Menu Plan Monday

I’ve been menu planning for years and years… some of those you can find here on the archives of the blog – (Menu Plan Monday) and some are written down on index cards stashed in my desk and on various pages of my planners from over the years.  But I have always found that menu planning saves me in so many ways – it saves my sanity, it saves money, it saves food (waste) and time.  It’s a win-win for my family.

When the girls were little it helped me to get a grip on what nights I had time to cook something more involved and what nights were “grab and go” kind of nights due to dance and other extracurricular activities.  It still works that way now, even though the girls are practically grown – especially now, actually – because we ALL have busy schedules these days. SuperMan teaches two nights a week, I have a class one night a week, one girl is working, one girl has theater activities several nights a week, both girls babysit, the list goes on and on.

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Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

So meal planning helps me because I can plan what I cook around who is doing what on what nights – for example, on the nights I have class I try to do something quick and easy I can either put in the crock pot, Instant Pot or prepare ahead of time. On the nights SuperMan is gone, the girls and I usually opt for something really quick and easy like breakfast for dinner or reinventing leftovers (or even take out).  That usually leaves us 4 nights out of 7 that we can potentially have family meals – and one of those is usually an eat out night (Friday, usually).

Lately, thanks to Big Girl’s job, we have been taking advantage of meals from Dream Dinners.  I used to use them years and years ago, when the girls were tiny, and we are loving the convenience, variety, and ease that their meals offer. It also helps me with meal planning because they’re prepped and ready to go – waiting in the freezer for us to grab, cook, and enjoy.

This month we added a few extra meals to our rotation since I am still recovering from foot surgery.  SuperMan and the girls can very easily cook these dinners – some are just heat and eat, even – and we have healthy, tasty dinners on the table in minutes.

I’m really thankful for the extra ease that Dream Dinners has afforded our family, especially in this busy season.  And I’m loving the variety we have available through our meals from there. I’m not stuck rotating the same meals over and over because I can’t think of anything else to cook.  I’ve also found the girls are more adventurous with these dinners – they’re willing to try new things they might not have tried before if Mama came up with it on her own!Here’s our plan this week-

  • Monday – takeout (we are running errands)
  • Tuesday – Taco Tuesday (using leftovers from the delicious fajitas SuperMan made Saturday. We will have fajita taco salads, I think)
  • Wednesday – OYO (On Your Own) only Little Bit and I will be home so we will probably eat leftovers or something simple like soup
  • Thursday – Mini Meatloaves (Dream Dinners)
  • Friday – eat out (probably our usual Friday Night Mexican)
  • Saturday – date night?
  • Sunday – Grilled Chicken with Honey Butter (Dream Dinners)

 

Do you meal plan? If you do, how do you approach your meal planning? Do you prep ahead, or make as you go?
If you don’t meal plan, why? Does it seem like too much work?

 

 

Menu Plan Monday

Gracious. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Menu Plan Monday post.

It’s not that I haven’t been menu planning – I just haven’t been posting. Smile with tongue out

But I thought I’d share with you what I have planned on this last week of school before the holiday break.  It’s going to be crazy here – lots going on, Big Girl has midterms, etc.  so I wanted to be prepared with good meals and a plan for when to prepare them.

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Here’s what I have so far – I generally try to plan 5 meals a week. I know we will eat out at least once during the week for takeout (it seems that way no matter how hard I try not to) and we usually go out for dinner once on the weekend (at least Disappointed smile)

I do not plan which meal to have on which day, although I have a general idea based on what is happening this week – like on Wednesday I have my Ladies’ Group at the house so I will do the Chicken Spaghetti that I can make ahead and pop in the oven while I’m in carpool.  It will be ready around 5:30 and we can eat and get the kitchen cleaned up long before everyone starts to arrive at 7:00.

Sticking with some old stand by recipes this week – and one SuperMan Special.

What are you planning this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday!

It’s a busy week in our house this week – two birthdays and lots of other things going on.  I’m hoping to keep our dinners simple, or at least as crock-pot-based as I can. That way, I know we’re eating well even if I don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen every single afternoon.

I’ve also decided that I want to try some of the bajillion recipes I have on Pinterest. So, this week is experiment week. I’m breaking out of the “tried and true” and trying new versions of favorites and some new recipes to boot.  This will either be a rousing success or an utter failure.  My family has taught me that they really love my old standby recipes and don’t like me messing with them very much.  But I like to spice things up (so to speak) and try to cook restaurant favorites that we love at home. It’s cheaper and healthier!

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Today is SuperMan’s birthday. We’re going to enjoy some crock pot Mongolian Beef and rice tonight.  I’ll steam some broccoli to go along with the rice and beef and I’m baking an apple cake and plan to pick up an ice cream cake (his special request) for our dessert.

Crock Pot Mongolian Beef from Once a Month Meals

Tomorrow, I’m thinking I’m going to try this Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken recipe. It looks really good to me – it’s not 100% crock pot – there are parts you have to do outside the crock pot (like cooking the pasta), but it looks really good. I am thinking I may serve it with the salad and garlic bread exactly as she shows it on the website.

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken from The Country Cook

We love, love, love, fajitas.  We usually have them on Friday nights at our local favorite Mexican place. I’m thinking that maybe this Friday I’ll try this recipe for oven-baked chicken fajitas.  Of course, my girls are meatasauruses, so I may have to edit things and add some steak into that.  Just chicken would be healthier, but I think there would be squawking from the peeps if I don’t.

Oven-baked chicken fajitas from Real Mom Kitchen

One more new recipe to try – not sure if it will make it into this week or next, but it sure looks good. The girls and I love Panda Express. It’s one of our Saturday lunch treats. The only thing about it is that sometimes it’s a little bit too spicy for our delicate palates. So, when I found this recipe, I decided it was a must-try. I can adjust the heat to our preferences and still get that yummy Orange Chicken that we enjoy so much.

I can also finish up the green onions I bought for Monday’s dinner and make some fried rice to go along with it with the leftover rice from Monday. I love dinners like that!

Better-than-Panda Orange Chicken from Brown Thumb Momma

So, that’s what’s on our menu for the week! What’re you planning for your family?

Check out other Menu Plan Monday ideas at OrgJunkie.com.

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

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This week I’m combining some tried and true favorites along with a few new recipes for our menu plan this week.

Monday: I’ve been craving Pasta Fagioli so I whipped up a batch – in spite of the fact that it is supposed to be 90 degrees today.  I’m also making some homemade French bread – trying a new recipe out and will have salad to go along with the soup and bread.

Tuesday: I’ll be heading out for a ladies’ Bible study Tuesday night so I wanted to do something easy for SuperMan and the girls. I’ll be using up my last frozen Chicken Spaghetti from my freezer cooking day.

Wednesday: Trying out this new recipe – a one pot Santa Fe Chicken & Rice dinner. I’m thinking I may use chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces to make this even faster and easier.

Thursday: dance night – which means run around like crazy night. We’ll either do leftovers or sandwiches.

Friday: Mexican – thinking I may make my Colorado Beef Burritos or Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

Saturday: homemade pizza night

Sunday: kitchen is closed – Mama gets a break.

We’re also talking about doing another freezer cooking day sometime soon. I need to come up with a menu – and figure out what we will do this month for our freezer meals.  They sure have been nice to fall back on one or two nights a week.

What’re you planning for your family’s meals this week?

Check out some more ideas at orgjunkie.com.

Back to school…back to blogging…back to life

Well, howdy there!

Been a long time, hasn’t it?

It was a crazy whirlwind summer for us.  In spite of the fact that we were uprooted and transplanted to a tropical rain forest in which it rained every.single.day. we had a very nice summer.

The girls started school last week –

Big Girl is in 7th grade. I can hardly believe she is so big!

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Little Bit started 4th grade.  When I took her to school, she didn’t want me to walk her in – she just hopped out in the carpool line and didn’t even look back.  My heart lurched a little, but I was so proud of her bravery and happy that she was comfortable enough to go on in without Mommy holding her hand.

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After taking almost every Friday off for the past month (plus a few weeks) and a week here and there to play with the girls, I’m back working a  “normal” schedule again.  That means I’m also back to managing our family schedule a little bit more closely, including meal planning – and that means it’s

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Here’s what’s cookin’ at our house this week:

Monday: Beef Stew (crock pot recipe) with some crusty homemade bread Friday: Chicken Noodle Casserole (this is a new crock pot recipe I want to try)
Tuesday: Asian Chicken Stir Fry Saturday: TBD
Wednesday: Mexican Potato Casserole (prep ahead & bake recipe)
(Tacos for the kids)
Sunday: “Lunch on the Lawn” at church (picnic)
and dinner with our Small Group – SuperMan’s absolutely awesome Brunswick Stew, homemade bread and cole slaw
Thursday: Bourbon Street Chicken (crock pot recipe) and rice w/ steamed broccoli I’m also nibbling on some of this bean salad for lunch this week

What’re you planning this week for yummies for your family?

Four

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FOUR MORE DAYS

ONLY

FOUR.

MORE.

DAYS.

I can hardly wait!!

Four more days until the girls are out of school for the summer.

It’s almost like we’re “on hold” right now, waiting for the 24th to arrive.  Even though the next week or two after that won’t exactly be slowing down, there’s that milestone looming for us, and mentally, it’s pretty much our sole focus right now.

Once we get past school, we’ve got the holiday weekend, dance rehearsals & recitals and then my annual trip to HQ for work, which means “Ammi Camp” for the girls.  So, the next four weeks or so are busy ones.  But just being over the hurdle of school (and those early-morning wakeup calls) will be major for us.

SuperMan has a busy week this week, too, so I’m planning easy things for dinner for us – less stress and less mess. Always a good thing.

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Here’s what’s on our menu plan:

Monday: Soft Tacos & Warm Bean dip Friday: Asian chicken stir fry with rice
Tuesday: Bourbon chicken & rice with veggies Saturday: something grilled
Wednesday: homemade chicken fingers (I’ve been craving this and haven’t made it yet) Sunday: eat out
Thursday: Salads & Baked Potato Other options:

What’re you planning this week?

Mother’s Day, Menu Planning and Counting Down to Summertime

Happy Day-After-Mother’s-Day everyone!

I hope those of you who are mothers (by nature or by heart) had a terrific day and were spoiled and pampered by your families.  We had a nice day here.

SuperMan and the girls gave me some beautiful plants ~ a fern and hibiscus for my back deck ~ and some very sweet cards that were made with lots of love and care by them.  I also got the devotional that I’ve been eyeing for a long time – very excited about digging into that one.

Little Bit made the cutest things for me at school:

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LOVE the answers she put – especially #10, #12 and #4.  A Spa Day at Disney World – so cute! And #7 – I guess she forgets that I do that for work! LOL

Here’s a shot of the three of us girls that SuperMan took yesterday –

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And moving on to Menu Planning and back to the real world, here’s what we have planned this week:

  • Fajitas (using up some freezer meats)
  • Grilled chicken breasts with pesto pasta
  • Hamburgers on the grill

What’s on your menu for the week?

We’re also counting down the days until Summer Break – 10 and counting. We can hardly wait!!!