Monday Meal Plan #22

Happy Holiday Weekend! I hope you’re enjoying a lovely, long, Presidents’ Day weekend!

Weekend Recap

What fabulous weather we’ve had here in upstate New York this weekend! With highs in the 40s and 50s, and more snow gone every time I look out the window, it’s feeling very much like spring is coming.

On Saturday, my husband and I took our daughter to her gymnastics class at  the Y, then we checked out an estate sale for some bargains. I’m late to embrace estate sale and garage sale shopping, but I now think they’re a lot of fun. (Maybe this has something to do with me being over 40??) My husband got a large Christmas wreath and two small paintings for $2, and I scored a box containing two glue guns and a bunch of new glue sticks for $1, plus a box of lovely, vintage Christmas ornaments for $10.

Yesterday, we went to a state park to attempt snowshoeing for the first time. (One of my goals for 2017 is to try three new activities.) The sun was bright, the temps were warm, and the snow was more like slush. I don’t know much anything about snowshoeing, but I have a feeling these were not ideal conditions. We lasted for ten minutes, all of us feeling like the snow shoes were too heavy and made it difficult to walk. I knew we were done when my daughter fell, stepped out of her boot while getting up, and put her foot down in the snow. I guessed she would be complaining about her cold foot within two minutes, and that ended up being too generous of an estimate.

After a quick Target run, we brought some food home for a late lunch. Immediately afterwards, I headed out for a long walk, to atone for my Five Guys consumption. I haven’t been out for a walk in months, and it was gorgeous and felt great!

The Weekend Ahead

School vacation week starts today, so my daughter and I will be home all week. As someone who will stay glued to the couch and in her robe all day without a planned activity, I try to schedule one thing per day during school vacations. This week’s activities include a “day of beauty” – hair cuts and manicures – for the two of us, ice skating with friends, and a tour of a local grocery store with my daughter’s Brownie troop. Friday afternoon, we’re heading to my sister’s house in Massachusetts for my nephew, Charlie’s, first birthday party on Saturday. We’ll stay with them until Sunday morning, and the following Monday, it’s back to school and work.

Weekly Meal Plan

Since I’ll be home all week, I don’t have any excuses not to cook. (Rats!) Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Spaghetti with shrimp scampi (from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
  • Tuesday: Leftover scampi w/ sautéed spinach
  • Wednesday: Panko-Crusted Salmon (from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?) w/ roasted sweet potatoes
  • Thursday: Black beans and rice (A request from my Chipotle-loving kid)
  • Friday: Away for the weekend!!
  • Saturday: Away for the weekend!!
  • Sunday: Probably picking up a pizza on the way home

What’s for dinner at your house this week??

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Monday Meal Plan #21

Happy Monday!! It’s looking like a real winter wonderland here, after we received about a foot of snow yesterday…

Weekend Recap

On Saturday, my daughter participated in a Harry Potter-themed engineering program at the local high school. My husband and I took advantage of some time on our own, and went out to brunch. Afterwards, we spent some quiet time at home reading, and even took a quick nap!

After we picked our daughter up, we all went to the library to borrow some DVDs in anticipation of being snowed in all day on Sunday. We happened to be at the library while Buck, a therapy dog, was listening to kids read, and my daughter eagerly signed up for a slot.

Buck, the therapy dog, is a great audience!

As predicted, we spent all of Sunday at home, watching the snow fall. (About a foot in total.) I did some chores, read the paper, and made some progress on my current book, The Case Against Sugar. It’s a little slow-going, but educational. I’m looking forward to reading something a little lighter, next.

My husband and daughter spent some time outside, building a snow fort.

The Week Ahead

This week is off to a love-filled start! My daughter’s Brownie troop is having their Valentine’s Day party after school today, and her class as their party tomorrow morning. She still loves for me to attend these types of events, and while they’re not always a barrel of fun for me, I know she won’t always want me there with her.

I was supposed to work today, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, but because our school district had a two-hour delay today, I ended up not going in today. At 6pm on Thursday, I’m bringing my daughter to a registration meeting for this year’s Missoula Children’s Theater this performance at her school. (They’re a professional theater group, and they spend a week rehearsing afterschool with the kids who participate, culminating a weekend play performance.) With the registration meeting scheduled for the super-convenient time of 6pm, we’ll be picking up a pizza on the way home.

This Week’s Meal Plan

  • Monday: Leftover lasagna soup w/ baguette
  • Tuesday: Chicken cutlets w/ garlic spinach (One of my least favorite things to make, but, my Valentine loves them…)
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Pizza and salad
  • Friday: Leftover pizza and salad
  • Saturday: Roasted salmon and Brussels sprouts
  • Sunday: Roasted pork tenderloin w/ red cabbage

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #20

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

Last week was supposed to be a four-day work week for me – my first in quite a long time – but thanks to a snow and ice storm on Monday night, I ended up staying home with my daughter on Tuesday. Since several of the student appointments I had scheduled at work that day were resume reviews, I was able to do a couple of them electronically, and managed to bill for a couple of hours of work, anyway. Getting paid to review resumes in my pajamas? Definitely a win in my book!

Anyway, my weekend started with Friday off, and I got a lot of errands and cleaning done that day. It was our turn to host the weekly, afterschool play date for my daughter and two of her friends, and, once again, I was amazed by how loud three second-grade girls can be.

I had no plans on Saturday, with the exception of a couple of very quick errands. My husband and I went out to dinner that night, at a restaurant we hadn’t been to since before our daughter was born. It was fine, but not great, and we may wait another seven years before going back. (If you read this post, you know that one of the things I love most about Saratoga Springs is the large number of great restaurants there are.)

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent a couple of hours selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door. This isn’t my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but it’s a good experience for my shy girl. Also, she’s very motivated by rewards, and likes to study the list of incentives she’ll receive for selling different quantities of cookies. Only eight boxes to go to get the next prize…

Over the weekend, I also made a lot of progress on the book I’m currently reading, The House of the Dead. It’s fairly dense, and while I’m learning a lot, I don’t think I would call it a page-turner. But my next book is being held for me at the library for just a few days, so I’m extra motivated to finish.

The Week Ahead

The weather forecast looks clear, so this will likely end up being a four-day work-week for me. I’m scheduled to work Monday through Thursday, which makes for a more chaotic week at home. My motivation for cooking is much lower on my work days, so having a well-planned meal plan is extra important.

I have a couple of things going on this week, aside from work. On Tuesday evening, I’m attending a Mindful Parenting workshop led by our school district’s superintendent. (If you read last week’s meal plan post, you may remember that this event was originally scheduled for last Tuesday. Alas, it ended up being a casualty of Tuesday’s snow day.) On Friday night, I’m going out to dinner with some girlfriends – a first in quite a while! And on Sunday, there’s some sports event happening, I think…

The Meal Plan

Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Tortilla soup with raw veggies (This soup was on the last two weeks’ meal plans, but hasn’t happened, yet. I’m confident that the third time will be a charm, though!)
  • Tuesday: Leftover soup with rice and roasted carrots
  • Wednesday: Modified spinach & sausage one pot pasta
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: I’ll be out with friends, so my husband and daughter will have a dinner date out, probably at Panera.
  • Saturday: Crab cakes with roasted sweet potatoes
  • Sunday: My husband will want to pick up “football food” for watching the game. A night off from cooking? It may be the only thing I like about the Super Bowl…

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #19

Happy Monday!!

Weekend Recap

Once again, I have little to report about my weekend – which is just how I like it! On Saturday, my husband took my daughter to gymnastics in the morning, and we went to meet with a new accountant during the afternoon. For our wild Saturday night at home, my husband and I watched an episode of our current show, The Americans. (We don’t have any form of cable or streaming, so we’re always way behind on the cool shows. We’re still in season one of this one, but I’m loving it!)

Sunday’s big highlights were finishing reading, I Am Not Myself These Days, and taking my daughter to a party for the book, Spy Ski School at our local bookstore. (See all of the books I’m reading in 2017 here.) Oh, and of course I sat down and put together this lovely meal plan – always a weekend highlight for me <insert eye roll>.

The Week Ahead

This is the first of two consecutive weeks when I’ll be working four days in row. (I hear you snickering, full-time working mothers!) I’m working Monday through Thursday both weeks. Other than that, my daughter has a Brownie’s meeting after school today, and on Tuesday evening, I’m attending a mindful parenting discussion led by the superintendent of our school district. (Attendees will receive a copy of the book, Every Blessings, and we’ll reconvene in March to discuss the book.) Of course, this may be complicated by the forecast for snow Monday night and into Tuesday. The last anticipated total I saw was five to eight inches, which means there will likely be a delay or snow day on Tuesday, which could lead to the cancellation of the district’s evening activities… And on Friday, it’s my turn to host my daughter’s weekly playdate with a couple of her friends. I’ll spend the day grocery shopping and cleaning the house in anticipation.

Meal Plan

I planned my grocery shopping trips poorly for this week. I did a produce run last Friday, and opted not to go over the weekend. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought about this week’s meal plan yet, and am therefore limited to what’s in our house for most of the week’s dinners.

  • Monday: Weeknight black bean chili w/ raw veggies
  • Tuesday: Spicy peanut noodles from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures w/roasted butternut squash
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Probably a pizza…
  • Friday: Tortilla soup in the slow cooker (I planned to make this last week, but didn’t get to it.)
  • Saturday: Date night dinner out!
  • Sunday: Sautéed shrimp and veggies w/ jasmine rice

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Monday Meal Plan #18

Happy Monday, and happy Martin Luther King Day!!

Weekend Recap

I just had my most uneventful weekend in a long time. After picking my daughter up from an after-school playdate on Friday, we had dinner at home, then watched the (awful) Shopkins movie. She and my husband had a sleepover that night, so I spent my alone-time creating this page for tracking my 2017 reading, then did a little magazine reading in a hot bath. (I’ve accidentally dipped corners of magazines into the tub water many times, so I don’t read books in the tub.)

I ran a couple of quick errands on Saturday and Sunday, and spent the rest of both days reading, listening to podcasts, and lying around. It was a great winter weekend!

The Week Ahead

I’m officially back at my job for the winter term! This is the busiest time of year in my office, so I’ll be working three and four-day weeks. This week is a three-day week. I’m working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. My daughter is off from school today for MLK Day, but my husband is not. My daughter has another afterschool playdate on Friday, and she’ll be staying a bit later to have pizza and watch a movie with the host family. If my husband can get out of work a little early, we may try to grab a quick dinner out together.

Meal Plan

Between the holidays, school vacation, and our travel last week, I’ve been on something of a meal-planning hiatus. While I liked not having to sit down and rack my brain for dinner inspiration, I found myself staring at the fridge and wondering what on earth we could have for dinner many nights. (There were also a couple of nights when we had cereal for dinner – something I swore I would never do while I was a parent.) All of this is to say, it’s good to be back at it – sort of. Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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It’s a No-Monday-Meal-Plan Week

Happy Monday! If you’re in a part of the United States that received snow and ice over the weekend, I hope you’ve managed to dig out. Helena was one of those winter storms that mercifully skipped over upstate New York. (Since we’ve already received a good amount of snow this season, I was happy to take a pass on this one.)

I’m not doing a meal plan this week. No, I haven’t already given up on my goals for 2017. It’s been a challenging few days for my family, and our upcoming week is somewhat unpredictable.

Weekend Update

My husband’s grandmother passed away late last week. We knew her passing was coming, and were able to see her for a final time at Christmas. But – as anyone who’s lost someone close to them knows – no matter how much notice you have, it’s always difficult to say goodbye to a loved one.

On top of that, my husband came down with strep throat on Friday. He’s been quite sick – feverish, tired, and has a terrible sore throat with cough – for the past few days. He started on an antibiotic on Saturday, and we’re hoping he’ll be back to normal shortly. (Please cross your fingers that our daughter and I avoid catching it.) Needless to say, we spent the weekend hunkered down at home.

The Week Ahead

We traveled to New Jersey yesterday for my husband’s grandmother’s wake and funeral. Depending on how late the funeral and family luncheon runs on Tuesday, we’ll either head home on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. If time permits, I’d like to get to the grocery store, since I’ll be going back to work on Thursday. (I’ve been off since early November!) Otherwise, I’ll go on Friday. To get us through then, we’ll probably be eating out of the freezer and pantry, and there may be a pizza in the cards.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #17

Happy Monday, and happy 2017!! I hope you and your family enjoyed the holidays.

As is our tradition, we spent Christmas Eve at home, just the three of us. It’s always the only day of the year when our daughter not only puts up zero resistance to going to bed, but actually insists on going early. (Thank you NORAD Santa tracker!!) The downside is that she insists that we go to bed early, too, to make sure the house is quiet and everyone is asleep for Santa’s arrival.

We opened presents together on Christmas morning, and headed to New Jersey to spend Christmas with my husband’s family. We spent two nights in the Garden State, then stopped at my parents’ house in Orange County on the 27th. Some of my extended family members met us there, and we got to spend an afternoon catching up with them.

In the days that followed, we slowly put away the Christmas decorations, slept in a lot, went sledding, and took advantage of some post-Christmas sales. It’s going to be tough to get back into the swing of things, but as someone who likes a routine and a fresh start, I think it’ll be (mostly) good. (I am going to miss sleeping in, though…)

The Week Ahead

This is a transition week for our family. Both my husband and my daughter were off all of last week, and they’re back to work and school this week (Tuesday). We don’t have much of anything planned, with the exception of a very special dinner on Wednesday – and it won’t be made by me!!

This Week’s Meal Plan

I took a meal-planning break during the holidays, but it’s a new year, so I’m back at it! (If you read my goals for 2017 post, you know that finding a way to dread this task less is one of them.) Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Brinner – waffles and bacon
  • Tuesday: Pasta with butternut squash, kale, and pine nuts
  • Wednesday: It’s my bithday, so I’m not cooking. Happy birthday to me!!
  • Thusday: Chili w/ raw veggies
  • Friday:  Leftovers
  • Saturday: Baked shrimp scampi (from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) w/ orzo and salad
  • Sunday: Lasagna soup w/ bread

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #16

Happy Monday! We woke up to about six inches of snow on the ground, and a school cancellation. #itsstillfall Fortunately, it hasn’t gotten too cold, yet, so my daughter and I were able to get some good sledding time in.

Weekend Recap

We had a pretty low-key weekend at home, although we did host my parents for our annual Christmas celebration with them. But first, my husband and I took our daughter to the library for their gingerbread house making program. They provide the space and the materials – and the clean-up!! They don’t skimp on decorations, either. There are various kinds of sprinkles, candies, cookies, and pretzels for adorning the houses.

Hard at work!

My parents arrived Saturday afternoon. We had lunch with them, chatted, opened presents, and had our (very) early Christmas dinner with them. I had planned to make my grandmother’s shrimp scampi recipe, but remembered that my mother doesn’t like shellfish. Instead I made the Spinach in Puff Pastry recipe from Barefoot in Paris. I love it – but then again, I love anything in puff pastry! I also made the Endive, Pear, and Roquefort Salad recipe from the same book, although I left the egg yolk out of the vinaigrette. My parent spent the night at our house, then left after a quick lunch on Sunday. The rest of my day included reading the Sunday NY Times, eating, and napping. A pretty good Sunday in my book!

The Week Ahead

This is going to be my least busy week in a while. We have no holiday events or activities, nor any extracurricular activities. (Tonight’s Brownies’ meeting was cancelled because school was closed.) I’m meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow, and have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, but they’re both during the day. (One other thing I’m looking forward to this week is the installation of our tankless hot water heater.) Our NYC trip next weekend is definitely the most exciting part of our week. (And not just because it means I’ll get two nights off from cooking!)

This Week’s Meal Plan

  • Monday: Pasta with Sunday Slow Cooker Beef Ragu (from the freezer)
  • Tuesday: Weeknight Black Bean Chili w/ rice
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Eggs, bacon, and toast – brinner!!
  • Friday: Dinner at my parents’ house
  • Saturday: Dinner out in NYC
  • Sunday: Ravioli with frozen veggies

What’s for dinner at your house this week??

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Monday Meal Plan #15

Monday Meal Plan

Weekend Recap

We had one of those blissful, quiet weekends at home. On Saturday, I took my daughter to a Brownies (Girl Scouts) masquerade party at the library. While she was there, I got coffee with the mother of one her friends. We hadn’t caught up in a while, so it was great to have a couple of hours together.

I didn’t leave the house on Sunday. I got a good amount of cleaning done, read some of my current book, and caught up on some important lounging.

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Oh, and we ate way too much delicious crumb cake all weekend. I’m a huge lover of crumb cake and coffee cake – Is there a difference? – but I had never made them before. I tried the (easy) recipe in Martha Stewart Baking, and the cake is wonderful. (It should be. Between the cake and the crumb topping, there are almost five sticks of butter in the recipe.)

The Week Ahead

This week is going to be busier than usual. My daughter has a Brownies meeting until 5:30 tonight – thus, the quick and easy dinner I’m making. Tomorrow is the second grade holiday concert at 6pm. I understand why the school schedules the concert at this time, but, man, does it make for a hectic evening. My mother is coming up to attend the concert with us, and she’ll stay over tomorrow night. We’ll pick up a pizza on the way home from the concert. On Wednesday, my daughter’s Brownies troop is singing at our town’s Christmas tree lighting, making it a perfect leftovers night.

On Saturday, my parents are coming up for our Christmas celebration. Our tradition is to spend Christmas Eve at home, just the three of us, then drive to my husband’s family’s house in New Jersey on Christmas day. Since we don’t see my parents at any point during the Christmas holiday, we get together with them for an early Christmas celebration every year. We have a nice dinner and dessert together, then open our presents for each other. (We’re doing it a bit early this year, because my husband, my daughter, and I will be in NYC the weekend before Christmas.) This year I’m planning to make my Italian grandmother’s shrimp scampi recipe. She was a fantastic cook, and made big, delicious Sunday dinners for many, many years. I was thrilled when I found her hand-written scampi recipe, a couple of years after she died. I’ve meant to try it before, but haven’t, so a family gathering seems like a great time to make it.

Meal Plan

Here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan this week:

  • Monday: Pasta with garlic, tomatoes, and spinach (my vegetarian take on Ree Drummond’s Chicken Pasta Florentine)
  • Tuesday: (School concert at 6pm) Pizza and salad
  • Wednesday: (Town tree lighting at 7:30pm) Leftovers
  • Thursday: Beef burrito casserole (I didn’t get to this last week.)
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: (Christmas dinner with my parents) Grandma’s shrimp scampi w/pasta and green beans
  • Sunday: Baked ziti (Another one I didn’t get to last week)

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #14

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday!! Has your turkey coma worn off, yet?

Holiday Weekend Recap

We had a very nice Thanksgiving at my sister’s house in Massachusetts. We got to see my sister, brother-in-law and their kids, my parents, and some of my brother-in-law’s family members. My daughter played almost constantly with my nephew, which is so sweet to see. She’s seven and he’s four, but the age difference is rarely an issue for them. Since my daughter is an only child, I love seeing her building a relationship with her cousin. (At nine months, my other nephew held absolutely no interest for her, but I’m sure that will change some day.) In addition to catching up with family and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, we were fortunate that there was barely any traffic when we made the four-hour drive early Thursday morning, and again on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, we said goodbye to our autumn decorations, and my husband hauled all of the Christmas decorations out of the basement. He spent most of that day setting up lights, unpacking ornaments, and otherwise enveloping our house in Christmas spirit.

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Searching for the perfect tree

We also cut down our Christmas tree for the first time. We like to put our tree up the weekend following Thanksgiving, and in recent years, there have been more needles on the floor under the tree, than on it, by the time December 26th rolled around. To try to extend the life of our tree, we decided to cut it ourselves this year. (I use the term “ourselves” loosely, since my husband did all of the sawing and most of the dragging.)

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Photo credit: My seven year-old

The Week Ahead

It’s back to work and school for my husband and daughter this week, and I have a number of appointments on multiple days (doctor, exterminator, consignment, etc.). My daughter had a Brownies meeting until 5:30 on Monday, and there’s a big event in Saratoga Springs on Thursday evening, the Victorian Streetwalk. Other than that, it should be a relatively quiet week.

This Week’s Meal Plan

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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