Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on May 4, 2016


So, it looks like I’ll only be cooking three times this week, and I’m not gonna lie….I’m pretty excited about that! ¬†It’s going to be a crazy busy week for our family with a Confirmation meeting, soccer games, our daughter’s recital, a Reds Game, and Mother’s Day, so it’s ideal timing for an easy cooking week!

Here’s what we have planned for our menu:

Monday – teriyaki chicken, rice, and veggie bowls

Tuesday – Chipotle for Teacher Appreciation Day

Wednesday – lemon chicken, flatbreads, spinach salad

Thursday – taco night for Cinco de Mayo!

Friday – dinner at Kings Island (still lovin’ that meal pass!)

Saturday – dinner at the Reds Game

Sunday – surprise dinner being made by my husband and kids ūüôā


Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on April 27, 2016


I’ve hit that point of the year where I’m completely burnt out with menu planning. ¬†I’m tapped out of ideas for dinners, and I’m pretty sure that my family is more than bored with marinated chicken, turkey burgers, and tacos.

So, I’m avidly searching for new ideas, healthy recipes, and summer-themed meals. ¬†I’m afraid that if I serve marinated chicken one more time this month, I may have a mutiny on my hands!

However, I am loving the fact that we have meal passes along with our Kings Island passes this year. ¬†It’s a guaranteed “no cook” night at least once a week! ¬†As for the rest of the meals, I’ll be scrolling through Pinterest, flipping through magazines, and consulting my cookbooks for new ideas.

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

Monday – barbecue chicken, corn, fresh fruit

Tuesday – baked ziti, spinach salad, breadsticks

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – teriyaki chicken, rice, and veggie bowls

Friday – dinner at Kings Island ūüôā

Saturday – fajitas, grilled veggies, fresh fruit

Sunday – spaghetti, spinach salad


Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on February 16, 2016


As I started planning out this week’s menu plan, I realized that I completely forgot to post our family’s meal plan from last week. ¬†Between a snow day last Tuesday and a busier-than-usual week for our family, we had mostly simple meals to streamline our schedule.


Two weeks ago, I tried my hand at an Ethiopian meal for the first time. ¬†I made Doro Wat (a chicken dish), Iab (a cheese sauce), and Injera (a spongy flatbread). ¬†I was pleasantly surprised that everyone really liked the both the chicken and the flatbread. ¬†While they weren’t crazy about the cheese, my husband and I absolutely loved it. ¬†And putting it all together…just yum!

Now that I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone, I’m feeling much more ambitious to tackle other new recipes. ¬†It’s my goal to experiment with foods from other cultures and nationalities not only to introduce our kids to new recipes, but also to tie in with our lesson plans throughout the school year as well.

Here’s what we have planned for this week’s meal plan:

Monday – ¬†waffles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal casserole, fresh fruit (per request for our youngest son’s 13th birthday)

Tuesday – Skyline Chili night!

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – marinated chicken, spinach salad, brown rice, fresh fruit

Friday – baked salmon, steamed broccoli, quinoa

Saturday – spaghetti with ground turkey, spinach salad, breadsticks

Sunday – white chicken chili, fresh fruit, baguettes


Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on January 20, 2016


Since snow has been in the forecast multiple times this week, I’ve planned a rather simple meal plan. ¬†I’ve noticed that when my older kids have a snow day, my level of productivity plummets drastically! ¬†Somehow, we all tend to lose focus, and we end up like we did today….watching movies and playing games and LEGOs.

Here’s what we have planned for this week:

Monday – spaghetti, spinach salad, fresh fruit

Tuesday – 4-ingredient pork chops, brown rice, peas

Wednesdayturkey chili, spinach salad, fresh fruit

Thursday – sesame ginger chicken, spinach salad, quinoa

Friday – peanut chicken wraps, veggies and black bean hummus

Saturday – dinner out/fend for yourself night

Sunday – Philly cheese steaks, spinach salad, spiced apples


French Apple Pie Recipe

by Katie on November 25, 2015


Thanksgiving is just not Thanksgiving in our family without apple pie….even if it does mean a small oven fire! ¬†Unlike my mom, I don’t make my own pie crust, but instead, I borrow a little help from Pillsbury. ¬†I love how easy the crusts are, and I think they taste very close to homemade.

Now, you won’t see any fancy crusts on my pies….it’s just not one of the talents that God bestowed upon me! ¬†I remember growing up that my mom would make beautifully fluted or scalloped crusts, but that ability has clearly skipped a generation!

French Apple Pie

Refrigerated pie crust
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 cups thinly sliced apples
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup firm stick butter, cut into chunks

Line pie plate with refrigerated pie crust and crimp edges to form a decorative pattern (or decide to not even try if you have no talent in decorative pie edges….like me!).  Mix sugar, nutmeg, and apples and toss gently.  Spoon into pie crust.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly (I use a whisk for this, but a pastry cutter or two knives will work as well).  Sprinkle on top of the apples.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. ¬†Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the apples are tender. ¬†As a side note, I often tent the pie with aluminum foil after the first ten minutes to prevent excessive browning (and for goodness sake, don’t forget to put a tray under the pie plate to catch the juices!).


Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

by Katie on October 28, 2015


I have a serious fondness for black beans.  I love pairing them with chicken, using them in chili, and have even been known to use them to make healthier brownies.  That being said, we go through a fair number of canned beans each month, which can get a bit pricey after awhile.  So, I decided to try a more budget-friendly recipe for black beans.

I’ve tweaked the recipe a few times, and now I not only love the recipe for being economical, but I also love the taste of the slow-cooker beans so much more than canned beans (okay…I guess that makes me sound like a bit of black bean snob!). ¬†The recipe is super easy, and it’s nice to have a supply of beans ready at my fingertips in the fridge and freezer.

Slower Cooker Black Beans

2 lbs. black beans
7 cups water
1 large onion, halved or quartered
4-5 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt

Sort through beans to removed shriveled or broken beans.  Place beans in slow cooker, cover completely with water, and place the lid on the slow cooker.  Let beans sit in water overnight (I typically do this right before I go to bed at night).

In the morning, rinse the beans using a large colander, and rinse any residue from the slow cooker.  Place the beans back into the slow cooker and cover with 7 cups of water.  Add onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and salt.

As the beans are cooking, be sure that the water continues to cover the beans so they don’t burn. ¬†Cook on high for 4-6 hours. ¬†After 4 hours, check to see if the beans are done. ¬†Spooning out a few, blow on them gently to see if the skins peel back. ¬†If they do, and they’re soft and tender, they’re done.

Remove the onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. ¬†Either use the beans immediately or store them in large ziploc bags or plastic storage containers once they’ve cooled. ¬†I typically store the beans in the refrigerator for up to a week, and in the freezer for 3 months.

By the way, these beans are delicious in this turkey chili recipe!

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Good, Healthy, & Cheap: Turkey Spaghetti

by Katie on August 19, 2015

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before or not, but I love spaghetti. ¬†In fact, about five years ago, I may or may not have driven my family to boycotting spaghetti due to making it so often….ahem! ¬†That being said, after a spaghetti sabbatical and a little coaxing, I’ve reintroduced spaghetti into our family’s meal rotation.

I’ve tweaked my traditional recipe to utilize ground turkey instead of ground beef, which definitely ups its nutritional value. ¬†As an added bonus, this recipe originated from my dad, bringing back fond memories every time I make it :)! ¬†And although we don’t typically use whole grain noodles (my kids really hate them!), they are obviously a healthier choice compared to regular pasta.

This dish pairs nicely with a spinach salad and fresh fruit.

Turkey Spaghetti

2 lbs. ground turkey
1 large jar Prego pasta sauce ( I either use meat or mushroom)
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons basil
1/4 cup low fat Parmesan cheese

Brown the ground turkey.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.  Serve over noodles with a fresh salad and fruit.

And the cost breakdown?

ground turkey ‚Äď $1.79 each at Meijer (total cost of $3.58)
pasta sauce – $3.05 at Meijer
oregano – $0.10 at Aldi
basil – $0.10 at Aldi
Parmesan cheese – $0.40 at Meijer
pasta – $1 at Meijer

The total cost for this dish is $8.23, and it serves 8 people ‚Äď so just $1.03 per serving.

Are you looking for good, healthy, and cheap meals?  You can find more recipes from this series here.

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