Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – June 2

Yesterday my oldest daughter got married.  Last week was a blur of activity getting ready for the wedding.  We did eat, but I’m not sure I can remember much of it!

For one meal, we ate Costco dinner – rotisserie chicken, watermelon, pretzel rolls and potato salad.  I took the same thing to the family next door that night, because their dad fell and broke his leg a few days earlier.

The other highlight was P.F. Chang Lettuce Wraps.  Oh my!  That is a fantastic recipe!  And it’s on the Traditional Meal Plan this week.

I’ll have more on the wedding and maybe a few pictures next week I hope!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Lemon Pepper Bow-tie Pasta
  2. Chicken Fiesta 
  3. Asian Salmon
  4. NY Strip Steak
  5. Southwestern Veggie Skillet
  6. Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwiches
  7. Coconut No-Bake Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Sweet and Sour Chicken Skillet 
  2. Italian Sausage Sloppy Joe’s
  3. Oven Baked Tacos
  4. Spaghetti
  5. PF Chang Lettuce Wrap
  6. Steak Kabobs
  7. Boardwalk Brownies

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – May 19

I just realized that I never wrote and scheduled this post.  I was browsing some blogs I like to read and realized that my post should have gone up. Had it on my list for Friday’s work and never checked it off!

What can I say? We’ve been crazy with wedding plans and ironing tablecloths for the reception and helping Meredith and Stephen get some things moved into their apartment.  It’s not quite ready for them to move in yet, but it will be by the time the wedding rolls around.

Yesterday after carrying boxes to their third floor walk-up unit, I hit the grocery.  I printed off the Traditional list for one of the weeks in June.  Last week I shopped with a Traditional plan as well.  I love being able to skip the planning.  I just check the menu and decide which meal we’ll have that night.  So easy.

My brain is pretty well fried on details right now.  I told the kids I need a sign over my head that says “bandwidth exceeded”!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Ham Carribbean
  2. Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  3. Honey Pork Chops
  4. Red Beans & Rice with Ham
  5.  Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken
  6. Shredded Slow Cooker Taco Beef
  7. Brownies with Chocolate Glaze

Traditional Menu

  1. Garden Fritatta
  2. Tuna Noodle Casserole
  3. Pepper Patch Pasta
  4. Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
  5. Chicken Smothered with Summer Veggies
  6. Mediterranean Pork Chops
  7. Gooey Turtle Bars

Slow Cooker Menu

2.  Ravioli 

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – May 5

Last week was not the most inspired eating we’ve ever done.  I had a terrible cold all week.  You know the kind where you aren’t sick enough to go to bed, but you aren’t very on top of things either?  I actually made dinner every night, which sounds a lot more ambitious than the reality.  The fact that I didn’t go to the grocery store last weekend due to feeling bad, didn’t help with our dinner situation.

This is one of those weeks where I say to myself,  “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone on the internet who had meal plans I could buy that came with the grocery list already done for me?”.  Oh yeah.  That would be me.  And as soon as I was feeling better on Thursday afternoon, I hit the grocery with color-coded list in hand!

Monday – I decided to turn some frozen rotisserie chicken into Thai Chicken Curry Soup.  It was a simple, comforting meal that I ate on for the next few days.

Tuesday – Jim was out of town.  We had pancakes, which we usually do at some point when he is gone.  The boys always want some meat with their meals.  I didn’t have any bacon and wasn’t thinking clearly enough to remember the breakfast sausage in the freezer.  But I did have two packages of smoked sausage.  I wasn’t too sure how that would be with pancakes, but it turns out that it’s pretty good.  My motto: Use what you’ve got!

Wednesday – Still not feeling great.  Still hadn’t been to the grocery.  I decided to slice the second pack of smoked sausage into a can of baked beans.  Fancy, I know.  I did make homemade cornbread to go with it.

Thursday – I shopped for groceries finally!  I used the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals list for May.  Members have access to this now, but it’s scheduled for later this month.  It was late when I got done shopping, so I picked up ham for sandwiches and made a quick Hawaiian Cole Slaw to go with them.

Friday – I made another video to show how to assemble the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals.  And we had one of those meals for our dinner.  I’ll share the video with you this week.  My oldest daughter makes an appearance in this one!

This week, I’m hoping to do some recipe creating.  Fingers crossed that I’ll have some successes to share with you soon!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans Sneak Peek

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Freezer Burritos
  2. Oven Baked Chicken Tacos
  3. Loaded Baked Potatoes
  4. Toasted Apple & Brie Sandwiches
  5. Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken & Potatoes in Slow Cooker
  6. Honey Lemon Pepper Salmon
  7. Strawberry Shortcake

Traditional Menu

  1. 15 Minute Chicken and Dressing Skillet
  2. Ranch Meatballs with Pasta
  3. Sloppy Cubanos
  4. Bacon, Tomato, Basil Pasta
  5. Beef Quesadillas
  6. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs
  7. Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – April 21

I hope your Easter weekend was wonderful.  We spent the weekend with family.  Meredith’s cousins hosted a wedding shower for her.  Fun!  My sister and her kids drove down for that, so we got to see all of my family and Jim’s family.

I created several new recipes last week, including a new take on Basic Chicken Skillet.  I think you’ll love that dish as much as we did!  I’ll be sharing it soon.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Scrambled Eggs & Sautéed Veggies
  2. Southwest Chicken
  3. Simple Roasted Chicken Breast
  4. Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili
  5. BBQ Chicken Meal
  6. Hamburgers
  7. Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Creamy Jalapeño Chicken Tacos
  2. Chipotle Beef over Rice
  3. Shrimp Primavera
  4. Teriyaki Pork Chops
  5. Easy Jambalaya
  6. Smothered Steak with Mushrooms and Onions
  7. Coconut Pie with Rum Sauce

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans and Freezer Meal Video

I posted the video for the April Slow Cooker Freezer Meals the other day.  This time, I show how to package the meals for a smaller family of 3-4 people.  For the record, I still really, really hate seeing myself on these videos.  I hope that seeing the meals prepped is helpful though.

The freezer week for April is April 21.  The recipes will be previewed on the blog then.  But members get access to the whole month at once for all three of the Weekly Meal Plan options – Traditional, Slow Cooker and the new Whole Foods Plans.

Meal Plan collage

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1.  Italian Sausage Skillet
  2. Easy Meatball Subs using homemade meatballs
  3. Homemade Chicken Fingers
  4. Whole Wheat Waffles
  5. Chicken Vegetable Soup
  6. Homemade Pizza (or) Calzone
  7. Amish Oatmeal Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Cheesy Chicken Chili Mac
  2. Pizza Steak Sandwiches 
  3. Crab Cakes with Creamy Sauce
  4. Italian Sausage with Bowties
  5. Grilled Chicken
  6. Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders
  7. Coconut No Bake Cookies

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 24

Last week included a lot of recipe creation.  On Monday I made Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Soup.   This is such an easy recipe to make.  Which was a good thing, because I felt like I was playing catch-up from being gone the week before.

Tuesday and Wednesday I tested two more new recipes for a client.  One recipe involved chicken legs and the other used thin cut boneless pork chops.  Both turned out great.

On Thursday, I decided to use one of our slow cooker freezer meals (Taco Beef).  We’ve got a small deep freeze in the garage and the freezer in the house.  Both are bulging and I really need to use up some of the food stored there.  Of course, it might also help to clear out things we don’t need.  Such as the icicles someone decided to store.  Does anyone else have icicles or snow balls in their freezer?

photo-12

 

It’s Friday morning as I write this post and I have to admit that I don’t know what we’ll be having for dinner.  I suspect that I’ll hit up the freezer again.  It’s time to make the March batch of slow cooker freezer meals and I need a place to put them!

Next week, we’ve got company coming on three different days.  And if the weather holds, my parents will come next weekend so Dad can install the new pantry he built for us.  I can’t wait to see it!  Of course, this means I’m going to have to empty the pantry so I may keep my shopping trip light again this week.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

2. Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce with Sausage and Eggplant

3. Tangy Sweet Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

4. Calico Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage

5. Angel Chicken

6. Teriyaki Pork Chops with Red Pepper and Pineapple

7. Streusel Cake

Traditional Plan

1. Cheesy Hamburger Soup

2. South of the Border Skillet

3. Pesto Tomato Pizza

4. Steak and Mashed Cauliflower

5. Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole

6. Swiss Mac n’ Cheese with Smoked Sausage

7. Low Carb Peanut Butter Fudge

 

Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 17

It’s slow cooker freezer week!  In case you missed the video and want to see it, here’s the link.  It does cut off part way through. I’m sorry about that.  Obviously, I’m not a video pro.   And I still hate seeing myself on there!  I may never get past that feeling.

Last week was the third week in a row that Jim has been gone.  He’s been at Harvard Business School for the OPM program.  You’ve likely never heard of that (neither had I), but you may have heard that Tyra Banks graduated from Harvard.  She actually graduated from the OPM program and not the regular Harvard Business School, which caused a bit of a scuffle, because apparently she tries to pass it off as an MBA.

Anyway, Jim has been gone for three weeks for this program.  He works for a non-profit housing organization and a foundation sponsored him to go.  This is the third year in a row he’s gone and now he’ll be done.  As part of that, they have a graduation ceremony and a few other events.  I met Jim in Boston on Wednesday – Saturday to attend those with him.

I left several slow cooker freezer meals for the kids to have while we were gone (recipes at the bottom of this post).  But Jim and I basically ate our way through Boston.  We started with an Italian dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.

photo-9

 

This was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  It helped that this was also the first meal I’d shared with Jim in nearly three weeks!  The restaurant was perfect.  It was quiet with red checked table clothes and Frank Sinatra playing in the background.  And the food was outstanding.

One day we went to Mike and Patty’s for lunch.  We chose this spot because it had great reviews on Yelp, but we didn’t expect it to be such a tiny restaurant.  There was only one table that customers shared.  It turned out to be perfect though.  I had migas, which tasted warm and comforting.  A nice contrast to the snowy day outside.

photo-10

 

It was a cozy, relaxing lunch in a friendly place.  Perfect!

Other highlights included cannolis at Quincy Market followed by an ill-advised attempt at walking to a bookstore in the middle of a snow storm.

photo-11

 

Jim and I had a great time in Boston, but I think we’re both ready for home cooked food again.  Time to head to the grocery store!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If your life is filled to the brim and you feel like you can’t do just one more thing, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

1. Baked Potato Soup

2. Sweet n’ Sour Meatballs over Rice

3. Apple BBQ Pork Chops

4. Shrimp Tacos

5. French Dip Sandwiches 

6. Cheesy Chicken Rice Bake

7. Simple Coffee Cake

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Luau Meatballs

2. Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

3. Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Apples

4. Pesto Tomato Ravioli

5. Chicken Enchilada Soup in the Slow Cooker

6. Easy Crockpot Beef Fajitas

7. Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

 

Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 10

Jim has been gone all week again on a long business trip.  Last weekend, I headed to the grocery with a list of new recipes ideas to try.  It was good to be stocked up on groceries anyway, since we had several snow and ice events roll through this week.

On Sunday, I made Chicken Cock-A-Leekie Soup.  I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker when I got up in the morning and it was ready to eat when we got home from church.  I will be making this soup again!

Monday night I tested another new recipe.  This time for Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake with Sun Dried Tomatoes.  My family loves pasta so this was a hit with them.  We had wedge salads with it.  I also made a new dessert on Monday.  I can’t wait to share that recipe with you tomorrow.

Tuesday night we had whole wheat pancakes.  It’s my easy go-to meal when Jim is gone.

Wednesday night turned out to be our crazy night.  I had a meeting that lasted all day.  It was nearly 6pm when I got in the car to come home.  It had been snowing all day and the roads were getting pretty slick.  My oldest daughter was already out teaching dance.  The boys were heading to youth group and had already eaten.  They didn’t end up going though, because youth group cancelled due to the weather.  It took me a lot longer to get home that it should have.  Slick roads and rush hour isn’t the best combo.  Mia and I were the only two who still needed to eat.  She suggested grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Great idea!

On Thursday I was ready for a real dinner again.  I tested another new recipe.  I’ll be sharing my latest version of chicken enchiladas with you soon!

And Friday we went out to eat.  Mia and I both had appointments for hair cuts in the afternoon.  That process takes longer than I anticipate every time.  I made use of the Groupon app on my phone and we went to Cosi.  It was a pretty good deal that involved s’mores.  Don’t I have a cute marshmallow toasting partner?

photo-8

After dinner, we came home and snuggled in to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  Did you watch? I thought they did a great job.  That stage area with the projection screens was very cool!  As was their retelling of Russian history.

Next week I’ve got a couple of new recipe ideas to test again, including another new slow cooker soup.  Fingers crossed that they turn out!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If your life is filled to the brim and you feel like you can’t do just one more thing, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Pineapple Chili for the slow cooker

2.  Slow Cooker Beef Gyros

3. Crockpot Lemon Chicken

4. Garlic Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

5. Ranch Meatballs and Pasta

6.Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

7. Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake with Strawberry Icing

Traditional Plan

1. Pineapple Chili

2. BLT Pizza

3. Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

4. Maple Apple Chicken

5. Lightened Up Chicken Casserole

6. Grilled Chicken and Cream Cheese Enchiladas

7. Peach Pie Square

Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 3

Jim was on a business trip last week, so I kept the eating simple.  I’m not sure why, but I never feel like cooking much when he’s gone.  There are still 5 of us to eat dinner (not always together, but usually the older kids come in at some point and need to eat).  We started off the week with peanut butter pancakes.   Pancakes is a tradition for at least one night when Jim travels.

Since I made a new batch of slow cooker freezer meals last week, we’ve been eating those too.  I made a new video for you, but it cut off part way through.  Sorry about that!

Next week, I have plans to test several new recipe ideas.  Fingers crossed that they all turn out blog-worthy!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If your life is filled to the brim and you feel like you can’t do just one more thing, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans. This week, both plans have some delicious soup recipes to warm up your evenings. When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

1. Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

2. Italian Sausage Sloppy Joe’s

3. Fully loaded Nachos 

4. Pierogies and Smoked Sausage

5. Olive Oil and Italian Herb Roasted Chicken

6. Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Veggies

7. Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup

2. Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches

3. Red Eye BBQ Ribs

4. Ham Steak

5. Round Steak with Vegetable Gravy

6. Chicken-Fried Chops

7. Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies

Simple Meal Plans and Real Life – January 13

This is the week we’re back in full swing at my house.  The college kids start back to school.  All our homeschool groups start back up for the other two kids.  The weather is looking better, so no snow days this week.  And the birthday and anniversary celebrations are over for now too.

I’m hoping to stick closer to the Whole 30 plan this week.  Yesterday, I confessed to straying from the plan a few times.  Hopefully, things will go better this week.

I’ve been capturing a few images of our meaningful meal moments on Instagram.  Around here, every dinner is different as far as who is gathered at the table that night.  Sometimes, there are as few as three of us.  And one night last week, we had eight people around the table.  My daughter had picked up a German international student at the airport and took her to her dorm room on campus, but no one was there and she was missing a few essential supplies, like bedding.  So Meredith brought Rebecca home with her for dinner.  It was Rebecca’s first time in the U.S.

We threw her right into the midst of a family dinner, celebrating Meredith’s birthday.  And wouldn’t you know, that night the dinner didn’t want to cook!  (We had a few days of weak electricity during the cold snap.)  So dinner was late and part of it was a near flop for that reason.  We crowded around the table, sang “Happy Birthday” and our special family birthday song.  And after Rebecca left, we realized we’d had her sitting in a broken kitchen chair!

I’m not sure what she thought of all of that, but I think she was happy to be invited to join us.  It was warm.  There was food and friendship.  That’s what meaningful meals are all about.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included. We’re getting a head start this month so we can get back into routine in January. You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan    [Read more…]

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