Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Menu Sept. 21

Hi Everyone!!!! And welcome to the new members of my Weekly Menu!

I hope you enjoyed last week’s menu. My family LOVED the grits – what a surprise! We also thought that the pork was delish and that you could easily substitute chicken breasts. The oven-fried chicken was also fantastic! We ended up using boneless, skinless chicken breasts because that is what we had on hand. I think my kids enjoyed the sandwich better than the actual dinner!

This week’s motto – Things aren’t always what they seem!!! What in the world could I be talking about??? WELL – I know that most of you shop at Giant Eagle and that I tailor my menu around most of the specials that they advertise. But what I am about to tell you is probably true of a lot of grocery store chains. GE has done A LOT of advertising in regard to lowering their prices on chicken and various other cuts of meat. This week on the front page of their circular they are advertising Buy One Get One Free Whole Roasting Chickens! At first glance this seems like an amazing deal! They have advertised that they lowered their prices to $.89 per pound and if you get to buy the chickens at that price and your second one is free that would be an amazing deal!!! However, under the B1G1 free deal they actually INCREASED their prices to $1.89 per pound!!!!! I looked for chickens marked at $.89 per pound and couldn’t find any! If you buy the chickens under the B1G1 free option you will pay more than you would at their NEW lower price! If anyone can help enlighten me as to what I am missing PLEASE let me know. This just looks fishy to me! Hence – we are having fish this week instead of chicken! :) I hope you enjoy the rest of the menu!

Remember - save your receipts each week and at the end of the month tally your savings by using GE specials and coupons and pay yourself!!! Before long, you will have created a nice little slush fund for you and your family.

Don’t forget to check out all of the old coupon fliers that you should be saving - :) - and also the internet. Here are the sites again for those of you that are new: and When you sign up at a nifty toolbar will appear and you will be able to pull down the tab and see which coupons you would like to print. So easy!!!!!

Here is this week’s menu:


Cheeseburger Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes

Cheeseburger Meat Loaf (our favorite)

2 lbs. of ground beef
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups of uncooked regular oatmeal
1 cup of milk
½ cup of finely chopped onion
2 eggs
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. of salt
1 t. dry mustard
½ t, of garlic powder
½ t. pepper
1 cup of chili sauce

Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT chili sauce until well blended. Put meat mixture in a loafpan – 8x4 inch.

Bake at 350˚ for 40 minutes. Pour chili sauce on top of the loaf and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink in the middle. Let stand for 10 minutes, drain, and slice.

This is a thick meatloaf – we like it like that. You could divide the recipe in half and place in two loaf pans and reduce the cooking time by 10-15 minutes. Also, if you do that, you will need to increase the amount chili sauce to 2 cups – 1 cup for each loaf.

Another thing – I typically use a meatloaf mix. BUT, the beef is on special this week and I am opting to use that instead.

*** Healthy Note – I love that this recipe uses oats instead of breadcrumbs!!! Also – this is a great recipe to sneak in something healthy for your kids. Maybe you could puree spinach and add it to the mix prior to baking.


Crispy Lemon-Pepper Fish
Wild Rice
Steamed Broccoli

Crispy Lemon-Pepper Fish (adapted from Southern Living)

4 (6 oz.) tilapia fillets or other flaky white fish
Cooking Spray
2 t. of fresh lemon juice
½ C. of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or regular breadcrumbs
2 T. flour
2 t. of lemon-pepper seasoning
Dash of salt
Lemon wedges

Preheat broiler. Coat both sides of fish with cooking spray and then drizzle with lemon juice. Combine breadcrumbs (panko will be crispier than regular), flour, lemon-pepper seasoning and salt in a shallow dish. Dredge fish in breadcrumb mixture and place on a lightly greased broiler pan. Place under the broiler and boil for about 10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.



Jambalaya (recipe adapted from Southern Living)

1 lb. of smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1 T. of Canola Oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup of chopped celery
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t. of Cajun seasoning
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup of chicken broth
¼ t. of thyme
¼ t. of ground red pepper (optional)
3 cups of hot cooked rice
1 cup of sliced green onions
Hot sauce to taste

Heat oil in large Dutch oven or large pot. Add sausage and cook, stirring constantly until browned. Remove sausage and set aside.

Add onion, pepper, celery and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in the sausage, Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, broth, thyme and red pepper. Cook until heated through.

To serve, place cooked rice in a bowl and top with the Jambalaya. Sprinkle with green onion slices and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.

**** Variations: to make this dish even more authentic, you could add chopped cooked chicken breast or shrimp or both.


Leftovers or Sandwich night

Meatloaf Sandwiches or Sloppy Joes
French fries
Carrots and Dressing

Meatloaf Sandwiches

I don’t know about your kids, but mine LOVE meatloaf sandwiches! I can’t figure it out but we will warm up slices of leftover meatloaf and put it on a bun. Then we will add our favorite toppings and dress it up just like our favorite burger! They gobble them up!

If you do not have any leftover meatloaf or you want something different you may want to opt for Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy Joes

The deal on ground beef is for a value pack of 3 lbs. or more. We have already used up 2 lbs. and thus we could brown the remaining pound for Sloppy Joes. Even if you do not fix Sloppy Joes, consider browning the beef and freezing it for a later date. It is super easy to pull out a pound of already browned beef for a quick meal of tacos, Sloppy Joes or to add to Spaghetti Sauce for an easy pasta meal.

GE has specials on their Sloppy Joe sauce and buns. But if you want something homemade try this.

1 lb. of ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped green pepper
¼ C. of ketchup
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. mustard
½ can of tomato paste
1 T. of brown sugar
½ t. pepper

Brown ground beef with the peppers and onions in a large skillet. Drain and return to the skillet. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.


Pizza Night – Any way you like it!

This night is all about your favorite pizza! You can either order in or make your own! GE has a special on pizza crust in their deli for $1 – and they have specials on sauce, cheese, and assorted toppings. Our favorite way to make “homemade” pizzas is to use flatbread. We buy our flatbread at Costco. It comes in a double pack – they call it “pocketless pita bread.” We keep it in the freezer and pull out however many we need. They are the perfect size for individual pizzas!

Here are some ways to build your pizza:

Traditional toppings – pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. – you get the idea!

One of my favorite pizzas (my sisters and I had something very similar when we ate at Bon Vie in Columbus at Easton) - bush the flatbread with olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle oregano on top. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake in a 450˚ oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted – about 8-10 minutes.
- top with sautéed mushrooms (we like sliced portabellas), sliced caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, sliced, (in the jar is fine) and sprinkle crumbled goat cheese or feta. I will sauté the mushrooms and caramelize the onions early in the day so they are ready for assembly.

- after you have topped your pizza, place it back in the oven and broil until the toppings are warmed and the cheese begins to melt. Serve with a glass of white wine and enjoy the weekend!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Potatoes- GE special
3 Onions
2 Green peppers – GE special
Celery – GE special
3-4 lemons
Green onions – GE special
Salad – GE B1G1 on bagged salads
Carrots – GE special
Mushrooms for pizza – GE special

Pizza crust – GE special $1
Pepperoni – GE special

Worcestershire Sauce
Chili Sauce
Hot sauce
Chicken broth – GE special
Ground red pepper
Dry Mustard
Garlic powder
Cooking spray
Canola oil
Cajun Seasoning
Brown sugar
Lemon-pepper seasoning
Favorite dressing to dip carrots – GE special on Ken’s

Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Old fashioned oatmeal – GE special
Wild Rice
White rice
Panko Breadcrumbs
Diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
Tomato paste
Pizza sauce – GE special on Contadina
Sloppy Joe sauce – GE special

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
Ground Beef – GE special on value pack of 3 lbs. or more
4 (6 oz.) Tilapia fillets – GE special
1 lb. of smoked sausage or kielbasa – We bought this last week and you should have a lb. left over

Frozen Foods
French fries – GE special on McCain fries

Cheddar cheese – GE special
Mozzarella cheese – GE special

Hamburger buns – GE special

Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings! I am happy to add anyone so keep passing it on!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

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