Beach Week Menu Planning

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When we travel we almost always rent a house or a large condo.  Normally we fly, but due to Alli's lung health we've had to drive these last few years.  Even flying, while the logistics were different, we were able to pull off some of the same things we do when we drive.  Florida, Hilton Head, Turks &'s worked the same.   

Cooking is always a family favorite.  If it could be named a sport, my family could make it one.  We love to serve up good food and taste testing is a must.  Just come to any one of our homes and we will always be congregating in the kitchen.  One would think when on vacation we wouldn't want to cook.  That vacation includes not cooking.  That's not the case for this crew.  Nothing makes me happier.   

Let me start by saying, we DO eat out.  It depends on the location just how much.  For next weeks trip, since we've been going to the panhandle of Florida for almost 40 years, I'm pretty sure we've eaten almost everywhere.  Add in our large group, normally 10 people (2 teenagers and an 8, 6, & 4 year old), waiting at a restaurant is not one of my favorite things to do.  It's just not relaxing for me with that many people.  For us, it just makes sense to menu plan for the majority of the week.  

I always start with the menu and then I add the grocery list.  Our days are not set in stone.  There is plenty of wiggle room so if we stay at the beach late one day, we can eat leftovers OR throw some hamburgers or shrimp on the grill.  For me, these meals aren't labor intensive and some can be prepared ahead of time.  We shop on Saturday, buy fresh seafood, steak, all perishables, and hit up roadside produce stands on the way into town.  

For this trip I've planned:

{night one}
Pizza by the Sea
In recent years, this has become a family tradition.  We arrive on Saturday, hit up Publix for all our perishables, and then head over for some pizza for dinner.  While I do love to cook, after driving and then grocery shopping, even I need some pizza.  

{night two}
Shrimp Boil, Corn and New Potatoes

{night three}
Crock pot BBQ (I'll add this to the crockpot before we head to the beach in the morning), Baked Beans, corn salad, & slaw

{night four}
Gumbo and Rice

{night five}
Surf and Turf (with Irish, Big Salad, Asparagus, Rosemary Potato Dish, and bread 

{night six}
Grilled Hambugers with lettuce, onion, sliced homegrown tomatoes

{night seven}
Big Salad, shrimp and scallops on the grill, asparagus.  This is also the night we clear the pantry and eat everything we can.  ;-) 


  • Cereal and fruit
  • Bagels and Cream Cheese
  • Pancakes and bacon
  • Sausage Casserole


  •  Chicken Salad
  • Deli Sandwhiches
  • Leftovers

We have breakfast at home, lunch can be picked up in Rosemary or we eat deli sandwiches or leftovers. My grocery list is then made from here.  But first, we check our own pantries and pack a tub (or a suitcase if you are flying.  Trust me, the baggage fee is much cheaper than buying all the condiments and such you'll need for the week). 
In the tub we pack non-perishables:
Oil, salt & pepper, seasonings, dried fruit and nuts, favorite cereal, paper goods, peanut butter, syrup, small things of steak sauce, ketchup, miracle whip, etc., chips, Oreos (for the kids, I promise.  Beach staple), pancake mix, dish washing detergent, and so much more.  I also end up taking my crock pot and a small food processor.  Both are used several times. 

All we have to do now is shop for our perishables and hit a few roadside stands along the way and we're ready for our incredible week. Although we all enjoy a night out, cooking is pretty special for us.  Nothing makes me happier than hanging out with my hubby, Daddy, and brother by the grill or chopping up veggies in the kitchen with my Momma.  We all live hours apart so it's great to catch up and just be.  And if I want to hang out and cook in my PJ' one will judge.  

The only question that remains is...

Who cleans the dishes?!



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