Meal Plan

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Kid-Approved Dinners for the Week Ahead — Next Week’s Meal Plan

Just for fun, I let my 5-year-old daughter make this week's meal plan. As you might guess, her dinner choices are basic kid fare — with requests for macaroni, cheeseburgers with fries, and even pancakes for dinner — but I'm definitely inspired by her plan's simplicity, ease, and flair for fun.

The challenge is making sure that all her carb-rich picks are balanced with plenty of vegetables without making too much extra work for the grown-ups. Here are the five kid-favorite meals that we are cooking together this week.

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Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 New Family Favorites — Next Week’s Meal Plan

This week's meal plan is full of new-to-me recipes that I think will become family favorites. We have friends and family coming to stay with us throughout the week and are getting ready to take a much-anticipated, kid-free vacation this coming weekend, making everything — even meal planning — feel exciting and exhilarating. Even Pizza Friday is getting a new spin on it.

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This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Budget-Saving Meals from Pantry Staples — This Week’s Meal Plan

I found myself riffling through the pantry and fridge in frustration early today and decided that a week of dinners using up leftovers and pantry staples was in order. This is one really great way to trim our grocery budget — I may even try to skip shopping all together this weekend — and make room in our admittedly overstuffed pantry.

As a boon, I also have some grilled proteins leftover from recipe testing this weekend, including grilled chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, and grilled corn that have to be eaten asap. Here are the five meals I'm making for my pantry-clearing, budget-saving week of dinners ahead.

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This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Family Dinners to Make Before Things Get a Little Crazy — This Week’s Meal Plan

This week kicks off what always proves to be a busy month for our family. Between Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother's Day, and hosting out-of-town guests and finalizing summer camps, we have lots of potluck parties, end-of-the-school-year celebrations, book club meetings, and even a weekend away planned in May.

I'm relishing this week when we only have two things on the calendar as an opportunity to take it easy and stick with some of our family favorites and use up some ingredients languishing in the fridge and freezer.

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This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Family-Friendly Dinner Classics — This Week’s Meal Plan

The week after a holiday is always a little bit nutty. Our routine is off, skewed by hosting family and trying to eat up leftover ham rather than do a real meal plan. Meal planning is like a friendly reset button at the end of the week.

But this week I'm fighting fatigue and instead of trying to be creative in my meal plan, I'm relying on my meal planning template.

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This Week’s Meal Plan: A Fast and Fancy Last-Minute Easter Brunch — Next Week’s Meal Plan

I'm a little too distracted this week to pull together a proper meal plan yet, because via text messages with my sister-in-laws I sort of accidentally volunteered to host Easter brunch this Sunday. And by accidentally I mean, I offered to host. One sister-in-law is in the midst of a kitchen remodel and the other has business travel late Sunday afternoon, so neither was up for hosting. On a whim, I invited our new neighbors who just relocated from Michigan to join us too. The more the merrier, right?

Now, on the eve of Easter I need an easy Easter brunch menu to serve 15, both adults and kids, that still gives me time to hang out with my own family on Easter morning too. Here's my menu, plus my strategies for an easy last-minute brunch.

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