Monday, December 1, 2014

December Menu Plan

This month is all about making the most of what we have so we can spare a little cash for holiday baking.  We'll be making the most of the pre-Thanksgiving sales by using potatoes, cranberries, winter squash, and turkey in lots of things.


We'll be having lots of muffins this month:  Cranberry oat muffins, espresso muffins, gingerbread spice muffins (all from Muffins A to Z, which I checked out for ages from the library before purchasing my own copy), The Prudent Homemaker's lemon poppyseed muffins, pumpkin (or winter squash) muffins, and my family's berry muffins.  We'll also be having bagels from Panera (thanks to gift cards), egg sandwiches, and baked oatmeal (from Simply in Season).


To use up the turkey, we'll have:

  • turkey soup (with barley, rice, or noodles) with homemade bread and herb butter
  • turkey tacos with winter squash, refried beans, and homemade peach salsa
  • barbecue turkey burritos or sandwiches with spinach salad
  • confetti fried rice with turkey (a great way to use up those tiny bits)
*We'll also make several batches of homemade turkey stock using the three turkey carcasses we've got in the freezer now (we gleaned a few).  Just put the carcass in the crockpot, fill with water, add an onion if you have it, and cook on low all day.  Then strain it and pick the meat off to use in soup, casseroles, or fried rice.

To use up the winter squash/sweet potatoes, we'll have:
To use the cranberries, we'll have:
  • whole wheat pancakes with cranberry apple crisp and bacon or eggs
  • open faced meatball subs with cranberry/tomato sauce
To use up the potatoes, we'll have:
  • slow cooker potato soup with bacon and cheese (using homemade turkey stock)
  • loaded baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese
Other fillers include:
  • jambalya with steamed veggies
  • broccoli and cheese soup with garlic toast
  • pesto pizza with veggies
  • spicy thai noodle stir fry (my riff on this recipe)
  • tuna casserole with peas or broccoli

As usual, lunches will be leftovers.  We'll be getting our order of fruit from the high school orchestra in a few days, so we'll have those grapefruit and tangelos to fill in lunches and breakfasts.  

Holiday Goodies

The holiday goodies we'll be baking/making this year include:
  • rosemary olive oil bread
  • chocolate dipped peppermint jo-jo's (these are from Trader Joe's and they're fabulous on their own, but even better dipped in white chocolate)
  • muddy buddies/puppy chow (people call it either, but it's the same peanut butter, chocolate-y goodness)
  • muffins for the work crowd
  • citrus marmalade
  • candied grapefruit peal
  • sand dabs --a family favorite, my uncle eats them by the triple batch, and Benny's not far behind! (some people call them wedding cookies, basically butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and pecans rolled into balls or crescent shapes)
We'll save some green by using what we have on hand, buying ingredients in bulk, and using the slow cooker like the work horse that it is.  We'll also save some energy on our heating bill, since the oven will be running more, and we'll batch cook as much as possible.

How's your December shaping up?  Are you keeping dinners easy to make time for holiday baking?  I'd love to hear from you!

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