Weekly Menu Planning - January 2024

Hi everyone! We made it through the first week back to reality, relatively unscathed. I think sleeping in a bit yesterday morning was desperately needed by all of us, including the dog.

We began our weekend a bunch of grocery/warehouse shopping - the usual chore to restock and get ready for the coming week, made extra people-y because of the impending snowstorm that began overnight Saturday/Sunday. Our neighbors spent Sat AM powering up their snowblowers (first snowfall of the winter) and it’s been making me anxious, so of course I did the same yesterday. The forecast switched back and forth from 3-5” to 5-8”; I walked the dog about an hour ago and it was closer to 3-4” but wet and heavy. Ugh.

Sun: DS wants brisket so he’ll make brisket, smashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner. I’m hoping he actually will follow through on this plan and not poop out early on.

Mon: veggie pastitsio - a recipe we haven’t had for a while with fennel, roasted peppers, and spinach.

Tues: turkey burgers, chips, crudite

Weds: manicotti - I found GF noodles so will give them a try! The box says to fill them with a piping bag, which is new to me.

Thursday: brisket round 2, school chorus concert in the evening


It’s easier (or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off) though I still don’t end up doing it that way because I’m a glutton for more work.

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At the gym and the Patriots game is on. Always live watching a snow game. Stay cozy!

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I haven’t made manicotti in ages but the regular (non-GF) noodles I used to use were easy enough to fill with a spoon. I do have piping bags so will probably break one out for this project!


Hi everyone!

Hope those hit with winter storms are staying safe and cozy, and everyone has had a smooth start to the year.

We are almost done with leftovers, now transitioning to working through ingredient pile-up in the freezer.

Ideas for the coming week:
– Sushi bowls: spicy shrimp, wasabi slaw, sesame carrots, sushi rice, furikake. I may try crisping the rice if I remember to make it early enough for it to cool :joy:
– Pizza! We have not had pizza night since I got back. I have to remember to start the dough, though.
– Manicotti (pasta is cooked and frozen, needs to be filled) with Marcella-ish tomato sauce and focaccia
– Vat of veggie ramen (sis specialty), maybe with momos added (i may have ordered too many… :open_mouth:)
– Kheema parathas + yogurt + pickle
– Fondue gratin / bake: I’m working on the concept, as fondue still doesn’t quite work for mom’s setup, but I think I can turn it into a cheese sauce over many of the same vegetables, with some nice crusty bread to get all the good stuff. Let’s see. Oh, we have A LOT of frozen fondue packets driving this idea.
– Malwani coconut chicken (and veg) curry + chapatis + rice (curry base is made and frozen).
– Fish Ambotik from a former COTM – had planned to make this for my sis ages ago but totally forgot about it.

On my agenda for this week is to BAKE SOMETHING! I overheard mom praising the homemade bread and focaccia I made for her last year to my brother, and my lazy self has yet to start dough because we were buried in bread until two days ago. I’ve got a basic boule, focaccia, and something chocolatey for her on my list.

Also, PIZZA! Homemade Pizza is DOTQ, and even though I proposed it because I knew I could make it a few times while I’m visiting mom, I still haven’t made it even once :woman_facepalming:t2:

Wish you all a delicious and peaceful week ahead.


In case folks here haven’t seen the current cook-along threads:

and nominations:

and a 2023 round-up:


Sunday take-out tonight: chicken of some sort. Debating among Portuguese chicken, Italian roast chicken and curry

Monday: use up jar of Rao’s tomato basil somehow. Protein to be determined.

Tuesday: maybe Tuna Casserole

Wed: thinking about a lamb Rendang.

Thu: maybe pork schnitzel

Fri: I think take-out fish and chips, for the first time in months. Captain’s Platter with battered halibut, shrimp, scallops and fried oysters.

Sat: steak


Actuals for the first week of 2024, cooking for 2 in MN. Where the dustings of snow still haven’t added up to enough to cover the grass (or protect the landscaping plants). And the forecast for next weekend is super cold. I’m hoping that changes but am prepared with a to-be-read stack of books and cookbooks that will keep me happily entertained indoors.

Mon: (New Years Day) Lobster, corn, apples, bran bread (bread machine)
Tue: Oven Chimichangas, apple slices & red grapes
Wed: for lunches all week Sausage/tortellini soup, baguette, red grapes Dinner: Leftover Pork loin roast, potato wedges, fresh pear w cottage cheese, bag salad
Thurs: Chimichangas, salad, sliced avocado
Fri : Orange roughy, salad (spinach, apple, mandarins, craisins, pecans), peas
Sat: BAKED in bread machine – Barmbrack raisin and spices white bread.
Dinner Sat/reheated Sun noon - Oriental sheet pan chicken (cubed chicken and chopped onion cooked 10 minutes at 475 degrees, then tossed with a homemade stir-fry sauce and baked a few minutes more), with steamed broccoli, over rice
Sun: (today) : Nachos - shredded pork carnitas (deli), black beans and cheese over corn chips, with salsa. Red grapes


Already off track. I didn’t make it home to cook, so

Sun: my DCs had Tuna Casserole / I had a ham sandwich, curry beef bun and late night MiniWheats

Mon: chicken and Rao’s tomato basil sauce somehow.

Tue: maybe Braciole


Cooking plans for two in the UK.

Mon: Chickpea and Lentil Dal served with Sesame and Mustard Oil, Coriander and Raisin Chutney and bread for my partner.

Tue: I’ll make a North African style stew with couscous for me and rice for my partner.

Wed: Leftovers.

Thu: Chana Masala served with Rice. I think I’ll toss roasted cauliflower through the curry sauce too for extra veg.

Fri: Leftovers.

Sat: Chicken and Bean Enchiladas served with Rice.

Sun: Leftovers.


Happy Monday, y’all! Reporting from the burbs outside of Philly and cooking for two.

Monday- Spruced up Zatarain’s Jambalaya
Tuesday- Roasted chicken thighs w/ rice pilaf and freezer veg
Wednesday- Take out/ delivery
Thursday- Pelmeni w/ sautéed cabbage
Friday- Macaroni w/ a Sunday-ish sauce (meatballs and pork ribs in the sauce)
Saturday- Second Christmas w/ Husbands family. The plan is to order Chinese take out.
Sunday- Meatball sandwiches w/ freezer veg

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!


How do you spruce Zararain’s?



Hello to everyone from the Twin Cities of MN where my brother in Iowa is getting the snow not us- but my kids really want the snow. Sorry Kids, we had it last year!

Adapting to this new Mommy has a job situation with increasing skate practices and big kiddo tried out for and made one act theater and bulurgh! Everyone is learning together and it will be ok. Mr Autumm is having a hard time adapting to using the phrase “I just want to be helpful” and then I give him real assigned at real time tasks to do. Yes, you are a grown up who can vacuum the dining room without help

Actuals and plans fir 2 adults and 2 growing girls:

Thurs 4: White Chicken Chili remembered from Taste of Home

Fri 5: Take out pizza. One of those days. . .

Sat 6: Delayed NYD dinner after very awkward to in law visit. Not going to go into details, yet the contrast between my parents and the in-laws in a week was sad and striking. A skating exhibition next week. Mr Autumm: Should we invite nana and bapa? Girls: Big pause “I guess we could” Pigs in a blanket, mini crab cakes, cole slaw, hot crashed potatoes, mim no bake cheesecakes

Sun 7: Gouchuchang semi fried rice. Too much coconut milk. Leftover larb and crudite along side

Tonight: Both girls skated getting ready for next week’s competition. White chicken chili and crudite

Tues 9" No skating! Probably clear out the leftovers vs schwa;ma

Happy New Year Everyone!



To spruce up the Zatarain’s Jambalaya, I browned off some andouille and then added a chopped onion, bell pepper (I used red because we didn’t have green), and celery in a few tablespoons of veg oil.

Once the veg was softened but not browned, I added a can of diced tomatoes w/ green chiles (not drained), the amount of water called for on the box, and a spoonful of chicken bouillon. Finish cooking as directed.


Greetings, People.

Cooking for two adults in the soggy PNW.

FRI: A Greek-inspired, one-pot chicken and rice dish from Recipe Tin Eats. Baby garden peas from the freezer.

SAT: Breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs. Breakfast links. Erin Jeanne McDowell’s Insta-worthy Flakiest Cheese Biscuits (will use up some of the Cougar Gold we received for the holidays).

SUN: NYT’s shrimp scampi with orzo (gift link). Caesar salad.

MON: Old School beef tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. Homemade refries.

TUE: Barbara Tropp’s Phoenix Tail Shrimp from The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. Rice. Veg TBD.

WED: Spring greens salad with hard boiled eggs, bacon bits, and shoestring potato croutons (nods to @mariacarmen).

THUR: Steak on the grill. Salad greens.


Sounds like a delicious week! Will you make the full RTE chicken and rice recipe and have leftovers or cut it down? I have been eyeballing it and although I usually have no issue scaling recipes to one or two servings I keep wondering how this one will fare given the careful rice-to-pan-size and so on ratios to get everything cooked at the same time.

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I managed to stick to the list reasonably well last week!

Here’s what I’ve shopped for this week:

Goat Brie, cranberry-shallot chutney, and Speck flatbreads. These were delicious for dinner last night with an arugula salad. Kiddo had his cheese-pizza style.

Slow-cooked pulled BBQ chicken sammies in ww buns with cole slaw

ATK’s Cider-braised pork roast with apples. Thinking homemade Spätzle as the side.

Spanish tortilla, olives, (leftover) mushroom and wild-rice soup. Maybe salad.

Pot roast with root veg. Salad. For the braise, probably gonna do TJ’s cream of portobello soup and some onion soup mix, onions, garlic, bay leaf in the IP and call it done. Parsnips, yellow potato, carrots, and celery.

Red beans and rice with spicy sausage. Leftover chicken BBQ for kiddo. Veg TBD.

Vietnamese caramel and black pepper chicken with brown rice. (Buy b/s thighs)

Yassa chicken with fonio. Will have to add the habanero to our plates individually to get kid on board. (Buy bone-in leg quarters)

Fondue with apples, baguette, broccoli, and whatever else I cobble together. (Buy bread)

Freezer meals: pastitisio, pizza, makings for moussaka if I buy eggplant, ham - bean soup


I’m cutting the chicken back to 3 (large-ish) thighs, and keeping the original amount of rice. I can always put leftover rice to good use. I’m perplexed by the ratio of liquid:rice called for (2.25:1), as it seems high. I’ll probably be cutting that back to a ratio of 1.75:1 (or perhaps a tad less - haven’t decided). I’ll be cooking in a 10" cast iron skillet with a vented lid (although may try and plug the vent).

After reading her notes, the comments, and a similar ATK version, I plan to:

Sear the lemon slices (garnish) in the chicken fat after cooking the chickin, but before starting the onions. Will set aside and reserve until service.

Will cook the onions in the chicken fat, and then will deglaze this mixture with a spoonful or two of wine, reduce the wine, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Lastly, will give the a rice a stir once during the baking process to assist with cooking it evenly.

Wish me luck! :grin:


Good luck (sounds like a good plan to me) and we want a full report, either here or on WFD.


Seems the RecipeTin COTM thread would be an appropriate place.