This Week's Meal Plan {October 26 - November 1}

10.27.2014

This week's menu: click on the menu to see a larger version.
It's a Pantry Challenge week around here. I had $60 left in the grocery budget and I can proudly report that I bought a week's worth of groceries for $63! Yes, that $3 will bother me, but I'll get over it. The tomato soup is a carryover from last week, which reminds me how good of an idea it is to make something meatless at the end of the week. That way, you don't worry about having to toss out some expensive meat and feeling lazy on a Friday doesn't become stressful. Lunches will be an exercise of digging through the fridge and pantry to cobble something together.

Here's this week's menu:

Sunday

Dinner:
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup {Two Peas and Their Pod}
Saltines

Monday

Dinner:
Leftovers

Tuesday

Dinner:
Sticky Garlic Chicken and Broccoli {Pinch of Yum}
White Rice

Wednesday

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Dinner:
Ham and Cheese Biscuit Bake {Plain Chicken}
Fruit Salad

Friday

Dinner: This is a Halloween themed, anti-vampire, garlic, extravaganza.
40 Cloves and a Chicken {Alton Brown via Cooking Channel}
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Mascarpone Cheese {Bobby Flay via Cooking Channel}
Roasted Garlic Bread{Michael Chiarello via Cooking Channel}
Spicy Broccoli with Garlic {Martha Stewart}

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



I rarely make a recipe twice, but the Guinness Beef Stew from last week's menu is something I make pretty often in the Fall and Winter. It takes a great deal of time (and the meat ain't cheap), but it is outstanding! This is in a tight race for first with Pioneer Woman's Sunday Night Stew. I can't decide which is better.... First World problems, right?

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {October 19 - 25}

10.20.2014


Sunday

Dinner:
Guinness Beef Stew {America's Test Kitchen via Brown Eyed Baker}
Crusty Bread

Monday

Lunch:
Ham and Apple Skewers {Momables member exclusive}

Snack:
Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Dip with Graham Crackers {Momables member exclusive}

Dinner:
Super-Stuffed Baked Potatoes {Food Network Magazine}
Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday

Lunch:
Blueberry Ricotta Stuffed French Toast {Momables member exclusive}
Apples
Grapes

Dinner:
Smoky Turkey Chili {Keepers cookbook via Oprah}

Wednesday

Lunch:
Peanut Butter Apple Wraps {Momables member exclusive}
Greek Yogurt
Berries

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Taco Pinwheels {Momables member exclusive}
Chips and Salsa
Carrots

Dinner:
Kung Pao Chicken {Food Network Magazine}
Yangzhou Fried Rice {Easy Chinese from Cooking Channel}
Sesame Green Beans {Martha Stewart}

Friday

Lunch:
Grilled Cinnamon Raisin Goodness {Momables member exclusive}

Dinner:
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup {Two Peas and Their Pod}
Crusty Baguette

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



I have pretty low expectations when it comes to slow cooker meals, but I have high expectations when it comes to any recipe from the amazing Pinch of Yum. The recipe for Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili from last week's menu ended up somewhere in the middle, but was so much better than most slow cooker recipes, that I was very happy!

This is the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!


{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

Twitterature {October 2014)

10.15.2014



Twitterature doesn't really have much to do with Twitter, other than the idea of a short description of a book that could fit in a 140 character tweet. I don't hold myself to that limit, but I do try to keep my comments pithy! What I love about this event, hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy, is that the reviews are casual and to the point. Head over there to read more reviews, but be warned that you will fill up your to-read list.

I remember when going on vacation meant I read a ton of books, but now I go on vacations with kids and I fall into bed exhausted every night. Here's what I read this month, when not on vacation:

The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith

I admit I read this because I ate it up when Robert Galbraith was exposed as J.K. Rowling in disguise and I love Harry Potter. I don't normally read whodunnits or mysteries, but I will read this entire series! This novel was completely engrossing and has all the details and rich characters that the Harry Potter Series has. I mean, the main character is named Cormoran Strike - that should tell you everything you need to know.


The Lost Gate (Mither Mages #1), Orson Scott Card

I will read a cocktail napkin if someone tells me it was written by Orson Scott Card. He's the author of my favorite book, Ender's Game, so I felt ashamed that I didn't read The Lost Gate right when it was published (hey, I had a baby, give me a break!). I'm in it for the long haul on this series, although I wish I understood the context of the story better. I feel like I missed a chapter or something that would really explain the world Card is creating with this series. On to The Gate Thief.



{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {October 12 - 18}

10.14.2014

Click Menu to see a larger version

Sunday

Dinner: None! We had family pictures taken and went out afterwards to reward for big smiles.

Monday

Lunch:
Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
Yogurt
Grapes

Dinner:
Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole from the freezer {Money Saving Mom}

Tuesday

Lunch:
PB and J, Berries, Pretzels

Dinner:
Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili {Pinch of Yum}, Tortilla Chips

Wednesday

Lunch:
Happy Bunny Sandwich {Momables member exclusive}
Greek Yogurt
Apples

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Crunch Deli Wrap {Momables member exclusive}
Grapes
Berries

Dinner:
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard {Cook's Country Magazine}
Roasted Ranch Potatoes and Carrots {Jam Hands}

Friday

Lunch:
Carrot Cake Sandwich {Momables member exclusive}
Peaches
Apples

Dinner:
Garlicky White Bean Soup with Dark Greens {The Nourishing Gourmet}

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



I had somewhat low expectations for this week's star, Chicken and Green Bean Casserole from Rachael Ray on last week's menu. Maybe that's why we liked it so much, but this was a treat! I love any casserole recipe that is made from scratch, without canned soups or seasonings from a packet.

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {October 5 - 11}

10.06.2014


Sunday

Dinner:
Homemade Chicken Nuggets {Six Sisters Stuff} - wow, were these good. The kids snarfed them.
Perfect Macaroni and Cheese {Martha Stewart} - as good as I remembered! Pretty easy to make, too.
Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad {Pioneer Woman}

Monday

Lunch:
Grilled Cinnamon Raisin Goodness {Momables member exclusive}
Greek Yogurt
Berries

Snack:
Monster Fruit Dip with Mouthy Apples {30 Days}

Dinner:
Pear and Parsnip Bisque {Rachael Ray}
Baguette

Tuesday

Lunch:
Hawaiian Sandwich {Momables member exclusive}
Grapes
Pretzels

Snack:
More Monster Fruit Dip

Dinner:
Chicken and Green Bean Casserole {Rachael Ray}
Buttered Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

Wednesday

Lunch:
Party Platter {Momables member exclusive}
Sliced Plums

Snack:
DIY Yogurt Dots {One Good Thing by Jillee} - I'll have to give them something to go with this, too!

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter Panini {Momables member exclusive}
Carrots
Greek Yogurt

Snack:
More Yogurt Dots

Dinner:
Broccoli Pasta with Parmesan Croutons {Martha Stewart}
Perfect Cheesy Garlic Bread {Center Cut Cook}

Friday

Lunch:
Turkey Pesto Pinwheels {Momables member exclusive}
Sliced Plums

Snack:
Yogurt Bars {Kids Activities Blog}

Dinner:
Roast Chicken with Bread and Arugula Salad {Ina Garten}

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week


Pioneer Woman's recipe for Sunday Night Stew with mashed potatoes is time intensive, but simple and easy to prepare. It is as good, if not better, than the America's Test Kitchen recipe for Guinness Beef Stew, which requires a million more steps.


Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

Twitterature {September 2014}

9.15.2014


Twitterature is a place to share short, casual reviews of books and I'm linking up to the event over on Modern Mrs. Darcy. Head over there to read more reviews, but be warned that you will fill up your to-read list! I am at 52 books so far this year in my Goodreads Challenge. Not too shabby! Here's what I read over the last month.

The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin

I struggled with whether to give this three or four stars on Goodreads. I loved the writing and want to read more by Jemisin, but I struggled with aspects of the story and setting.


A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki

This was was going along swimmingly, then took a turn for esoteric philosophy and physics, which I wasn't expecting. In any event, I'm glad I kept reading even if all the loose ends weren't perfectly tied up.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain

As with any good historical fiction, this book inspired me to go find out more about Hemingway, despite going in thinking I knew a whole bunch about him.

Enna Burning, Shannon Hale

I am surprised that this is a young adult novel because several passages seemed quite mature for that genre. In any event, I'm a fan of Hale's and will keep reading this series.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

I loved all the sci-fi and fantasy references in this whimsical and quirky book. Although, it's hard for me not to like a book based almost entirely in a bookstore.

Heads in Beds, Jacob Tomsky

Let me save you some time - if you want upgrades and outstanding service at a luxury hotel, tip $20 upfront. There were just too many crass passages in too much of this book, but it is a fascinatingly detailed description of the hospitality business. I also could have done without the sections instructing me on how to steal from hotels.

The Last Anniversary, Liane Moriarty

Maybe I'm just not a Moriarty fan because I just didn't get hooked on this one. I'm reading her most popular novel - What Alice Forgot - right now and I'll see if that one is better suited to my taste.

One Plus One, Jo Jo Moyes

Oh, I loved this one. I studiously avoided everything about the plot before reading, so this clever novel featuring non-standard characters was such a treat. I'm looking forward to reading more by Moyes.

Elizabeth the Queen, Sally Bedell Smith

Don't read this book if you are a Princess Diana fan. It is decidedly pro-Elizabeth and anti-Diana. If you can get past that, this is an interesting history of an incredible life.

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {September 14 - 20}

Click the Menu to see a larger version.
I feel like this week's menu isn't as helpful as usual because I am relying on many of my "members only" recipes. So, um, sorry about that and I'll make sure next week is more link-friendly!

Sunday

Dinner: We joined some friends for a BBQ and brought Southern Peach Cobbler {All Recipes} and the infamous Crack Dip {Plain Chicken}.

Monday

Lunch: Broccoli & Cheese Biscuit Pockets {Momables} - I ate them for breakfast! My new theory is that my kids will eat anything if it is inside a biscuit. Oh, and I roasted the broccoli because that's how my little one likes it.  This was accompanied by mango (the berries I originally planned were served for breakfast instead!) and some cherry tomatoes. (This was also on last week's menu, but didn't make it into a lunch last week....).

Dinner: Skillet Ziti with Sausage and Summer Squash {Cook's Country magazine}

Tuesday

Lunch: Sweet Monkey Sandwich {Momables member exclusive}, Grapes, Sliced Plums - my daughter doesn't like bananas, so I'll use strawberries with nutella for this yummy treat of a sandwich.

Dinner: Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos {Rachael Ray}, Mexican Rice {Food Network} - these chicken soft tacos include bacon and green apple - you have to give them a try!

Wednesday

Lunch: Ham, Swiss, and Apple Wraps {Momables member exclusive}, Carrots, Greek Yogurt.

Dinner: Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Chickpea Salad {Cook's Country magazine}

Thursday

Lunch: Chipotle Bacon Pinwheels {Momables member exclusive}, Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced Plums

Dinner: Thai Style Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry {Cook's Country magazine}

Friday

Lunch: Easy Peasy Cheesy Quiches {Momables member exclusive}, Pretzels, Berries

Dinner: Leftovers

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



What? You don't let your children sit on the kitchen island half naked to make their own tacos? Well, you should. But really, ditch the little packet and use this recipe for Sarah's Tacos instead. You'll never go back.


Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}