Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Menu 2016: December 26-January 1

WOW! Has 2016 really come and gone this fast?!?!
This year has just flown by for us. I know menus were a real hit or miss for me so I plan to do better next year. Here is my last menu post for 2016.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup

My husband and I spent 10 days in Israel and Jordan with a group from our church at the end of September. While we were away, two of our kids stayed with my parents and the other two stayed with my oldest sister. The two that stayed with my sister came back with raving reviews of her broccoli soup and begged for me to get the recipe. I finally got the recipe and attempted it tonight with leftover turkey from our Christmas dinner. It was a hit and incredibly easy to throw together!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Menu 2016: October 31-November 20

October was a very busy (and interesting) month. My husband and I were still struggling with jet lag, and the kids were adjusting to being back home and on a regular schedule. We finished our first quarter of school so there are only three more to go till summer break. Can you tell I'm excited about that?! We are looking forward to November and the fun things it brings - my husband's birthday, deer hunting weekend spent at a water park with my husband's brother's family, and Thanksgiving spent with my side of the family. Do you have any special traditions for your family in November?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Menu 2016: October 10-30

Our first week back to school was really rough. I spent the first two days going through each of the kids work to see if they had kept up with their schoolwork as they should. Then I spent the rest of the week trying to get them back into routine. I knew this week would be rough but hadn't expected it to be quite as bad as it was. Sigh. Some days I really struggle with homeschooling, but I know it's our best option right now so I make myself another pot of coffee and bake up something chocolate and just keep going.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Menu 2016: October 3-9

School started again last month so I am back to the grind of lesson plans, homework, and other such craziness. We are trying a few new things this year in hopes that school will go a little smoother than last year.
Then my husband and I went on a tour of the Holy Lands (Jordan and Israel) and were gone from September 17-28. My parents took the middle two girls and one of my sisters took our son and youngest daughter. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but are glad to be home. I will be attempting a few of the foods that we ate over the next few weeks.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Menu 2016: July 11-31

It has been good for me to have a written menu plan again. I am always amazed at home much "easier" my day is when I start out knowing exactly what I'm going to make for supper. It's such a small decision but it has a big impact. I also spend less on groceries when I have a menu in place for the week as I know what to buy at the store and make fewer trips, and so I make fewer impulse buys. Have any of you noticed a difference both mentally and financially when you have a menu plan vs. when you don't have one?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Menu 2016: June 20-July 10

School is done for the year and we all survived.
We ventured out on our very first family vacation and didn't lose anyone. Audiobooks kepts the "driving boredom" to a minimum, picnic lunches kept us budget, and visiting friends was a blast (more to come on that).
I am beginning to develop a summer routine complete with regular visits to the library, playtime outside, games inside, dress up, and reading. I'm also trying to get back to a planned weekly menu.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Menu 2016: April 4-May 1

Life continues to be crazy busy, but at least we only have 40 days of school left. April is already one of my favorite months, but I am looking forward to this April even more. Why? The weather is starting to warm up. I get to escape to a ladies retreat two weekends in a row, and one of them is with my mom and sisters (yes, my hubby spoils me). It's my birthday this month, which means my hubby is taking me for a special lunch and to see Rachmaninov's Third Concerto. Last of all, we get to visit with friends.

April 4-10
  • Chili
  • Pretzel dogs, fruit salad, and steamed broccoli
  • Tater tot casserole
  • Breakfast skillet
  • Fish filets, steamed green beans, and roasted cauliflower
April 11-17
  • Omelets and American fries
  • Fish sticks, roasted cauliflower, and steamed green beans
  • Tacos and black beans
  • Grilled pork chops, steamed broccoli, and mashed potatoes
  • Egg salad sandwiches on sourdough, steamed green beans, and a side salad
April 18-24 (Happy Birthday to me!)
  • Roasted red pepper tortellini with smoked sausage and steamed green beans
  • Waffles and scrambled eggs
  • Carne asada, black beans, and brown rice
  • Egg roll in a bowl
  • Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, mixed vegetables, and side salad
April 25-May 1
  • Roast chicken, polenta, and Brussels sprouts
  • Red beans and rice
  • Pork salsa verde over brown rice with smoked paprika cauliflower poppers
  • Spaghetti bake, steamed broccoli, and side salad
  • Grilled chicken southwest salad

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie [Skillet]

Today was National Pi Day 2016 and my hubby suggested that we should have pie for supper, Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie in particular.
It's been at least a year or more since my last attempt and I couldn't find the recipe that I'd used, which meant I must experiment.
Now, it was less than two weeks since my last experimental meal and that had totally flopped (only Mr. R. enjoyed it). I even had a hard time finishing my helping at the time, which just shows how truly terribly it was. With that in mind, I wasn't real excited about experimenting tonight. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this dish turned out and will probably start putting it on the menu more regularly. Why? You ask. A few reasons: 1. I love chicken pot pie (even if it's non-traditional), the family loves buffalo chicken wings, and 3. it's a one dish meal and we all know how much I love those (since I really don't enjoy doing the dishes).

Monday, March 7, 2016

Menu 2016: March 7- April 3

I ended up getting a nasty bug at the beginning of February and was sick for several weeks so I am behind on whole bunch of stuff (including posting menus). Thankfully, the hubby and kids have been a HUGE help while I was sick. After a round of antibiotics, probiotics, vitamins, some OTC meds, lots of hot tea, and doing my best to get rest (I know, how is that possible with 4 kids?), I am finally on the mend and starting to get caught up on things. AND I have the menu finished. :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Versatile Chipotle Vegetable Chili

We all love Tex-Mex, and chili is a favorite. I have recipes for white chicken chili, traditional tomato based chili, and cowboy skillet (basically chili cooked in a large cast iron skillet topped with cornbread batter and baked). When I saw a recipe for sweet potato and black bean chili I decided to get creative. It was delicious and has become a new favorite for my hubby. I have made it 3 or 4 times and am finally getting the recipe posted for you. The great thing about this dish is it's versatility. You can use whatever veggies you have in the house. You can use up leftover turkey after the holidays. You can even make this recipe for your favorite vegetarian by leaving out the meat and using vegetable stock.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Menu 2016: February 1-14

I am trying to get back in the routine of posting my menus and sticking to them after a long break from doing it. Last week went well and I am hoping this week will as well. This week has a few "extra" things in it so I may not actually be cooking for some of the meals. I am also trying to use up a lot of stuff from my pantry and freezer while attempting to keep my food budget extremely low for February. How do you stay on track with planning your menus and sticking to your budget for the month?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Menu 2016: January 25-31

I am finally starting to get back into the swing of things from school to household chores, which means that I am can begin posting menus again. I love being able to post menus as it helps me stay on track with more that just my meals. It helps make my grocery shopping easier because I know what I am making ahead of time. It keeps me with my budget. And it also helps me stay on track with logging my calorie intake, which in turn helps me to maintain my weight (and hopefully lose the excess). In order to stay on track with my menu planning, I will be switching back to one or two week menus vs. a whole month. I find that after not writing up menus for a while I do better at getting back to planning if I start small. How do you stay on track with planning your menus?