The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner

Becoming a Sports Mom: Meal Planning

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

MealPlanningSoftballSeason

It seems I let my friendly neighbor talk me into signing all three girls up for softball.

I’m not sure what I was thinking. We tried soccer once. We’ve tried karate, dance, and tumbling.

We’ve tried, and will return to, swim lessons this summer.

We definitely do the individual sports better than the team ones.

My anxiety over the entire situation has nothing to do with our kids’ abilities or with a concern for their safety.

I don’t want to leave the house that much. I don’t want to go make small talk with other parents that I don’t know.

I’m going to dread every practice. Once I’m there, I’ll appear just find, be friendly, volunteer, and cheer the kids on.  When we get home, I’ll run to my room and hide in my bed. I will need to be alone for a bit – to recover from being social.

Moms with kids in sports, or really any extracurricular activities that eat up most of your week, have to learn to plan ahead and be prepared. Cooking time is limited, dinner is often late, and boy oh boy are those kids hungry.

Last Friday, my anxiety got the better of me. The practice schedule had been announced. It wasn’t a shock, I knew full well what to expect. The schedule made it real, and the reality of it all sent me into a panic.

Saturday morning, I woke up and decided that the only thing I could control right now was planning food. I could make a plan for what to eat and when to eat, and I could prep it early. Every little bit of healthy shortcut is good right? I really didn’t want to eat Chik-fil-A  four days a week.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the recipes I picked out. Most are from Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook , my Pioneer Woman Cookbook, All Recipes.com or random recipe cards I found flying around my recipe bucket.

This week’s menu:

Monday: Pot Roast, Butterbeans, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Biscuits

Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken and Rice, (leftover butterbeans and peas)

Wednesday: Spaghetti – night of our first practice

Thursday: Meatloaf, Corn on the Cob, Potatoes

Friday: BBQ Chicken (crock pot), leftover meatloaf for the kids, maybe homemade mac and cheese.  **

Saturday: Bacon Brussel Sprout Quesadillas and (leftover) BBQ Chicken Quesadillas {kids will eat pizza tacos}

Sunday: Big Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Butter Onion Soup {tomato soup for the kids}

** My homemade mac and cheese is a no bake kind. I whip it up in a pot just like you would a box of mac and cheese, only with real stuff. Also, before you think I’m snooty about boxed mac and cheese – we eat the boxed stuff at lunch.

Other Meals I Prepped

Homemade Pizzas

Pie Crusts for Pot Pies etc.

Tortilla Soup (Pioneer Woman pg. 77)

Meatballs (the kind you put chili sauce and grape jelly on and take to parties!)

White Chili (Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook pg 92)

Creamy Garlic Noodles (THC, pg 217)

Breakfast Casserole

Cowboy Quiche (PW)

Challenges

We have a few challenges around meals. I shouldn’t even complain since we have no allergies or intolerances (that we know of). I also hesitate to even talk about them, for fear I’ll be met with “if you hadn’t babied them as babies they would eat what you fix them” or “just feed them what you make, if they don’t like it they can be hungry”. Both are true. The latter is how I was raised. I can remember being bummed upon arriving at the table to find mom had made that awful pork chop and noodle thing. I would spend half of dinner picking out those tiny tasteless mushrooms.

Here’s the deal folks. I promised to be honest and real. So here it is:

Kid #1 doesn’t eat bread unless it’s cinnamon toast and even that is just a recent addition to her diet. She won’t even eat crackers – just the topping. That eliminates the options for sandwich night. Yes, Sunday is grilled cheese night. I *might* be able to get her to eat the inner parts, if I cut off the crust, make it super cheesy, and it doesn’t get too brown. I have mini soft tortillas so she and her sister can have “cheesy roll ups” instead. Trying something new is almost impossible, even though when she does try it she usually likes it. She could eat a field full of cherry tomatoes and goes through pickles by the jar.  Her big issue is that food can not touch. Not even the juice. Even a little. Sometimes, we need separate utensils.

Kid #2 recently decided she did NOT like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and would be happy to live on fresh hot bread alone. Trying something new is usually only attempted on Try It Tuesday and it takes several tries before she’ll admit she kind of liked it. She is the most likely to give something new a chance, but we are short on time, practices start tomorrow. She is like her momma and would happily eat rice and peas (mixed) or mac n cheese with corn (mixed) every day for every meal.

Kid #3 doesn’t eat. Well, she eats Goldfish Crackers and pickles (half a spear). Cheetos. Chocolate Chip cookies (if they are soft). Brownies , but only the Little Debbie kind. Pasta Roni, parmesan angel hair and spaghetti. Some times. Some times she’ll eat it and some times it’s the most awful thing I’ve ever tried to feed her. She won’t eat Jello or meat or veggies. Once in a while she will eat a banana. She tried an apple last week. Yogurt is a no go. So is ice cream. I wish it were a texture, or a smell, or a color but there is no rhyme or reason to it. She doesn’t get to eat junk all day either. She just doesn’t eat. Yet, she is still growing and to be having such a lax Kindergarten year she is already doing math ahead of what her sisters were doing at that age. Doctor isn’t complaining, so I’m not worried. Yet.

Kid #4 used to eat everything. He’s a bit pickier now. He’s also perfectly content to just not eat if he doesn’t like what’s being served as long as you don’t make him hang around watching everyone else eat. He has way too many things to be doing to just sit and watch people eat. There are bad guys to fight and superheroes to imitate.

The Mr. lifts weights. He needs protein. Lots of protein. He would eat almost anything, at least once. He’ll eat it twice if you follow it up with a pie or cobbler.

 

So tell me mommas, what’s your favorite freezer meal? What’s your favorite grown up meal turned kid friendly meal? What’s your favorite trick to get kids to eat? Do you have a kid that just won’t eat?

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Throw Together Thursday Dinners

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Throw Together Thursday Dinners

By Thursday, I’m pooped. We aren’t even a super busy family, but I get emotionally drained quickly. Even if I meal plan, come Thursday I would trade a limb to not have to cook for a few days.

I’ve started noticing that Thursdays have become “whatever mom can throw together” days. Last night, it actually pulled together pretty well.

It involved bacon.

I think I’ll keep bacon in the fridge because anything you throw together is going to taste good if it is served with bacon. I’m convinced of this.

I have no picture for you, because honestly, it looked horrible. It tasted delish.

I’m going to start calling them my Throw Together Thursday Dinners. 

Bacon Onion Cabbage Fry, with Roasted Butternut Squash Disks

1 pound bacon

1 cabbage

1 onion (mine was a red cherry onion I had sliced and frozen over the summer)

1 butternut squash

random Kroger brand “Mrs. Dash” stuff

salt and pepper

butter

 

First I opened the pack of bacon, and without taking the strips apart, cut them into 1 1/2″ chunks. Then I tossed them into my hot cast iron skillet, no oil. While that fried up, I broke the pieces apart and worked on cutting the squash. I used the neck part, cut off the rind (is that what it’s called?) and then sliced it into disks about 1/4-1/2″ thick. I laid them out on a cookie sheet, no oil, and sprinkled with the fake Mrs. Dash stuff (mostly because I was too lazy to dig in the cabinet). Put them in the oven on 350*.

Next, I drained out the grease (the bacon was only about half done) and added the onions. I chopped the cabbage into small strips and tossed it in the skillet. Since my cast iron skillet has no lid, I placed a piece of aluminum foil over the top (pushed down around the edges so the steam would drip back into the pan), and let it sit for a bit.

In between stirring the skillet, I made the kids some dinner. Even though they LOVE bacon, they do not love it mixed in with onions and cabbage.

Somewhere in there, I added a little splash of water and covered it up again, hoping to speed up the cabbage cooking process. I didn’t want it too crunchy. When the water was gone, I dropped in some butter. I don’t know how much. Probably a lot. I like butter.

When the bacon looked done, and it smelled so good I couldn’t stand it I turned the burner off.

My bowl consisted of a couple of slices of butternut squash on the bottom, a dollop of butter and some salt and pepper, with a huge pile of cabbage/onion/bacon on top.

It was so yummy. I may have hidden the leftovers in the fridge so the Mr. wouldn’t take them to work.

Have you ever made a “Throw Together” Dinner?

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Making Stock and Taking Stock

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

A few weekends ago, after a crazy grocery trip that I had absolutely no business participating in, I decided to give making bone broth a go. I found a really awesome recipe that you could make in a crock pot.  Turns out, after all that walking {that I wasn’t supposed to be doing yet} I was going to need a long rest. I love that my slow cooker can do all that work while I sleep!

Chicken and Dumplings

A few days ago, after making the chicken for my dumplings, I took the scraps and made chicken bone broth.

The broth turned out amazing! The Mr. helped me strain it into Mason jars and tighten the lids while it was still hot. They sealed up pretty quickly, but I’m still keeping them in the fridge, just to be safe. This means I still have all the oooey fat sitting on top. I plan on spooning it out before I use it, which will hopefully be tonight for taco night. I’d like to make some rice to go with our dinner and I think cooking it in beef broth will make it extra yummy.

Over the past couple of weeks, since that grocery trip, I’ve been looking around at all the things we take for granted. One night I fixed a huge roast for dinner. I almost cried putting it on the cutting board thinking how blessed we are to even have meat, much less that much meat, and how just a few years ago we never would have been able to have afforded a chunk so large. How great God has been to bless us with our big family and then to continue to provide for us!

Even though meal planning can save on the grocery bill and time, I avoid it. What if I plan for spaghetti but then don’t feel like spaghetti when the night arrives?

I feel awful just typing that. How selfish. How ungrateful. How like-my-children do I sound?

I should be grateful to have food to cook, even if it is spaghetti and I’m not the mood for spaghetti.

I decided it was time to stop and take stock of all the blessings we could see from our kitchen table and we needed to do it together, so the kids could participate.

We had meat.

We had fresh veggies.

We had heat and a roof.

We had each other.

We had clean plates and hot water to wash them in.

We had clean water…. actually we had Kool-aid and Soda Stream and chocolate milk and a glass of wine.

We had light.

We had jokes, and fuzzy socks that would make you slide across the floor, and good music.

We have Jesus and we have love. <–our 9yo reminded us of this one.

So much to be happy about, and we spend so much time being annoyed that it isn’t happening exactly when we want it to, or how we think it should be happening.

I wonder how much more enjoyable life would be if we took stock of what we had, before we complained about what we *thought* we were missing.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Reader Favorites