Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Good morning!  I hope you are all doing well and I hope you are starting to see an improvement in the conditions of those who have been affected by the storm.  

Although delayed, I am very excited about this post because I have some guest contributors today!  I have gotten many exciting ideas for my typical tuesday posts in hopes that I can make it more fun and share even more tips with you!  I have decided to start having “guest contributors” for my blogs.  Periodically I will be asking friends of mine to chime in and answer some questions and share some tips with all of you.  I will also be doing interviews down the road with people from different aspects of life...maybe even from a man!  lol  
I will still be doing Q&A, but keep your eyes open for guest writers on here, and also keep your eyes open because I might be asking YOU for your input on a future post!

So for today’s post I asked 3 friends of mine for their input on meal planning!  I asked each of them to send me a breakfast, lunch, and dinner that they commonly use in their homes.  Jennifer is a friend of mine from Zion and she is a mom to 3 children (2 girls and a boy).  Chrissy is actually my beautiful cousin and is mom to 2 daughters (who also makes and decorates AMAZING cakes).  Gina is also a friend from Zion and she works full time and is mom to a daughter.  They are all friends of mine on facebook if you want to friend them and check them out!  They all were so awesome in sharing their tips...they gave me some great ideas-thank you so much girls!!  Hope you enjoy and hope this helps give you some ideas!!  I also have posted a picture of my current menu that I have posted for the week to give you an idea of what I make in a typical week.  

  1. Ok for breakfast, a favorite here is apple and cinnamon oatmeal and I add a drop of maple syrup on top and it's been an almost everyday fav! Sometimes I'll split a banana between the two kids with it.” -Chrissy
  2. “For breakfast, my kids LOVE "Egg-in-a-hole" Basically, you tear a small hole (about the size of a half dollar) out of the middle of a slice of bread. You melt the butter in a frying pan, put the bread on top, and crack an egg into the hole. Cook to desired egg "doneness" lol - and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. A great idea (if you didn't already know it) is when cutting pancakes, waffles, toast, etc. use a pizza cutter! It goes so much faster and easier :)” -Jen
  3. “A breakfast we like a lot is steel cut oatmeal - but we make with coconut or almond milk instead of water. Much better tasting and for you! Then we add a few chocolate chips for added yummy flavor!
    Also, most Saturdays are pancake or waffle days. We try to do all different types of pancakes. Our favorite is banana-walnut pancakes. I also swear by my electric pancake griddle. You can make 9 regular sized pancakes at a time, rather than just a few on a pan on the stove--Something large families I'm sure would love
    We also make blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, and when we make plain pancakes- we use a pancake pen...Because plain pancakes need a little fun added

  1. “I give them grilled cheese on whole wheat bread- recently I found toasting whole wheat bread, a bit of butter and two peices of cheese is a fun way to switch it up and it's a time saver-as opposed to getting the pan out, etc.”- Chrissy
  2. “For lunch, I usually do PB&J with a piece of fruit or fruit cup and a class of organic milk.”  -Jen
  3. (Gina works full time and packs her daughter’s lunch for school) “Sunday night, I pack 2 lunches using her planet box lunchboxes. I Put them in the fridge overnight. Those are Monday and Wednesdays lunches. Tuesdays are pizza lunch day a school, and Tuesdays I work till 8, so this is what works best for me.
    Then on Wednesday night, I pack two more lunches for Thursday and Friday. (Note-- i do add crackers or snap pea crisps or other foods that may get soggy sitting in the fridge in the morning!- I usually write on a post it "add crackers" and stick it to the lunch box so I don't forget!)
    She gets a "main meal" it can be pasta, a half sandwich, cold cuts, dinner leftovers, chicken nuggets...
    She always has a fruit- orange slices, mango, pineapple, berries, banana...
    She always has a veggie- baby carrots and slices of cucumber are a big hit (ranch to dip!), a scoop frozen peas - she can warm them at school, but sometimes eats them cold as well, cut up sweet potato, cherry tomatoes..
    She has A protein- if her "Main meal" isn't chicken or a meatball or another protein, I will include something like Greek yogurt, cheese stick, a protein pancake                                                                    She also gets a "dessert" - maybe a peppermint patty, 5 lemonheads (that's how many fit in the dessert compartment of her lunchbox!) a small brownie or cookie, a fruit leather strip....” -Gina

  1. “The kids love whole wheat twirly pasta with butter, parmesan cheese mixed with either cooked peas or broccoli. It's a simple easy go-to dish for us and can be made ahead of time! Just add a little bit of butter and parm cheese to cooked pasta and add your cooked vegetable! Sometimes i add roasted chicken breast to it or buy sliced Boarshead classic chicken, cube it up, heat it and add it as well..just a quick alternative!” - Chrissy
  2. “One of the kids favorite dinners is my lemon butter chicken and brown rice. The chicken is prepared in a frying pan on the stove - sauteed in butter until browned. Then, Add the juice of one lemon. I then transfer that to a oven safe dish, cover it with onions (sliced) and button mushrooms and an extra TBSP of butter and let it cook in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. I serve it with brown rice and steamed broccoli.” -Jen
  3. “We both work late, and dinner is not on my fun list of things to do at 7 pm... So I have been becoming good friends with my crockpot!
    And Pinterest! I get many meal idea there! Here is a favorite of mine- pasta fagioli:
    Oh, and this is a must make!! Copy cat Chick-fil-A nuggets and sauce! We don't have a Chick-fil-A by us, and we miss it!
    Also- lasagna is a good dinner- easy and you can freeze individual squares for quick go to lunches as a later time!” -Gina

And below is a picture of my menu for the past week.  I wanted you to see my format, but I know it's too small to see so her is the list form of what is on this menu:

  • Breakfasts 
    • Cheese filled crescent rolls, Cereal, Egg toast (which is the exact thing Jen had on her breakfast part!), Pizza toast, cereal, buttered bagels, and pancakes (that I make the day before and freeze)
  • Fruit- I dont put it on the menu b/c they know every day at 10am they can grab a piece of fruit
  • Lunch 
    • Italian wedding soup, Cold cuts & cheese & crackers, Cheese quesadillas, Pigs in a blanket, Grilled cheese, Minestrone soup w/ homemade pizza, & Pot roast w/ veggies (Sunday's lunches are more of a dinner meal, and then we eat light leftovers for dinner) (I also never write down side dishes because it's a rotation of whatever fruits & veggies or whatever I have on hand.
  • Snack- 
    • Granola bar, Cheese stick, Oatmeal cookies, Cinn. graham crackers, Goldfish, Brownies, & Misc 
  • Dinner- 
    • Crock pot lasagna, Chicken & veggies, Leftovers, Tacos, Chicken cutlets, Chicken pot pie, & Leftovers

I find you should have one or two nights of leftovers/smorgasbord because otherwise it is really easy to waste food.  My kids actually enjoy when I call it smorgasbord because they think it's fun to eat a mishmash of different things...and I like that it teaches them that we don't waste food.  I also plan meals according to Jeff's work schedule- the best meals will be made on his busiest work days b/c I think it's a nice gesture and a mood lifter.  And I always make enough for him to bring to work- we don't buy meals out, we pack him what I make...saves money that way.  And soup meals are also great because I can just throw it all in in the morning and then it's ready for when you want it...I usually do this on Jeff's day off so I can be around him more instead of in the kitchen.

Food is one of my favorite topics, so I loved doing this post...Hope you enjoyed it as much as me! lol

1 comment:

  1. i love this post and it's super helpful to me. i've been writing out our dinners for the week and sticking it on the fridge. there's only two of us so i only make a few dinners a week because we can live on leftovers for lunch. the menu helps me remember what to defrost for the next day or what to look forward to! meal planning really saves money when you're grocery shopping, i've learned that for sure!