Feeding my Family until Thanksgiving

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Turkey day 2015 is 11 days away— YAY!! But we still need to eat between now and then- and since I have failed miserably in the cooking and grocery shopping department lately (meaning we have eaten out gobs and gobs the last month or so) I have to return to my good ole reliable fixer of the budget- MEAL PLANNING.

Below are 10 meals in no particular order that I hope to make between now and Thanksgiving- I am posting this here for all my friends that miss my weekly meal plan posts. Maybe you need someone else to just figure out the answer to “what’s for dinner” for a little bit- well here is my gift for your ūüėČ

Enjoy!

Meal Plan to Thanksgiving (and a bonus meal for what to do with left over turkey_

1РCheesy Green Chile Potato chowder with bread from the bread maker
 
2РPesto Chicken with sauteed or baked squash and Italian noodles
3Р Sloppy Joes with fries and mac n cheese
4–¬†Cafe Rio Pork tacos and spanish rice (crock pot)

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/05/my-favorite-cafe-rio-copycat-recipes.html

5–¬†Pumpkin Stuffed Shells and garlic bread
6– Cream Cheese Red Sauce Enchiladas and taquitos
7– Chicken Alfredo Biscuit bake
8– Crock pot CHicken Parm over noodles with bread sticks
9Р Slow cooker Beef and Broccoli with egg rolls
10–¬†Thai Peanut chicken and Asian noodles
***Knock Knock-
Who’s there?
A BONUS!!
What to do with the left over turkey:
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Our first Blue Apron!!

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Our friend Kim has been getting Blue Apron deliveries for awhile now and had a free week to give away so we decided to go ahead and try it out for ourselves. ¬†So upfront it should be know that this week’s delivery was free to us. ¬†We do intend to try it out at our own cost for a few weeks to give it a go for an extended period of time and see how well it fits our family. If you do not know what Blue Apron is- just check out the link- its basically delivery of fresh ingredients for unique seasonal recipes. ¬†It is a subscription box service and for our family only the second of such services we participate in (the other being the Dollar Shave club where we have razor refill blades mailed to us every month) Also- I am posting this prior to even cooking anything in it because I am so excited to share–I will update with a review once I get back from DC later this month and link it here.

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The free trial she had we were given the option to choose either 3 meals for 2 people or 2 meals for a family of 4. Since it is our first go at it and since I am prepping to go out of town I decided to try the 2 meal option and we will figure out dinner for the boys on these nights separately.  It is delivered in a refrigerated box so the ingredients are packed as close to shipping as they can to guarantee freshness.

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It came in a neat cooler bag with cold packs. Everything pre-portioned, which makes us feel like tv chefs that have our own minions doing prep for us!! I freaking LOVE this!!

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¬†I also think that this will help Jason with preparing dinners more often as I recover from my knee injury– he loves to cook and I think the prep is what always sends both of us into “let’s just grab take out” mode on those more exhausting days. ¬†I think this may prevent that some! Not to mention the portion control factor that I think is going to really benefit the Fit Family Fun goals we have been focusing on this year.

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When I signed up I selected to not have any meals with lamb (personal preference), Seafood or shellfish (allergy) or mushrooms (anaphalactic allergy) so that does create some challenges when the protein meals are seafood or mushroom related- which kind of happened this first week- we do not have any “meat” meals because they were either seafood or mushroom heavy. ¬†However, we are still super excited to try out some stuff we likely would never have tried before because it would have been too costly to go buy the individual “odd” ingredients (spices and extras come labeled as “knickknacks”) or because it “sounds too fancy or weird.

This week we will get to try:

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All of which we are really looking forward to. Like I said- I am leaving for a trip to DC this Thursday so these meals will help me to not have to grocery shop prior to my trip except for a few smaller things for the boys.  Jason will get the next delivery on Saturday while I am gone and him and Connor can try some of those delicious looking dinners out- (I am jealous- next week there is steak, turkey meatballs and spaetzel- so hopefully they save at least one meal for me to try out of that when I get home late Monday night)  So I will post a review of the meals and cooking process when I get the chance after I return.

So excited!  Thanks Kim and Blue apron!!

Anyone else try it out? What are your thoughts on it?

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Meal Plan- Beginning of November

Had a couple of home runs when I made a few snacks for Small group– I didn’t blog those on the meal plan because they were impromptu but I think they both made their way into the “When entertaining” list for good after the reactions I got from them
People were just falling over themselves to eat these Rotel Cups and they were SUPER easy and affordable but look more like a fancy hors d’oeuvre and I also made this yummy and again super easy caramel apple dip for both small group and our Halloween driveway party.
Here is the plan for roughly November 3rd-17thish ūüôā
Monday
 
Jambalya and garlic bread
 
Tuesday
 
Baked Ziti
 
Wednesday
 
Warm Curried Asian Chicken Salad
 
boys get raviolis or their choice for dinner since they are not fans of this.
 
Thursday
Mexican Meat with tortillas, beans and spanish rice (freezer stash)
 
Friday
 
Pesto Chicken with sauteed or baked squash and Italian noodles
 
Saturday
 
Crock pot Chicken Noodle Soup and fresh bread from bread maker
 
 
Sunday
 
Mississippi Roast taters and green beans
 
Monday
 
Sour Cream Chicken Enchilladas and spanish Rice
 
 
Tuesday
 
Skillet Lasagna with garlic toast
 
Wednesday
 
Deli Sammie buffet for Jason’s birthday
 
Thursday
 
Fajita night!!
 
Friday
 
Sloppy Joes and fries and Fruit
 
Saturday
 
Grilled Chicken Fettucini Alfredo
 
Sunday
 
Cheesy Green Chile Potato chowder with bread from the bread maker
 
 
Monday
 
Island Pork tenderloin
See hundreds of other Meal Plans at OrgJunkie’s Meal Plan Monday
MPM-Fall

End of October Meal Plan

Akkk I have gotten busy and not been posting my meal plans. ¬†Since we are so busy the last 2 weeks of October I decided to go ahead and bust out a meal plan that covers us through the end of the month and a few days into NOVEMBER– did I really just type that?? I am planning meals in NOVEMBER already? How has this year already flown by so quickly? Anyways this will allow me to just quickly click links to add to my grocery shopping lists as needed so thats one task down at least ūüôā
I need to go pull the banana bread out of the oven so without further delay—here is our meal plan everyone say YAY!
Monday
 
 

Tuesday

 
Chicken White Bean Chili for Parent Council social (frozen pizzas for guys)
 
 
Wednesday
 
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta and garlic bread 
 
 
 
Thursday
 
 
 
Friday
Date night OUT ūüôā boys at sleepver
 
Saturday
 
LINNER before going to Paz De Cristo to serve (Outreach weekend for Sun valley)
Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice and pot stickers
 
 
Sunday
 

CrockPot Chili Verde Con Carne on flour torillas maybe some esquites with it as well

 
Monday
 
Chile Parm Chicken with noodles and green beans
 
 
Tuesday
 
Warm Curried Asian Chicken Salad
 
boys get raviolis or their choice for dinner since they are not fans of this.
 
Wednesday
 
Sour Cream Chicken Enchilladas and spanish Rice
 
 
Thursday
 
Good Old fashioned Spaghetti and garlic bread (Jason gone volunteering at Crowder Concert)
 
Friday
HALLOWEEN PARTY!!
Burgers on the grill 
mummy dogs (as requested)
and a few halloween treats TBD
 
potluck so whatever others also bring to share ūüôā
 
Saturday
 
Eating out–we will be helping seester move and have book club so its a busy day etc.
 
Sunday
 
Cheesy Green Chile Potato chowder with bread from the bread maker
 
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Weekend catch up and meal plan

BugRepellant

We did some yard work after the rains this weekend and were just attacked by bug bites-I wish we had thought of this before getting eaten alive- Now we know- mixing up a batch to try before we go out on a walk or anywhere outside again.

Good news is that a little bit of peppermint oil and homemade thieves spray took the itch away quickly for us!

Before the downpour on Saturday afternoon we were able to enjoy a lovely Arizona Fall day and headed down to Desert Horizon nursery to look for a few new plants for the front yard planter. ¬†They also have a farmers market there that actually sells produce– imagine that (unlike the “farmers markets” that are just mini boutiques with home based business product booths that hardly has any produce at all- I am speaking to you Gilbert Farmers market. We were immediately greeted and could tell right away that the family owned business was filled with pride– I love that little nursery and will be back often! We decided on a ¬†few lantana shurbs in orange and red:

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After that we were famished so headed to In and Out burger to fuel up.  For some reason we were all giddy and goofy and just plain happy.

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It was great since little did we know the stresses that would hit us later in the day when the rains came.

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I love the rain— L.O.V.E. everything about rain….

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….except that it wrecks havoc on properties when it rains the way it has been raining here in AZ recently. ¬†When your job is to “manage properties” havoc wrecking is not good. Not Good at all. ¬†Praise God we only had one of the 4 sub-ground level apartment units in your portfolio experience any issues this time around.

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Issues that Jason was able to keep minimal by going on site himself since the tenants were out of town to bail out water and get remediation happening quickly. He likely saved that owner several thousands of dollars by being proactive and not just waiting until the tenant was home and could let us know if there was any damage.

All in a days work right?

Anyways- in all of that- it was great to be prepared and have dinners planned and shopped for so at least one area of stress was lower than normal.

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Here is this weeks meal plan:

Monday

Onion Chicken noodles and green beans (tried and true recipe)

http://www.frenchs.com/recipe/frenchs-crunchy-onion-chicken-RE1309

Tuesday
Sloppy Joes, fries and fruit (tried and true recipe)
Wednesday
Picnic at the Concert (food trucks?)
Thursday
Mongolian Beef and white rice with some asian side yet to be determined (new to me recipe)
Friday
Roasted Veggie Mac N Cheese with break sticks
Saturday
 
Pork tenderloin with chimichurri, baked potato and grilled asparagus
Sunday
Tortellini Soup with garlic toast

Meal Plan 9/22/2014

Perhaps if I start using my crock pot we can trick the weather into not heating back up and instead plummeting back down into “Autumn” like temps ūüôā After all it is now officially “Fall” so we should usher it in with some good ole comfort food even if the desert still wants to flirt with 100 degrees.

On a side note we got a Foodsaver and Jason had tons of fun playing with that today ūüôā Hopefully it will help our grocery budget and our horrendous food waste problem. Here is to hoping!

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With out further ado- here is what we will eat- maybe not in this particular order but at least the jist

Monday

Beef Stew with corn bread (new to me recipe thought I would try something else out)
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-beef-stew-i/

Tuesday

Peanut Chicken and teriyaki noodles with egg rolls
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/20-minute-thai-peanut-chicken/8b265af7-f749-4b31-b996-6ac5736715c9?sc=20+Minutes,+20+Meals

Wednesday

Pizza Night

Soak beans for crock pot next day

Thursday

Bean burritos and taquitos with spanish rice
http://penniesandpancakes.blogspot.com/2012/09/crockpot-refried-beans-019-per-cup.html#.VB-tXPldWSr

Friday

Chicken Stuffed shells with garlic toast
https://gerouxcrew.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/chicken-stuffed-shells/

Saturday

Mississippi Roast, mashed taters and green beans
http://bergecentral.blogspot.com/2011/01/mississippi-roast.html

crock pot taters- http://www.kitchentreaty.com/unbelievably-easy-crock-pot-garlic-mashed-potatoes/

Sunday

Brinner

On the Weekends, We Linner

Typically on Saturday and Sunday we only eat twice. Some sort of breakfast midmorning (since we sleep in at least past 8am) and then a bigger meal around 3pm.  We call it linner (lunch and dinner) and it works for us.

Today’s linner was steak.

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We. are. Stuffed.

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I marinated these two huge ribeyes in a mixture of 1/4 cup each of balsamic vinegar,  soy sauce, Worcester sauce and 1 tsp of minced garlic, 2 tsp of dijon mustard and salt and pepper.

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They soaked in that goodness until about 2:30 while we did some household chores.

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Then Jas grilled them up real nice.

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When he grills I “do the inside stuff” and I had made the pasta salad last night before heading to bed.

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So I threw some frozen corn, homemade taco seasoning,¬† garlic, green onions, lime juice, a dab of mayo and cotija (feta) together into some “esquites” which is a mexican street salad and also my absolute fav.¬† way to eat corn next to straight off the cob.

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Yummy!!

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So whats for linner at your place this weekend?

Meal Plan 9/12

Image courtesy of http://weddingswithinsight.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/theres-no-poutine-in-hong-kong/
Image courtesy of http://weddingswithinsight.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/theres-no-poutine-in-hong-kong/

Friday
Fajita Night

Saturday
Marinated Rib eyes with Esquites Corn and red potatoes
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Steak-Marinade/Detail.aspx

Esquites (Mexican corn salad)
corn, green onions, taco seasoning, lime, mayo, cotija

Red potatoes
http://www.marthastewart.com/332662/roasted-red-potatoes?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/produce-potato-recipes

Sunday

Crockpot BBQ chicken hoagies
http://www.poofycheeks.com/2014/01/4-ingredient-crock-pot-bbq-chicken.html

pasta salad

peaches

Monday
Cheesey Kielbasa Bake and garlic bread
https://gerouxcrew.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/cheesy-kielbasa-bake/

Tuesday

Hamburger Steaks and Gravy with green beans and grands
http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/08/hamburger-steaks-and-gravy.html?m=1

Wednesday

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole-cooking-with-paula-deen-magazine-453980

Meal Plan Wednesday

I have been on some what of a roll with meal planning again- and since we are trying to work the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program I have to be intentional about my grocery budget anyways- which means I really have to meal plan. Summer is always much easier for me to blog my meals plans because I love the veggies and fruits that are available which give us such a variety of side dishes to have. Historically looking at my blog you can see I do better at blogging my meal planning this time of year and then taper off and quit blogging it come holiday time- I still meal plan I just don’t always blog it…anyways- Meal plan blogs will be back for now.

What I hope to see evolving in my meal plans are:

Improved planning that includes lunches or at least leftovers that can feed Jason AND myself for lunch the next day

Improved consistency- even if it means we are eating the same stuff each week at least I am planning it out.

Improved use of planning to the sales- I really have no pantry space and I want to be efficient with the staples I have in there –and while we have a deep freezer- we routinely are tossing freezer burned meat that is 6 months old and was at the bottom and forgotten under the big box of eggos and the bag of potstickers. I really prefer meat that is fresh or only frozen for a week or 2 at most anyways–So I need to do better at not grabbing a butt load of meat cause ITS ON SALE and we HAVE A FREEZER—that said I need to do better at portioning it out —we got lazy and were throwing the full trays of meat directly into the freezer….which means I have to thaw 9 chicken breasts and we eat chicken all week…so I need to do better at those things.

Right now planning and shopping on Wednesdays for the following Thursday- Wed seems to be working for my schedule so thats what I have been doing–that may change come summer but for now thats what it is.

Thursday

Mississippi Roast (crock pot)
http://bergecentral.blogspot.com/2011/01/mississippi-roast.html

potato and green beans

Friday

Sloppy joes
http://www.scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom.com/2011/03/healthy-sloppy-joes.html

fries and fruit

Saturday

Brunch French toast casserole and bacon and eggs
http://derosestyld.com/2013/05/23/non-soggy-overnight-french-toast-casserole/

Maybe something with mom and dad for “linner”

FUN FRIDAY NIGHT OUT– maybe a few cocktails and an appetizer at the karaoke bar after the comedy club

Sunday

Hot dogs- pasta salad and grilled zucchini

boys raviolis for dinner (fend for themselves)
J2 at Taryns wedding

Monday

Peanut chicken
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/20-minute-thai-peanut-chicken/8b265af7-f749-4b31-b996-6ac5736715c9?sc=20+Minutes,+20+Meals

Fried rice
http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/baked-sweet-and-sour-chicken-with-fried-rice/

pot stickers? (if we get to costco)

Tuesday

Copy Cat Olive Garden Five Cheese Baked Ziti Al forno and garlic bread
http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2013/10/copy-cat-recipe-olive-garden-five-cheese-ziti-al-forno-2/

Wednesday

Jas and Connor at science camp
Mom and Ty Red Baron Pizzas

ūüôā

Last weeks hits:

Laloosh’s Asian Meatballs are a big winner here- boys even gobble them up
http://www.laaloosh.com/2013/05/27/asian-meatballs-recipe/
I follow the recipe except I use 2 pounds of ground turkey and it yields 35 ping pong sized meatballs which satisfies me the hubs and 2 teen boys which served with a little jasmine rice- everyone is usually hankering for a snack after this one though so I may try adding in egg rolls or pot stickers next time to stretch it

We LOVE Herbed Basmati rice or what we call “wife rice” cause that’s what our friends who gave us the recipe call it.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/herbed-basmati-rice-10000001654642/ I cheated and used 2 of the 90 second Uncle Bens basmati rice packets in the microwave rather then cooking regular basmati in chicken broth and this totally was still really good –the fresh herbs and the cheese and pine nuts just really make this so yummy.

See hundreads of other Meal PLans at OrgJunkie’s Meal PLan Monday- here http://orgjunkie.com/2014/04/menu-plan-monday-april-2814.html