We Plan Wednesday: MIL and SFIL Trip 2017!!!


We Plan Wednesday

Good morning, We-Plan-ners!

At the end of June, my mother-in-law (MIL) and stepfather-in-law (SFIL) will be visiting from Ontario.  For their visits, I start earrrrrrrrrly planning things that I hope they will like to eat.  I am not sure when they are arriving or leaving, but Josh has booked off June 24-July 4, so I planned the menu (breakast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and beverage) for each of those days.

The beauty in planning ahead means that I can make ahead.  When having guests (Tip Tuesday alert), it is best to do as much cooking as you can ahead of time in order to enjoy your company.

As I write this, I have several dishes freezing away in the deep freezer in preparation for their visit.

Also, Tip Tuesday aside, June and early July in northern Louisiana translates to one thing and one thing only:  hot and humid.  You almost pray for the 100 degree temps to burn away some of the humidity.  The more heat and cook time that is saved, the better!

June 24

Lunch:  La Madeleine’s Tomato-Basil Soup, crackers

Dessert:  Margarita Cheesecake Pie (Kraft Recipes)

Dinner:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas (Life in the Lofthouse), Jumbo Pico Salad (Pioneer Woman), rice, beans

Snack:  Churro Chex Mix (Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Beverages:  Margaritas/Limeade (Flavored)

June 25

Breakfast:  Donuts/Kolaches

Lunch:  Meatball Subs and Chips (using the meatballs from The Slow Roasted Italian)

Dinner:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, greens, biscuits, green beans

Snack:  fruit tray

Beverage:  sweet tea

Dessert:  Red Velvet Sheet Cake

June 26

Breakfast:  Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole, fruit

Lunch:  lettuce wraps

Dinner:  Red Beans and Rice, French bread, salad

Dessert:  pralines


Snack:  Crackers and Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

Beverage:  Hurricanes and mock hurricanes (or daiquiris and slushies)

June 27

Breakfast:  pancakes with toppings, sausage

Lunch:  cold cut subs, veg sticks

Dinner:  tacos, refried beans, guacamole


Dessert:  Twinkie Strawberry Shortcakes

Snack:  chips and pico de gallo and salsa (and guacamole)


Beverage:  Sangria/Non Alky Sangria

June 28

Breakfast:  cereal, toast, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  nachos/bean burritos

Dinner:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops (Debbiedoo’s), rice, broccoli

Dessert:  mini cheesecakes

Snack:  Boursin (homemade) and crackers

Beverage:  Chick-Fil-A lemonade

June 29

Breakfast:  Quiche, fruit

Lunch:  picnic lunch (Cane’s/Chick Fil-A)

Dinner:  Cannelloni (Land O’Lakes), salad, garlic bread

Dessert:  Tiramisu (Top Secret Recipes)

Snack:  Antipasto Plate

Beverage:  Italian Cream Sodas

June 30

Breakfast:  Big Breakfast (Josh’s responsibility!)

Lunch:  cold cut subs, chips

Dinner:  Pizza Rolls (Broke A Gourmet), corn, salad

Dessert and Beverage:  “Float”/”Fizz” bar

Snack:  Popcorn

July 1

Breakfast:  cereal, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  Pasta Salad from Land O’Lakes, crackers

Dinner:  Hot Dog Bar, chips

Dessert:  Strawn’s-Style Strawberry Pie

Snack:  veg sticks and dip

Beverage:  Sweet Tea Bar

July 2

Breakfast:  Baked Crock Pot Oatmeal (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), Bacon

Lunch:  leftover hot dogs and chips

Dinner:  Chicken and Dumplins, cornbread, salad (Pineapple Cheese Salad for me)

Dessert:  Apple Pie Bake (Imgur)

Snack:  Fruit and Yogurt Kebabs

Beverage:  Arnold Palmers:  Sweet Tea and Lemonade

July 3

Breakfast:  Breakfast Burritos (the Denver Omelet ones from Tablespoon), fruit

Lunch:  Big Salad

Dessert:  Baked Ziti, rolls, salad

Baked Ziti Plated

Dessert:  Coconut Cream Cake

Snack:  Cheese and Crackers

Beverage:  Iced Coffee Drinks

July 4

Breakfast:  Breakfast Sandwich Bar

Lunch:  English muffin pizzas

Dinner:  hamburger bar

Dessert:  Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Snack:  Veg Sticks and Dip

Beverage:  Cran-Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch with Orange Slices

What are your tips for easy entertaining (food) while keeping cool in the summer?



We Plan Wednesday: Summer Visitors–Food!

We Plan Wednesday

This June, Josh’s mom and stepfather are coming to visit us.  I think I started planning (and rethinking) the menu on the tails of the New Year’s Eve Fiesta.  To which, Josh said something along the lines of, “Can’t we finish with New Year’s before thinking of that?”

My planning mind doesn’t work that way.  Once I’ve planned something out, even if it hasn’t been fully executed, I have to begin planning something else.

Have to.

It’s an obsession.

Or a compulsion.

Either way, it must be done.

I presently am on version…um…5, I think, of the menu.  And, my mom through another ringer; she reminded me that she and my dad plan on taking everyone out to eat while they are visiting.  And, I think we are planning a run to New Orleans while they are here.  So…yah…I will plan on all of the meals, print out all of the recipes, add them to the recipe binder, make the shopping lists, and buy the ingredients…in case…and because I will make the meals anyway.

The menu has also changed as we’ve found recipes that we really like and want to share with Josh’s mom.

This is from Josh’s mom’s visit right after Muffin was born.  We plan on going to Avery Island (both the Tabasco factory and the Jungle Gardens) on this next visit with them.

And here is Muffin with one of his favorite people in the world…Grandpa Mark!

Now…where was I?  Oh, yes!  The menu.

Menu for Josh’s Mom’s Visit

Sunday June 21

Supper:  Baked Potato Bar

Dessert:  Strawberry Pie with Cool Whip (using my grandmother’s/sister’s recipe)


Monday June 22

Breakfast:  bacon, homemade sausage, eggs, toast, hash browns, beans, cheese

Snack:  Margarita Chex Mix from the Chex website

Lunch:  Pizza Meatball Subs (blog), chips, fruit

Supper:  Grilled Margarita Chicken (TSRI), chips, Carol’s salsa, homemade tortillas with butter, slow cooker refried beans

Dessert:  Coconut Cream Cake (Gene cake)


Tuesday June 23

Breakfast:  sausage gravy biscuit casserole, yogurt parfait, fruit

Snack:  Pepper Jelly/Cream Cheese and Crackers (and leftover Margarita Chex Mix)

Lunch:  Quesadillas (using leftover grilled chicken), chips, and salsa

Supper:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops, Twice Baked Potato Casserole (Miss Kay’s), 7-Up Biscuits, broccoli with lemon zest

Dessert:  red velvet sheet cake


Wednesday June 24

Breakfast:  pancakes (Martha Stewart) and bacon and fruit

Snack:  Birthday Cake Popcorn Mix

Lunch:  Sloppy Joe Squares (Life in the Lofthouse), vegetable sticks and homemade ranch dip

Supper:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas (LitL), Mexican Rice (food.com), refried beans, guacamole, chips

Dessert:  Apple Pie Egg Rolls (Spend with Pennies)


Thursday June 25

Breakfast:  cereal, fruit, toast/homemade English muffins with homemade jam

Snack:  veg sticks with dip, chips with dip, fruit with dip

Lunch:  grandmother’s/Debbie’s chicken and dumplins, rolls (Mom rolls), salad

Supper:  Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce (blog)—double batch, rice, egg rolls, fortune cookies

Dessert:  leftover desserts/fortune cookies


Friday June 26

Breakfast:  savory French toast casserole, fruit

Lunch:  sandwich bar

Snack:  churro chex mix

Supper:  pizza spiral rolls x 3 (meat, supreme, and Hawaiian), salad

Dessert:  ice cream sundae bar


Saturday June 27

Breakfast:  doughnuts and kolaches

P.S. Wish me luck!  Today is kindergarten pre-registration for our school district, and I am going to register Muffin!

Please Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge: The Graphic Revealed!

Please Don't Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge

Yup.  There it is.  The new graphic for the new challenge.  The following recipes are planned for Week 1:

Crock Pot Creme Brulee French Toast from Plain Chicken

Chipotle’s Crock Pot Barbacoa from The Slow Roasted Italian

Chipotle’s Cilantro-Lime Rice from The Slow Roasted Italian

Chipotle’s Corn Salsa from Better in Bulk

Pico de Gallo from The Slow Roasted Italian

No-Boil Crock Pot Baked Ziti from Thrifty Jinxy

Biscoff Baked Oatmeal from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf from Recipe Girl

Crock Pot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Pizza Meatball Subs (adapted for Crock Pot) from Kraft Recipes

Chef Salad–Food on a Stick from Pocket Change Gourmet

The Best-Ever Grilled Margarita Chicken from The Slow-Roasted Italian

Caesar Basil Pasta Salad from the Country Cook (I will probably add a protein)

Aunt Ginny’s Chicken Salad from The Sisters’ Cafe

Why the challenge?  Well, I really enjoyed trying out all of the new recipes during the Spring Cleaning New Recipe Challenge, and now that I’m out for the summer, I felt this was a perfect opportunity to try out some more new recipes.  But…I live in Louisiana.  We tend to have more than 30 consecutive days surpassing the 100 degree (Fahrenheit) mark each summer.  While trying to eat frugally at home in the summer, I think we make the money saving counter-productive because we spend so much money cooling the house as we heat it up.

And…honestly…I haven’t met an air conditioner yet that can keep up with kitchen activity and a Louisiana summer.  Ours definitely can’t.

So, I added an extra dimension to my challenge.  For months, I have attempted to bookmark, pin, and collect hundreds of recipes that would not heat up the kitchen during the hottest part of the day.  Recipes made in the slow cooker.  Recipes that can be made in the microwave.  Recipes that can be made (like pasta salads) in the morning when it’s cooler and chilled until dinner time.  Recipes made on the “Barbie.”  Cool sips and even cooler (frozen) desserts.  Salads.

So, most new recipes that I try in this challenge will fit one of those categories.  Or can be adapted (hopefully) to fit one of these categories.  I’m not going to go super wacky as I did with the Spring Cleaning New Recipe Challenge and have multiple new recipes daily.  We will probably utilize leftovers from each of the challenge meals for lunches (or even dinners).  Leftovers are great because they can usually be microwaved, thus adding to the air-cooling-saving of the day.  Of course, I will (probably) be taking the Canada vacay off from the challenge.  Although I might try to help my mother-in-law out with the cooking with those requirements.

Would you like to join with me for this challenge?  Do you have any recipes that I should try?  If so, please let me know below!