Weekly Dinner Menu: 10/18/10

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’m in the midst of Scholastic book fair madness over at my kids’ school, and I apologize for being late. My menu, however, is filled with make-ahead meals for when – I don’t know – you’re going to be at school all morning and all afternoon and all night and want to leave something edible for your husband to feed the kids. In case you’re that sort of person, there are a few tips here for you. (I’m actually sitting in the midst of the book fair right this minute.)

This menu is tomato-heavy on purpose. It’s the end of the season, and it’s the perfect time to pick up a crate of tomatoes at the market as they liquidate their inventory.

Monday – Spaghetti and Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Tuesday – Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Wednesday – Roasted Tomato Brie Tartlets with Almond Crust with grilled chicken

Thursday – Mediterranean Pasta

Friday – Chantrelle Mushroom and Kale Pizza

The Preparation Shortcuts:

1. Make the tomato sauce and meatballs ahead of time. When it’s time to start dinner, just pop them in the oven or in a pot on the stove. All you have to do is boil the water to cook the pasta and wait for the rest to heat up.
2. This baked potato soup can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated. It’s heat and eat, and that helps. (Crickets)
3. Chicken on Wednesday can be added to Friday’s meal, and if you have a husband like mine, you’ll also be putting it on the pizza.
4. Again, pizza is a great catchall. I like to plan a few to make special, but then a garbage pizza with all the week’s leftovers is a fantastic way to use up those scraps and small pieces of meat that didn’t make it into lunches.

The Shopping List:

1 whole chicken
1 small precooked ham
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh thyme
4-6 ounces chantrelle mushrooms
2 pints cherry tomatoes
6 1/2 lbs paste tomatoes
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
2 red bell peppers
2 poblano peppers
1 cup sour cream
1 mozzarella ball
6 ounces crumbled feta
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cheddar cheese
14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts
8-10 pita bread folds

Pantry Items:
sun-dried tomatoes
kalamata olives
almond flour
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
crushed red pepper
fennel seeds
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Last week from Food for My Family:

Check out our compost pile (video)
On Babble:
Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties
Harry Potter Party: Halloween Time
Spice Pumpkin Cake from Duncan Hines
Poor Man’s Mocha
Boss’s Day: Magnolia Bakery Delivers

For more menu plans:


  1. The book fair looks like a lot of fun. I’m impressed you’re blogging from there. I took a look at the Mediterranean pasta and it sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Feta makes everything taste betta!

  2. I really appreciate when people share their meal ideas. I plan my meals on Sunday nights but sometimes I get so stuck.

    Spaghetti and meatballs are classic and we do make it a lot. I just posted about our spooky spaghetti in honor of Halloween.

    Thanks for sharing your menu.

  3. The soup shown here looks awesome, the image is named Turkey Wild Rice Soup and I was wondering where I could find the recipe for it?

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