My dinner menu for last week looked like this:
- Sun: crockpot roast, spuds, carrots; salad; fruit cup
- Mon: 7 Layer Casserole; salad, rolls
- Tue: Shepherd's Pie; salad; fruit cup
- Wed: Taco Soup; tortilla chips; Hearty Oat Cornbread
- Thu: Tomato Scallop Spuds (w/diced chicken); salad; fruit cup
- Fri: Dilled Potatoes and gravy (hopefully Rich will eat them if there's gravy--he says gravy is one of the cornerstones of life); salad; biscuits
You see the pattern here--a little less meat and more fruits and vegetables. I'm still learning the once-a-month cooking thing and see great benefit to this habit--especially when Spring really hits and I need to be outside putting in the garden.
Saturday is a great day for experimenting with a new recipe or two and having fun with the family dinner. Carol, a grandma with a large family, likes to use one Saturday a month for a family birthday bash at her house. She tries to build her dinner around the birthday celebrant's favorite dishes. She says the meals stay fairly the same throughout the years. Once a guy loves "Funeral Potatoes," he always loves "Funeral Potatoes," for instance--she accommodates.
I like this idea and am thinking about trying it myself. In the meantime, here's a fun recipe for a Saturday experiment. And in closing, here's to making the most of this precious day, and of course, to making family dinner hour possible!
TWISTY BEEF BAKE (serves 4-6; ready to bake in 10 min.!)
2 C rotinin or elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 lb ground beef
1 can Durkee French Fried Onions, divided
1 C shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (14 1/2 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained and cut up
1/4 C chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large skillet, brown ground beef; drain. Stir in hot macaroni, 1/2 can French Fried onions, 1/2 C cheese, the soup, tomatoes, green pepper and seasoned salt. Mix well. Pour into 2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, for 30 min, or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese and onions; bake, uncovered, 3 min. or until onions are golden brown.
(My Idea: If we wanted to make this and freeze for later use, couldn't we start with UNCOOKED macaroni and add say 2 C of tomato or V-8 juice? Then the macaroni wouldn't get mushy in the freezing and the extra liquid would be absorbed by it when baking. Just wondering...)