11/29/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg

Kids are back to school and I am back to work this morning!

After a week without any trips to the store, last night I broke down and did a big shop. I found some really cool spice blends at Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only, so we’ve got some yummy stuff planned over the next few weeks.

Now that the fridge is working, I’ve been buying a few condiments every trip. This week it was Salsa and Chili/ketchup.

I am pulling everything out of the cupboard this week to do an end-of-year overhaul/purge. Anything that is not expired that we won’t eat I’ll be donating. There is a blessing box about a mile away, and I’d love to fill it up. And of course, anything expired will get pitched. We have a super narrow and deep cupboard, so sometimes stuff gets pushed towards the back and forgotten about.

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: I am planning some great meals this week. I’ll try and batch cook tomorrow morning (sides, roast veggies, cookies) before work.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (orange and apple slices are on tap), cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, veggies
  • Wednesday: Beans, Rice, quesadillas, fruit or salad
  • Thursday:   Vegetarian Enchilada casserole (I’ll post a recipe this week)
  • Friday: take out (Usually pizza and Chinese food)
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Shakshuka, garlic bread, salad

Please stay safe you guys!

11/22/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg

This week is Thanksgiving break, so no school for the kids, and… Bitty Bird is in two below the knee casts, so it’s going to be an interesting week.

We’re taking a break from our CSA box for now- with everything going on, I’m trying to cut down costs for the time being.

We’ve borrowed a larger stroller, and we’ll be using it to get Bitty Bird around town this week. She’s still in pain from her surgery, so she’s not too keen on using her crutches all the time.

I reorganized the pantry and freezer the other day and we’ve got enough to last us at least through this week, excluding milk (which I’m going to go buy 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: I did some batch cooking yesterday, so we’ve got all sorts of yummy stuff ready for this week. I even made brownies yesterday!

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (green grapes and bananas are on tap), cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Cheesy hashbrown casserole, poached eggs, garlic bread, melon
  • Wednesday: Pollo Asada Taco Salad with cilantro lime rice
  • Thursday:  The kids are having dinner with their dad, and my mom and I are visiting my dad in the hospital.
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: Turkey dinner with my mom
  • Sunday: Pancakes and fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Recipe: Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

I don’t really like Cracker Barrel, and there isn’t one close to us, but these potatoes are delish. In some places, these are called Funeral Potatoes. While doing my weekly meal prep this morning, I realized I had all the ingredients and decided to make a pan. It’s a great side dish for any holiday event. I improved it a bit as well.

I’ve included substitutions to make it vegan below.

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Serves 6-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bag frozen hashbrowns, defrosted
  • 1 can condensed cream of soup (I used cream of mushroom because I have a vegetarian in the house, other people use cream of chicken)
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but Colby jack is good too), divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1T. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
After being baked. It was..sampled.

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees, Spray a 9×11 baking dish with spray release.
  2. In a small pan, saute onions in butter until translucent- about 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, hashbrowns, and sauteed onions.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish, top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
  6. Serves 6 as a main dish or up to 10 as a side dish.

This casserole is great reheated and is good for up to 3 days in the fridge, but it won’t last that long.

Vegan substitutions: In lieu of dairy sour cream and cheddar cheese, use your favorite vegan brand. In place of soup, use your favorite white sauce and 1/4 cup diced mushrooms. Saute onion in your favorite spread or oil. If you need a good white sauce recipe, there are directions in this recipe.

10/31/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgTHE FRIDGE IS WORKING. I repeat, the fridge is working.

I’m not holding my breath, but for now.. I’m hitting up Grocery Outlet this week for condiments (oh how I’ve missed mustard and pesto), and the meal planning is back on!

I’m looking forward to cooking meat! And having ice cream in our freezer!

Beyond that, I’m looking forward to having produce in the fridge that I can cook all 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: This week I’m planning a freezer and fridge restock, so we’ve got a lot of yummy stuff planned! And baking- I’m planning some tasty baked goods this week too!

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (green grapes and bananas are on tap), cheese and crackers
  • Tuesday: Salsa chicken, rice, beans, and roasted veggies
  • Wednesday: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, popovers, meatloaf, and mashed taters
  • Thursday:  Fritatta, fresh fruit, garlic bread
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: leftovers (I’ll probably repurpose the leftover salsa chicken into quesadillas for me and the girl kiddo)
  • Sunday: breakfast for dinner – It’s pretty popular at my house.

Please stay safe you guys!

10/26/2021 Weekly Meal Plan and Life Update

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWe are starting week FIVE 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. 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: fresh fruit, rotisserie chicken, bread and butter
  • Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup with veggies
  • Wednesday: Nuggets, fresh fruit, salad
  • Thursday: Roasted veggies tossed with pasta and pesto
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: leftovers
  • Sunday: breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, fruit salad)

Please stay safe you guys!

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!

New Recipe: Italian Pot Roast

I got a roast the other day because I really wanted something beefy and comforting, but I didn’t want to make Moosie’s Pot Roast, because while it’s so good, it’s a tad heavy.

I wanted to make something beefy, flavorful, and rich, but not heavy. I pulled out a few cookbooks, looked through the cupboard and the cooler where the veggies are chilling (pun intended), and came up with this. It’s like Oso Bucco, Bolognese sauce, and beef stew had a complicated tryst. All of the fresh vegetables came from our Yasukochi CSA Box.

 

 

 

 

Italian Pot Roast

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chuck Roast (2-3 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced (I used Red, but use whatever you’ve got)
  • 2 Carrots, Peeled and diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6-8 fresh tomatoes, chopped (You can substitute 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T. Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Salt and pepper the roast and set aside. I recommend allowing the roast to warm up to room temp before searing it.
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 T. olive oil, and saute onions, peppers for about 10-15 minutes, until soft and browned.
  3. Add in carrots and garlic, and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes. Garlic will be slightly browned and fragrant.
  4. While veggies are cooking, chop up tomatoes and add to slow cooker.
  5. Add tomato paste to slow cooker.
  6. Add cooked veggies, bay leaf, and Italian Seasoning to the slow cooker.
  7. Add remaining 2 T. olive oil to the previously used large pan, and allow to warm.
  8. Sear the roast on all sides.
  9. Add roast to slow cooker.
  10. Pour wine into the large pan and turn heat to medium-high. Scrape all browned meat and veggie bits with a wooden spoon. One wine comes to a brief boil and all browned bits are scraped off the pan, pour liquid into the slow cooker.
  11. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  12. Put roast beef from the slow cooker, and shred with forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir. Cook for an additional hour.

Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta/noodles of your choice.

Get Cookin with Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto (Review and Giveaway)!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. For more information about the use of affiliate links and partnerships, visit my disclosure page. 

Yesterday we had an amazing dinner! We’re still without a full-size fridge, so we’re without meat or a lot of our usual ingredients, thankfully Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto to the rescue! I paired the pesto with farfalle (bowtie pasta), and roasted veggies. It was tasting, filling, and a great way to get veggies into your kiddos.

I wrote down the recipe to share with you. The Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto sauce is so rich and creamy and pairs really well with the veggies I chose.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Veggies and Farfalle with Creamy Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 6.2 oz jar of Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto
  • 1 box of pasta (I used Barilla Farfalle)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, and cut into slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into coins
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan to taste

Directions:

  1. Roast Veggies (complete directions can be found here)
  2. While veggies are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  3. Cook pasta per box directions.
  4. Reserve 3 T. of pasta water when draining cooked pasta.
  5. Mix a jar of Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto into the cooked pasta.
  6. Add roasted veggies to the pasta/sauce mixture. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve with a little extra parmesan cheese, as needed.

This is a great, easy dish that’s perfect for meat-free nights. This Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto is so versitile. In addition to using on pasta, it makes a great veggie dip (I might be guilty of dipping some of the raw veggies into the jar while I was cooking), a sandwich spread (in place of mayo or mustard), or for marinating meat. Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto does not need to be heated prior to eating, and it’s shelf-stable prior to opening. You can find it in the store near the jarred pasta sauces. I found it at Target, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Giveaway: I want to share Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto with you! I’ve got 2 coupons each for one free jar (up to $3.99) of Barilla Pesto (expiration 12/31/2021). I will choose 2 winners on 10/8/2021 and notify them via email. 

Entering is easy: Leave a comment on this blog post with how you would use Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto!

 

Great Deals on Spices and Seasonings from Penzey’s!

Penzey’s is having a great sale through the end of business today!

1/4 cup Northwoods AND 1/4 cup Arizona Dreaming (value $9.54) free with $5 purchase. No need to add any items here. Enter code Together in the Apply Code field at checkout. I love Arizona Dreaming- It’s a great spice blend that is perfect in Huevos Rancheros or a Southwestern Chicken Stew.

If you are looking for some solid additions to your spice rack, check out these sweet deals:

No coupons or codes are needed for the regularly $3.59 French Tarragon for $1 or the regularly $6.69 Sunny Paris for $2, those two deals are automatic for everyone. These deals do not expire until 10/3/2021.

For the free-with-$5-purchase $9.54 quarter-cups of Arizona Dreaming and Northwoods Seasoning, in stores show or print this coupon. When you order online at penzeys.com, once you have $5 in spending just enter Together in the apply code box at checkout.