I love planning the meals for family gatherings!  I base my choices on what is in season and what is on sale.  At Fresh Market yesterday to buy the cod for Good Friday, I decided on pulled pork for Easter Sunday and bought a beautiful pork butt that was $3.99 a lb.  I’ve been looking at cookbooks, reading recipes on blogs I follow, checking out a few of my favorite websites, and decided on the following menu plan for Easter (I type up notes because I’ve been known to forget things or go off schedule!):

Easter Meal

Pork Butt in Big Red Oval Crock Pot – Mix together raspberry habanero marinade, barbecue sauce, garlic, and maple syrup.  Season with mango marsala curry salt and fresh herbs from the garden – rosemary and thyme.  All ingredients on hand. 8-10 hours.  Put on at 10:30 – 11:00

Cole slaw – using vinegar sugar recipe.  Make ahead.

Need tortillas or buns to serve pulled pork and slaw on.

Jalapeno Popper Dip (baked) – need cream cheese, bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, milk. Have remaining ingredients on hand.  Make ahead.  Cooks in oven for 35 minutes.  Put in at 6:25.

Need chips or crackers.

Crock Pot Spinach dip in blue crock pot – need spinach, cream cheese, onion, shredded cheese & artichoke hearts.  Cooks in crock pot for 1 ½ hour.  Put on by 6.

Corn Grits Caserole.  Make ahead.  Bake 30 minutes.  Put in with Jalapeno popper dip.

Roasted Butternut Squash – cook in oven with corn/grits and popper dip.  30 minutes.  Put in at 6 also.

Dessert:  Bavarian Cream Crepes with Berries.  Need berries.

From that I write a shopping list for today:


Onions                          Berries                 Publix

Spinach                         Peppers

Butternut Squash         Crepes


Cream cheese (4)        Milk                     Publix

Shredded Cheese (4)  Sour Cream both BOGO


Chips or crackers for dips  Publix  – Scoops BOGO

Canned goods:

Artichoke hearts  Publix

Salsa           Publix


Salmon (Fresh Market) and Bacon (Fresh Market) for breakfast


Buns or Tacos for Pork – Bagels for breakfast.

Beer:  Goose Island on BOGO at Publix

Then, I hand write in the prices so I am sure I can keep it within the budget.

I also wrote a menu plan for the next couple of weeks using what I have on hand:

Menu Plan this week and next week:

Saturday:  Mexican style stuffed peppers


Breakfast:  Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon and bacon with fresh fruit.

Dinner:  Pork Butt; Cole Slaw; Corn Grits Casserole; Butternut Squash

Chips and dips for appetizer

Crepes filled with vanilla Bavarian cream drizzled with dark chocolate syrup.

Monday:  Cauliflower, Broccoli, Potato Bisque with grilled sandwiches

Tuesday:  Jambalaya

Wednesday:  Salmon and quinoa/chopped salad

Thursday:  Little Big Meal

Friday:  Chicken alfredo and salad

Saturday:  Shepherd’s Pie

Sunday:  Meatballs and tortellini

Monday: To be determined based on new sales

Tuesday: To be determined based on new sales

Wednesday:  Coconut curry meatballs

Thursday:  Little Big Meal

Then I go through the menu plan and write additional shopping lists for future days with prices to make sure I can keep on track budget wise.  My next shopping trip will be Tuesday to get the salmon at Fresh Market while it is still on sale.