Weekly Menu Planning - January 2024

Let’s use this thread to share concise weekly dinner menus for each week in January. 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.

If your New Years resolution is to get started with planning… welcome! Those of us who are regulars on the topic all went through (and continue to revisit) trial-and-error to come up with an approach that works for our family-size, work situation and time/ingredient constraints. For me, the most important step was to actually write something in each square for our at-home lunches and dinners at the start of the week, noting when appointments or planned meals out will take the place of cooking-time. I circle/arrow (or now, cut/paste) as the week progresses and I rearrange. I post actuals here for the previous week since the revised version looks like a football play diagram. Leftovers frequently stretch one day’s cooking results across 2 -3 days of meals, mix & match.

It’s the month for roasts and soups here, with daily forecasts always below freezing and often sub-zero (Fahrenheit). I’ve swapped out the cookbooks kept closest to the computer, to more easily look for new recipes (especially low-carb ones) and to actually read the newer books that I bought in the past year.

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 December 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.


We will be ending the old year and beginning the new by supporting local eateries (pizza, empanadas, cookies) for lunches, dinners, and desserts and resting ourselves. I wish you all a good year ahead.

For two adults in San Diego:

Breakfasts: Will probably bake the year’s first batch of chocolate chip scones.

S: (tonight) takeout - Pizza
Su: Empanadas - this satisfies our traditional “snacky” NYE meal.
M: Yet more pizza. :slight_smile:
T: TJs pumpkin samosas and tikka vegetables - vegetarian
W: Loaded baked potato soup before an evening event - soup
Th: Shrimp Florentine with garlic bread, a variation of https://www.skinnytaste.com/fish-florentine/ - seafood
F: Pasta Alfredo with bacon and peas

Have a good week!


Hi again! I feel like I just posted, but it is time warp week…

Sun: meatloaf (ATK), baked potatoes, green beans. I also made a batch of Chex mix, which technically doesn’t have any Chex in it (store-brand Crispix, gf pretzels, and peanuts) to snack on during the Steelers game. DH and I aren’t going out - we are old and boring - so our evening plans include catching up on the latest season of Only Murders in the Building. I’ll probably bake a few cc cookies from the freezer since I have to stay up till 12:15 to pick up DS/friends from a friend’s house.

Mon: happy 2024! Dinner will be posole with pork and hominy, cornbread

Tues: nachos to soften the blow of first day back to work/school - the humans are all leaving the house and will be gone all day!

Weds: pasta with red sauce and optional sausage, roasted broccoli

Thurs: black bean and bacon chilaquiles, though I might be going out with friends and if so I’ll make Thurs leftover night for the guys and move the chilaquiles to Fri


It really is time warp week.

This is such a delicious, cozy sounding winter week of meals.


I can’t believe it’s a new year again, time is always flying but it’s nice to get back into a normal routine again. Our sleep cycle has been ruined and I’ve hardly cooked between Christmas and New Year’s as we’ve had too much food for just us two.

Anyway! Cooking for two in the UK.

Mon: New Year’s Day dinner will be a simple Quorn roast served with stuffing, duck fat roast potatoes, steamed carrots, marinated olives and devilled eggs. Dessert will be French chocolate mousse.

Tue: Harira soup with homemade bread.

Wed: Chickpea fritters served with homemade pitta breads (never made them before, wish me luck), yoghurt, lettuce and cucumber.

Thu: Fried chicken served with honey butter and savoury scones (or biscuits in the US).

Fri: Curried chickpea and lentil dal served with a mustard seed oil and an onion raisin chutney type thing.

Everything else will be scrounging and using up whatever needs using up.

Happy New Year everyone!


Happy 2024, everyone – good health and peace for all is my hope and my wish for this year.

The visitors (except me) have left, so we are shifting to recovery (and leftovers) mode. Some of the leftovers I was looking forward to have left the building, however, with Elvis (aka my sib who vacuum-sealed and took all the kababs, roast leg of lamb, kheema-stuffed parathas, and more after saying he was taking "absolutely nothing’!) – so those will work their way back onto the menu soon.

But right now we are in the low-effort / order in and use-up-leftovers phase of menu planning.

This week actuals & ideas:
– Tandoori chicken and rumali roti ordered in, supplemented by leftovers from the freezer (naan, butter chicken, paneer tikka biryani, and soya chaap / mock chicken biryan)
– Frankies (parathas coated with egg and stuffed with saucy meat or paneer) ordered in
– Assorted Momos (frozen) + tbd soup
– Assembled Kathi rolls (ordered-in rumali roti, frozen chicken seekhs and soya chaap / mock chicken kababs, pickled onions)
– Pav bhaji pasta bake (leftover pav bhaji layered with pasta in bechamel) + garlic toast
– Haleem / mixed grain and lentil stew (freezer) + Dhansak (also freezer, not enough of either) + caramelized onion brown rice + rumali rotis

Soon to come:
– Pasta night: Canneloni or ravioli (frozen) with Marcella-ish tomato sauce
– Kerala stew / ishtu (sis specialty)
– Vat of veggie ramen (ditto)
– Malvani coconut chicken (and veg) curry + rice
– Kheema parathas
– Roast leg of lamb

And a backward glance at some actuals from the past 2 weeks:
– Lots of mac & cheese (inspired by the Keller COTM version but less spiced), pasta alfredo, (beyond beef) meatballs and kababs
– Cheesetoast / grilled cheese of many varieties (closed, open, onion-chilli, masala, chutney, cheddar, Amul, …)
– South Indian at home and out – idli, medu vada, dosa, uttapam, accompaniments
– Roast chicken and potatoes
– Indian home faves – kheema aloo, mutton korma, fish curry, prawn curry, pav bhaji, dhansak, paneer matar, palak paneer, shami kababs, potato and onion bhajiyas, moong dal pakodas, puris with potato bhaji and chhole / chickpeas
– Indian takeout / restaurant faves – biryani, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, paneer makhani, palak paneer, and so much naan
– Lots of Indian Chinese and Chinese-Chinese and Pan-Asian (eaten out or takeout)

Good eats and a great start to the new year to all!


Happy New Year, all! I am cooking for two in the 'burbs outside of Philly.

Tuesday, 01/02- Leftover pork and sauerkraut w/ Russian Dark Rye bread. We host a NYD open house every year and it’s my (very eastern European) husbands favorite holiday. We braved NE Philly to get all the groceries we needed and the leftover pork and sauerkraut are leftover from the party.

Wednesday, 01/03- California Burritos, chips, salsa, and guacamole

Thursday, 01/04- Pozole Rojo w/ the usual accompaniments and a tray of corn bread.

Friday, 01/05- Delivery. Probably pizza. I may vote for Detroit style and see if I can convince the husband. It shouldn’t be hard.

Saturday, 01/06- Up in the air, will definitely use ground beef. Current ideas being thrown around; Oklahoma Onion Burgers, Macaroni w/ Marinara and Meatballs, Chili (my version), Egyptian Hawawshi

Sunday, 01/07- Pelmeni w/ butter and sour cream

Hope everyone has a great week!


My friend who’s an avid baker shared this recipe and baking tips:


1 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons oil

2 cups flour
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

additional 2 3/4 cups flour

Warm water and oil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt; mix well. Add warm water and oil to flour mixture. Blend with electric mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover dough with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let rest 20 minutes on board.

Punch down dough. Divide into 12 equal parts. Shape each into a smooth ball. Place on board, allowing space between each ball. Cover; let rise 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 500. Roll each ball into a 6-inch circle. Place 3 circles at a time directly onto oven rack. Bake until puffed and top just begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Cool on racks.

I don’t make this recipe often, but it is a good one, and fun. It helps to bake the pitas on a cooling rack placed in the oven on top of and perpendicular to the baking rack. Otherwise, they tend to sag between the metal bars.

ETA: another good tip -

"Once you mix the dough up, you need to let it sit for one hour.

This dough isn’t going to rise (since we are using no yeast) and after one hour, it is going to look exactly the same.

But this rest time is critical.

When the dough sits, the gluten relaxes and the dough becomes stretchier. It’s going to make it easier to roll out into circles, and it’s going to be the secret to the “poof.”

You can make this pita bread without letting the dough rest, and it will still be delicious, but it won’t accomplish those wonderful pita pockets." https://cheatdaydesign.com/pita-bread-without-yeast/


I want to come eat at your house! Swoon.


@marietinn Nice to see you here again!

I had to look up Egyptian Hawawshi, but it looks just like Arayes which I love!

Do you have a recipe you like for Pozole?

And one last one – do you make your pelmeni or have a good source for frozen?


Thank you so much! It looks similar to the recipe I was looking to use so I’ll definitely keep the tips in mind. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for the poof!

I followed this the one time I made pita (I find her site pretty helpful for many baked things):


Why is this post hidden?

I believe it was spam.

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That makes sense. Thank you!

1 Like

Thank you!

Thank you! I am hoping to be able to post more often, brings me joy to read everyone’s plans and it is fun to be able to contribute.

I like this recipe as a jump off (though I always use cabbage, not lettuce, for garnish). I also tend to use whatever mix of dried mexican chiles I have available.

As for pelmeni; we buy them frozen from either a local spot called Euro Market (owned by the most lovely Bulgarian folks) or from Bell’s Market in NE Philly. I will ask my husband what brand we get, I let him tackle those shopping trips while I hang in the car because it gets ferocious in there around New Years and you can only get hip checked by so many Babushki before wanting to scream, lol.

I am eyeing up a pelmeni mold? tray? I am not sure how to describe it but if I can figure out a good recipe of my own, I will be very excited.


I bought a couple from Amazon after Kachka was COTM on Chowhound :joy: — one aluminum, smaller holes, the other plastic, larger holes. Recommend the metal one for sturdiness (though it may easily have been user error on my part on the plastic one).

You might try her recipe as a reference — I think it’s on Smitten, will check and link if I find it.



We have lots of holiday/winter break leftovers to address. My current plan for two adults and a less-picky-but-still-rather-choosey 6 1/2 year-old in Asheville, NC (not bothering assigning days as it never sticks):

Gochujang broiled tuna “sushi” bowls (sushi-seasoned rice, avocado, cucumber, Sriracha mayo, crispy panko/shallots, furikake)

Pastitsio-esque trofie pasta bake using homemade Cincinnati chili, bechamel

Tofu and mushroom jorim with white rice

Leftover black bean and ham soup, reheated hot dogs in buns

Creamy wild rice and mushroom soup - Instant Pot Miracle Healthy Cookbook p. 55

One-skillet chicken thighs and new potato bake with Castelvetrano olives, grape tomatoes, and shallots

Japchae (freezer)

We’ll see how this goes. If assorted leftovers get scarfed I will need to rethink…


Sounds so good