Menu Plan Monday: February 2016, Part 2

21 Feb 2016 In: Menu Plan Monday

The kids have made some executive decisions recently, looking for a bit more of a predictable dinner routine. They decided every Tuesday going forward shall be Taco Tuesday, followed by Waffle Wednesday (which may or may not include waffles, but must be a breakfast for dinner night). So we are in a bit of a lifestyle change at the moment.  It will be interesting to see how this develops!

19. crockpot pot roast
20. Nana’s chicken soup
21. FFY – we have a family celebration today, so we’ll be eating there.
22. vacation – Boo’s Salisbury steak meatballs
23. vacation – Taco Tuesday!
24. vacation – irish step – “waffle” Wednesday – aka BFD
25. vacation – spaghetti and meatballs
26. vacation – pizza night! Cheese.
27. chicken with brussels sprouts and butternut squash
28. orecchiete with mini chicken meatballs and garlic bread
29 suitntie’s half-birthday, once every four years, so the kiddos want to celebrate. TBD!
March 1 – Taco Tuesday!

Menu Plan Monday: January 2016, Part 1

2 Jan 2016 In: Menu Plan Monday

omg. 2016. Sh*t just got real.

1. winter veggie soup & grilled cheeses (uses the leftover veggies from Christmas dinner)
2. chicken and black bean enchilada casserole
3. crockpot chicken & wild rice
4. BFD: ham egg and cheese biscuits
5. orecchiette with mini turkey meatballs (or meatballs with hats, as my kids refer to it)
6. FFY Buffet
7. cleopatra chicken
8. spaghetti squash caprese casserole
9. BFD: eggs benedict (all that lemon juice leftover from the cleopatra chicken ! I have to use it, right?)
10. dinner by Boo: salisbury steak meatballs and mashed potatoes
11. kielbasa & potato skillet
12. crockpot bbq beer pulled chicken with cornbread
13. FFY Buffet
14. Beth’s Baked Drumsticks
15. cuban sandwiches

i’m trying, i’m trying. 🙂 Time is a premium.

14. BFD: multigrain waffles and sausage.
15. chicken patty sammies
16. shredded beef quesadillas
17. smothered pork cutlets
18. maui marinated london broil
19. Beth’s baked drumsticks
20. FFY Buffet – we have an ugly sweater party in the afternoon and I doubt anyone will be hungry for dinner.
21. gnocchi with chicken sausage and tomatoes
22. pizza night: cookie sheet pizza <3
23. suitNtie is taking the kids out to Star Wars in the afternoon. They will be stuffed right up with movie food. *insert lightsaber noise here*
24. Christmas Eve! Feast of Seven Fishes… I bring my baked haddock, this year i’m also going to make a baked ravioli dish, and my usual strawberry cheesecakes and some chocolate cream mini-pies for the kiddos.
25. Merry Christmas! our usual dinner…individual beef wellingtons, three cheese mashed potatoes, roasted winter veggies, dinner rolls, shrimp cocktail, caprese salad. Dessert apple crisp a la mode, a buche de noel, and figgy pudding made by Moo and Boo.
26. pulled pork sammies
27. FFY Buffet
28. BFD: omelettes & toast
29. crockpot chicken & wild rice
30. hot dogs and oven fries
31. New Year’s Eve! We take the kiddos out to a kid friendly celebration at a local restaurant that has a balloon drop at a very early hour. 🙂


This post has been years in the making. Which makes it all the more annoying since it has three ingredients.


My friend Sam made this for me once (after a baby? when we had a loss in the family? I can’t quite remember) and I begged her for the recipe. Totally shocked when she told me. The beef broth really gives it a smokier flavor. I was super impressed.

SO. Here you are. You may want to double this. We use it in sammies. We use it in quesadillas. We use it in burritos. WE LIKE IT ON SALAD. I like it with eggs. YES. I love it long time.

1 box high quality, low sodium or unsalted beef stock/broth (I like Kitchen Basics)
2 regular size packages of boneless, country style pork ribs
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce of choice, or shoot… make your own and be more impressive than me.

I throw the stock/broth and the pork ribs in, hit that crockpot to low, and go do something for about 7-8 hours while I dream about the sandwiches I’m gonna eat.

When it’s ready, I take out about 1/3 c of the cooking liquid and set it aside, before I drain the pork in a colander. It will already be falling apart, but you’ll want to help it along in a mixing bowl, where you mix in as much BBQ sauce as you like.

If you’re feeling sassy, pick up a can of chipotle in adobo. puree a chipotle or two and mix it in your bbq sauce (or spread it on your roll of choice for your sammie). It’s REALLY good if you take a little bit (leave it dry without bbq), and use it instead of canadian bacon on eggs benedict. Drizzle a little chipotle bbq over the pork before you put the egg on top. You’re welcome.

I personally like this with some shredded Mexican cheese on a big, bakery bulkie roll. YES.

Go forth and make this. And then you can come back and thank me. Me… I’m going to make two and hit the couch for the Patriots game. Nom nom nom.

Menu Plan Monday: November 2015, Part 2

13 Nov 2015 In: Menu Plan Monday

Never posted the first half… oops.

Anyway, moving on…
14. BFD: cheese omelettes, sausage and homefries with toast.
15. Sunday Family Dinner : Patriots are playing over dinner. Game food in front of the TV… chicken nuggets, pulled pork sammies, veggies & dip.
16. FFY Buffet
17. maple dijon pork tenderloin, rice, green beans
18. pizza night: english muffin!
19. happy 2nd birthday, Lucy! Lucy, our youngest puppy, is having a hamburger cake with mashed potato frosting. We are having hamburgers, salad, and oven fries.
20. BFD: waffles & bacon
21. Happy Birthday, Moo! After her spa birthday party here at the house, dinner is Moo’s choice: this year, it’s roasted chicken, with Auntie Jo’s mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and broccoli, with dinner rolls and a sparkly BIRTHDAY CAKE. 🙂
22. kielbasa and potato skillet
23. shredded beef enchiladas
24. FFY Buffet
25. hot dogs, baked beans, tots. Nom.
26. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m contributing dinner rolls, green beans, roasted pearl onions, cinnamon buns and Moo is making yummy cupcakes that look like turkeys. Pinterest is my downfall.
27. Black Friday. The best FFY day of the entire year.
28. BBQ meatballs
29. Friendsgiving celebration! 🙂 Still deciding on what I’m making, so TBD.
30. chicken croquettes – someday I really need to make my own post on this, because they are so.damn.good.  It’s only been like 8 years. Same thing with the pulled pork from the 15th. Oy.

Menu Plan Monday: October 2015, Part 2

17 Oct 2015 In: Menu Plan Monday

Yes, it’s been over a year since the last post. How horrifying.  But so many things have happened in a year…too much to type here (baby steps! ah, the pun), but this is the first step.

I’m so very happy to be getting back to a semi-normal routine.  Meal planning keeps me sane… feel very out of control when I’m not aware of what’s going on in my kitchen.
17. PTA event at school… so pizza and hot dogs while there.
18. Beth’s baked drumsticks
19. asian stuffed cabbage rolls (NEW!)
20. FFY Buffet
21. chicken sausage with tomatoes and gnocchi
22. pulled pork sammies
23. chicken lo mein
24. BFD: BEC on english muffin
25. Patriots @ 1pm – so it’s a GFG (Game Food Graze) night
26. honey garlic chicken
27. Oktoberfest: pork schnitzel and German apple cake for dessert
28. FFY Buffet
29. BFD: ham and spinach hash
30. rigatoni and meatballs
31. Happy Halloween! Mummy dogs

Menu Plan Monday: September 2014, Part 2

18 Sep 2014 In: Menu Plan Monday

18. Crockpot Pot Roast
19.  chicken fricassee
20.  BFD.  Buttermilk pancakes, maple bacon and eggs.
21.  Sunday Dinner:  rigatoni & meatballs
22.  baked chicken parmesan
23.  chicken souvlaki (NEW!)
24.  philly cheesesteak puffs (NEW!)
25.  turkey fried rice (NEW!)
26. steak and potatoes
27. FFY Buffet… we have two birthday parties and a soccer game AND a swim lesson. Oy.
28. Sunday Dinner: TBD, at a renaissance fair! 🙂
29.  crockpot chicken teriyaki (NEW!)
30.  pizza night!

Menu Plan Monday: September 2014, Part 1

6 Sep 2014 In: Menu Plan Monday

Late! I feel like the Mad Hatter. Back to school is complete, though!

6. BFD: buttermilk pancakes, bacon, eggs and homefries!
7. Sunday Dinner:  baked chicken caprese, green beans from the garden, rice pilaf.
8.  turkey club sammies with oven fries.
9.  1st After-School Activity (ASA) night of the year (and our parental career, really): marinated london broil, broccoli, rice (I’m making the rice the day before, because rice, annoyingly, always takes 12 hours to cook)
10.  2nd ASA night: hot dogs on the grill, baked beans, salad.
11.  Mexican night! tacos or quesadillas.  Yellow rice & black beans.
12. family movie night:  Matilda!  grilled cheeses, apple sauce & popcorn.
13. TBD:  we are celebrating a new home purchase for friends at an open house party.
14.  have friends coming over for the Patriots game.  So game food of some sort… chicken tenders, baked potato skins.. still working that one out.
15.  FFY buffet

Menu Plan Monday: August 2014, Part 2

18 Aug 2014 In: Menu Plan Monday

So, SO happy to be writing this. It’s been a hectic few months (as you can tell from the last MPM post!) but many good things are on the way.

First and foremost, the meal plan:

18. lemony baked cod fillets with brown rice and green beans
19. maple thyme thick-cut pork chops and roasted veggies (potato, butternut & zucchini from the garden)
20. hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill with sweet potato tots, and a lettuce/cucumber/tomato salad from our garden
21. FFY Buffet
22.  BFD & family movie night:  whole grain berry pancakes & bacon
23.  pizza night: individual pizzas TBD, Boo will have his folded in half as an “italian grilled cheese” (shh… he will actually eat pizza this way only)
24. Sunday dinner: roast beef with slow cooked  tomatoes and garlic
25.  sneaky chicken quesadillas (aka Mexican grilled cheese as far as Boo is concerned) with fresh local corn, YUM!
26. Beth’s roasted chicken drums, mashed potatoes and broccoli
27. Boo and Moo are back to school today! Kiddos’ choice.
28. Maui-marinated london broil with pineapple jasmine rice
29. Happy Birthday, suitntie! 🙂 TBD, but dinner out at his place of choice.
30. FFY Buffet
31. Sunday Dinner and movie night:  cheese and cracker chicken, wild rice & garlic green beans

I am also making a batch of the Pioneer Woman’s beans and cornbread for suitntie’s lunches because he loves it so much (but the kids won’t touch it) and some blueberry oat bran muffins. nom nom nom.

Menu Plan Monday: June 2014, Part 1

30 May 2014 In: Menu Plan Monday

Oops. I missed May entirely. Forgive me. Finals and a big trip to Disney… it was chaos, made worse by lack of a meal plan. oy.

In any case, i’m making up for it with a vengeance this month. Tons of new recipes! So much fun. Have you found a new, fun recipe lately? What is your favorite go to in the summer?

Moving on!

  1. Sunday Dinner:  crispy fish (and fish nuggets for kiddos) with lemon-dill sauce (NEW!)
  2. Meatless Monday:  southwestern rice and beans with tortillas (NEW!)
  3. honey sesame chicken (NEW!)
  4. crockpot mongolian beef
  5. FFY Buffet
  6. Pizza night!  margherita!
  7. hot dogs on the grill and baked beans
  8. Sunday Dinner: orange-glazed pork tenderloin with cranberry tabbouleh!  (NEW!)
  9. Meatless Monday: black bean soup (although we are using a cheat of chicken broth, sorry) (NEW!)
  10. cottage pie (NEW!)
  11. black beans & sausage (made before but forgot to post about it)
  12. BFD:  eggs and bacon with pancakes!
  13. FFY: my sister is graduating!
  14. TBD: big graduation party. I’m making my dad’s favorite dartmouth st. jambalaya, pork tenderloin with maple glaze, italian chopped salad, chinese napa salad, and my famous brownies and Katie’s sangria. I can’t believe after all these years I still have not posted the jambalaya recipe. sigh. I’m so lazy.  Both of those salads i’ve made before, too…and still haven’t posted. It’s going to be a summer of posting for me.
  15. FFY. No way I’m cooking. 🙂

About the Kitchen

MGCK started as a New Year's resolution for 2009. I wanted to start trying menu planning, a concept that I had stumbled across while looking for dinner ideas online. I dove into it with energy and saw success immediately. The success only made me more interested in how I could improve, what new recipes I could find, etc. I started using my family blog for menu planning posts and it kind of started to take over. So, I decided to give my culinary fumblings their own home- and MGCK was born.

Why "my grand central kitchen?" Well, I have three young children (a third grader, a first grader and an infant). I am a Girl Scout troop leader, a nursing student at night. Cooking is a hobby for me. So you could say that aside from the playroom, the kitchen is the busiest room in my house and usually looks it, especially with the way my home is have to go through it to get anywhere! It feels a bit like Grand Central, especially between 4 and 7 pm.

There's four of us eating in the Kitchen at the moment (although our third child will eventually join us), and we all have different tastes and preferences. My oldest has some sensory food issues that we're working through, which throws a bigger wrench into an already challenging menu plan preparation. But every week, we're making progress. And some nights, we are on the run with activities and I'm not on duty. Leftovers are always worked in! And PB&Js or grilled cheeses DO happen. I'm not trying to be Martha Stewart, here. I can't be. However, menu planning saves all kinds of time and sanity for me.

I hope that this blog gives me even more inspiration for my own home and the ability to inspire others in the kitchen, as well. I'll be posting not just menu planning and recipe links, but also interesting things I find online, things on my wishlist and recommendations, when I have the time. I try to post the bimonthly meal plans on time, but it rarely happens although I have the best of intentions. ;)
I certainly hope you enjoy the read.