Weekly Menu Planning - February 2023

Oh, geez - that is a lot of bad luck! Here’s hoping your summer plans come together and all the germs stay away.


Actuals for the week just finished, cooking for 2 in MN, where temperature swings from minus 15 F to plus 40 F are “just more of the same”. The upcoming week features 3 lunches out and 2 evening meetings for me (early suppers at home before those). My husband will be lunching on leftovers without me.

Mon: Reheat Ham & navy bean soup, Kings Hawaaian rolls, Savory bundt, grapes, apples pears
Tues: Shrimp, Mac & Cheese, Mixed Veg
Wed: Schwan’s Brisket, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thurs: Reheat brisket, potatoes, green beans
Fri: lunch was Gyro on Naan bread with tzatziki cucumber sauce, tomatoes, salad on side Sauce recipe starting point here, I use 1 tsp. dried parsley, ½ tsp dried dill and only 1/8 tsp. cumin
Fri dinner: Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Asparagus
Sat and reheated Sun: Ground Beef Spanish Castles (Hungry Boys) casserole, half recipe, Biscuits on top, green beans, canned pears https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/hungry-boys-casserole/a20b83c7-1c2b-44a3-bc73-3daccb79a591 I liked the comments below the recipe from a son of this winning bake-off recipe’s cook, who noted the original “Spanish Castles” name and making the biscuit dough as meat-filled spirals rather than “cowboy hats”.


I keep meaning to try that white ragu!

I used the KA 00 flour for the Roberta’s dough recipe, and it was just lovely.


The white ragu was really tasty, and really beige as the headnote says!

I made the following notes and changes:

  • chopped all the vegs (together) in the Cuisinart. The weights roughly correspond to 1 medium carrot and 2 stalks of celery.
  • used 2% milk for the milk as well as the heavy cream at the end. I almost never use cream and it seemed silly to buy it for such a small amount. No issues with that substitution.
  • a 9-oz package of fresh fettuccine - this was the right ratio of pasta to meat for us. However, I might try a shorter pasta next time - like gemelli - as I threw in the last handful of a box and preferred that texture/size with the ragu.
  • when browning the pork, break it up as small as possible. Big chunks don’t work well in the sauce.
  • I added about 6oz water while the sauce was simmering, and then about 6-8oz starchy pasta water at the end.

Thank you!

Found my write-up for Roberta’s – they say it makes 2 x 12" pizzas but ours were maybe 8 - 9". (I used half 00/half AP as written, but my pizza-loving sib said all-00 is even better.)


Still not completely back to a planned meal week, but having a short list of ideas to choose from has been effective, so I’m going to stick with that method as the schedule gets busier.

Actuals since last post:

  • Tues - Still finishing the Korean bits and bobs from Sunday, added some more Galbi and effectively ate bibimbap with that, kimchi, broccoli slaw muchim, and ssam sauce made from doenjang and gochujang
  • Wed - Late lunch out with visiting college roommate and husband (soup dumplings!) so dinner was light – I pulled some cauliflower-stuffed parathas from the freezer and ate them with yogurt
  • Thurs - HO group dinner of 2023 – a delicious Parsi feast (some of you may be familiar with several dishes from the old COTM My Bombay Kitchen)
  • Fri - Chicken Sfeeha I bought at the Lebanese bakery on the way to dinner on Thursday
  • Sat - Parsi leftovers, roasted cauliflower with Indian spicing, Orange yogurt cake for dessert
  • Sun - Kerala Chicken Stew for lunch, then bibimbap with Salted salmon (COTM), broccoli slaw muchim, kimchi, spinach namul, and rice seasoned with sesame oil that I thought I’d make Gimbap from but never did, plus ssam sauce

Ideas for this week:

  • Broccoli patties, either SK or Ikea, probably Ikea
  • Matzoh ball soup (fresh schmalz and chicken soup from last week plus a box of matzoh meal in the pantry seems like it’s meant to be)
  • Galbi to use up beef stew meat in the freezer (there’s a Galbijjim recipe in the current COTM, maybe that)
  • Shepherd’s pie (sauteed ground beef in freezer + cauli-potato mash)
  • Spanish chorizo (freezer) and potato sheet pan roast OR Tortilla + arugula salad
  • Mushroom japchae (again because I have plenty of sauteed mushrooms left, but using the Koreatown recipe not COTM)

I also want to try a savory cake from BCOTQ Gateau and give the basic yogurt cake I tripped on another shot.

Wish you all a tasty week!


Bah. Let myself down there and fell off the planning wagon here and in life. I think I didn’t realize how much the fridge sitch was getting me down.
So, back at it with a rough plan now that we have a working full refrigerator. (oh the things we do to live in an old house…)

Monday - L/O celery soup, omelet, homemade bread toast
Tuesday - make lentil stew for Wednesday and eat weekend leftovers
Wednesday - Stew and something with sunchokes cuz we have them
Thursday - Freezer meal (cabbage rolls?)
Friday - More stew
Saturday - Perhaps we will go far afield and try something not from our kitchen
Sunday - cheese, crudite and something sweet for cheat day and the longer weekend
The cheese is a major thing this week. I am on the hunt for Andante Rondo as she does a special shape and accoutrement for the first half of February. {fingers crossed}

Have a lovely week everyone!


Hello to everyone from the above freezing! Twin Cities of MN where we had a lovely wintery mix of precipitation this evening so if the temperatures drop we might break out the skates to get to the bus stop tomorrow. We have been in the low level sick category for the past week, nothing significant but nobody is 100% with stuffy noses and GI distress. We are way behind in our house painting commitments because feelings of GI distress (probably from takeout as only big kiddo and I were affected and we ordered from a different place than the others) are an issue when the only working toilet is the frozen porta potty at the end of the driveway. The reno is moving along: the tile is set in our bathroom, counter tops are measured and coming next week, trim is going up- getting new pine to be stained to match 60 year old mahogany should be entertaining.

Oh. yeah. food! Uninspiring actuals and plans for 2 adults and 2 germ filled kiddos:

Thurs 2: Lazy mommy’s fish tacos, roasted broccoli

Fri 3: Both girls skated back to back. Take out with a a side of GI issues later

Sat 4: Everyone was in a funk. Lazy chicken parm with frozen chicken tenders, store bough sauce, salads

Sun 5: Teaching Mr Autumm how to paint. Frozen ravioli with store bought pesto, leftover roasted broccoli

Mon 6: Big kiddo skated and did the spinnerator Store bough lasagna, salad. Sauce on the lasagna was rather sweet. did the job but won’t purchase again (also I can’t wait to be home and make a proper lasagna)

Tues7: Both kiddos skate at different rinks: Frozen pot pies for big kiddo and Mr Autumm, leftover lasagna/ravioli for little kiddo. Scrounge for me

Weds 8’: Little kiddo swim lessons, I probably have a chair meeting TBD: Pretty sure there is some pulled pork hiding in the freezer with leftovers for sides

Take care everyone


Ugh, sounds rough! Hope you’re back in your own kitchen (and bathroom!!!) soon!


Greetings, people.

A busy week as we head out on a road trip mid-week. The nights we’re away, it will be sandwiches and snacks from the cooler. The nights we will be home, I’m sticking with Plan A and cooking from the freezer, fridge and pantry.

Feeding two adults in the PNW:

FRI: Lemony white bean and ground chicken soup with greens. Stirato.

SAT: Pasta with bacon and baby peas.

SUN: Oven-roasted kofta (lamb) meatballs with couscous. Veg TBD.

MON – TUE - WED: Deli-style sandwiches

THUR: Beef on the grill. Veg TBD.


The freezer features quite heavily this week at Casa Harters (with the intent of getting an online meat order in the next couple of weeks).

Thurs - Rag pudding (freezer), oven chips (freezer), mushy peas

Friday - a chicken (freezer), chorizo (freezer), red peppers, peas (freezer) and rice one pot. Cooked on the hob

Saturday - Smoked salmon and homemade rye bread to start (both freezer). Pork chops (freezer) to follow - with dauphinoise potatoes and braised red cabbage to follow. Red cabbage is in the freezer from Christmas. As is the apple & mustard sauce that’ll go with it. Wimberry pie (freezer) and custard to finsih

Sunday - lamb neck(freezer) stew with pearl barley, carrots, celery and leeks

Monday - gnocchi with tomatoes & mozzarella, topped with chorizo breadcrumbs (gnocchi & breadcrumbs in the freezer)

Tues - homemade pasties (freezer). Tinned baked beans

Weds - out

Thurs - out


Thanks for adding a link to the Lemony White Bean soup - it sounds perfect for us, and I’m going to make it next week!


Honestly I admire you so much… I don’t know how you do it! All those skating dates and meals with gi issues and a frozen porta potty to deal with. Most moms would be happy to serve McDonalds and frozen pizza! I wish we could all drop off a few casseroles and baked goods for you guys.


I’ve made it many times - it’s a favorite. Enjoy!


Your “from freezer” meals look delicious, @Harters! I’d love to swap with some folks here for what’s remaining in my freezer.


I feel the same, ginnyhw, wish I could drop off some meals to Autummn@, it would be fun for me (I always wanted to skate and never could, the ankles, and besides growing up in NC).
Ginnyhw, so good to see you here. I’m still in Somerville, MA.


This made my day! So wonderfully kind!

The hardest thing about skating is ice time is always around meal time. Which is better than when hockey ice is . Big kiddo has some mental health issues, and skating is her release- and much cheaper than a session with her psychologist! The electric cooktop at our temporary apartment cycles with full heat or off, so if you want medium heat it just alternates between fully off and fully on. I know it’s temporary and we are so fortunate but cooking is a chore these days. We have had more take out and prepared food than I would like, but it’s temporary and someday this will just be a memory


I so appreciate your sentiment! I do feel like this is a “safe space” for me to vent where Mr Autumm doesn’t know about it - he asks what he can do to help and I tell him keep making the money! We did agree to get painters for the kitchen as my very pretty cabinets are in and all the trim is up and I just can’t risk contaminating them.

Ironically, I’m on the meal train list for my BIL as he’s undergoing chemo. Hope they like white chicken chili cause I’m hoping to make a big batch for the Super Bowl


I hope you will post some pictures of your new kitchen when it’s ready!


Hi, all! Cooking for 2 in Chattanooga. Going to the Asian market today, so I have plans to use the bounty I come home with in this week’s meals:
Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls
Saturday, February 11: Rendang from an ancient cooking magazine (1979, I believe), rice, whatever veg I bring home.
Sunday: Calzones with leftover Thanksgiving turkey (freezer dive!), spinach, and feta; big sheet of roasted vegetables; Linzer cookies.
Monday: Indonesian-style fried noodles from Milk Street. I’m doing a training all day and hope I’ll have the energy to cook after…
Tuesday: Scrounge. Maybe something fun for Valentine’s, but that’s not really our jam…
Wednesday: Firecracker tofu, rice. Same disclaimer as for Monday.
Thursday-Friday: TBD. We’re going out for fancy dinner tonight, so next Friday should be lower-key. Maybe pizza with leftover calzone dough?
Have a great week, everyone! I hope your team wins the big game and that your sweetie does something thoughtful for you on the 14th. Happy cooking!