I've posted on Menu Plan Monday for a few weeks now, but I have yet to actually make all the meals I had planned for the week.
My schedule totally stinks.
What exactly do I mean by that? Well, let me explain.
My husband is a music minister, and we have only one car, so whenever he needs to be at church early to set up, we go with him. In addition to that, I teach piano lessons from my home each weekday afternoon. So between church activities, piano lessons, and homeschooling during the daytime, here's what my weekly schedule looks like:
- Sunday: At church from 8:25 a.m.–12:30 p.m., and again at from 5:25 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Monday: Homeschooling until piano lesson time, then teaching piano lessons from 2:45–5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday: Homeschooling until piano lesson time, and then teaching piano lessons from 3:30–5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday: Homeschooling until noon, then at our local homeschool club meeting from 1–3 p.m., teaching piano lessons from 3:15–5:30 p.m., then finally at church from 6:25–8:30 or 9:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Homeschooling until piano lesson time, teaching lessons from 3:45–5:45 p.m., then at the church for praise band practice from 6:45–9:30 p.m.
- Friday: Homeschooling until piano lesson time, then teaching lessons from 4:15–5:45 p.m. This is also Jeff day off, so I run errands quite often on Fridays.
- Saturday: FREEDOM! (In other words, time to clean the house or grocery shop!)
On most weekdays, after teaching piano lessons for a couple hours, the last thing I feel like doing is standing over a hot stove for an hour preparing dinner. So most of the time, I scrap the menu plan and everyone just fends for themselves. And really, that's fine for some days, but I would love to be able to prepare meals more often for my family.
But to do so requires that I plan ahead. In other words, I need to prepare as much of the meal as I can before my lessons begin so that it doesn't take much time to finish the meal and put it on the table after my lessons.
I tried preparing my meal ahead this last week for the first time, and it went really well. And this weekend, when I purchased my five pounds of ground beef for the month, I went ahead and prepped it for my planned meals. I mixed up a little over a pound for meatloaf, then browned the rest with onions and stored it in three zipper bags in the freezer. That should make those meals a lot easier to prepare.
But even with preparing ahead, we'll still end up Yo-Yoing most nights, which my family is perfectly fine with. So here's a more realistic menu for our week, one which I hope we can accomplish!
Lunch: Pasta, hot dogs, sandwiches, beans, mac n' cheese, quesadillas
Dinner: Baked Potatoes (Monday), Chicken/Rice/Veggie Casserole (Tuesday), Baked Ziti (Friday), Yo-Yo for the rest of the meals.
We started making chocolate chip muffins a few weeks ago after Toni emailed me her recipe. It's turned out to be one of their favorite breakfasts. I've adapted the recipe slightly because I use different flour than Toni uses (she grinds her own). This recipe makes 12 good-size muffins.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 1 3/4 cups white flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chocolate chips (more or less depending on preference)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together except
chocolate chips until well mixed and then blend in chocolate chips. Fill greased
muffin tin and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. To make these healthier, you can even increase the whole wheat flour to white flour ratio.