10/19/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week FOUR with no full-size fridge and no freezer. Still living that #coolerlife.

We are still waiting for our fridge to get fixed. They’ll be out with the parts on 10/30/2021. So that means 6 weeks without a fridge and freezer. Never buy anything from Sears or American Freight (formerly Sears Outlet). Seriously, this has been a nightmare.

The CSA Box came yesterday and I did some light meal prep. I’ll post pics on Insta later today with info about our fun meal prep for lunches this week.

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.

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: Until this fridge debacle is over, I won’t be doing any meal prep beyond the stuff in the CSA box. We’re trying to eat up as much of the produce as possible. We’re eating a lot of salads early week, and more hardy stuff (roasted potatoes and baked apples with grilled cheese and soup) towards the end of the week, with our usual Friday night takeout. I want a new fridge- I miss bacon!

  • Monday: Mac n cheese, strawberries
  • Tuesday: Roasted veggies, salad (avocado ranch)
  • Wednesday: Roasted chicken, baked potatoes, veggies
  • Thursday: Chicken noodle soup, biscuits
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: leftovers
  • Sunday: breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, fruit salad)

Please stay safe you guys!

10/11/2021 Weekly Meal Plan & Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week three with no full-size fridge and no freezer. Still living that #coolerlife.  We did buy a mini-fridge last week, so we are able to keep some fresh food in the house. Milk and creamer and drinks live in the cooler in the kitchen. I’m hoping the warranty company makes up their mind this week and we can get our new fridge. Life without condiments is rough, y’all.

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 today while I’m at work. I’ll do the prep work this afternoon/evening.

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.

I’m super stoked that I’ll be getting flowers this week too as my add-on. Look over at my Instagram and Facebook for pics later today.

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: Until this fridge debacle is over, I won’t be doing any meal prep beyond the stuff in the CSA box. We’re trying to eat up as much of the produce as possible. We’re eating a lot of salads early week, and more hardy stuff (roasted potatoes and baked apples with grilled cheese and soup) towards the end of the week, with our usual Friday night takeout. I want a new fridge- I miss bacon!

  • Sunday: We had bowls from El Pollo Loco, and the kids had leftover pizza.
  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas- Produce is delivered today and I roast up a pan of veg as soon as I can!
  • Tuesday: unknown
  • Wednesday: unknown
  • Thursday:  unknown
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers (if we have any)

Please stay safe you guys!

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!

9/19/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI spent all weekend at home, hanging with kiddos and doing meal prep. I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (recipe here), and roasted veggies for various meals. I also made some omelet starters- various cooked veggies, ready to be added to eggs (along with cheese, because c’mon- CHEESE!)

I went grocery shopping on Thursday, and I split a share from Porchlight with my buddy Brooke.  The only thing I need to buy for the week is maybe some milk later in the week.

The CSA box will be here tomorrow AM and I’ll prepare some salads, more roasted veggies, and maybe even some soup (fingers crossed!).

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.

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: Roasted Veggies, Salad, Quesadillas
  • Monday: Veggie Chili, Sourdough Rolls, Fruit
  • Tuesday: Shakshuka, Rice, Fruit
  • Wednesday: Nugget night, fruit, cheese, and crackers
  • Thursday: Parm crusted Turkey Breast, Fruit Salad, Kale Salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

9/12/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is our busy week. I have appointments for the kids Monday Tuesday Wednesday, in addition to all the other appointments and things that I have to do throughout the day. The weather is supposed to remain hot throughout the week, so my usual easy-to-cook/busy day meals aren’t really appropriate. Nobody wants to tuck into a bowl of soup when it’s still 85° outside at dinner time. So we are relying on some family favorites: breakfast for dinner, and the do-it-yourself salad bar.

I went grocery shopping on Friday before my job interview and picked up about 80% of what we needed for the week. I underestimated the amount of cream cheese we go through, and ice as well. So there will be a trip to the store later today.

I’m very much looking forward to our produce box this week. I plan on making up a big fruit salad for us to enjoy early on in the week, as well as roasted vegetables and a healthy-sized salad. Our CSA box provides us with so many delicious, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit. One thing that I love about it is that the company has a presence at so many southern California farmer’s markets throughout the week. So you can go and pick up produce at the farmers market, or order a CSA box. Whichever works best for you.

I also love that they have a fundraising offer for local nonprofits. So if you have a scouting troop or your local youth sports team, or if your PTA is tired of selling cookie dough and wrapping paper… You can sell CSA subscriptions instead! Click here to find out more about it, I’m kind of hoping that maybe our school PTA will give that a shot.

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. I did a great deal of meal prep today after the box was delivered- You can see some of what I did over on Instragram.

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: Breakfast for dinner: hashbrowns, egg bites, fruit salad
  • Monday: Salad bar night, garlic baguette
  • Tuesday: Beans, rice, roasted veggies, quesadillas
  • Wednesday: Nugget night, fruit, cheese, and crackers
  • Thursday: Protein shakes, fruit, toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Egg Bites: Quick, Easy Cook Ahead Breakfast (Starbucks CopyCat)

These are so good!
Ready to get into the oven.

I love the bacon and Gruyere Sous Vide Egg Bites at Starbucks, but… I’m frugal and those little dudes ain’t cheap.

So Sunday night, I set out to see if I could make them. This was a test batch, so I only did 6. I’ll be making more in the future. They are super easy to make, and you can customize them with ingredients you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 T butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 sour cream or Creme Fraiche
  • 4 Oz chopped/shredded cheese (I used Kerrygold cheddar)
  • 1/3 cup bacon pieces (I use the ones from Costco)
  • salt and pepper to taste
greased cups in the shallow baking dish with water.

NOTES:
I used small glass bowls from dollar tree, but you can use a muffin tin, custard cups, whatever fits into a shallow baking dish (I used a 9×13 baking dish).

Directions:

  1. Spray cups/muffin tin with spray release, set aside.
  2. Fill a shallow pan with 1-2 cups water (start with 1). You want the baking cups/muffin tin cups to be covered in water on the outside, but you don’t want to water to get into the cups.
  3. Set the cups/muffin tin into the water bath pan.
  4. Sauté onions in butter until the onions are clear (about 10 minutes). Take off the heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
  5. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, and sour cream until combined.
  6. Add cheese, bacon, and onions to mixture.
  7. Stir well to combine and add salt and pepper.
  8. Give it a quick mix and ladle it into the greased cups/ muffin tin.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10-ish minutes.
  11. Run knife around the edges to free egg bites from the cups and allow to cool on a plate.

Store in fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat in microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute.

Substitutions:

  • If you are a vegetarian, omit the bacon. You can substitute the same amount of chopped veggies (bell peppers, and spinach are two of my favorites).
  • If Cheddar cheese isn’t your jam, goat cheese, gruyere, mozzarella are all good choices.
  • Finally, bacon can be swapped with crumbled sausage.

9/6/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgHappy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fun, relaxing weekend. The kids and I spent most of it playing with Legos, or swimming with friends.

No trip to the grocery store this week- I did go buy ice (our icemaker is STILL broken- Looking at you Sears) and popsicles, but we have enough groceries to get us through the week. I may have to buy milk… We’ll see.

Getting the fam to eat more fruits and veggies has been my personal mission this year, and thankfully, Yasukochi Family Farms has my back.

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. I did a great deal of meal prep today after the box was delivered- You can see some of what I did over on Instragram.

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 prep 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: Korean BBQ Beef, Rice, Roasted Veggies with Haven’s Kitchen Gingery Miso
  • Monday: Spaghetti with Veggie Sauce, Garlic Cheesy Bread, and fruit
  • Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner (probably waffles, eggs, sausage, and fruit)
  • Wednesday: Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Cheeseburgers ( topped with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms), chips and dip, and salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Starbucks Copycat Recipe: Medicine Ball/ColdBuster/Honey Citrus Mint Tea

This is one of my favorite hot drinks when I am not feeling well. Fever, sore throat, generally feeling run down, this drink is where it’s at.

But… I’m cheap and it’s not always convenient to hit up the ‘Bux. So I did a little research and found a frugal way to make this drink at home. I usually get my tea at Target or Walmart.

I use lemon juice in place of steamed lemonade for two reasons: Less sugar, and I like to use lemon juice (I prefer freshly squeezed but I’ll use True Lemon in a pinch).

I make 32 ounces at a time. that’s about two servings, perfect for when you don’t feel well.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large, heatproof container (I use a teapot), combine water, honey, and lemon, stir until honey is dissolved.
  2. Add tea bags and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags and serve.

Makes two generous servings. Feel free to add more honey if you prefer your tea sweeter, or less lemon.

 

8/29/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis coming week is going to be great! A little busy with doctors appointments, but other than that, it’s looking to be a fun week with warmer temps (and that means after school swimming).

I hit up the grocery store on Thursday and did some batch cooking and menu planning for this week. It was the only day last week where I was not busy with appointments.

I kept the grocery shopping at budget. I had to go to three stores however, because my usual stores didn’t have everything I was looking for. The supply chain is starting to get wonky again, so you may notice some items are taking longer to get back in stock on shelves.

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

No CSA box this week. We’ll be back on it next week!

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 prep 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: Machacas Bowls (Rice, Beans, roasted veggies, and Machacas)
  • Monday: Chicken Tetrazzini with brocolli, watermelon
  • Tuesday: Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Wednesday:  Impossible Burgers with Chimichurri sauce, Salad, buttered noodles
  • Thursday: Veggie Fritatta, toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Free School Lunches for ALL California Students 2021-2022 School Year!

I read about this last week, got busy, and forgot to share this!

The state of California is joining cities like Chicago and Boston in offering free school lunches and breakfasts to students.  Previously students families had to meet certain income requirements to qualify for discounted or free school meals.

I’m so glad that this is now available to everyone. There are a lot of people who didn’t qualify but are facing food insecurity.

For more information, The NPR acrticle here has some deets. Be on the look out for information coming from your school district in your email or as a flyer in your kids backpack the few day of school.

Santee School District sent out an email earlier this week.