Menu Plan for the Week and Challenge #2 Check In – Have You Been Able To Get Ahead?

First, let’s talk menu plan. Then, we’ll talk challenge. :) 

Here’s what we’re looking to eat this week:

Sunday, September 9
Oatmeal, fruit
Barbecue brisket, baked potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, death by chocolate
High school huddle (hosted by our friends, but we are going over to help)

Monday, September 10
Whole wheat pancakes, blueberries
Hamburger patties, steamed broccoli, corn on the cob
Creamy chicken and rice casserole, carrots, tossed salad

Tuesday, September 11
Scrambed eggs with cheese, peaches
Salmon patties, potato wedges, peas
Pizza casserole, tossed salad

Wednesday, September 12
Easy breakfast casserole, oranges
Potato soup, carrot sticks
Teriyaki chicken and vegetables

Thursday, September 13
Homemade poptarts (from the freezer!), bananas
Pizza pockets, fruit-kefir smoothies
Tuna casserole, peas

Friday, September 14
Flaky cream cheese pastry, kiwi
Taco corn fritters, apple slices, baby carrots
Shepherd’s pie, tossed salad

Saturday, September 15
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, applesauce
Grilled burgers, ranch potato wedges, tossed salad, watermelon

So how has the Funky Fresh Challenge #2 been going for you so far? Many of you shared your plans and ideas. Have you found some time to get ahead a little bit? If not, I encourage you to keep plugging away! Any time you can squeeze in to do something extra is great! You’ll appreciate it so much!

I didn’t finish everything on my to-do-list, but that’s okay. I am just thankful that I could find a few extra hours in the kitchen before chasing off to soccer games. Our mornings will go more smoothly now with these extra breakfast foods in our freezer. Or, for at least a few mornings, I’ll be ahead of the game, right? 

Giant Breakfast Cookies, 2 loaves of Cinnamon Swirl Bread, 2 loaves of Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Homemade Poptarts

As of now, we’ve already eaten one loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, both of the loaves of honey whole wheat, and several of the breakfast cookies. That’s okay though. I made them so we could eat them, and as we all know, I’m trying to do a better job of actually serving the foods I make for the freezer!! :)

Your turn! How has Challenge #2 gone for you so far? Leave a comment on this post to let us know what you’ve been able to accomplish, or what you might plan to do to get ahead in the coming days. If you have a blog, write a post about what you’ve done for the challenge, then come link up here so we can read about it. All comments and blog entries will be entered in our giveway for two $25 and one $50 gift certificates to the Heavenly Homemakers Shop.

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  1. susan says

    I went through my cupboards for the get rid of Junk challenge and got rid of all the canned fruits that weren’t canned in juice. I couldn’t throw them out, but i know that my childrens’ schools and our church will be having food drives in the next few months so i’ll pass them on then.


  2. Jaclyn says

    I went through my cupboards the week before these challenges started! We are going on a trip this week so I am looking forward to starting some of these challenges when I get home!


  3. Deanna says

    I got a couple of pans of oatmeal squares baked up and a couple of other (non food) kitchen things done. Looking forward to the next challenge!


  4. Tracie says

    I haven’t even been able to come up with a plan, but I was able to make some veggie broth with a bunch of veggie odds and ends that I had stashed in my freezer. I just received some FREE apples to make applesauce with, so that’s up next. I also need to get all of my cold/flu season remedies prepared, so I’ll be getting that done this week-don’t know if that counts, but my medicine cabinet IS my kitchen…;)


  5. says

    Great Job! Your poptarts look super yummy! It all looks great! I put some of your crunchy ranch chicken in the freezer and I made Giant Breakfast cookies but I already need to make another batch…we love them!


  6. kelly says

    not yet…had a wedding this weekend so we are using up the last of what was prepared ahead and then we’ll do it all again. =0)


  7. Staci says

    To tired to jump in yet. Last day of full time was yesterday.Thus my new schedule starts soon of home school and cooking tortillas ahead for my first goal.


  8. breck says

    I did not get as much done in the kitchen this weekend either, but have plans on making up for it this week. I was able to make a double batch of your amazing hamburger buns and your homemade ranch dressing mix. Your poptarts and a triple batch of tortillas are on my list for this week!!


  9. Linda says

    I still plan on working on some of your great ideas, but I did make the ranch dressing mix and mixed up my own dressing. Thanks for sharing your wealth of information.


  10. Alicia says

    During Sunday afternoon resttime (after I rested a bit!), I got dry ingredients mixed for tonight’s breakfast for supper…pumpkin chocolate chip waffles. Multiplied recipe times 4 to have extra to stash in freezer! Now to soak up the late afternoon almost-fall sunshine with my sweet fam! Thanks for encouraging us to “get ahead”…. it prompted me to have part of dinner (waffles) ready so we would have more afternoon playtime. My children & husband will be thankful!! Me too!!


  11. Amber Schmidt says

    I was able to make 4 8X8 baked spaghetti casseroles to freeze. They are a complete meal with hamburger, lots of veggies, and healthy noodles. This week I plan to make homemade bread- 1 to eat and 3 to freeze, and some of your whole wheat tortillas! :) Thank you for the challenge!


  12. Kim says

    OK, I am going to go ahead and request….a grocery list for your meal plans. That would really be most helpful for the organizationally challenged like myself. I’ve really been wanting to plan meals, and LOVE the food you make, but just can’t get into gear b/c I can’t wrap my brain around making a list to take to the store.

    Pretty please?? You’ll be my best friend!

    PS If you REALLY wanted to be my friend, you could also add a planning guide for things that need to be prepped ahead of time and what can be made and frozen….


  13. Amber Schmidt says

    For those interested in the pyrex dishes, they have a very similar 18 piece set to the one that you like, Laura, at Target this week on sale. It is on sale at our Targets in KC, MO anyways. It even has fun multicolored lids! The set is $27.99!


  14. says

    Since my husband is canning and dehydrating 1200 lbs of pears this week, I don’t know how much I can get done, but I want to declutter the cupboards and do an inventory of what food I have. Also, I usually make 1 freezer food a day. I plan to make pigs in a blanket, breakfast pockets, homemade pop tarts and muffins. And I’m currently trying to put all my favorite recipes on Tastebook so I can get a cookbook made without cards everywhere and flipping through books and online ebooks.


  15. Barbara says

    I got spaghetti finished for supper and leftovers. Made tacos for my sons lunches and have some cooked ground beef to freeze for later. Still have chicken to debone for the freezer and more chicken to prep for the freezer. Unfortunately I still have to finish the clean up after I rest a bit. I have to thank you for this challenge. It’s just the jumpstart I needed after being sick for a week.


  16. Lisa says

    I think what would really help me is to just make a double batch of whatever I am making. We can eat one and then stick the other one in the freezer. That is the plan for this week!


  17. Teresa Yb. says

    We got 7 quarts of tomato soup canned. I also made an extra meatloaf to put in the freezer. Making 2 was the same amount of work as making one.


  18. Mayira says

    I made two loaves of honey whole wheat bread and a double batch of mini banana muffins. Tomorrow I hope to make a triple batch of waffles for the freezer and another snack.


  19. Stephanie says

    My freezer is overloaded with bread for when we have company. I bought Peter Reinhart’s book Whole Grains and highly recommend it to anyone interested in baking amazing whole grain bread!


  20. Jenika Johnson says

    I have EMBRACED your pizza dough recipe! So much so that we are eating lots of ham/cheese or turkey cheese pockets, pizza, or what ever else sounds good to throw with it. Then, I use whatever is left to roll out and top with cinnamon and sugar for a little dessert!

    Then, after some thought, I just realized that we have NO white flour in the house. Since buying my flour mill, I have been milling my own completly for the last 3 months!


  21. Sara says

    Sorry about the post above…was trying to type on my phone and it wasn’t working.
    I meant to say….your pile looks amazing!!
    I managed to get some waffles stockpiled, 1 batch of apple sauce muffins done, and 5 loaves of bread…however, with the bread, I was trying out white whole wheat flour and didn’t have time to actually bake them before I headed off to work (twice), and they fermented or something and I had to throw 4 out of my 5 loaves away!!! The fifth one I just did standard bread-maker bake, rather than just dough ’cause I just needed some bread!!
    Anyway, I still feel like I accomplished a lot!


  22. Elyse says

    I made enough extra tortillas for 7 meals and extra taco meat for 5 meals – plus your mini breakfast quiches for DH’s breakfasts this week – hope he likes them! Thanks for the inspiration!


  23. Ashley says

    I had my husband buy the real block of cheddar cheese this week instead of the bagged stuff… tee hee I’m also “planning” on making a batch of breakfast cookies to take with us on the road!


  24. Susan says

    Doubling the casserole makes it nice to have a second meal later. Your hoarding article cracked me up…I am already hoarding in my mind!


  25. Marsha says

    Nothing except making a pasta salad to take to our cousin’s birthday party and getting dinner into the crockpot before going to the party. I think I will offer to help our cousin organize her kitchen. She is a young mother of two children (the youngest turned 1 yesterday & the party was for her). Poor momma is probably still trying to find where I put things when I was cleaning up because I couldn’t figure out where anything went :)


  26. Christina B. says

    Well, I finished the first challenge and I am loving the way my kitchen looks it is so nice now that it is decluttered and I removed almost all of the plastic in it.
    As for the second challenge I spent some time this weekend stocking my freezer with some homemade cookies, zuchini bread and tomato soup…..yum.


  27. Katie says

    I made 2 loaves of cinnamon swirl bread, a bunch of waffles for the freezer, an 8x batch of granola bars, some carrot breakfast cookies, an 8x batch of vanilla wafers which aren’t all baked yet, tried out some other crackers, and dehydrated some zucchini for later use. Hopefully this will keep me ahead for a while. :)


  28. Devon says

    last week I made 24 dinners for the freezer. I haven’t been as busy this weekend, but I’m making a big batch of granola now, and a loaf of honey whole wheat bread (will make 2 if I have time). your breakfast cookies sound awesome.


  29. Laura says

    I have been busy shredding zucchini and packing if away in the freezer for zucchini bread this winter. I also plan on getting a large batch of tortillas made and in the freezer so I can stop buying the yuck ones from the grocery store.


  30. Heather says

    I just made a batch of the ranch dressing mix up, and am working on muffins, breakfast cookies, and granola bars. I am loving the challenges.


  31. mrs. p says

    I had to work this weekend. But I was able to make potato and bean soup. I needed something in my lunch for work since I put the same things in both soup (ham,onion,carrots and celery ) I made them both. Tomorrow night is the potato soup with homemade rolls and the bean soup I put in the freezer. I plan on finish decluttering my kitchen and and do some extra baking but we will have to see my hubby gout has kicked in.


  32. Beth B says

    Yesterday I made 3 extra casseroles to put in my freezer. I am really glad I did because today I had an extra family in for dinner at the last minute so I used one. Normally I would have had to pick up a pizza. Yay Me!! Thanks for all your encouragement.


  33. says

    I got some extra cooking done, this week I want to make some bone broth for the freezer. I bought some grass fed bones at the Farmers Mkt. I also want to make some soup and freeze part of it. I think a couple of extra things a week is about all I can handle.


  34. Kim G says

    I made a triple batch of pancakes, pop tarts, applesauce muffins, and whole wheat tortillas. I have pears that will be ripe and ready for canning this week as well as plums. My husband and I also packaged and froze a ton of freshly caught salmon today. Phew!


  35. Amy H says

    I’ve cleaned out the “bad” stuff! I didn’t have too much, thankfully. I’m planning a cooking day this week. Will be going to the store tomorrow to pick up the last couple of things I need for it. I’m having surgery a week from Monday (will come home same day) and I want simple things to fix for myself and something quick for my DD to put together for supper, while trying to take care of an active 10 month old who was taking steps today!!!!!


  36. Amy H says

    I forgot to say what I was cooking…spaghetti sauce, taco or nacho meat, baked tortillas chips, giant breakfast cookies and grilled chicken. I’m going to try to get some sandwich bread done also but don’t know if I’ll be able to. Thank you Laura! I used to do things like this all the time and have slacked off.


  37. Jennifer Blaine says

    So far the only thing I have done is cook a whole chicken and separate it for several different meals. I am having a hard time trasitioning my kids over to whole foods. They don’t like most of the things I cook. Therefore, they don’t eat as much. I feel like they are not getting the proper nutrients they should. Any suggestions?


  38. Lana says

    I put 6 meals worth of spaghetti sauce in the freezer along with 4 other main dishes and 6 packages of prebrowned ground beef. Today I am very tired from a quick trip to visit one of our sons and his wife this weekend so I am glad to have something partly prepared for supper tonight.


  39. says

    we went through our cooking staples cabinet (spices, oils, sweetners, etc) organizing and making room for our daughter’s gluten/dairy free staples. It’s great having the cabinet re organized, and having room for our daughter’s special foods!


  40. Calista says

    I make a wheat bread recipe at least once a week. Instead of stocking up, I shared a cinnamon raisin loaf with a friend who just had a baby girl! Once I go grocery shopping again (gotta wait for payday) I’m going to get some pumpkin and make some of those pumpkin muffins!


  41. Kathy says

    You’re make-ahead challenge is GREAT, but I must admit, with a family of 10 I already double or triple most recipes just for a single meal. Kinda funny! :-) So, it’s a little harder to make extra for the freezer. BUT, in an effort to save a few dollars and get off the bagel-for-breakfast kick, I’ve been making homemade bread for toast. Last week I made two different double batches each yielding 2 large loaves, 1-2 small loaves and about 2 dozen buns for burgers or sandwiches. We shared a small loaf with our neighbor and her 80 year old mother. What a blessing. Thanks for your encouragement to think outside the box!


  42. Angela Anthony says

    Yesterday I was able to make 4 1/2 dozen chocolate chip cookies and 46 peanut butter cookies (I froze 1/2 of each for another time). I also was able to get a ham going in the crock pot. We ate some of it for supper, I sliced some up and froze it, cut a huge hunk off for soup and froze it, AND I have the ham bone and some ham scraps in the crock pot right now to make soup for supper. With a family of 7, it’s so nice to be able to “put stuff up” for a later date!


  43. Deborah says

    I was going to make bread this weekend but had unexpected guests for the weekend and sewing for the flag corp at school. Maybe I can get this baking in this week. I am really trying to get organized. Life just keeps getting in the way. I don’t know how you do all you do. Inspiring!


  44. Soccy says

    Well, I’m battling depression after the loss of my mom earlier this year and this weekend was a bad one. I didn’t get ahead this weekend, but I was able to get our Kombucha going again.

    I do plan to welcome out new neighbors with some cookies this week, though.


  45. Verna says

    Just made a huge batch of turkey meatballs cooked and ready for the freezer. I use these to make sweet and sour meat ball, meat balls in onion gravy, mini hamburgers, bar b q meat balls you name it. so easy


  46. Jenifer Parker says

    I have a question about wheat. I am hearing that it is becoming more of a ‘bad’ thing because it has been ‘bred’ down (no pun intended) to such a number of varietals.
    Do you know if the ‘organic’ wheat is less ‘inbred’? Sorry I have to laugh at myself but I really am serious. The guy that reminded us of this in our Sunday School class owns a health food store. He says eat sugar before wheat but I didnt get a chance to ask if organic wheat was any better. do you know? I used to make a “honey wheat bread” that you make up in the evening, put in the fridge overnight to (rise) and yes it does rise in the fridge, and then you bake it in the morning. It came from the LaLeche League cookbook of 30 years ago. Any thoughts?


  47. Jenifer Parker says

    They guy I am referring to is the one who used to sing so loud in the balcony at WAyside, Bob, He really does know his ‘health’ food stuff tho.


  48. Sally McQuaid says

    I hae a menu planned for most of the week. Were scrimping a little to save for a 1/2 cow purchase so lots of beans and rice.


  49. jessica says

    I haven’t been able to do any of it due to illness and fulltime work, but this week I have off of work and I plan to dig right in. I am so excited ! Thanks for your encouragement Laura.


  50. Rhonda says

    What a great inspiration this challenge has been for me and my family! Yesterday I went on the search for products to replace all my plastic(s) items. Wow do we ever have an overload of plastic. Since the start of this month I have been trying to purchase recommended items you post as we can afford to buy them. Thank you so much for teaching me how to have a fresh kitchen!


  51. Hillary says

    Made some chocolate graham crackers for the kids to have a quick, healthy snack…thanks for the encouragement to get ahead!


  52. Sue D says

    I have plans for this week to do some extra baking–I am starting with zucchini muffins. Any extra muffins or zucchini I plan to freeze. I am hoping to cook some meals to freeze too.


  53. Susan Alexander says

    I got some doubles on some of my recipes made (lasagna, spaghetti, etc). Hoping to find time this week to make up some breakfast stuff like muffins and sausage eggs and cheese english muffins. :)


  54. says

    Broke down and turned on the second freezer…more food preservation can commence and I can actually do some cooking ahead. There wasn’t room in the freezer anymore!


  55. Joan S says

    I soaked and cooked the beans I had on hand, so I have a better chance of using them! Also made chicken stock from the whole chicken I cooked last week and your chicken burritos – delish!


  56. Laura says

    Made zucchini bread and will slice and freeze, freezing blueberries for smoothies and doing something with jalpenos from the garden.


  57. Brianna D. says

    As I am about 10 weeks pregnant now, I’ve hardly had energy to do the dishes, let alone make up a full meal, much less make a freezer meal.

    So I was VERY blessed last week that my sister and brother came over last week. My brother played with my 2 small kiddos, (and mowed the lawn while they were napping), and my sister helped me make a bunch of food. We (or mostly she) made granola, bread, meatballs, lasagna, chili, and bean burritos! I was so blessed!


  58. Katrina Page says

    I have not gotten anything done yet but tonight I’ll make some dough for my own homemade poptarts! And get them made tomorrow. And maybe make something else for the freezer tomorrow as well. I’ve had a busy busy weekend.


  59. Katie says

    I made your chicken burrito recipe. I put one in my daughters lunch, one in the freezer for another day, and gave the rest away to her school teacher. I also cooked a turkey and made some turkey broth. Hmm, I think maybe I’ll have to make more burritos.


  60. karli says

    hi, thanks for all the great ideas! i’m switching out all my oils, getting rid of old plastic containers and getting organized:) it feels great! hopefully more changes will happen soon…


  61. Sally says

    We just returned from spending a week with our daughter and new granddaughter. One of my contributions was to prepare dinner for a week. I prepared extras of each meal and left her freezer stocked with 4 meatloaves, 6 servings of corn chowder, 1 pesto pizza, filling for veggie tacos, and 2 servings of maple garlic glazed chicken. So I helped her get ahead with freezer cooking AND I found a way to serve.


  62. Jami says

    I’ve been doubling what I make and freezing! Corn dog muffins, pumpkin choc chip muffins. Need to reorganize my freezer so we can double some pasta bakes and pizza pockets! Love healthy convenience food!


  63. Shelby says

    I recently started using coconut oil in most of my recipies, and I really LOVE it (best of all, my family thinks it’s “ok” too, unlike some other changes I have tried to make!) With a family of 8, we sure could use a gallon!


  64. Brenda J says

    I made your giant breakfast cookies for the first time. I made a double batch and shared them with my brother and sister-in-law. Glad I took a chance and did that! Canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, zuchunni relish, peaches, beets and speghetti sauce for the winter monthes…first time planning ahead! Love it!


  65. katie says

    Applesauce bread in freezer and cooked 2#’s of ground beef at once, when all I needed was 1 at the time. Froze the other to have on hand for recipes this week! Will be great to have since we have company all week!


  66. says

    This weekend I made a chicken noodle bake for lunches this week, canned sugar free strawberry jam, made extra beans for my Haitian beans and rice meal this week, froze a batch of pancakes and made a double batch of rice for our quesidillas one night and our beans and rice another. Love starting out the week prepared!!!


  67. Karen says

    I made a double batch of whole wheat sandwich buns this weekend. We will eat some in the next day or two, then the rest will go in the freezer. These will be great for crock-pot sandwich fillings. Fast end easy lunches ahead!


  68. Laura M says

    I was able to bake 2 extra loaves of bread for the weekend, cook lots of potato wedges for baby meals on the go, and a batch of french toast for weekend breakfasts as our weekends are pretty on-the-go!


  69. Alycia says

    I made a double batch of pancakes which helped with breakfast this week! Making abig batch of tomato soup to can and to give away!


  70. says

    Yesterday I made a big pot of beef broth and a vegetable soup. Doing it all in one day turned out to be a good idea because I had to watch it for several hours and I only had to clean up once. So all the broth went into the freezer and half of the soup. Now I would like to make some muffins to go along with the soup. My dd freeze batter in muffin tins. Once it’s frozen you take them out and wrap them. When you’re read to bake you just slip them back into the muffin tin.


  71. Annie says

    I made a quadruple batch of muffins this morning, serving half for breakfast and saving the other half for another day. With my husband’s crazy work schedule, I’m like a single mom (with 4 kids 4 and under!) 48 hours at a time twice a week. I’ve been overwhelmed lately, so I planned several crockpot meals for this week to help with the normally very tiring dinner-then-bedtime routine. In the next day or so, I’ll assemble the ingredients for those meals, so all I have to do is dump them in the crockpot!


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