• domesticity,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

    Meal Planning Day Two!

    meal planning day 2

    There’s a reason I made super-healthy stir-fry pork and vegetables yesterday. It was because I made super-unhealthy sour-cream sauce meatballs today. I don’t know where this recipe came from. Maybe I made it up. My grandma (Hi Gramma!) made Swedish meatballs a lot for us when I was a kid but I never got the hang of her mushroom soup sauce. I know she’s told me how to make it a million times but this sauce seems to work pretty well for me. Also, Toby likes it. He’s pretty picky about certain things tasting like they came out of a can so this works for us.

    How bad is it to cook with three giant heaping serving-size spoons full of sour cream anyway? I never asked. Is it as bad as creamy alfredo sauce? Worse? I’m sure there is a way you could make this lighter. I do add milk sometimes to make it go further.

    ingredients for meatballs

    So for those of you hopeless cooks like me looking for new recipes, or for those of you who just want to laugh at me, here is the makeshift recipe:


  • a package of hamburger (a pound? I don’t know, whatever your family eats)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cornbread stuffing, ground into bread crumbs (or you could just use bread crumbs—imagine that!)
  • half an onion, chopped fine
  • oregano
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • sour cream
  • olive oil
  • some pretty green herbs snipped from your herb garden (optional)
  • Directions:

    1. Make sure you remember to get your hamburger out of the freezer the night before or the morning of. It’s impossible to make meatballs with frozen meat. Or at least that is my experience. Microwaving it never really works that great for me.
    2. Mix the hamburger, egg, chopped onion, and ground-up stuffing or breadcrumbs. Add oregano, garlic salt and pepper to your taste. (We like a lot of pepper in our house.) Mix mix mix. If you have a helper on hand, enlist her! Just make sure she washes her hands.
    3. mixer girl

    4. Make meatballs. This is pretty self explanatory, no?
    5. washing up

    6. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the meatballs.
    7. When meatballs are done, drain excess oil. Or leave it in if you like heart attacks. Sometimes I do. Heh.
    8. Add three giant scoops of sour cream and roll your meatballs around in it. Cook for 1 minute.
    9. Add pretty snipped herbs from your garden (English Thyme for me) so that your meatballs don’t look like mushy white balls of grossness.
    10. close-up

    11. Serve with boiled potatoes and a salad and enjoy!
    12. That’s all I got! Tomorrow: green enchiladas! Get your crockpots out!

  • domesticity,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

    Meal Planning Day One!

    the plan

    Wow. So you guys want to know how I plan my meals? Me?!! The one who is a horrible cook? Alrighty then! Now I know what to blog about all week. This should be fun. As in let’s-make-fun-of-Brenda sort of fun. Ha ha! Bring it ON!

    So uh. The above is my fancy plan. Do you like how Bug added her big “H” signature? She likes to contribute. Pretty much what I do is I have this pre-created sheet of things that I buy at the grocery store and off to the bottom right I have the days of the week listed and lines to write in. Before I finish up my grocery list and head off to the store, I quickly fill out those blanks and make sure I have all the ingredients. If I don’t I add them to my list. Sometimes I start on Monday, sometimes I start with Thursday. It doesn’t really have to be a set day, I just always shop for a week’s amount of food.

    I’d love to shop every day and be that kind of cook who buys the freshest seasonal ingredients to inspire the day’s meals but I just can’t make that big of a time commitment. I don’t have time to shop every day. I’d also love to only shop once a month but then we’d have lots of nice vegetables for a week and the other three weeks we’d be living off canned goods and frozen food. I like fresh vegetables every day if I can manage it. Since vegetables don’t last much longer than a week for me, I shop for a week.

    the list

    This is what my shopping list looks like. I created it ages ago before Bug was even born (back in the days when I had more free time, but I still think it’s worth making even if you are busy because once you make it, you can print it out until the end of time and save yourself lots of headaches). It’s not very fancy. I created it in Adobe InDesign and if any of you use that, I’d be happy to share that file with you. But it’s set up for my grocery store, which is Ralph’s, and catered to the things I buy so it probably won’t be all that helpful to you other than comparing and contrasting. Here’s a pdf for your snooping pleasure.

    super mom meal plan

    I made an illustrated one for you guys that asked for one but I don’t personally think it would work for me because I need those prompts to help me remember what I need to buy. But this can be a starting point. Try this out and let me know how it works.

    have list, will shop

    After I’ve made my list and checked it twice, I head out of the house to go shop. Whatever you do, don’t forget your list! I do that all the time and then I royally fail. Maybe you have a photographic memory but I don’t. Good thing we have another market within walking distance that I can run off to if I need a missing ingredient. But it’s more expensive than my favorite grocery store and usually swarming with beach tourists.

    we didn't forget the list!

    Then we shop! With the list! Bug helps me all the time. I thought the little tiny cart would be a fading novelty but, no. She insists on pushing it every single time we visit. If they are out of small carts it’s a tragedy. The small cart is actually really helpful. It keeps her going in one direction (most of the time) and we get a lot of people remarking about what a good little shopper she is. She’s mostly learned the routine and isn’t throwing in every single green product she sees anymore.

    food for a week

    This is what I bought this week (minus a few boxes of cookies for Toby the junk-food-aholic). No wonder I’m always broke. That’s a lot of food! I’ve tried to buy less and it never works. So this is what we consume. Sometimes I buy less meat but we were low since I have been out of town for two weeks.

    This is this week’s plan:

    Monday: Vegetable Pork Stir-fry and sticky rice
    Tuesday: Meatballs in sour cream sauce with small red potatoes and a green salad
    Wednesday: Green Enchiladas and a green salad
    Thursday: *leftovers (or mac and cheese or ramen noodles with vegetables)
    Friday: Roman Chicken with oven baked french fries and/or sweet potatoes and a green salad
    Saturday: leftovers
    Sunday: Lasagna and a green salad

    *Thursday was going to be sausage and rice but I somehow flubbed up and forgot to buy sausage. So the list doesn’t always work perfectly but that’s okay because most of these meals will create another meal’s worth of leftovers. I like leftovers. I know some people don’t but I do. They mean less time in the kitchen and more time on my laptop!


    This is what we ate last night. It was yummy. Recipe after the jump.

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay