It’s been a while. A very long while.

2019, Week 9 (we start our week on Sunday)

I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner tonight, and it’s 2:00 pm (when I started writing this post). Who knows what time it will be when it gets published.

Menu planning has *got* to make a comeback in this house. Since August 2018, my menu planning has taken a back seat while selling our house and moving (we moved last month), and all the chaos it brings has taken a very prominent front seat. We are now settled in a temporary living space while our permanent living space takes shape.. aka construction.

So what do I have in my pantry, freezer, or refrigerator.

I have meatballs, bratwurst, roast, chicken (I think), hamburger, and an abundance of hot dogs. Let’s get to work on a simple meal plan. Family activities and the weather can often influence our menu. Simplest meals are made on the busiest days of the week. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will all be quite full this week. By Pacific Northwest standards, it’s going to be a cooler week, so some “warmer” comfort foods may make an appearance.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of any brand or product. If I mention a product/brand, it’s simply a personal/dietary preference.

Sunday (today): Chicken & Dumplings – from The Novice Chef

Monday: Bratwurst with Broccoli and Potatoes. I’ll be making this up as we go along. I’ve got all three that need to be used. If it turns out well, I might post a picture or recipe (note to self).

Tuesday: Tacos – I am a firm believer in having a few staple/weekly meals. Taco Tuesday lives on. Some weeks are beef tacos, others may include chicken or fish. We’ve also been known to make this a meatless meal by incorporating TVP, inspired by The Spruce Eats.

Wednesday:  Meatballs & mashed potatoes. Easy meal that everyone loves. When I have time to make the meatballs from scratch, “Someone Pasta the Meatballs” from Janet and Greta Podlaski’s cookbook “Looneyspoons Collection” is my favorite. When time is not on my side, I use Cooked Perfect All Natural Chicken Meatballs, in the crock pot or in the oven with a little water (1/2 cup) thrown in the baking dish to keep them moist.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast). This is another weekly/staple meal. Will be sharing my favorite crispy oven potatoes recipe soon (note to self).

Friday: Hot Dogs – incredibly busy day will call for an incredibly simple dinner.

Saturday: Hamburgers – the weather looks decent (finally!), so grilling is an option.

It’s now just after 3:00 pm, and I have a plan for the week. The load of things that I need to remember has just been lightened a bit!

What are some of your “go to” meals?

nw mama’s dinner menu: week 24, 2014

I really love to be in my kitchen, however I am especially looking forward to cooking this week. Just writing this menu is making me hungry. I have not looked up a recipe for gluten free meatballs yet, so I may just be making it up as I go. Feel free to send suggestions!

This is also the week before Father’s Day. For my family, this Sunday’s dinner carries almost the same amount of anticipation as Thanksgiving in that we only partake of it once a year… for the sake of our health <smile>.

NW Mama’s Menu for June 9 – June 15

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nw mama’s dinner menu: week 23, 2014

The week is almost over, and I am late getting this post out to you. My apologies. Time management has gone out the window this week, but I’m reeling it back in.

The end of the month is always interesting when it comes to meal planning. I usually leave a few empty spots on my monthly meal plan at the end of the month. Why? Well, it’s a pretty good bet that I’ve banked some meals (haven’t used them or the ingredients) from earlier in the plan, and I can plug them in at the end. Life happens, people, and just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean it all goes accordingly. It does, however, give you the flexibility to move meals around according to schedule changes.. which seem to happen at a world-record-breaking rate around my house.

So here we go:

NW Mama’s Menu for June 2 – June 8

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nw mama’s meal planning: leftovers & inspiration

What to do with Leftovers (Re-Purposing)

I was once discussing grocery shopping and meal planning with a friend of mine, and when I said the word “leftovers,” she said that her family refuses to eat the dreaded “leftovers.” I know, I feel the same way about them. But I hate wasting food, especially when good, nutritious, fresh foods are often “not cheap.” Honestly, my family doesn’t eat “leftovers” either. We re-purpose what was left over and use it to make something new for the next dinner meal.

A couple examples:

This week we are having chicken and mashed potatoes. Most likely the chicken will get gobbled up the first night, but we’ll have a mound of potatoes left over. That’s okay! The next night we are having breakfast for dinner. Mashed potatoes will become potato puffs via a great recipe I found on Pinterest! If you are planning on enough chicken left over, it can be used for chicken salad wraps or chicken tacos the next night.

Roast beef is also expensive when feeding a large family on a budget, so I like to make it stretch! We might have traditional pot roast with lots of vegetables one night, and the leftovers will be used for stir fry, stew or french dip the next day.

Suggestion: If you are planning on using “leftovers” to make something new the next night, put the amount you need in the refrigerator before serving dinner. If your family is like mine, mark it so that it doesn’t get taken for lunches. This guarantees you will have what you need for the next evening’s meal.

Where to Find Inspiration:

  • Let your family in on the planning! Get suggestions from whoever shares your dinner table. Find out what they would like to see on the menu.
    • Example: One daughter loves pizza, one daughter loves hot dogs, both love chicken (baked, bbq’d, fried). I try to get those things on the menu once each month as a treat for them. My husband loves a good salad, so especially during the summer, we have salad bar a couple times a month.
  • Are you addicted to Pinterest yet? Do you have any favorite recipe websites or magazines? Do you have a board or binder or recipe box full of recipes that made your mouth water? Go look at them before you make your grocery list! I use both Pinterest and a few of my favorite recipe bloggers / websites to put my plan together.

This is the second post in my meal planning series. You can find the first one here: “nw mama’s meal planning: getting started.”