Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Menu Planning

Having a decent dinner on the table at a decent hour has been quite the challenge for me, especially the past few years...

One of my favorite "extra benefits" of having a new baby is the few weeks of meals we receive afterwards!! It is SO NICE not to have to think, "What's for dinner?"

I just LOVE that!

During one of these great meals from a friend, right after Snuggles was born, Rascal said to me, "Mom, these dinners are so good... You need to take cooking lessons from these moms!" Hum... What I want to know, is do they really cook this good all the time, or, like a friend of mine said, are these just the meals they make to "impress their friends!" Either way, it sounds like I really need to work on making dinners, doesn't it? I guess you can only get away with having chicken nuggets or fish sticks so many times each week. Isn't it so easy to get stuck in a food rut, or am I the only one out there with this problem?

Any ways, one of my goals for this year is to work on my menu planning skills.

I have been working diligently at creating and, more importantly, FOLLOWING a schedule, as I try to make our life be a bit more peaceful and organized this year. This schedule also includes creating a meal plan for the upcoming week by Wednesday, and then finalizing my grocery list by Thursday night, so that I can do my grocery shopping during our trip to town for Mass on Fridays.

We started back to school, and I started following my "schedule" on Monday. So far, it has been going great! I haven't been able to get to everything on the schedule yet, but I AM getting so much more accomplished each day, including a hot yummy dinner on the table each night.

I found this meal planner, that I printed out for in my notebook, to use for reminders and such! I just thought it was so cute!

Also, my cousin Margaret has a great blog she started called Mommy Recipes! I have been loving it, and we have really been enjoying some of the recipes. In fact she just added me as a contributer, which will be lots of fun! Last night I made the Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole. It was SO GOOD! And my kids ATE IT ALL! (Well, all but a small bowl that hubby took to work today for lunch...) PLUS, today, the kids asked me to make it again! I told them I will add it to the menu for next week. I was so excited, especially considering the fact that it has 14 cups of vegetables in it, including red peppers and onions, which my kids usually won't touch!

Well, since I'm at it, I'll go ahead and share our menu for this upcoming week... Maybe it will give you an idea or two. I know I always love to see others menus. So here you go:

Friday - Not Your Mother's Tuna Casserole, with Steamed Green Beans

Saturday - Skillet Lasagna (from Pampered Chef's 29 minutes to dinner), with Garlic Bread and Salad
**My little ones always make such a mess when I make a meal with a red sauce! Therefore I try to schedule this on Saturday nights since they ALWAYS get a bath for sure that night :)

Sunday - Tri-Tip (Marinate in 1c. red wine, 1c. soy sauce and 4 cloves pressed garlic... BBQ or Broil) Served with Grilled Asparagus and Potatoes

(Being Sunday, we will also have Sundaes for dessert!)

Monday - Lisa's Honey-Curry Chicken, Broccoli Salad, and Rolls

Tuesday - Taco Soup

Wednesday - Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole (as per the kids request!)

Thursday - Chicken Enchilada's, served with Sour Cream, Avocado and steamed Corn
**This has been one of our FAVORITE recipes since I first received it from my cousin due to one of those recipe chain emails... It is so easy and delicious! I make it at least every other week, and we never get tired of it! Plus, I just love crock pot recipes!

Well... There you have it... My upcoming week of menus! As for tomorrow night, we will be trying out this recipe for Crockpot Fajitas! If it tastes half as good as it sounds, it too might become a staple around here.

OK! Its now past my bedtime, and if I am going to stick to my schedule I must get some sleep! See you soon!

7 comments:

  1. ooh more yummy recipes!! That casserole looks very tasty, I'll have to try it! Thanks for all the great links!

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  2. I'm SO happy that you enjoyed the Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole! Although I do think we should rename it because it doesn't sound yummy from the title...but it is! I love finding new recipes that work for my family...so I am excited that you are contributing to the Mommy Recipe Blog. So fun we can talk like this...it makes it seem like you aren't so far away! I'm going to try to be better at menu planning...maybe. :-)

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  3. I love your chicken enchiladas! Those are regulars at my house.

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  4. MMM...we had that last night! So good ;)

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  5. I made the Brown Rice Casserole again last night, and as I was stir frying the veggies (onions, red peppers, garlic, cauliflower and broccoli) my boys (ages 5 & 7) ran up and started hugging me, saying "THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! YOUR making our FAVORITE dinner! I never thought I would here this while making an extremely HEALTHY meal! It has definitely been a hit in our home... And it has also been so nice following a meal plan and having a happier, well fed family, the past couple weeks! :)

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  6. Jessica, you are not the only one who struggles in this area and I commend you for your effort at becoming better equipped in this area.

    The Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole looks delicious but I am most excited to try out the chicken enchiladas!

    Theresa
    www.treasureinearthenvessels.typepad.com
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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  7. mom had me help her make that...gosh i ate like a pig that night! so yummey!
    <3 mary

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