What’s Cooking? – A Weekly Meal Plan {Week 5}

What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

Here’s another edition of What’s Cooking?, a weekly meal plan providing you some dinner inspiration.  Meal planning is an essential organization tool for me, and ensures that I get dinner on the table each night.  I try to find new-to-me recipes that are quick and easy.  Hopefully, you will get some ideas for your dinner this week, based on the pictures and reviews of what I made this week!

Monday – I made Spanish Beef Stew from Every Day with Rachael Ray.  This is one of those “Make This, Then Make This” type recipes.  Of course, I didn’t read the recipe through and when I went to make it at 5 PM, noticed that it has a 2 hour cook time.  There was no way we were eating after 7 PM, so the Instant Pot to the rescue.  I put everything in the Instant Pot and then cooked it on the stew setting for 35 minutes.  It took a little bit of time to prep and then have the Instant Pot get to heat.  But it was a lot less than 2 hours!  Unfortunately, we thought the stew lacked flavor and we weren’t big fans of it.  I served the stew over white rice, instead of with the yellow rice that the recipe suggested.

Tuesday – I made Beef & Pepper Jack Enchiladas from Every Day with Rachael Ray, as the second recipe of the “Make This, Then Make This.”  I used the leftover beef stew and turned them into enchiladas.  I put the leftover white rice into the tortilla along with some shredded cheese.  However, I didn’t use pepper jack.  I used taco mix cheese and cheddar jack.  The enchiladas weren’t bad and were different than the usualones we eat.  I served these with yellow rice and veggies.

Wednesday – My husband and I went to his company awards dinner, so no cooking for me.  We made the kids chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.

Thursday – My husband made Ricotta Naan with Fried Eggs and Sweet Potato Fries from Half Baked Harvest.  The sweet potato fries took some time to cook (about 40 minutes).  But otherwise, there was relatively little cooking, just making the ricotta mixture and frying the eggs.  This was a tasty vegetarian meal that was easy to put together.

Friday – We made our usual homemade cheese pizza.  Quick, easy and tasty!

What are you having for dinner this week?

What’s Cooking? #4 {A Weeky Meal Plan}

What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

Here’s another edition of What’s Cooking?, a weekly meal plan providing you some dinner inspiration.  Meal planning is an essential organization tool, ensuring that I get dinner on the table each night.  I try to find new-to-me recipes that are quick and easy.  Hopefully, you will get some ideas for your dinner this week, based on the pictures and reviews of what I made this week!

Monday – I made Easy Beef Picadillo from Savory Tooth.  This was easy to make and was really tasty!  I had never made, or even eaten, beef picadillo before, but this was good!  The kids really liked it as well, minus the green olives.  I served it with rice and veggies.

Tuesday – I made Leek-y Chicken and Couscous from Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals.  I’ve made this dish before and we enjoyed it.  Since it’s quick, easy I decided to put it on rotation again….a couple of years later!

Wednesday – I made Philly Cheese Steak Burgers from Dinner Then Dessert.  I omitted the rib eye steak from the recipe.  I thought that with the beef patty was a bit much.  I discovered that you need a heartier roll than a regular hamburger roll.  Ours got a bit soggy and was difficult to hold the burger with the onions and peppers. After making this, I realized that I’ve made a burger like this before, just not this particular recipe.  In my opinion, the burger needs more seasoning than just salt and pepper.  Burgers tend to be a fairly quick and easy meal.  They’re even quicker when the burgers are pre-made the night before and just need to be cooked.  I served these burgers with fries.

 Thursday – I made 15-minute Sesame Ramen Noodles from How Sweet Eats.  This is one of the quickest meals I’ve made and it’s tasty!  I used four packages of ramen noodles for the four of us and there were no leftovers.  I could have probably used one or two more packages of ramen, since there were hardly any noodles left for seconds.  I served this with edamame.

Friday – We had a ton of fries left over from Wednesday’s burger night.  My husband decided to make Nacho Fries for dinner.  Unfortunately,  they weren’t that great.  It was a great idea, but I guess poorly executed.  He add shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, chopped tomato and sour cream.

What are you having for dinner this week?

What’s Cooking? {Week 3}

What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

Check out this week’s edition of What’s Cooking? for some dinner inspiration.  Meal planning is an essential organization tool, ensuring that I get dinner on the table each night.  I try to find new-to-me recipes that are quick and easy.  Hopefully, you will get some ideas for your dinner this week, based on the pictures and reviews of what I made this week!

Monday –  Have I mentioned how my son hates leftovers?  Well, we had a lot of leftover ham from Easter.  I froze a bunch of it. But, I saved enough to make a couple of recipes with it so we weren’t eating straight up leftover ham.  Monday I made Instant Pot Ham & Broccoli Mac and Cheese.  I will be posting a recipe soon for this!  Super quick and easy and enjoyed by the family.  I LOVE using our Instant Pot!

Tuesday –  I made Instant Pot Butter Chicken from Damn Delicious.   Technically, butter chicken is not the same as chicken tikka masala.  However, it tastes very similar.  This is another easy Instant Pot recipe.  However, I find when cooking in the Instant Pot, it is essential to have all of your ingredients prepped and nearby, including spices, etc.  I served this butter chicken with Basmati rice, string beans and naan. The naan is super useful in mopping up all the sauce.   This was another dish that was enjoyed by us all.

Wednesday – I made Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Joy Food Sunshine.  They are allegedly better than P.F. Chang’s, but I’ve never had the original, so don’t have anything to compare it to.  These were really easy to make and super tasty.  The sauce was especially delicious! I served the wraps with edamame.  I wasn’t sure that they’d be filling enough so I had my husband walk over to the local Chinese take-out restaurant and pick us up some egg rolls to go with it.

Thursday – I made ham and pineapple fried rice to use up the leftover ham I had saved.  I don’t have a recipe for this, since it changes with what I have on hand. I used diced onion and red pepper, soy sauce, egg and diced, canned pineapple.  I also added the leftover edamame from the previous night’s dinner.  Fried rice is always a family-approved dinner and it’s so easy to make.

Friday – My husband stopped at HMart on the way home from work since we needed a restock on rice, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc.  He also picked up some bulgogi and pork belly for us to cook.  I was a bit disappointed with the marinated bulgogi and thought it lacked flavor.  However, the pork belly was delicious as usual.  We had this with rice and kimchi (or at least I had the kimchi, which was super spicy!).

What is on your dinner menu this week?

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What’s Cooking? {Week 2}

What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

Do you have your dinners planned for the week?  If not, hopefully you can get some inspiration from this week’s edition of What’s Cooking?  Since I’ve been back to work full-time, my goal is to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible.  As you can see from this week’s meal plan, sometimes it means a mix of already prepared foods and dinners from scratch.  You can read more about our meal planning process if you’d like to see how I create my weekly meal plan.

Monday – I adapted this Lamb, Feta & Couscous Stuffed Peppers recipe from Rachael Ray Every Day, September 2014.  I couldn’t find ground lamb at the grocery store so used meatloaf mix instead.  This turned out to be pretty tasty!  I enjoyed getting extra veggies in with the chopped zucchini.  I served this with some veggies.

Tuesday – I made Pierogies.  Not the homemade kind, the frozen, Mrs. T’s Pierogies kind.  I boiled them first and then sauteed in a pan with butter.  I served the pierogies with sauteed onions and a salad.  I hadn’t made pierogies in awhile but will be making them more often.  I made two boxes of the loaded baked potato variety. Both kids had seconds and I had to cut them off so there would be enough for my husband to eat when he got home!  Next time, I will have to make three boxes!  I served these with veggies.

Wednesday – I made One Skillet Chicken Parm from I Wash You Dry.    I liked that the chicken is not fried and that everything is cooked in one skillet. I ended up cooking cheese tortellini instead of pasta and I served it with a Caesar salad.

Thursday – I made Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce.  My husband bought Ortega Blue Corn taco shells and this recipe was on the back.  I used a chicken taco seasoning packet.  For the creamy cilantro sauce I used mango salsa, which gave the sauce a nice sweetness.  The sauce really made the tacos and was delicious.  (Sorry, the pic isn’t great!).   I served this with some salad.

Friday – My husband made regular cheese pizza.  Always a hit and so quick and easy to make using store bought dough.

What is on your dinner menu this week?

What’s Cooking? {A Weekly Meal Plan – Week 1}

What's Cooking {A Weekly Meal Plan Week 1}

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Back in October I stopped posting a weekly meal plan on the blog.  However, since I started working full-time I’ve realized what a useful resource this can be.  Although I occasionally post recipes here on the blog, I don’t consider myself a food and recipe blogger.  So, I’ve decided to bring back a weekly meal plan, called “What’s Cooking?”  Expect a Monday through Friday meal plan where you find mostly new-to-me recipes that I’ve cooked along with photos and my family’s reviews.  I’m hoping that this weekly meal plan will help you find new recipes to add to your dinner rotation! If you are interested, you can read all about my meal planning process!

MONDAY– I made Apple-Cheddar Turkey Burgers from Everyday with Rachael Ray, December, 2011.  This is actually a recipe that I have made before.  I used regular-sized english-muffins and only a little over a pound of ground turkey.  I ended up with five smaller-sized burgers.  My son doesn’t like whole-berry cranberry sauce, so I bought a can of regular cranberry sauce.  I think the flavor of the burgers depends on the grill and poultry season you use.  I used this poultry seasoning and a dash of Old Bay and  I served the burgers with seasoned curly fries.

TUESDAY – I made Corned Beef and Hash with the leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day.  I didn’t use a recipe.  I sauteed an onion in some oil in our cast iron skillet.  Then I added some peeled, diced potatoes and cooked for about 20 minutes, flipping them a couple of times.  Once the potatoes were cooked and browned, I added the diced corned beef.  I heated through for a couple of minutes and then topped with some fried eggs.  This was a quick and easy dinner.  It used up leftovers and the kids loved it.

WEDNESDAY – I made Egg Roll in a Bowl from my own blog.  I make this once every couple of months but should make it more often.  It’s so quick and easy and it’s really tasty!  I serve it over rice, but you can eat it as-is for a low-carb meal.

THURSDAY – I made Sausage, Egg, Cheese and Croissant Bake from Diary of a Recipe Collector.  This recipe takes an hour to cook, so not a quick recipe.  However, it can be prepared the night before.  I actually made this on a snow day, when we were all home, so I prepped it in the morning.  It was nice not having any dinner prep later in the day and just had to stick this in the oven.  This wasn’t bad, as far as breakfast casseroles go.  My husband even mentioned this dish as a possible Christmas morning breakfast.

FRIDAY – My husband and I had dinner plans with our Supper Club and my daughter was eating with her troop at a Girl Scout event.  It was just my son who needed to eat dinner and he wanted grilled cheese and ramen.  Yes, we made him the store-bought, super-cheap ramen packets.  We always put in half the seasoning packet to cut down on sodium. They are just so quick and easy!  While I don’t have a picture of his dinner, here’s a picture of the duck fat seared octopus I had as a starter at our dinner out!

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A Peek Inside our Meal Planning Process

 

Check out how I make our family's weekly meal plan.

Meal planning is crucial in making our family dinner time run smoothly.  It also helps keep our grocery bill within a reasonable range each week.  There are many ways to meal plan and there is no one tried and true method.  You honestly have to figure out and do what works best for your family.  I am showing you how I create our weekly meal plan which will hopefully give you some tips and inspiration. IMG_1090[1] 1.  The Calendar:  You can find fancy, online printables if that will help motivate you.  In our house we don’t go the fancy route.  As seen above, I use the back of a piece of scrap paper and set up a monthly calendar.  I plan our menus weekly and write the meals in pencil, so I can erase and move things around if needed.

2.  The Day:  The grocery circular for Shoprite, where we do most of our shopping, comes on Saturday with our newspaper.  Over the weekend I write out the menu and make the grocery list.  Then I do the actual shopping Monday.

3.  Time:  I’m not going to lie.  Meal planning takes time.  Especially in the beginning if you have never done it before.  Even now, it sometimes takes me about an hour, but that’s because I enjoy it.  I rarely, if ever make the same recipe twice.  So, it can take me awhile to go through all of my recipe resources (see below) and pick out the new recipes I want to make for the week.  Once you’ve been meal planning for a little bit and have found some recipes that your family enjoys, you can repeat them throughout the month.

4.  Resources:  So, where do you find recipes?  Well, you can start here on my blog, at the recipe index!  Really though, there are so many food blogs out there, ranging from family focused, quick and easy meals, to more involved recipe blogs.  It can actually be quite overwhelming!  I subscribe to several food blogs and get new posts e-mailed to me.  Here are a few blogs that I use often and recommend:

Closet Cooking – Some of the recipes can be a little more involved but Kevin posts recipes for dishes with a variety of flavors and different cuisines.

Damn Delicious  – For quick and easy, family-friendly dishes.

Melanie Makes – For more quick and easy, family-friendly dishes.

Half Baked Harvest and How Sweet Eats are both great blogs with consistently good recipes.  I’ve rarely made a recipe from these blogs that wasn’t delicious.  However, some of these recipes can be a bit involved or require a bunch of ingredients.

Try cooking recipes from several different blogs.  You will eventually find you like certain bloggers’ recipe choices, presentation, photographs, etc. over others.  You don’t need to subscribe to all of them! I have two folders in my web browser favorites.  One is titled “Recipes” and anytime I see a recipe I want to make I bookmark it there.  If I decide to make the recipe, I bookmark it in the “Cooking This Week” folder, so it’s easier to find when needed.

I also subscribe to Cooking Light and Every Day with Rachael Ray and highly recommend both magazines.  Instead of keeping piles of magazines lying around, I rip out the recipes that interest me and stick them in a folder.

For beginner cooks I highly recommend the website Allrecipes.com.  You can search for recipes by a number of different factors, including ingredients or name.  I’ve found most recipes that I’ve used from the site easy to make.  It’s especially helpful since there are tons of ratings and reviews.  If a recipe has lots of five star ratings, it’s probably going to be good.

Several bloggers post a “Meal Plan Monday” where they share their upcoming weekly menu, often with links to the recipes that they are making.  While you probably won’t follow a blogger’s exact weekly meal plan, it can be helpful for inspiration.  I recently stopped posting my weekly meal plan, but you can find over 85 of my past weekly meal plans for some ideas!

Here are some blogs that I’ve found that share a weekly “Meal Plan” post:

I’m an Organizing Junkie – Not only does Laura provide her weekly menu plan, she also hosts a link-up where other bloggers can link up their weekly menu plan.  Check this blog out for loads of inspiration!

Skinnytaste – for some lighter, healthier meals.

And let’s not forget about Pinterest.  There are millions of recipes posted on that site.  Start creating boards of recipes that you see that interest you and you can refer to your board for inspiration when meal planning!

I’ve found that as much as I enjoy reading cookbooks, I don’t use them very often, since most recipes can easily be found online.  I do have several older editions of the Cooking Light Annual Recipe collection cookbooks.  They have the whole year of recipes from the magazine bound nicely into one book.

Again, the recipes you choose will really depend on your family’s food and dietary preferences.

5.  The Planning:  If you are new to meal planning, it might be easier to start with some recipes that you know your family eats and enjoys and maybe aim for one new recipe a week.  I recommend you use your grocery store circular to start your planning.  If chicken is on sale this week, I recommend making at least one chicken dish and buying some extra chicken that you can freeze for the future.  Some people prefer to have a themed dinner for each day, like Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday.  This helps in keeping a consistency to meal planning.  My meal plan varies from week to week.  I try to have a meatless meal, a chicken dish a pasta dish, a burger/sandwich, etc.  Other weeks I sometimes plan by cuisine.  I will plan to have a Mexican-themed dish, an Asian-themed, breakfast for dinner, pizza, etc.  Sometimes, if I find a bunch of interesting chicken dishes at one time, I will pre-plan and space them out throughout my monthly calendar.  Once I find a recipe that I decide I’m going to make, I write it in pencil on the calendar, along with the name of the source (blog name, magazine, website).  Although I will have my five recipes for the week written in, I won’t necessarily make them in that order.  When we eat each meal depends on factors like which dishes have produce that may spoil or how busy our schedules are.  I will then write in each box, what day I actually plan on making that dish.

6.  Grocery List:  I then take my grocery list and go through the recipes I plan on making for the week.   I write down the ingredients that I need for each recipe on the grocery list.  I circle the recipe on the calendar to know that I made sure I had everything I needed for that recipe.  Like I mentioned previously, I will stock up on proteins, chicken, ground beef, pork chops, etc. when they are on sale so I have them for the future.  I recommend stocking up on other staples when they are on sale as well.  There’s nothing like having to buy something at full price for a recipe, when it was on sale last week!  Pasta, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, etc. are all items that you will probably use a lot of.

I hope this helps give you a better idea on how to meal plan, if this is new to you!  Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or e-mail me.  I’d love to hear how others meal plan and am always looking for tips on how to make the process easier!

 

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Weekly Meal Plan {Week 89}

2017 calendar

Monday, Monday, back so quickly!  Time to start another week and another weekly meal plan. If you’re new to meal planning, you can read all about my meal planning process.  This is the last week of my weekly meal plan posts. You can still see my more photogenic dinners (and other tasty eats) by following me on Instagram.  Plus, there are 88 other weekly meal plans that you can check out on the blog! I look forward to posting a wider variety of food and restaurant related posts.

Saturday:  I had spent the day at my parent’s house with the kids visiting my nieces.  My husband stayed home, sick with a cold.  My mom sent me home with some homemade chicken soup which he enjoyed.  The rest of us had leftover calzones.

Sunday:  My daughter requested tacos for dinner.  My husband made ground beef tacos which he served with yellow rice.

Monday:  This week I tried another Make Once, Cook 3x recipe from Cooking Light, September 2016.  I made Sheet Pan Swedish Meatballs.  I made 42 meatballs that were then divided up into three different recipes.  I made my meatballs with just ground beef, since the grocery store didn’t have ground pork the day I went food shopping.  The meatballs weren’t super flavorful but the sauces and recipe variations helped.  I served these Swedish meatballs over mashed potatoes, as recommended, and with some veggies.

Tuesday:  Using some of the leftover meatballs from Monday, I made Greek Stuffed Pitas from Cooking Light, September 2016.  I added some sliced cucumber to the pitas.  Unfortunately, the pitas that I bought were thin. When I put all the “stuff” in them, they fell apart as soon as I picked it up.  So, we ended up eating these with a fork and knife! Cucumber yogurt sauce can make anything taste good!

Wednesday: The last recipe using the meatballs was this Banh Mi Bowl from Cooking Light, September 2016.  Quick pickling the carrots and radishes is a game changer!  I didn’t realize how easy it was to do and the flavor is amazing!  I seriously could just eat these veggies.  This was my favorite meatball dish of the three.  I think I’d make this again using a more Asian flavored meatball.

Thursday:  I made Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry from Chef Savvy.  Would you believe that I forgot to buy the broccoli for this recipe and only realized it when I was starting to cook?!!  This was a tasty sauce and it actually thickened like it was supposed to!  This is a quick, easy and tasty recipe.  I served it over rice.

Friday: Mr. NY Foodie Family went fishing Friday morning with some guys from work.  He caught eight Porgies on his fishing trip.  When he got home he fried up the fish and made us FLT (Fish, Lettuce, Tomato) sandwiches for dinner.  He served them with fries.

What is on your dinner menu this week? 

Weekly Meal Plan {Week 88}

2017 calendar

Happy Columbus Day!  It’s Monday, which means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan.  If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you. Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan.

Saturday:  We were out shopping for most of the afternoon and had a late lunch (hello Chick-fil-A!).  On the way home we stopped at Stew Leonard’s and picked up some soup to have for a light dinner.

Sunday: We were at the Baptism of my friend’s son. We ate a late lunch/dinner (linner) after the ceremony at the celebratory reception.

Monday:  I made One Pot Creamy Tomato Orzo from Lovely Little Kitchen.  I think this came out a little more liquidy than it was supposed to be, but it was tasty. Instead of heavy cream I used half-and-half, so this probably wasn’t as creamy as intended either. I enjoy one pot meals because less clean-up is always a win.  We all enjoyed this meal.

Tuesday: I made Bottom Round Roast with Onion Gravy from allrecipes.  I had high hopes for this, expecting a nice and tender roast.  I cooked this in the slow cooker as per one of the reviewers directions.  Well, my beef overcooked and my gravy didn’t thicken.  It was a bit of a disappointing meal.  I served it with some mashed potatoes and corn.

Wednesday: I made Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken from Chef Savvy.  This only cooks for about two hours, so this is not one of those recipes that you can set and let cook for the day.  There’s also a little prep work involved with cutting the chicken, coating in cornstarch and browning on both sides. I served this with rice and roasted broccoli. This is a super tasty dish that the whole family enjoyed. I would make this meal again.

Thursday:  We used the leftover beef roast from Tuesday in these burritos.  There’s no recipe for this meal.  I just cooked some rice up in the slow cooker.  Then we put the rice, chopped beef, black beans and shredded cheddar in a large tortilla.  We wrapped them up and baked them in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm up and get the tortillas a little crispy.  We had this with a garden salad.  This kind of meal is a great way to use up leftover proteins and is always a winner with the kids.

Friday:  This week there were no after-school activities.  While homemade pizza is quick and easy, we are getting kind of tired of it every week.  My husband made pepperoni calzones.  He mixed ricotta, mozzarella and the pepperoni and cooked it in some pizza dough.  He served them with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.  These were good but I thought that they were a little light on the filling.  I would have stuffed them a little bit more.

What is on your dinner menu this week?

Weekly Meal Plan {Week 87}

2017 calendar

It’s Monday again!  Which means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan. If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you. Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan.  As you will see, this week’s meal plan was unintentionally filled with pasta and meatballs.  There were carbs…..lots of carbs!  Be on the lookout though, I’m hoping to incorporate some healthier meals into our meal plans in the upcoming weeks.

Saturday:  We had fried chicken from Acme and fries.  Definitely not a healthy meal but it was quick and easy. My husband was working outside all day and my daughter and I had to head out for a Girl Scout event.  Some days, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Sunday: My daughter woke up dreaming of spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread.  Hoping we had that for breakfast, which sadly, we did not, I decided to make it for dinner.   This is one of her favorite meals and she was very happy with dinner.  I don’t have a go-to meatball recipe and just mixed some ground beef, diced onion, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, one egg, salt, pepper, some Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Monday: I was at the Culinary Institute of America for a blogging event so my husband was on dinner duty.  He made grilled cheese sandwiches with cheddar cheese and apple slices.  I got to dine on food like these fried shrimp!

Tuesday:  I made Broccoli and Bacon Chicken Alfredo Linguine from Closet Cooking.  Healthy cooking this is not!  Obviously, we all enjoyed it because…..bacon!  This was easy to make and wasn’t too time consuming.  I think cooking the bacon took the most time.

Wednesday: I made Family-Style Meatball “Fondue” from the September 2017 issue of Cooking Light.  Unfortunately, I only realized when grocery shopping Sunday afternoon that we were going to be eating meatballs twice this week.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but one of the reasons why I try to meal plan.  The Sunday evening spaghetti and meatballs dinner was a last minute decision and I had already had this dinner planned.  These meatballs were different than the ones we had Sunday since they were made with ground turkey.  Even though the recipe noted that the meatballs would be very soft, I added some bread crumbs to prevent them from totally falling apart. I found these meatballs to be lacking in flavor and probably won’t make these again.  No matter how hard I try, one veggie that I haven’t been able to get my kids to like is mushrooms.  I should have just left them out of the sauce since they picked around them. Instead of toasting a baguette I bought already made garlic bread toasts to scoop up the meatballs and sauce.  I served this with a Caesar salad.

Thursday: I went out to dinner with a friend but needed dinner for the rest of the family.  I made an “Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake” from Betty Crocker.  The recipe makes enough to serve 12, so I halved it.  Sadly, the bell pepper that I bought Sunday afternoon had gone bad sitting on my kitchen counter.  I only discovered this Thursday morning when I went to make this.  I wasn’t running out to the grocery store to pick a replacement up, so I made it without.  After putting everything into the prepared backing dish, I didn’t think that there was enough liquid covering the sausage and potato mixture so I added two more eggs. While this is relatively easy to put together, it does need 40-45 minutes to bake.  I cooked it early in the afternoon and had my husband heat pieces up for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is always a hit in our house and according to my husband, they all enjoyed this.  I got to enjoy leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

Friday:  I made our weekly pizza but added leftover turkey meatballs from Wednesday night’s dinner.

What is on your dinner menu this week?

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Weekly Meal Plan {Week 86}

2017 calendar
 Monday means that it’s time for another weekly meal plan. If you are looking for some dinner time inspiration, my weekly meal plan is the place for you. Each week I showcase what was on my previous week’s meal plan, with pictures, recipe links and my family’s review of each dish.  There are so many food blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there and I am always on the lookout for new family-friendly recipes to try.  If you are new to meal planning, read more about how I make my weekly meal plan. Since it’s officially fall, it will be getting darker sooner.   Unfortunately, I fear my dinner pictures will be negatively affected.  Just a pre-warning, that they may not be looking as light and bright as they have been!  Now on to our menu from this past week:

Saturday: It was my birthday and we went out to celebrate!  I had been wanting to go to Polpettina to try their Eggplant Chips.  We had a carb buffet with the chips, truffle parm fries, pizza and a fried eggplant, broccoli rabe and burrata sandwich.  Everything was delicious!

Sunday: After a day of eating in the city we weren’t too hungry at dinner time.  My parents had given us some veggies from their garden so my husband made a ratatouille sauce of sorts with tomatoes, eggplant and squash. Fresh garden tomatoes always make any sauce taste extra delicious! He served the sauce over spaghetti. As per his usual cooking style, there’s no recipe.

Monday: I made Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken from Get In My Belly.  It’s an adapted version of a Damn Delicious recipe.  As you can tell from the plate, the dish was super liquidy.  The chicken had great flavor from cooking in the sauce all day.  Unfortunately, chicken thighs are not the most photogenic food!  LOL!  I served the chicken with rice and veggies.

Tuesday: I made Mini BBQ Meatloaves from Cooking Light, December 2015.  I served these with roasted potatoes and veggies.  Since the recipe only called for a 1/2 pound of ground beef and a 1/2 pound of sausage and made eight mini meatloaves, I ended up doubling the recipe.  I usually buy meat in bulk and freeze it by pounds.  By doubling the recipe I didn’t have to figure out what to make with the leftover 1/2 pounds of meat and I ensured that I’d have leftovers for lunches during the week.  These meatloaves were so tasty!  I loved the flavor combo of the ground beef and sausage with the BBQ sauce. This was a kid-approved meal and wins for me as best dinner of the week.  I would definitely make these again.

Wednesday: I made Creamy Balsamic Skillet Chicken from Lovely Little Kitchen.  I didn’t mean to have chicken thighs twice in one week.  I was supposed to make the pineapple chicken last week but we had gone to my parent’s house for dinner.  Let me just say that my chicken looks nothing like the chicken in the original recipe.  My sauce didn’t reduce and thicken and was a liquidy mess, as seen from my plate!  The flavor of the chicken was okay but this is not a dish that I’d make again.

Thursday: I made Cheesy Sausage Zucchini Rice Skillet from I Wash You Dry.  Since the kids were off from school I ended up making dinner late (as can be seen from the terrible lighting of the picture!).  This dish is easy to make with few ingredients.  Unfortunately, I thought the kielbasa overpowered the flavors of everything else.  For those with picky eaters, this might be a plus, since the zucchini taste is barely discernible. The kids enjoyed this but I wasn’t a big fan.

Friday: I made our usual Friday night pizza.  Tonight was plain cheese, a favorite of the kids.

What is on your dinner menu this week?