Friday, April 26, 2013

Meal Planning: A Week in Jess' Life

 Welcome to Jess' Kitchen!

My life is rather unpredictable. I suppose it comes with the territory of having a 3 year old and 1 year old triplets. My days don’t always go according to plan; sometimes I end up with babies that just want to be held, and some days I could manage to pull off a five course meal.


This is a very old picture of our house. It hasn't been this clean in about 4 years. Besides the chaos of our house, we also have another element that adds to the complexities of meal times. My husband delivers numerous customers throughout the week, sometimes not getting home until after the kids are in bed. But this business comes with a perk, it’s the food business; meaning we don’t spend nearly as much on groceries as other people do.

We also purchase almost all of our meat locally, and raise the rest ourselves.

While we do have a well stocked freezer, we also have freezers that are elsewhere, meaning that I don’t always know what we have to cook.
 
Every Sunday afternoon we take 5-10 minutes and go over what our week looks like and what meals we can manage. My husband knows what is in the freezers and I know what I have time to cook. “What’s going to work?  Teamwork!”

This is how a week looks for us.

SundayRoast Beef, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Oven Roasted Broccoli, and {Gluten Free} Biscuits. Most Sundays we eat dinner at my in-laws, if we don’t then it is almost always a roast or something that takes a bit more time to cook. This past Sunday my mother-in-law was in Florida, so my father-in-law came to our house for dinner, and we had a roast that needed to be eaten.

MondayRoast Chicken, Oven Roasted Potatoes, and Mixed Veggies. Most Mondays I can pretty much count on my husband being home by 5:30 or so. We try to make a slightly more elaborate meal on Mondays, because I know that my husband will be home to help with the kids while I try to cook dinner, and it’s sometimes nice to have some leftovers for the rest of the week. Depending on our weekend, it can also end up being a very easy meal, so that I can have more time to spend with the kids or get the house back in shape.

TuesdayBeef and Venison Tacos. Every other Tuesday my husband is working late, as he’s loading trucks for the week. On the nights that we know he has to load truck in the evening we’ll do a dinner that can be easily reheated for him when he gets home.

WednesdayChicken Pot Pie.
Since Tuesday’s dinner was so simple and we had leftover chicken, plus I knew I wouldn’t be home most of the day, we decided on Pot Pie for that night. I had made everything but the crust on Wednesday, so that in the afternoon I could throw together a {gluten free} crust, dump the filling in it and throw it in the oven. I also know that most Wednesdays my husband isn't going to be home until the kids are going to bed. This is something easy to heat up.

ThursdayTortellini Soup, Bread, and Salad. Thursday mornings we are usually out of the house for Mom-to-Mom group, we get home around noon. After lunch the kids all immediately go down for naps. However, this week our oldest decided that she didn’t need a nap. Again, this is another day that I know my husband may or may not make it home in time for dinner, so I like it to be something that is easy, yummy and heats up easily.

FridayFish Fry. We had a case of frozen haddock in the freezer that needed to be eaten and my husband loves fish and chips. It’s a pretty easy meal, as I do most of the “frying” in the oven, but then throw it in the fryer to finish. The husband could be home anywhere from 3pm-7pm, depending on how deliveries go this day. So I need to know that the meal can be easily simplified if he’s not going to be home for dinner, meaning that I can just throw the fish in the oven, rather than worrying about frying things outside, while the kids are inside alone.

SaturdayPork Roast, Potatoes, and Cheesy Broccoli. Another roast this week, something else that needed to be eaten. During the summer our house gets way too hot to have the oven on, so we know that these are cuts of meat that we need to eat up before they are forgotten in he bottom of the freezers. We try to keep this meal simple, it’s usually steak and baked potatoes, because we’re busy around the house.
This was definitely a more elaborate meal week, than we normally do, since we had so many things that needed to be eaten.

In my home management binder, I do keep a list of meals that I can make without having to search for the recipe. We also have the now added complexity of having to cook gluten free, as well as sugar free, due to some issues our oldest was having, which means I’m now having to reconfigure old favorites to exclude both of these ingredients.

Happy Cookin’!


Wife, to a hard working man, mom to 4 of the craziest kids she could have never imagined. Living the life she never thought she would and lovin' it! 

Jess writes from Upstate NY at LifeintheWhiteHouse.com

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