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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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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 1, 2014

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with delicious food last week! I actually managed to make everything on my Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts list, and the biggest hits were the Spinach & Artichoke Dip and Brownies {the marshmallow “frosting” came out perfectly}.

    I actually haven’t cooked since Thanksgiving, since we’ve been subsisting on leftovers! And I expect to be doing less cooking in December, what with all of our social obligations {as you can see below}. But when we are home for dinner this week, here’s what I’m planning:

    Monday – Meatloaf, Roasted Butternut Squash, Fresh Bread {it’s been a while since I’ve made 5-minute Artisan Bread}

    Tuesday – Clam Chowder in Homemade Bread Bowls {using Artisan Bread dough}

    Wednesday – Dinner out with friends {at a kid-friendly local chain called The Stand)

    Thursday – Bean & Cheese Enchiladas {including an extra batch for the freezer}, Salad {the kids usually don’t love the enchiladas, so I’ll whip up some cheese quesadillas for them}

    Friday – Dinner out at a birthday party

    Saturday – Dinner out {we’ll be out and about, and can’t plan ahead}

    Sunday – Dinner out {same deal, although I am hoping we can somehow manage to have dinner at a nice restaurant this night – wish me luck!}

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

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    Menu Plan Monday: Week of November 24, 2014

    It’s my favorite food week of the year – Thanksgiving! I don’t have to make the turkey, but I’m cooking up a bunch of sides. Some are tried-and-true favorites, but of course I have to add in a couple of new ones.

    Here’s what I’m cooking for Thanksgiving {this may be a little overambitious and I’ll have to scale back … but a girl can dream!}:

    And here’s what I’ve got planned for dinners this week:

    Monday – Beef Pot Pie, Some kind of veggie

    Tuesday – Sweet Potato Latkes, Chicken Nuggets {I’ll be prepping lots of sweet potatoes for the casseroles – I make extra for the freezer – so I might as well shred some potatoes for a delicious dinner}

    Wednesday – Dinner out {probably at Islands}

    Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving!

    Friday – Leftovers!

    Saturday – Not exactly sure about our plans but probably eating out, or more leftovers

    Sunday – Party at a friend’s {I’ll probably make a dessert to take}

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

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