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 Meal Plans & Real Life – March 31

The new Whole Foods Meal Plan will be posted for members on April 1, along with the Traditional and Slow Cooker meal plans. You can find out more about the Whole Foods Plan here and more about Weekly Meal Plan membership here.

Have I mentioned lately that we’re planning a wedding?  Our oldest daughter, Meredith is getting married May 31.  We’re keeping things simple, but even so, a wedding is a big event!  If you’ve been through marrying off a daughter, I’d love your wedding planning advice :)

We’ve been joking that Meredith thinks we’ve gotten a lot done and I say we’ve gotten nothing done.  I think the reality is somewhere in the middle.  

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.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Slow Cooker Plan

Simple Weekly Meal Plans (Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Plan) – March 24

I’m really excited to announce that this is coming to the Weekly Meal Plans starting in April!

eat at home weekly meal plan whole food button

 

Lots more info will be coming later this week with all the specifics on the new Whole Foods Plan.

I shopped on Saturday with the grocery list for the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals plan for April.  I love shopping with these lists. It’s so easy  to be ready to walk out the door, since I just have to print the list.  No thinking.  No decisions.  (Am I the only one who feels like I’m on decision overload sometimes?)

I made all 6 meals in about an hour of time.  I even shot another video, which will be uploaded soon, to show how to pack up the meals for a smaller family.  Doing that yielded 12 meals!  Not bad for just an hour of time.

And this is the week for the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals for March!  If you’d like the grocery list and instructions to go with this, check out the 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.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

5. Tuna Patties and Oven Fried Potatoes

Slow Cooker Plan

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – March 17

After a few weeks of a bad case of the cooking blues, I finally feel full of ideas for new recipes.  I’ve been playing with slow cooker desserts, have several ideas for ice creams and I’ve been using the pressure cooker too.

After all that cooking though, the week ended with a touch of the virus that Mia had last weekend.  Thankfully, it was short lived and I’m feeling better now.  It did keep me from posting weekend links yesterday.  And I didn’t get this post written ahead of time, so I’m knocking it out Sunday afternoon while watching While You Were Sleeping on Netflix and sitting by the fire.  A pretty good way to spend the day, especially since winter decided to make a come back today.

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

Slow Cooker Plan

6. Corned Beef and Cabbage

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?

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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 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?

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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...]

Simple Weekly Meal Plans and Real Life – January 6

A few months ago, I was trying to organize the pantry and I was frustrated with it.  The wire shelves drive me a bit nuts, even though I have a simple solution for them.  And there are only 4 shelves in the whole thing, even though it’s very tall and could handle more.  Things tend to get lost at the back of the shelves, just because it’s hard to see back in there.

So I called my dad, who is a genius.  He’s also a contractor and has designed and built many, many kitchens (and other rooms) over the years.  He immediately had an idea for making our pantry better.  And what started as a good idea has turned into a great idea.

Behold the first draft of the design:

tiffpantryscan1

 

Dad is going to open up the front of the current pantry, because the inside is wider than the current opening.  Then he’s building pull out shelves with drawer fronts.  The top will be cabinet doors that open.  And on the right hand side of the moulding, there will be a pull out for spice storage.

We’ve already tweaked this drawing a bit to add another set of drawers and to resize a few of them too.  I can’t wait until it’s installed.  That will probably happen in January, if all goes as planned.  I’ll take lots of photos to share with you.

In other news, we’ve been eating pretty well so far on the Whole 30 plan.  Today, we had the Beef Stew I made for the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals week of the Weekly Meal Plans.  It was so good!  You can get that plan as part of the Weekly Meal Plans.  Keep reading for more info and a sneak peek at this week’s menu.

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. Members have access to the whole month at one time, so it’s easy to plan whether you grocery shop once a month or every week. You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken

2. Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

3. Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Two Cheeses

4. Sloppy Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos

5. Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken in the Slow Cooker (as pork roast)

6. Mel’s Diner Chili

7. Nutella Muffins

Traditional Plan

1. Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

2. Copycat Chick-fil-a Chicken Strips

3.Wimpy’s aka Sloppy Joe’s

4.Pineapple Chicken

5. Beef and Bean Topped Potatoes

6. Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

7. Old Fashioned Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

Simple Weekly Meal Plans and Real Life – December 9

This is the week for our Slow Cooker Freezer Meals.  I put all 6 of these dinners together in about 1 hour.  You can see the video here.  Members to the Weekly Meal Plans get the grocery lists, recipes and cooking tips for the slow cooker freezer meals and all the Traditional Plans too.

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?  Are you done with your shopping?  I am not!  I have been using an app on my phone to keep my ideas and present purchases organized (and secret!).  I bought it last year for 99 cents. It seemed sort of silly to pay for an app like that, but it’s made keeping track of gift buying so much easier.  I think the one I use is just called Christmas, but I’m sure there are others.  I highly recommend it if you use a smart phone.  The passcode keeps prying eyes out!

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This little Santa is one of my favorite Christmas things.  He’s part of a salt and pepper shaker set (my sister has the other one) that my Grandma had when we were little.  Gina and I rubbed the soft beards on them so much, that they are nearly fuzzless now.

I’ve got several new recipes to share with you this week.  Lots of good stuff coming to the blog! And there’s still time to enter the giveaway for a $500 VISA cash card too!

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.  December includes an awesome gift guide for easy gifts you can whip up in your kitchen that are sure to make everyone happy–even the dog! You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional

Slow Cooker

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