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So you Have a New Baby and You Want to Know How to Get Dinner on the Table?

11 Dec

First of all, I present as a gift, my rule of thumb for time management after welcoming a new baby into your home.

Rule of Thumb:

Baby is 0-3 months old = you will get nothing done aside from feeding and diapering baby. Your family will survive on Cheerios, peanut butter sandwiches, ramen noodles, and popcorn. It’s fine. Order pizza as often as possible 😉 it’s good for moral.

Baby is 3-6 months old: you can accomplish 1-2 other tasks per day besides caring for the baby and toddler. This could be dinner, some cleaning, or laundry, but not all 3. Your toddler will watch much TV regardless of which task you choose. I recommend “Little Baby Bum”…

Baby is 6 plus months old: on good days you can accomplish 3-4 tasks. On bad days—zero.

If you have Twins:  basically double the length of each stage— maybe triple depending on how many other children you have and what their ages are.

Twins 0-6 months: feeding the twins is all you will accomplish.

When your twins have survived for 6 months, you will suddenly one day lift your head, take a breath, and realize that the outside world is still going on. You will probably be able to add one non-baby task per day at this point if your twins are formula fed and can hold their own bottles.

Now that you have realistic expectations, I’ll tell you the next most important thing.

The first key to being consistent at getting meals on the table is your attitude.  You need to recognize how important a part of your Mom job it is.  For years, I thought I had the best attitude about being a mother.  I “knew how important” it was to be a mom.  My day-to-day thought process did not reflect this, though.  Day in and day out, I viewed the work I did in my home as never ending drudgery, and I rushed through it hoping to have time to get to “something important” and time to do the “fun things I wanted to do.”

I am embarrassed to tell you how many years it took me to realize the truth that would set me free from daily frustration and misery.  I realized that feeding my family, clothing my family, and keeping our home clean WERE the important things I needed to do each day.  These chores were not the necessary evils of motherhood.   These chores were the most important daily service I could render to my husband and children and, by extension, the best service I could render to God.   Once I figured this out, I still needed to change my attitude so that I could rejoice in those daily tasks.  Reading this little pamphlet called Rejoicing in Repetition changed my attitude.  It is worth every penny!!

Now that your expectations and attitude are squared away, I’ll tell you my favorite way to get dinner done for the family. I’ve tried all the ideas: 30 minute meals, freezer meals, make ahead meals, crock-pot meals.  My favorite for ease of preparation and freshness of the food is doing a prep day once a week.

I started with a plan where someone else did the thinking for me: Five Dinners in One Hour. I began with the $2 trial plan. She gives you recipes, a grocery list, and instructions for how to do all the prep work for 5 dinners in about an hour on one day. Her meals are pretty traditional meat and potatoes type meals, but with lots of good veggies, and she had several meatless meals, which is very nice.

It was life changing for me even though my pep takes more like 2 hours since I’m prepping meals for 11 people.

Try Five Dinners Here

Fair Warning: kitchen must be clean and groceries bought. The prep time doesn’t count shopping or cleaning the kitchen. So I usually shop and clean on Friday and then prep on Saturday.

Seriously, this method is so much quicker and fresher tasting than making freezer meals (been there, tried that). Even on the weeks that I don’t do full prep, just taking time to wash and chop all the veggies makes getting food on the table 100% easier.

Another planning and preparation method I love is Mystie Winkler’s Simplified Dinner plan.  Family meals are a big deal, and if you want to learn how to make your meal preparation and planning go more smoothly and take as little brain space as possible, then this Simplified Dinner ebook is the thing you need.

You can do this, Momma!  God gave you this baby (babies) and He will give you the Grace and energy and wisdom to accomplish this mission.

❤️ Glowworm

Recap:

1. Get your Expectations Real!

2. Read Rejoicing in Repetition

3. Check out Five Dinners in One Hour

4. Check out Simplified Dinner

 

This post contains affiliate links.  That means that if you make a purchase from one of the links in this post, I will be paid a small commission.  I only recommend products and services that I use and love.  Thank you.

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Menu for the Week of March 3

5 Mar

Today , I’m bored of typing breakfast & lunch & snacks so I’m going to stop, at least until I have time to post some good recipes for those things/time to think up some new stuff to try.  Here are my dinner ideas for this week:

Dinner Menu for the Week of March 3

Sunday: Black Bean & Bacon soup, bread & butter

Monday: Teriyaki Meatballs, brown rice, steamed green beans

Tuesday: Pork tostadas (with homemade salsa & sliced avocado)

Wednesday:  Alphabet soup and turkey sandwiches

Thursday: Angela’s Tikki Hut Chicken, fried zucchini

Friday: ?

Saturday: ?

Tip of the day:  If you get invited to dinner at my house for Friday, consider carefully.  I might come up with something amazing.  Or we might have popcorn for dinner.  50/50 chance it could be terrible.

**I just remembered that Friday night is Date night!  Yes!  Thus the dinner Friday night will be ramen noodles and or scrambled eggs because that is what Blueberry Pie can cook.  I will be away with the DH bringing our team to glory in the fundraiser Trivia Bowl that the town he works in holds every year.  Last year I was only a spectator, but this year, I got invited to be part of the team.  I’m so excited!

Menu for the Week of February 24

25 Feb

After doing such a great job having a plan for 6 weeks, I spent the last month flying by the seat of my pants.  Highlight was last week on the snow day when I made pumpkin pie for breakfast.  So good!  But enough playing.  Time to get organized and back on track!

 

Menu for Week of February 24

Sunday

Breakfast: Cheerios

Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Supper: Brownies & Milk

Monday

Breakfast: Cornmeal Muffins & butter

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

Snack: Cornmeal muffins

Dinner: Pizza

**Plus make bread & yogurt today

Tuesday

Breakfast: Cracked Wheat Mush & Honey, Apples

Lunch: Soup & bread

Snack: Strawberry yogurt

Dinner: Spaghetti, steamed broccoli, salad

**make beans overnight

Wednesday

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs & Fried Potatoes

Lunch: Spaghetti & salad

Snack: Apples

Dinner: Kale & Sausage Soup

Thursday

Breakfast: Cracked Wheat Mush, Huevos Rancheros

Lunch: Casserole

Snack: Strawberry yogurt, toast

Dinner: Bean Casserole, spinach

Friday

Breakfast: Coconut milk Cracked Wheat Mush & Bananas

Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches

Snack: Honey Raisin Cookies

Dinner: Tacos

Saturday

Breakfast: Eggs & Toast

Lunch: Pancakes

Dinner: Homemade Mac n Cheese with Cauliflower, Salad

**Extra snacks throughout week = green drinks

Menu for week of January 20

18 Jan

This past week, I didn’t quite follow the menu plan as outlined–sometimes life tosses in a few speed bumps.

Sunday we were invited to a friend’s house at dinner time, so Lasagna got bumped to Monday.

Then Tuesday with all that went on, I got home late and didn’t have time for the Apricot Chipotle Chicken, so I made Friday‘s Cabbage & Sausage.

Wednesday, I could tell that the kiddie pies and the DH were really tired of all that healthy mush for breakfast, so I made pancakes and buttermilk (a.k.a caramel a.k.a. liquid gold) syrup.  They gobbled it down like starving pigs.  So you’ll notice that this next week, I’ve planned in some breaks from the mush.

Thursday we had a friend over and though I had planned on making Shredded Pork Sandwiches, it was a new recipe and I don’t like to experiment on guests, especially when I’m not confident about the recipe’s source.  (Even Rachel Ray has let me down before, but only once–I still love you Rachel.)  So we had Caribbean Pork Tacos/Soft Tacos which was way better and included the Man of the House’s fresh salsa. So tasty!  (and there’s lots of leftovers–even better! Hello, Sunday Lunch!)

Now my brother has talked us into  schlepping up to St. Louis for the weekend (he need’s our van’s horsepower to pull a trailer.)  We’ll fit in a trip to the temple and take the kids to the zoo as well.  Awesome!  But it means I won’t be cooking on Saturday.  Awesome!

The nice thing about planning the menu & buying the groceries ahead is that I have the ingredients I need to improvise something that will work even on days that don’t go as planned.

Menu for Week of January 20

Sunday

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Toast & Scrambled Eggs

Lunch:  Caribbean Pork Tacos

Dinner: Cinnamon Rolls and Alphabet Soup

Monday

Breakfast: CrockPot Pumpkin Custard Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Alphabet Soup

Snack:  Cinnamon Rolls

Dinner: Chicken Divan

Tuesday

Breakfast: CrockPot Apricot Ginger Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Snack: Oven Fries (or Finger Potatoes as my mother called them)

Dinner: Beef Stew

Wednesday

Breakfast: Pancakes & Fried Eggs

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Snack: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Dinner: Hawaiian Haystacks

Thursday

Breakfast: Strawberry Yogurt & Whole Wheat Toast

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Snack: Celery, Peanut Butter, & Raisins

Dinner:  Pizza

Friday

Breakfast: CrockPot Banana & Coconut Milk Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Leftover pizza

Snack: Banana Milkshakes

Dinner: Bean Salad

Saturday

Breakfast: SnickerDoodle Muffins

Lunch: Pasta Salad

Dinner: Gyosa Soup

Menu for Week of January 13

9 Jan

I’m a day behind on my menu for last week (having not taken into account that we would be skipping a couple meals on Sunday.)  So I’ve taken the taco soup out of this week and moved it to next week.

Menu for Week of January 13

Sunday

                  Breakfast: Muffins

Lunch:  Taco Soup

Dinner: Lazagne

Monday

                  Breakfast: CrockPot Eggnog Cranberry Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches or Leftovers

Dinner: Bean Casserole

Tuesday

                  Breakfast: CrockPot Apple Cinnamon Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Dinner: Apricot Chipotle Chicken

Wednesday

                  Breakfast: Crock Pot Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Dinner: Vegetable barley soup

Thursday

                  Breakfast: Apricot Ginger Refrigerator Oatmeal

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Dinner:  Shredded pork sandwiches

Friday

                  Breakfast: CrockPot Banana & Coconut Milk Cracked Wheat Mush

Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Dinner: Cabbage & summer sausage & onions over rice

Saturday

                  Breakfast: “German” Oven Pancake

Lunch: Pasta Salad

Dinner: Chiles Rellenos

On the Menu this Week

5 Jan

I made a schedule.  It is the mother of all schedules.  It is a plan.

If I follow the plan, all my wildest dreams will come true.

My new year’s resolution is to follow the schecule, follow the plan.

Part of the plan is to have biweekly menu plans and only shop twice a month for groceries.  This will save me time for sure and probably money, as well.

Here is this coming week’s plan:

Menu for Week of January 6
Sunday
                  Breakfast: Oven Peaches and Cream French Toast
                  Lunch:  Tomato Soup & Melted Cheese Sandwiches
                  Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie
Monday
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Eggnog Cranberry Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Puerco Adobo, Brown Rice, & Cole Slaw
Tuesday
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Apple Cinnamon Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Taco Soup, Bread & Butter
Wednesday
                  Breakfast: Crock Pot Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Freezer Raviolli, Alfredo Sauce, Steamed Broccoli
Thursday
                  Breakfast: Apricot Ginger Refrigerator Oatmeal
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Green Salad & Ranch Dressing
Friday
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Banana & Coconut Milk Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Quinoa Broccoli Casserole, Garlic Bread
Saturday
                  Breakfast: Applesauce Muffins
                  Lunch: Pasta Salad
                  Dinner: Garlic-Lime Chicken & Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

You’ll notice that Sunday-Friday breakfasts are actually made the night before.  The crockpot mush recipes are actually steel-cut oat recipes from Monica at The Yummy Life.  I’m trying them with cracked wheat.  I think they’ll work just fine.  Lunches are simple.  So that the Man-of-the-House can take leftovers to work for his lunch, Sunday-Thursday dinners are ones that reheat well.   If for some reason there are no leftovers, He’ll get salad with cooked chicken added.

I do serve an afterschool snack to my kids each day, which will be
veggies & dip, strawberry yogurt, popcorn, oatmeal cookies & milk,  green smoothies, things like that.

At the beginning of every week I make a big green salad and a fruit salad and we eat those with dinner each night.

I subscribed to the Grocery Shrink’s Weekly Menu Mailer for about four months, and the biggest thing I learned was to plan food for every meal.  Previously, I have only planned dinners and bought the groceries for that plus eggs & milk.  I never had enough food in the house and my plans never worked.  I learned from Angela to plan lunches and snacks (especially on the weekend when everyone is home all day.)