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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weekly Meal Planning (Including Five Yummy Recipes You Don't Want to Miss!)

Just being a wife can be overwhelming.  Add kids on to that.  Add a part time or full time job on the pile.  Let's not even touch the SAHM realm because that is way too overwhelming for me.  :) 

My point is I know that we can all fall into a rut of cereal or sandwiches for dinner.  I wanted to write a post specifically for you women out there who really do want to cook but can't seem to make it happen.  I want to let you in on a huge secret - preparation and organization are your best friends.  All you have to do is dedicate an  hour or two one day a week to plan out your meals for the upcoming week and write out a grocery list.  If you want to be REALLY organized you can even write out your list according to the grocery store layout.  I should be ashamed to admit this but instead I'm proud to say I supermarket sweep my ass through the grocery store in about 30 minutes.  This is so much easier than trying to make it by the grocery store every day, especially if you have a screaming toddler in tow.

This past week I was trying to use up some of the deer meat we had in the fridge and save money which is why the below recipes are heavy on the venison.  (We normally mix it up with shrimp, chicken, venison and beef throughout the week.)  Say what?  You don't have a manly, rifle toting, beard growing lumberjack of a husband who hunts for your family's dinner?  No problem.  I will tell you what you can substitute in each recipe. ;)

Chicken Fried Steak and Parmesan Spinach New Potatoes
If you were forced to pick one recipe off my entire blog this would be the one I recommend.  My in-laws taught me how to make CFS a couple of years back and I have not been the same since. :)  My husband loves it so much he often requests that I make it more than once a week.

CFS Ingredients:
  • 1 lb cubed venison OR 1 lb cubed steak (found in beef section at grocery store)
  • Buttermilk
  • Flour
  • Corn Meal (white or yellow)
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 packet country gravy mix (McCormick is pretty good but make sure you don't get sausage flavored)
*You can make your own gravy if you want to work extra hard but I promise the packet is just as good, actually better in my opinion.* 

New Potatoes Ingredients:

  • 4 red new potatoes (small potatoes)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh bag of spinach 
  • Garlic powder
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

CFS Directions:
  1. Soak the steaks in buttermilk for about an hour.
  2. Fill a frying pan up with vegetable oil about 1/3 to halfway (enough to cover about half of the CFS).  Heat oil on medium high until hot.  (A good way to test this is to get water on your fingertips and flick it in the pan.  When it pops it's ready!)
  3. Lay out three small plates.
  4. Put about 3 Tablespoons of flour on one plate.
  5. Beat 1 - 2 eggs and put on the second plate.
  6. Put about 1 Tablespoon of flour and 2 Tablespoons of corn meal on the third plate.  
  7. Dip each cube steak in each mixture (in the above order).  
  8. Place in the pan.
  9. You should be able to fit 3 in a pan easily.
  10. Fry on each side until golden brown.  Be careful you do not let it burn.  You can cut in half to make sure it is done but remember this is beef and it does not have to be well done.
  11. No need to make sure the gravy is done at the same time.  (Don't overwhelm yourself.)  You can put the CFS in the microwave to keep warm.  Trust me, it will not matter if they are hot once you put steaming hot gravy on top.
  12. Follow the directions on the packet for the gravy.  I like to serve the gravy in ramekins on the side so the steak does not get mushy.

Parmesan Spinach New Potatoes Directions:
  1. Wash new potatoes and cut in half.
  2. Put in a microwave safe dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes.  I cook for five minutes, stir, cook for five more minutes.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking put about 1 - 2 T olive oil in a pan and heat on medium high.  Add fresh spinach, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook until they are wilted (flat and somewhat wrinkly).
  5. Once the potatoes are done, smash with a fork.  You are not looking for a smooth consistency like mashed potatoes.  These are supposed to be chunky.
  6. Add cooked spinach to potatoes and however much parmesan cheese you want.  Feel free to add more garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Yum!

Venison Spaghetti

It doesn't get much easier than spaghetti.  And it's always a kiddo pleaser!

  • 1 lb ground venison or ground beef
  • 1 package thin whole wheat spaghetti (might as well be healthy)
  • 1 jar onion and garlic spaghetti sauce  
  1. Brown meat and drain.
  2. Pour entire jar of sauce into a pot, add meat, turn on medium high.  Once it boils turn down to a simmer.
  3. Boil a pot of water and add spaghetti noodles.  Cook for 10 minutes and drain.
  4. I mix the sauce with the noodles.
 I serve with Caesar salad and  garlic cheese toast.  Texas Cheese Toast is a great brand but Kroger and Wal Mart also have their own brand.

Venison Crock Pot Chili

This was my first attempt at making chili.  I'm not gonna' lie - we love Wolf brand Chili but there is something satisfying about coming home to home made chili in a crock pot.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and literally had to cut it down by about 75% so bear with me on the rough measurements.

  • 1 pound of Ground Venison OR Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced (I used 3 T minced garlic from jar)
  • 15 ounces, weight Can Kidney Beans (drained But Not Rinsed)
  • 6 ounces, weight Jar Salsa
  • 20 ounces, weight Jar Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Mexican Rotel 
  • 2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Sour Cream, Optional, for serving
  • Shredded Cheese (optional for serving)
  • Jalapenos (optional for serving)
  • Crackers/Tortilla Chips/Cornbread (optional for serving)
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, onion and garlic and cook until the meat is browned and the onions are softened.
  2.  Drain the grease and place the beef mixture into a large crock pot.   
  3.  Add the remaining chili ingredients into the crockpot and stir to combine.
  4.  Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  5.  Serve garnished with jalapenos, sour cream, and shredded cheese as desired.
I served with cornbread and we tore the cornbread up into pieces and put in our chili.  Yum!

Venison Backstrap Kabobs

My BIL made backstrap venison for me when I was in Houston a while back and I had a whole new outlook on eating deer meat.  Yum!  So I took his marinade idea and we used it for these kabobs for Super Bowl Sunday!

Kabob Ingredients:

  • Venison backstrap cutlets (sorry I don't have an alternative for you)  :)
  • Whole mushrooms
  • Chunks of onion
  • Any other veggies you want on your kabobs
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Kosher/Sea Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Marinate meat in a plentiful amount of olive oil, rosemary (I used rosemary from a jar), kosher/sea salt and pepper.  Leave in fridge for a few hours.
  2. Put on kabob sticks with veggies in between.
  3. Grill.  Don't overcook.  I would say the hubbs left these about medium.  Yum!

We served these with boyscout potatoes and you can look at this post to get that recipe.  Amazing!

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

If I was being honest I would say this was not our favorite recipe of the week.  But if you love crock pot recipes it's definitely a good one to try.


  • 1 pound cubed venison OR beef stew meat
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • I added about 1/2 sour cream (only because I overcooked it and needed to make it creamier)

  1. In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese (and sour cream if you want) just before serving.
  3. Serve over wide egg noodles.




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