9/26/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSo, we are still without a Fridge/freezer, so no real meal plan for this week at this point. After the fridge repair guy comes on Tuesday, we’ll know if/when the warranty is going to cover a replacement, or if Sears is going to continue to throw even more money at this lemon. At this point, they have paid over $1500 in lost food reimbursement and repairs for a refrigerator that cost $1100. So.. yeah.

We’ve been eating a lot of shelf-stable stuff (beans and rice, crockpot chili), and I’ve been hitting the store solo to pick up salad kits, and bananas, and apples. Last week we ended up having the share a lot of our CSA box as I wouldn’t store some of the items in the cooler without freezing/damaging the more delicate items.

The CSA box will be here tomorrow morning. I’ll do the prepping after I get home from work Monday afternoon.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

Oh yeah, I got a job out of the house. It’s working on-site at a local elementary school. I’m not going to go much more into it than that. I’ll still be blogging, and the kids and I will be having adventures, I’m working while they are in school.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: We’ve got a pretty good schedule down for dinners. We have nuggets (vegetarian for the boy child, chicken for the rest) on the nights that we have respite. It’s quick to prepare and clean up, and I can serve it on our cafeteria trays with other fingers foods (we have trays like these) like cut-up fruit, crackers, and cheese. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Shakshuka, Rice We didn’t have this last week, and we have a lot of eggs in the cooler to eat.
  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas
  • Tuesday: unknown
  • Wednesday: unknown
  • Thursday:  unknown
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers (if we have any)

Please stay safe you guys!

6/27/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week have some fun afternoon plans: Swimming, hanging out with friends, a trip to get fro yo, and our weekly library trip. We’re working our way across the county libraries.

The kids have been digging the free school lunches- It’s a great way to encourage them to try new foods. That’s great because the price of groceries has gone up exponentially over the past few weeks, so I’m leaning more on stores that have good deals like Grocery Outlet, and using my cashback apps like Fetch Rewards. I’ve been cashing out Fetch rewards for Target Gift Cards. I’ve been combining the Target Gift Cards with grocery sales and deals in the Target app, and picking up via curbside pick up. It’s a great option if you’ve got kids and you’ve got a busy summer.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

The CSA Box comes tomorrow AM, but they send out a preview email over the weekend. It is very helpful for menu planning.

Veggies and fruit are delivered each Monday by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I spend about an hour on Monday afternoon cleaning and prepping veggies for the rest of the week.

I’m doing some meal prep today: A batch of cookies, roasting zucchini, defrosting and marinating chicken, and defrosting ground beef so tomorrow I can make a big batch of red sauce.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: We pick up free school lunches during the summer for the kids, I also have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Pulled BBQ chicken, rice, salad.
  • Monday: Spaghetti with red sauce (I am making some without meat for my vegetarian kiddo).
  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, bacon, and fruit-probably melon)
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Italian Herb and Lemon chicken, rice, salad, roasted corn
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit, salad

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

Cookie Recipe Round-up!

I usually make a batch of cookies per week. It’s generally cheaper to make cookies than it is to buy a couple boxes, and this way, I can control what goes into them (less sugar, Substitute Kodiak Flapjack mix in for AP flour, etc.).

I thought I’d share some of our favorite cookie recipes today. There are two no bake cookie recipes as well, just in case you need something sweet, but it’s too hot to turn on the oven!

I am all about using the right tool for the right job, as a result, I have a collection of awesome kitchen tools to help me cook. You can see my list of must-haves in my Amazon Storefront here.  

 

Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The kids have been begging for homemade cookies lately, and I’ve been busy with other stuff, so I haven’t had tons of time to make cookies.

I dug through the cupboard last week and realized that I had all of the ingredients except baking soda. I used the last half box I had to deodorize the kids bathroom.

So I turned to an old favorite, Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix. and because of the other ingredients, I used a smidge of baking powder (please remember that soda and powder are not interchangeable in recipes- it has a lot to do with the other ingredients and their pH/chemical makeup) and the cookies turned out perfect!

Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix contains leavening, so the added baking powder was just a little *bump* to make sure the cookies didn’t come out flat.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • One stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth preferred
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white/granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter.
  3. Add sugars one at a time and mix until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated fully.
  5. Mix in baking powder, salt, flour, and oats. Once all are blended into the dough, add chocolate chips.
  6. Drop tablespoon-sized dough balls on cookie sheets that have been greased or are lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking pad.  I prefer silicone baking pads.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Let cookies rest 1-2 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack.

This recipe makes approx. 3 dozen cookies. If you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute sunbutter or your favorite nut butter. Do Not use Nutella- It contains a lot of sugar and other ingredients that will throw off the chemistry of the recipe and you won’t get yummy cookies.

Holiday Recipe Round Up!

Most of us are home for the holidays, and that means that we are at home cooking.

If you are looking for some new recipes to tempt your taste buds, here are a few of our family’s favorite holiday recipes:

 

11/22/2020 Weekly Meal Plan!

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I did not go grocery shopping for this week over the weekend. The craziness of Thanksgiving shoppers and increased traffic to stores has made me back off a bit. I made a quick trip for bread on Friday night, but that’s it. The store was packed and everyone was too close for my comfort. I grabbed my bread and booked it.

This week focuses a lot on what we already have. I may run to the store to fill in some blanks. We are running low on eggs, coffee creamer, and salad fixings. If we could make it a whole week without a trip to the store, I’d be amazed!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and the fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

This week is Thanksgiving break- the kids are home all week. Since we are in the Purple Tier as far as the county’s Covid Cases, a lot of the fun things we usually do are off the table. We will probably skip the zoo this week, even though it is open. It’s a holiday week for most of the county’s school districts, and there will be a lot more people out and about. We’ll be doing outdoor stuff where we can socially distance ourselves from others. We’ll be having a lot of leftovers from Thursday onward. Lunches will probably be protein shakes, pasta and veggies, Peanut butter sandwiches, and beans and rice.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Veggie Soup & Garlic Toast
  • Monday: Baked Sweet Potatoes, Veggies, Grilled Cheese
  • Tuesday: Nuggets and Fruit
  • Wednesday: Mac n’ Cheese and Salad
  • Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner with my parents
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Shenanigans

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

11/16/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI wrote up the meal plan for this week last night and posted it on Instagram, but I was too pooped to sit down last night and write this post.

This weekend was busy (like all weekends):

  • Playmobil adventures
  • Lego Building
  • Barbie shenanigans
  • Drawing
  • Writing Practice
  • Shopping for new clothes because a little girl grew overnight

The past few weeks I’ve been cooking larger batches of recipes, and we’ve been relying a lot on them. This week will be a “refill” week for that. A big batch of meaty red sauce, a few batches of soup made directly to go in the freezer, and I’ll be making some mire poix bags up as well. I’ll be posting on Instagram for sure.

If you have kids between 2-18, check with your local school to see if they are offering free lunches and/or breakfasts. You can also check the USDA Website– but it might be a little out of date.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunches will be whatever the kids want for the time being. The big kid has lunch at school, so it’s whatever he chooses from the lunch box in the cupboard, plus some fruit and juice or milk. Since the little girl is in the morning cohort at school, she has lunch at home. Buttered noodles, yogurt, apple slices, and a popsicle are her go-to lunch.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers/Fend for yo’ self
  • Monday:  Shakshuka, Salad, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Pasta with Meat Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread
  • Wednesday: Veggie Nuggets, Fish Sticks, Veggie Fries, and Salad
  • Thursday: Breakfast (Most likely Pancakes, Eggs, and Fruit)
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Shenanigans

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

Baking for the Holidays with Truly Grass Fed (Tryazon Party Opportunity)

Truly Grass Fed is back for the holidays with a new Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, featuring their distinctively creamy and uniquely delicious cheese and butter. No matter what kind of holiday baking you plan to do, Truly Grass Fed is the perfect addition. Because Truly Grass Fed doesn’t just pair with food, it #PairsWithYou.

They have 300 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those chosen will receive a party pack with a variety of Truly Grass Fed products to showcase and sample with friends and family at an in-person or virtual party! Truly Grass Fed will be holding a competition for the best Holiday Baker too!  Learn more and apply here: https://www.tryazon.com/baking-for-the-holidays-with-truly-grass-fed-party/
If you haven’t heard of Tryazon, it’s a Word of Mouth Marketing company that partners with brands and individuals. I’ve hosted a few events with Tryazon before- it’s always a fun time!
I applied, and fingers crossed that I get this one! My family and friends love to cook and it would be a fun way to spend some time (even if we are socially distanced). Plus- Who doesn’t love cheese?

7/20/2020 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I Haven’t gone to the grocery store for this week. I’m trying to use up a lot of what we have on hand. With California re-tightening it’s ruling on what kinds of businesses can be open, the grocery shelves are starting to look sparse again.

I plan on doing some baking this week if it stays cool. Probably cookies, a couple pizzas, and buttermilk biscuits.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers and Birthday Cake
  • Monday Breakfast Burritos and fruit salad
  • Tuesday: Tortellini Casserole (I’ll post a recipe this week)
  • Wednesday: Orange Chicken and veggie stir fry
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

6/22/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I went to the store last night and spent a little more than I usually do- We were out of a lot of staples. I try to keep the weekly grocery budget to around $100, last night I spent $150.

I was looking over everything last night and I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself- we are all home all the time, which means that we are all eating (and drinking) at home, and that means an increase in both food budget and cooking.

4 people eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is 84 meals per week, plus snacks and drinks. That’s approximately $1.78 per meal, per person. And I cook a lot from scratch- which saves us even more than buying convenience foods or eating out.  As you can see from our meal plan below, I’m not making Haute cuisine- It’s healthy, wholesome food that the kids enjoy.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Customized mini pizzas for Father’s Day (We cooked them on our new Pizza Stone)
  • Monday Chicken Enchiladas, Beans, Rice, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Breakfast night (Pancakes, Eggs, bacon, fruit salad)
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and salad
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?