Weekly Menu Planning December 2023

Let’s use this thread to share concise weekly dinner menus for each week in December. It’s helpful if you can include your location and how many people you are feeding. Links to recipes are always appreciated, and sources help.

Are you planning meals with new-to-you ingredients or spices? Or revisiting family-favorites from past winters? Making meals for a crowd or meals for 1-2, or both? Planning an all soup week? (I love this idea, but haven’t managed to get one organized!) At our house, early December features simple meals while I spend a week baking treats to mail to family and give to friends. Then I’ll kick back with a good cookbook – or few – and watch winter arrive.

We all know plans can change, so it’s fine (practically expected) when your week gets rearranged from your posted plan. You may choose to report actuals for the prior week to share ideas with others.

The November discussion is still available for reporting the last week and follow-ups.

Reminder – Keep your comments menu / food related. And in the interest of faster viewing times, please use the Knife & Fork (like) under a comment to indicate you liked it or want to echo what was said by another, rather than posting a separate comment.


Another attempt at getting a bit more organized.

Cooking for two adults in Pasadena, CA, where the weather (yes, we do have weather of sorts!) is intermittently overcast and almost cool. To the point where I’m happy to have the oven on and pots burbling on the stove.

We’ve finished the last of the (semi-truncated) Thanksgiving foods and are looking forward to some new flavors.

Thursday (today): grocery shopping, make 2 bread puddings (to use up some of the bread intended for the unmade stuffing) and freeze one, dinner of salad and pierogi, pumpkin bread for dessert.

Friday: make a batch of chicken (Daring) pot pie/tetrazzini filling (onions, mushrooms, celery to use more unused stuffing ingredients plus peas and broccoli), served over … noodles? corn bread? biscuits? brown rice? Plus salad. Dessert is likely ice cream.

Saturday: dinner leftovers, salads, make Chex Mix (if earlier vet visit goes okay - having a sick elderly catto is worrisome).

Sunday: more leftovers!, yet more salads! something sweet for dessert! make some sort of sweet/spicy nuts for holiday gifts.

Monday: freeze what’s left of the tetrazzini mixture, thaw and serve tub of summer veg/squash/beans mix over brown rice. Get serious about list for holiday baking and trim back the aspirational to find the realistic.

Tuesday: probably the rest of the thawed summer veg mix supplemented (if needed) with grilled cheese sandwiches, plus salad. Take revised baking list and figure out order of making, plus shopping list of ingredients.

Wednesday: dinner is TBD but may start a pot of split pea soup, hopefully will get in a grocery run for the baking supplies.

Hoping everyone has a week free of stress and strife, filled with good cooking and eating!


Greetings, People.

At our house we’re in full-on holiday mode: tree is lit, outdoor lights are up, stockings are hung, and the house smells like cookies and chocolate. We’ll be making our annual holiday shopping trip to Big Boxville this week. This is always fun and exciting (Trader Joe! World Market! Costco!). On the flip side, it can be a bit of sensory overload, and always costs me more money than I had planned on spending. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Cooking for two adults in the PNW.

FRI: Pork and veggie egg-rolls (storebought wrappers, filling from scratch). Rice. Cabbage slaw.

SAT: Pasta with roasted tomatoes and Italian sausage. Salad.

SUN: Crepes with smoked trout. Salad.

MON: Italian cabbage soup with beans and sausage. Bread for dunking. Soup recipe from Simply Recipes.

TUE: Steak and salad.

WED: Thin-crust pizza. Salad.

THUR: Lemony Greek Chicken and Spinach stew from the NYT (gift link to recipe here).


That looks fabulous! Thanks for the link!


You’re welcome! I haven’t made this before, but it’s been on my list for a long time. It sounds great.

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Happy December! It’s hard to believe we are only a few weeks away from the winter solstice and there is not a flake of snow in sight - at least not in downtown Ottawa. It will come soon enough though. I ran up to the Korean grocery store earlier to pick up lunch and it was mild enough out I was able to wear my fleece lined jacket that I normally wear in the fall (although technically it still is) and my shoes.

Onto my menu plan for this week. The only meal that got bumped last week was last night’s pasta dish. We had a potluck baby shower yesterday for a colleague who is expecting her first baby. I completely forgot about it until I went to work on Monday morning and one of my colleagues wanted to know what I was bringing for lunch. I brought an artichoke salad but there was so much food out there were lots of leftovers so I had a little salad for dinner last night and the rest I will have for lunches tomorrow and Sunday. This is what I have on tap for this week:

Today: Pork bone soup as my take out lunch. I think I have a little spinach left in the fridge plus all the fixin’s for a salad so that will be dinner tonight.

Saturday: Faux pho. I have one solitary cup of beef broth in the fridge that I want to use up so I got the idea from one of my cookbooks. I will heat it up and add some sliced steak, rice noodles, snow peas and bean sprouts. Or I might just add some of the nappa cabbage I have in the fridge instead of the bean sprouts.

Sunday: Whole trout. I might follow the suggestions made on Hungry Onion or I might make “steamed fish with ginger and scallions” or “red snapper with leeks and tomatoes” from epicurious.

Monday: Peanut butter noodles with cucumber.

Tuesday: Hot sesame noodles with scallions and pork.

Wednesday: Pork lo mein using up the last little bit of red cabbage.

Thursday: Our team Christmas luncheon. I work in the office until 4:30 this day then off to a film screening at 6:30. We will be having ramen for lunch so I won’t be hungry for dinner so I will probably rush home and drop off my laptop then go to the movie straight away so I will probably have popcorn for dinner :slight_smile:

The covid fatigue is wearing off a bit so I might go on a museum visit on Saturday afternoon! I am tired of living a monastic life…


Oh, how I recognize my own self-talk in this statement! I’ve got a prioritized list and plan to bake a cookie recipe a day in sufficient quantities for mailing – i.e., sometimes a triple batch. Whatever is done by 12/12 is what will go in the boxes.


Hi, all! Cooking for 2 back in Chattanooga after a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family. We coordinated beautifully and got a great meal on the table. Post-Thanksgiving actuals and this week’s plans:
Saturday, November 25: Nibbles and drinks in Davis with one of the BFs and his mom
Sunday: Tomato pasta after wine tasting
Monday: Airport food
Tuesday: I thought about making pad Thai, and then I looked at my pantry and remembered my failure rate at making it, so we went out for Thai food instead
Wednesday: Turmeric fried eggs from Extra Good Things
Thursday: Kimchi pancakes to use up some of my stock
Friday (today): Chicken Imperial (chicken breasts with a crumb coating baked in a wine-cream sauce, rice pilaf, green beans (I steamed the green beans in the rice cooker and felt very clever).
Breakfast: Katah, because 'tis the season for butter
Saturday: Going to bake as many kinds of cookies as I can; doing a combination of simple and fussy. Fish tacos for dinner.
Sunday: Malay lamb curry from the Complete Asian Cookbook; rice; Brussels sprouts salad
Monday: Fusilli and roasted cauliflower from Dinner
Tuesday: scrounge
Wednesday: Placeholder for Family recipe
Thursday-Friday: scrounge or go out
Hope everyone has a good week. Good wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah. Happy cooking!


Actuals for the past week, cooking for 2 in MN. With a mid-week visit to WI where my niece and her 4 children (including 2-month-old twins) needed an extra adult on hand while her husband worked overnight in ER. Cookie baking is taking center stage here, and photos with recipes are on the Nov/Dec What are you Baking discussions.

Mon: BAKED - Pecan Tassies. Dinner- Leftover salmon cakes, open face egg/English Muffin/Turkey sausage sandwich, mini-quiche w bacon, spinach, red bell pepper. I’d run out of filling for the last 7 Tassie shells and repurposed those.
Tues: BAKED - Walnut Squares - Dinner Shepherds pie, red grapes, applesauce. The Julia Pacheco recipe included in this set of freezer meals. I used mixed veg in the casserole and baked immediately.
Wed & Thus: In WI - generous friends brought the family dinners both nights. These “Meal Trains” are wonderful for families with newborns. At niece’s request I browned and froze a couple pounds of ground beef, which she’ll use for quick meals in the weeks ahead.
Fri: Salmon and acorn squash, fresh spinach, fresh orange slices.
Sat: BAKED - Mirro Snow Flakes press cookies. Dinner - Shepherds pie, blueberries, red grapes after a fabulous late-afternoon Lorie Line piano concert.
Sun (today): From freezer - Chicken w Rotel rice and black beans. Planned BAKE - Apricot foldovers, Peanut butter press cookies, Molasses Spice press cookies.


Hi Everyone! We’re back from Bermuda, and I celebrated my birthday yesterday. Lulu’s boyfriend is in town to attend her senior dance. It’s been a busy, happy week. Here is what we ate:

Sun: first day back, carry out

Mon: pasta putttanesca. Boy was this good. The family has been asking that I make more pasta dishes, and this really came through - so good, so homey. Need to put it in monthly rotation.

Tues: Cod with corn and Old Bay butter. This is from the NYTimes website, and this was my second time making it. I loved it. They accepted it, which is good enough for me. I love flaky white fish and have missed it, so will slip it in however I can.

Wed: black bean tacos with feta and cabbage. Another easy, simple but delicious meal.

Thurs: carry out

Fri: Lulu was with her boyfriend for dinner, and LLD wanted to make himself a steak, so I made a new to me Milk Street recipe: seared radicchio (endive here) with sherry vinegar, blue cheese, and walnuts. I added some cooked beets. It was absolutely delicious, but the whole thing only fed me, and just barely (but I didn’t add a carb, which obviously would have helped).

Sat: birthday dinner out at my favorite Japanese place in Durham (M Sushi, for anyone who might be in town - I highly recommend it).

Sun: LLD has come down with a cold, and I have a busy afternoon, so we’re going to go with carryout while Lulu is with her boyfriend.

I may bake a cake this afternoon if I end up finding the time.

Wishing everyone a smooth slide into the holiday season, and delicious meals with people you love.


Happy birthday!


Here’s what a I’m thinking for the next week or so. Wednesday will be date night out! :raised_hands:t2:

Turkey biscuit pot pie
Quickie general Tso’s chicken (as plain nuggets for kiddo)
Leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Pad krapow gai with rice
Quickie fish tacos with slaw
Japchae with tofu or chicken

The last two weeks have been catered around visiting grandparents’ dietary requirements and preferences:

Snacky platters
Chicken soup (w/ or w/out noodles)
Thanksgiving with all the trimmings
Beef with broccoli, brown rice, and spring rolls and edamame to start
Chicken enchilada casserole w/salad
Minestrone with tortellini (or not)
Corned beef, cabbage, and root veg
Fish chowder with shrimp cocktail and crudite to start

And tonight probably meatloaf, broccoli, and mashed potatoes unless FIL prefers to take us out. I got 3 large packages of meatloaf mix for $2.99/ea!


Hi everyone, cooking for two adults and a teen in the cold and damp Boston burbs. The tree is up, but awaiting decoration until it dries off a bit!

DS’s school musical opens Thursday, which means he’ll be getting home late from last-minute rehearsals, and I have a couple days in the office as well. DH is finally on the mend from his cold - I hope someday in the not-too-distant future, he can travel for more than a weekend without getting sick.

DH and I did a Costco run yesterday and bought a big package of rotisserie chicken breast meat, which is what drove much of this week’s menu…

Sun: chicken pot pie. I’m planning to add carrots, green beans, corn, and leeks, and will do a biscuit crust with GF bisquick and sour cream.

Mon: spaghetti pie (original recipe but I’ve evolved it a bit over the years), steamed broccoli

Tues: honey and spice pork tacos with beans on the side

Weds: Orange bbq chicken with cornbread - I skip the bourbon as none of us like it

Thurs: opening night for Anastasia so nobody will be home until 6:30 + first night of Hanukkah = chicken nachos for dinner! (Nachos qualify as Hanukkah food because the chips are fried in oil. Right??)


Happy birthday! I love radicchio/chicories/bitter greens of all kinds. Never seared it, so thanks for the reminder that I’ve been meaning to try that.

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Break a leg, DS! Anastasia sounds like a wonderful musical. And of course nachos qualify for Hanukkah; great idea!


Gonna be a rough week, so we’re aiming for simple.

For two adults in San Diego:

Breakfasts: For ease, grabbed the loaf of pumpkin bread from the freezer.

S: takeout

Su: (tonight) Boboli with spinach and salami, salad

M: Pork chops, au gratin potatoes, caesar salad

T: TJs Lobster ravioli with Boursin, peas, and spinach - seafood

W: Leftovers from the freezer before an evening event

Th: Grilled cheese with TJs roasted red pepper and tomato soup - vegetarian/soup


Have a good week!


Hi everyone

Forgot to post my plan, but here are the actuals, with ideas I didn’t get to pushed forward.

Last week:
Simple roast chicken (breast) + scalloped potatoes + leftover broccoli rabe
— Scallion ginger noodles + leftover chicken
— Chow fun “hash” (bec the noodles broke up) + leftover chicken
Japanese clay pot rice with salmon and mushrooms / Takikomi gohan (Elizabeth Andoh via Milk Street recipe)
Lamb chops + mashed potato + broccolini
— Bulgogi + bok choy & shiitake mushrooms + kimchi + rice
— (Bad) Chinese takeout dumplings & noodles preceded by (good) homemade salmon gravlax
— Freezer-dive chicken seekh kabab + naan + labneh, toum, and Calabrian chilli paste

Next week:
— Zucchini dal (boiled, need to temper) + chicken malai kabab (freezer) + garlic naan
— Slow-roasted mustard salmon + zucchini dal + rice
— More scallion ginger noodles + king oyster mushrooms + japanese meatballs / tsukune (freezer)
Ginger-lemongrass-coconut meatballs (repurposing frozen lions head turkey meatballs) + rice or noodles

Counting down to heading home to hang out with my nephews for their winter break.

Have a great week!


Hello to everyone from the Twin Cities of MN where we are having a rather pretty burst of snow flurries in an otherwise rather snow deprived season. I wasn’t going to post tonight, but I’m trying to get my kids’ registration in for the upcoming competition and the password reset email is taking its sweet time arriving. Big kiddo passed her test today so she can level up! So proud of her- she tested 5 jumps just 5 days after getting her cast off and passed with honors! She earned her Chipotle!

Dec 1: No school day where the girls binged Toy Story marathon. Plans fell apart so drive thru goodness for everyone

Dec 2: Dug out the tree from the basement and found the lights for it-much sheet rock dust found as well. . . Late grocery run with assorted grocery store freezer faux take out items. Plus slices of a really good off season watermelon

Sun 3: In-law “bonding” while the kids make faux gingerbread houses. Big kiddo frustrated as MIL doesn’t seem to get that she is 12 and the cousins next in age are 8. Aside from the we don’t eat Nana’ food as she has willingly tried to feed big kiddo food with peanuts in it and complained “I can’t be bothered to remember food allergies” Lazy mommy’s fish tacos after.

Mon 4: Big kiddo tested and I promised her Chipotle for after- both for trying and as she has wanted a big burrito since September and was avoiding due to I don’t want burrito parts falling into my cast/I can’t get said burrito into my mouth

Tues 5: Synchro skating night: Freezer dive- the girls rarely get to skate together so this is fun for them and for me to watch

Well this has kept me busy and still no password reset code so here’s to trying again tomorrow


I can’t believe it’s snowing already. Sometimes I’m reminded of just how huge this country is. Congratulations to your daughter! And your MiL never ceases to amaze me with her obliviousness.


Congrats to big kiddo! Sorry your MIL is so oblivious…