MENU – December Week 5

Another Holiday Week of Options

Menu 1

It’s a Tapas Party Option

  • Prosciutto Wrapped Pears
  • Veggies & Dip
  • Beefy Quesadillas
  • Chocolate Brownie Bites with Fresh Berries

When I was little my parents would always offer us sparkling grape juice. It was so fun to be included in the festivities. I’m sure we’ll have child and adult-friendly bubbly.



  • Get your brownies cooking. I like to buy the Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix. We jazz it up by using strong coffee in place of the water & a combination of coconut oil & olive oil for the required oil. They’re ahhh-mazing.
  • Now get your veggie tray ready and place your dip in a bowl. Put it in the refrigerator until time to serve. You can prep it early in the day if you like. I like to buy a ranch-type Greek yogurt or sour cream dip with few ingredients.
  • Brown your ground beef for the quesadillas. I season with salt, pepper, and about a tablespoon of Mexican blend spices. You can use a rotisserie chicken if you prefer or just make them cheese.
  • Now preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Slice your pears (I use Bartlett) into 6-8 slices. Wrap each pear wedge with thinly sliced prosciutto and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Generally, I make 3 per person. Pop in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the prosciutto gets crispy. IF you like, drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar over the finished pears on a serving plate.
  • When your beef is done, carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Now, slap those quesadillas together. Heat a skillet or griddle pan to medium heat. Add your beef to your tortillas along with shredded cheese. Toast them up. Cut into wedges and serve. Happy New Year’s Eve!

Grocery Items

  • Ground beef
  • Pears
  • Veggies for dipping
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt or Sour Cream Dip
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • Tortillas (if you need more)
  • Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice (if desired)
  • Brownie Mix, or premade brownies of choice
  • Spices: Mexican Blend (I use this one)

Menu 2

The Southerner’s Traditional New Year’s Dinner Option (I’m sure you know I’m Southern by now ;))

  • Pork Chops
  • Greens
  • Black-eyed peas



  • Get those greens going. This is for a 1 pound bag of frozen greens. Increase amounts as needed. Start by cooking up your bacon in a medium to large soup pot.  Get it crisp and remove bacon to a paper towel.
  • Keep the heat on low to medium. Now add 1/2 c water, 1/4 c vinegar (apple cider OR red wine), 1/3 c sugar, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir until sugar is dissolved and add your frozen greens. Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Crumble bacon and put in the greens just before serving.
  • Put your black-eyed peas right in a soup pot with 1/2 c chicken stock (per 12-16 oz bag). Turn to medium heat and cover. Stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. NOTE: If you can find fresh ones in your produce section that would be even better. Start with a cold pan. Season pork chops with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in pan. Now turn heat to medium-high and get them cooking. Once your pan is hot, it will be about 6-8 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Let rest about 5 minutes before serving. Happy New Year!!!

Grocery Items

  • Pork Chops
  • Bacon
  • Collard Greens, frozen, chopped
  • Black-eyed Peas, frozen/canned/fresh
  •  Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chicken Stock
  • Sugar

Menu 3

  • Roasted Chicken Thighs
  • Honey Roasted Carrots
  • Asparagus w/ Goat Cheese crumbles
  • Dinner Rolls


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees to roast the thighs. I usually make 1-2 per person depending on the size of the thighs.
  • Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil and place your boneless, skinless thighs in the dish. NOTE: Make enough for tomorrow…we’re doing boneless, skinless for ease in chopping tomorrow.
  • Now generously drizzle the thighs with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a seasoning blend like Table Blend Mrs. Dash. Pop in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  • Now let’s get our carrots ready. Dump a bag of baby carrots (or more as needed) into a large Ziploc bag. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, and salt & pepper to taste in the bag. Shake, shake, and spread on the pan. Put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Turn halfway.
  • Prep dinner rolls.
  • Put about a tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan and turn to medium heat. Saute your trimmed asparagus and season with salt and pepper. This will take about 6-8 minutes depending on desired texture. Remove from pan just before serving and top with crumbled goat cheese. This will be a colorful and delicious meal!

Grocery Items

  • Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless,  (2 meals)
  • Baby Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Spice: Table Blend Mrs. Dash

Menu 4

  • Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad (using leftovers)

Talk about a delicious meal salad. It’s so good you might as well pack one for lunch tomorrow, too!

PLAN AHEAD TIP: Get your marinade ready for tomorrow if you’d like. It’ll save time in the morning.



  • Place your salad greens of choice on large salad bowls or plates. Top with 1/4-1/3 c shredded cheese of choice.
  • Now chop your leftover chicken thighs from last night into bite-sized pieces. Sometimes I reheat them in the microwave and sometimes I don’t. It’s good either way. Put on your salad.
  • Now top with 1/3 c rinsed and thoroughly drained black beans and 1/3-1/2 c drained canned corn.
  • Add cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, and avocado as desired.
  • Drizzle with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing of choice. Deeeee-licious! And, easy!

Grocery Items

  • Salad Greens
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Onion, if desired
  • BBQ Sauce of choice
  • Avocado
  • Shredded Cheese of choice
  • Black Beans, canned
  • Corn, canned
  • Ranch Dressing of choice

Menu 5

  • Marinated Flank Steak
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cranberry Kale Salad

MARINATE AHEAD: You can get it ready in the morning and it’ll be ready to cook when you get home.

FLAVOR/INGREDIENT NOTE: If you have leftover goat cheese crumbles, throw them in your salad. It’ll be tasty.



  • This recipe works for ~2-pounds of flank steak. Flank is very lean, so marinating helps. Mix together 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/3 c olive oil, 1/2 c orange juice, 3 tbsp minced garlic, and pepper to taste. Pour over the flank steak in a large dish and cover or throw it all in a Ziploc bag. Place in the refrigerator for 2-8 hours. NOTE: Make enough flank steak to use tomorrow as well. I like to cook it to medium or less so we don’t have overdone meat tomorrow.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and put them on a foil-lined baking sheet. I cut them in half to speed cooking time. Pop in the oven for about 35-45 minutes or until tender and serve sliced with butter, salt, and pepper to taste. NOTE: Make extra for Saturday’s dinner.
  • Get your steak out and preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grill about 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness and let sit for about 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
  • Mix up your salad in a large mixing bowl. I use a large handful of baby kale and 2 tbsp dried cranberries per person. Mix with your preferred balsamic vinaigrette and serve on half your plate. What a yummy meal!

Grocery Items

  • Flank Steak (2 meals)
  • Sweet Potatoes (2 meals)
  • Garlic
  • Baby Kale, washed and precut
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Orange Juice
  • Lite Soy Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Butter

Menu 6

  • Orange Beef and Broccoli (using leftover beef)
  • Rice

There are many ways to make this dish. This is a fast and tasty way to turn your leftover steak into something fabulous.




  • Get out the leftover flank steak and slice into bite-sized pieces. Put in a mixing bowl with 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tbsp lite soy sauce, and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Mix thoroughly to coat the meat.
  • Using a microwave-safe bowl, steam your broccoli in the microwave until tender.
  • Get your rice cooking by steaming in the microwave or use quick-cooking rice for the stovetop. Follow package instructions.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add steak mixture. Once heated, add 1/2 c orange juice and 1/2 c beef stock. Bring to a boil to thicken and then reduce heat. Add extra beef stock if needed and add hot pepper flakes to add a little heat if you like. Mix in cooked broccoli and serve over rice. Enjoy!

Grocery Items

  • Broccoli, Fresh/Frozen
  • Lite Soy Sauce
  • Garlic
  • Orange Juice
  • Beef Stock
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice, quick cooking or frozen
  • Olive Oil
  • Spice: Hot Pepper Flakes (if desired)

Menu 7

  • BBQ Shrimp
  • Braised Cabbage
  • Sweet Potato Rounds (leftover)
  • Cookies 


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. We’ll start with your cabbage. Chop your small head of red cabbage. I usually cut mine into small strips.
  • Heat an oven-safe pot on the stovetop to medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp butter, 1/2 c water, 1/4 c white vinegar, and 2 tbsp honey. Bring to a boil and add in your cabbage. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Reduce heat and cook on the stovetop for about 15 minutes stirring frequently.  Cover and put in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Stir 1-2 times.
  • While your cabbage is cooking, get your leftover potatoes out and slice into 1/2-1 inch rounds. Gently reheat in a large skillet heated to medium heat with olive oil. You could also reheat in the microwave. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Now, just before your cabbage comes out, get those shrimp cooking. You’ll be using peeled and deveined fresh or thawed shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and add to a medium saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and toss with BBQ sauce of choice. Dinner is served!

Grocery Items

  • Shrimp (fresh/frozen)
  • Red Cabbage
  • BBQ Sauce of choice
  • Butter
  • White Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Your favorite cookies
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