Mom Things, Travel, Weeknight Dinners

Menu Planner


If you’re trying to minimize your trips to the grocery store, perhaps a menu planning list is for you.

Most families do not have a chalkboard refrigerator like we do. And even if you do, you’re not always around the fridge to write down what you’re thinking about for dinner / snacks.

Most of the time, families are on the go.

I’ve been asked several times by friends if there is a paper method for planning meals that I prefer. Actually, Cara Clark Nutrition has a wonderful meal planner included in her food challenges if you want one from a real nutritionist. However, when I was shopping around at World Market the other day, I found this one. For $6.99, you get a small note pad with 60 sheets, enough for a year, and then some if you mess up or your kid spills something on it. The latter is most likely.

This notepad is also available on Amazon in case you find this Wisconsin Winter Weather (WWW for short, a.k.a. January 96th) extremely depressing and want to stay at home and do nothing. Like I want to do. And eat carbs. YUM. Carbs. If you do the Amazon route, you get to choose from an ARRAY of colors. I wish I would have known this because my favorite color is green. Although if I went with pink, I’m sure Chloe would have written all the menu plans for me then 🙂

This paper pad is a good substitute for “on the go” menu planning. We can tear out one of these sheets and binder clip it to my weekly “to-do” notebook or insert it into m y weekly paper planner. Either way, it’s a food list to help organize meals and snacks for a well-balanced lifestyle….or so we like to think 🙂


Mom Things, Weeknight Dinners

Menu Board 10/30-11/3

How is it Sunday night already?

This weekend was so nice –  had some girl time with my Mom and we saw Guys and Dolls at the theater and it was amazing – if you have a chance to see this performance, I highly recommend it. The singing was incredible, as was the acting and dancing. It made for a really fun night out.

As a family today, we closed up our garden, and turned the soil over/played in mud, put outside toys away, raked leaves/rolled in them, got laundry going, packed nap mat bags, lunches for the week, showers, and lastly, menu planning + groceries. We’ve got a full week, so I’ve already ordered our groceries online from Metcalfes Sentry and they’ll be delivered tomorrow between 4 and 5 since most of tomorrow is full of meetings and drop offs. I’ve also placed my Target order for pick-up in two hours for the bulk items that I don’t want to get from the regular grocery store!  Maybe some of these recipes will save you some time this week – or not. I’ve got some quick stand-by items in here since this week is super busy.

Sunday Night: Pot Roast Pioneer Woman’s Recipe

Monday: Left over pot roast with roasted broccoli 

Tuesday: Mushroom Ravioli with white sauce + green onion

Wednesday: Burrito Bowls with brown rice

Thursday: Spaghetti and meatballs (freezer section meatballs + barilla pasta + prego sauce)

Friday: California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza

Saturday: Hamburger Helper mix for Gigi

Sunday: Panera


I’ve also ordered the following items for breakfast // lunch // snack time, too!


  • Cold cereal – Red Berries and Frosted Flakes
  • Toast (Angelic Bakery) with sun butter
  • banana oatmeal – quaker is safe


  • Organic Girl mixed green salads with strawberries, parmesan, carrots, cucumbers, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Sun butter and Jelly sandwiches
  • Kraft macaroni and cheese
  • Dino nuggets from Target


  • Sunbutter and honeycrisp apples
  • boom chicka pop popcorn
  • hummus (Athenos) and raw veggie sticks
  • yogurt + banana
  • smoothies
  • toast with avocado
  • Strawberries + cream cheese + graham crackers

I hope you have a great week! Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Red Pepper Couscous

Have you ever had your credit card number compromised? I’m too familiar with this process. By now, I’m mostly annoyed.

Last year our credit card number was stolen 4 times. This year, our bank has changed our number once already (last month) out of “an abundance of caution.”

I’m super annoyed.

Naturally, I make lists. However, I haven’t made a list, YET, for all of the vendors linked to automatic bill pay with this specific card.

Now I am.

The time it takes to re-enter all of my billing information for all of these companies blows my mind. Some websites are easier than others. But some are difficult to navigate and even after I make the changes online, I still get a nasty-gram in the mail stating my bill is overdue and my credit card is invalid. Ahhhem, DirecTV, I’m pointing my finger at you, and arching my right eye-brow. That’s a warning.

This website takes data and puts it in the garbage. Nowhere to be found. Everytime I enter it. Seriously? This is my 5th time in two years, I’m considered expert. Maybe you should talk with the amazing people at Nordstrom and find out how their website works perfectly every. single. time.

For a Monday though, I’ve been productive. Even picked up a few new items from Evereve and got some serious chores done around here. Also started my annual solicitation for items for this year’s Rhapsody in Bloom Gala at Olbrich Gardens. A great summer event. And tickets are on sale NOW, you should come. Seriously, It’s fun and gorgeous and this year’s theme is New York New York.

But back to Evereve, I like the store because I don’t feel like I need to say out loud, “Is this appropriate for my age?” because 9/10 times it is A-OK for a mid-30 or 40 something. Or maybe not. These graphic shirts…I’m not so sure about? Too edgy? I don’t know. When in doubt, ask the Nanny from the University.

My contacts are sticking to my eye like glue, so I’m going to make this part quick.


The kids picked out the entire menu board this week. If you follow me on Insta you’ll see their fun-loving little May the 4th (STAR WARS DAY) items planned out – super fun and easy stuff. Tonight they wanted Angus Beef Organic Hot Dogs. Not sure how that is even a name, or physically possible, but whatever.

For the side, we made this new recipe tonight from Cooking Light Magazine (circa 2014). Yep, I save food magazines in my closet like old recipe books because I don’t have old recipe books.

Red Pepper Couscous


  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (or one bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (or 1/2 red onion)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 + 1/4 cups water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, and chopped


  1. Saute bell pepper and onion in oil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add couscous
  3. Add water, salt and black pepper
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to low and cover for 8-10 minutes
  6. Stir in lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno
  7. Enjoy, Yield 5-6

Kids Loved it. Lots of flavor, lime juice made it. The avocado shown in the photo above was just sliced and served on the side.


For substitute, try these combos + add after preparing the couscous according to package.

  1. Parsley, 1/2 cup pecorino-romano cheese, 1 tsp grated lemon zest, salt and pepper
  2. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1/2 cup red onion, 1 tsp lemon juice, salt, pepper and crumbled feta cheese
  3. 3 tbsp fresh basil, 2 tbsp fresh orange juice, 1 medium nectarine


Recipe and photo credit: June 2014 issue of Cooking Light Magazine