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Mid-Century Menu Monday is back! It was a long break, but since I wasn’t cooking, I didn’t make the menus either. But now we are back to normal. I am doing all the cooking once again. This time, however, I have a new baby again, so I have simplified the menu plans somewhat, and changed how I get dinner on the table on time. So, welcome to Mid-Century Menu Monday: February 10-16.
Mid-Century Menu Monday Dinners for February 10-16
All of my mid-century menus for February are coming from Family Circle(affiliate link). The mid-century Family Circle magazines include a feature called “What’s for Dinner,” vintage dinner menus with a couple of recipes each. So, I am using them to simplify my meal planning with a new baby! (P.S.: I included the description for each menu at the top, and my own notes at the bottom!)
Macaroni and cheese rates with almost everybody, and here it’s dressed up with mushrooms, pimentos and rosy tomato wedges. Meat isn’t really needed, but if you like, arrange a platter of assorted cold cuts to go with the casserole. While fixing salad nibbles, cut enough extra carrots to tuck into a plastic bag for snack time.
- Macaroni Favorite
- Celery Peas
- Italian bread sticks
- Carrot and green onion sticks
- Lemon meringue pie
I love the carrot suggestion! So “Good Mother” to prep dinner at breakfast time, so the carrots can chill, and incidentally include enough extra for snacks. Fortunately my kids love mushrooms and tomatoes, so they’ll probably like this casserole. I’m not sure about the celery peas recipe. It calls for canned peas, and I only have frozen peas, so I may have to use a bit of broth or water and frozen peas.
Here’s a way with chicken that copies a French Chef’s simple cooking trick. Start with a whole stewing chicken — no need to cut up — and simmer in seasoned beef broth. Serve with creamy gravy and parsley-flecked noodles for a best-ever dinner. Dessert will please both fruit- and cream-pie fans; vary fruit to suit your fancy.
- Pot-Roasted Chicken with Cream Gravy
- Parsley noodles
- Buttered broccoli
- Golden Sesame Loaf
- Perfection salad
- Sunny Cream Tart
I love chicken-in-a-pot, so I’m looking forward to this dinner. I have never made Perfection Salad, so that is going to be an adventure! And I will be making a cornstarch pudding for the Sunny Cream Tart, instead of using boxed pudding mix.
Moistly tender and savory-sweet, yet spicy with a glistening plum glaze, –that’s this handsome pork roast. Do try its easy roasting way.While meat cooks, take advantage of oven heat to make the buttery golden squash-and-carrot platemate, and warm bread at the last minute. Tangy cranberries and mild pears make the pie topoff.
- Glazed Pork Rib Roast with Spicy Plums
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked Squash Rings with Carrot Sticks
- Cranberry-pear Pie
I have to say, sometimes these vintage recipes are more imaginative and unusual than my own menu planning! I’m not sure how this one will go down, but I like how it sounds! It can’t be any worse than Perfection Salad, right? Today is also Lincoln’s Birthday, but Family Circle doesn’t seem to have a Lincoln’s birthday dinner menu anywhere that I’ve found, so we’ll have this one. Because cornbread.
Ground beef takes on a subtle smoky flavor, for canned canape bacon spread is its main seasoner. To serve prettily, edge platter with mashed-potato puffs broiled until golden, then top loaf with cherry tomatoes sauteed until just hot. Other vegetable mate is different too, for savory liquid from green beans goes into sauce.
- Surprise Meat Loaf with Potato Puffs and Tomato Topper
- Country Green Beans
- Dinner Rolls
- Lettuce Bowl with Blue-cheese Dressing
- Neapolitan ice cream and spongecake
Anyone every heard of canned canape bacon spread? Yeah, me neither. So, I’ll use bacon jam (affiliate link) for that (I could also use bacon rillettes, I suppose), since it is both bacon and a spread. And I get to use my Duchess Potatoes from December! So exciting. Also using frozen green beans instead of canned here.
- Texas Red Hots with Rolls
- Saratoga Potato Chips
- Heart-shaped Filled Cookies
- Cherry Charlotte Russe
- Hot Fruit Punch
OK, so this is not a Family Circle dinner . . . I have yet to get my hands on a February Family Circle magazine from the 1950s. Sigh. Instead, this menu comes from The Settlement Cook Book. Texas Red Hots are apparently chili dogs. I will print out old-fashioned and vintage valentines for the kids to exchange, we’ll decorate some cookies, and have a Valentine’s Day party!
No salad chapter would be complete without one dinner planned around this classic. And with husky steak sandwiches, it’s a man’s idea of a perfect meal. For beef, choose flank (a snap to carve, for it’s all meat) and broil it quickly to keep in all it’s savory juices. Only other go-withs needed are a simple dessert and beverage.
- Caesar Salad
- Hot Steak Bunwiches
- Orange Fruit-Cup Frosty
- Iced coffee
I love the idea of making a menu based around a big bowl of salad. And I think the idea of a salad menu for men is adorable! (This menu is called “Rates High With Men.”) Plus, I think it will be a nice simple Saturday night menu — sort of a vintage teenager party menu — for our weekly Family Game Night.
Here’s a perfect roast for any family — thrifty, too. Just watch for specials on beef chuck roast and you’ll see why. When tenderized (recipe tells how), it cooks so juicy-tender, carves beautifully. Splurge and bake the tempting high-hat puffs to eat with your prize. And if yours is a gravy-loving family, recipe is here, also.
- Tomato soup
- Delmonico Beef Roast with Beef Pan Gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Broiled mushrooms
- Buttered Limas
- Yorkshire Puffs
- Avocado-grapefruit salad
- Caramel-frosted spice layer cake
So, for this menu, I kept the potatoes and the mushrooms that we usually have with beef roast; the rest of it is the original menu. Mostly, I kept those because I would get complaints if we had roast beef without mashed potatoes and mushrooms. But it is Sunday, and I like to have a big Sunday dinner, so it worked out.
Breakfasts and Lunches for February
I’m still planning my breakfasts and lunches. Right now, I am planning them a full month at a time, to make it easier on myself. I am using months of lunches from the 1956 Parent’s Magazine Family Cook Book, and simple porridge-eggs-and-toast breakfasts, so I don’t have to think too much in the mornings.
I only have to plan Monday through Friday breakfasts and lunches, and weekend brunches. My husband makes corndogs and baked beans for a late lunch on Saturdays, and my teenage daughter took over Sunday suppers. She wanted to experiment with some of my vintage teenage party menus, so that’s what we are doing for Sunday supper for a while.
Cooking with a Baby
So, the only way I get ANYTHING done, ever, with 8 kids and one a newborn, is scheduling. I schedule all of my kids. My teenagers don’t have much of a schedule beyond “This is when you get up, this is when you go to bed, these are meal times, here’s your lesson assignments, here’s your chores.” But those reins get loosened S-L-O-W-L-Y.
I parent very much like a 50s mom. I spend most of my time on the home (that’s my job), not on catering to their boredom. Schedules, independent playtime, and orderliness. That said, I also do schedule my babies — not for sleep training as much as for full feedings. Snacking babies kill my milk supply every time. Plus, they get upset tummies too easily. So, they have an eating and napping schedule from about the first month, and that allows me to get back to my housework and my cooking. I just have to work out the timing.
If you would like, you can check out the rest of my mid-century dinner menus. And if you like the menus, please Pin them!