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To mention my recent absence, or not to mention??  Truth is, blogging is not a business for me.  Just a fun hobby.  And as just about everyone in the entire world knows, there are seasons when hobbies cannot take a front seat.  Or even a back seat.  Or even a sidecar.

This, for me, has been one of those seasons.  Is she pregnant, AGAIN?!?!?  That will probably be the first question many of you will think to ask :).  The answer is, right now, no.  The Lord has seen it fit to keep me plenty busy with my current role of wife and mother to five.  I am content with that!

My husband’s business has kept our family extremely busy lately, and it seems that any time we have him to ourselves, I just don’t feel like sneaking away to blog.  I just want to enjoy our togetherness.

But, we are still eating.  So, at the very least, I can share with you what we have on the menu for this week!

Gluten-free was a short-lived experiment for us.  We just didn’t see any differences – good or bad.  Still very thankful that we do not need to be gluten-free.  I am still making a conscious effort to limit our wheat, though.  Mostly because I just don’t feel comfortable eating any food several times a day, every day of the week.

BREAKFASTS:

Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Oatmeal

Granola

Yogurt

Granola bars

Honey Nut O’s from Trader Joe’s (my kids thought I deserved Mother of the Year for this one)

LUNCHES:

Baked Potatoes, steamed broccoli, cheese

Bean Bowls (refried beans with fixin’s), corn chips

Turkey Sandwiches, fresh veggies

Pancakes, sausage, maple icing

Leftovers x 3

DINNERS:

Taco Joes (like sloppy joes, but taco-y and eaten with chips), shredded cheese, tomato, sour cream, corn chips

Roasted Potatoes and Sausage, green beans

Chicken Spaghetti, steamed peas, carrot sticks

Tuna, Spinach and Rice, oranges

Beef and Black Bean Stew, fruit

Pizza, fresh veggies

Church Pot Luck – breakfast theme this week . . . Still not sure about this one . . .

So, that’s the plan!  Are you in a busy season right now?  What are you doing to stay sane?

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We have reached the end of the month.  And the end of the grocery money.  I do think it is a cruel coincidence that January – the month I stick to my budget like my ultra-shy-four-year-old sticks to me in public – has five Mondays.  Monday is the day I do my shopping, and I budget per month, not per week.  Darn it!

I do not feel like making do, or eating from the pantry.  I love to read other people’s blog posts when they do it, but I really don’t enjoy it myself.  Alas, I am really not giving myself the choice.  Laziness is not an option.  

Thankfully, I am not even close to out of food.  My freezers are bursting and my pantry is an amply supplied walk-in.  Yes, I do need to get real and stop whining about this.  I need to hit the freezers and pantry hard this week.  Please leave a comment and let me know if I am not alone.  And tell me any great bean recipes you have, because that is one thing I have in abundance :).

Also, I am still on the “big meal of the day at noon” kick.  It worked out so well this week!  I loved being able to tackle the bulk of the dishes in the morning and afternoon.  I also really enjoyed making a simpler meal at the end of the day, when my energy level is not at its peak.

Here is what I have come up with:

BREAKFASTS:

Smoothies (plenty of frozen berries and even some frozen bananas, and nuts in the fridge)

English Muffins (freezer)

Leftover muffins

Eggs (still have some from this past week)

Granola (all the ingredients in the pantry)

Oatmeal

LUNCHES: 

Zesty Soup, steamed green beans

Chicken and Noodles, steamed peas

Vietnamese Fried Rice, applesauce

Black Beans, avocados (still have from this past week), fresh carrots

Frijoles, cornbread, steamed corn

Lentils and Spinach, oranges

Leftovers

SUPPERS:

Baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, clementines

Tuna salad, bread (I’ll be baking), steamed peas

Waffles, Blueberry syrup, chopped nuts, fresh carrots

Pizza (happen to have three of these in my freezer :)), steamed green beans

Orange Coconut Muffins, steamed peas, fresh carrots

Leftovers x 2

Honestly, my workload should be about the same this week in the kitchen.  I do need to cook a chicken I have in my freezer and make stock as well.  I also plan on baking two loaves of bread.  Everything else will be done the day of.

What are you eating this week?

Find out what many others are planning for the week over at Menu Plan Monday!

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CHRISTMAS WEEK!!!!!!!  Very exciting.  I just love weeks where special meals are part of the plan, don’t you?

Breakfast:

Oatmeal/granola/yogurt x 2, fresh fruit

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, Maple Icing, fresh fruit

Soaked Waffles, Homemade Blueberry Syrup

Crockpot Overnight Steel Cut Oats, fresh fruit

Leftover Andrew’s muffins (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip), fresh fruit

Christmas Morning Breakfast: Egg Bake, Caramel Rolls, Blueberry Coffee Cake

Lunch:

Cheese Omelets, steamed green beans, cucumbers, carrots

Andrew’s Muffins (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip), fresh veggies

Millet, Sausage and Spinach, fresh fruit

Chili, cornbread (friends coming for lunch and they are bringing the meal :)!), veggies and fruit

Baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, apples with PB

Sandwiches, veggies

Christmas Day! (Adults are usually still stuffed from the breakfast feast, and kids will have leftover Taco Joe’s)

Dinner:

Leftovers & Whatevers

Cream of Chicken Soup, mashed potatoes

Vietnamese Fried Rice, fresh fruit

Pizza, veggies and fruit (really hoping for take-out here)

Beef and Barley Stew, crackers, fresh fruit

Taco Joe’s, chips, shredded cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, black olives (kinda like a sloppy joe, but with meat and beans and taco seasoning – you eat the whole thing in a bowl with the chips)

Ham dinner (with my amazing pastured pork from R Family Farms!), Baked Apples and Cranberries, Cheesy Potato Casserole, steamed green beans

Yum.  I cannot be the only one really looking forward to food this week.  I think tomorrow is our day to finally make the Peanut Butter Blossoms that are so bad for you, but so good :).  Have you finished your baking already?  What are your favorite Christmas treats this week?

Read other bloggers’ menu plans at Menu Plan Monday!

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It was darn hard for me to control my urges and not dive into my stack of freshly printed new recipes this week.  I am dying to try them all!  However, Jason will be home for one dinner this week.  Now is not the time to try six new recipes.  Way too much effort with zero guarantee of appreciation.  I’ll have to hold myself back and just try two.  And, we have a birthday girl this week who gets to choose every meal on her special day!

BREAKFASTS:

Yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, clementines x 2

Oatmeal or granola with blueberries x 2

Vanilla Spice Smoothies, cereal bars

Baked Oatmeal, Maple Icing

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Birthday Girl pick)

LUNCHES:

Black Bean Quesadillas, veggies and dip

Baked or sweet potatoes, green beans, apples and peanut butter

Morning Glory Muffins (new recipe #1 – I’ll let you know what I think), fruit, raw milk cheddar cheese

Homemade Granola Bars (I really should post this recipe someday), veggies and dip

PB & J, veggies and dip, apples

Egg Salad Sandwiches, tortilla chips, fruit (Birthday Girl pick)

DINNERS:

Lentils and Spinach, fruit

Swedish Meatballs (new recipe #2 – beyond excited to have found a real food recipe for these!!), brown rice, broccoli

Spaghetti with marinara sauce, spinach salad

Cream of Spinach Soup, bread, fruit

Pinto Bean Bowls (basically beans and traditional taco toppings in a bowl and tortilla chips as the spoons – very fun meal), tortilla chips

Pizza and Movie Night (Jason and I are going to a fundraiser and Nana is in charge), spinach salad

Tuna Crescents, peas, applesauce, CAKE AND ICE CREAM!!!!! (Birthday Girl pick)

So, that is the plan.  Life rarely goes as planned.  But I will be majorly disappointed if life interrupts my Swedish Meatballs.

Hop over to Menu Plan Monday and see what everyone else has cooking!

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Meal Plan Monday

I really love this part of my week.  I love sitting down with my meal planning form and my recipe binder and scheduling.  Perhaps because it is the only part of my week I can control :)?  Well, whatever the reason, this week’s menu was a pleasure to put together, and I hope you find some inspiration and maybe even a recipe or two!

MONDAY:

Cereal Bars and Oatmeal Smoothie

Homemade English muffins with PB and jelly, carrots and peppers from the garden

Tuna salad and crackers, peas, apples (lame, I know, but Jason and Sophia will both be gone and I hope to take the other three grocery shopping in the afternoon.  I can guarantee I’ll be frazzled by dinner time.)

TUESDAY:

Oatmeal or Granola

Yogurt with granola and fresh fruit, nuts, fresh veggies

French Toast, roasted potatoes, homemade blueberry syrup

WEDNESDAY:

Bagels with cream cheese and jelly

Pumpkin muffins, steamed green beans, apples and PB

Split Pea soup, fruit smoothie

THURSDAY:

Oatmeal or granola

Baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, fruit smoothie (or pears if I have them)

Black beans and rice, avocados and chopped tomatoes, homemade peach sorbet

FRIDAY:

Bagels with cream cheese and jelly

Black bean quesadillas (using leftover black beans from Thursday, raw milk cheddar and sliced tomatoes – so good), fresh veggies

White Bean Chili soup, steamed green beans

SATURDAY:

Toast or muffins

PB & J, fresh veggies

Meatballs in marinara sauce, whole wheat bread, green smoothie – MOVIE NIGHT!!!

SUNDAY:

Oatmeal or granola

No Bake Energy Bites (This is church potluck day.  I will bring enough No Bake Energy bites to share with everyone)

Leftovers and Whatevers (There should be plenty of soup leftover!)

So, there you have it!  I plan to post recipes for the homemade blueberry syrup and pumpkin muffins this week.  I am joining the oodles and boodles of other ladies who also nerd out over menu planning over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by I’m an Organizing Junkie.  Come and join us!

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