Monday Meal Plan #10

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Halloween! I hope you had a wonderful pre-Halloween weekend!

Weekend Recap

The first part of our weekend felt like a blur. Friday was my daughter’s 7th birthday, so my husband came home from work early. He joined me at her school to pick her up, along with our weekend visitor: her classroom guinea pig, Zippy Chippy. The kids take turns bringing him/her home over the weekends and school breaks (assuming their parents are cool with it), and they get dibs over the birthday weekend.

 

After getting Zippy settled in next to our betta fish, we took our daughter to her dance class, then out for her birthday dinner of choice, Chipotle. I happened to have a BOGO burrito coupon, so it ended up being a very affordable birthday dinner! We had ice cream cake and she opened her presents at home, afterwards.

On Saturday, my daughter had gymnastics class, and that afternoon we met friends for Saratoga’s Fall Festival. There are activities like face painting, pumpkin rolling, and pony rides, but the main attraction is trick-or-treating at the business along Broadway. After the festival, we ducked into Glitter Nail Bar, for a small pedicure party with a few of friends. There was more cake and more presents, and the girls seemed to have a great time.

Pedicures after picture
Pedicures after picture

Yesterday was a much more relaxed day. We went trick-or-treating at the Spa City Farmers’ Market, then spent the rest of the day at home. I wish I could share a long list of thing I accomplished at home, but it’s pretty brief. I composed this blog post (score!), cleaned the fish bowl, changed sheets, and cleaned my daughter’s bathroom. Other than that, I spent a lot of time in a seated position.

The Week Ahead

Tonight we’ll be taking our daughter out for the trick-or-treating main event. Given the late hour we’ll get home and that Tuesday is a work/school day for all of us, dinner will be some form of take-out. I’m working Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and Thursday is (yet another) half-day for my daughter. We have our parent-teacher conference that afternoon, and I’m really looking forward to it. (In previous years, I’ve volunteered in her classroom and felt much more comfortable with her teachers and classmates. Her teacher this year doesn’t have parent volunteers in the classroom, so I’m feeling kind of out-of-the-loop.) On Saturday, my in-laws are visiting, so we’ll probably be having dinner out with them. With that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan this week:

What’s for dinner at your house this week??
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Monday Meal Plan #9

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful fall weekend. After last week’s crazy vacillation between summer and fall, it definitely seems like fall is here to stay. It was very windy over the weekend, and the trees lost a lot of their leaves. Even more depressing, darkness is falling earlier and earlier, now. Oh, and our anticipated low-temperature on Wednesday is 27 degrees – brrr!

Weekend Recap

My daughter’s seventh birthday is coming up this Friday, and the celebrations began over the weekend, with a family party at my parents’ house in Orange County (New York). (But does Orange County count as upstate New York??) We got to see some of my extended family members, as well as my sister and nephew. The two cousins played together non-stop, which was very sweet to see. It was a short visit, but a lovely time. Birthday present highlights included Taco Terrie, Pieface, an American Girl sloth, some beautiful clothing, and, of course, money.

Before we headed home yesterday, we stopped by a much-loved place in my hometown, Jones Farm. It’s an absolutely charming family farm, selling their own produce and baked goods, plus custom picture-framing and gifts. They also have farm animals to visit and feed. I’ve probably been visiting Jones Farm for 36 years now, and I never tire of it! Yesterday we went on a hayride around their beautiful grounds, and took in the breath-taking mountain views. And my daughter “picked” a pumpkin.

Pumpkin-picking at Jones Farm

The Week Ahead

This is going to be another busy week for our family. I’m working Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; Wednesday is another school half-day for my daughter; and Friday is her big day! She’s having a small party with some friends at a local nail salon on Saturday, and we’ll also be attending Saratoga’s Fall Festival that day. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Saratoga Springs every year. There are lots of fun activities for the kids, plus trick-or-treating at the downtown businesses. And because one can never get enough Halloween candy, we’ll also go to the Spa City Farmers’ Market Fall Fest on Sunday. With that in mind, here’s what’s on our dinner meal plan this week:

  • Monday: Ravioli w/ roasted asparagus
  • Tuesday: Mushroom and kale (pre-made) Quiche w/ frozen veggies
  • Wednesday: Taco salads
  • Thursday: Stir-fried shrimp with broccoli and jasmine rice
  • Friday: Birthday girl’s dinner-out choice (Chipotle is currently the front-runner.)
  • Saturday: Slow-cooker pot roast w/ potatoes
  • Sunday: Leftovers

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #8

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Our weekend started when I took my daughter to a Brownie bonfire on Friday night. I was a Brownie for a year when I was a girl, and it wasn’t for me. But this is my daughter’s second year as a Girl Scout, and she’s really enjoying it. There are a couple of after-school meetings each month, many great activities and events, and lots of time with her good friends. As a parent, I really appreciate the positive values of team-building, self-confidence, and leadership that the Girl Scouts teach.

I was thrilled to have a pretty relaxed day at home on Saturday. I spent some time reading The Bucolic Plague, planted the last of the spring-blooming bulbs, made pumpkin bread, and did some laundry and cleaning. Yesterday, my in-laws came for a visit (from New Jersey), and they took us out to lunch at a yummy restaurant in Saratoga Springs, Scallions. We then checked out the fall festival at West Mountain. I got to chat with my in-laws, while my husband and daughter went on a haunted hayride.

The Week Ahead

My daughter has the first of four, fall early dismissal days today. School is dismissed at 11:40, and the teachers spend the rest of the day holding parent-teacher conferences. I’ll be hitting the grocery store in the morning, then taking my daughter to her doctor’s office to get her flu shot after she gets home.

This week, I’m working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and home again on Friday. I’ll be using that day to bake a cake or cupcakes for my daughter’s family birthday party at my parents’ house, (about 2.5 hours away), on Saturday. We’ll get to see a number of my family members, including my sister and one of my nephews, who are coming in from the Boston-area. We’re spending the night there, which means I won’t be cooking that night – woo hoo! On Sunday afternoon, we’ll drive home, so I planned a quick and easy dinner for that night. With all that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan this week:

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #7

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing, holiday weekend.

We’ve been having a lovely fall weekend. On Saturday, my husband took my daughter to her gymnastics class, then we hung out at home for a while, before I made a quick grocery run. That evening, my husband and I went out for a belated anniversary (11th) celebration dinner. We went to an Italian restaurant, and took a short walk around downtown Saratoga Springs. Yesterday, we met friends for a picnic in a Spa State Park. The moms went for a walk in the park after lunch, while the kids played on the playground, and the dads supervised them. The weather was lovely, and the fall colors in our area are approaching peak. It’s such a gorgeous time of year!!

Our family’s schedule this week is kind of unusual. We’re all off from work and school today, back at work and school tomorrow, and on Wednesday, I’ll be home with my daughter, who has another school holiday. We get back on-track on Thursday, and I’m working a third day again this week, this time on Friday. After work on Friday, my daughter has dance class until 6:00, then a Brownie bonfire with her Girl Scouts troop. We’ll grab a quick dinner out in between dance class and the bonfire, and my husband will fend for himself, which probably means a bowl of cereal. With that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan this week:

  • Monday: Burgers on the grill and roasted asparagus.
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker coconut curry lentils (didn’t happen last week, as planned)
  • Wednesday: Red burritos with beef and beans and roasted veggies
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Quick dinner out for the ladies, and my husband is on his own
  • Saturday: Ground turkey chili w/ avocado and cheese (and maybe some chips)
  • Sunday: Leftovers

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #6

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was a nice blend of relaxing and productive. My daughter has dance class from 5-6pm on Fridays, and we’ve gotten into the habit of picking up take-out food on our way home. Last week was no different, and we went to one of my favorite local spots, Sushi Thai Garden. As is almost always the case, I had green curry with shrimp, and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Note to self: plan better for dinners at home on Fridays to save some cash.)

Saturday was our 11th wedding anniversary, but we postponed our celebratory dinner for a week, because I wasn’t able to get a babysitter in time. Instead, I slept in a bit, read for a little while in the morning, and took a nap. During the afternoon, we picked up some pumpkins for outdoor decorating, I made a quick grocery trip, and my daughter and I went for a early evening Target run. (Have you ever been to Target on a Saturday evening? It’s absolute bliss.)

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Our pumpkin haul

Yesterday, I slept in a bit later, got the ragu (see below) going in the slow cooker, made Rice Krispie Treats, and took another nap, before heading to a friends’ house for lunch and football viewing. These friends are great and generous hosts, and we always love going to their house.

The Week Ahead

I typically work two days per week at my part-time job, but for the next few weeks, I’ll be working three days per week. I can hear the full-time working mothers groaning as they read this – and I don’t blame you – but this is going to take a little adjustment on my part. (I’m not a big fan of change.) I’ll be working Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday this week. In addition, my daughter has a Brownies meeting until 5:30 on Monday, a doctor’s appointment Wednesday afternoon, and dance class on Friday evening. Nothing too crazy, but a lot going on during the afternoons and evenings. With that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan for this week:

(A word about this week’s plan: I’m terrible at estimating sizes and quantities. As a result, we usually end up with more leftovers from recipes than I anticipate. This happened several nights last week, and I ended up not making a couple of the dinners I intended to. So if some of the meals on this week’s plan seem very familiar, it’s because I didn’t get to make them last week, as planned.)

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What’s for dinner at your house this week? 

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Monday Meal Plan #5

Monday Meal PlanHappy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Recap

This weekend, I let go of my sadness about the end of summer, and fully embraced fall. I wore fleece (it was chilly!), went on a hayride, took a long walk, put away my summer pajamas and sweaters, planted bulbs, and even allowed my husband and daughter put up some Halloween decorations. (It’s still a little early for jack-o-lanterns, if you ask me, but they really enjoy getting that stuff up early.) I also finished reading Columbine, and started reading I Know How She Does It. I learned a lot from the former, but it was not a light read. I’m not too far into the latter, yet, but I’m really enjoying it. And, because I’m a podcast junkie, I listened to several good ones. My favorite was the most recent episode of the My Wife Quite Her Job podcast, about local business, Death Wish Coffee. Because I prefer my coffee mild, I haven’t tried their products, but I loved hearing the story behind this success business.

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The Week Ahead

This week looks to be a pretty normal, fall week for my family. I’ll be working on Tuesday and Thursday, and my daughter has a full week of school, plus dance on Friday, and gymnastics on Saturday, and my husband will be travelling to Buffalo for work one day. With that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan for this week: (Curious why I meal plan? You can read why here.)

  • Monday: Crock pot Apple Bacon Pork Roast w/ couscous
  • Tuesday (work day): Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Taco salads (not sure if I’ll use ground beef or turkey yet)
  • Thursday (work day): Brinner! (Maybe pancakes, maybe eggs, sausage, and toast, but definitely “breakfast for dinner”!)
  • Friday (dance 5-6pm): Pasta w/ Sunday slow cooker beef ragu and salad
  • Saturday: Leftovers/fridge clean-out (If I can snag a babysitter, my husband and I will go out to celebrate our 11th anniversary.)
  • Sunday: Curried rice with shrimp (from Real Simple Easy, Delicious Meals) w/ roasted veggies

What’s for dinner at your house this week? How was your weekend?

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Monday Meal Plan #4

Monday Meal Plan

Hey, look at that… it’s Monday again! How did that happen so quickly?

Weekend Recap

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. My weekend felt like a bit of a blur. Friday evening, my daughter had her first hip hop dance class. She took ballet for several years, but this summer announced that she’s “a sporty girl now”, and wanted to try something else. She started out slowly during the first class, but by the end of the class she had really warmed up and was strutting her stuff. I think she’s really going to enjoy this class.

She was supposed to have her first fall gymnastics class on Saturday morning, but we had to hit the road early to get to my sister’s house outside Boston, for my nephew’s fourth birthday party. The drive is roughly four hours each way, so I spent a significant amount of the weekend sitting in the car. I used my time to get in some naps, and to read Columbine, which I started about a week ago. (You can see my full fall reading list here.)

The party was a lot of fun, and I always enjoy catching up with my sister in-person. (Now that we both have families, it’s so much harder to schedule visits.) I also got to see my parents, and got in some snuggles with my younger (seven months) nephew, who will be having surgery this week. Please send lots of positive thoughts his way!

The Week Ahead

Life gets just a bit more complex for my family this week, as I’m returning to my (very) part-time job at a college, after a four-month summer break. I work two days a week, although I may add a third day as our office gets busier. I feel silly saying this, since there are lots of mothers who work full-time and have more kids than I do, but life at my house feels much more chaotic on my work days, and I always experience a brief period of readjustment when I go back in the fall.

With that in mind, here’s what’s on my dinner meal plan this week:

  • Monday: (Brownie pick-up at 5:00) Baked ziti with salad (I’m going to add some Italian sausage to the sauce.)
  • Tuesday: (First day back at work!) Leftover baked ziti with frozen peas
  • Wednesday: Slow cooker beef brisket with roasted carrots and parsnips
  • Thursday: (Work) Leftover brisket and roasted veggies
  • Friday: (Home from dance class at 6:30) Cheese quesadillas and 7-layer dip
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Garden vegetable lasagna soup w/ bread

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #3

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Our weekend was fairly uneventful. My husband had to work in Utica on Saturday, so my daughter and I were on our own for most of the day. We met friends at a playground in the afternoon, before going out to dinner with my husband, when he got home. Yesterday was a lazy day at home for me, and my husband ran a few errands. My daughter and husband also started decorating the house with fall decor. I’m okay with leaf, pumpkin, acorn, and other autumn decorations at this point, but nothing Halloween before October.

The Week Ahead

This week is the first full week of school, plus we have a couple of evening activities on the calendar. On Wednesday evening, we have open house at my daughter’s school. It’s a chance to meet her teacher and get an overview of what to expect from second grade. Unfortunately, it starts at 6:30, which is an awkward time to plan around. Since it’ll be almost bedtime when we get home, we’ll eat dinner before we head over to the school. On Friday evening, my daughter has her first hip hop dance class, which run from 5:00 to 6:00. We’ll get home from that at almost 6:30, but at least it’s not a school-night.

We’re heading out-of-town on Saturday morning, to celebrate my nephew’s fourth birthday in the Boston-area. We’ll spend Saturday night at my sister’s house, and head home in the late morning on Sunday.

With that in mind, here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

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  • Thursday: Grilled salmon or swordfish, with grilled veggies
  • Friday: Leftovers/fridge clean-out
  • Saturday: Out-of-town!
  • Sunday: We’ll be arriving home from Boston late in the afternoon, so dinner will be some form of takeout.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan

Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! I hope your holiday weekend has been fantastic!

My family has enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing this weekend. We considered driving to visit various people and places, but opted to keep it low-key and home-based. My husband has been putting in a lot of hours at work lately, so he needed some time to relax and recharge. He did some yardwork, I finished school supply shopping – what, me procrastinate?? – we took our daughter to play mini-golf for the first time, and did some planning for the upcoming months.

One weekend highlight was a party with good friends last night. We met when  our daughters were in the same kindergarten class, and fortunately we, the parents, are as good friends as our daughters are. And as a bonus, all three girls are in the same class this year!

The Week Ahead

This week is kind of a sweet-spot week. My daughter starts second grade on Wednesday, but her extracurricular activities don’t start until next week. Also, I have a couple of additional weeks at home, before I return to my part-time job in a local college career center, on the 20th. Basically, this week is about gently easing into the new school year, before things get hectic again.

With that in mind, here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

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Yesterday I shared on Instagram this great meal planning tool I found on Amazon. It’s the Mead Organizher Magnetic Shopping List. I can jot down my meal plan and shopping list together in one place, and display it on the fridge throughout the week. (I know there are higher tech tools for this sort of thing, but I’m a low-tech gal and prefer writing things down by hand.)

How was your holiday weekend? What’s for dinner at your house this week? 

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Monday Meal Plan

Monday Meal Plan

I do not enjoy cooking, I’m not a creative person, and I consider grocery shopping to be a real chore. As a result, for around 18 months, I religiously created a weekly (dinner) meal plan for my family. On Sundays, I sat down with the calendar for our week ahead and my favorite cookbooks and recipes I’d recently found online, and jotted down a list of what we’d be eating for dinner for the next seven days. At the same time, I put together my weekly grocery shopping list. I dreaded doing this every week, but it made my life a lot easier. I no longer found myself at 4pm, wondering what on earth I was going to make for dinner. I no longer came up with an idea, only to discover that I didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed. I no longer ran to the grocery store three times a week.

So, a reasonable person might ask why I stopped this sanity-saving drudgery activity. I don’t have a good reason, other than that I got tired of forcing myself to do something I dreaded, every. single. week. But I find new school years invigorating, and I’m excited to get back to a more scheduled and organized way of life. Thus, the weekly meal plan is making a come-back! And publishing them here will give me some accountability, so thanks for coming along for the ride!

First, a few guidelines:

  • My meal plans are a framework. While I might say that we’re having pot roast and mashed potatoes on Monday, I just might make it on Wednesday, instead, if that ends up making more sense for our week. I’m crazy like that, people.
  • My meal plans are dinner-only. My husband rarely eats breakfast, and I’ve got making school and work lunches down to a pretty simple system. It’s dinners that are a struggle for me.
  • I aim to make reasonably healthy, well-balanced meals most of the time, but sometimes a high-fat, high carb, and/or high sodium dinner will show up on my meal plan. Please avert your eyes, if necessary.

Okay, without further ado, here’s this week’s plan!!

Monday: Pasta Florentine (This is my somewhat loose interpretation of Chicken Florentine Pasta from Ree Drummond.)

Tuesday: Southwestern oven omelet with toast (Brinner – breakfast for dinner – is one of my absolute, favorite dinners! What I make depends a bit on what’s in the fridge and freezer, but pancakes, bacon, and/or eggs are generally involved.)

Wednesday: Macaroni and cheese with squash from my garden (m&c recipe from Real Simple Easy Delicious Meals)

cookbook
I LOVE this cookbook.

Thursday: Leftovers (Can you hear the angels singing??)

Friday: Chicken enchiladas (I don’t like chicken very much, unless it’s in small pieces and covered in sauce and cheese. Plus, I have a bunch in my freezer, that I have to use up.)

Saturday: Grilled fish, farmers’ market veggies, and couscous (Why does cooking on a grill seem so much easier than cooking in the kitchen??)

Sunday: Burgers on the grill, with leftover veggies

Do you meal plan? What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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