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Meal Plan

I eat to live. Some people live to eat.

I have been married for 5 years, and one of my biggest struggles is planning and preparing dinners for my family. I am solely responsible to feed my husband and children. Unfortunately I am not yet the Proverbs 31 wonder woman.

The repetition of thinking “What shall we eat today?” can drive a person crazy – especially when the freezer is not stocked with meat, the pantry is empty and the cook is worn out! Hey, that’s me, so if you’re with me, let’s make things go smoothly with meal planning so we have time to craft, smell the roses, giggle with our children and greet our husbands at the door with a kiss and smile when they get home from work!

I’ve organized my meal plan into categories of types of meat. You can (or will be able to) click on each recipe i.e. Italian Chicken and it will direct you to the recipe to follow. I have provided a grocery list at the bottom of each recipe so you can make sure you have all the ingredients you need.

I will be editing this blog post and updating recipes as I have time. Family comes first – as to why my blog posts are so sporadic. Subscribe if you want to be notified when I post on my blog. 🙂

Meal Plan

Chicken

 

Beef/Venison

Ground Beef
  • Salisbury Steaks
  • Meat Balls
  • Ground Beef Oriental
Steak
  • Skillet Chops
  • Pot Roast
  • Pepper Steak* Goes well with Yellow Rice
  • Cheese Steak

 

Pork

  • Ham Balls

 

Fish

 

Side Ideas

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Creamy Rice
  • Yellow Rice* Goes well with Pepper Steak
  • Potato Wedges
  • Spaetzle -Homemade German Noodle Easy and kids love it!
  • Alfredo Sauce – over Penne noodles.
  • Rice-A-Roni – Homemade Version -My recipe
  • Tuna Sketties
  • Tuna Mac
  • Mac – n – Cheese

 

Baked Goods

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Raised Bed Gardening with Woodchips and Pest Preventers.

A little precaution, I don’t have a green thumb. 😔 But I get a lot of tips from my parents are sister who are expert gardeners. 😊

First off if you don’t already have a garden, choose a spot in your yard that gets a good amount of sun. I made my raised beds out of cedar decking that we had from doing demolition on our house. Cedar is naturally rot resistant. Unfortunately I don’t have a DIY on the raised cedar beds, we made those last year.

Here are my beds, full of weeds.


To take care of the weeds I did 3 things.

Homemade Weedkiller


  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dawn dish soap, any kind.


Use a funnel and add the other two ingredients right to the vinegar bottle. I write my ingredient list right in the vinegar bottle and use it to store my extra weed killer in.

I bought the green pump spray bottle from Walmart. Works ok, but I might have to get a full size weed sprayer like my hubby has for landscaping.

Spray the weeds, carful not to get it on your vegetable or flower plants, it is not toxic but it will still kill your plants. After a couple of hours the weeds should be shriveling up in the sun. I’d give it a day or two then pull the weeds, weed whack them, or use a scuffle hoe, pictured below. The scuffle hoe (aka hula hoe or stirrup hoe) works wonders, it cuts of the weed just below the soil line. So easy to use and it’s not hard on your back.

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Hula hoe

Once you have taken care of those weeds you can cover your garden with woodchips. Woodchips keep the weeds down and the moisture in!


Tada! Weed free and hopefully it will stay that way for a while!

If you live in the woods like I do then you’ll have all kinds of pest problems; turtles, rabbits, deer, birds etc. I got some wild life netting and step-in horse fencing. I wasn’t quite sure how it would work when I was at the store buying my supplies but that’s what I came up with.


I think I need some more step-in fence, so for now I just draped the wild life netting overtop of the fence poles.

Lastly, I’m so sick of my husband stepping on all of my plants, because he never knows where I’ve planted new ones. So I made some pallet board garden markers.

Tristan and I had some fun painting some goose egg rocks to put in the garden.



Can not wait to eat fresh strawberries out of my garden!

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Chicken Bacon Casserole

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day spent with those you hold dear. I am personally grateful for the sacrifices made for my freedom! Since I was relaxing with my family yesterday, this is “Monday’s” blog post, enjoy.

For those of you like me who are not fond of casseroles, you have got to try this one! Credit goes to my sister-in-love Rebecca for creating such deliciousness. She has a gift!

Ingredients:

  • 3 free range organic chicken breasts
  • 1/8 cup Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz Alfredo sauce – or homemade Alfredo sauce (1/2 cup cream, 2 TBSP butter, 1/4 cup Romano cheese)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 cup scallions, snipped
  • Rosemary, Salt and garlic powder to taste.
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled

Start out by cooking the chicken, or use leftovers from the night before.

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I cut my chicken into little cubes and then cook it in boiling water for a couple minutes.

img_1246My little helper Paisley, enjoying her fresh snap peas from Mema and Poppops’ garden. 😊

While the chicken cooks put all your ingredients into a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish.

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As you can see I separated the scallions because I won’t bake that with the rest of the ingredients.

img_1274TIP: Keep scallions in a cup of water to use again and again.
Mix everything together and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated and cheese has melted. Stir several tomes through out cooking.

Feeds about 4 people. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

I have lots of lettuce right now so I will have a salad with my casserole.

Can’t wait till the hubby comes home and we can eat dinner out on the patio. 😃

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Homemade Alfredo sauce and Grilled Chicken

Bonus Post – I didn’t plan to post about my dinner plans for this evening but it was so yummy I had to share.

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Italian Grilled Chicken:

  • 3 free range organic chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing, wish bone brand.
  • 1/4 cup grade A or B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Put everything in a bowl and marinade for at least an hour. Then grill for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 pound organic noodles of your favorite kind.
  • 2 cups organic cream
  • 1/2 cup organic butter (one stick)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • Salt to taste

Heat cream, butter and cheese in a sauce pan on medium heat stirring constantly with metal whisk. Cooking until noodles are done.

Cook noodles as directed on box.

Pour sauce over noodles.

Served with homemade applesauce and sourdough bread. Yummy dinner if I can say so myself. 😊

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Homemade Strawberry Pie & Whipped Cream

I’ll be honest, we don’t eat many desserts around here. I just don’t like to bake, and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But homemade strawberry pie and fresh whipped cream is irresistible. 

  1. I cheated and used a frozen pie crust, this was a last minute decision to make pie. Preheat the oven and cook your pie crust while you make the filling.
  2. Cut 5 – 6 cups fresh organic strawberries, I like my pie full of strawberries! (use this same recipe for peach pie) 
  3. 3/4 cup organic sugar (or coconut sugar 1:1 replacement) 
  4. 3 T instant clear gel. – We get this in Landcaster at a bulk foods store. 
  5. Mix your strawberries till they are a little bruised and the clear gel and sugar is thoroughly mixed in.
  6. Dump strawberry filling into cooled pie crust.

    Fresh Whipped Cream

    • 1/2 cup organic heavy cream (or if you have raw milk just scoop that fresh cream right off the top of your cow’s milk, yum!)
    • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (keep any eye out for my diy vanilla extract post.)
    • Whip for about 2 minutes, not too long or you will have butter!
    • Top your freshly made pie and enjoy!

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      Buckwheat Cereal & German Pancakes

      So what is Buckwheat?

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      • It is also often called Kasha – which is actually buckwheat that has been roasted. I never knew this before!
      • Buckwheat would be an excellent addition to your baby’s diet, as it contains iron, niacin, folate, vitamin K, and is high in fibre.
      • It is also gluten-free, so it is ideal if your baby suffers from Coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) or is allergic to wheat protein.
      • With the agreement of your baby’s medical adviser, buckwheat or kasha may be introduced to baby from 8 months of age.

      Buckwheat Cereal

      • 1/4 cup ground buckwheat. I buy my buckwheat in it’s whole berry form. I use my magic bullet’s flat blade to grind the buckwheat.IMG_5228
      • 1 cup of water, maybe a little more.
      • Put ground buckwheat and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
      • Whisk continuously to avoid lumps.
      • Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk until cereal is thoroughly cooked. About 3 – 5 minutes.
      • IMG_5229Add maple syrup/honey and spices to taste. One trick I find is adding some homemade apple sauce to everything. Adds sweetener and cools the hot food down. Tristan LOVES apple sauce.

      German Pancakes

      This is my great great grandmother’s recipe. She used to make it for my mom when she was a little girl.This was a favorite in my house growing up. We got german pancakes on our birthdays and Christmas morning. 🙂

      This is a really easy breakfast to make, it’s just a little time consuming if you make the full recipe. I typically make 1/4 of the recipe for myself and Tristan.

      • 12 eggs
      • 2 1/2 cups of milk, or more
      • 1 cup flour, or more. This is the fun part, you can be creative with the kind of flour you use. I’ve tried almond flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour and buckwheat flour.
      • Cinnamon or other spices, optional.
      • Maple Syrup, butter, peanut butter, cream cheese and jam to spread. Be creative. 🙂
      So yummy!

      So yummy!

      1. Put some butter on a non-stick frying pan. Turn on low-medium.
      2. Pour batter to cover bottom of frying pan. The trick is making them REALLY thin.
      3. Cook like pancakes, and flip once. Cook about 30 seconds per side.

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      It’s an art learning how to make german pancakes. I’m sure you will mess up the first couple but it is so worth it!

      1/4 the recipe, serves 3 people.

      • 3 eggs
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 1/4 cup flour

      Same instructions as above.

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      Easy No Kneading Artisan Bread

      Sorry it’s been a while. Many happenings around here. Getting two more foster children tomorrow so we’ve been working on some home improvements. We’re really excited and can’t wait to meet the little ones!

      I’m sure I’ll be trying out lots of new recipes now that I’ll have more mouths to feed. 🙂

      Here’s the recipe I followed. You can check out that blog to get more details on the recipe. I’m just doing a quick version.

      There is also this one that is basically the same thing.

      This is the making bread for dummies bread that no one could ruin! It was SO easy! I’ve had many failed attempts at making bread. I love that you do not need to kneed this bread!

      No Knead Artisan Bread aka Boule Bread

      makes four 1 pound loaves.

      Ingredients:

      • 3 cups lukewarm water
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast (2 packets)
      • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
      • 6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour – you can be creative with the types of flour that you use.IMG_5039

      Instructions:

      1. Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F.
      2. Add yeast and salt to the water.IMG_5040
      3. Mix in the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon – do not knead. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.IMG_5041
      4. Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (not airtight). I just make sure that the lid is not snapped on completely. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse, about two hours. Longer rising times will not hurt your dough. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping your first loaf. – I usually make my first loaf right away (after the first 2 hour rise time).IMG_5043
      5. Shape your loaf. Place a piece of baking parchment (I use reusable non stick backing mats) on a pizza peel or un-rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the surface of your dough in the container with flour. Pull up and cut off about a 1-pound piece of dough (about the size of a grapefruit), using scissors or a serrated knife. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go. Dust your hands with flour if you need to – to prevent sticking.
      6. Let the loaf rise for about 30 – 40 minutes uncovered. Doesn’t worry if it doesn’t rise much – it will in the oven.
      7. Preheat a baking stone on the middle rack in the oven for at least 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. If you do not have a baking stone, you can use a baking sheet, but you will not get the crisp crust on the bottom.
      8. Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a knife.IMG_5046
      9. Bake. Slide the bread (including the parchment paper) right onto the hot baking stone. Bake at 450 F for about 30 – 35 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf. Make sure the crust is deep golden brown.IMG_5049
      10. Cool for about an hour. We usually can’t wait that long. 🙂
      11. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded container and use for up to 14 days.
      12. Enjoy your homemade yummy bread!

      I like to print out my recipes to make it easy when making something. I’ve conveniently made a google doc. Click here