Weekly Dinner Menu: 10/11/10

One of the things we strive for when planning our menus is making everything fit together into one nice, neat little package. We look to use ingredients in different ways throughout the week so that we’re benefiting from the ability of do-aheads and being able to buy in bulk. We also benefit from a well-stocked pantry.

I hear her from another room singing, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” in a singsong voice. She’s happy and singing, and I am listening. I turn back to picking up paper bits that have been discarded on the floor, left there by small hands and scissors. I move on to the dishes and the breakfast crumbs, and out of the corner of my eye I see piles of paper that need to be dealt with, placed there for me to tackle. Later.

In the background the singing has become louder and a bit more urgent, the tune turning to a minor chord. I realize that perhaps the singing has been calling me all along. I ask her what she needs. “I need you, Mommy!” I walk towards the voice and see my girl sitting there, waiting, and as she sees me she commands, “Wipe. My. Butt.”

It’s good to be home.

I have been in San Francisco meeting new friends and reconnecting with old, cementing relationships and having a blast at BlogHer Food. Thank you all for being your fantastic selves, sharing your passion and loving life and food. Being with like-minded people always helps to center and ground, and I’ve learned and grown so much in the last four days from all the wonderful interactions and words and stories I had the pleasure of experiencing.

Monday – Pumpkin Halloween Pancakes decorated with spiders

Tuesday – Spinach Pomegranate Salad with Pears and Walnuts with grilled chicken breasts

Wednesday – Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Cream

Thursday – Butternut Pear Curry Bisque with fresh baked (sourdough) bread

Friday – Vegetable Crumble

The Preparation Shortcuts:

1. I’m buying a crate of pears for both the soup and the salad, and then I think I’ll make some of Katie’s pearsauce with the leftovers for lunches. I love pears, and we don’t eat nearly enough of them.
2. Make the pumpkin cream ahead of time for the enchiladas while you are making the pancakes. Plus, a bit of maple syrup in place of the broth will make for an unexpected topping for those pancakes. just make two separate pans, one with broth for the enchiladas and one for the pancakes.
3. Leftover squash and vegetables from the enchiladas and butternut soup can be added to the vegetable crumble. It also acts as a catchall for any leftover lunch items as well.
4. Chicken enchiladas can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer or fridge. Make the chicken on Tuesday while you’re grilling. Top with the sauce and cheese just before baking.

The Shopping List:

1 package bacon
1 pound chicken breasts
8 corn tortillas
1 crate pears
1-2 zucchini or yellow squash
3 Roma tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
1 butternut squash
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1-2 pie pumpkins
1 apple
1 pomegranate
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 ounces blue cheese
1 cup Queso Fresco

Pantry Items:
baking powder
oat flour
whole wheat pastry flour
vegetable or chicken broth
canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Dijon mustard
fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Last week from Food for My Family:

Peach Freezer Smoothies
On Babble’s Family Kitchen:
Harry Potter Licorice Wands and Cockroach Clusters
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Ghost and Pumpkin Crispy Treats
On Simple Bites today: Turkey Leftovers

For more menu plans:


  1. It’s great to see this planning! We try and do the same thing every week! Saves money – less waste! I’m going to add a few of these items to our list.

  2. Mmmm, these all look yummy! I may try them all. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for a GREAT list!!…….I need to get in a better habit of planning my week ahead of time, so I can add in some new recipes!
    Thanks for linking to my pancakes…….my family REALLY enjoys them!!

  4. Thank you for the list my husband and I are working hard on budgeting and have enjoyed your list. I love this time of year because I feel as if I can put pumpkin in everything. Just the other day I made a Pumpkin Green Monster smoothie. It was amazing. http://ashandlewplus2.com/2010/09/27/pumpkin-green-monster/ I look forward to your holiday picks.
    Have a great day Ashlee

  5. Both the enchiladas and the veggie crumbles look delicious. I love the idea of using a pumpkin cream sauce and it’s a good time of year for enchiladas.

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