As everyone finishes their preparations for Christmas, here are some dinner ideas for your family. Easy peasy lemony squeezy my daughter would say. We are trying to do our best to use up what’s in the fridge and pantry in the coming weeks so we can start the New Year with a clean slate.

Monday: Shrimp and Feta (from the Dinner a Love Story cookbook)

Tuesday: Grilled steak tips, corn and Israeli couscous

Wednesday: Christmas Eve party at the neighbors

Thursday: Christmas ham, corn pudding, green salad and fresh bread.

Friday: Ham frittata and any other leftovers

Saturday: Eye of the Round Roast, potatoes and peas.


I encourage everyone to enjoy the next few days and try to avoid feeling like you need to “get” through the week. This is a time to slow down and enjoy the wonder of this holiday and see it through your children’s eyes. Merry Christmas and thank you to all my readers who motivate me to share my little thoughts here.

Monday meal plan to help organize family dinner

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.


Family dinner ideas with real food ingredients

This week’s meal plan starts to move into the comfort meal territory. Lots of slow cooking and hearty pasta dishes. Now that it really feels like winter is coming (or arrived), it’s time to make the switch in the kitchen too. We are also doing a little test run on Thanksgiving with a turkey tenderloin in the crock pot. Cooking a turkey breast in the slow cooker on Thanksgiving is a great tip to make sure you have plenty of white meat to go around, especially for the all important sandwiches the next day.

On deck this week…

Sunday~ Meatloaf, Carrots and Whole Wheat Couscous. {Plus my sister’s yummy apple crisp, thanks!!}

Monday~ Orange and Honey Chicken Drumsticks in the slow cooker, corn and pasta shells

Tuesday~ “Lazy Bolognese” sauce from Dinner a Love Story cookbook. Sautéed green beans on the side and spaghetti.

Wednesday~ Early Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey Tenderloin in the slow cooker, cranberry sauce, smashed garlic potatoes and maybe a little stuffing if I can squeeze it in.

Thursday~ CORN {clean.out.refrigerator.night}

Friday~ Easy pizza night…which means I pick up rolled out pizza dough from our local bakery so it’s easy for Dad to cook with the kids while I head out for Mom’s Night Out and shop the Needham Winter Marketplace, presented by Parent Talk.

Saturday~ Date night with friends.


Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Look for a post later this week with some tips for getting ready for the big day!


Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

Easy family dinners all planned out

Getting back into meal plan has been a huge help as I make the grocery list and map out our week. I know that crock pot dinners are needed on gymnastic nights and I can cook vegetarian dinners if my husband has a work event. You can create a theme in your own meal plan but choosing a type of meal for eat night of the week. Many start with Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Italian Wednesday and so on. This can help make your meal plans a little easier.

On deck this week in our house…

Sunday~ Teriyaki Salmon, Israeli Couscous and Corn on the Cob from the farmers market.

Monday~ Meatballs and homemade sauce delivered from a friend, salad

Tuesday~ Moroccan Butternut Chicken Curry over rice

Wednesday~ Tacos with Mexican salad from the Weelicious Lunches cookbook (it’s currently 40% off on Amazon and would make a great holiday book or swap gift!)

Thursday~ Honey Balsamic Chicken, sweet potato fries and raw veggies

Friday~ Pizza Night (with homemade dough in bread maker)


What’s on your menu this week? Starting to think about your Thanksgiving menu? Here’s a round-up of Thanksgiving ideas on Pinterest to follow!


Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.


Meal Plan! Dinners for a week.

Why yes, I still meal plan. Mostly. Well maybe not as well as I used to for the past two years but I’m so ready to get back on track to map our our family dinner plans. My last official meal plan post here was June 16, prior to taking time away from the computer and spending it at the beach. Then came back to school and Madison’s surgery and alas, here we are in November, ready to bring some organization back to the table as we head into the fun holiday season.

On deck this week:

Monday~ leftover (fiery) Chili

Tuesday~ Greek Style Shrimp with Feta and Broccoli. {new recipe from Dinner: A Love Story cookbook}

Wednesday~ Pomegranate Pork Loin in the slow cooker and green beans on side. Also a D:ALS recipe.

Thursday~ Hot Dogs by request and a salad

Friday~ Pizza night with our homemade pizza dough in the bread maker.

Trying this in the slow cooker~ pomegranate braised pork loin

Doesn’t this look delicious?! Pomegranate pork loin. Recipe source.

What are you making these days for dinner? Any favorite new recipe sources you can share?


Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.


father's day selfie

I hope everyone enjoyed the Father’s Day weekend. We had glorious weather and hosted a casual neighborhood BBQ. The kids ran around us, the breeze kept the bugs away and the men folk were very happy to relax and enjoy the night.

This feels like the first week of summer vacation for us. Last week was a haze of birthday parties, wisdom teeth removal and a road trip to Connecticut. The calendar is finally clearing as I intentionally said no to a few events to allow some free time for the kids (and myself.) We are preparing for our annual beach vacation and I want everyone to enjoy relaxing at home with friends and neighbors before we leave.

Dinners this week are a mix of easy summer favorites and cleaning out the fridge/pantry. I’m starting to tap into my round-up of summer dinner ideas. The other source of inspiration is the Dinner, A Love Story section on summer dining, complete with ideas for sides dishes and veggies. What inspires your dinner plans?

On the menu…

Sunday~ Grilled teriyaki chicken (homemade marinade), broccoli slaw and watermelon. Neighbors filled in the rest with home grown salad, amazing guacamole, tomato/mozzarella balls and ice cream sandwiches.

Monday~ Leftover chicken with greens from our garden. Both the baby spinach and assorted greens are doing great! Baking in the afternoon today and making Banana Walnut bread in the bread maker.

Tuesday~ Omelets with herbs from the garden, bacon and toast. Maybe this calls for some homemade bread

Wednesday~ Hot weather forecasted so it’s time for the crock pot. Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef will use up our last cut of meat from our share of a 1/4 cow. We will shred the meat and serve in tortillas taco style. I can whip up some rice in the pressure cooker too- no stove time necessary!

Thursday~ Stir fry chicken, veggies and rice.

Friday~ Pizza night with homemade pizza dough in bread maker.  Going strawberry picking in the morning so maybe we will make strawberry shortcake pancakes over the weekend.

Question of the week~ what’s your favorite summer beer or wine to pair with dinner? We have tried so many fun ones lately I’m curious what everyone else is enjoying! Leave a comment below.


Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

Happy Monday everyone! Has your summer started yet? It feels like the weather has finally turned and we can start planning our days around outside time. Lots of grilling in the dinner menu this week, plus a little roadtrip.

Remember- Father’s Day is this Sunday. If you are thinking of doing a craft project with your kids, take a peek at my Father’s Day Pinterest Board for some inspiration. I probably should get on that too…


On the menu…

Sunday~ Yogurt marinated grilled chicken, corn on the cob and salad. The yogurt marinade is from the Dinner, A Love Story cookbook.  It was delicious and the leftover chicken will be used on Tuesday.

Monday~ Grilled Swordfish, tarragon green beans and israeli couscous. The herbs are finally ready in the garden so we can grab our garnishes just as we walk into the house.

Tuesday~ Chicken Salad sandwiches

Wednesday~ Hamburgers and broccoli slaw

Thursday~ Chicken tortilla soup in slow cooker. (I’m getting my wisdom teeth out that day so wish me luck!)

Friday~ Road trip! Packing for a BBQ Friday night and a birthday party on Saturday.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars

This weekend I also made our Strawberry Rhubarb bars. Find local rhubarb now at your local farmers market.


What are you cooking up this week? 

Monday Meal Plan at Random Recycling.jpg

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

Happy June everyone! The weather is gorgeous and there’s summer fever in the air. Or is that just the frantic pace of June as we wrap up preschool this week? We have some easy dinners planned this week as our evening schedules are a bit busier than usual.

honey balsamic chicken drumsticks

On the menu…

Monday~ Meatballs (JJ’s choice), veggie pasta and peas.

Tuesday~ Honey Balsamic Drumsticks, roasted veggies and orzo.

Wednesday~ Omelets, salad and toast.

Thursday~ Crispy Chicken Bites from Weelicious Lunches. We had them at a friend’s house (Just One Acre) and they were delicious!. Maybe I’ll make some corn wheels too (also in the book.)

Friday~ Pizza night with homemade dough.

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans. Link to Weelicious Lunches is an affiliate link for your convenience. 

photo credit: poopoorama via photopin cc

memorial day patriotic fruit tray

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend with family and friends to celebrate those who have served our country. On this leisurely Monday morning, I’m crafting a new meal plan of dinners for the week ahead. The Cobb salad we made last week was a huge hit and I’m trying out another fun, colorful salad this week.

Thai Chicken Salad

On the menu…

Memorial Day~ BBQ dinner with friends. I’m making Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette. I couldn’t resist them at the farmers market, along with some locally grown butter lettuce.

Tuesday~ Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad. It’s just so pretty with all the colors. I’m just going to swap out the green cabbage for romaine. The recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven, a blog with awesome recipes and great photography.

Wednesday~ Meatballs in slow cooker, linguine and green beans.

Thursday~ Steak Frites. (sweet potato fries) and Asparagus risotto

Friday~ Pizza Night. Pear, Bacon and Blue cheese pizza…yum!


Cobb Salad

Last week’s Cobb salad was a huge hit with everyone.

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.

After an amazing trip to San Francisco, it’s back to reality and making dinner. Last year this post for easy summer dinners was a big hit and we are starting to work of this list again. I can see our dinners slowly moving into the pattern of something grilled and a salad on the side.

The kids favorite meals involve “making” something themselves. I’m going to try out some new taco themes and see if they work for everyone. This week will have a fish taco night, future weeks will include a greek and mexican themed dinners.

On the Menu…

Monday~ Cobb salad. The kids like hard boiled eggs so I’m going to see if this could be a new summer dinner for us. It’s an easy meatless meal for a summer night if you leave out the chicken.

bbq chicken cobb salad

Isn’t this salad beautiful?! {source}

Tuesday~ Fish Taco Night.

Wednesday~ Pulled pork sandwiches. The kids are always ravenous after swim class so I need dinner ready. Now.

Thursday~ Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad. The perfect recipe to use up the red onion, avocado and cilantro in the fridge.

Friday~ Pizza night!

For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.



How can my week ahead not be fun when my itinerary includes Cookie Monster? What’s sillier is that my kids won’t even be with me. I’m off to San Francisco for the PBS annual meeting. As a PBS Kids blogger, I was lucky enough to be included.

In order to prep the household for my departure, I planned lots of the kids favorite dinners. Plus the prep is easy enough for Grandma, who thankfully is filling for me.

M- Hamburgers, corn and coleslaw
T- Honey Balsamic Drumsticks, steamed zucchini
W- Meatballs in crock pot, spaghetti and spinach salad with strawberries.
T- Chicken cutlets. Chef’s choice!
F- Playgroup pizza party!

Have a great week!