Tag Archives: meal planning

A Week of Maxwell Dinners

We had a request to share some of our main-meal menus. We keep those in a Google Spreadsheet that the cooks can access from their computers or phones. I copied a week from there to post here.

Saturday 2/16 Instant Pot ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
Sunday 2/17 Burritos, green salad, homemade whole wheat tortillas, chips, salsa
Monday 2/18 Salmon patties, buns, green salad
Tuesday 2/19 Leftover vegetable beef soup with pasta, homemade whole wheat bread
Wednesday 2/20 Leftover enchiladas, green salad, chips, salsa
Thursday 2/21 Vegetable ham soup with pasta, homemade whole wheat bread
Friday 2/22 Ham pot pie, green salad
Saturday 2/23 Ground beef skillet, green salad

About two years ago, we started having our bigger meal at lunch time. After the initial adjustment of more food preparation in the mornings, we have liked the switch. We talked about making this change years ago, but with homeschooling weren’t willing to give up our quality, morning homeschooling time for food preparation.

In winter, we often have homemade soup. Anna discovered cooking the pasta separately and then adding it to the soup portion keeps it from getting mushy as it does if boiled in the soup broth and then reheated for leftovers.

Trusting in Jesus,

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee,
if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God”
(Deuteronomy 28:2).

Holiday Meal Planning Lists

DSC_5149Our family enjoys the special meal we have for Christmas and also for Resurrection Sunday. That meal was originated by my mom. By popular vote, everyone loves the traditional favorites so we keep having that special meal. My mom has handed the responsibility for those meals down to me along with the recipes.

I have a master shopping list that tells me what to buy. There are many dishes in the meal and generally a single recipe is not enough, DSC_7417so that complicates the ingredient list. Why spend time twice a year redoing that? Once I made the list, I could save it on my computer and just open the file the next time I needed it.

Every year we have 3 family barbecues – Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. We like the same menu that has been fine tuned through the years by popular vote: hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, picnic eggs, baked beans, chips, chip dip, soda, and dessert (that is different each year). How many pounds of ground beef should I buy? How many packages of hot dogs and of brats? What about chips?

I like having enough for the meal, but I don’t want to have too much left over. Therefore I have a master shopping list for our barbecues that I keep on my computer, and then I fine tune it with each event. I note who was there, what I bought, what was left over. It has made those family meals so much easier when I don’t have to start from scratch with the plan and shopping list each time.

DSC_5313For example, at first, we were buying six pounds of ground beef, and we had so many hamburgers left over that we ate them for quite a while. For this year’s Labor Day, we bought three pounds of ground beef, and we had four hamburgers left over. Perfect! Also a couple of years ago, some began having their hot dog or hamburger in a lettuce wrap. Until I put iceberg lettuce on my master shopping list for the barbecue, we were sending someone back to the store the day of the barbecue for the lettuce that hadn’t been purchased. When it is on the list, it isn’t missed or forgotten.

What about you? Are there ways that you can streamline your holiday meals by tracking your menu, saving shopping lists, and writing down after-action reports such as how many you fed, how much was left over, or what you didn’t have enough of?

Trusting in Jesus,

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Cooking with Anna: A Meal Plan on the Road

I love planning and preparing food for our trips. I asked Mom if I could take over that job and have been doing it for about a year now. I believe one of the biggest keys to success in the meal planning is having master meal and shopping lists. I am so thankful that Mom has taught me to use master lists so as not to forget even the smallest details.

I plan the first few weeks of meals although it is a guide, and I do not have to follow it exactly. I also have a master list of pantry and other food items that we bring with us on our trips. I will go through the meal plan and master list before we leave and add whatever we don’t have on hand to one of our shopping lists. We shop at Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart Supercenter, and a local grocery store.

Some have asked how we fix and manage meals on the road. Each week varies, depending on how much we are driving, where we are in the trip, and if we’ve grocery shopped recently, but this will give you a glimpse into our first week of the trip we just completed. For many meals, I had prepared the meat before we left, but I can cook it on the road when needed. Fridays are a bit different because we eat a bigger lunch, no dinner, and then snack after the conference.

Our breakfasts consist of some of the following: smoothies, granola, granola bars, and yogurt. Also, with lunch and dinner, we have salad, but instead of repetitiously listing it, I thought I would just let you know here.

Serving Jesus,


Lunch – Breakfast burritos (eggs, sausage, cheese, spices)
Dinner/late night snack – Smoothies and snacks after conference

Lunch – Chick-fil-a (brought in by conference hosts)
Dinner – Shredded Mexican beef (made before we left) in tortillas or on lettuce

Bigger breakfast/brunch – Leftover biscuits and gravy from Jesse’s birthday
Dinner – Campfire roasted hotdogs and Maple Oat Cookies (some ate these uncooked and some cooked theirs on foil over the fire)

Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Sloppy Joes and roasted red peppers

Lunch – Sloppy Jo sliders (toasted whole-wheat homemade rolls, topped with leftover Sloppy Jo meat and cheese)
Dinner – Chili with corn chips

Lunch – Cracker Barrel
Dinner – Nobody was very hungry so we had leftovers and smoothies for those who wanted them.

Lunch – Tuna burgers (made from canned tuna, spices, egg, mayo, and then cooked) or tuna melts (tuna burger on an open-face, toasted, whole-wheat, homemade roll with melted cheese)
Dinner – Campfire dinner with hot dogs and onion/potato packets (cooked in foil over the fire).

Lunch – Tacos (cooked ahead and frozen)
Dinner/late night snack – Smoothies and snacks after conference

“… hope in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Psalms 43:5