Cookie Recipe Exchange

These are the cookie recipes we exchanged at Champ’s Birthday party, along with favorite books.

Sorry I’ve been so delinquent about getting these up on the blog. I kind of loathe typing projects, so I kept putting it off. In the process, I’ve probably lost some of the cookie recipes from the party. If you have one to share, please do! You can add them in the comments section.
 
8 favorite cookie recipes, from Paleo chocolate chip, to homemade graham crackers, to ANZAC biscuits, to white chocolate cranberry cookies!
 

Champs’ Friends’ Favorite Cookie Recipes

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (Jonathan)

Ingredients

  • 1 c almond flour or almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 to 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 3 tsp water
  • 2 to 4 TBSP chopped chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix first four ingredients together in one bowl
  3. Mix coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in another bowl
  4. Combine both mixtures and add water as needed to bring together
  5. Stir in chocolate
  6. Form into balls 2 to 3 tsp each, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick
  7. Bake about 10 minutes, until edges are golden.
  8. Let cookies sit on pan an additional 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack <<Don’t skip this step!

Homemade Graham Crackers (Alexa)

Get a ruler handy if you want these to be cut into equal squares! Even better if you have a square cookie cutter!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c graham or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
  • 5 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP light molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine dry ingredients
  3. Using a food processor or pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal
  4. Add the water, molasses and vanilla and process until the dough comes together
  5. Divide the dough in half
  6. Roll each part of dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to a 16″x8″ rectangle, 1/8″ thick
  7. Remove the top piece of paper and trim dough to 15″ x 7 1/2″ rectangle, and score into 18, 2 1/2″ squares
  8. Prick each square several times with a fork
  9. Bake on parchment until golden, 10–15 minutes
  10. Cool completely, then break apart on score lines

Modified “Anzacs” (Jonah)

Read the history of this egg-free, Australian biscuit here. (“Biscuit” is the international name for cookies.)

Ingredients

  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c steel cut or pinhead oats
  • 1/2 c cane sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 c unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
  • scant 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 TBSP golden syrup + 1 TBSP honey (alternate: 2 TBSP honey, no syrup)
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. Over low heat, combine syrup, honey, butter, zest, and vanilla until melted
  4. Whisk together boiling water and baking soda, add to butter mixture
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients
  6. Mix well
  7. Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake 12–15 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Allow to cool on parchment paper before removing

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (Luke)

This is a double batch with reduced sugar. For a single batch, use the same amount of sugars but halve everything else. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups softened butter
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 small pkg pudding mix (you choose flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 – 12 oz pkg chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Blend butter, sugars, and pudding until smooth
  3. Add eggs and vanilla
  4. Mix dry ingredients together and add 2 cups at a time to wet ingredients
  5. Form into small balls and bake on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes

Note: These do not flatten out much, so how you put them in the oven is how they will look when they come out.

Monster Cookies (Annaleigh)

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz jar of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 c M&Ms
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 raisins (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/2 c quick oatmeal (not instant)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix eggs and sugars
  3. Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, butter and mix
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes

Our (My) Favorite Cookie Recipes

 
Did I mention I don’t like typing up recipes? Here are my favorite online cookie recipes. White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are my Absolute Favorite! I think the Craisin bag has a recipe on it, too. I also love oatmeal raisin cookies, but I just can’t seem to make them at sea-level like I do in the mountains.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies (you can use vanilla instead of brandy)

Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies with Sugar Cookie Icing (I replace the almond extract in the icing with vanilla or coconut extracts)

 

The Birthday Party

This year I decided to go with a Sesame Street theme for Champ’s birthday. It was his first birthday party with kids his age over, and it was a blast.

This will likely be the only party he has with over a dozen kids, plus their parents attending. Not that it wasn’t super fun, and it honestly wasn’t overwhelming, but next year I’m guessing Champ will be at an age in which he has formed tighter bonds with a few kids. I’ve heard the idea of inviting one child per age of the birthday, so next year we will plan on inviting 3 or 4 kids.

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The invitations

Everywhere I looked online said it was bad taste to include any mention of gifts, even if it’s to say you don’t want any. Who are you to tell people what to do with their money? People like giving gifts—don’t deny them that joy. Et cetera.

So I decided to call it an ABC party. I asked parents to bring their favorite cookie recipe and a list of three of their favorite books. Then I’d compile the list and distribute it to all the parents. We got a ton of ideas, some people didn’t feel obligated to bring gifts, and others brought really great ones. Champ loves them all, and he’s slowly, slowly coloring thank you notes for his friends.

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I designed the invitations, of course, and printed them at home. I designed some cookies based on a Cookie Monster coloring page, printed those out, cut them out, and included them in the invitations. Parents wrote the list of books on the back.

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Presents from us to him

We don’t want our kids to be materialistic, so we limit how much we give them. I’m really big on gift giving, so this has been hard on me, but also freeing. Here are my rules for buying gifts for our kids:

  1. Is it something my child would want or need?
  2. Is it a good deal? (I make a note to never pay full price)
  3. Is it clothing?
  4. Do we already have something similar?
  5. Will it last through at least one other child?
  6. Is it educational?
  7. Is it open-ended / can it serve more than one purpose?
  8. Will it foster imagination and creativity?
  9. Is it something that promotes group play or family time?
  10. Is it something worth buying (as opposed to borrowing or making ourselves)?

We bought him a bean bag chair that was PERFECT. He fell in love with a huge one at my aunt’s house and when we looked, ones of a comparable size that weren’t overstuffed cost $70–$200. We bought what I’ve dubbed “the prune” new at Dock 86 for $30.

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We also got him a LeapPad game, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, to teach him math; a dry-erase book for practicing letters; a Look & Find treasury book; and the Disney animated Robin Hood on Blu-Ray.

Champ also received birthday money this year. We took out 10% for him to give to church, 10% to put into savings, and let him pick whatever he wanted with the extra money. When he starts to get an allowance, he can tithe out of that, so we won’t take 10% out of his gift money for church, but we will still have him put 10% of gift cash into savings.

He chose a water blaster, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mask, a Toothless figurine (from How to Train Your Dragon), a play camera, and a tape measure.

From friends, he got play-doh sets, puzzles, a football, books, construction sets, gardening tools, bubbles, sliceable play food…and he’s been playing with all of the toys for the past few weeks. It will take us a while to get through the books!

Party games

What do you do with a dozen preschoolers? I had three mostly unstructured activities for the kids: Homemade Play-doh inside and a Cookie Monster cookie toss and “parachute” game outside.

This is the recipe I used to make a big batch of play dough, but next time I’m going to try this one, which is only slightly different and makes a smaller batch.

Here’s the Cookie Monster cookie toss game. I got the idea from here, but made up different rules and made and painted the cookies with this recipe for dough. The kids loved it, and liked the point system even more when I told them how many points they got.

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How to Play:

1. Have kids line up behind one another, with the box facing the first person.
2. Give 3 cookies to each of the first few kids in line.
3. Each child gets three tosses per turn.
4. Award 1 point for hitting the box, 2 points for getting in the box, 3 points for going through the mouth.

I made a ton of the fake cookies. Some of them cracked while drying, and some broke while throwing. The ones that turned out best were not made with cookie cutters. My advice: shape the dough into balls and squish rather than rolling out and using a cookie cutter. And do not flip them over as they are drying. I turned mine because they were starting to warp, but that just made them crack when they warped back the other way. Warping isn’t much of an issue if you don’t use cookie cutters.

For the parachute game, I bought 100 ball pit balls here and a sheet from Goodwill. The kids grabbed the sheet and shook while I poured the balls onto the sheet, then they flew up like popcorn. We tried it twice before letting the kids just throw the balls everywhere. It was a bit too much structure for some kids that were really excited, and would drop the sheet to try and jump into it. Couldn’t blame them for wanting to be in the middle of that!

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We made a game of picking up all the balls. With some kids I told them to pick up by color, but we just made it a race with most of them.

Party Food

Here’s what we had for treats:

  • Ernie’s Rubber ducky punch with lemon sherbet (where on earth can you get the pineapple flavor?)
  • Oscar’s trash (store bought chex mix on sale)
  • oscar broccoli tray and strawberry elmo tray
  • Big Bird cupcakes
  • Chocolate Chip cookies
  • “Slimey” sour gummy worms
  • Elmo’s goldfish

Captain also made some pizza bread (Italian loaf, toasted, with pizza sauce and cheese and toppings, heated in the oven)

plates-puzzlesI totally forgot about the fruits and veggie plates until guests started to arriving, so two of my dear friends put them together. The eyes were condiment cups from Culver’s with blueberries for the pupils. Oscar’s were filled with ranch, and Elmo’s were poppy seed dressing. The puzzles were hand-me-downs from my brothers.

I bought freezer pops for all the kids, but just realized they are still in our basement freezer. Oh well.

The cupcakes were my first attempt ever at frosting cupcakes with a frosting bag. hahahahahaha. Candy corn for the beak, and candy eyes from here. You can get them from Walmart or Michaels, too, in the cake decorating aisle.

bags

Favors

For the favors, I bought bright colored bags ($5 for 12) and added paper cutouts to make them look like muppets.

Inside:

  • a small container of play-doh from Walmart 10-Packs ($6 for 10)
  • a couple cookie cutters (ABC and 123) from this set of 50 for $17.50,
  • a snack size bag of mini-cookies (Walmart brand, 100 calorie variety)
  • a mini rubber ducky ($6 for 12)
  • a punch balloon

They cost about $3 or $4 per bag. I ordered from Prime or bought locally, so I didn’t pay shipping.

Well, I was hoping on including the book and cookies list here, but this has taken a huge chunk of time to compose, so I’ll have to do it later. I’ll link back here once it’s online.

Monthly Menus: Feb 1st-Feb 15th

I’ve begun the momentous task of menu planning on a tight budget. February’s a good month to start because it has only 28 days!

Since I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom, I’m not quite hopping on the Once a Month cooking bandwagon, and since we are on a tight budget, meals will often be dependent on what is on sale. Here’s what I have to go with so far, including a Superbowl potluck on the 3rd, a party on the 9th, and Valentine’s Day.

Picking 30 meals all at once is overwhelming, so I divide meals into 7 categories, and I only plan for two weeks at a time so I can get fresh fruit and bread and milk more often. I’ve blogged about my seven categories here: Menu Planning and Recipes

We’re going for budget-friendly here, not Vegan or Super Duper Healthy. But everything is homemade, minus the frozen pizzas, and we avoid sour cream at all costs, so right there we are leagues above the normal American diet.* There are plenty of other blogs out there for menus of all kinds for every fancy. This isn’t a foodie blog, but I did think I’d share some ideas for meals, since I know I’m not the only person to wonder what to make for dinner!

*UPDATE: Sorry, this is worded in a confusing manner. Sour cream isn’t the real issue here, though indulging in fatty condiments like it (mayonnaise, ranch dressing, etc.) is pretty standard in a lot of American diets and recipes. The main difference is eating homemade meals. I’m pretty sure you could make a week’s worth of recipes, all including sour cream, and it would be better for your health than eating a diet comprised of processed or fast foods!

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February 1st – 15th

  1. Friday—Frozen Pizza
  2. Saturday—Leftovers
  3. Sunday—SUPERBOWL POTLUCK—Slow Cooker Tater Tot Hotdish
  4. Monday—TBD, Something meaty with whatever meat is on sale
  5. Tuesday—Tacos with homemade taco seasoning
  6. Wednesday—Greek Style Garlic Chicken
  7. Thursday—On-Sale Fish and Sauteed Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
  8. Friday—Frozen Pizza
  9. Saturday—SPEAKEASY PARTY—Crockpot Hot dogs (and much more; I’ll blog about it)
  10. Sunday—Shepherd’s Pie
  11. Monday—TBD, Something meaty with whatever meat is on sale
  12. Tuesday—Green Sauce Enchiladas
  13. Wednesday—Baked Penne with Italian Sausage
  14. Thursday—VALENTINE’S DAY—Alton Brown’s French Toast with Blueberry Compote
  15. Friday—Frozen Pizza

Shopping List

Produce

  • 4 potatoes
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • Fresh basil

Meat

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 lb hamburger
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 7 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Whatever is on meat special (I’ll make meals on the 4th and 11th depending on the meat sale)
  • Whatever FISH is on special (tilapia or salmon, frozen, wild-caught)
  • Kosher or all-beef hot dogs

Dairy

  • milk
  • butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (sometimes with pasta and/or tomato sauce)
  • 1 lb cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese

Frozen

  • 3 Frozen Pizzas
  • 16 ounce bag of tater tots
  • 1/2 pound frozen green beans (OR 1 can french style green beans, whichever is cheaper)
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

Pantry

  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can french style green beans (OR 1/2 pound frozen, whichever is cheaper)
  • 1 can fried onions (6 ounces)
  • 24, 6-in tortillas
  • 24 oz can of green enchilada sauce
  • 11 oz can sweet corn
  • 1 cup + 1 can chicken broth or 2.5 bouillon cubes
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • ketchup
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • vegetable oil
  • honey

Spices

  • chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • crushed red pepper
  • paprika
  • salt & pepper

This shopping list is for dinners only, and I already have quite a few of the ingredients in my pantry. (Thankfully I’ve been stocking up on Frozen Pizzas, so my Fridays for the month are covered.) I’ll post breakfast ideas and lunch ideas either on a weekly basis or all in one mega post. I’m leaning towards mega posts: Breakfast Ideas, Lunch Ideas, and Dinner Ideas divided by type of meat or lack thereof. Meat is usually the most expensive thing on the list, and it’s usually what we tend to get in a rut in with most, so dividing it that way makes sense to me. Within each of the dinner posts, I’ll divide it into those 7 categories.

Usually we have leftovers for lunch. I plan on starting to make a huge batch of soup each Sunday for lunches as well. Otherwise it’s sandwiches over here.

As for sides, I have a bunch of frozen veggies for steaming, or we have a salad, or we have pasta or rice. I’ll try to be a bit more inventive when I post the dinner ideas later.

Variations on a PB&J

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I love Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, lemme tell you.

But sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. I recently saw an article in the newspaper about a PBRB sandwich, inspired by Weelicious. It got me thinking about a bunch of variations for the PB&J, and I thought I’d share a bunch here, and get some more ideas from you fine people!

Variation #1: Very ImPRESSED

Weelicious gives the secret to The World’s Greatest Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: A Waffle Iron!

The waffle iron works like a panini press and grills your sandwich. It’s also relatively safe for children to use (supervised, of course!). Just lightly butter the waffle iron, place the sandwich, and press for 2 minutes. Click the link above for a video How-To.

Variation #2: Breads

Try a different kind of bread than usual. How about a multi-grain, potato, nutty, sunflower seed, or cinnamon bread?

Variation #3: Peanut Butter

There’s smooth peanut butter and chunky peanut butter. Try almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, hazelnut spread, or even Nutella.

Variation #4: Jelly

Jelly, Fruit Preserves, Jam. Apparently there is a difference to these. There’s marmalade, too. There are so many different flavors out there, try something new, like Strawberry Rhubarb or Cherry.

Try fresh fruit, like mashed banana, or berries or even applesauce. If the fruit is especially thin, or if you won’t be eating the sandwich straight away, then be sure to use peanut butter on both sides of the bread, and put the fruit in the middle. The PB works as a barrier to prevent soggy bread.

Or toss the fruit and add honey or Nutella. Peanut Butter & Nutella sandwiches are the Captain’s specialty. I am not a fan of Nutella, so when I make the sandwiches, Champ gets the same as whatever I’m making for myself.

The PBRB Sandwich

PBRB is peanut butter, mashed banana, and raspberries, placed between two slices of bread and “grilled” on the waffle iron.

Waffle Iron Review

So I tried this today on Champ’s lunch (see top photo) as well as my own. It was okay, but not amazing. The taste would be similar if I just toasted the bread and then proceeded to make the sandwich. But maybe the excitement of using a waffle iron is enough to get a child to eat the sandwich with a smile. The biggest “con” about the waffle iron, though, is clean up. My waffle iron’s got peanut butter and jelly all over it now. Unless you have incredibly dense bread, I would expect a similar outcome. I think I’d prefer to use the griddle and just grill them that way, like a grilled cheese.

Will I try it again? Maybe. While making the sandwiches, I spotted a bag of marshmallows on the counter. If I use the waffle iron again, I might try making a s’more sandwich with chocolate peanut butter (you could use Nutella, if that’s your thing) and giant marshmallows. Then again, I could always just buy the marshmallow spread itself.

What are your personal favorites?

Chocolate Revel Bars {Recipe}

revel bars

Quite a few years ago, I tasted these babies and immediately asked for the recipe. It may well have been the first time I ever asked for a recipe from anyone.

My kitchen has been a mess these past few weeks with all the holiday cooking and baking, so I don’t have lovely in-process photos for you, colloquially known as “food porn.”

But I will share the recipe here!

Don’t even attempt to use less than a pound of butter for this. If you are looking for low-fat recipes, try my Da Vinci Dip recipe. Also note: ♩♪♫♬ this is my blog and I’ll blog what I want to ♫♪♩.

Chocolate Revel Bars

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 bag (12 oz or 2 cups) chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp REAL BUTTER
  • 1 can CONDENSED Milk (not evaporated)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Crust:

  • 4 sticks (1 pound) REAL BUTTER, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp maple flavor
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

Instructions:

  1. Warm  filling ingredients on the stove at low heat while making crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add salt and maple flavor, stir.
  5. Slowly incorporate flour and then oats until thoroughly mixed.
  6. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of a Jelly Roll pan (about 15″ x 10″ x 1″)
  7. Pour filling over the bottom crust and spread out with a spatula.
  8. Crumble remaining crust on top of filling and gently press down into the filling.
  9. Bake at 375℉ for 30 minutes.

When cool, cut into SMALL squares and serve.

I had my first weird pregnancy craving while making this. I don’t think I’ve ever used sweetened condensed milk before, and it was all I could do not to lick the can while I was pouring it into the pot. Something about the color and creaminess. It was perfection. I’m going to stop thinking about it before I start drooling over my keyboard.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Party

Yesterday we had an outrageously fun Christmas party, with ugly sweaters, awkward family photos, an ornament exchange, games, food, and much laughter.

Photos

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We had some nice ornaments…

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And some White Elephant ornaments…

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Adam West as Batman, and Nicolas Cage Cats ornaments…
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If you have a weird sense of humor and want some Adam West or NickCageCats ornaments yourself, you can download and print my file here. I don’t own any of the images and made no profit from using them—these are for personal use only!

Menu

  • Cocktail Meatballs
  • Homemade peanut butter cups (filling: 1 cup peanut butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 stick of butter; coating: chocolate almond bark)
  • Chocolate Fondue with fruit, pretzels, and marshmallows
  • Pinwheels (tortilla, cream cheese, ham, and pickle)
  • Da Vinci Dip
  • and these, made with peppermint Kisses (click image for how-to): https://i2.wp.com/4.bp.blogspot.com/-zuSLkgkgeRg/TzG8LNyxQmI/AAAAAAAABII/2Mp5STEOWQY/s1600/pretzel+buttons.jpg

Games

Meal Planning and Recipes

I’m trying to get more organized with recipes and meal planning. LT and I have half a dozen cookbooks, a drawer full of magazines with recipes included, and a recipe box that was my great grandmother’s.

If you know me, you’ll know I’m completely the opposite of a Stepford Wife. I hate folding laundry, but not as much as I hate doing dishes, and I will not cook unless I already know what I’m cooking.

I hate standing in the middle of the kitchen at 5:30 just scratching my head. Those are the days we take out our organic Annie’s shells & cheese. (Soooo good).

Of course, LT and I like to keep away from packaged food, and especially processed food when we can. But around here, there is a pathetic selection of produce and raw ingredients. Which I hate. I can’t wait to move. I need farmer’s markets!

Ahem. Anyway, a while back I decided we should have theme days, just to help me meal plan, and to keep me from making red meat every. single. day.

Mmmmm…meat. Ooooowwwww…heartburn.

So here are our theme days. All images are free stock images, except for the Lasagna, which I ACTUALLY MADE AND ATE.

Meat Mondays

This is the day we eat like normal Americans on the SAD (Standard American Diet). Burgers, steak, meatloaf. It gives us something to look forward to after the weekend. This includes any meat-prominent meal that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories.

Taco Tuesdays

Actually, we rarely make tacos on Tuesdays. It’s just an easy way to remember that this is when we eat Latin American food. Or anything seasoned with chiles.

Mediterranean Wednesday

Click image for my favorite lasagna recipe

Originally “House of Italy Wednesday,” we expanded this to include any Mediterranean food, including Moroccan. Wednesday nights we have church, and let’s face it, Italian food is really easy/fast/yummy. If we find a European dish that isn’t “Heart healthy” or meat-prominent, then it will go here, too. But most pub food falls under the “meat” category, or Sunday’s (which you will see below).

Heart Healthy Thursdays

I abbreviate Thursday as “H,” so the alliteration thing sort of works here. This is the day we eat fish, vegetarian, or vegan meals.

Pizza Movie Night Fridays

This is a tradition carried over from LT’s family. We started going to a couple’s Bible study on Friday evenings, so we haven’t done a Friday movie night in a while. So every once in a while, we have Meat & Movie Mondays. LT usually makes the pizza—he loves trying new doughs and pizza recipes. Pepperoni pizza is my classic favorite, but it usually triggers heartburn, so I tend to buy frozen Kashi Mediterranean pizzas.

Oriental Saturdays

LT suggested we change this from “Asian Saturdays” to “Oriental” so we could include African dishes. Now anything from the Eastern hemisphere that doesn’t fall into the Thursday menu and isn’t European or Mediterranean goes here.

Soul Food Sundays

On Sundays we feed our soul at church, and then we feed our tummies with soul food. Yes, I realize I have a corny sense of humor. But Mneumonic devices WORK, people! Anyway, Soul Food Sunday is another “SAD” day, when we eat Macaroni and Cheese and anything baked in a casserole dish, which is called a “Hot dish,” in case that will confuse you in the future. I’m a Minnesotan. I say “pop,” too, even against my will. Anyway, we use the term “soul food” loosely, not in the regional or ethnic sense. I consider any single-dish meal to be soul food because it makes me feel all warm inside. That, and anything with cheese or potatoes in it.

What about Lunch? Breakfast? Second breakfast? Elevensies?

For lunch we have leftovers, soup, or sandwiches. Sometimes all three, because we have leftover soup with sandwiches grilled on the skillet. That’s usually when LT is home, though. I usually have leftovers heated on the stove, because we don’t have a microwave.

For breakfast, we generally have cereal. LT made me French Toast this weekend when I was sleeping in, and brought it to me in bed. Yes, I won the marital lottery with that man.

For snacks, we eat fruit or have chips and salsa. I try not to keep junk food around, but we do have a bag of Doritos from last week, when I successfully got LT to eat and enjoy COOKED BROCCOLI.

How to get your family to eat cooked broccoli:

  1. Steam broccoli
  2. Top with shredded cheese
  3. Melt cheese on broccoli in convection oven (or conventional oven, if you don’t have a convection/toaster oven)
  4. Top with crushed nacho-flavored Doritos.

We ate it with Mexican burgers.

I’m thinking every once in a while (I can’t commit to every single week, because life happens), I’ll post our menu for the week as well as our favorite recipe of the week. Or favorite new recipe of the month.

So stay tuned! Also let me know if you have any requests, or are interested in one of our categories above, and I’ll hook you up with a recipe or two.