The cold is coming! Our menu plan calls for crock pot dinners, comfort food and yummy cookies. That’s what I like to eat when the temperature drops outside. I still have a bunch of freezer meals too that I’m trying to test out each week. Last week’s menu plan featured Honey Balsamic Drumsticks…they were so good my husband said I should write about it. That doesn’t often happen so I’ll share the recipe soon.

We are excited for the big Pats game tonight and looking forward to relaxing with friends while we watch the game. Have a great week!

Monday Meal Plan

Here is the menu for the week:

Sunday~ Meatballs cooked all day in the Ninja (stove top setting, then slow cooker). Recipe from the Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook. We also made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies for dessert.

Monday~ Chipotle Lime Chicken (crock pot freezer meal from the Wildtree Freezer Meal Class), rice and avocado on the side.

Tuesday~ Grilled Swordfish, sautéed broccoli and barley on the side

Wednesday~ Chicken Curry (cleaning out the freezer!), brown rice on the side

Thursday~ CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

Friday~ Pizza (possible change if I can think of something better for the South Beach diet!)


For more meal planning inspiration, check out

This week’s meal plan was a little more challenging than usual for me. My husband is doing the South Beach diet so it means a little more protein and veggies added to our usual mix. It’s hard to break the mold of protein-veggie-starch that I’ve come accustomed to. And no Friday night pizza! That was the hardest thing to adjust since it was the one day of the week I didn’t have to come up with something.  Thankfully I went to a Wildtree freezer meal workshop and made 10 meals that are now ready to go for the next month. The “Best Burgers” will replace pizza for Friday night this week.

Monday Meal Plan Jan 14

Sunday~ Leftover smoked mozzarella and tomato meatloaf. Another Wildtree dinner and it was yummy.

Monday~ Honey Balsamic Drumsticks. Wildtree again…I’m not typically a fan of cooking drumsticks but I thought the kids might like the novelty of them, and the variety.  Served with steamed broccoli and tangy balsamic couscous (for some of us carb eaters).

Tuesday~ Mexican Black Bean Chili with Sausage. Looks like it’s South Beach approved and delicious.

Wednesday~ C.O.R.N. (Clean out refrigerator night!)

Thursday~ Teriyaki Salmon, steamed green beans and pumpkin mac n cheese.

Friday~ Best Burgers from my Wildtree stash. Serve with whatever veggies are left from the week, either in a stir-fry or salad.


For more meal planning ideas, head over to Meal Plan Monday!, 5 eBooks for $7.40!


This week’s menu features more meatless meals than we typically make. My husband won’t join us for dinner part of the week so I get to try out some vegetarian meals to see if they make the cut.

Sunday~ Both lunch and dinner are covered at birthday parties. Thank you for a day with less dishes. Instead, I made some honey whole wheat bread in my new Bread Maker

Monday~ Treating us to a dinner out at a local Indian sandwich shop. Curious to see what the kids will like.

Tuesday~ Chickpea Stew with Apricots and Turnips (slow cooker). New recipe from Aimee at Simple Bites. Can’t wait to try it.

Wednesday~ Italian White Beans (slow cooker). Spinach and strawberry salad on the side. My kids love raw spinach, anyone else’s??

Thursday~ Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Sweet Potato French Fries and some raw peppers on the side.

Friday~ Garlicky Shrimp and noodles.  I’m doing a Freezer Meal Class with Wildtree this week and the shrimp is one of the creations we will prepare. I get to hang out with friends and make 10 meals worth of dinners at this workshop. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

What are you making this week?  Any vegetarian dishes you would recommend?

For more meal planning ideas, check out OrgJunkie.

Last meal plan of 2012!  I can proudly say we stuck with menu planning for the whole year.  The chalkboard menu plan in the the kitchen turned out to be just the right system for us.  You have to decide what works for your family. It may be on paper, a note in your iPhone, a wipe board on your fridge. The options are endless, you just need to play around and see what works with your family’s routine.

If you need a little inspiration for your meal planning, here are some additional resources.

  • The ebook by Stephanie Langford, Plan It Don’t Panic, helped me strategize how to make meal planning more effective. My favorite take away was to write down a list of family favorites for dinner. This can be a work in progress for you, but it’s helpful to have one go-to list when I just can’t think of something to make.
  • I created a Pinterest board collecting all of my meal plans. You can search back either here, or in the blog, to get a few new ideas for your own meal plan.
  • Organizing Junkie hosts a link up of meal plans weekly. Lots of people use this weekly post (comes out on Monday) to get inspired with new ideas from more than 200 other bloggers.  If you share a meal plan on your blog, you can also share it there. (Or here in the comments too!)

After all the indulgences of the past month, it’s time to clean up our eating. We will be doing less carbs and more veggies and protein. Hopefully I can sneak some meatless meals in too sometime soon.


  • Sunday- Chicken Stir Fry with veggies and brown rice
  • Monday- Happy New Year’s Eve. Heading to a party and then a friend’s house. Last day of indulgences…
  • Tuesday- Jan 1st 2013! Beef Tenderloin, baked potatoes (need to use them up) and roasted asparagus.
  • Wednesday-Swordfish Kabobs, salad
  • Thursday-Spinach and cheese frittata
  • Friday- Salsa Chicken, salad.

What are you making this week? Any new food resolutions you want to make for 2013?


p.s. There a new “ebook bundle of the week I’ll be sharing with you. The simplify ebook has been on my radar for awhile so I think I may pick up the bundle myself. Enjoy!, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Let the countdown begin! The kids are excited that it’s nearly Christmas Eve and the big day is almost here. They are exhausted from staying up too late at a holiday party but it was so much fun seeing them party like a rock star till well past their bedtime.


The meal plan for the week is focused on the next two days. One more party to attend and then we are hosting 11 adults and 6 kids on Christmas Day. I’m sharing our Christmas menu today if you need a little last minute inspiration. We have never hosted Christmas Day so the menu is a mix of family favorites. The rest of our week will be filled with leftovers, using up pantry staples and a night out for mom and dad.


Christmas Day Menu

Appetizers: Cheese and Crackers, Shrimp Cocktail

Main Course: Glazed Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Pudding, Cranberry Sauce

Dessert: Buckeye Balls, Congo Bars, French Meringues, Gingerbread Cookies and Chewy Molasses Cookies.

What are you making for Christmas Day? Is it a tradition or do you mix it up every year?

For more menu planning ideas, visit the Monday Meal Plan at Org Junkie every week!

Writing my meal plan this weekend was a normal task. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend of holiday events with friends. That too, was normal. Yet, nothing feels that normal right now. My heart aches for those families that lost loved ones last week. I know how hard this is for families, having gone through a tragedy like this seven years ago. Time does help, but it’s really the support of family and friends that keeps people afloat.  Love everyone a little more this week.

On the menu this week….

Dec wk 3 Menu Plan

Dec wk 3 Menu Plan

Sunday~ Chicken Picatta, Lemon Spaghetti, Snow Peas. Recipes from the Giada DeLaurentis cookbook, Everyday Italian

Monday~ Chickpea Curry and Brown Rice  (Meatless Monday)

Tuesday~ Basque Fish Soup and Popovers

Wednesday~ Steak with Parsley Sauce, Steamed Broccoli and Oven Baked Polenta. (select recipes from the Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cookbook) Everyday Food: Great Food Fast Cookbook

Thursday~ Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Sweet Potato Fries, Brown Rice. Quick dinner before a Cookie Swap Party. (I’m making Mayan Chocolate Sparklers)

Friday~ Pizza night

Saturday~ light dinner before a holiday party. Need to bring a dessert.


***Ways to help those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut

The United Way of Western Connecticut  and The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund 



For more menu planning ideas, visit the Monday Meal Plan at Org Junkie every week!

The holiday clock is ticking…what do you have left to do? Is your shopping done?  I did most of mine online this year and at our local shops during the post-Thanksgiving holiday so I feel like I’m in good shape. (Here is my post noting my favorite eco-friendly shopping sites.) The biggest project left are some of our homemade food gifts which will go out to lots of friends and family and also some teachers this year.

The coming week is filled with lots of evening events so no new recipes to test out. I am keeping it simple with some family favorites and trying to make some room in our freezer to store up some cookie dough.  We do need to bake some cookies and check it off our Christmas Bucket List.

Week 2 December Meal Plan

Sunday~ Baked Ziti (Lasagna style), Salad and Garlic Bread

Monday~ Salsa Chicken in the slow cooker, Salad. Recipe comes from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

Tuesday~ C.O.R.N.

Wednesday~ Teriyaki Salmon, Snow Peas and Whole Wheat Couscous

Thursday~ Curry Chicken (from the freezer)

Friday~ Pizza night!

Saturday ~ Holiday party, bringing a dessert.

What holiday plans do you have this week?  Happy Hanukkah to some of you as well!

For more menu planning ideas, visit the Monday Meal Plan at Org Junkie every week!

Happy December everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend.  On Sunday I went to our local Holiday House Tour that showcased six houses that decked their halls, kitchens, mudrooms and more.  It always gets me in the holiday decorating mood. We have our tree up and I’m surrounded by boxes of Christmas goodies left to unwrapped.  The next few weeks are busy with holiday parties to attend so our meal plans have to be flexible.  We have a few freezer meals ready to go in case our weekly plan goes awry.

In addition to having some freezer meals prepped, we have a few fallbacks when we are not up for cooking.

-Eggs (Frittata with extra veggies in the fridge is a favorite)

-Sandwich night (Grilled cheese, Tuna melts, etc)

-Pasta and sauce with olives or capers. Simple yet comforting.

-Oatmeal with a little peanut butter mixed in, or walnuts and some berry jam.

-C.O.R.N.~ Clean Out Refrigerator Night

On deck this week…

Sunday~ Beef Chili

Monday~ Spaghetti and meatballs, broccoli

Tuesday~ Leftover Chili (off to a blogger’s holiday party at Middlesex Commons)

Wednesday~ Turkey Soup from the leftover turkey last week and homemade turkey stock

Thursday~ Eggs for dinner!

Friday~ Pizza night

What are your fallback dinners?

For more menu planning ideas, visit the Monday Meal Plan at Org Junkie ever week!

We just wrapped up our annual “second Thanksgiving.”  We don’t have the space to host my extended family, so we typically travel for Thanksgiving.  For the past few years, we always cook our own Thanksgiving on the following Sunday.  This allows us to blend my family food traditions with my husbands.  Our stuffing recipes is a blend of my Grammy’s recipe and my mother-in-laws additions of sausage and cranberry sauce.  It’s delicious and a favorite at the table. The highlight of this year’s second Thanksgiving~the made-from-scratch green bean casserole.  This traditional favorite made with some questionable ingredients made me switch to this amazing recipe from Williams and Sonoma. Easy to make and totally worth it.

Needless to say, we have a lot of turkey leftovers after cooking a 20 pound bird…

Monday~ Leftovers
Tuesday~ Turkey shepherd’s pie
Wednesday~ Cheesy Meatloaf  (got bumped from last week’s meal plan)
Thursday~ Chicken Pad Thai  (the kids LOVED the asian flavors in the soy-citrus ginger scallops last week so we are going to try adding in more asian inspired meals to mix it up)
Friday~ Pizza
Saturday~ Steak, Asparagus

What are you doing with your turkey leftovers?

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Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I spent most of mine volunteering (with lots of friends) at the Parent Talk Sale. Super fun event and so wonderful to see clothes and toys go to a second (or third!) home.  Sunday we hosted post-church donuts and coffee with four generations of family members. Then I processed another batch of tomato sauce and bagged chopped chives to freeze for the winter.

This week’s meal plan is a little light as we want to clear out the fridge and our evening schedules are a bit up in the air.  One thing I’ve learned is that even if my husband is away for the night, I can’t do too many leftover or breakfast dinners. One night is fine, but we need to get back to a well-balanced dinner so everyone feels good and stays healthy.

Here is the plan for this week…
Sunday~ Steak Tips, Sautéed Snow Peas (from the garden!) and Whole Wheat Couscous. (Corn was processed and frozen instead. See, lots of improvisation this week!)
Monday~ Out to dinner with friends after dance class
Tuesday~ Whole Chicken in the Ninja. This was so well received we are doing it again. Peas and eggs noodles on the side.
Wednesday~ Using the leftover chicken for quesadillas. Mexican rice on the side.
Thursday~ Chick pea chili in the slow cooker.
Friday~ Pizza
Saturday~ Pumpkin Carving Party at friend’s house…will need to make dessert!

What are you making this week?  Do you make a weekly meal plan?

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I love to hear your feedback and comments. Stop by and visit FacebookPinterest or Twitter for more conversation!  Or get posts delivered via Email or RSS FeedFor more meal planning ideas, stop by Meal Plan Monday