meal plan: week of Sept. 30

A “real” post coming soon…maybe?

Meanwhile, one of the funniest people I know in real-life has started a blog, and it makes me so very happy.

Monday- shepherd’s pie [I didn’t end up making it a few weeks ago.]

Tuesday- fajitas

Wednesday- family dinner

Thursday- chili with cornbread

Friday- some sort of butternut squash soup in the crockpot. [I think I’ll do this method, with more like these flavors.]


7 takes in 10 min

Alright, I’m giving myself a 10 minute break from working to do these takes. And the countdown starts now. (Go to Jen for more quick takes.)

1. Blogging has taken a backseat to “life” This is definitely a good thing, because life has been crazy. But blessed. I realized I haven’t even been posting meal plans. I keep forgetting to do it on Mondays, and then Tuesday just seems tooooooo late in the week for it. I apologize to the two of you who read them.

2. I made these chocolate chip cookies the other day (grain free/gluten free/low sugar). Ryan is a passionate cookie-lover, and he actually said they were decent. I dared him to guess the main ingredient…

Avocado! [No.]

Flax seed! [No.]

I guess you’ll just have to click on the link to see for yourself. I *will* be making these again.

3. I have tried more recipes for granola bars than any sane person should. However, they’re always too crunchy or too crumbly or not sweet enough…

…until now.

A mom in my playgroup brought these granola bars the other week [ironically titled “playgroup granola bars.”] I was astounded by their chewiness. Perfect texture. Perfect level of sweetness.

I tried them for myself, but made some substitutions [of course]- white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose; 1/2 cup of sucanat sugar instead of the 3/4 brown sugar; dried blueberries [overpriced!!] instead of raisins. The perfection of texture was not compromised at all.

Oh! And I froze some of them, and they are still chewy after thawing. WIN.

4. I went to bed last night at 9:15. That was the earliest I’ve been to sleep in months…maybe years?

5. #4 was the best decision I’ve made in a looooooooong time. Friday Morning Sarah was eternally grateful to Thursday Night Sarah’s wisdom.

6. Philomena’s hair fits into pigtails now! Prepare to go, “awwwww…”:

pig tails

7. I know everyone has probably seen these articles already, but regardless both of these made me pause and are worth your consideration:

How I Almost Became the Smug Mom” by Haley – Mena sounds like her little girl…and yes, it is easy to think it is something “we did,” but really, I know she was just born with a laid-back temperament. No smugness here.

The Important Thing about Yelling” – I know probably 100 of your Facebook friends linked to this article yesterday, but if for some reason you missed it or were too lazy to click on it yesterday, I really encourage you to take the time to ponder it today. A lot of her comments really hit home for me. Maybe I’ll get deeper about that when I have more time.

Blah! It’s been 15 minutes. How did that happen?

Happy Weekend.

meal plan: week of April 15

I promise a “real” post soon….or we can hope.

Monday- Asian carrot soup and lettuce wraps [both the soup and the wrap filling rescued from the freezer]

Tuesday- I didn’t get to the black bean and quinoa stuffed peppers last week, so we’ll try again this week.

Wednesday- family dinner [!!!!!!!!!]

Thursday- sesame chicken over brown rice

Friday- pizza…not sure what kind. Perhaps sweet potato? [Inspiration here.]

Saturday- nachos, but I’ll sub ground beef for the chicken, because we have a serious amount of ground beef in the freezer. I miiiiiiiiiigggghhhhhht make my own chips, if I’m in the mood to procrastinate another task.

meal plan: week of Jan 7

Since so many of you [no one, actually] were upset to see this series take a Christmas hiatus, it’s back. You’re welcome.

Monday- cabbage/potato/bean hash thing

Tuesday- meatloaf [recipe forthcoming, if I remember to take pictures] with mashed potatoes (or maybe sweet potato fries?) and broccoli

Wednesday- family dinner

Thursday- pizza night (maybe a barbecue chicken and a veggie)

Friday- lentil “snobby” joes, probably with a salad

meal plan: week of December 10

I’m feeling a little “behind” this week, so the theme of these meals is easy, easy, easy- so I can use the extra time to play catch-up.

Monday- soup from the freezer with rolls and green beans

Tuesday- meatball subs from the freezer with salad

Wednesday- chicken and dumplings. I’m going to try something similar to this recipe, but I already have cooked chicken (in the freezer, of course).

Thursday- sweet potato shepherd’s pie (inspiration here)

Friday- French Onion Soup (recipe forthcoming) and homemade macaroni and cheese

Saturday- out to dinner to celebrate Ryan’s completion of another tough semester

7 Quick Takes {delicious new recipes}

Instead of using my naptime freedom to watch the latest episode of “Nashville” [oh, Tammy Taylor Connie Britton, you rock my world], I thought I’d grace the internets with my first 7 Quick Takes installment. I’ve been meaning to get on Jen‘s bandwagon for quite awhile now, but well, we all know I’m a lazy blogger.

One of the stresses of moving was the time it took to get our kitchen in order. I know meal planning and preparation can be a big stress for some, and this might change when I have a child who eats more than little bites of our food, but for me making dinner is often the best part of my day. I feel like with a destroyer of everything in her path crawling baby, I never really get anything “accomplished” [other than forming her soul and mind, of course]. However, when I can bring together the chaos of ingredients to create something that makes sense, it just puts me at ease and makes me proud. I know this sounds idyllic: trust me, it’s not. I often let out quite a few profanities as such-and-such is burning on the stove or I realize I’m missing a key ingredient. And, let’s not talk about the fact Ryan and I ate at 10 PM on Monday, because I was a wee bit off on my timing.

ANYWAY…I’ve tried some amazing new recipes these past couple weeks, and since I’ve been slacking on actually posting my weekly meal plans, I thought I’d share them now. You’re welcome.

1. Pork Loin. This recipe came from an ah-mazing book that Ashley recently gave me. Thankfully, it’s also online. I substituted cran-apple juice for pomegranate juice, because, well, it was way cheaper. Still delicious. With aforementioned pork loin, I served this beet and sweet potato hash. It was so pretty! And yummy.

2. Speaking of sweet potatoes, I was daring and tried this sweet potato pizza. Definitely a keeper. I didn’t include kale the first time, but I think I’m going to make it again tonight with the kale. I’ll let your inquiring minds know how it goes. Oh, and I added some garlic with the olive oil on the crust. A must.

3. The first “real” meal I cooked in the house, eaten on a card table, no less, was this fantastic sweet potato pot pie, compliments the book I already mentioned. Yes, I was an over-achiever and monogrammed it too. Evidence here.

4. I don’t know if you could tell, but our CSA share has been laden with sweet potatoes… Both Karen and Erin were raving about this sweet potato and pork soup on the Facebook, so I had to get with the trend. Gotta be honest, it is an ugly dish, but the taste is anything but ugly. [Note: I only used half of a pork loin for recipe #1, then I used the other half for this soup. I know, I know, I am a meal-planning savant.]

5. So, I’ve tried whole wheat versions of focaccia bread time and time again. They always turned out “meh.” However, I trust Erika, and she posted this focaccia bread a while back. Well, I substituted all whole wheat pastry flour, then added two tablespoons of vital wheat gluten and an extra tablespoon of water. It was fabulous.

6. I’ve made this pumpkin bread quite a few times before, but this time I tried maple syrup instead of honey. Yum.

Aaaaand, if you want to make a healthy bread UNhealthy, try this pumpkin spread, compliments the pumpkin fairies: half a block of cream cheese, softened; half (or a little less) stick of salted butter, softened; about 1/4 to 1/3 cup pumpkin; 1/3 cup powdered sugar; 1/4 teas cinnamon; 1/8 teas ginger and nutmeg; pinch of ground cloves. Mix it with an electric mixer until smooth-ish.

7. Oh, you want more sweet potato recipes? Alrighty then. This sweet potato shepherd’s pie was quite tasty. I didn’t put egg in the potatoes, because that seemed weird to me, but Rachael Ray probably knows more than I do, so you should probably listen to her instead.

Happy weekend, y’all. Go eat some sweet potatoes.*

[*This post was sponsored by the American Council for Sweet Potatoes…not. That group doesn’t exist. Or maybe it does. I’m too lazy to google it.]


meal plan: week of Sept. 10

[I know I haven’t posted in a while. Excuses, blah blah, excuses.]

Monday- some sort of eggplant and summer squash Asian stir-fry over brown rice. Inspiration here and here.

Tuesday- fajitas (chicken, bell peppers, onions)

Wednesday- family dinner

Thursday- swiss chard and okra over couscous. Inspiration here.

Friday- out of town. I think we’re going to this restaurant, which looks yummy.