Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom, Traditions

Not Just a Mom: Family Food Traditions

Hello! How was your weekend? We got back late Saturday night, and I’m still up to my eyeballs in laundry, suitcases, and errands. I’m going to continue to chip away at that stuff today too.

I swear…after the 4th of July, the summer just really starts to slip away. It’s already the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting this fun link up with some of my favorite bloggers.

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

This month’s topic is: family food traditions.

Today, I’m sharing the first few food traditions of ours that immediately came to mind.

Corned beef and cabbage:

My entire family looks forward to March 17th! They know this means we get to have corned beef and cabbage as well as Irish soda bread for dinner. I’ve shared those recipes before, and here they are again!

I grew up on these dishes around the holidays, and I’m glad to have carried the tradition on for my family.

Cookie cake:

We are big cookie cake people. Honestly, I think we started having cookie cakes around the time the kids were born. I remember picking a double stuffed one up at Sam’s Club for my brother’s birthday in 2010. Then, it just became a thing we do for birthdays, anniversaries (sometimes), Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

We always look forward to this sweet treat!

Christmas cookies:

Like many families, we make Christmas cookies every year. Again, I grew up baking cookies, and started doing that with my kids when they were little.

The kids always loved making the Hershey kiss peanut butter cookies, and when they were little, the best help they could be was peeling off the silver wrapper on the kisses. Now, they can make the cookies without any help from me!

Years ago, I added in the chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies I found on Pinterest, and those are our two main cookies. Sometimes, the kids will use cookie cutters on sugar cookies and then ice them, but we don’t do that every year like we do the other cookies.

My mom always sends us Christmas cookies, and then when we visit KC at Christmas, we make cookies as well. We make Spritz, Pfeffernusse, and Lebkuchen cookies as well as waffle cookies using the waffle iron that’s been in our family for well over 100 years.

Back to school:

Another tradition we have is our Back to School Breakfast. I started doing this when the kids were in kindergarten. I keep most of the supplies in a box and just bring them out the night before school starts. This is a fun tradition….

…that I tweaked last year. With the start of middle school, I decided to have a Back to School Brinner the night before the first day of school.

It was a success, and I think that will be the plan this year too. Honestly, it felt weird waking up on the first day already having that traditional meal over with, but it also was the perfect time for that transition.

Red plate:

Growing up we had the “You are Special” red plate. My mom served us dinner on it for anything from getting a good grade on a test to passing our driver’s test!

She gave one to us maybe four or five years ago for me to carry on the tradition with the kids.

The kids get it after report card time, after a game/performance/sports season, for being extra helpful and more.

So…those are some of our traditions. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but those were the first to pop up in my mind!

What food traditions do you have in your family? I’d love to hear!

Next month, our topic is binge watching tv shows. Considering in binged all six seasons on Schitt’s Creek in the past month, I know that will be the first on my list!

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll link up with us. There are always so many great posts to read too!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef
Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Meals and Recipes

Friday Favorites {#114}

Hello and Happy Friday! It’s our last Friday of the school year, and we are ready for the weekend.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Moment(s)

My dad came to visit this past weekend. His birthday was on Tuesday, so I encouraged him to come see us, have some cake, and watch the kids’ last regular season track meet on Monday.

On Sunday, we grilled out steaks and had lemon Bundt cake for dessert. The weather was great, and we were able to spend some time outside.

Monday was the kids’ last regular season track meet. They’ve improved so much and had such a great time this season. Both of them have set PR’s in their events, and the last meet was only for 6th graders. Hayden ran the 1600, 800 and one relay. Hadley ran 100m and two relays. They had quite the cheering section!

On Wednesday, they had their last track practice where they celebrated the season with ice cream and awards. Hayden earned a silver medal for finishing second place (he lost by a fraction a second) in the 6th grade mile while Hadley earned the two bronze medals for third place finishes with her relay teams. That meet was a great way to cap off the season.

Hayden’s 4×800 relay qualified for state in a couple of weeks!

Favorite Pic(s):

The kids baptism was one year ago, and this week I randomly received the professional photos that were taken. The kids look both the same and older to me one year later. I hope that their faith remains strong and that their hearts always guide them.

Favorite Food(s):

We grilled out for my dad’s birthday, and I made two of our favorite summer dishes for sides.

This pasta salad is so easy and so delish. My favorite part is the bits of mozzarella!

My kids even request these asparagus fries. They are so good!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Relatable!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

This throwback from May 2014 is so sweet. We loved pool days then, and we can’t wait for pool days now. The pool opens up next Wednesday!

Weekly Recap:

This week, I’ve shared a recap of the weekend, teacher gift ideas, and summer Amazon faves:

What are your plans for the weekend? The kids are running in a post-season track meet tomorrow and have youth Sunday at church. We have a few other things going on, but I sure hope to have some time to read and catch up on my tv shows!

See you back here Monday.

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Aldi

Hello!

I know y’all are used to my Trader Joe’s hauls, but today I’m sharing something different…my recent trip to Aldi.

We have an Aldi in Lexington, but I rarely shop there. Honestly, when I do, I always wonder why I don’t go back often. I guess I’m just used to my routine of Kroger and Trader Joe’s but Aldi has lots to offer.

Some Facts about Aldi:

  • Aldi is known having a basic layout and “no frills.”
  • Bring a quarter because that’s how you get your cart. When you return your cart, you get your quarter back.
  • Bring your own bags because there are no Aldi bags at checkout. There are often a few boxes that you can use to bag your purchased items.
  • Speaking of bags, you do the bagging yourself!

Some Aldi purchases:

Well, this past trip all started with a ham. My Gma was visiting, and suggested picking one up to have an early Easter/Palm Sunday supper. She shops at Aldi, and says they have the best ham for the price, so that’s where we headed to get our supper planning started.

I think she found the biggest ham in the bunch.

Since I hadn’t been to Kroger yet, I decided to pick up some things I knew we’d eat for the week.

  • Oven roasted deli meat
  • Grilled chicken breast strips

I would have picked up the deli meet and chicken strips at Kroger anyway, so I thought I’d give these a try.

  • Bagel Skinnys – I had one of these with turkey and cheese that I picked up at Aldi. Very good!
  • Mini Bagels – I picked these up for Hadley. I got up something similar at Target a few weeks ago, and she loved them.
  • Crackers – We got these to go with a goat cheese log for an appetizer.
  • Mini quiche- We put these in the air fryer to have as another app, and they were so good!
  • Mini bear grahams: I thought the kids would enjoy these for a school snack.
  • Honey Crisp apples: I started buying a similar pack at Trader Joe’s because I like how small the apples are. The ones at Kroger are always too big for one person.
  • Chex Mix: A fave for all.
  • Bob Evans mashed potatoes: Of course, these are at Kroger too, but I snagged them for a side dish to serve with the ham.

Aldi has a huge cheese and meat selection as well as charcuterie options. Some pre-packaged ones included meat, cheese, olives, nuts, dried berries and more!

  • Gouda – to go on the crackers or sandwiches
  • Goat Cheese (Cranberry Cinnamon) – This goat cheese (served with crackers) was SO good. I would go to Aldi just to pick it up!
  • Caramels – My Gma said how great these chocolate covered caramels are, and they didn’t disappoint.

I didn’t do a ton of price comparison, but I do feel like most everything was a bit cheaper.

The thing about Aldi is I don’t feel like I can go in with a specific list. Of course, I know they will have cheese, crackers, meats, etc., but, for example, if I want Sparkling Ice drinks, those are at Kroger. Kroger really is one stop shopping whereas Trader Joe’s and Aldi have specific finds that make them unique.

That being said, one of the things I like about Trader Joe’s is just going in there to pick up whatever looks good or something knew I’d like to try. I can do that at Aldi too.

Do you have an Aldi near you? Do you shop there? I hope to stop in there more often now that I have a few faves from there!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: What’s for Lunch

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one with quite a bit of downtime. We have family visiting, so we hung out at my brother’s on Friday night, and we all went to lunch on Saturday. Travis and I went to a concert with friends on Saturday night, and then Sunday’s weather was beautiful. It finally felt like spring.

Today, I’m co-hosting our NJAM link up with these awesome bloggers:

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

Last Monday, I shared some easy dinner ideas, and today I’m talking about: What’s for Lunch…

I’ve a few Let’s Lunch posts in the past…

….and an easy lunch idea:

I have a love/hate relationship with lunch. Somehow it always gets brought up with my students, but in 20 years as a teacher, I only buy the cafeteria lunch once a year for the Thanksgiving meal! That means, I pack my lunch the other 175 days in the school year…

It’s not even that I get bored with lunches, I just hate having another task like packing a lunch.

I often make something that will at least provide two lunches for the week like shrimp fried rice or a salad. Otherwise, I will pack cheese and crackers, a chip (pretzel, popcorn), carrots and hummus, a hard boiled egg, or fruit (strawberries or grapes). I typically pack a protein shake as well. Sometimes, I will include a small sweet bite like a Built bar or granola bar.

Lately, my “go to” has been a Cheeseburger salad. It’s delish.

If I’m home, I love to make a “snack plate.” I’m not sure why, but it feels like a treat!

The kids often took their lunches in elementary school. Now that it’s middle school, Hayden buys lunch every single day, and Hadley brings her lunch every single day. She tends to eat the same thing every day in her Yumbox: an Uncrustable in the big section, Gushers or fruit snacks in the small middle circle, fruit or vegetable in one section, and then a chip in the last part. She typically packs a granola bar for a snack. She occasionally will pack something in her thermos and then bring a chip and other snack for lunch.

What are some of your “go to” lunches?

We hope you’ll join us next month when our topic is: go to gift ideas.

If you are a blogger, we hope you’ll link up with us today.

I hope you have a great week. We have lots going on, but I hope to post pretty regularly.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923
Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals

Hello and Happy Monday. Well, *sigh* it’s the Monday after break which always proves to be difficult.

My friend sent me this yesterday and it’s very relatable!

That being said, today also marks the downhill slide to summer!

After Spring Break really is our busiest time of the year. Nothing fills up a calendar quicker than baseball practices and games. Well, of course Hadley also has dance, and now both kids are doing track this spring with meets during the week as well. The good news is that our weekends will now be lighter, but the week days will be booked solid.

I’m sharing some quick and easy meals that I will turn to while making dinners these next couple of months.

I really do try to have something home cooked Sunday-Thursday. Even on a really busy night, I don’t want to do drive-thru if possible.

I’ve shared before that I try to cook something Sunday that will provide leftovers on Monday. Even if we don’t have much on a Monday, I rarely feel like cooking. Tuesdays tend to be Mexican theme, and then Wednesday is often pasta or something can make leftovers on Thursday. This isn’t always my schedule. If don’t have leftovers to serve, I often will do pork loin, brinner, or soup and sandwiches.

With our schedule filling up on week nights, I’m sharing a few meals that I turn to in order to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible.

A few “go to” meals:

  • Andrea’s Creamy Beef Casserole: This meal is a family favorite. We definitely eat this more in the colder weather months, but it’s such a great hearty meal to eat all year long.
  • Lazy Enchiladas: These are so easy and delish. All you have to do is cook taquitos as directed. Then, you pour a bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, put the taquitos on the sauce, cover the taquitos with sauce and shredded cheese. Then, you bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. That’s it!
  • Trader Joe’s Carnitas: I make these at least once a month. Put the carnitas in the slow cooker, cover with salsa verde, and cook on low for 3-4 hours. I then put the meat on half of Trader Joe’s Southwest Chopped Salad while the kids and Travis will put the meat on hard or soft taco shells.
  • Cheeseburger Salad: I actually have been eating this quite a bit for lunch lately. It’s so good!

I brown the turkey in a skillet and then add some taco seasoning and water to let it finish cooking. I add chopped lettuce to the bowl, top with cooked ground turkey, add chopped pickles, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and then a drizzle (1 Tblsp) of this awesome sauce from Trader Joe’s.

*I get at least three salads out of 1 lb. of meat.

  • Shay’s Frito Pie: I’ve made this a couple of times, and it’s a family fave.
  • Baked Chicken: I’ve shared this recipe many times, and it’s such a good one. I always get two nights out of it, and the chicken is easy to pair with bagged salad or Bob Evans mashed potatoes.
  • Brinner: Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?
  • Pork loin: I often buy the Smithfield brand that you just cook in the bag. There are a few flavors, and my family loves these. The only thing is that they do cook for about 45 minutes, so I just need to remember that as far as timing goes.
  • Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken – I’ve been making this for years! It’s so easy, delicious, and makes so much!
  • With the warmer weather, we’ll grill out when we can.

Other time savers:

  • Rotisserie chicken

Sides:

  • Bob Evans microwave mashed potatoes
  • Bagged salad – Dole chopped Caesar is a fave!
  • Fruit
  • Biscuits or Jiffy cornbread

I’ve been picking up this Bisquick mix recently, and it’s perfect for making a few biscuits quickly.

Shay‘s Simmers cookbook is a perfect resource for having meals ready right when you get home.

What we are eating this week:

Other meals I want to try soon:

I keep tabs open on my phone with recipes I see that I want to try. Then, if I think I will make it again, I will write it on a recipe card.

What are some of your quick “go to” meals? I’d love to add to my list. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a cooking rut. Not to mention, the grocery store can be hit or miss with what they have in stock. I swear, lately my Clicklist order has felt like March 2020. My order this past Saturday had 14 substitutions and 3 items not in stock at all. Also, the most random things are hard to find…cotton balls, for example!

At the start of break, knowing we were headed out of town, I didn’t go to the grocery and it was nice not having to plan for food. It was all fun and games until Friday when the kids complained we were out of food. haha

I hope you had a great weekend! This early alarm on a Monday morning hurt. Ouch.

See you back here tomorrow for Prime Purchases!

Posted in Holidays, Meals and Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day Foods

Hello! With St. Patrick’s Day only a couple of days away, I’m sharing a few food ideas.

Listen, we take St. Patrick’s Day very seriously…I’m only like 2% Irish, but I can drink green beer with the best of them! #college

Seriously, I grew up knowing about my Irish and German heritage, but I finally took an Ancestry DNA test only a couple of years ago only to find out that I don’t have much Irish blood!

That being said, I still look forward to the traditional corned beef, cabbage, and Irish soda bread meal that I always grew up enjoying.

Breakfast:

Last year, I made the kids some green pancakes and sprinkled some Lucky Charms marshmallows on top with the syrup. I plan on doing the same this year as well.

Dinner:

I shared about our traditional meal last year, so make sure to check out that post again. I always use two slow cookers to cook two corned beefs because my brother’s family always comes over for dinner too. The Irish soda bread is probably my favorite part! It feels like it’s going to be a lot of work, but really it’s not…and it’s so worth it anyway.

Dessert:

Amy shared some fun St. Patrick’s Day ideas, and I loved the lime sherbet and Ginger Ale idea. I think the kids will love it, so I’m going serve that as an after dinner treat.

This year, I think I’m going to make the traditional feast on Saturday. We’re too busy on Thursday, and I’d rather choose a day where I know we can sit and enjoy the meal.

Go Green:

I guess it’s another thing they’ve kind of outgrown, but I always loved dressing the kids up in green (so they don’t get pinched, of course!)

2015

Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.” ~Irish blessing

Take care,

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Let’s Lunch!

Hello! Well, since January 1st, I can honestly say that I’ve done a much better job about meal planning and meal prepping. One thing I struggle with is packing my lunch. I don’t know why, but that always feels like such a tedious task for me!

I have a few recent lunch faves that I’m sharing with you today!

Sweet Potato:

I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating sweet potatoes, and I’d forgotten how much I love them. Here’s a quick lunch I love:

  • Microwave the sweet potato.
  • Sprinkle Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning on it.
  • Add chicken (I use Perdue shortcut chicken bites)
  • I add a pinch of shredded (Monterey Jack) cheese.
  • A dollop of salsa

Salad:

This may seem like a random combination, but I love it.

  • 2 cups of arugula
  • Sprinkle some Feta cheese on top
  • Add a scrambled egg
  • Top with salsa

Stir Fry Bowl:

What I love the most about this dish is that it’s a great way to use up any veggies I have on hand.

  • Sauté’ some shrimp in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and I use Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning.
  • After those are cooked, I remove them from the pan and scramble three eggs.
  • Then, I remove those from the pan and sauté whatever veggies I have and add a few sprinkles of garlic powder and a couple of dashes of soy sauce. I usually do zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli (if I have it). Then, I add it some shredded carrot when everything is pretty much cooked through.
  • While the veggies are cooking, I put the cauliflower rice in the microwave.
  • When the rice is finished, I add it into the pan, and I also add the shrimp and eggs back in.
  • I stir everything together, and it’s ready to eat.

By using one bag of microwave cauliflower, I can get three lunches out of this stir fry which is why I scramble three eggs.

This is my most “time intensive” meal, but like I said, I get three lunches out of it and can use up what ever veggies I have in the fridge.

And…

Sometimes, I end up bringing some fruit, a protein shake, and some pretzels or popcorn as my lunch.

I’ve found if I can have a rotation of a few lunch ideas, I can get through a month at a time without thinking that packing a lunch is much of a chore!

One more idea:

Since we had a snow day on Tuesday, I was home for lunch. That gave me a bit more time to eat, so I prepared another fave:

Shrimp Tacos:

  • I just cooked the shrimp like I do for the stir fry bowls.
  • I put the shrimp in the Trader Joe’s Carb Savvy whole wheat tortillas, top the shrimp with shredded lettuce or cabbage and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

What about you? What are some of your favorite quick and healthy lunches? I’d love to add to my recipe rotation!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Meals and Recipes, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Cookbooks

Hello from snowy Kentucky! I’m pretty sure that was my intro one day last week, and now we’ve gotten more snow…with more on the way later in the week! I will be honest…I’m not mad about it, but by mid-February, I will be ready for spring!

I’m not sure if this link up is still a thing, but I still have things to talk about…on a Tuesday 🤣 …like my favorite cookbooks.

January is always the perfect time to regroup after the holidays and take more time to meal plan and meal prep. I don’t ever really stop meal planning, but sometimes I slack off with meal prep.

Anyway, today I’m sharing some of my favorite cookbooks that I turn to very often (and a few favorite recipes from each).

Growing up, I didn’t think much about cooking (besides the fact that my mom made dinner for us every night), but I do love to cook, and have taught myself a bit along the way.

Here are some of my faves:

Simmers:

If I had to choose one cookbook to have for the rest of my life, Simmers would be it. Dramatic or what? haha Seriously though, the busier my kids have gotten through the years, the more and more I turn to Shay’s cookbook for slow cooker recipes.

Some of my favorite recipes:

  • King Ranch Joe’s (We are having these this week.)
  • Taco Tortellini Soup
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Beef Enchilada Tacos
  • Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joe’s

Eat Better Feel Better

I often ask for cookbooks for Christmas, and Travis got me one of Giada’s cookbooks. He knows I try to make healthy meals for the family, and that my love for Giada runs deep! I’ve made a few recipes, and I know I will continue to use this book to plan our family dinners.

So far, I’ve made:

  • Fusilli with Pesto and Green Beans
  • Green Fried Rice
  • Chicken Milanese

That Bowl Life:

Beth used to live in Lexington, and she’s a fun follow on Instagram. She’s had great success with the Faster Way to Fat Loss and created this cookbook after creating so many meals while on the program. I love how easy the recipes are, and the idea of just tossing some goodness in a bowl and that eating healthy can be pretty effortless is a win. {*Not all the recipes are in a bowl…}

Some of my favorite recipes:

  • Egg muffins
  • I’m a big fan of a snack plate because of her: a handful of almonds, a hard boiled egg, a few pickles, some lunch meat, pretzels and hummus, etc.
  • Arugula with shredded parm and proscuitto is another fave.
  • Watermelon, mint, feta salad
  • Lots of a great drink concoctions too!

She has another one, The Village Cookbook, coming out too!

Mix and Match Mama Meal Planner:

This is another cookbook by Shay that I love so much. What I love the most about it is that it is organized by season. Sometimes I think cookbooks can be overwhelming, but I love that I can turn to each season and there are four weeks worth of meals from which I pick and choose what to feed my family. There’s also a “sweet treat’ each week as well!

Some of my favorite recipes:

  • Beefy Cornbread Casserole (Winter)
  • Shrimp Caprese Pasta (Spring)
  • Caesar Salad Burgers (Summer)
  • Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potato Risotto (Fall)

What about you? What are some of your favorite cook books that I can add to my collection? Of course, I also turn to Pinterest for recipe inspiration, but kind of like the book vs Kindle debate…sometimes, I just like turning the pages to see what inspires me while making my grocery list!

Well, today is a first…our first ever NTI (non-traditional instruction) snow day. Of course, we became familiar with NTI in spring 2020 (followed by fall 2020 and winter 2021), but this will be our first snow NTI day. I guess the neighborhood roads are still a bit dicey. I feel like if we have to miss school for the weather, NTI is a good compromise. We had regular snow days (that we don’t have to make up) last week, so I’d rather my kids do a bit of learning now rather than be in school until June. As a teacher, I did weather NTI days in my previous district, and I thought they were a good option if we were going to miss lots of school due to weather.

Wish us luck!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Turkey Rice Soup

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a great but busy one mostly filled with celebrating Hayden and Hadley turning 12. More about that tomorrow!

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes: Turkey Rice Soup.

We’ve been making this for years. It’s actually a recipe that we got from my high school boyfriend’s dad way back in 1997! It’s the perfect way to use up some leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 4 cans of water
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. shredded carrots
  • 2 c. uncooked rice + a little bit more
  • leftover shredded turkey
  • Creole spice (I usually use the Tony Chachere brand)

Instructions:

  • Saute’ the chopped onions in some oil until soft.
  • Add in soups + cans of water and heat for a few minutes.
  • Add in the turkey and shredded carrots. Stir to combine.
  • Pour in 2 cups of rice, and I add in a little bit more rice.
  • Top the ingredients with Creole spice plus a bit more. Stir.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

We make this soup every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I also make it a few other times in the winter and use shredded chicken.

If you make this, tag me on Instagram!

I can’t tell you how much this day off is needed. I was a big slacker this weekend on household chores and errands.

I hope you have a great week.

Posted in Let's look, Meals and Recipes

(Let’s Look) Meal Planning

Well, this four day week has apparently gotten me all messed up! I was off on my days and shared my posts on the wrong days (insert hand on forehead emjoi!)

Yesterday, Shay and Erika shared Let’s Look: Meal Planning, and I’m doing so today. #betterlatethannever

I was a girl who always needed a plan before I was ever a working mom with two very busy kids who most definitely needs a plan because…

There are mornings that my kids wake up and ask me what’s for dinner!

Meal Planning:

Here’s a little look at my process:

  • I have a paper calendar on the fridge where I write down all of our weekly activities. I sit down on Saturday night or Sunday to write those activities out and then I plan the meals accordingly.
  • Then, I make my grocery list before placing my Clicklist order. I can’t live without Clicklist. Sometimes, if I can’t figure out what I want to make, Travis just tells me he will go to the store mid-week for whatever we need. I act like I can’t go to the grocery store more than once in a week! 😂 . Honestly, for years, I did Clicklist pick up and that was it. As the kids have gotten busier and I can’t always plan the whole week, I will do grocery pick up on Sunday and then go to the store Thursday if we need something for dinner that night or if they were out of stock on something during my weekend pick up.
  • For me, Clicklist pick up is usually Sunday afternoon. Occasionally, I will do Monday pick up after school. If I do that, sometimes I will run to Kroger for whatever ingredients we need for Sunday night dinner.
  • I do try to cook Monday-Thursday, and my general plan is to make something on Sunday with leftovers for Monday. Mondays just seem to be the hardest day of the week, so I like not having to think about what to make for dinner. Then, Tuesday is either a slow cooker meal or we do rotisserie chicken with Bob Evans mashed potatoes and fruit (That’s what we had for dinner Tuesday night). For Wednesday, I often make a pasta that will make enough leftovers for Thursday night. Both Wednesday and Thursday dinners, I will serve with salad, broccoli, or green beans.
  • Like I said, once we went back to school in March and our lives started to be busier again, I at least plan for Sunday-Wednesday, and then pop into Kroger or Fresh Market for Thursday dinner if needed along with a few fresh items like strawberries or other fruit that we might want for the weekend. I’ve noticed I don’t dread going into the store if I know that it’s only for a few things.

Other Thoughts:

  • It’s easier to double up recipes in winter for things like soups, chili, and casseroles.
  • We grill a lot in the summer which is nice to only have to think about quick side dishes like baked beans, pasta salad, and watermelon.
  • I always forget about breakfast for dinner. We did that recently, and everyone was so excited for dinner.
  • I go to Trader Joe’s every other week or so. I might go once a week in the fall and winter when there are more seasonal faves that we might want more often. There’s not really anything that I buy at Trader Joe’s that I’d also buy at Kroger. For example, I typically get produce at Kroger and not at Trader Joe’s (unless we are out of something at the time). I go to TJ for Trader Joe’s only items like buffalo chicken dip, Chomps, my favorite Havarti/dill cheese, pumpkin bagels, and more!
  • If I can get organized, I prefer grocery pickup on Saturday. I’d love to get to the point where I pick up on Friday after school! I’d really be on top of my life if I could do that!
  • At least once a month, I try to just buy what we need for dinner that week. That forces the kids to finish up whatever chips we have on hand, eat the two yogurts that are left in the fridge, etc.
  • I’m not great about meal prepping for breakfast, but I did make an egg casserole a couple of weeks ago, and it was so nice to have on hand throughout the week. I tend to eat the same kinds of things for lunch or have leftovers from dinner the night before.
  • I do try to make one new recipe a week. I tend to do a really good job of this starting in January. I pin a lot of things on Pinterest and tell myself that if I have the time to do that, then I should make sure to try one new recipe a week.
  • I use my slow cooker at least once a week and even more so in the fall and winter months.
  • I have an Instant Pot and do use it but more so in the fall and winter months. If I had to choose, though, the slow cooker is my favorite!

What about you? How do you meal plan? I really enjoyed reading so many posts yesterday about how others meal plan. It’s amazing to me that those who meal plan/prep do so a bit differently.

I’ll be back tomorrow for Friday Favorites. I’ve lost track of time this week, but I definitely know that tomorrow is Friday!