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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meal Planning and Cinnamon Butter Gifting

I’ve been trying to be a lot better about initially planning out meals for the week on Sundays. These past few months have been really busy with work and a lot of travel so it made dinners hectic.  A lot of evenings at 5:30 I was at the gym wondering what I was going to make that night for dinner with no groceries in the house. Still having to come up with a recipe and also going to the store to get the items for it. This was a daily occurrence over and over. Gym, store, late dinner.  Work has slowed and I’m done traveling until after the holidays (as of now) so life is starting to fall back into place. Which has allowed me to start planning meals again and shopping once or twice a week at the grocery store, praise the Lord!

Here are some of the recipes I’ve whipped up lately.

Monday: Grilled pork chops, crispy zucchini fries and side César salad.
For the pork chops I mixed a marinade which included: minced garlic, soy sauce (low sodium), lemon juice and cracked pepper.
You can find how I made our zucchini in my post here. These are delicious and a healthy side option.

Tuesday: Blackened chicken, homemade fettuccine alfredo, steamed broccoli and Cesar salad (again).
You can find the complete recipes I used in this post.  This was a big hit and will for sure be made again. The entire meal was homemade and took me less than forty-five minutes from start to finish. I don’t think I will never buy jarred alfredo sauce again. This is SO much better, yumm! 

Wednesday:   Chicken pot stickers, fried rice and egg rolls. This was not a trophy wife meal but it was fast, easy and yummy. I just used a Chicken Helper fried rice kit, frozen pot stickers and boxed egg rolls. Told you, not a winner in the kitchen this evening. This was not healthy but easy to put together after a long day.

Thursday:  Breakfast sandwiches. This is so simple and a huge hit with the husband. I just use Pillsbury frozen buttermilk biscuits topped with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese. Noting fancy, nothing healthy and nothing to clean up!
On weekends we are usually out and about and I never know what both of our plans are. So typically Friday and Saturday I play it by ear.

Sunday: Steamed snap peas, roasted red pepper quinoa (I use the Near East mix) and baked lemon pepper chicken breasts. I just use Mrs. Dash lemon pepper seasoning and pop in the oven on 350 for twenty five to thirty minutes. 

Monday: Creamy baked chicken taquitos. This was a new recipe that I got from Megan at Tales of Trees. These are delicious and were such an easy idea to top off a Monday. I used larger torttials cause that is just what I already had so ours were almost like small burriots. Next time I will get smaller ones for taquito size.

Tuesday: Out to dinner to celebrate Kyle’s Birthday

Wednesday: Lasagna night! I’m not a huge lasagna fan but my husband is and has asked me at least twenty times lately to make it. Since it’s his birthday week I decided I'd actually make it. This is my mother in law’s recipe and is super easy and pretty tasty, even for lasagna haha

1 pound ground beef
32 oz. jar of thick spaghetti sauce
15 oz. small curd cottage cheese
3 cups of shredded cheese (mozzarella or Monterey jack)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 medium onion
Uncooked spaghetti noodles

Preheat oven to 350. Brown beef and chopped onion, drain, and add spaghetti sauce and let simmer in skillet. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour 1 cup of beef/sauce mix on bottom of 13x9x2 baking pan. Layer 3 noodles on top of sauce. Cover with about 1.5 cups of sauce. Add half of the cheese filling. Layer with 3 more noodles, cover with 1.5 cups of sauce, and then cheese filling again. Top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake 55-60 minutes. Remove foil, and bake about 10 more minutes (I usually add shredded cheese to the top for the last 10 minutes).

I served this with steamed fresh snapped green beans that I just sautéed in a skillet with fresh garlic and paired it with garlic bread.

Thursday:  {Leftovers}

Do you have any tips that work for you on simplifying weeknight dinners? Do you meal plan?

I used Jessica's, at Little Baby Garvin, cinnamon butter recipe last year and gave some to friends and family and it was a yummy hit! So good that I made up another batch this year. The recipe makes enough to fill four small mason jars, just enough to keep one and give three away. It is perfect for warm bread of any type. So, for the second day of Christmas I will be giving delicious cinnamon butter to friends and family!

Cinnamon Butter

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of honey
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients and mix on high until whipped texture is achieved!
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