Monday, November 02, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

The last couple of weeks have been super busy. We have had quite a few events to attend which has meant lots of eat outs and lots of leftovers. Thankfully fall meal planning is great for leftovers – chili and soups tend to taste better with time, and we made good use of both in recent weeks. Here is what I have been cooking lately, I hope some of these recipes encourage you to cook more at home!

Chicken Marsala with Rice and Carrots
[recipe adapted from Fancy Fork]

Originally I had planned to use a slow-cooker recipe from Creme de la Crumb, but once again I have been reminded that I am not a slow-cooker cook. Mostly because I get too busy and don't remember to start the meal in a timely manner. So I pulled an audible and found a recipe from Fancy Fork that incorporated most of the ingredients I had already purchased.

The only thing I didn't have in my pantry was tomato paste, so I substituted with sun-dried tomatoes, which I think added a nice flavor to the dish. For Jack, I kept some chicken tenders separate from the sauce. Overall, a great dish.

Chili with Triple Cornbread 
[Chili recipe via Mohaus and Cornbread recipe from Betty Crocker] 

This is one of my all-time favorite fall meals. I don't cook many meals more than once, but this chili and cornbread makes an appearance a handful of times each fall. It is great for a crowd, and if it is just going to feed a small family, the chili tastes better with each passing day.

I love this cornbread because it is super moist – more like a bread pudding than cornbread. It was perfect for letting Isaac have a taste as well. Chocolate and cinnamon are my somewhat secret ingredients in the chili and they really make the dish. I skip on the jalapeno when serving to kids, but it still tastes delicious and has a bit of heat from the spices.

Personal Pita Pizzas

I don't have a recipe for this. I just got inspired when my brother-in-law made us pita pizzas when we were visiting last month.

Basically you take Pita bread (or Naan bread) and brush olive oil on it. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350º then remove from oven and add pizza sauce, toppings (I used sausage, bell peppers and onions), then top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes. These are really customizable, great for kids, and a fast mid-week meal.

Vegetable-and-Steak Soup with Croutons
[recipe adapted from Annie's Eats]

Croutons in soup is one of my new favorite things (I buy store-bought, but the recipe tells you how to make homemade). We use them instead of saltine crackers. The only problem is limiting Jack on how many croutons he can eat with his soup! 

Since my husband loves meat, I added steak to the soup to make it a little heartier. We were all fans of this meal and it tasted even better as leftovers later in the week.

Sausage-Egg-Pancakes Muffins
[recipe adapted from]

I had some leftover pancake mix [my mom's recipe] and leftover sausage from the pita pizzas, so I decided to make pancake-egg muffins. I have made this before with bacon, but this one was a little difference since I had sausage. I used a Scrambled Egg Muffin recipe from AllRecipes but used a pancake base like I had before, and added cheese.

These were a hit with everyone and really simple to make, plus you can't go wrong with breakfast for dinner. They are easy to customize which is good if you have picky eaters (Jack isn't too picky but he doesn't like green peppers).

Super Simple Banana Muffins
[recipe from Eazy Peazy Mealz]

I recently picked up some really ripe bananas from our local grocery store ($0.88 for 6). These were perfect for this muffin recipe. I just hand mixed it and baked in a muffin tin for 18 minutes (instead of 60 minutes for a loaf of bread). Like chocolate chip cookies, there are a million recipes for banana muffins, and from my experience, I rarely find a bad one! These muffins were super moist and great for preschool mornings when I am running behind.

Apple Spice Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake Bites
[recipe adapted from Table For Two]

This super simple dessert was perfect for a potluck we attended recently. You toast the pound cake and roll it in a special Apple Cinnamon spice mixture. I had enough spices leftover that I saved it and added it to the top of my banana muffins before cooking, and it was also a good addition to our Saturday morning pancakes.

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