These adorable little stuffed peppers have been hanging out in my Pinterest feed for several months, but it just didn’t feel like it was time to make them yet. Now, it’s time. Don’t they look delicious? I did, however, have enough foresight to read the reviews of these Stuffed Peppers, and several people mention that they’re bland. I didn’t add it to the grocery list, but I’ll be adding some tomato paste into the mixture before I stuff the peppers. That should help combat the “bland” factor. So, if you want to also add tomato paste to yours, make sure to add this to your grocery list!
Because, a) it contains pasta, and b) the pasta cooks right in the skillet, which is another of my most recent fascinations. I’m of course going to make it non-spicy so that I don’t make the toddler unhappy.
It’s getting crazy up in here. I realized again yesterday that my freezer is looking pretty baron. I need to get cooking (and freezing), but it’s so DAMN HOT OUTSIDE! However, I’m going to have to suck it up and do some cooking.
That said, this week is a little heavy on the freezer-stock…although it’s still very light as compared to many of my previous (spring) menus.
Don’t you want to eat those for lunch next week?! They’re like Bagel Bites, only much more delicious and better for you.
This week, despite the sad state of my freezer, I’m not overdoing it. I’m mainly focusing on getting at least one lunch and one breakfast meal stocked and ready to go, which will last for several weeks into the future. I’ll probably freeze a dinner or two (weekends…or for when the baby comes) next week. I figure if I continue at that pace, alternating between stocking breakfast/lunch/dinner over the next 3 months, I’ll have a solid freezer stash ready going into the fall and winter.
Of course, that is the plan.
We’ll see how it turns out.
[…insert vision of me, on/about November 25th, with a 19-month-old slung on my back in the Maya Wrap, and a newborn wrapped to my front in the Moby…both screaming…both hungry…I’m lactating…I’m also probably crying hysterically…starving…nothing in the oven…husband is at work. So, the ultimate goal is to avoid this scenario.]
Last weeks menu was very lazily-executed on my end. I skipped a couple of recipes that were intended for the end of the week because I just honestly could not find the motivation to cook last weekend (other than the breakfast necessities and the stuffed peppers), and then I’ve been working late this week, so I bestowed the dinner responsibility upon the husband.
But, the stuffed peppers were SO GOOD! Loved them.
This week, since I’m expecting myself to fizzle and burn out again, I’m using a couple of dinner recipes that seem quick and easy. It should make everything a bit easier to execute, especially considering that I have committed to make 3 (admittedly easy) recipes for my company picnic on Sunday afternoon.
Also for that reason, I have noted on the menu that the muffins for Monday’s breakfast will be made this evening. I realize that’s ambitious considering that today is Friday, and I also have to still grocery shop (tonight), but that’s basically the only way these muffins are getting made.
This week’s menu is heavy on the freezer, so I hope you’ve been keeping up! Why is it heavy on the freezer, you ask?! Well…because Mama’s feeling lazy! And we might as well use that food in the freezer–that’s why it’s there, right?!
There are FIVE freezer pulls on the menu this week:
Vanilla French Toast
Apple-Pear Bran Muffin
Spinach Lasagna Roll
If you haven’t stocked your freezer with all of these recipes yet, that’s OK. Just improvise until you get them all stocked in there. Most of these are sort of the staples that always remain in my freezer, so when I get ready to run out, I add it into my schedule to make more. Actually, I make Vanilla French Toast every single Saturday with the previous weeks’ leftover bread and eggs! It’s a great way to ensure that I always have it in the freezer.
The star of last week for me was the Blueberry-Raspberry Baked Oatmeal.
So delicious! I’ve made a mental note that next time I need to add a crumbly topping to it prior to baking it, because that would make it even more delicious.
Here’s this week’s menu:
And the recipe list (starred recipes are from the freezer):
I’m happy to report that, unlike during week 13, I only had one menu casualty last week. The Breakfast Muffins never happened, but that was perfectly fine, since I had plenty of previously-frozen Apple-Pear Bran Muffins.
Oh, the benefits of stocking your freezer never end!
Besides the fact that I had plenty of food to feed my family all week, the highlight of my week was definitely my birthday on Tuesday (!!!), and the celebration that ensued on Wednesday. My sweet husband took me out for Dim Sum and to see Adam Levine…I mean…Maroon 5. It was a great night, and tons of fun.
The beautiful thing was that my lovely daughter had food to eat for dinner while we were away. Since I had my menu planned, I was also able to pack her Thursday daycare food on Tuesday evening so that I didn’t have to make it on Wednesday when we got home at midnight. Or on Thursday morning when I was severely sleep-deprived. I can only imagine what I would’ve packed on Thursday morning.
This week I’ve made it a point to add things to the menu that you can eat during the week and also freeze for the future. Out of the 6 new recipes, 5 of them can potentially be frozen for the future. Just remember that if you plan to double (or triple) a recipe so that you can stock your freezer, you also have to increase the ingredients on your grocery list.
No slow cooker meals this week, but only because I wasn’t in the mood for anything that I came across.
Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list! If you don’t want to make those items, and just substitute something you have on hand instead, that’s OK too. Eventually, you’ll have the same items stocked in your freezer as me, and you won’t have to substitute at all.
How did everyone do with last week’s plan?! Did you make one recipe? Two? Three? The whole darn thing??
I made most of the recipes, but I definitely didn’t get it done over the weekend. I enlisted a combination of “wing’ it” and “call in some help from mom” this week. I did manage to throw together my Italian Mixed Green Salad with Pasta and Herbs, and my mom very lovingly cooked the PaleOMG Meat Sauce (and had it warm and waiting when I got home from work, to boot), but that was about the extent of it.
This week, I fully intend to get my crap together and actually cook the full menu.
Despite the fact that my brain kept whispering “pasta…pasta…pasta” while I was planning this week’s menu, I tried to throw some non-pasta dishes in. Pasta seems to be my go-to lately, even though the rest of the family is not all that fond of pasta in most forms.
I sourced all of the new recipes this week from Tasty Kitchen, which is one of my favorite recipe collection sites. I had intended on just going on there to take a look, but I just couldn’t pull myself away!
There’s no way I could walk away from these breakfast burritos.
Happy new menu day, everyone! Hopefully you were much more plan-ish, organized, and able to manage your time than I was last week.
My chicken enchiladas never happened.
My Sweet Potato Chai Muffins turned into Apple-Pear Bran Muffins, since the 2 sweet potatoes floating around in my produce drawer turned out to be hairy.
The Crockpot Migas? I didn’t even get my crockpot cleaned after I made the Ham & Egg Casserole.
So yeah. Some weeks just don’t look as good in real life as they do on paper, and that’s OK. Looking on the bright side, I did make us one breakfast in addition to the dozen muffins (11 of which went into my freezer for the future), and I was able to bake one pan of Old School Mac ‘N Cheese for the week, and I put a second pan in the freezer for another day.
We also thoroughly enjoyed Pioneer Woman’s Italian Pot Roast.
Some of us more than others, obviously.
Despite the fact that I didn’t exactly execute the menu fully last week, I don’t consider it a total bust. I was able to stock my freezer with enough muffins to last us at least another week or two, one dinner for the future, and now I have 2 fully cooked rotisserie chickens in the freezer (since my chicken enchiladas never came to fruition).
But we ate a lot of pot roast.
This week, I’m going to keep things as simple as possible. My “tiny little baby” turned one yesterday **cue the tear-shaped confetti**. My family is coming to town from Central NY on Saturday morning (hooray), and we are having a relatively low key birthday bash fit for a one-year-old!
She’s totally ready to party!
In light of Saturday’s festivities, I am not going to have time to prep anything, so all of my cooking will happen on Sunday…and I don’t want to spend my entire day in the kitchen, considering that most of my family will be going home that day, so I want to spend some time with them!
My mom is going to be staying with us for the whole week next week, and she really likes salad…so get ready–we’re going to eat salad this week. But, I promise that it’s yummy salad.
My Italian Mixed Green Salad w/ Pasta & Herbs recipe uses the fancy word “Chiffonade”, which I have no idea where I even learned. And I wasn’t even sure that I was using the correct word until I just Googled it up again. If you don’t know what “Chiffonade” is, don’t get nervous–just check this out: How to Chiffonade Basil.
I know that you’re looking at me right now and saying, “Eewww…I’m NOT eating leftover salad throughout the week”! But just hear me out on this one. Under the proper conditions, this salad will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and the last time I made it (the last time my Mom came to visit, ironically), it lasted nearly the entire week.
This was on day #4 or 5. No joke.
The key is to make sure that the ingredients going into the salad are as dry as possible. Prior to combining each ingredient, I spin everything in a Salad Spinner—especially the pasta, black olives, and artichoke hearts, since they’re all going to involve extra water to begin with. If you get mozzarella packed in water, spin it! If your sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, spin those suckers! Extra liquid will cause the salad to get really mushy and gross. But! If you keep everything as dry as possible before it touches the lettuce and such, your salad will last well into the week. I promise!
Here’s what we have going on this week in terms of recipes:
Pear Bran Muffins — The version on this weeks menu say “Apple-Pear” because when I made them last weekend, I used 1 chopped pear and 1 chopped apple.
So that’s pretty much it. Keeping it relatively simple this weekend, but you’ll have some minimal cooking during the week (but only if you are making the breakfasts from the menu). As always, I left off some of the obvious stuff that doesn’t need a recipe (tacos, cheesy eggs, grilled cheese). Those are pretty self-explanatory!
Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list!
I was slowly figuring out the process of menu planning still–this was only my second week of trying to ensure that my kid was fed 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. I wish someone told reminded me that I was eventually going to have to FEED her! I kid. Since we did Baby Led Weaning, she has been “eating” since around 5.5 months, but when she started daycare (at 9.5 months old), she was a full-on ‘3 meals a day’ girl already. I couldn’t just send her with baby food and call it a day–she needed real, healthy food!
Tuna noodle casserole was a major fail in terms of feeding it to the baby. She was not a fan of the taste or texture of tuna, and every time she would put a piece in her mouth, she proceeded to promptly spit it directly out. It was entertaining at home, but I didn’t realize that I should have been sending a backup for her daycare meals in case she hated something that I sent for her. I learned that fairly quickly…but not without a few days of grumpy baby-ness.
Here’s the menu:
For this menu, I added the recipes into the pdf, so if you click print, you’ll actually get all of the recipes printed out as well.
If you want to see all of January’s menus at once, they’re on the January Page.
You’ll probably notice that I started to add little instructions to myself within the menu so that I could have little reminders of when thing were supposed to happen throughout the week. This was what I did before I typed up an actual plan–now put notes on the menu AND type up a plan.
Again, no grocery list and no plan…because I just wasn’t there yet.