Monday’s Menu

This has been the view from our cottage off and on since Sunday morning:

Not such a big deal if you live in Minnesota, but here it’s kinda thrilling. It’s so fun to see it coating the roads and the trees. And also to see how unpredictable it is- just 10 minutes to the west and there’s not a trace of the snow.

So picture us with a fire roaring in the wood stove making everything toasty, Brian watching football playoffs, me knitting, and the snow sporadically coming down. Yeah…days like this are good. Maybe because they are so rare. Those of you socked in for 2-3 months probably don’t view it quite the same, do you?

I didn’t have to go shopping at all last week other than grabbing a couple gallons of milk, and we’re sticking to the (unusual) dinner menu I wrote about last week in order to eat from the pantry and get our food budget back into the black. I have high hopes we’re going to make it – there’s plenty in the freezer, canning pantry and cupboards, plus, it also helps that we’re going on a family snow trip where I only have to make one meal.

Though what I really should say is that I know we will make it this month- it’s the month after a pantry challenge that I always find the hardest. If we use up everything, then I’m simply back to the “having to buy even if it’s not on sale” trap that causes the budget to skyrocket. The REAL challenge is to use what we have and not shop as much…but still shop enough that we’ll have enough for the next month without having to replenish everything. Does that make sense?

Am I alone in this? Have you done a pantry challenge and found the following month to be hard to keep in budget, too?

Monday- Fish & shrimp chowder (I looked for a recipe similar to how I make chowder and can’t find one…I guess I’ll have to post this recipe soon!), Caesar Slaw, Easy Artisan Bread

Tuesday-Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (I’ll use fresh mushrooms, diced peppers from my freezer, and home-canned tomatoes though), noodles, green salad

Wednesday- Soft tacos with home-canned salsa

Thursday- Frozen potstickers, brown rice, stir-fried vegetables

Friday- Snow trip

Saturday- I’m bringing bfst: eggs & cinnamon rolls!

Sunday- Creamy Pesto Pasta, salad






  1. says

    I do find it hard if I do a NO GROCERY SPEND month for a pantry freezer challenge. I find it works best to set aside a certain amount of money (usually the budget I hope to work within every month for the coming year) buy what is needed fresh for the pantry freezer month and then stock up on sales for the months AFTER pantry freezer challenge month so I don’t end up spending more trying to restock at that time.

    I think I’m doing pretty well this month. I skipped spending entirely one week, used money saved for spending the next week, went just a tad over last week and still have two weeks budgeted money left. I think I’ll get by with bread and fruit this coming week…So not too bad, money saved, budget balanced from the holiday overspending and plenty of food to see us through the end of the month.

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Wow, good for you, Terri! I think we’ll make it this month, too- which would end up being $100 under our normal budget (and what we needed to make up!). Whew. :-)

      Your system sounds good for avoiding that “empty freezer” problem at the end of pantry eating, too!

  2. says

    I didn’t go shopping last weekend because I really didn’t want to. We have a good pantry stockpile and a freezer full of stuff. I need to find a way to organize my freezer to keep track of what I have. I can’t explain it but I’m tired of shopping! I did the p&g deals last week, but that’s it. I need to take inventory of what we have and plan a big trip in February. I’m still trying to decide what makes sense to keep on hand in my pantry and freezer. If anyone has a good list they would like to share I would greatly appreciate it.

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Monday’s Menu

This month just seems to have a lot going on- track meets, school functions, family birthdays, Mother’s Day, end-of-school testing and things for work, trying to get the garden and yard in shape for the season…not to mention my birthday this week. Whew, I’m trying to “keep calm and carry on,” but some days…

So, I’m still working on using up the preserved items in the freezer and pantry, but my goal is to keep things fairly simple this week. Is the month of May like this for everyone?

Monday- Curried Red Lentil Soup (with carrots and spinach- new recipe), Quick and Tender Breadsticks, veggies & Ranch Dip

Tuesday- Baked Chicken Thighs, Braised Asparagus with Dijon(new recipe), rice (make enough for Thurs.), spinach salad

Wednesday- Slow Cooker Spinach & Feta Quiche (new recipe), chopped salad with garbanzos, leftover breadsticks

Thursday- Stir-fry veggies w/ shrimp, potstickers (frozen), fried rice (using leftover from Tues.)

Friday- Appetizer, pasta (probably with Roasted Tomato Sauce), salad, & cake (extended family dinner)

Saturday- eat out!

Sunday- leftovers

*The new recipes I’m trying this week were the recipes I wanted to try for the May edition of Seasonal Cooking. If they’re keepers, you’ll be seeing them here soon!





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Monday’s Menu

It’s been glorious here lately, just glorious. This kind of weather always reminds me why I love the Pacific Northwest- the greenest trees against the backdrop of the bluest skies.

Of course, August can have it’s moments, as attested to by this photo grilling against gray skies last year.

But I’m thankful and enjoying this now. Maybe we paid for this with all the cold weather at the beginning of summer?

I’m also checking the corn practically every day waiting for ripeness. I know, I know, “a watched pot never boils…” and all that, but I can’t help myself. I haven’t had an ear of corn yet this season because I refuse to buy it when I’ve got two beds of it growing.

Come on…grow…grow…

Monday- Grilled chicken legs with Jalapeno Jelly Glaze, Parmesan Rice Cakes, sauteed green beans in butter, garden salad

Tuesday- Chef’s salads (with leftover chicken plus bacon), grilled Artisan Bread with Fresh Bruschetta

Wednesday- Rice-filled Swiss chard wraps*, grilled zucchini, green beans & onions, pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and feta cheese, homemade ice cream

Thursday- dinner out

Friday- Grilled fish with lemon, brown rice pilaf, Zucchini, Tomato, and Corn Saute (I’m countin’ on that corn…)

Saturday- Grilled burgers on Homemade Buns, Grilled Potato Planks with Tomato Chutney, garden veggies

Sunday- Pasta salad, chopped salad, Artisan Bread


*Recipe to come





  1. says

    Yummy week! I’m going to have to try your grilled potatoes. I’ve been on an oven strike this summer because it’s so hot, but haven’t found a reasonably good “oven fry” without the oven.

  2. Sophie says

    far out, are you really making all that? Can I come and eat at your house this week? I’m soooo bored of the same old same old!

  3. says

    I hope the corn starts growing. I LOVE corn and did you get some of that Oregon rain a couple of days ago? I took a photo of the sky because it was so interesting.!!! Oh, back to corn, I LOVE corn..corn on the cob, pop corn etc…LOVE IT!!! Have a great week. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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Monday’s Menu

I’m back on my regular computer- whoo-hoo! After retrieving our files, my husband blew out the hard drive (and it’s Trojan Horse virus), and rebuilt it. I’ve been finding all my shortcuts and reinstalling some small programs, but am so thankful that my files were safe (and virus free!) and even my bookmarks were saved. :-)

On to this week’s menu and other posts I have planned. Two things from last week’s menu stood out: the Dijon Chicken Stew and the potato frittata recipe that I will share with you this week.

Monday- Sandwiches (cheese?), carrots, chips, and apples (youth night)

Tuesday- Salmon patties, sesame noodles, stir fry veggies

Wednesday- Slow-cooker Cowboy Beans, biscuits, vegetable plate

Thursday- Roasted beet salad, baked ham, scalloped potatoes, roasted cauliflower, rolls

Friday- Sub-Jee with homemade tortillas

Saturday- Turkey burgers on homemade buns, baked fries

Sunday- Slow-cooker Potato and Ham chowder, salad






  1. Jenelle says

    That is so funny you have the Sub-Jee on your menue this week. Last Friday when I was menu planning I was going though a lot of your recipe listings and that one had cought my eye. It’s not on this week’s menue but we will be trying it soon.

    This week we ARE trying the Dejon stew, so I will let you know how the family likes it.

  2. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says


    Sub-Jee is one of my favorites, but not my family’s, so I can only put it on the menu every once in awhile. :-(

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