Category Archives: For the Love of Home

{September} Meals for a Month

mealsforamonth

Where did summer go? Seriously! It seems as if the kids were finishing up school yesterday, but this week we started school again! So, it’s time to get back into the swing of things when it comes to meal planning and preparation.  In addition to helping us not waste food, meal planning has helped us save money by not going out to eat on those crazy nights!

Typically, I keep a running list of what’s in my fridge, freezer and pantry. I find this helpful not only for meal planning, but also for grocery shopping (stocking up, shopping sales, etc.). However, this summer has been really laid back (read: we have rarely cooked, eaten a lot of smoothies and salads, and fired up the grill a lot!) Last week, I finally took inventory of what I had on hand. With this information, along with my family’s input, I made up September’s meal plan.

As I have shared before, instead of planning exactly what we’ll eat each day, I simply plan by categories. This offers a bit more freedom and flexibility for meal preparation. Whoever’s cooking simply takes a look at the plan and decides what they’d like to make.  Since I only meal plan for 25 days, we usually have at least one night each week designated to eat leftovers or to clean out the fridge. Of course, they’ll be some tweaks and changes along the way, but it will help us get off to a good start.

{September} MEALS FOR A MONTH

Soups/Stews:
Slow-cooker Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili (CP),  Mama’s Pot of Beans (CP),  Chicken Noodle Soup, Zuppa Toscana, Creamy Chicken and Wildrice Soup (CP)

Meatless Meals:
Mujadara,  Sloppy Lentils (meatless Sloppy Joes), Chili Cheese Lentils

Poultry:
Chicken and Dumplings,  Herb-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Uzbekistan Chicken Plov 

Seafood:
Grilled Fish Sandwiches with Homemade Tartar Sauce, Butter-Basted Halibut Steaks with Capers,  Honey-Garlic Salmon,  Pesto Glazed Salmon

Beef/Pork:
London Broil,  Homemade Chili-Cheese Hamburger Helper, Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Sauce, Homemade Pizza, Pasta Carbonara, Kale, Sausage, Lentil Skillet, Grilled Hamburgers, Italian Sausage with Gnocchi and Butternut Squash Sauce

Freezer Meals:
Taco Soup, Chicken Piquant with Steamed Rice, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Corn, English Peas with Creme Fraiche and Bacon, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans, Southern-Style Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Sauteed Zucchini, Honey-Dill Carrots, Butternut Squash Risotto, Couscous Pilaf, English Peas, Quinoa, Wild-Rice-and-Quinoa Pilaf, Green Onions and Cranberries, Spinach Salad w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette, Cesar Salad, Tossed Green Salad w/Balsamic Dressing, Middle Eastern Carrot & Feta Salad, Veggie Tray w/ dip, Moroccan Carrot Salad

Breakfast:
Pancakes, Smoothies, Hot/Cold Cereal, Eggs/Bacon or Sausage, Fruit with Cottage Cheese, Baked Oatmeal, Spiced Pear Baked Oatmeal, Homemade Muffins and Fruit, Sweet Potato Scones, Toad-in-the-Hole, Slow Cooker Multi-Grain Hot CerealCrockPot Egg Casserole,  Refrigerator Oatmeal, Breakfast Burritos

Baking:
Homemade Aussie BitesNo-Knead Bread, 30 Minute Rolls, Pumpkin Bread, Zucchini Bread, Fresh Pear Cake, Bread Machine Bread, Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

Snacks:
Quinoa Bites, Veggies and Hummus,  Sliced Apples and Peanut Butter, Monkey Plate (fruit), Granola Bars, Cheese, Energy Bites (NaNa’s recipe), Smoothies

 

{April} Meals for a Month and Menu Planning 101


mealsforamonth

Well, as y’all can see, I haven’t menu planned since January. Still, we’ve eaten; I’ve just been winging it! It helps that during the winter months, we eat a lot of soup. So, leftovers have been plentiful! However, it’s time to get back to planning out menus. My husband and I both work, as well we share in the responsibilities of home schooling our kiddos. Over the years, we’ve discovered that menu planning provides a bit of sanity in our lives. Plus, it allows the kids to help out with preparing meals.

On Facebook, a few friends asked me how I go about menu planning. Now, keep in mind, we all have different personalities and strengths.With my menu planning, my nerd flag is flying high! I keep a grocery list on the fridge. Whenever we run out of something, whoever notices it first is kindly asked to write it on the list. This helps me to keep track of what we need, specifically when I find an item on sale. (Rarely, do I pay full price for things. You can read more about that HERE.)

As well, there are so many things to take into consideration when you begin to menu plan: What is your food budget? Have you created a price list? Pantry/Freezer Inventory? What foods do you and your family enjoy  eating? Do you regularly have folks over to share a meal? And how will you menu plan?
There are so many ways: paper/pencil (calendar or notebook), digital (calendar, document, blog, etc.); by the week, every two weeks, by the month; rotate only a few family favorite meals, or include some new and different recipes .

Personally, I like to menu plan by the month. Even though I like lists, order and structure, when it comes to cooking, I like it to be a bit more spontaneous. So, I don’t dictate which day we make specific meals. Well,  unless it’s a Sunday, and we are having folks over after church. On those occasions, I always stick to the K.I.S.S Method (Keep It Simple Sister). Then, the choices for lunch are some sort of crockpot soup, Spaghetti and Meatballs or Jambalaya.

With menu planning, I begin by taking an inventory of my kitchen pantry, fridge and freezer, as well as my overstock pantry and garage freezer. Having an overstock pantry and garage freezer allows me to take advantage of sales on items that we use regularly. In no way am I an ‘extreme shopper’ or ‘hoarder’. However, I do like to manage our food dollars wisely and stretch them as much as I can, in order to have a well-stocked pantry and freezer with healthy foods for a variety of reasons. Obviously, I like to feed my family nutrient-rich, real foods with the occasional treat and splurge thrown into the mix. But this also makes it possible for our family to regularly invite others into our home for a meal, to share our bounty with those in need in our community, and to have ingredients on hand to quickly put together a meal for folks in our church who are sick, expecting a baby, or who simply may need an evening when they don’t have to cook!

So where should one begin when starting out meal planning? Well, there are probably a million and one ways, but I complied a few of my ideas. Here ya go:

1. Begin by taking inventory of what you have on hand, so you know what you have to work with, what needs to be used up, and what items need to be purchased. By doing so, you will be throwing less food out, but also will be able to purchase those regularly used food items at their best prices, instead of at the last minute when they aren’t on sale.

2. Then, decide how you will create your menu plan. As I shared, I make up a monthly menu plan.Some folks do it by days of the week. Keeping in mind their personal schedule, as well as their family’s schedule.

3. Decide how you will categorize your menu plan. I like to compile my menu plan by categories.  The categories I use are: Soups/Stews, Meatless Meals, Poultry, Seafood, Beef/Pork, Freezer Meals (When I make certain soups and sauces,  I double/triple the batch to have some to stick in the freezer.) I also include a category for Vegetables, Side Dishes, and Salads, Breakfast, Baking and Snacks.

4. Use any and all available resources that are available to you. Some of the meals I make I know by the back of my hand. No recipe needed. But my kids or husband may need one. So, I still try to tag a recipe, or let them know which cookbook to find it. I also take advantage of Pinterest (Check out my boards HERE), AllRecipes  (I appreciate this site because there’s an area that allows you to put in the ingredients you have on hand, and it supplies you with a few recipes using those specific ingredients.), along with treasured recipes, which I keep in a notebook, and well-loved cookbooks that I have collected over the years. (Recently, a dear lady from our church passed away and her daughter gave me some of her cookbooks. These are gems and treasures to me!) There are so many other resources to choose from, use whatever you like and those which help you the most. 

5. Create you menu plan. From the pantry/freezer inventory that was created, you can easily see what items need to be purchased to round out the menu. For most of us, we have to weekly or bi-weekly purchase produce and dairy items. However, once you get into a groove of purchasing regularly used items at their lowest prices, you will begin to have pantry staples and even some freezer items on hand because you purchased them in bulk when on sale. This has made my menu planning so much easier.

You’ll notice on my menu plans, there are more meals than there’s month. I do this so we have variety and options. As well, since we are fans of leftovers, there’s usually at least one night each week where leftovers are on the menu. Another option is “CAN DINNERS”. A friend from church gave me this idea, which simply means, everyone CAN have whatever they CAN find and/or make. (And they are responsible for cleaning up any dishes and/or messes they make.) This appears on the menu at least once a week, too.

6. But mostly, please know that all of this is trial and error. What works for me may not work for you. Over the years, I have implemented various strategies before landing on one that really works for our family. In a few years, we might go with something else. Who know?! And some recipes may sound good when you read them, but once made aren’t what you hoped they’d be. Others ones, you and your family will greatly enjoy, and they become part of the regular rotation. As well, some months, you might purchase a new food item that everyone loves it. But the next month, you realize you wasted some money and have to throw the item out! It’s okay! Still, if I can suggest something: be bold to try new things! There are so many amazing food items, combinations and recipes to try.  Each month, I try to include a few new ones.

If you have young kids, one thing we did that I think was beneficial was to have our kids pick out one new vegetable and fruit to try each time we went grocery shopping. This expanded their food pallet, and they were more apt to try something new because they had selected the item. If I am making a new recipe, they have to eat what is served. Sometimes, they don’t like it. But more often than not, when I make it again (and again), their tastebuds get used to it, and it becomes a normal flavor and food item they recognize.

If you have other questions, I can’t promise that I have the answer, but I will try to help or point you in the direction where you might find the answer. Happy Menu Planning!

{April} Meals for a Month

Soups/Stews:
Slow-cooker Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili (CP), Creamy Tomato Soup,  Mama’s Pot of Beans (CP),  Chicken Noodle Soup, Zuppa Toscana

Meatless Meals:
Mujadara,  Sloppy Lentils (meatless Sloppy Joes), Chili Cheese LentilsPinto Beans & Cornbread (CP),  Shakshuka,

Poultry:
Hawaiian Chicken (CP), Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon & Olives*Chicken and Dumplings**,  Herb-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Slow Cooker Sticky Drumsticks (CP), Uzbekistan Chicken Plov (This is an amazing dish! Try it! I use whole thighs, instead of cubes.)

Seafood:
Red Curry Poached Cod,  Butter-Basted Halibut Steaks with Capers, Cajun Shrimp Cesar Salads, Honey-Garlic Salmon, Salmon Burgers with Caper & Sun-dried Tomato Aioli, Grilled Shrimp** w/ Brown-Rice Cakes with Sautéed Fennel, Broccoli Rabe, and Ricotta

Beef/Pork:
 Crockpot Roast Beef w/ Vegetables* Homemade Chili-Cheese Hamburger Helper**, Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Sauce**, Pasta Carbonara, Kale, Sausage, Lentil Skillet**, Homemade Lasagna**

Freezer Meals:
Turkey-Sausage Gumbo, Chili, Vegetable-Beef Soup

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Roasted Broccoli, Sautéed Broccolini, Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans**, Scalloped Potatoes, Sautéed Kale w/ Garlic, Corn**, Honey-Dill Carrots, Butternut Squash Risotto, Couscous Pilaf, English Peas**, Quinoa, Wild-Rice-and-Quinoa Pilaf With Pecans, Green Onions, and Dried Cranberries, Spinach Salad w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette, Tossed Green Salad w/ Balsamic Dressing, Middle Eastern Carrot & Feta Salad, Veggie Tray w/ Hummus, Baked Butternut Squash

Breakfast:
Pancakes, Smoothies**, Hot/Cold Cereal, Eggs/Bacon or Sausage, Fruit with Cottage Cheese, Baked Oatmeal, Homemade Muffins and Fruit, Sweet Potato Scones**, Toad-in-the-Hole, Slow-Cooker Steel Cut Oats (CP)

Baking:
Homemade Aussie BitesNo-Knead Bread, 30 Minute Rolls, Grasshopper Brownies, Pumpkin Bread, Zucchini Bread, Pear Cobbler**

Snacks:
Quinoa Bites, Veggies and Hummus,  Sliced Apples and Peanut Butter, Monkey Plate (fruit), Granola Bars, Cheese, Energy Bites (NaNa’s recipe), Smoothies, No-Bake Cookies

(CP)Crockpot Recipe
**Ingredients in kitchen freezer

{January} Meals for a Month

mealsforamonth

New year, new menu plan. Not forgetting to mention that I almost completely fell off the menu planning wagon during the month of December. December is always a super-full month, and we had quite a bit going on between work, music performances and fun family and friends events! Nevertheless, it’s time to get going again. For me, menu planning really does help me get dinner on the table, especially those evenings that I work. Not to mention, having a plan truly does save our family a lot of money when it comes to food.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was planning this menu, I almost forgot that I’d be out of town for a quasi-work trip. Let me clarify: It’s only a quasi-work trip because although I will most definitely be working (thanks to my mobile office: satchel full o’ files and my handy dandy laptop.), in reality, I am merely tagging along so I can hear my super-awesome husband speak at a conference! And y’all know when you go out of town, there’s all sorts of lists to make and things to plan and prepare….and food to use up! Because if you don’t you come back to…..A GIFT!

I know you know what I’m talking about. At one time or another, you all have received the gift of which I speak. You know it: the stinky fridge gift. It’s that funky, nasty, moldy, gross food that you forgot to use up before you hit the road. Uh-huh! Ain’t nobody got time for that mess. In order to make sure I didn’t come home to that nice little stinky surprise, over the last few days, I declared it to be an eat-whatever-is-in-the-fridge-night for most every meal. Therefore, we have been eating some interesting combinations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And ya know, some weren’t all that bad. But others? Well, bless my poor family’s hearts! And I mean that in the most sincere way possible, not in the Sassy Southern way! Remember, I’m southern, I know all about the real meaning of that particular phrase!

Seriously, my family has been ever so gracious to eat whatever I put in front of them. So much so that there is practically nothing, nada, zilch left in the innards of the refrigerator. You think I jest, but if you were to look into my fridge, you wouldn’t see much. In fact, other than the goodies that I purchased for a shower I am hosting after church tomorrow, about all you would find is a few eggs, a bag of carrots, two or three apples, a grapefruit, a container of plain yogurt and half a carton of almond milk. Oh, and condiments, lots and lots of condiments.

Basically, it’s empty! I mean it’s one thing when your kids say, “There’s nothing to eat!” But when you find yourself saying that, it’s not good! And we all know what that means! It means I am going to have to make a serious grocery run when I get home!  Yea?!?!?! Costco will be seeing my face! The Shopping Queen, I am not, so I will have to make sure I select non-peak hours for that little adventure!  I mean, my family has to eat, so I will be brave and take on the Food Zoo for their sakes.

Although my fridge may be bare, both my pantry and freezer are full. Therefore, the January’s menu primarily consists of items contained therein! So that’s sort of makes me wonder: How long could we go without a trip to the grocery store? Hmm…maybe I should find out! Nah, the kids need their fruits and veggies. Actually, we all do. My tribe goes through a serious amount of produce each month. So, I won’t get away with not shopping for too long after we return home.

Anyhoo, here’s what we might be eating the month of January! I say might because even though the planner-me is thrilled by this plan (both the creation and execution), the rebel-me deviates from the plan quite often! I find it’s rather freeing to kick the plan to the curb. And, well, since my Word of the Year for 2015 is FREE, I might as well continue to go with that theme, eh!? 🙂

You’ll notice that some of the recipes are mine, but most are recipes that I found online and include ingredients that I have on-hand in my pantry and freezer! Some, we eat and enjoy all the time. Others, we have never tried before, and may not try again depending upon how they turn out. Let me know if you try any of these and what you think.

Soups/Stews
:
Clam Chowder, Creamy Tomato Soup,  Mama’s Pot of Beans*,  Chicken Noodle Soup (substitute turkey)

Meatless Meals:
Mujadara,  Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic & White Beans

Poultry:
Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon & Olives*Chicken and Dumplings (substituting turkey),  Herb-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Slow Cooker Sticky Drumsticks*

Seafood:
Red Curry Poached Cod, Roast Cod w/ Garlic Butter,  Butter-Basted Halibut Steaks with Capers, Crawfish Étouffée, Cajun Shrimp Caesar Salads

Beef/Pork:
Crockpot Pork Tenderloin*, Crockpot Roast Beef w/ Vegetables* Homemade Chili-Cheese Hamburger Helper, Swedish Meatballs, Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Sauce*, Grilled Steaks, Pasta Carbonara, Kale, Sausage, Lentil Skillet

Freezer Meals:
Turkey-Sausage Gumbo, Taco Soup, Caribbean Dump Chicken Meals

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Roasted Broccoli, Green Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans, Baked Potatoes, Sautéed Kale w/ Garlic, Corn, Honey-Dill Carrots, Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash, Couscous Pilaf, English Peas, Quinoa, Various Salads, Brown Rice, Veggie Tray w/ Hummus

Breakfast:
Pancakes, Smoothies, Hot/Cold Cereal, Eggs/Bacon or Sausage, Fruit with Cottage Cheese, Baked Oatmeal, Homemade Muffins and Fruit, Sweet Potato Scones, Biscuits and Gravy, Toad in the Hole,  Shakshuka, Breakfast Bread and Fruit, Toad-in-the-Hole, Slow-Cooker Steel Cut Oats* (use homemade pear butter)

Baking:
No-Knead Bread, 30 Minute Rolls, Maple-Bacon Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Bread, Banana Bread/Muffins, Zucchini Bread

Snacks:
Quinoa Bites, Veggies and Hummus,  Sliced Apples and Peanut Butter, Monkey Plate (fruit), Granola Bars, Cheese, Energy Bites (NaNa’s recipe), Smoothies, No-Bake Cookies

*Crockpot Recipe

{October} Meals for a Month

mealsforamonth

Where did September go? Seriously, it flew by for our family. And looking at the calendar, it appears October is going to be a very eventful, but fun month for us, too. This coming Sunday, we are hosting Pie with the Pastors at our home, along with the 7th Annual Cajun Food & Candy on Halloween.  For this event, we make a big stock pot of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo or Jambalaya and serve it up to friends before Jon takes the kids out for trick-or-treating.

This month’s meal plan was heavily influenced by my kids. Today, we planned it over lunch. They really like to cook, and got inspired after watching a few episodes of a kids’ cooking challenge. I greatly appreciate their interest in cooking. However, we are continue to work on the cleaning up afterwards! 🙂

Do you have favorite fall recipes? If so, what? Feel free to share your favorites recipes and links in the comment section.

Kids in the Kitchen:
Homemade Pizza (Jadon), Lasagna (Jamison), Baked Donuts (Jamison), Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Jadon)

Soups/Stews:
Lentil Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup,  Cheesy Broccoli SoupPork Green Chile Stew, GumboThai Butternut Squash Soup

Meatless Meals:
Mujadara, Sloppy Lentils (meatless Sloppy Joes), The Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean BurgerChili Cheese Lentils,

Poultry:
Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon & Olives*Chicken and Dumplings, Sweet & Sticky Drumsticks

Seafood:
Fish Tacos, Chutney Glazed Salmon Baked Halibut w/ Sour Cream, Parmesan & Dill Topping, Roast Cod w/ Garlic Butter,  Salmon Croquettes , Tunafish Casserole

Beef/Pork:
Shepherd’s Pie, Mama’s Pot of Beans, Homemade Chili-Cheese Hamburger Helper, Roast Beef, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Jambalaya, The Pioneer Woman’s Taco Pizza

Freezer Meals:
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Beef and Vegetable Soup, Chili

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Roasted Broccoli, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans, Normandy Vegetable Blend, Corn,Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash, Couscous Pilaf, English Peas, Quinoa, Various Salads, Rice, Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Breakfast:
Baked Oatmeal, Pancakes, Smoothies, Hot/Cold Cereal, Eggs/Bacon or Sausage, Fruit with Cottage Cheese, Homemade Muffins and Fruit, Sweet Potato Scones, Biscuits and Gravy, Toad in the Hole

Baking:
No-Knead Bread, 30 Minute Rolls, Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins, 45 minute Cinnamon Rolls, Maple-Bacon Sugar Cookies

Snacks:
Quinoa Bites, Veggies and Hummus,  Granola Bars, Cheese, Peanut Butter & Crackers, Energy Bites (NaNa’s recipe), Smoothies,

{September} Meals for a Month

mealsforamonth

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kids. Can’t believe this is our sixth year of home schooling. And let’s not even discuss the fact that my son will be in sixth grade and my daughter will be in fourth grade! That is crazy talk!  Yet, here we are again. Summer is over! The following week, my work schedules kick into full-swing. And in a couple of weeks, the kids’ classes on Fridays and Saturdays will resume. It’s gonna be a fun, but full year. With navigating family life, work schedules and home schooling, meal planning is essential for me! 

For the last few years, I’ve planned meals for the month (with a few extras). Also, due to how my brain is uniquely wired, I plan according to categories, instead of by the day. This provides a general plan, but also offers flexibility. Taking the time to create a menu plan keeps me sane, saves money and provides leftovers for additional meals. Because we home school and since my husband brown bags his lunch most days, leftovers are essential for our family. So, I cook quite a bit. But I try to cook smarter, not harder. Thankfully, my kitchen is my happy place. 

Kids in the Kitchen:
Homemade Pizza, Not Ya Mama’s Mac ‘n Cheese, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soups/Stews:
Lentil Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup, Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Pork Green Chile Stew, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, Clam Chowder, Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Meatless Meals:
Mujadara, Sloppy Lentils (meatless Sloppy Joes), Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers, Chili Cheese Lentils, Ricotta Pasta Pie

Poultry:
Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon & Olives*Chicken and Dumplings, Sweet & Sticky Drumsticks

Seafood:
Chutney Glazed Salmon, Baked Halibut w/ Sour Cream, Parmesan & Dill Topping, Roast Cod w/ Garlic Butter

Beef/Pork:
Shepherd’s Pie, Homemade Chili-Cheese Hamburger Helper, Louisiana Red Beans and Rice (or Quinoa)Roast BeefUltimate Swedish Meatballs (Whenever I work in the evening, I use the bagged meatballs from Costco.)

Freezer Meals:
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Beef and Vegetable Soup, Chili

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Roasted Broccoli, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans, Normandy Vegetable Blend, Corn, Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash, Couscous Pilaf, English Peas, Quinoa, Various Salads, Rice, Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Breakfast:
Baked Oatmeal, Pancakes, Waffles, Smoothies, Cold Cereal, Eggs/Bacon or Sausage, Fruit with Cottage Cheese, Homemade Muffins and Fruit, Yogurt with Homemade Southern Sweet Potato Granola,
Sweet Potato Scones

Baking and Snacks:
Quinoa BitesNo-Knead Bread, 30 Minute Rolls, Apples w/ Nutella & Peanut Butter Dip, Veggies and Hummus, Salted, Caramel Crispy Treats, Granola Bars, Smoothies, No-Bake Chewy Granola BarsChocolate Zucchini BreadCinnamon Doughnut Muffins, Zucchini Bread Variations.  

 

Meals for a Month {August}

mealsforamonth

Needless to say, meal planning has sort of gone out the window for our family this summer. The only plan we’ve had was to make sure everyone was fed before they got HANGRY! (Hungry + Angry). Even still, with work and home schooling schedules about to kick life into high gear, I decided I’d best get back to menu planning. Who cares if half the month of August has slipped  sped by already! 🙂

Kids in the Kitchen:
Homemade Pizza, Homemade Refried Bean and Cheese Burritos, Not Ya Mama’s Mac ‘n Cheese

Soups/Stews:
Lentil Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup

Meatless Meals:
MujadaraPenne with Roasted Tomates, Garlic & White Beans,  Potato & Yellow Split Pea Curry w/ Basmati Rice, Shakshuka (Like eggs? Tomatoes? Then, try this one!), Sloppy Lentils (meatless Sloppy Joes)

Poultry:
Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon & Olives* w/ Basmati Rice, Chicken and Dumplings

Seafood:
Blackened Shrimp Caesar Salads
Chutney Glazed Salmon

Beef/Pork:
Lasagna, Salad with Balsamic Dressing, BLTs (We are growing tomatoes!)

Freezer Meals:
Spaghetti Bolognese
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Beef and Vegetable Soup

Vegetables,  Side Dishes & Salads:
Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Red Peppers, Roasted Brussels Sprout, Green Beans, Normandy Vegetable Blend, Lettuce, Corn, Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Couscous Pilaf, Quinoa, Veggie Tray w/ Hummus, Rice, Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Breakfast:
Baked Oatmeal
Pancakes
Waffles
Smoothies
Cold Cereal
Eggs/Bacon
Fruit with Cottage Cheese
Muffins and Fruit
Yogurt, Homemade Southern Sweet Potato Granola and Fruit
Sweet Potato Scones

Baking and Snacks:
Pitas (Vita-Mix)
No-Knead Bread
Chocolate Chip Cookies
30 Minute Rolls
Granola Bars
Smoothies
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
Jada’s Cinnamon Rolls 
Chocolate Zucchini Bread

[Recipe] Fresh Peach (or any fruit) Crisp

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Fresh Peach (or any fruit) Crisp 

Ingredients:

4 cup of fresh or frozen peaches (berries, apples, etc.)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 C rolled oats

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange sliced peaches (or other fruit) evenly in an 8X8 baking dish or a large cast iron skillet. Mix flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt into a bowl using a pastry cutter (or your hands) until evenly crumbled. Alternatively, you could do this step in a food processor. Add oats and gently stir into flour mixture. Sprinkle and press topping into peaches. Bake until browned, aprx. 30 minutes.

Now, traditionally, this is served with vanilla ice cream. However, I tend to break traditions and, instead, serve it with cinnamon whipped cream. 🙂

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
2
cups heavy cream
1/2 cups powdered sugar
teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:
In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon.