Monday, October 24, 2016

October's "Busy Days" Menu + Weekly Menu Printable

Late afternoons and evenings have gotten a bit hectic in our home. 2 days a week Connor has swim lessons and we don't get home till close to 6:15. The other days, I've been trying to soak up the last bit of warm weather so I've been taking Connor to the park or to play with friends. In addition, James has been doing some traveling for work leaving Connor and I to have dinner for 2 a few nights a week. This last month I've gotten a bit creative with our meals. Nothing fancy but totally time saving kind of meals because when you walk in the door at 6:15 and bedtime is 8:30, you don't have a lot of time to waste in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite "busy days" menu options.

This is one of my favorite go-to crock pot meals. Toss diced ham and potatoes in with 2 cans of green beans, 4 cups of chicken broth and a bit of garlic and black pepper and let the meal cook for 6-8 hours. When we got home from swim lessons I whipped up the biscuits courtesy of a box and BAM! Dinner was complete. We had enough for leftovers so the next evening we had this with grilled cheese. Nothing fancy whatsoever but it worked for us. 

Someone on Facebook shared a video of a goulash dish and it's something I've never made before so I figured what the heck, let's give it a shot. I used this recipe from Pinterest. It was a bit too tomato-y for my liking. I think I will cut the tomato paste from the recipe if I were to make it again. I'm not a fan of tomato paste so to me it's a bit too much. But overall, it's a really hearty dish that is perfect for chilly night indoors. 

When cooking for just Connor and I, I don't do much. I could have cereal for dinner and be fine but Connor needs all the extra choices if we are are going to keep finding new foods he likes. These pinwheels are super easy. I flatten out pizza dough, added the ingredients, rolled and sliced it into serving sizes and baked it according to the dough package and dinner was served.

Our family has spaghetti and meatballs often thanks to Connor's love of the pasta dish. To switch it up a bit I gave baked spaghetti a try and we are huge fans. While this isn't something I could make on our busy afternoons, it's perfect for Sunday dinner. It's a pretty simple dish but in case you need some direction, here is a great pin that details the ingredients and baking instructions.

One way I survive busy evenings (days and weeks even) is the help of meal planning. Winging it come dinner time never ends well for us. Not only do I plan our meals out when grocery shopping, but I display a week's worth of meals at a time on the fridge so I know what to lay out or prep the day or evening before. For example, tomorrow we are sliders so I know I need to lay out the hamburger on Monday evening so the meat has time to thaw out before it's time to start dinner prep.

For a copy of this printable along with ones I've designed for Winter, Spring and Summer, complete this Google document form and I'll email them to you. If you want just the Fall one seen above, just right click, save and print. Meal prepping is something that takes some time to conquer but with a printable menu it's easy to tackle weeknights when you've planned your meals Monday through Sunday.

Be sure to visit Whitney and Whitney to see what meals they made this month for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These girls always provide me with some fresh ideas for mealtime with my family. 

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