Tuesday, January 31, 2012


February 1, 2012

Last night I went with a friend to a free herb growing seminar. The evening was pleasant and I learned a few new things. When she brought me home we sat and talked awhile about menu planning and Master Mixes. I drug out my stack of make it from scratch cookbooks that I start many of my recipes from. I of course tweak all the recipes to meet my family needs and personal tastes.

That is the great thing about making all your own mixes. It allows you to adjust for allergies and intolerances, special medical needs, taste preferences and much more.

Going through the cookbooks as we talked I saw many delicious and useful recipes I had forgotten all about due to being in a rut of cooking the same few meals over and over.

That is one of the great things about long term menu planning. You can climb out of the rut because with long term planning you can see very quickly what rut you are falling into.

Take cookies, those of us who bake cookies tend to make the same one or two over and over. Chocolate chip, sugar, Snickerdoodles, repeat. But my family loves all sorts of wonderful cookies. It’s just so easy to stick with the same three or so and repeat making them. But with menu planning and striving to stay out of the rut each week is different. In fact I’m trying to see how long I can go without repeating too much. Already in the first weeks Coconut Macaroons have reappeared. My husband dearly loves macaroons, but I very seldom make them. They aren’t hard, it’s just they aren’t part of my basic rut. In the weeks to come expect to see gingersnaps, refrigerator nut cookies and many, many more.

While I do tend repeat the sides of meals often I’m even going to try and switch those up. Instead of plain corn watch for corn relish, corn fritters, Mexicorn, corn on the cob, fried corn, corn nuggets, corn chowder and much more. I will also be working at breaking from the norm on what sides go with what meals.

My mother in law once went on a trip to Walt Disney World with us, during the trip I made meatloaf. She became upset because the vegetable of the night was green beans instead of peas. She said she could not eat the meat loaf without peas. I didn’t have a single can of peas in the camper so she had to muddle through. It’s not that she was being difficult it was she was so set in her rut that meatloaf required peas that she simply couldn’t be satisfied with the meal. I refuse to be in that rut. That’s where long term menu planning can be a tremendous help to get out of the rut and stay out of it.

So here’s the menu plan and recipes for week #3.


Waffles: leftover from the double batch cooking on Sunday

Serve with syrup, molasses, honey, butter etc.

Spread with peanut butter, chop a banana and add cinnamon sugar

Spread with other nut butters

Top with fruit in simple syrup

Hot Cereal:

Rice, reheat leftover rice from the previous dinner menus


Multigrain packets

Cold Cereal:

Corn Pops (store brand, but a guilty pleasure of mine)

Corn flakes



Dried fruits, bulk purchased or home dried—great in the cereals


Apple juice, from frozen concentrate


Hot tea

Hot cocoa, from homemade mix



Egg salad, made from our farm fresh eggs

Toasted raisin bread with cream cheese

Deli ham

Salad ingredients:

Spring salad mix: bulk purchased

Feta cheese

Bacon bits, homemade or freeze dried

Shredded carrots

Red onion

Salad dressing:

Pecan vinegrette, homemade

French, homemade


Navy bean, from making the Navy bean master mix


Pasta Fagoli



Assorted dried fruits


Monday 1/23/2012

Bacon Cheeseburgers—on homemade buns

French fries , frozen—bought on sale

Sweet Potato Fries, frozen—bought on sale

Chocolate Pudding—made from Master Mix recipe

Pepsi—bought on sale

Tuesday 1/24/2012

Pioneer Woman Chili—use leftovers later in the week

Tortilla chips or Crackers—either homemade crackers, or on sale chips

Cheddar cheese—grate from the bulk purchase block

Onions—from the root cellar

Lime wedges—from the root cellar (bulk purchase)

Milk—bought at Sam’s to save $.50 per gallon

Coconut macaroons--homemade

Wednesday 1/25/2012

Hot dogs—wieners bulk purchased on sale and frozen, homemade buns

Baked beans—homemade from dried beans

Corn on the cob—frozen bought with coupon on sale

Pepsi—bought on sale

Leftover desserts

Thursday 1/26/2012

Sausage Rolls with Marinara—homemade, bulk purchase sausage and homemade marinara

Garlic noodles—homemade noodles from bulk cooking last week.

Green beans—home canned

Iced tea

Apple Crisp—homemade from food storage

Friday 1/27/2012

Indian tacos—use Pioneer Woman leftover chili and sopapilla Master Mix to make shells

Mexicorn—bought on sale

Green Beans--leftover

Flan—food storage from the gift given us by a friend


Saturday 1/28/2012

Italian Sausage Pizza—more bulk purchase sausage from previous menus, homemade crust and sauce, grated mozzarella from bulk purchase

Jarred Salad—vacuum sealed homemade salad mix to preserve freshness, and homemade dressing

Cheese bread sticks—made with some of the pizza crust dough and bulk purchase cheeses.


Leftover desserts

Sunday 1/29/2012

Pasta Fagioli Soup

French bread, homemade






Soft baked pretzels


Chocolate pudding

Coconut Macaroons after Tuesday

Apple Crisp after Thursday



Dried fruits


Celery with peanut butter or other nut butters

Carrot sticks

So now the menus are up let’s see what recipes I can share today. The hamburger/hot dog bun recipe can be viewed elsewhere in my blog at:


I use the same dough, for the sausage rolls, cheese bread sticks and pizza crust as well. It’s truly a versatile Master Mix.

When I speak of the Pioneer Woman Recipes these are recipes from Ree Drummond’s tv show or website. The chili recipe and those in the future can be viewed on her website at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-pioneer-woman/index.html

Last week and this both I used the Sopapilla Master Mix. Recipe can be viewed at:


So on to the Navy Bean Soup for lunches, Molasses Baked Beans and Pasta Fagoili Soup. All are made using the

Navy Bean Soup Master Mix.

Yield: 12 cups

2 pounds dried navy beans, or other small white beans

10 cups water

1 large onion, diced

2 tablespoons butter, optional

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Wash and sort beans. Place in a large pot and cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.

3. Drain and discard water. Rinse beans and return pot. Add 10 c water and remaining ingredients.

4. Bring to a boil.

5. Simmer for 2 hours.

6. Freeze or can leftovers in 3 to 4 cup containers label and store appropriately.

Once the beans are tender you can eat this as Navy Bean Soup.

Molasses Baked Beans

Servings: 8

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

4 cups Navy Bean Mix

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 F.

2. In large skillet fry bacon until almost crips. Drain and discard all but 1 tbl of drippings. Put bacon in a lidded 2 qt cassrole dish

3. Saute onions and celery in bacon drippings Add to casserole dish.

4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

5. Bake for 2 hours until all moisture is absorbed.

Pasta Fagoili Soup

Servings: 8

1 large onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, Minced OR 1 tsp garlic powder

73 ounces chicken broth

3 cups Navy Bean Soup Mix

14 ounces tomatoes, canned, dieced and peeled, undrained

8 ounces tomato sauce

1 teaspoon oregano leaves, dried

1 teaspoon basil leaves, dried

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 whole bay leaves

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 cup shell pasta

salt, to taste

Parmesan cheese, fresh, optional

1. Spray large pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook about 4 or 5 minutes until partially tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Add Broth, Mix, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, pepper, bay leaves, parsley flakes and salt. Bring to a boil.

3. Add macaroni. Reduce to medium heat and cook 15 minutes until macaroni and vegetables are tender.

4. Remove bay leaves. Sprinkle with cheese.

Food Storage add ons for this week is the remainder of the 10#’s was used to brown with celery, onion, garlic and seasonings for future casseroles and soup add ins. Then canned.

The additional Navy Bean Master Mix can either be canned or frozen for future meals.

On a side note: You can make all your Hot Roll mix items up at once and then after the first rise freeze the doughs to use later in the week. I have in the past also held it in the refrigerator for a few days. It did develop a slight sourdough taste, which is not a bad thing.

Jan who is all about doing bulk cooking to save time and money in OK

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