A month of meals and a grocery list

So here is a little organization tool I worked on to make my life easier this fall:

CalendarI used an old marker board calendar I had to create a monthly dinner plan for us.

However, before I created the calendar I came up with an extensive list to help make our grocery shopping planning easier.

I divided it into two sections. One is dinner ideas, with a list of main ingredients, and sides. The other is a main grocery list for items we should have stocked, or ideas for breakfast items, snack items, etc.

I printed them out on card stock and taped them on the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets using washi tape:

Dinner ListOnce I had that compiled, I set about putting together the monthly calendar of meals. It is not all completed (as you can see above) because we weren’t sure what A’s soccer schedule would be at the time.

Overall I have been really pleased with how it’s working out, especially because I have forgotten less at the store when I go grocery shopping and we aren’t spending a good part of the weekend trying to decide what we are going to fix the next week.

I uploaded our complete list into a PDF file, so you can see our ideas and our typical meal plan list. Enjoy!

Dinners (CupcakesandCommentary) PDF File

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Week 6

Obviously I am a bit behind on posting this. Super A has been sick since Wednesday of last week, and frankly we are just a bit flat out tired around here!


Crock Pot Chicken. I told you I make this a lot!


Pork roast in the crock pot. I don’t dress this up at all. I put a pork roast in the crock pot for about 6-8 hours then we shred it and add barbeque sauce.


Chicken Pockets with roasted chicken

Side: Spinach salad with croutons, cheese, tomatoes


Super A was sick this day, so I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he said “blueberry muffins”. So we had blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs.


Pork loin…I loosely followed the directions here. And by loosely I mean I followed the cooking time and temperature, otherwise I just put salt and pepper on it with a bit of butter.

Side: Down Home with the Neely’s Roasted Broccoli with Cherry Tomatoes.


NY Strip Steaks (my husband cooked these on the grill), roasted “steamed” vegetables (I tried the new Green Giant healthy blend market blend).


BBQ Chicken Pizza. I had left-over roasted chicken, so I heated up a canned thin crust pizza dough (cook according to package directions), spread sauce on top (I made sauce by heating half a large can of crushed tomatoes with 1 tbs mesquite marinade), added the chicken and cheddar cheese…and banana peppers from our garden!

Side: salad


Little J’s birthday! Hamburgers, hotdogs, Ms. Kelly’s baked beans, watermelon, grapes, and potato salad (from Target…it’s sooo good!)

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Week 5

I can’t believe we have done five weeks of these! My sister should be back for posts in a week or two, she’s got a birthday to plan for Little J this week!! This week of meals is going to be very out of the box because this past week we were on vacation in Destin, Florida. We had a great time, and there will be many more pictures to come from the trip. In the meantime I am sharing some of our favorite Destin places (and take-out, and frozen dinners) from our trip!


Lunch: Hammerheads at Sandestin.

Dinner: Father’s Day! Which means it was guy’s choice and they chose P.F. Chang’s. We got take-out and so there were many different items ranging from Kung Pao (my husband’s favorite) to Dynamite Shrimp (my favorite).

We also had oreo pie for dessert that night!


Lunch: Finz.

Dinner: Roberto’s Pizza. We had never tried this before (it’s a newer restaurant at the Sandestin). It was excellent! This time we got delivery.

Tuesday: Frozen Lasagna, Salad, Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread. A lot of our meals we ate out for lunch and in for dinner.

Wednesday: Dinner for us! My sister, her husband, my husband and I all got a night out, while my parents watched the boys. We chose Graffiti’s (most of the restaurants are at the Sandestin, where we stayed).


Lunch: The Crab Trap. I had the popcorn shrimp. My Mom had the soft-shell crab sandwich and said it was really good, I was too skittish to try it!

As you can see the crab trap is outside. The closer to the ocean = the curlier Little J’s hair gets.

Dinner: Applebee’s Take-Out. I got the chicken fajita roll-up, as did my sister. Brought back memories from college!!


Frozen Stouffer’s Chicken Enchiladas, tortilla chips, grapes. We had never tried these before, but they were really good! I would definitely try them again.

Stay tuned for more trip pictures this week!

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Week 4

My sister and I are switching off this week and next. So I’m in charge of this week, and my sister will be back next week for her week of meals! I slacked off big time this week with the pictures, so this is going to be a pretty short post!


Frozen Stouffer’s meat lasagna (one of Super A’s favorites). We get the family size.

side: salad, Pillsbury simply delicious rustic french loaf


Peach barbeque chicken. I got this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. I couldn’t find adobe, so I substituted a few pickled jalapeno slices (thee small ones). It says you can substitute soy sauce for the adobe, but Super A can’t eat soy sauce.

side: potato wedges (similar to the Paula Deen recipe here), and frozen mixed vegetables.


Cheesy beefy burros. One of our standby meals, especially when we are busy.

side: blueberries, yogurt for Super A


Spaghetti. Sometimes we make sauce, however, this time we used a jarred sauce (We like Newman’s Own brand, either the tomato basil or the marinara).

side: salad, left-over toasted hamburger buns, blueberries (we have LOTS of blueberries this week…bought them at Costco!)


Left-overs and sandwiches. Super A had chicken nuggets, my husband had a turkey sandwich, and I had a left-over cheesy beefy burro.

This is a short week for us, and I’m prepping this early! Stay tuned for my sister’s post next week, it will be FUN!

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Week 3

Our week of meals started out ambitious, but quickly went downhill as Vacation Bible School continued. I always feel better if I start out ambitious because then if I fall behind at the end of the week I don’t feel as bad, HA!


Salmon Burgers. The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens. For this I cut out the Dijon (my husband doesn’t like mustard) and made my own dressing. For the dressing I mixed about 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I use the light, real stuff), with about 2 teaspoons of grated lemon, and 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and then I threw in about 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley. It was so yummy!

Our side: salad..with fresh lettuce from our garden! Yum!


Chicken pita with tzatziki. This recipe is from Real Simple. It was really good! Our mint is quite potent, so I may reduce that in the future.

Side: grapes. tomatoes

A common thing I do for meals is make a kid version for Super A, as I did here.

Wednesday (This is when things start going downhill as far as cooking…be prepared HA!)

Chick-Fil-A courtesy of my sister. We had all three boys and no husbands for dinner that day, so we went for take-out.  Our usual is the chicken nuggets, with french fries, and some sort of drink (lemonade/milk).


Steak-Out. My husband picked this up for us on the way home, and I was super glad because I did not feel like cooking! We usually get the steak tips, with baked potato, salad, and rolls. Super A had a cheese quesadilla with salsa (his request).


Scene Lounge. It’s kind of a tapas place. We were out running errands, while Super A was hanging out with his aunt and uncle that night. We tried the kobi beef burgers, the sweet potato fries, the california roll (sushi), and a calamari and shrimp plate.We liked the burgers and the fries the best! We sat in a half couch…we don’t get to be cool anymore that often. Hahaha.


Back to cooking! We made tacos.


Hamburgers to finish up the week. We had left-over buns from the salmon burgers and wanted to use them up before they went bad! We got the pre-patted 85/15 kind. My husband usually marinates them in some Worcestershire sauce and McCormick meat seasoning.

Side: chips and grapes

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Week 2

Here goes a peek into our week and what we had for dinner!

Monday:  The Pioneer Woman’s Mini Meatball Sandwiches.  Contrary to popular belief, my sister and I did not plan out our week of meals together.  We do, however, spend an enormous amount of time together and we have some sort of sister ESP going on.  I tried this meal thinking that my two boys would love it.  It is a meatball on a slider bun — what fun!  I served it with pasta salad (from a box, we like the Kraft Caesar using the creamy option) and grapes.  Handy M ate all the pasta salad and grapes, but didn’t like the sandwich due to the melted cheese – WHAT?!  Little J ate the grapes, the bun and then turned and proclaimed himself DONE.  We actually thought he tried the meatball, but fear not,  he actually just slipped it to the Bailey-dog!

Tuesday:  My husband and I ended up with a mini date night, so we ate at P F Chang’s (Dynamite Shrimp & Lettuce Wraps – Yum!) and did some birthday shopping — for me!  The boys had spaghetti with their grandparents.

Wednesday:  We had another one of the Pioneer Woman’s 16 minute meals, her Beef & Bean Burritos.  These were a hit among all of us.  They are like a short cut beef enchilada.  A perfect meal since it was a work day for me.  Little J had a cheese quesadilla.  Since it was a work day, our side was chips!

Thursday:  Tonight’s meal was an oldie but goodie and I know the recipe has graced this blog’s pages in the past.  We had tuna casserole with green beans and mac & cheese.  Everyone in my house eats this, and it is quick to fix on a work night.  We tried the new Kraft Homestyle Creamy Parmesan Alfredo and Handy M proclaimed it delicious!

Friday:  My birthday!!  My boys took me to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town!

Saturday:  Today was my Birthday Party Day!  In our family, we rarely celebrate our birthdays on the actual day, so we have our “real birthday” and then we have our “birthday party day.”  We celebrated at my parent’s house and we had Tony Roma’s ribs, beans, potato salad, bread and a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake.  My sister already recapped the rest of the party in a previous blog post.  Life is always a party when the boys are around!

Sunday:  We grilled flank steak for dinner tonight.  I used this marinade recipe from the Fly Through Our Window blog.  It is fantastic, especially if you let it marinate overnight.  I served it with twice baked potatoes and corn.

So, there you have it — our week of meals and my first blogging experience!  See you again in a couple of weeks!

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Oh yeah exporting…and recent phone photos

So as you can tell we do not have a Week 2 of our One Week of Meals yet. This is because I forgot that I needed to go through exporting and uploading pictures with my sister before she could get everything posted. It is also because Super A is just getting to the point that I don’t have to sit outside his door for the first half and hour of his bedtime. My sister has a great week of food and we are super excited to share it, so stay tuned! Her post will be up on Monday June 5th, I promise!

To hold over the grandparents and family…here are some recent phone photos of our life!

Bunny is learning to use the potty along with Super A. Bunny’s done a great job so far…no accidents.

Is there anything better than watching Saturday Morning cartoons with Daddy? Besides a bagel and orange juice, Super A’s current favorite breakfast. “DON’T TOAST IT!” He shouts as I get the bagels out.

They are preparing for that Wal-Mart run on the day after Thanksgiving to get a flat screen television for 30 dollars. HA!

Measuring the grass. Shorter than an inch, so they decided the mower should be raised a bit. I think our brown grass breathed a sigh of relief.

Do you see the old Gymboree bubble container Super A is holding? All of the boys argue over who’s turn it is to use it in the pool. An old bubble container. Seriously. While the 3o dollar bucket of beach toys sits looking longingly from the sidelines.

I took this picture the day after Super A was up all night when he decided to stop sleeping in bed. Thank goodness for sisters my sister and nephews. They make great distractions for a little boy and his Momma going on about two hours of sleep.

Super A hiding in the towels. He’s so sneaky.


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Week 1

I’ll file this under the better late than never category. Here is our very first, one week of meals! Enjoy!


Chicken Quesadillas. Sundays we typically go for an easy meal. For easy chicken quesadillas I chop up chicken tenders and cook them with lawry’s (or target brand) mesquite marinade. We then make them on flour tortillas, with shredded cheese, sour cream, and some hot sauce.

Our side for this meal was: salad (romaine, tomatoes, cheese, croutons)


The Pioneer Woman’s Mini Meatball Sandwiches. Super A loves meatballs and this was a fairly easy meal to put together. I made the sandwiches for my husband and I, but for Super A I served him the meatballs and roll separately.

Our side for this meal was: chips and mandarin oranges (for Super A).


Tales of a Peanut Crock Pot Cream Cheese and Black Bean Chicken. My sister and I absolutely love this meal! It is so simple and great to put in the crock pot at the beginning of the day and then it is ready by dinner time. We either roll this in flour tortillas, or eat it with chips.

Our side for this meal was: watermelon wedges


The Pioneer Woman’s Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. This was my fancy meal for the week. Roasting and peeling the peppers was harder than I had anticipated, but it turned out really yummy. Super A was not a fan, but we loved it!

Our side for this meal was: salad (leaf lettuce from our garden, tomatoes, red onion, croutons, Parmesan cheese) and the left-over dinner rolls from our meatball sandwiches.


I gave my last final exam this night, so it was Tyson’s frozen chicken nuggets and Ore-Ida french fries for Super A, and hamburgers from Sonic for my husband and I.

Side: Does mozzarella sticks from Sonic count?? HA!


Our friends Carly and BJ came over to our house for dinner and game night and brought Marco’s pizza. We had the garden pizza (super yum!) and half pepperoni and half cheese.


My husband made beef and veggie stir-fry. We started getting this new magazine in our newspaper called Dash and have tried a few of the recipes out of it. The link for the recipe is above on dash.com. He leaves out the mushrooms and substitutes with fresh peppers, or frozen vegetable mix. He also does about half the Hoisin sauce that is called for. I would highly recommend it with half the Hoisin sauce because we tried it with the whole serving and it is a little strong.

Sides: Cooked rice. My husband makes the best rice, I am terrible at making rice, but his always tastes great!!


Stay tuned for next week, featuring my sister’s meals! 🙂

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Coming Soon…

I’ve decided for the summer to do a special weekly post, that with the help of my sister I should be able to keep up with! So coming next week on Mondays is a new weekly post called “One Week of Meals”. I’m not talking about cooking every night…because honestly who does that! This is the real, honest week of meals that our family has. The freshly prepared, the frozen, the take-out! I think it will be a fun adventure into our life and our dinners. Until then, enjoy this snippet of Super A’s best smile…

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