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  • Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 19, 2015

    As part of my breakfast meal planning for school days, I tried making these English muffins but they came out more like a dense bread. I’m not quite ready to give up, as I love the idea of making a breakfast sandwich for the kids before school, so if you have a trusted English muffin recipe, please share it with me!

    Last week’s healthy dish was Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Shrimp, and it’s a definite keeper.

    This week, I’m tackling dried beans. I haven’t bothered with dried beans for a long time since canned beans are so readily available, but dried beans are cheaper and freezer-friendly. And a huge pot of homemade refried beans would be a hit with my kids, especially if I can master Mexican rice. But one thing at a time …

    Dinner – Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip with carrot sticks, celery and pita chips, Bacon-Wrapped Dates

    Breakfast – Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding {I have some bread in the freezer that will be perfect for this}
    Dinner – Miso Chicken, Rice, Sauteed Zucchini

    Breakfast – Baked Oatmeal
    Dinner – Pasta Bolognese, salad, garlic bread

    Breakfast – Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
    Dinner – Chicken Enchiladas, Crock Pot Refried Beans, Salad

    Breakfast – Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
    Dinner – Crock Pot Loaded Potato Soup, garlic bread

    Saturday & Sunday: We will be out and about both days so we’ll have to eat out, but if we’re home, we’ll have leftover soup or breakfast for dinner.

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 12, 2015

    As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m going to cook a new healthy dish each week. I started last night with beets, since I had a bunch in my fridge already from my CSA box. I’ve been wanting to try this Cooking Light raw beet salad, but my beets were red, I think I didn’t shave them thinly enough, and I skipped the shallots because I didn’t have any and don’t like them. So I really can’t blame the recipe, but this dish wasn’t what I hoped it would be (however, I’ve been eating the raw beets today – marinating in the Meyer lemon juice has made them more tender and far more palatable):

    Shaved Beets -

    I was a good girl and even cooked the greens:

    Beet Greens with Anchovies -

    Not the prettiest thing, but I (loosely) followed the anchovy variation of this Martha Stewart recipe, and it came out tasty.

    This week, I’m going to try my hand at quinoa (since I have that free bag from Ralphs in the cupboard). The kids are back to school, so I will also be planning breakfast to make mornings a little easier:

    Breakfast – Bagels with cream cheese
    Dinner – Best Quinoa Salad EVER, Grilled Shrimp, Garlic Bread

    Breakfast – Breakfast Coffee Cake
    Dinner – Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

    Breakfast – Oatmeal
    Dinner – Sashimi, rice, sauteed bok choy

    Breakfast – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
    Dinner – Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Smoked Trout appetizers, fruit

    Breakfast – Cereal
    Dinner – Cheesy Mashed White Beans With Kale, Parmesan, and a Fried Egg

    Saturday & Sunday: I think we’ll be out and about both days, and will just have to grab food wherever we are. If we happen to be home, I’ll make something easy like quesadillas.

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 5, 2015 + Some reflections on 2014

    I can’t believe it’s 2015 already … it means I’ve been a mom for nearly ten years, and am halfway through the child-rearing years! That’s one thing about having only two kids and having them relatively close together: although at first, when one was a toddler and one was an infant, their needs were divergent, over time the gap between their needs has narrowed dramatically and the younger boy follows very closely in the footsteps of his older brother. They are definitely each their own person, of course, but I know that as soon as the older one leaves the nest, his younger brother will quickly follow suit. So when parenting gets tough – as in wearying, exhausting, trying, at least once a day – I try to remember that the last ten years have practically flown by and the next ten will too. As Gretchen Rubin says so eloquently, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

    It was nice to take a couple of weeks off of menu planning – we were most definitely not in our usual routine, but things are settling back down again. My goal in the kitchen in 2015 is simply to prepare and serve more fruit and veggies. I need to eat more produce, and so does my family. Whole grains are nice (I have a bag of quinoa in the cupboard that’s begging to be used, a ton of oatmeal, and half a dozen 2-lb bags of whole wheat flour – that’s what happens when you order from Amazon). But 2015 will be about produce, produce, produce.

    So here’s what I’ve got planned for dinner this week:

    Monday – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread

    Tuesday – Crock Pot Loaded Potato Soup, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, 30-Minute Rolls

    Wednesday – Ma Po Tofu with Steamed Broccolini, Rice

    Thursday – Creamed Spinach with Poached Eggs and Brioche Croutons

    Friday – Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Baby Vegetable Antipasto, some kind of crusty bread

    Saturday – Homemade Gravlax, bread, Cauliflower with Anchovy Breadcrumbs

    Sunday – Overnight Caramel French Toast, Sausage, Fruit

    P.S. The boys go back to school next week, so I’ll start planning for breakfast then too.

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 15, 2014

    It’s the last week of school before winter break, or as I tend to think of it, my last chance to get anything done before the kids are underfoot 24-7. That means dinners will have to be simple this week, and in a bid to save money and whittle down the pantry a bit, I’m going for a mini-pantry challenge this week.

    Additionally, I’ve decided that it’s time to start planning breakfast, at least on school mornings, when the kids are cranky and picky. So here’s what I’ve got lined up for breakfast and dinner this week:

    Monday – Breakfast: Oatmeal; Dinner: Baked Chicken Nuggets, some kind of vegetable, 30-Minute Rolls {I have raw chicken tenders and rolls in the freezer}

    Tuesday – Breakfast: Some kind of breakfast cookie and fruit; Dinner: Spaghetti Carbonara {I have bacon, eggs, spaghetti and peas on hand already}

    Wednesday – Breakfast: Some kind of muffin and fruit; Dinner: Sandwiches, chips and crudite {I have to get cold cuts for this, but we have chips, carrots and celery on hand}

    Thursday – Breakfast: Bagels with cream cheese and fruit; Dinner: Salmon Furikake, rice, some kind of vegetable {I have raw salmon in the freezer, and lots of uncooked rice}

    Friday – Breakfast: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and fruit; Dinner: Chili with the fixings, Milk & Honey Cornbread {I have ground beef in the freezer, and canned beans and cornmeal in the pantry}

    Saturday & Sunday – We’ll be out and about, and won’t be home for dinner either day. Although I am probably making a kugel for a Hanukkah gathering on Sunday.

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 8, 2014

    We are getting to that time of year when things start to get crazy busy, so I am trying to keep dinner super simple this week:

    Monday – Broccoli and Cheese Casserole, Sauteed Shrimp, 30-Minute Rolls

    Tuesday – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Salad

    Wednesday – Kalua Pork, Rice, some kind of veggie

    Thursday – Bean & Cheese Enchiladas {didn’t get to these last week}, Salad

    Friday – Turkey Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries

    Saturday – Dinner out or leftovers {not exactly sure of our plans}

    Sunday – Dinner out or breakfast {pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit}

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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