Meal Plan: Week of September 16, 2012

My meal planning goals:

  • One grocery trip per week to cut down on impulse purchases & because it’s no walk in the park to go to the grocery with a nine month old.
  • Cook no more than three times per week.  Each cooking day should yield enough food to make two meals for each of us.
  • Delicious, easy meals that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes OR have components which can be prepped ahead of time (i.e. during the Pie’s naptime) & then be cooked in less than 30 minutes.

Meal Plan: Week of September 9, 2012

Sunday – frozen pizza

Monday – chicken marsala casserole with zucchini fries

Tuesday – chilaquiles casserole with mexican rice

Wednesday – chicken marsala casserole with zucchini fries  *The zucchini fries are not great as leftovers, so I’ll cook fresh zucc fries to serve with the leftover chicken marsala casserole for this meal.

Thursday – crockpot turkey breast (which I’ll actually cook on Wednesday), mashed potatoes, & lima beans *This crockpot turkey breast is on the meal plan for a dinner this week, but I’m hoping that it will be delicious for sandwich meat for me & lunch for the Pie.  Deli meat is so darn expensive & filled with all kinds of weird preservatives.  Maybe I can make my own easily & inexpensively?  I’ll let you know!

Friday – chilaquiles casserole with mexican rice

Saturday – crockpot turkey breast, mashed potatoes, & lima beans

What are you eating this week?

Love!

hez

Yum: Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

I love baked goods. Truthfully, I love to lick the bowl, but the actual baked goods, they’re fine, too.

My favorite, go-to recipe of the summer has been whole wheat blueberry muffins.  They’re easy, delicious, and the “whole wheat” part makes me feel like I’m being somewhat healthy (notice that I didn’t include “whole stick of butter” in the title).

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

To do:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, cream butter & sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.  Add flour mixture, alternating with milk.

Bake in muffin tins at 350 for 18-24 minutes.

Love!

hez

Meal Plan: Week of September 9, 2012

My meal planning goals:

  • One grocery trip per week to cut down on impulse purchases & because it’s no walk in the park to go to the grocery with a nine month old
  • Cook no more than three times per week.  Each cooking day should yield enough food to make two meals for each of us.
  • Delicious, easy meals that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes OR have components which can be prepped ahead of time (i.e. during the Pie’s naptime) & then be cooked in less than 30 minutes.

Meal Plan: Week of September 9, 2012

Sunday – frozen pizza

Monday – nachos (made with leftover taco fixings from the weekend)

Tuesday – ground beef stroganoff served over egg noodles with lima beans

Wednesday – blackened chicken and cilantro lime quinoa with avocado-yogurt sauce served with black eyed peas

Thursday – leftover ground beef stroganoff served over egg noodles with lima beans

Friday – leftover blackened chicken and cilantro lime quinoa with avocado-yogurt sauce served with black eyed peas

Saturday – Freezer Raid (We’ll dig something delicious out of our reserves in the freezer.)

What are you eating this week?

Love!

hez

Meal Planning: It’s Worth My Time

Before the Pie was born, our meal planning started when the Husband & I returned home from our respective jobs around 7:00pm…starving.  We aren’t nice people when we’re hungry.  Not nice at all.   So we implemented this system: one of us would offer three restaurant suggestions, then the other would choose from those three.  Off we went to procure our supper.  This often meant spending $20-40 on a meal that we weren’t even very excited to eat.  But, with our lifestyle at that time, planning ahead to eat at home just didn’t seem worth the time.

Pre-Pie, in the world of youth & children’s ministry, I worked strange, long hours that often included evening meetings or events.  During the program year, I was guaranteed to be working through dinner on at least two nights each week.  Pre-Pie, we loved spontaneous dinners with friends.  So, it wasn’t always worth going to the grocery store (let alone meal planning) for only 2 or 3 nights worth of dinners.

Now, with the Pie in our lives, it’s actually much easier to cook and eat at home than it is to try to go out to dinner with a nine month old running the show.  First of all, the Pie has a bedtime routine that begins at 6:15pm.  So, she eats dinner at 5:00pm, usually long before the Husband is home from work. Though we do love a good geriatric, early bird special dinner at 4:45pm, most often, it’s just not feasible.  Not to mention, with a 9 month old in tow, you never know what kind of impression you’re gonna make on your fellow diners.  Sooooo, home sweet home is our number one restaurant these days.

If I’m being completely honest here, I have to admit that I really don’t miss eating out.  Thanks to Pinterest, I’m cooking all kinds of delicious stuff at home. Most of the time, it’s healthier than restaurant fare, and even when it’s not, I have much more control over my portion size (because if it’s on my plate, I’m gonna eat it).

Here’s my process for meal planning:

  • Obsessively check pinterest on my phone all week long and pin any yummy looking stuff to my “Party in my Tummy” board.
  • On Saturday evening, I check out Kroger’s weekly sales online.  Then, look for corresponding recipes on my “Party in my Tummy” board.  I’m not married to using only sale items, but for pricier items (like pork tenderloin), I wait for a sale.
  • After choosing three recipes, I move them to my “Tried & True (Or Not So True)” board.
  • I copy & paste each of the three recipes into a google doc so that I have them all in one place.  Then, I can reference it from my phone or laptop while cooking.
  • After cooking each meal, I update the pin on my “Tried & True (Or Not So True)” board with any changes, recommendations that I have for the recipe.

My goal is to only have to cook three days per week.  Each meal should yield enough leftovers for another meal.  Then, on the seventh day (when even God rested), we have frozen pizza, a meal from the freezer or something else ridiculously easy.

I truly believe that meal planning is helping us to save more money and waste less food.  Most weeks, I am able to accomplish my goal of only one grocery shopping trip, which means less impulse purchases!  I don’t clip a crazy amount of coupons, and I don’t buy a million bottles of shampoo just because they’re on sale.  My weekly grocery bill is around $120-140, which accounts for 7 days worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for 2 adults and a nine-month-old (who eats A LOT), which is a lot less than when we were consistently paying $20-40/meal just for dinner when we ate out.

So, that’s how I do it.  It works for me.  How do you plan your menu?

Love!

hez

Well…here goes nothing!

Well…here goes nothing!

Why am I blogging?

  • I think I’m funny.  Maybe you will, too?
  • I think that I have something to share.  I’m not the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cook or homemaker.  But I’m doing the best that I can.  Maybe we can support one another as we strive not to be the best, but to simply be good enough.

Why “The Pie Safe?”

  • We call our daughter “The Pie” as a nickname.  She was born in November of 2011 and changed our life oh so much for the better immediately.  Now, it’s hard to imagine life before her.
  • I. Love. The. South.  And, in the South, we love baked goods.  A pie safe is” a cupboard with pierced-tin doors for ventilating pies after baking” (thanks, http://dictionary.reference.com). Knowing that a delicious pie is waiting in the cupboard for you can really brighten your day.  Perhaps, knowing that kind words, silly stories, and yummy, easy food ideas are waiting for you on this blog will also brighten your day.  Here’s to hoping!

With love,

hez