Menu Plan for the Week ~ With a Fun Menu Planning Resource Announcement

Last week’s new (to me) menu planning idea worked out pretty well!  I loved the flexibility, knowing I could make anything on the list for any meal of the week.

The great thing about menu planning is that there are so many ways to go about getting yourself organized.  One thing is for sure though – menu planning always saves money, time, and energy.  This is why I talk about it so often here and share my menu plans with you.

Want to know a little secret?  It’s about menu planning, and it’s different from anything we’ve offered here before.

We’re almost finished creating a really fun menu planning resource packet to add to our shop.  It’s full of printables for you to pick and choose from.  Then based on your needs and preferences, you build your own menu planning notebook.  It’s a never ending resource of fun and organization.  Who says menu planning can’t be FUN!?!?!?!

Coming early November…

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook 550x

That’s a sneak peek at the cover of the “Build Your Menu Planning Notebook” packet.  More details to come as we finish it up and offer it for sale.  I can’t wait to share more about what this is like.  Watch for it soon!

In other news around the Coppinger household, we are still buried under apples.  It’s a wonderful and tasty “problem” to have.  :)  I made 17 more quarts of Applesauce this weekend.  Then I mixed up 9 quarts worth of Apple Pie Filling.  Instead of canning the filling, I froze it in bags.  This girl, if you can believe it, is almost out of jars!  That’s what happens when you are having a fantastic produce year!

apple work 2

I also made a big Apple Crisp for a Fall Festival at church Saturday night.  Apples, apples everywhere!

apple work 1

Like last week, I’m listing meal ideas for the week according to the meal instead of scheduling them specifically for each day.  I’ll mix and match depending on how much time I have each day.  Here are our food lists for this week:

Breakfasts

Lunches

Dinners

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I always serve 1-4 fruits and veggies with each meal)

 What’s on your menu plan this week?  Praying your week is off to a great start!

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Menu Plan for the Week – A Little Bit Different This time

Remember the big boxes we got in our Amazon order last week?  Malachi has made very good use of them.  We’ve cut flaps for doors and secret hide-outs, and we’ve gone through way too much packing tape.  Malachi keeps watching for the UPS man to come back and bring more boxes.  Sorry, Buddy.  Mama got a big order, but I don’t think Mr. UPS is coming back this week.  :)

malachi fort

In other news, I’m finding that my current menu planning system isn’t working very well right now.  This school year is trying to knock me flat.  We added a few different (and good!) academic endeavors this year.  I’m amazed at the extra time it takes away from my blog work and house work.  In addition, I’ve been doing a lot of canning, and need to do more during the next few weeks.

So, in an effort to simplify my kitchen work even more (and I already feel that it has been pretty basic), I’m going to try a different menu planning system this week.  The idea is that I will list food ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Fruits/Veggies based on the ingredients I have on hand.  For each day, I’ll just look at the list and figure out what I have time to work on.  We always have 1-4 fruits or veggies with each meal, so we can pull those out quickly to put with each meal.

Make sense?  I think the crock pot is going to get a work-out.  :)  Here’s what we’ll be working with this week:

Breakfasts

Lunches

Dinners

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes

We’ll see how this works, and I’ll report back next week!  I may find that it works better for me to have everything planned specifically like I’ve done for years.  But what if this is a change for the better?  We’ll see!

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Menu Plan for the Week, Plus the Best Way to Wash the Car

I should never be surprised anymore when I see my kids doing something “the boy way.”  Just last week, Matt sent one of our boys to scrub something off the side of our van.  Here’s what I came across when I saw him doing the job:

washing the car

Why go to the trouble of walking all the way upstairs to get the real spray bottle when you can just use a water gun, right?  Of course, this means it’s very easy to squirt unsuspecting brothers who happen to be walking by…

In other news, we had a wonderful houseful of company all weekend!  We ate like kings and queens, visited like there’s no tomorrow, and while the guys golfed, the girls shopped.  I love my boys so much, but when I have a chance to shop with females?  Well, it is lovely.

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Heya, have you tried this Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes recipe yet?  If not, you really must.  They taste like hashbrowns, only better.  The pickiest of my kids love them.  They are a fantastic way to eat cauliflower.  (Actually, if you ask me, they are the only way to eat cauliflower.)

Without further ado, here is our menu plan for this week:

Sunday, October 12
Breakfast potluck at church – taking banana bread and apples
Leftovers from the weekend feasting
Grilled cheese, homemade tomato soup, pickles, olives, cucumbers with ranch

Monday, October 13
Blueberry coffee cake, applesauce
Barbecue beef and cheese hot pockets, pineapple mango smoothies with spinach tossed in, carrot sticks
Baked three cheese chicken pasta, tossed salad, asparagus

Tuesday, October 14
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, scrambled eggs, pears
Potato soup with ham, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, apples
Salmon patties, cheesy cauliflower cakes, steamed broccoli

Wednesday, October 15
Quick mix biscuits, sausage gravy, blueberries
Pizza boats, nectarines, sweet peppers
Taco potatoes with lettuce and tomatoes, fresh pineapple

Thursday, October 16
Quick mix pancakes with frozen berries tossed in
Taco corn fritters, tossed salad, pears
Turkey sausage and red bean stew, cornbread

Friday, October 17
Cinnamon swirl bread, peanut butter and apples
Sloppy cornbread muffins, peas, cucumbers and carrots
Homemade pizza, tossed salad, peaches

Saturday, October 18
Cream cheese pumpkin muffins, fried eggs, applesauce
Leftovers
Sweet pepper frittata, grapes, tossed salad

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Be sure to grab a bucket of Palm Shortening for 40% off with free shipping!  Sunday is the final day the palm shortening is on sale.  Details here.

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Menu Plan for the Week (I haven’t cooked for 2 days!)

Pumpkin_Pecan_Pie_Squares

I’ll be making these Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares over the weekend.  So good!

You know how I love cooking, love grocery shopping, love all things food?  This weekend, I got a break from all of it, and it was…great!  Yep, as much as I love cooking for people, I do appreciate a break sometimes.  How about that?  ;)

What a fabulous weekend I’ve had!  I’ll tell you all about it on Gratituesday, but wow am I refreshed.  Matt held down the fort (doing all the cooking with the boys’ help) while I went to a conference.  Then today, we had a potluck after church, for which I had prepared food ahead of time.  Tonight, the teen Bible study is at someone else’s house, so I’ll just show up and eat.  Nice!

Tomorrow, I’ll be cooking again, and I look forward to it.  I plan to make another big batch of applesauce this week, plus we’re having a houseful of company over the weekend.  Super fun!

Here’s what we’ll be eating:

Sunday, October 5
Zucchini carrot bread, pears
Church potluck: corn, honey glazed carrots, butterscotch bars
High School Huddle at friend’s house

Monday, October 6
Quick mix pancakes, applesauce
Bacon, egg, and avocado salad, pineapple
Black bean chicken nachos with lettuce and tomatoes, olives, blackberries

Tuesday, October 7
Snickerdoodle muffins, raspberries
Crustless pizza, pineapple mango smoothies, carrot sticks
Chicken pot pie, tossed salad

Wednesday, October 8
Apple crisp, cheese
Ham and cheese pasta salad including lots of veggies, pears
Chili, tossed salad, nectarines

Thursday, October 9
Pumpkin donuts (my attempt to adapt this recipe)
Lazy dogs, sweet potato fries, sliced cucumbers
Italian roast wraps with lettuce and tomatoes, green beans

Friday, October 10 (Houseful of company all day!)
Fruit pizza with blueberries, nectarines, raspberries, kiwi, and strawberries; sausage
Sandwiches, baby carrots, cucumbers, apples, pears, chips
Cheeseburger soup, veggie tray, pickles, olives, bread, cheese, summer sausage, crackers

Saturday, October 11
Bacon cheesy eggs, sweet potato streusel muffins, fruit plate
Leftovers
Italian cream cheese chicken, tossed salad, green beans

Hey, look what I’ll be sharing with you this week…
You will love this!

apple nachos 3

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Menu Plan For the Week ~ With Caramel Popcorn

Now here’s something I haven’t made for several months:

Caramel Popcorn With No Corn Syrup!

Caramel Popcorn isn’t something I think of to make for a treat in the summertime.  Now that it’s fall, it seems perfect.  I’m making a huge batch to serve the teens tonight who are coming for Bible study.  Easy, inexpensive, filling, and fun!

Speaking of something I don’t think to make very often…I rarely think to make breakfast for lunch or dinner.  Why not?  I have no idea.  It’s easy, it’s inexpensive (usually), and it doesn’t take much time.  I decided that today for our Sunday Dinner, we would have pancakes and bacon.  No one will complain, I guarantee you that.  :)  Do you have breakfast for dinner very often?

Sunday, September 28
Raspberry oatmeal bars, apples
Quick mix pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, pears
High school huddle – Tator tot casserole, tossed salad, carrots with ranch, caramel popcorn

Monday, September 29
Cinnamon swirl bread, fried eggs, clementines
Bean and cheese burritos, pineapple mango smoothies, sweet peppers, olives
Lamb chops, cream scalloped potatoes, tossed salad, green beans

Tuesday, September 30
Pumpkin pancakes, applesauce
Hamburger patties, cheesy cauliflower cakes, steamed broccoli, raspberries
Alfredo sauce with pasta, Italian chicken, tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Wednesday, October 1
Bacon cheese muffins, cantaloupe
Popcorn chicken, ranch potato wedges, peas, carrot sticks
Homemade tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, green beans

Thursday, October 2
Scrambled cheesy eggs, strawberry smoothies
Spicy avocado dip with chips, sweet peppers, nectarine cream cups
Grilled barbeque chicken, honey glazed carrots, tossed salad, fried okra

Friday, October 3
Giant breakfast cookies, apples
Baked potatoes in the crock pot with ham, cheese, and broccoli; olives, cucumbers
Homemade pizza, tossed salad

Saturday, October 4
Crepes with blueberries and cream cheese filling
Leftovers
Lamburgers, homemade fries, carrot sticks, peas

Get free fall menu planners here and here.  We’re working on designing new and different planners to use with different methods of menu planning.  Watch for those later this week!

What’s on your menu this week?

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ Lots of Apples and Dip

basket of apples

We are loving all the apples available to us right now!  We are now completely stocked with homemade applesauce for this winter, plus we’re eating a lot of apples for snacks and with meals.  One of our favorite ways to eat these apples is with Cream Cheese Fruit Dip.  If you haven’t tried this recipe yet – do it.  It’s amazing.  My kids think it’s kind of like dipping your apple in cheesecake.  :)

You’ll notice in my menu plan below that I am serving this dip twice today – once this morning for a college age Bible class Matt teaches at church; and again tonight for the teens who come to our home for Bible study and fellowship.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Hope your week is full of blessing!  Here’s what our menu looks like:

Sunday, September 21
Easy breakfast casserole, apples with cream cheese fruit dip
Lamb roast, potatoes, carrots, gravy, peas
High school huddle – Pizza boats, tossed salad, apples with cream cheese fruit dip

Monday, September 22
Dark chocolate almond granola, grapes
Taco salad, fresh pineapple
Sloppy joes on cornbread muffins, peas, apples

Tuesday, September 23
Scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, creamy orange cooler
Tuna salad on lettuce and tomatoes, strawberry ice cream, sweet peppers
Baked three cheese chicken pasta, tossed salad, green beans

Wednesday, September 24
Green machine milkshakes, honey cinnamon muffins, apples
Bacon, egg, and avocado salad, honey whole wheat toast
Chicken fried steak strips, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans

Thursday, September 25
Grape nuts cereal, blueberries
Taco quesadillas, raspberry lemon cream cups, carrot sticks, olives
Easy noodle stir-fry with broccoli, zucchini, and carrots

Friday, September 26
Pancake and sausage muffins, applesauce
Easy cheesy bean dip with chips, fresh pineapple, sweet peppers
Chicken nuggets and french fries, carrot sticks, grapes

Saturday, September 27
Bacon cheesy eggs, raspberries
Leftovers
Italian cream cheese chicken, tossed salad, asparagus

Be sure to download our free new Fall Menu Planners here.

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ And A Little Bit About Our Past Few Days

I hate to talk about the weather, but…

Is it cold at your house already?  It’s been unseasonably cold the past few days here in Nebraska.  Temps are supposed to creep up again, thankfully, but here it is mid-September and I’m already wearing wool socks.  It’s a little early for that, but I’m kind of a cold weather wimp.  ;)

We’re pulling in quite a bit from our garden since it’s been getting so cold at night.  We probably won’t be getting many more fresh tomatoes (sniff).  I chopped one up to go with a new recipe I found in the Healthy Living BundleTaco Dip.  It was super, super easy and really delicious – two favorite qualities in a recipe at my house.  Fresh pineapple (not from our garden, ha!) was a great side dish.  And of course, I served a mountain of quesadillas too.   We’re serious about our food.

taco dip

I’ve got a new Make-Ahead Lunch Box idea to share with you later this week.  Below is a sneak preview.  Simple and delicious.  Full details coming in a few days!

taco quesadillas 1

One of the cold days last week, you would have found me wearing my wool socks…and drinking an iced coffee.  Silly and counterproductive, I know.  But the iced coffee was delicious, making the shivering episode completely worth it.  I will say though, I stuck with hot coffee the rest of the week.  I’m not completely crazy (just mostly).

strawsome

See that cool glass straw in my iced coffee?  I had no idea how nice it would be to have one of those.  When I first saw Strawsome was offering a $15 gift certificate for free with your bundle purchase, I was like, “Really? Why would I want a glass straw that would most certainly be used as a weapon of some sort in my family of males, and would break within five minutes of being in my kitchen?”  I stand corrected.  This thing is so sturdy, I’m not worried a bit about it breaking.  I LOVE that my iced coffee (or smoothies) no longer taste like plastic straws.  I have yet to share this little prize with my boys.  I actually am not so worried anymore about them breaking it, but I’ve kind of been keeping it to myself because I got a cutesy one…just for me.  What can I say?

bundle 2014 freebies 1
You like how I took so much time and effort to carefully white out my mailing address?  I am so professional.  I just thought it would be fun to show you what my countertop looked like a few days after I ordered my bundle freebies.  What you see above all came in one day.  SO MUCH FUN.  I opened them slowly, then oohed and aahed over them loudly…while drinking hot tea.  So many treats. :)

Here’s a look at our menu this week:

Sunday, September 14
Apple Crisp, cheese
Cheeseburger soup, tossed salad
Huddle – Sliced ham, macaroni salad, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, grapes, chocolate chip cookies

Monday, September 15
Fruit pizza with strawberries and kiwi
BLT wraps, peaches
Cheesy beef and rice, tossed salad, green beans

Tuesday, September 16
Scrambled eggs with cheese, creamy orange cooler
Grilled cheese, homemade tomato soup, carrots, sweet peppers
Salmon patties, sweet potato fries, peas, pears

Wednesday, September 17
Cream cheese pumpkin muffins, apples
Pasta salad bar, watermelon
Italian pasta bake, tossed salad, okra, green beans

Thursday, September 18
Cinnamon apple toast, fried eggs
Taco corn fritters, sweet peppers, olives, applesauce
Potato soup, sausage, carrot sticks, pears

Friday, September 19
Crepes with blueberries
Spanish rice, corn, sweet peppers, olives, peaches
Homemade pizza, tossed salad

Saturday, September 20
Scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, raspberries
Leftovers
One dish meat and potato casserole, tossed salad

Tell me a little about what you’ve done the past few days.  Hope you had a good week!

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Menu Plan for the Week

Pigs in a Blanket

Remember how we used to host High School Huddle on Sunday nights?  (It’s the high school kids from our church youth group, along with a few adults, meeting on Sunday evenings for fellowship and Bible study.)  We took a break last year and instead hosted a family small group Bible study at our house.  This year, since we’ve got two boys in high school, and a big enough house for hosting 40 people, we’re hosting huddle again!  We’re sharing the responsibility with another family, taking turns month by month.  September is our month, October is theirs, November is ours, and so on.  I love this plan and am very excited to have these teens in our home!

All that to say, our first Huddle of the year begins tonight!  Feeding meals to a large crowd isn’t difficult for me as long as I keep the menu simple.  The teens don’t need fancy, they just want yummy.  I can do that.  :)

Here’s our menu for this week.  Our evenings are full of soccer games and music lessons.

Sunday, September 7
Poppyseed bread with orange glaze (recipe from Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), blueberries
Sweet and Sour Meatballs (recipe from Let’s Do This! eCourse), baked potatoes in the crock pot, green beans and sweet peppers from the garden
Huddle – Grilled Italian chicken, Italian bread, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, watermelon, chocolate chip cookie bars

Monday, September 8 
Scrambled cheesy eggs, peaches
Pizza boats, tossed salad, carrots and cucumbers
Pigs in a blanket, green beans from the garden, honey dew melon

Tuesday, September 9
Chocolate chocolate chip muffins, fried eggs, strawberries
Bacon, egg, and avocado salad, cantaloupe
Chicken, spinach, and feta sliders (recipe from upcoming Healthy Living Bundle – this week!), pineapple mango smoothies, cucumbers

Wednesday, September 10
Mountain man breakfast (recipe from upcoming Healthy Living Bundle – this week!), peaches
Cheddar ranch burgers, potato wedges, peas, honey dew melon
Grilled barbeque chicken, tossed salad, green beans, raspberry lemon cream cups

Thursday, September 11
Try a new smoothie recipe from Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle ideas, scrambled eggs
Easy noodle stir fry with carrots, broccoli, and zucchini, watermelon
Lasagna casserole, tossed salad, sweet peppers and cucumbers, fresh pineapple

Friday, September 12
Mini breakfast pizza, creamy orange cooler
Tuna salad on tomatoes and lettuce, peaches, pickles
Ham and cheese pasta salad, raspberries

Saturday, September 13
Crepes with blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream
Leftovers
Grilled burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon, pickles

Anything good on your menu this week?

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Need some menu planning encouragement and guidance?  Don’t forget – you can get a FREE copy of our 1-2-3 Menu Planning eBook if you subscribe to our free newsletter!  This offer is only good for a few more days!

123 Meal Planning Cover sm

 

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Menu Plan for the Week and Our Weekend Adventures

What do you do when you have tomatoes and green beans taking over your garden, peppers and squash all over your counter-tops, tons of website work you’re behind on, school books scattered all of the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes piled up, and laundry you can’t keep up with?  You ditch it all and take a trip to Kansas, that’s what.

The deal is, there’s never really a good time to get away.  This time of year seems even more difficult with garden produce demanding such immediate attention.  But hey, if you don’t just make it happen, you’ll never get around to it.  And that is why, when we found exactly one free (ha!) day in our schedule that was close to my dad’s 65th birthday, we made a quick trip south to celebrate.  I’m so glad we did!

One of the gifts we gave my dad was Matt’s announcement of, “We have a few hours before the birthday party tonight.  What can the boys and I do around here to help?”  I, on the other hand, had already made plans to visit my good friend Amy (from The Finer Things in Life).  I got to hold her newborn while we talked a mile a minute trying to catch up.  Upon arriving back at my dad’s place two hours later, this is what I found:

Matt…leaning over the side of the roof of the car port, holding none other than a margarine tub (full of paint).

kansas trip 3

Asa…standing on – um, what do you call this? – tractor with boards lifting him into the air so he could paint the front of the car port.

kansas trip 2

Justus and Elias…on the other side of the car port, sitting/walking on the roof and painting.

kansas trip 4

Apparently Malachi had already done his part, and was (safely) inside the house helping Grandma Tacy get lunch put together.  Ah, life on the farm.  I think the boys all enjoyed themselves very much.

After lunch, Malachi took me for a drive in Papa’s golf cart.  I promise I really am smiling in the picture below.  It was a selfie, the sun was in my eyes, and I wasn’t at all nervous with my nine year old’s foot on the gas pedal.

kansas trip 1

Ain’t she purty?

It was a fantastic time to be with family.  The birthday party was fun, the cousins loved their time together, and we arrived home after midnight in time to catch some Z’s before getting up the next day and send our older boys off to a church youth event.

What have we been doing with all the tomatoes from our garden?  Well, this time, I made a batch of Homemade Tomato Soup.  I left some room at the top of each jar to allow for expansion as I put them into the freezer to have this winter.

Tomato Soup for the Freezer

Ain’t she purty?

No more traveling for our family for a while now – phew!  We’re hitting Restart – and we hope you’ll be joining us!  Settling into a routine (of some sort) sounds fantastic and refreshing.

Here’s what our menu looks like for the week:

Sunday, August 31
Blueberry streusel muffins, applesauce
Lunch at friend’s house: Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, carrots
Creamy mac and cheese, tossed salad, peas

Monday, September 1
Cheesy scrambled eggs, creamy orange cooler
Hamburger patties, honey glazed carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers
Black bean chicken nachos with lettuce and tomatoes, olives, watermelon

Tuesday, September 2
Oatmeal breakfast bars, peaches
Bacon, egg, and avocado salad, toast, apples
Grilled barbeque chicken, green beans, fried okra, watermelon

Wednesday, September 3
Crepes with cream cheese filling, blueberries, strawberries
Salmon patties, potato wedges, green beans, honey dew melon
Taco salad, cucumbers

Thursday, September 4
Banana bread, fried eggs, peaches
BLT wraps, carrot sticks, cantaloupe
Spanish rice with chicken, tossed salad, sweet peppers

Friday, September 5
Peanut butter pancakes, bananas, applesauce
Taco potatoes with lettuce and tomatoes, olives, watermelon
Tuna salad on crackers, cherry tomatoes, pickles, boiled eggs, apples

Saturday, September 6
No knead whole wheat bread with peanut butter and jelly, pears
Leftovers
Three cheese garlic chicken pasta, tossed salad, green beans, asparagus

What are you up to this Labor Day Weekend?  Are you hitting the restart button with us?  Did you sign up for the bundle refer a friend program

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ With Honey Dew Melon Right Out of the Garden

Our garden is doing great, kicking out loads of fresh produce for us despite the spring hail storm we thought wiped it all out.  We are enjoying okra, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, spaghetti squash, and the latest:  honey dew melon.  We’ve never planted these melons before.  We will be planting them again.  They are soooo yummy right out of the garden!

Beware, the picture below looks a little bit like St. Patrick’s Day just made a surprise late summer appearance.

honeydew

If you look real closely, you’ll even see a green twist-tie hanging out on the table. 
That’s how good I am at this blogging photography thing.

Here’s our menu for the week:

Sunday, August 24
Chocolate whipped cream on strawberries, chocolate chocolate chip muffins
Tuna salad on lettuce and tomatoes, pickles, olives, honey dew melon
Youth group family picnic – taking watermelon, carrot sticks, cucumbers, and tomatoes

Monday, August 25
Cheesy scrambled eggs, strawberry-peach smoothies
Taco corn fritters, fried okra, watermelon, sweet peppers
Tuna casserole, peas, cantaloupe

Tuesday, August 26
Coconut flour muffins, honey dew melon
Spanish rice, raspberry lemon cream cups, tossed salad
Teriyaki chicken and veggies with broccoli, carrots, and zucchini

Wednesday, August 27
Cranberry white chocolate chip breakfast cookies, pears
Sloppy cornbread muffins, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, seven minute strawberry ice cream
Pizza boats, tossed salad, fruit salad

Thursday, August 28
Fried eggs, cinnamon apple toast
Pasta salad bar with lots of veggie options, watermelon
Italian roast wraps with lettuce and tomatoes, green beans

Friday, August 29
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries
Chicken burritos, carrots and cucumbers, black olives, cherries
Cheesy salsa enchiladas, tossed salad, cantaloupe

Saturday, August 30
Cereal
Leftovers
Chicken salad, pita bread, tomatoes, grapes

Who found the green twist-tie?? (I know you looked for it.)

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