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Category: From My Kitchen

“Baking Day” list for tomorrow

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(Teaching the girls how to boil, peel, cut, and stuff eggs as part of our homeschool lessons a few weeks ago.)

After a long hiatus, I'm back to doing menu planning and Baking Days! It's amazing how good it feels to be getting back "into the groove" (Nevermind the fact that my baby boy is almost five months old! It seems I just had him; I can't believe how quickly time goes!).

I'm planning to host a Baking Day here tomorrow and I'll be live-blogging it like usual. However, since I'm trying to do more freezer cooking now that our homeschooling is in full swing, I'm actually going to be doing more cooking than baking. I've never combined the two like this before, so I'm anxious to see how it goes.

You can follow along with my progress on my blog and you can also follow along/join in on with the hastag #BakingDay. Speaking of which, I'd love to have you join me by doing some of your own baking. At the end of the day, I'll post a Mr. Linky so that everyone can link up and share what they accomplished in their kitchens tomorrow.

The Proposed (and likely way-too-ambitious!) Baking/Cooking Day List:

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Waffles

Homemade Applesauce

Pinto Beans (cook up and freeze)

Lasagna

Spaghetti Pie

Farmhouse Chicken

Chicken Tetrazzini

Barbecue Meatballs

Homemade Hot Pockets
Southwest Chicken Roll-ups
Turkey Enchiladas

Recipes, pictures, and more will be coming in my live-blogged posts tomorrow. And now I'm heading out for a quick trip to the store and then coming home to clean up my kitchen and thaw out meat, milk, and anything else I need for the morning!

This week’s menu plan (and how I learned the hard way that no menu plan = disaster!)

In a very uncharacteristic move, I jumped off the menu-planning bandwagon for the past two weeks. We had plenty of food on hand and I figured it wouldn't be too much trouble to wing it.

Was I ever wrong!

Trying to "fly by the seat of my pants" when it came to menu-planning was disastrous! We not only resorted to take-out a few times (outside of our once-a-week Dinner Out night), but we had little variety in our meals. And, worst of all, I found it took me a great deal of mental energy to try and figure out from day-to-day and meal-to-meal what we'd be eating. Five o'clock would sneak up on me from out of the blue every single night and I had no plan… again.

So, no more skipping the meal-planning around here. Two weeks of that madness was plenty enough for me. I'm committed to make this a priority now that I've seen how much time, effort, and money it saves!

Here's this week's menu plan:

Breakfasts
Fresh carrot/apple juice, Kashi waffles (free at Target last week)
Fresh tomato juice, Blueberry Banana Bran muffins from the freezer
Strawberry/blueberry/banana smoothies, toast
Cereal x 2
Fruit, muffins
Homemade cinnamon rolls, turkey sausage, fruit

Lunches
Healthy choice meals (free with coupons last week)
Quesadillas, fruit salad
Green pepper strips, fruit salad, PB &J sandwiches, stuffed eggs
Fried egg sandwiches with tomatoes
Bean soup, muffins from the freezer, carrots
Leftovers
PB&J, fruit, granola bars (free with coupons last week)

Dinners
, biscuits, grapes, peas
Chicken Pot Pie, fruit salad, broccoli
Southwest Roll-ups, corn and tomatoes, fruit salad
Homemade Pizza, fruit, ice cream
French Toast, turkey sausage, fruit
Out to Dinner
, grapes, homemade bread

Snacks
Granola bars
Cereal
Fruit
Veggies
Muffins from the freezer
Cheese and crackers
Ice cream

It's only Tuesday and I'm already seeing a huge difference in having a plan. But you think I should know that by now for how often I preach the virtues of having a menu plan. Sometimes, even us frugal zealots need to be reminded of this again, though! 🙂

This week’s menu plan

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After a few crazy weeks of pulling off a wedding and going on vacation, we're ready for life to slow down here and move into a more normal routine. We do have a big garage sale planned for next week, but I'm having lots of help with that so I'm hoping it's not a huge amount of work to pull off!

We were blessed with some fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn on the cob so we'll be incorporating that into our menu for this week.

Here's what's planned for this week:

Breakfasts
Cereal, orange juice
Banana Strawberry Blueberry smoothies, toast
Blueberry Bran Muffins (new recipe which I'll be posting soon), scrambled eggs
Cereal, fruit
Oatmeal with brown sugar, fruit
Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists, fruit
French Toast, turkey sausage, fruit

Lunches
Homemade Pita Pockets with melted cheese, carrots
Baked Potatoes, broccoli, cheese
PB&J, cantaloupe, carrots, cookies
Spinach, brown rice, and cheese casserole, cucumbers
Leftovers x 2
Lunch at friends' house

Dinners
Lasagna Bake, Homemade Bread, Broccoli, Cherry Crisp (my mom made this for us–yum!)
Homemade Barbecue Beef Pizza, cucumbers and tomatoes
Layered Nacho Dip, chips, corn on the cob, cucumbers and tomatoes
Dinner out
Office Party–dinner provided
Grilled steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, fruit
, peas, fruit

Snacks
Protein bars
Blueberry Bran Muffins
Cheese/crackers
Fruit/Veggies
Chips/Salsa
Cereal
Popcorn

See a couple hundred more menus for this week over at !

Psst… did you see?

–my all-time favorite recipe website–just got a makeover. Not is there a new look, there are new features and Tammy is back to blogging regularly again. Definitely and check it out if you enjoy home-cooked meals which are delicious and inexpensive.

This week’s menu plan (and simple and inexpensive vacation food ideas wanted!)

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I'm excited that this week is the Fourth of July! We're heading to Kansas City for a few days for a family vacation and very much looking forward to that.

Since our family is still small and eating out is still fairly economical, we usually "splurge" on vacations and bring very little of our own food. Instead, we eat out or get quick-fix foods at the grocery store while we're gone. It makes it much more relaxing for me to not have to worry about planning, packing, and fixing food for a few days and it truly makes it more of a vacation for me!

Because of this, I'm only planning four days' worth of meals for this week:

Breakfasts
Strawberry smoothies, toast
Waffles, cantaloupe, yogurt
Banana bread, scrambled eggs, fresh carrot/apple juice
Oatmeal, fruit

Lunches
, cucumber slices, apple slices
Homemade Pita Pockets with melted cheese, peas, fruit
PB&J, carrots
Tossed salad with hard-boiled eggs, crackers and cheese

Dinners
French Toast with fresh-whipped cream and homemade strawberry syrup, cantaloupe
Chicken Tetrazinni, homemade bread, green beans, grapefruit
Meatballs, homemade bread, sliced cucumbers, baked potatoes, green beans
Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza, fruit

Snacks
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Crackers and cheese
Apples
Carrot sticks
Granola bars

For those who may have missed it, you can see what we purchased at the store this past week here. However, do remember that that is not all we're using to make the above food and meals since we shop using the "Buy-Ahead Principle".

Do you bring your own food when you go on vacation or do you splurge and eat out/buy quick-fix foods or a little of both? If you bring your own food, I'd love to hear what you bring and how you pull it off. It seems like a lot of work to me, but I'm guessing that as our children grow older, eating out is going to be much less feasible and much more expensive so I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions!

Baking Day Round-Up

Done… finally! I'm so glad I started the Baking Day list yesterday afternoon because I only ended up having two hours this afternoon to finish up and those were with a fussy baby in the front carrier.

I'm definitely still figuring out how to do this caring for three little ones and trying to get anything else done thing. There are days when those two things seem mutually exclusive, but I'm slowly learning how to be more creative, more flexible, and to sometimes just chuck the whole to-do list and sit on the floor and play with my babies. 🙂 After all, they won't be little for long!

At any rate, today was a bit exhausting and I'm quite confident I managed to bite off a bit more than I could really chew in attempting a longer list of baking projects at this season of my life, but we survived and we actually enjoyed it. And believe it or not, the house is almost all cleaned (thanks to my husband's help tonight) and I'm heading to bed early!

But not before posting the final fruits of the Baking Day labors!

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Here's what we ended up making:

2 dozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 loaf Banana Bread
1 1/2 dozen
1 loaf Homemade Bread
A double batch of Waffles
A double batch of

By the way, the are incredibly yummy, which is to be expected seeing as they came from. 

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Did you have a chance to do any baking this week? If so, post about it
on your blog and leave your link below to your direct blog post. I'd
love it especially if you could share pictures and recipes so I can get
more ideas for my next Baking Day projects! And I'm guessing many
others would be inspired as well.