Meal Plan Monday: A Combo of the Last Two (Failed) Meal Plans

Okay, so sometimes, even when it is summer vacay, things don’t go according to plan.  In shopping for the two weeks of meal plans at Aldi, I miscalculated–a lot!  Stuff that I thought was okay (chicken breasts) in the freezer were freezer burnt, and so the meal plan didn’t quite happen the way it should have.  For the past two weeks.  There were some awesome hits.  But there were spectacular misses.

So, this time, in making my shopping list and checking it thrice (including obsessively putting the items in order of where they appear in the store), I made sure to figure out amounts to purchase.

This is because, yes, meal planning is important, but if you don’t have the materials to execute the plan (whether time, cooking hardware, or food products) you are sunk. (Play appropriate game over video game music here.)

So, this is the new (and improved) meal plan (with the properly purchased food stuffs):

Saturday:  Sheet Pan Asian Stir Fry (with my personal amendments), rice, egg rolls

Sunday:  Sunday:  mini meatloaves (using Oma’s recipe but scaled down to muffin-size), green beans, mashed potatoes (thinking putting the mashed potatoes atop like cupcakes and frosting)

Monday:  chicken spaghetti (Six Sisters’ Stuff), garlic toast

Tuesday:  fajita rice (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), chips, salsa

Wednesday:  burgers and seasoned fries

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza, corn

Saturday:  fried rice, egg drop soup (Gimme Some Oven)

Sunday:  chili

What’s on your meal plan for this week?

Meal Plan Monday: Welcome to June!

Meal Plan Monday

Welcome to the first full week of June!

All of our “summery” summer stuff starts this week:  the movies, going to the pool, all of our outdoor stuff on our summer bucket list, and lots of Mama-Muffin days!

This also is my opportunity to try new recipes and rediscover old favorites (and even try my hand at crafting a new recipe or two!).

All of that happens this week in the meal plan.

Saturday:  Sheet Pan Shrimp Stir Fry with Oyster Sauce, rice, egg rolls

Sunday:  mini meatloaves (using Oma’s recipe but scaled down to muffin-size), green beans, mashed potatoes (thinking putting the mashed potatoes atop like cupcakes and frosting)


Monday:  grilled cheese and La Madeleine’s tomato-basil soup (otherwise known as the recipe that sparked a war)


Tuesday:  taco burgers (a recipe I dreamed up in my mind), chips, salsa

Wednesday:  chicken spaghetti, garlic toast

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  mini pizzas, corn

Saturday:  fried rice, egg drop soup

Sunday:  Dr. Pepper pulled pork sandwiches (made using the same recipe as the Root Beer Pulled Pork but changing out for Kroger Real Sugar Soda’s Dr. Pepper “knockoff”), coleslaw, chips

What is on your meal plan for the week?

Meal Plan Monday: And What We Ate Last Week

Meal Plan Monday

Last week was unusual in that we followed the meal plan (pretty much).  I was so proud of myself for that.  I was not too proud for not getting the meal plan published and posted on here.  So, I thought I would share with you what happened (meal plan wise).

Saturday:  Cheese strata (recipe forthcoming)

Sunday:  dinner out (Asian buffet)

Monday:  Whataburger opened!  (Monterey Melt!  Onion Rings!  Root Beer!)

Tuesday:  Baked potato soup topped with green onion, bacon crumbles, and shredded cheese (semi-homemade using Campbell’s chunky soup)

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken from Favorite Family Recipes (post coming soon)

Thursday:  hot dogs and chips

Friday:  mini pizzas, corn

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef (Six Sisters’ Stuff), rice, eggrolls

Sunday:  Honey Mustard Glazed Cranberry Pork Loin Roast, Stove Top stuffing, peas

And this next week:

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef (see above)

Sunday:  pork loin (see above)

Monday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), rice, green veg

Tuesday:  quesadillas (chicken), beans, rice

Wednesday:  Mexican Hash Brown Casserole (Smashed Peas and Carrots)

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza at Sam’s

Saturday:   Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken (Just a Taste), fried rice

Sunday:  Another Lazy Day Sunday Casserole (Kayotic Kitchen)

What’s on your meal plan for this week?


Meal Plan Monday: Super Bowl/Valentine’s Edition!

Meal Plan Monday

I know.  I’ve been AWOL.  The last few weeks have been interesting, to say the least.  Out of town to Dallas, then adjusting to a new schedule (and stresses) at work, and Muffin being sick the past few days.  With the exception of the Dallas trip, I can’t pretend the other things were a positive experience.

But back to MPM posts (and a WPW post that is a LONG time coming!)…

This week is the convergence of three special days (if you count my nine day meal schedule as a “week”).  Yesterday, was the Super Bowl, tomorrow is Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s Day is next Sunday.  It’s not a week to shirk on fun or food.  Next week, I hope to share Josh’s fabu-luscious lasagna recipe, as he has promised to make it for me for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Saturday:  leftover pizza (Josh worked late)

Sunday:  Chick-Fil-A-style chicken nuggets, BBQ little smokies sausages, rotel dip and chips, chips and dip, fries, Tubbs Xtreme Praline King Cake

Monday:  Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken (Six Sisters’ Stuff), rice, eggrolls

Tuesday:  “cheater” Red Beans and Rice (Popeye’s style) and leftover king cake (possibly with bread and salad)

Wednesday:  Farmer’s Casserole (Recipe Girl)

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday:  something pizza related

Saturday:  Josh’s famous lasagna, salad, bread

Sunday:  Valentine’s Day cheese plate

What is your menu for this very busy menu week?

We Plan Wednesday: The November 2015 Meal Plan (with Links!)

We Plan Wednesday

If you’ve been tuning in for the last few months, you know that I’ve created a meal plan for the rest of the year.  So far, I haven’t exactly followed them, but I know they are available as old standbys if I need them.  As November begins Sunday, it is now time to share the November menu.

1:  Salmon Patties (Deep South Dish)

2:  Nacho Casserole (Buns in My Oven)

3:  Bacon Cheeseburger Tatchos (Frugal Foodie Mama)  This link seems to be broken, but if you message me I will send my file to you through e-mail.

4:  Breakfast Croissant and Potatoes (Life in the Lofthouse)

5:  leftovers (It’s Thursday, after all)

6:  Chicken Ranch Pizza (Life in the Lofthouse)

7:  Crock Pot Asian Chicken (Country Cook)

8:  Easy Chicken Breasts with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (Foodie Crush)

9:  Arroz con Pollo (Make Ahead Meals Busy Moms)

10:  Taco Time Crisp Bean Burritos (Let’s Dish)

11:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken (6 Sisters’ Stuff)

12:  leftovers

13:  Slow Cooker Pizza Chicken (Heather Likes Food)

14:  dinner at hotel for anniversary

15:  snacky dinner from Central Market:  cheese tray

16:  anniversary dinner out

17:  Mexican Pollo Spud (My Name Is Snickerdoodle)

18:  Chicken and Cornbread Casserole (Bread, Booze, and Bacon)

19:  leftovers

20:  Pizza Pasta (How Sweet It Is)

21:  Frito Chili Cheeseburger (A Spicy Perspective)

22:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel)

23:  Parmesan Chicken (Broke Ass Gourmet)

24:  Avocado Chicken Enchiladas (Six Sisters’ Stuff) through their My Recipe Magic Site

25:  Eggnog French Toast (A Beautiful Mess) and Homemade Sausage

26:  Thanksgiving dinner

27:  leftovers

28:  leftovers

29:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken (Recipe Girl)

30:  Chicken Pecan Fettuccine (Deep South Dish)

How do you see your November shaping up?

Meal Plan Monday: What I’ve Learned

Meal Plan Monday

Good morning, meal planners!

In response to the title of the post, I’m going to share something I’ve learned about meal planning since returning to work and Muffin starting school.  1)  Kindergarten gives homework.  2) After working all day, you really are already tired when you pick up a Muffin and cajole him into completing homework.  3) You are too exhausted to assemble dinner if it involves more than the oven or the microwave.

So, I’m taking a new (well, really, a return to the old) meal approach.  If it isn’t done on the weekend, it ain’t happening.  Seriously.  That means for the three main dishes I’m making this week, the two casseroles have to be prepared in advance, and the Mexican pizzas (which didn’t get made last weekend) has to have everything pretty much ready to go.

This is the wave of the future folks (planning OAMC stuff to fill in on weeks that we go away for the weekend, etc.).

So, here we go:

Saturday:  hot dogs and marshmallows cooked in the fire pit, chips

Sunday:  grilled chicken with grilled mushrooms and onions, grilled sugar snap peas with raspberry chipotle sauce

Monday:  Mexican pizzas from Life in the Lofthouse, chips and salsa

Tuesday:  chicken spaghetti from Six Sisters’ Stuff, bread

Wednesday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from Life in the Lofthouse, chips, beans, salsa

Thursday:  leftovers, baby!

Friday:  Guys are on their own; I will be probably bringing leftovers.  I have to work a football game.

Saturday:  Chili with cheese and crackers

Sunday:  Roast of some kind with veg.

I will post Muffin’s lunches in a special WPW post this week.

Meal Plan Monday: A Make-Ahead Week

Meal Plan Monday

I am finally, FINALLY, adjusting to being the mom of a kindergartener.  By the way, that means that your evenings leave ZERO time for cooking in the evenings.  So, I have to revert back to cooking on the weekends like a boss (unless I want my meal plan to read, as one of my most-avid readers and most avid e-mail commenter commented once:  dinner out, dinner out, dinner out…well, you get the idea).

So, the slow cooker will get a workout, casseroles will rule the roost, and on weeks, like this week, when Josh has two complete days off (not on call) in the middle of the week, what HE cooks is his business.  So, it’s all to the good.  If this meal plan looks a bit sparse, that’s why.

Saturday:  Root Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff, canned corn

Sunday:  Copycat Chipotle Carnitas in taco form from Better in Bulk, chips, salsa

Monday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from Life in the Lofthouse (I promise to take a picture this time!), beans, chips, salsa

Tuesday:  leftovers (because Josh is off Thursday)

Wednesday:  Josh makes something fabulous!

Thursday:  Josh makes something fabulous part 2!

Friday:  Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas from Life in the Lofthouse

Saturday:  Soup, grilled cheese

Sunday:  pork loin, potatoes, carrots, onions

Muffin’s lunches for the week appear to take a cop-out, but he has requested an actual Lunchable.

Monday:  barbecue chicken sandwich (using the chicken that Josh grilled), plum, broccoli (trees) and ranch dip, fruit snack, chocolate milk

Tuesday:  chicken and cheese kabobs (again with the grilled chicken), fruit cup, crackers, water, sweet pickles, 1-2 pieces candy

Wednesday:  taco with ranch chicken enchilada filling, fruit pouch, tomatoes and olives for the taco, juice box, cake (Hostess)

Thursday:  mini pancakes with syrup (made pancakes Sunday), ham rolls, plum, yogurt, tomato slices, apple juice box

Friday:  cheese pizza Lunchable (ugh!), clementine orange, broccoli and ranch dip, Capri Sun, fruit roll up

What’s on the plan for you this week?

We Plan Wednesday: The September 2015 Menu

We Plan Wednesday

When I sat down a few weeks ago and planned out the menu for the remainder of the year, I did so in an attempt to sketch out something useful for the remainder of 2015, knowing that once school started things were going to be busy.

Note that I said, “sketch.”  This monthly plan is not intended to be the end all and be all.  If I can’t manage to follow the weekly meal plan 100% of the time, I DEFINITELY can’t expect to do so for the monthly plan.  Life and poop happens.

That being said, I think this advance planning will alleviate the meal plan monotony that hit a few months back.  I’ve included new recipes with a mixture of old favorites hopefully leading to some level of comfort with the menu.  I tried to be seasonally conscious.  I tried not to heat up the kitchen too much in the planning for August and September.

And the kicker is, I’ve tried not to plan too much for weeks that I know will be busy.

There is a method to my madness, as the old bard once said.  I hope there is no madness in the method.

1:  Beef Nacho Pie from The Tidy Nest

2:  Mini Bacon and Egg Toast Cups from Fifteen Spatulas

3:  leftovers/scrounge

4:  One Pot Pizza Pasta from Budget Savvy Diva

5:  Happy Birthday, Mom!  (Make S’mores Granola Bars from Recipe Girl)

6:  Crock Pot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet (This was planned for earlier this month, but we re-did the Houston trip.)

7:  Red Beans and Rice (in the slow cooker!)

8:  Chick-Fil-A calendar card meal

9:  Bacon, Corn, and Cheddar Pancakes from Foxes Love Lemons

10:  leftovers/scrounge

11:  Pizza Rolls from Broke A** Gourmet

12:  Crock Pot Pizza Meatball Subs (I will also make Chex Lemon Muddy Buddies from Six Sisters’ Stuff.)

13:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken from Recipe Girl

14:  Slow Cooker Easy Quiche from A Spicy Perspective

15:  Chicken Street Tacos from Life in the Lofthouse

16:  Grilled Margarita Chicken from The Slow Roasted Italian

17:  leftovers/scrounge

18:  Salmon/Tuna Patties from Deep South Dish

19:  Crock Pot Asian Chicken from Country Cook (I will also make No-Bake Biscoff Granola Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod.)

20:  Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken from The Recipe Critic

21:  Super Quick Spaghetti Carbonara from Budget Savvy Diva

22:  Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner from Deep South Dish

23:  Herbed Baked Eggs and Praline Bacon, both from Fifteen Spatulas

24:  leftovers/scrounge

25:  Pizza Quesadillas from Macaroni and Cheesecake

26:  Crock Pot Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Life in the Lofthouse (I will also make Loaded Rice Krispie Treats from Life in the Lofthouse.)

27:  jambalaya

28:  Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan from Mom on a Mission

29:  Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas from Mommy Hates Cooking

30:  Huevos Rancheros from Fifteen Spatulas

I’m very excited about this month’s menu!  I’ve always wanted to try huevos rancheros, and I never have.  I’m also excited about the carbonara, the praline bacon, and the chicken cheesesteak sandwiches.  Those are all out of my cooking comfy zone.

But the one dish I’m most hopeful about is the guacamole enchiladas.  When we go to Dallas and go to Abuelo’s, I always order the avocado enchiladas.  I hope these are just as yummy!

What’s your plan for September?

Meal Plan Monday: Suppers and Muffin’s Lunches, Too!

Meal Plan Monday

This week marks Muffin’s second week of Kindergarten.  We are (slowly) getting into the groove of things, as this is a complete 180 degree change from the last five years.

Sometimes, I think Muffin is taking it more in stride than we are.

This is also a busy week.  Last week was a bit lazier, as Josh was off Wednesday and Thursday and was able to prepare meals.

I’m trying a few new ones (and a few oldies but goodies) this week.  I will also include my plan for Muffin’s lunches below, too.

Saturday:  tacos, chips, salsa

Sunday:  pizza waffles from Life in the Lofthouse, salad, corn

Monday:  dinner at Chick-Fil-A with the Calendar Card (Chick Fil A Deluxe Sandwich for Josh and me and a nugget meal for Muffin)  (shh!  Muffin doesn’t know; it’s a surprise for if he’s a good boy at school!)

Tuesday:  Crockpot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet (Note:  I already made this recipe, altering it slightly, and it was fabulous!  I ate some for breakfast this morning and brought some in my lunch.), salad, canned veg

Wednesday:  Pancakes, bacon, and fruit

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff (I will use my indoor grill pan.)

Saturday:  Fuji Chicken from Mandy’s Recipe Box (by Muffin special request), rice, egg roll, fortune cookie

Sunday:  Crock Pot BBQ’d Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from A Year of Slow Cooking, vegetable

And, Muffin’s Lunches:

Monday:  taco (meat and refried beans on a tortilla, tropical juice box, banana, with lettuce, tomato, olives, and cheese to top the taco with, “tree” cookies (Piroulines)

Tuesday:  slice of cheese pizza, olives and cucumber slices, fruit cup, water, Churro Chex Mix (if I can get this made tonight) or “tree” cookie, dip for the veggies

Wednesday:  roll-up sandwich (sandwich sushi), pretzels, sweet pickles, grapes, shelf-stable milk (Tru-Moo), candy

Thursday:  ham roll ups, mini pancakes, grapes, shelf stable milk, syrup

Friday:  leftovers (maybe another slice of pizza or spaghetti), veg sticks and dip, juice box (apple juice), cheese stick, Hostess cake

What are your plans for this week?

We Plan Wednesday: August’s Menu Plan

We Plan Wednesday

I sat down last week and planned out the menus for the rest of the year.

Now, don’t get excited.  I haven’t completely lost my mind.  I simply saw my Chick-Fil-A calendar sitting on the table, pretty much blank, and felt the need to fill it (or, at least, August-December) with meal plans.

Now, do I honestly believe that all of these items for the remaining four months of the year will be made (and eaten) as planned?  Uh, no.

But a girl has to have a plan as the school year gets ready to gear up.  I can always fall back to the plan in the event things get crazy and my mind is fried as far as Meal Plan Monday is concerned.

The goal for August?  To heat up the oven as little as possible.

Here we go:

1:  Korean “Beef” Over Rice from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2:  Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole from Country Cook

3:  Perfect Mini Meatloaf from Artsy Fartsy Mama

4:  Mexican Pizzas from Life in the Lofthouse

5:  French Toast Kabobs, fruit, breakfast meat from A Beautiful Mess

6:  leftovers/scrounge

7:  mini pizzas

8:  Crock Pot Cashew Chicken from Favorite Family Recipes

9:  Pork Loin Roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots

10:  Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta from Gunny Sack

11:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from Life in the Lofthouse (Hopefully, this time I will get a good picture!)

12:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff

13:  leftovers/scrounge

14:  Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes from Kayotic Kitchen

15:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup from A Spicy Perspective

16:  Crock Pot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet

17:  pulled pork (from freezer) sandwiches, cole slaw, chips

18:  tacos

19:  breakfast for dinner (pancakes)

20:  go to Chick-Fil-A (for the Chick-Fil-A deal) and lemonade for National Lemonade Day

21:  mini pizzas

22:  Fuji Chicken from Mandy’s Recipe Box

23:  Crock Pot Bacon Garlic Chicken from Crock Pot Ladies

24:  Mexican Lasagna (try to make it as a slow cooker dish) from Artsy Fartsy Mama

25:  carnitas bowls using carnitas from the freezer

26:  English Breakfast Burgers from Foodtastic Mom

27:  leftovers/scrounge

28:  Pizza Waffles from Life in the Lofthouse (plug the waffle iron in outside)

29:  Waffle Iron BBQ Chicken Sandwich from Buns in My Oven (plug the waffle iron in outside)

30:  Crock Pot BBQ’d Chicken and Cornbread Casserole from A Year of Slow Cooking

31:  Olive Garden Copycat Chicken Vino Bianco from The Slow Roasted Italian

I also plan to make two dessert dishes for inclusion in Muffin’s lunches.

On the weekend of August 22, I plan to make Churro Chex Mix from Six Sisters’ Stuff.  On the weekend of August 29, I plan to make Star Crunches from Crock Pot Recipe Exchange.

What are your favorite keep-the-kitchen-cool meals?