Foodie Friday

LogosMenu Planning: do you do it? If not, why? I plan our family’s menu around my husband’s paychecks. Since he gets paid every two weeks, I only go grocery shopping every two weeks. This allows me to stay on budget and not overspend on groceries. Another great thing about menu planning is that I am not starring into a pantry and refrigerator at 5pm everyday wondering what I can piece together. I choose what we will eat each morning and pull the meat out when I wake up to thaw. 

It’s Friday!! Whoop Whoop! I haven’t begun to menu plan for us for the next two weeks so I am going to give you our last cycle. When throwing yours together be sure to think of easy meals for days that you know you won’t have time or energy and always have a meal on hand (frozen pizza or spaghetti) for those days that you can’t get it together in time.

1. CrockPot Zupa Toscanna
2. Tex Mex Beef Wraps (two meals)
3. Meatloaf and Rosemary potatoes (Prep and Freeze Meal)
4. Roasted Red Chili Crock Pot Stir Fry
5. Beef Stroganoff
6. Baked Potato Soup
7. Oven Fried Chicken, corn, and my favorite roasted asparagus
8. Crock Pot Ranch and Onion Flavored Roast
9. Chicken Fajitas and salsa
10. Arroz con Pollo
11. Chicken Salad
12. Crock Pot wings and wedges
13. Leftovers
14. Leftovers

The Things Lunch Menu is being provided by MOMables for the next few weeks! Have you seen their product? I am getting the Gluten Free Menu delivered to my inbox! One less thing for me to come up with! I love it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Menu Plan

Happy Friday. Can you believe we are a few short weeks away from Thanksgiving? I have a few things coming up next week. Monday I will be hosting a give away for a copy Until We All Come Home. This is a give away you won’t want to miss. Later in the week  I will be post our menu plan for Thanksgiving including the recipes. Stay tuned.

Since I only have a few minutes before Thing 4 wakes up for a bottle, I will keep this post short and sweet.

Breakfast:

Sausage muffins (freezer already made just warm up in the microwave for 15 seconds)

Cereal

French toast sticks

Sticky buns (prepare the night before)

 

Snacks any 2 of these:

yogurt

granola bars

sliced cheese

Pirate’s Booty

Veggie Sticks

Lunch:

  1. Corn dogs, grapes, 2 carrots, raisins and gold fish
  2. Leaf pizza
  3. Rice cakes, salad, sliced cheese
  4. Chicken nuggets, veggie straws, yogurt
  5. banana muffins, fruit salad
  6. PB & J with fruit, gold fish, cheese yogurt

Repeat for week 2

Dinner:

1.) Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and grilled cheese

2.) Ham, spinach au gratin, corn, rolls

3.) Ham and potato soup

4.) Shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob and cheddar bake biscuits

5.) Crock pot Irish stew (new recipe to try)

6.) Paprika chicken and rice bake

7.) Crock pot beef and mushroom hot pot

8.) Pasty

9.) Chicken pot pie

10.) Million dollar spaghetti and garlic bread

11.) Cheesy Chicken rollups in poblano cream sauce, roasted asparagus and garlic parmesan romano

12.) Leftovers

13.) Leftovers

14.) Pizza

I will catch everyone up on what’s going on with us next week. I will have more time to write over the weekend instead of squeezing it in between bottles 🙂

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday everyone! This is going to be a great week! This will be the next to the last time you will hear from me this week as we will be welcoming our fourth little blessing into our home! I will be posting a very special book review for Until We All Come Home by Kim De Blecourt, probably tomorrow or Wednesday. The book itself is set to release in November. You can check it out on Amazon, just click here. I read this book in less than 24 hours. It is a book about a family’s journey through adoption: a true story. I cried, and still cry, when I think about all they went through and endured as a family for a full year before gaining legal custody of their son. God is so good! Please stop back by and read this review this week. I will also post a video linking back to the book’s trailer. In that video you will get to see the precious little one they welcomed into their home. I was blessed by this book and I know you will be too.

As I recover, I may post randomly here and there just to give you updates. Don’t expect much from me though as I am taking this time to recover and bond with our newest little guy. I can’t believe we are going from a family of 5 to a family of 6. It seems a little surreal and overwhelming yet at the same time I could see one or two more. This past weekend we spent finishing up those last minute items that needed to be taken care of before he arrives: haircuts for the Things, sanitizing bottles, and washing car seat covers. I am so very glad I decided to end homeschooling last week. I needed the break and my Things needed some extra attention from me as we ready ourselves. They know the change is coming fast and each of them are competing for attention, love and reassurance. The older ones already know that I will be in bed recovering the first week. The littlest Thing has no concept of what is to come. Either way, I am very thankful for the Man who will be taking 3 weeks off from work to be here and support me. I am SUPER thankful for my sister who is going to single handedly wrangle my three Things while I am in the hospital. This isn’t her first rodeo with us so she knows what to expect: still, not being the mom she will be tested and tried by the boys. Of that I am certain. Please say a few prayers for her this week!

This is our menu plan for the next two weeks. A little over half of these meals are already prepped in the freezer so that who ever is cooking (the Man or my sister) can just dump the contents into the slow cooker. I did a freezer session about two months ago to help prepare our family for the next two weeks. When I do any sort of freezer cooking, I post my menu plan and the recipes on this Facebook Page. This last time I had a freezer session I threw together some crock pot meals, pre-made meatballs, fried extra chicken, made way too many carrot spiced muffins for lunch, made a week’s worth of mini sausage pancakes. I feel like they are fully prepared in my absence this week. This gives me relief so I that I can focus on my health our our new child. The links are provided below, just click on the meal you want the recipe to.

Breakfast:

Sausage muffins (freezer already made just warm up in the microwave for 15 seconds)

Cereal

French toast sticks

Sticky buns (prepare the night before)

Pop tarts

Snacks any 2 of these:

yogurt

granola bars

sliced cheese

pretzles

graham crackers with Peanut butter

bananas

fruit roll ups

Lunch:

  1. Caramel rice cakes with peanut butter spread, grapes, 2 carrots, raisins and gold fish
  2. Cinnamon Raisin bread sandwich with peanut butter and banana (only banana on Thing 1 and Thing 3’s), veggie straws, apple slices
  3. Apple sandwich (apple slices with peanut butter and raisins), ham and cheese slices (1 sandwich sliced into sticks split with the 3 kids), 2 carrots with ranch
  4. Hot dog slices, apple slices, 2 carrots, cheese- dippers for ketchup and ranch
  5. Ham and cheese skewers, a spiced carrot muffin (already made in freezer), yogurt
  6. PB & J with fruit, gold fish, cheese yogurt
  7. Spiced carrot muffins, edamame, ranch veggie straws

Repeat for week 2

Dinner:

1. pizza

2. French toast stuffed with nutella

3. Fried Round steak, mashed potatoes, gravy and salad with a banana cream pie for dessert

4. Crock Pot potato soup

5. Crock Pot Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes

6. cereal or left overs

7. Fried chicken and mac and cheese (already made and frozen)

8. Tex Mex beef wraps (already prepped just ready to be dumped into the crock pot)

9.-11. Garlic herbed roasted chicken (already prepped just ready to be dumped into the crock pot)

3 meals in one- Roasted butter herbed whole chicken and veggies

Mix butter and herbs desired in a small bowl. I added salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of crushed red pepper and fajita seasoning. Layer your vegetables at the bottom of the freezer bag, smother butter over your chicken and lay on top of veggies. Make sure to rinse your chicken and remove the bag of parts from the chicken before freezing unless using a cut up chicken. When you are ready to slow cook your chicken, dump the contents of your bag into your slow cooker and set to low and cook for 8 hours. This meal will count as one as we will 1/3 of it- then I will use the left over chicken to divide into two additional meals- tortilla soup and chicken salad sandwiches.

12. Sphaghetti and meatballs (the meatballs are already made and frozen)

13. Finnish pancakes

14. pizza

15. Crock Pot Chicken and dumplings

16. Thursday- Cinnamon French Toast bake

Everyone enjoy their week! Don’t forget to check back to read the book review!

Menu Plan Monday

My days fill up fast. I didn’t get out as many posts as I had hoped to last week, but I am nearing the end of pregnancy and when I have the energy, I am finding myself nesting instead of writing. I am not sure what my plan is as far as blogging goes while I am recovering. Anyone want to volunteer to do some guest posts? If so, please email me or post below! I would love the help!

Last week was a good homeschooling week. We were able to get a 10 commandments lap book completed for Classical Conversations and we did a Nile project!

Here is the link for the inspiration for our lap book. We are going to use these lap books for our presentation. They will be saying all 10 commandments from memory and will be using their lap books as a visual.

Here is the link for the Nile River Project. Super cute and the Things loved making this and talking about the Nile River. This fits in well with the Story of the World. We are listening to it on audio.

I wish I could say I made it through my menu plan last cycle, but I had a few days were I was too tired to cook so we ate cereal or sandwiches. I added more ease to this cycle, so hopefully I can stick to it!

Dinner menu:

1.) Swiss Steak

2.) Pasta with pesto cream sauce

3.) Tortilla Chicken Casserole

4.) Taco Cups

5.) French Toast stuffed with Nutella

6.) Ham and cheese wraps, fruit and salad

7.)  Baked sweet and sour chicken with fried rice

8.) Slow Cooker loaded baked potato soup

9.) Crock Pot Tortellini Soup

10.) Crock pot chicken pot pie

11.) Duck, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and biscuits *We had a Duck Commander themed birthday party over the weekend for The Man*

12.) Leftovers

13.) Leftovers

14.) Pizza

Thing’s breakfast menu:

1.) French toast

2.) Cereal

3.) Cinnamon buns

4.) Homemade Donuts

5.) Toast with jam

Thing’s lunch menu:

1.) Cinnamon bread with peanut butter, veggie sticks, and fruit

2.) Apple sandwiches with peanut butter and raisins, cheese, and pretzels

3.) Caramel rice cake sandwich, granola bar, cheese and yogurt

4.) Ritz cracker sandwich with Philadelphia chocolate spread in the middle, cucumber, cheese and peaches

5.) Ham rolls, cucumber, ritz crackers, hummus, cheese

6.) Yogurt, bananas, rasins, fruit salad (melon, kiwi, peaches, apples, grapes)

7.) Pizza swirl bread, cubed cheese, salad

I will make each of these lunches twice for a total of 14 lunches.

Things Snack Menu:

1.) Fall trail mix

2.) Apple, kiwi, grapes and melon

3.) Granola bars

4.) Veggie sticks

5.) Pretzels

6.) Yogurt

Menu Plan Monday- On Tuesday

Sorry I am just getting this out. Yesterday was a family day for us. This morning I was homeschooling and during nap time I was whipping up some burp cloths and little man tie shirts with suspenders for my pumpkin. I have to make this short and sweet because I have another little one calling my name ready to get up from nap. Happy menu planning!

Dinner menu:

1.) Fried chicken, squash casserole, & cornbread dressing

2.) Tortilla Chicken Casserole

3.) PW Enchiladas

4.) Turkey wraps and home made potato chips

5.) Wings, potato wedges, and marinara

6.) PW BBQ Sandwiches

7.) Pasta with pesto cream sauce

8.) Man pleasing chicken, mac and cheese, black- eyed peas

9.) Grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh fruit

10.) PW French dip x2 (freezer meal for baby’s arrival) with pickles and chips

11.) Country ham, hash brown casserole and biscuits

12.) Rachel Ray’s Chicken tenders and potato salad

13.) Leftovers

14.) Leftovers / pizza

Thing’s breakfast menu:

1.)  Pop tarts

2.) Chocolate chip pancakes

3.) home made donuts

4.) blue berry muffins

5.) cereal

Thing’s lunch menu:

1.) Home made fish sticks, fruit and carrots

2.) Momveeta, tortilla chips, ham and grapes

3.) Fruit leather, yogurt, frozen smoothies

4.) Fall leaf pizza pockets, peanut butter rice cake sandwiches

5.) Chocolate chip pancake sandwich with honey and bananas

6.) Chicken nuggets, raisins, yogurt and veggie dip

7.) Graham crackers, cheese, gold fish and grapes

I will repeat this menu the following week for 14 lunches.

Things Snack Menu:

Nutella and banana ice cream

Granola bars– these were such a hit! None of us could stay away from them. I plan to make double the batch this time.

Raw Peanut butter oatmeal cookies– these were also a hit. I will stick with the one batch because even though these were small and only made a handful they were filling. I leave out the dates.

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Banana bread muffins

Pudding pops

Menu Plan Monday

We were  so busy this weekend. We had a yard sale and I whipped together a bunch of freezer meals. I was able to not only prepare ahead for the next two weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I also was able to freeze 7 meals for when Thing #4 comes. Very relieved that I have my freezer stash going. It is a weight off of my shoulders. So, how much was my grocery bill for two weeks since I added in freezer meals: $237.23. I spent $123.87 at Aldi and the rest in two shopping trips to Publix. Once I started my freezer meal prep I realized I had forgotten some things that the store. So, still under my budget with room for me to run back to Aldi at the end of the week for more milk and anything else that we may have run out of like fruit.

Organization to the utmost degree has now become a necessity in my final weeks of pregnancy. I realized last week I needed to make some additional changes as I was growing faint by lunch time which made throwing everyone’s lunches together really hard on me. I have decided to pre-make the Things lunches 2 days in advance. I purchased 6 divided plastic containers from Walmart ($4 total) and I have already made their lunches for Monday and Tuesday.

Doing so will help me greatly! Next grocery trip I will pick up 6 more and continue to buy in packs of two until I get enough containers to pre-make one whole week’s worth of lunches at once. Doing this, in addition to the freezer meals is going to really pay off next week for me. I slaved in the kitchen this weekend, but I know it’s going to be worth it for the next two weeks and once Thing #4 arrives. As you mommas who have kids in school start thinking of menus for lunches, think about pre-making their lunches for a week. I had started over the weekend and can not tell you how much I enjoyed just grabbing containers and setting them on the table. It was freeing!

Dinner menu:

1.) Baked sweet and sour chicken with fried rice

2.) Spaghetti and garlic bread

3.) Garlic bread pizza

4.) Slow cooker marina over meatball subs

5.) Tex- Mex beef wraps + one freezer meal

6.) Roasted butter herbed whole chicken and veggies + one freezer meal

Mix butter and herbs desired in a small bowl. I added salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of crushed red pepper and fajita seasoning. Layer your vegetables at the bottom of the freezer bag, smother butter over your chicken and lay on top of veggies. Make sure to rinse your chicken and remove the bag of parts from the chicken before freezing unless using a cut up chicken. When you are ready to slow cook your chicken, dump the contents of your bag into your slow cooker and set to low and cook for 8 hours. This meal will count as one as we will 1/3 of it- then I will use the left over chicken to divide into two additional meals- tortilla soup and chicken salad sandwiches.

7.) Chicken Tortilla soup

8.) Chicken salad sandwiches

9.) BLT sandwiches with soup

10.) Slow cooker ribs + one freezer meal and cheesy rice

11.) Baked fried chicken + one freezer meal’s worth, brussel sprouts, French bread and mac and cheese

12.) Leftovers

13.) Leftovers

Thing’s breakfast menu:

Sausage pancakes made enough for two weeks

Blueberry French toast sticks

regular pancakes

cinnamon rolls

cereal

Thing’s snack menu:

1.) Granola bars– made 13 total so they will get it twice a week for two weeks

2.) Peanut butter oatmeal cookies enough for one week. I don’t think they will like these as much as the granola bars

3.) Spiced Carrot bread muffins

Plus I added another snack station in the fridge for the next two weeks.

-yogurt

-string cheese

-grapes

-carrots

-raisins

Thing’s lunch menu:

1.) Peanut butter over caramel rice cakes, cheese and yogurt cups

2.) Corn dog muffins, slow cooker apple sauce, and fig newtons (Made enough for one lunch this week and one next week)

3.) Spice Carrot bread muffins, goldfish, and grapes (This should last us a while. Bread made 2 loaves and 2 1/2 muffin tins)

4.) Cinnamon bread with peanut butter, honey, and banana, yogurt, carrots with ranch

I will repeat these meals twice.

This week I will start a 3 part series using a whole chicken. I will give you the recipe for Soggy chicken and Chicken in a biscuit. The third meal that you can make from the whole chicken recipe will come the following week! Y’all have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday

Hello everyone! We had a very busy weekend. How about ya’ll? We had a “to do” list that truly seemed like a mile long. I am exhausted from my weekend and am truly looking forward to taking it slower this week. There are so many things that we are trying to get done done before Thing #4 arrives. I did knock off one of our projects this weekend. It was to re-cover our 30+year old kitchen chairs. I can not wait to show you the end result in a blog post I am going to write up. Look  for it next week.

Somewhere around 2am Saturday morning I awoke (I am having bouts of insomnia with this pregnancy) and realized in my sleepy state that we gave away every single baby boy outfit from newborn to 12 months before we left Texas. At the time, it seemed like the right decision as I knew we needed to purge our stuff before the move, however, here we are with a few weeks left and we need to “start over”. I am smiling through it though because truly, after 2 boys, it was probably time to buy new stuff anyway. I love shopping for baby clothes so this will be fun!

We survived last week’s round of illness and homeschooling! WOOHOO! We are on our 3rd week of school and so far so good. Thing 1 has her first math test tomorrow. I am feeling confident she will do well. We took a practice test today and she got a 98. I can not tell you how happy I am that God led me to leave Singapore behind and allowed me to see the gaps and the affects it was having on her self esteem. She gets excited about all of the math games we do beforehand and so far, no tears. Praise the Lord! Thank you Abekka! Thing 2 is doing awesome and loves school. Thing 3 and I are still working through behavior during school and what I expect from him. It’s time to rotate the toys from the garage so I am hoping that change alone will help me. I am also going to swing by the children’s consignment shop and grab a few new things for him to help keep him entertained. Last week was such a flop with him because he was on steroids. Let me tell you, those things will turn your angel into something you don’t recognize. He picked up some really bad habits from those lovely pills: hitting, throwing, stealing. So, this week will have to be full of redirection and reteaching. Sounds exhausting just to look at that sentence. 🙂

I went back to a 2 week menu. Super happy I did and my budget loves me again. I spent $113.88 at Aldi and $101.67 at Publix. I buy my chicken and other meat from Publix and any speciality items I can not get from Aldi. I do buy hamburger from Aldi because  in their freezer section, they have frozen all natural (no growth hormones or added preservatives) ground hamburger meat at an affordable price. My budget is $250. I totally cut out Costco last year. I found that I was impulse buying in bulk and would walk out with a $300 bill every 2 weeks. Our diapers are ordered through diapers.com and the price is cheaper than Costco for the most part because I buy them on sale. Once Thing 4 comes, I may have to get another membership because we buy formula in bulk.

This week I will post the recipe for our favorite Greek potatoes and an updated post on our schoolroom. If you haven’t yet, please sign up to receive the posts through email if you don’t want to miss them. I keep linking through Facebook, but not sure it matters anymore due to their changes with the Timeline. I may do away with that in the future so sign up if you don’t want to miss out.

Let’s talk menus for the next two weeks, shall we? Let me give you one quick tip. When planning your menu, look in your freezer and pantry to see what you have already and plan around that. I really only purchased about a week’s worth of meals because I have some food that I had frozen for weeks when I don’t want to cook, don’t have time or need to save money in our budget.

Dinner menu:

1) Ham and Cheese Quiche  remember this recipe. I made two of these a few weeks ago. I am using the second one this week as a dinner- no money spent.

2) Steak, roasted broccoli and corn on the cob- I had corn in the freezer from last summer’s freezing, broccoli I bought and the steak I already had because the last time we had steak they were on sale so I grabbed 2 packs.

3) Brats, hot dog and seasoned potatoes- I had the brats in the freezer from the last time we had them. We bought one pack too many, I purchased the hotdogs and potatoes.

4) Soggy Chicken- I bought a whole chicken (I will use half of the chicken for 2 additional meals below) and veggies for this. Recipe to come at a later time.

5) Tortellini soup and corn bread- another recipe that will come soon. I made a huge pot when I made it and we froze the leftovers in a container big enough for another meal. I bought the cornbread.

6) Creamy Grilled Chicken Piccata– bought everything for this recipe.

7) Chicken bundels– we will be using leftover chicken for this recipe, the rest of the stuff I had to buy.

8) Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings- leftover chicken the rest I had to buy.

9.) Chili and cornbread- I had to buy everything.

10.) Chili cheese tater tot casserole– I bought the tots. The chili we will have left over from the chili meal above.

11.) Chicken pot pies made in a muffin tin.

12.) Leftovers

13.) Leftovers

14) Pizza made using biscuits if we run out of leftovers.

Thing breakfast menu:

Cinnamon Rolls

Cereal

French toast sticks

Poptarts– I am cheating and using refrigerated pie crust.

Banana/chocolate chip pancakes ( I will make a huge batch to freeze and use some for lunch as well)

Sticky buns

Things lunch menu:

Salami, cheese, granola and grapes

Homemade chicken nuggets, yogurt, pita and hummus- this recipe is SO easy to make. Please don’t be afraid to try it out. I squeezed 20 nuggets out of 1pound of ground chicken this morning and probably could have made a few more except I made heart shapes, stars and X’s out of my nuggets. The only complaint I got about the nuggets was they wanted a little salt on top. This are super delicious and you can make them in bulk, freeze them and take them out whenever you need them. Cheaper than buying a bag of nuggets made with rib meat and who even knows what else.

 

Fish sticks, cheese and edamame

Mini Tuna balls, grapes and salad- I have never made these before and have no idea how the Things will like these. We are going to try them out though 🙂

Turkey sandwich, cheese sticks and veggie chips

Pancakes

Chicken salad, ritz crackers and carrots with ranch

Things snack menu:

Fall Trail Mix: Cheeze Its, Pretzels, Reese’s Pieces, Chocolate and Peanut butter cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios, and raisins

Peanut butter and apples

Yogurt

Hummus and pita chips

Granola

Peanut butter crackers

 

That’s it for today! Ya’ll have a good one!