Menu Planning with a twist

This is officially the week after Thanksgiving.  Leftovers are still heavy in the refrigerator, and I do not want to waste any food plus we really like to eat!   One thing I did different this year is that we added several appetizers to our evening meal on Thanksgiving to get some variety going!  But in reality we also have more leftovers as well. This week has also turned out to be one of the busiest on the fall. Zach has all county band, Kendall has a swim meet. I have multiple meeting at work that will run late. Zach gets his braces off and has a physical appointment.  Did I say busy?

Breakfast are pretty standard around here.  You find it and make it. We still have some prepared items in the freezer and eggs and yogurt to spare.

Lunches will be leftovers for everyone.

Dinner are a little bit more challenging.  So after doing some planning and thinking. I decided that we would have leftovers for dinner at least Sunday, Tuesday and possibly Friday unless they are gone. Saturday evening, I made a turkey soup that was actually really good. So that is another option for Friday or I could change it up and use rice instead of potatoes. .

Here is the twist, I was able to assemble a meal for Monday and a separate meal for Wednesday in 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Monday- Gnocchi  bake. This is a recipe that I found from watching “Acre Homestead” on Youtube. I used store bought Gnocchi, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce from this summer, frozen onions and a jar of canned ground beef.

Wednesday- Queso chill mac- This is a recipe total I made up. I used about half of the leftover queso dip, add a jar of ground beef and boiled the remaining pasta in a jar sitting on the cabinet.  So far everyone wanted to know if that was dinner.

Simple meal using what we have!


This year was the most relax and uneventful holiday in a long time. However, it was not without illness as Lily caught a stomach bug! Hopefully she does not share with the rest of us.

We were very happy and surprised that Haley and David ended up spending the holiday with us.  Unplanned but fun!

Thursday, we have lunch at my brothers with all the family and lots of food. We were in charge of the turkey, stuffing and 3 deserts.  I was very glad to have leftovers and even planned on snacking most of the evening!

Friday, we worked on getting our Christmas decorations up for most of the day and took things a little bit slower paced.  I decided to treat everyone, and we ended up going out to eat at a Japanese steak house.  The food was awesome, and we all enjoyed it!

After dropping Braxton off, most of us decided to head out for some Black Friday shopping. Our biggest purchase of the evening? pillows!


Monday Menu Plan

Football season ended a week and half ago. We have our first swim meet this Friday.  I think we have finally caught up with everything and I am planning to stay ahead.  I will attest to the fact that I have been meal planning each and every week.  Most weeks we have stayed on track at least for 4 of the 7 days. I am also working on improving that track record as well.  My goal is to return to posting these regularly as well, so I have something to look back on and help with planning.

Breakfast- Saturday- Hash rounds and eggs. Sunday-bagels   Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- find it! Including omelets, cereal and milk, waffles, French toast sticks, bagels, and I also have breakfast burritos, breakfast hot pockets. I am trying to work through food in the freezer, so I am pushing those options but with a new blender for smoothies this is not helping.

Lunch- Saturday- Chicken crack soup (new to us recipe) Sunday Cracker Barrel.   Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday— left-over soup    Friday- eat out.

Dinner- Saturday-Philly Cheese Steak on Croissants     Sunday-Broccoli Cheese Soup Monday-Spinach Ravioli and Salad   Tuesday-Chicken Taco from freezer.  Wednesday- Salisbury steak, rice and green Beans   Thursday- Chicken and rice Casserole   Friday- Village Grill before Swim Meet.

Monday Menu Planning

This week should be fairly normal with a ballgame on Wednesday. We also started our “Souper Sunday”  and breakfast casseroles for Sunday breakfast are working out well.

Breakfast- Saturday- pancakes, Sunday-Dad’s breakfast casserole,   Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday- find it oatmeal,
omelets cereal and milk,waffles, French toast sticks, bagels, and I also have breakfast burritos, breakfast hot pockets. We currently have an abundance of choices  so that should make most breakfast a no brainer!

Lunch- Saturday-Turkey and cheese sliders . Sunday- Greggs, Monday-left-overs  Tuesday-cheeseburger soup    Wednesday- salad  Thursday-  leftovers   Friday- eat out..

Dinner- Saturday-left-overs to make patty melts    Sunday- Cheeseburger Soup   Monday- Magnolian  Beef   Tuesday- million-dollar spaghetti pie Wednesday- omelets or eggs over rice.  Thursday- Chicken pot pie pasta   Friday- Rice Creola

Monday Menu Planning

Today is Labor Day! We have been able to catch up on some projects, plan for some projects and rest!  Good last weekend of Summer! Tomorow we get back to school, work and routine.

Breakfast- Saturday- Biscuit King  Sunday- Gravy and Bisquit casserole. Monday- sausage link and bacon on the Blackstone.  Tuesday Wednesday and Friday- find it oatmeal, omelets cereal and milk, waffles, French toast sticks, bagels, sausage English muffins and I also have breakfast burritos, breakfast hot pockets. I am finding my own you should too!

Lunch- Saturday-Pizza   Sunday East Coast wings   Monday- Chicken sausage alfredo with broccoli, Tuesday- leftovers     Wednesday-pasta salad Thursday –left-overs.  Friday- eat out.

Dinner- Saturday-Left-over pizza or wings, Sunday more left-overs, Monday-Arby’s   Tuesday-Hamburgers and FF. Wednesday- left-overs   Thursday- Spaghetti and meatballs     Friday- Taco Pasta.

Monday Menu Planning

This should be our least busy week of the fall.  But I want to continue to get and stay in a routine!  We did end up spending around an hour yesterday prepping lunch for everyone this week.  I am hoping this also becomes part of the routine.

Breakfast- Saturday- Matt cooked sausage patties, links and bacon. I added some eggs.  Sunday-breakfast casserole. This was good and I am considering make breakfast on Sundays a casserole to make things easier.  Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday- find it oatmeal, omelets cereal and milk, waffles, French toast sticks, bagels, sausage English muffins and I also have breakfast burritos, breakfast hot pockets. I am finding my own you should too!

Lunch- Saturday-Sandwiches .  Sunday La Caretas Monday-salad   Tuesday- salad    Wednesday-pasta salad Thursday –left-overs.  Friday- eat out.

Dinner- Saturday-Salads to go, pasta salad, macaroni salad, and chips and salsa. Sunday baked potatoes.  Monday-Pork Fried Rice and eggrolls. This did leave enough for several days of leftovers.  Tuesday-Hamburgers and FF. Wednesday- Chicken sausage alfredo pasta.  Thursday- Mexican rice and cheese quesadillas.    Friday- Out to eat for Zach’s birthday.

Monday Menu Planning

The summer of flying by the seat of my pants is done!  I did learn a couple of things, first my kids are eating alot these days. I am talking 3 full meals a day. Second, my kids don’t really like sandwiches or cereal……

But I am really glad to get back into a routine and have a plan.

Breakfast- Saturday- bacon, toast and eggs Sunday-egg over grits    Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday- find it oatmeal, omelets cereal and milk, waffles, French toast sticks, bagels, sausage English muffins and I also have breakfast burritos, breakfast hot pockets. I am finding my own you should too!  This week the kids are also helping to cook!

Lunch- Saturday-Chicken Enchiladas.  Sunday Mella Mushroom. Monday-eat out  Tuesday- salad    Wednesday-pasta salad Thursday – salad   Friday- eat out.

Dinner- Saturday-Chicken nuggets Sunday Steaks and baked potatoes.  Monday-No peek pork chops, sautéed green beans and zucchini. (Kendall helped) Tuesday-Beanie Winnies (ZACH) Wednesday- Cheeseburger Pizza (Kendall)  Thursday- Pork Fried Rice and egg rolls   Friday- Grilled chicken (Matt)

Tuesday Thoughts- Groceries and Summer Goals

When we returned home, I knew that I wanted to get busy on preparing food for the school year which is one of my summer goals.  I was very hopeful that we would return to a ton of ripe tomatoes. That did not happen but I still knew this was one of the weeks that I wanted to focus on getting things in the freezer.  Sunday morning Matt and I went to the store. I had planned to re-stock our pantry and see what deals I could find.   I was so excited to find that Food Lion had lots of good things on sale.  One item that I wanted to get in the freezer this week was at least 4 Baked ziti.   Without tomato sause I did not think that was possible. Buy 2 Get one Free made the Ragu jars $1.33 each so we purchased 12.  The ziti pasta was on sale for 54 cents along with a 25 cent digital coupon!  English muffins were BOGO and we found sausage patties on clearance. This was probably one of the high spending single trips to Food Lion in 2 years or more. I spent $201. But this should assist with 12 dinner meals and at least 3 breakfast meals.

Monday morning this summer have included a trip to the Bargain store as everything is $3.  Followed by grocery shopping with my Mom.  I had planned to grab a couple of items that are usually cheaper there.  What I did not plan to grab was chicken breast. These were on sale for $2.29 a pound. I decided to go ahead and stock up. I ended up spending $78 at Aldi with over $50 of that in Chicken breast. I came home and with help from the kids I bagged up 2 bags of Italian chicken for the grill, 1 bag of chicken teriyaki and 5 bags with 2# pounds each. We also started Pineapple Chicken in the crockpot for dinner.

Today I have spent most of the day chopping veggies. Matt and I made philly cheese steak casserole (one for dinner and one to freeze). I will also get omelet bags in the freezer this afternoon.  Tomorow the plan is to make 5 Baked Zitis. We also got 15 English muffins in the freezer yesterday!

It feels awesome to be able to work toward a goal and stay on budget!

Summer Goals

I wanted to be able to share and remember what I spent my summer doing. I feel like the last several years have been a bust. 2022 was the Summer of being sick and Haley’s wedding. Between my car breaking down and my surgery the summer was not alot of fun!  2021- was a year of trying to catch up. Things had not returned to “normal” yet from COVID and it was just different.  2020- COVID.

I had put in my mind several goals for the summer and now that we are almost 2 full weeks in, I am going to share with you.  This are in addition to my regular monthly goals.

  1. Get 100 dinner meals and an assortment of other food items prepared for simple cook and eat meals. This is not a new concept for me as I usually have lots of items in my freezer to use but I want something easy and really non-thinking.
    I am proud to say that I am making steady progress on this goal. I have 4 Taco rice casseroles, and 3 pizza crust in the freezer. I also canned 22 pints  of green beans and 16 pints of black beans.  I purchased meat on sale and have 3 meals of pork chops and 2 meals of grilled chicken as well.   This morning I put 6 “boxes” of brownie mix in the pantry for easy desserts as well.  I honestly under-estimated the time it would take me to work on this goal. First, each new recipe has to be tested.  This adds at least one extra day to the process and second my family is picky. They like what they like and to find something that all 5 agree to is getting harder and harder.  I am starting to think the hardest part about this goal is finding 20 recipes that we all agree on!
  2. Organize the office and shred any paperwork that is no longer current and relevant.
    We are making progress toward this goal as well.  I have actually cleaned and shredded two hanging file folders in addition to shredding church paperwork from 2017-2019.  An added benefit is that we are using the shredded paper to line our chicken coop. The paper adds an extra layer which is allowing the chickens not to walk in mud continually.  In the fall, my plan is to remove the layer and place in our garden beds as free fertilizer.
  3. Redo our master spreadsheet.   No progress
  4. Organize and delete pictures from my phone in order to free up space. I must make sure that I have the pictures on my Ipad first.  I would also like to order several additional photo books once I get the pictures organized.
    Slow progress as I am working to delete first pictures that are not sentimental such as garden pictures and other documents. The next step is to actually compare and delete pictures.
  5. Earn a $50 gift card from Fetch. This basically means I need to scan each of my receipts all summer long one every 24 hours.
    I currently have 22,000 out of 53,000 I need.

Tuesday Thoughts

  • The weather this year has been all out strange. We had none, zero, nada weather delays or cancellations during the school year, The first time in at least five years if not more. The spring was cool, we had only 1 80 degree day in May. And now this week, is expected to be rainy and 70 for the entire week!  I am really disappointed since this is my first week off work but I am working on things inside so hopefully I can spend more time outside very soon!
  • My biggest goal for the summer was to get at least 100 dinner meals in the freezer, I have made a start with 4 taco pastas and 3  pizza crust from yesterday.
  • Today, I went to the local Food Lion to find meat on sale because the sale ad changes tomorrow.  I am happy to say that I succeeded!  I was able to purchase the meat for at least 14 meals for $63 or $4.5 each!  This is huge when you are feeding 6 people.
  • I picked up a free 8×10 at CVS today!
  • I have been working on getting some financial things in order for Lily’s college and I am happy to say that the hardest part is done!
  • Yesterday, I booked our Disney trip for Spring 2024 and took advantage of a no interest offer for six months from the credit card.
  • The next thing to tackle is Lily graduation pictures. Hopefully I will get some posted tomorrow as well!
  • Dinner tonight is “beer can chicken in the insta pot” with modifications.