic for some things but often messy to fill, and not great for casseroles. Foil containers has been determined as the best option. They're not microwaveable, but if it comes to that the stuff should pop out easily with a little warm water around the outside, and the contents can be put on a plate to be microwaved. And they're reusable if we're careful with them.

Sounds like a trip to Cash & Carry is in my future! (Edited to add: Apparently Cash & Carry doesn't have what I need, and I may have to order online. I also decided that I think I'd rather go to thrift stores and stock up on used baking dishes than buy disposable foil trays, even if we intend to reuse them. I don't know what in the world I was thinking before.)

Want to see more menu plans and ideas? Head over to Menu Plan Monday @ Org Junkie!

What's on your menu this week?


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