This week’s menu……modification is the key to success

One thing I am learning about cooking one dinner for the entire family is modification is the key. And self service. I am having the most success when I make a meal that can be a little more exciting for my husband and me, a little more kid friendly for the three kids. The kids are also loving the whole bar/make your own concept. Example of success: one night we had burgers on the grill, roasted potato wedges and salad/chopped veggies. The kids had straight up burgers on rolls, while my husband and I had no rolls, blue cheese in the middle of the burgers and sauteed mushrooms and spinach on top. Still cooking one meal in my book, yet making everyone happy while we ease into food with more flavor for the kids and away from plain pasta with butter.

This week’s menu:

Monday: kids eating at their grandmother’s – just happy I have the night off!

Tuesday: Pasta with chicken, broccoli and Parmesan cheese (Soccer for my 5 year old daughter from 6 – 7 so I need to make this ahead so she can eat at 5 and we will eat later. I boil the pasta water and throw the broccoli in for the last few minutes of cooking time just to blanch it. I’ll save some of the pasta water and throw it in with the pasta, broccoli, some shredded cooked chicken and Parmesan cheese so it makes a sauce.)

Wednesday: Turkey burgers, baked potatoes, fresh fruit (again – can jazz up this meal for my husband and me – i’ll put some extra veggies and toppings (salsa is good) on the baked potatoes for us, my kids can have plain, or with butter, cheese, etc. – whatever they want)

Thursday: Breakfast night – omelettes, bacon, toast, fruit.

Friday: Make your own calzone (fun alternative to pizza – I’ll let the kids pick their fillings (basically leftovers from the week – chicken, broccoli, bacon, even potato! plus any other veggies – mushrooms, roasted red peppers, etc.) put them in, add shredded cheese and sauce if they want, fold the dough in half to make a calzone and bake – I serve sauce on the side for dipping)

My Shopping List:

3 heads broccoli

5 Idaho or russet potatoes

1 small container pre-sliced mushrooms

1 bag carrots

1 package strawberries

1 bag green grapes

1 small container freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 lb pre-shredded cheese (mozzarella or Mexican blend)


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

1 lb bacon

1 small package pre-sliced pepperoni

2 tubes refrigerated pizza dough

1 small jar pizza sauce

4 whole wheat hamburger rolls

1 loaf whole wheat bread

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Rachael Ray