Food: Meal Plan Week of 11/5/12

Food: Meal Plan Week of 11/5/12

Happy November!

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween… Daughter wanted to be Cinderella and son was Spiderman.  I feel like it was Halloween for the whole month though because they were wearing the costumes every week!:)

As for the whole month of October- whew! It has been quite an adjustment becoming a school mom!  In addition to the driving back and forth daily, there’s the extra school activities, plus the extra curricular ones too!! And she’s only five! I was shocked at how much I spent on gas last month…OMG!

The thing affected most by this is dinner time! I always feel like I’m scrambling around 3-5PM, whereas before I used to just be home, leisurely cooking the meal for a 5:30PM dinner time. I realized the only solution to my problem is pushing my dinner time. My kids seem to eat better later, so I’m doing it!  This gives me a little more time to prepare and not have to resort to eating out.

So here we go…

Kid’s lunch

Monday:  Fried rice

Tuesday: Spinach & Cheese quesadilla

Wednesday: Ham, Cheese, Spinach sandwich

Thursday: Chicken taquitos

Friday: Mini pizza


Dinner Menu

Monday: Chinese food

Tuesday:  Omurice with Kimchi jjigae for hubbie

Wednesday: Bibimbap with veggies, fried egg

Thursday:  Chicken & Potatoes ( 닭볶음탕) Spicy for us big kids, soy sauce based for the real kids.

Friday: Kalbi with Lettuce wraps, Bean Paste soup with tofu & veggies, Steamed Egg

I haven’t been cooking as much Korean just because of time, but I think my whole family is craving it, so going all Korean this week. This is great because now I only have to go to one or two different grocery stores vs. three or more!

Happy Cooking and happy Election Day! Hope everyone can make time to go vote today!

Food: Menu Plan for 10/22/12

Food: Menu Plan for 10/22/12


I’m back from my two-week hiatus.  I was itching to write, but found no time.

Husband was away for school, mother-in-law was over to help, and finally I am back to a normal schedule.  Whew!

This month has been one of those unmotivated months.  I’m pushing myself to menu plan and cook! Still sticking to the cash method though and surprisingly it’s still going great! That’s a plus for the month.
Here we go!


Kids’ lunch:

Monday: Peanut butter sandwich, carrots, applesauce

Tuesday:  Turkey, spinach, tomato sandwich, applesauce, carrots

Wednesday: homemade fish sticks, sweet potato fries, strawberries

Thursday: Spinach cheese quesadilla, carrots, applesauce

Friday: Seaweed rice balls, snack

My goal is for my daughter to finish her meal. I made a deal with her. If she finishes her lunch five times in a row, I will start putting other snacks in her lunch. And this week, she did it!! I told her, now I can trust that she will eat her lunch along with her snacks!:) Let’s see how this week goes. Also, I started making sandwiches with the round, thin bread, and she LOVES it. I love it. Oh my, it’s really good. It’s the perfect size for her too.  No crust to worry about and no bread goes to waste. Love it!


On to dinner…

Dinner Menu:

Monday: Grilled Cheeseburger night, mini sliders for the kids ( Spinach, tomatoes, guacamole for toppings)

Tuesday: Pot roast with veggies, potatoes

Wednesday: Omurice w/ Japanese curry

Thursday: Family birthday dinner

Friday:  Veggie Lasagna


Fresh & Easy

I already posted about some of my favorite Fresh & Easy products here , but I wanted to rave again about their Friends Rewards program.

I am ALL about bargains, collecting points, using points, etc.  Up until now, I haven’t used a rewards program that paid me right away like Fresh & Easy’s Friends rewards.  Basically, you rack up points every time you shop at their store.  Simple, easy, runs like any other grocery store.  However, I was really surprised at how easy it was to actually use your rewards and how fast it could accrue.  Just recently, I converted my points into dollars to use at the store.  You do this all online and it automatically loads the money onto your Friends rewards card.  At my next F&E shopping trip, I simply swiped my Friends rewards as a source of payment, and voila- I saved $24 on my grocery bill!! Just like that!  With weekly coupons, and an awesome Friends rewards program, I can really get more bang for the buck at Fresh & Easy!  I love it!  Now mind you, I did find that no two F&E’s are alike.  The one in my area seems to have fresh produce all the time, but when I visited another store today, I was disappointed in the quality of the fruits & vegetables.  So hopefully, you can find a larger store with more traffic near you, since they are bound to have a faster turnover in inventory!


Lastly, I leave you with pictures of a menu item posted a couple of weeks ago.

Chicken Kalgooksoo ( flour noodles)

I love the veggies in this dish- zucchini, onions, potatoes…yummy!

I used chicken broth from, well of course- my Costco chicken!:)

Yes, I made sure to smile in this one.  Haha, trying not to be such a serious chef.

How ironic, because I as I always say- HAPPY COOKING! Smile!

Week of Oct 1. : Meal Plan & Highlight

Week of Oct 1. : Meal Plan & Highlight


Happy October!

September was a successful food month!  I actually starting using the envelope system with our food budget.  Basically, using ONLY cash to buy our food for the whole month, whether it be groceries or eating out or even coffee.  All the financial experts say that using cash makes you really feel the impact of every dollar going out. I resisted it for a while because I loved the convenience of my debit card recording all my transactions electronically.  However, I could never keep to my food budget!  Proud to say that this month, we were able to stay within budget, and saved about $300 in food! Wahoo! Hoping to perfect my grocery shopping strategies in the  months to come.

Here is the menu for this week:

Kid’s lunch

Monday:  Grilled chicken cheese sandwich

Tuesday:  Broccoli pasta

Wednesday: Buckwheat noodles in Memi sauce with seaweed

Thursday: Chicken nuggets

Friday:  Peanut butter sandwich



Monday:  Dinner with friends

Tuesday:  Mahi Mahi Fish Taco

Wednesday: Kalbi Soup

Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas ( didn’t get to it last week)

Friday:  Fried rice, Spicy rice cakes, Fish cake soup ( Boon-shik theme)


Highlights from last week:

Shrimp & Veggies Udon Stir-fry:

I didn’t have oyster sauce, so I had to make my own sauce. I used a combination of Sweet Chili sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and Memi sauce ( used for udon and soba).  I have to admit, I used a little too much fish sauce, and it was …well, fishy. 🙂  The concept was great, follow-through, not so much!  Next time, I’ll make sure to have oyster sauce around. I’m also thinking I need a wok! Never owned one before, but I think I’ll put it to good use.

I apologize for the bad picture- it’s a Droid picture.  But lagging, freezing no more! I’m getting my iPhone 5 in two weeks. WAHOO!! My life is about to change forever… I will be in sync with my Apple-loving husband.  Looking forward to taking food pictures with it!!

That’s it for me!

Happy Cooking!

Week of September 18, 2012: Menu Plan

Week of September 18, 2012: Menu Plan


Sorry for the late post!

Here’s the menu for this week:

Kid’s lunch

Monday: Chicken nuggets

Tuesday: Ham & Cheese sandwich

Wednesday: Lunchables ( didn’t get to give it to her last week)

Thursday: Chicken, spinach cheese quesadilla

Friday: Veggie Pasta


Dinner menu:

Monday: Rice cake & Mandoo soup- didn’t get to it last week

Tuesday: Pizza night on the grill

Wednesday: Dinner with Family

Thursday:  Bean sprout & Bulgogi Rice

Friday:  Chicken enchiladas


Highlights from last week:

Bulgogi & Rice:

This was so yummy! It was a glorified Yoshinoya bowl, but ten times better. By the way, I have no idea what the obsession is with Yoshinoya. The meat is so fatty and gross! But my husband swears by it!

I added lots of mushrooms, onions, carrots, and the final key ingredient- sweet potato vermicelli noodles! Something about these glassy noodle, completes the dish. Different than regular bulgogi, I make it with a little more broth so you can pour it over rice.  Add some Sriracha on top and you are good to go!


I’m going to hurry up and post this because it’s almost Thursday!!


Happy Cooking!!

Meal Planning: 5/21

Meal Planning: 5/21

My calendar is packed! Is yours? It’s birthdays, showers, weddings, and graduations! Every Saturday is packed from here on out until I leave for vacation to Korea! woot woot!

Nevertheless, I am back to menu planning, since I need the planning to keep me sane.

I was talking to a fellow mom friend about meal planning, and she shared some valuable advice.  It was about having a menu that are your “staples” and rotating them weekly. It was my biggest challenge to come up with something new every day, every week. But reality is, my kids can live off of seaweed soup for days, and won’t eat all the fancy schmancy stuff I find on Food Network. So today’s post is dedicated to building my “staples” menu and using it. I will try one new recipe a week.  Here we go!


Kim family Go-to meals

1. Mi-yuhk gook or Seaweed soup. (미역국)

2. Rice cake, dumpling soup (떡만두국)

3. Bean paste soup with tofu and veggies (된장찌개)

4.  Noodles with kimchi, veggies, red pepper paste (비빔국수)

5. Rice with mixed veggies, bulgogi, egg – Bibimbap (비빔밥)

6.  Kimchi fried rice

7.  Pan-fried Tilapia with steamed spinach

8.  Japanese curry with veggies and rice

9.  Variations of this recipe of Pasta Pomodorini

10.  Rotisserie Chicken from Costco, veggies, etc.


Okay, that’s a good start. I’ll add more as I make dishes my staple!


Menu for this week:

Monday: Kimchi fried rice with egg ( made a non spicy version for kids)

Tuesday: Bean paste soup with veggies, tofu /  egg souffle Korean style ( 게란찜) / Kalbi- pre marinated from Korean market

Wednesday: Rotisserie Chicken from Costco, veggies ( kabocha squash- new family fav, broccoli)

Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas (using leftover chicken)

Friday: Sync! We’ll be at our annual church retreat.. so excited..


Looks like I only need to pick up a few items this week.  The best day to shop they say is Wednesday because that’s the day the weekly sales at each grocery store overlap.  I REALLY want to take advantage of this saving, but I have my kids with me all day and I realized that market shopping with them is a little crazy!  I attempted to shop with them at Fresh & Easy last week, and as you know, it’s self-check out. BAD IDEA! I’m holding onto Joshy with one hand to make sure he doesn’t dash for the door or pull things off the shelves while trying to help Isabella scan items with the other.  OMG… I’m shopping at night from now on or going to a full service market where a cashier is helping me.


Happy shopping and cooking this week!



Meal Plan for 4/3

Meal Plan for 4/3


Happy April!

Time flies so fast! April and May are my crazy months because I have tons of birthdays (daughter, husband, mother-in-law, grandma), baby showers, weddings, and church events!  Trying to enjoy the little down time I have now…

Meal planning has been harder these days because I’ve had to cook two different meals- one meatless for hubby and one with for kids.  In order to deal with hubby’s eczema, we are also cutting out dairy and eggs! Eek! My husband is a little sad about this since he LOVES eggs and cheese for breakfast.  We are hoping this will really help his eczema.

Here is my menu for this week:


Monday: Udon with veggies and tofu- didn’t get to do this one last week

Tuesday: Kimchi jjigae with anchovy broth,  zucchini pancakes, chicken katsu and veggies for kids

Wednesday:   Miyuhk Soup & Fish- didn’t get to cook this last week, so putting it here

Thursday:  Taco night with beef-less beef

Friday:  Seder Passover Dinner at Ekko!

Saturday: Leftovers or go-to dish I make if there is nothing to eat is Spicy Noodle with Kimchi, cucumber, veggies ( 비빔국수).  I use the white skinny noodles you buy from the Korean market. Sometimes, I use buckwheat noodles for different texture. I mix lettuce with the noodles and my red pepper paste sauce- red pepper paste, sesame oil, little sugar or Agave, sesame seeds, vinegar, lime juice. So yummy!


Just saw this in a magazine and was LOL’ing because this is me a lot of the time, and my husband is the victim.

A state of anger caused by lack of food

Hence, my meal plan is to avoid this state of hangriness!


Happy eating!

Food: Meal Plan

Food: Meal Plan

Last week’s Meal Plan Hits & Misses:


1. Shrimp Scampi Linguini– OMG! It was so good. I think it was all that butter that made it good, but really, it was delish! I improvised on the recipe a little because, well I forgot to buy some ingredients and I wanted to add more veggies. So I added cherry tomatoes to it, used diced onions instead of shallots, and fresh basil instead of parsley. I added the crushed peppers at the end per plate so that I could feed the pasta to my kids as well.  I bought parmesan cheese for the Veggie Lasagna two weeks ago, so I used it for this week’s pasta dish, and it was just so yummy with all that fresh parmesan. I had never used my Microplaner zester as a grater yet, and so it was really fun to use it with the cheese.

2. Shabu Shabu– I knew this would be good, but being that it was the first time cooking it at home, I was a little nervous. My favorite restaurant for shabu is called “Seoul Garden” in Koreatown.  They give you the most meat and veggies for the buck.  On top of that, it’s really a three-course meal because they give you udon after the meat and veggies, and then a finale of a porridge made with the broth, egg, seaweed, and sesame oil.  I tried it at home, and it was a success! I’m still experimenting with the dipping sauce to get it just like the restaurant’s, so I will let you know once I have perfected it.  Some pictures from the night:)

3. Kalbi- Does this ever go wrong? Never! Especially when paired with kimchi, lettuce, good ssahm-jahng ( bean-red pepper paste mixed with sesame oil and minced garlic), Korean-style green peppers, and some good Doen-jahng jjigae!

Misses 😦

1. Unfortunately, the pork dish was a fail for me this week.  It was supposed to be pork tenderloins, but I used whatever kind of pork I had on hand- pork rib meat and stew-style meat. It was very dry. I also came to the conclusion that I just don’t like baked apples in my main entree. It just throws me off.  It was a sweet and savory thing and I didn’t know what to do with the flavors in my mouth.  I had to add Tapatio. I know, so Korean of me?  Something about adding hot sauce makes everything taste better. I should have used Sriracha now that I think about it. Either way, this is the second time I’ve tried a pork & apple dish, and I think I might retire this combo for now.

Now onto this week’s menu.

Monday-Dinner at friends. Thank you!

Tuesday- Chicken Cutlet Curry (Panko-breaded chicken cutlet + Japanese curry from Korean market)

Wednesday- Pan-fried Veggie Udon + Miso w/tofu ( Udon noodles + spinach+ zucchini+onion+broccoli+yellow squash+ seasoning with Memmi sauce (soba sauce), a little Mirin, sesame oil, sesame seeds. I think the trend is using a sweet & spicy chili sauce for this kind of udon, but don’t think my kids will dig it, so I’m making my own sauce. )

Thursday-  Fish & Mi-yuhk gook ( Kids love this combo, so I use it a lot!:) )

Friday Make-your-own pizza night with kids

Saturdays are usually left-overs and Sundays are eating out days since we have church.

 Next Monday: Dduk Mandoo Gook (Again, kids love this dish. Mandoo has meat & veggies, so it works out great in nutrition too!)

My Zenbe grocery shopping list for this week is here.  ( If the link doesn’t show up, check back later. Zenbe seems to have difficulty at times.)

Happy Cooking!