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Sunday, August 30

Week 136 Menu…and more gratitude!

Today for the Gratitude Challenge I’m supposed to take a photo or video of a person, place or thing that makes me feel grateful. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to photograph, and then I realized it was right behind me, chatting and humming away.

Ever since Cate was a little baby, she has had the biggest imagination and can play {literally} for hours on her own. I love that about her for so many reasons. Here is a video of one of my most favorite sounds.

Okay, on to the meal planning!

Aaron & Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza (plus another link to a follow-up post on this recipe)…I didn’t do this last week, we ended up with lots of leftovers throughout the week, and we only ate out once…love those weeks!

– Tortellini, with maybe pesto…a few of you did something similar last week and that sounds good!
– Salad and bread of some sort

– Beef stroganoff w/egg noodles
– Veggie

– Leftovers

– Camping at Big Sur!

Please share your menu plan for the week! Since I’m on a gratitude theme, I really am so grateful for your menus. I browse through them every week, so thank you.

Also, for you camping aficionados out there…any tips or recipes for cooking while camping are most welcome! Nate and I don’t have a great track record and we’ll be camping for three nights! Also, Labor Day ideas I’m sure would be welcome, too!


  1. 1

    Still trying to balance how many meals to plan when my wife is on overnight call every 3-4 days. This week, we went for 6 meals

    Sa – (with homegrown tomato and basil to make it that much better)

    Su – Pizza – now I make the dough and sauce… 1 tomato/basil, 1 pepperoni

    Mo- Black bean enchiladas, squash or corn as the veggie

    Tu- leftovers… I think

    Wed – grilled BBQ chicken breasts, salad

    Th- grilled cheese and tomato soup, broccoli

    Fri- Spaghetti

  2. 2

    S: Broccoli and Cheese Soup with homemade croutons
    M: Fried Green Tomato Salad
    T: Salmon with Honey-Coriander Glaze
    W: Dinner with Friends
    R: Pasta with Brie and Tomatoes
    F: Best Hamburgers Ever
    Saturday: Sichuan Chicken Stir Fry

  3. 3
    Ranger KT

    Ooh, camp cooking! Depends on what kind of stove you are using: charcoal, gas or plain old campfire. For charcoal, you can prepare anything you can grill. Same with gas. For campfires, I recommend packets. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, etc., in a foil packet on the fire = easy.

    I camp cook on a tiny backpacking stove so my options are more limited. I usually make cous cous with some kind of dried fruit (cherries are good). Mountain House also makes good instant meals — just boil some water and toss is it in. They are a little pricey but so easy.

    Sandwiches are also good and easy. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Easy breakfast stuff works, too. I usually do oatmeal + raisins or dried fruit + brown sugar, all put in a little plastic baggie ahead of time.

  4. 4

    S: Eggplant Parmesan, spaghetti, salad
    M: Spicy Basque Chicken, yellow rice, broccoli
    T: leftovers/sandwiches – dinner on the run
    W: Paprika Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, Polenta with Cheese, Tomatoes, and Basil, and some green beans
    TH: Homemade pizza, salad
    F-Tues: out of town!

  5. I am going to be some cooking from what I have on hand this week. Company just left and I will be busy getting ready for more company coming in for Labor Day weekend. I’m looking forward to ideas for Labor Day menus, hoping to get some inspiration here!

    I have all the stuff for my  Blue Cheese Balsamic Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries.

    Also have the stuff to make this fabulous Zucchini-Potato Frittata

    I never made your Tortilla Soup the other day as planned (and it’s going to be cool here on Friday).

    If this and leftovers once or twice doesn’t get us through the week, there is always Spaghetti or Tacos.

  6. 6

    I’ve been so bad. I haven’t posted in awhile, sorry! Here is my menu this week:
    Sun-out with the inlaws for b-day celebration dinner for both me and my huby
    Tue-stuffed peppers with garden salad
    Wed-olive oil, honey mustard marinaded chicken with brown rice and side veggie
    Thur-out (day off)
    Sat-out of town visiting friends

  7. I love Big Sur…and sure miss CA sometimes!

    Here’s our week:
    Mon: market fish, corn, & tomatoes
    Tues: margherita pizza
    Wed: tomato-pepper soup w/ham wraps
    Thurs: roasted garlic, arugula, & tomato pasta
    Fri: chicken tenders, couscous & cucumber salad

  8. Monday – pasta with homemade marinara and meatballs
    Tuesday – funky lime pizza
    Wednesday – Asian peanut butter pork tenderloin (repeat recipe)
    Thursday – FFY buffet
    Friday – Boo’s first day of preschool! Boo’s choice: chicken nuggets and oven fries
    Saturday – Romaine Pesto and Egg stuffed tomatoes (gluten free!)
    Sunday – homemade chicken, sun dried tomato and goat cheese ravioli in brown butter sauce

  9. F-ate out
    Sa-ate out (yes we’re getting bad about eating out on the weekends)
    S-Chicken and Stuffing, corn, crescent rolls
    M-Salmon with Soy Glaze, wild rice, garlic breadsticks
    T-Leftovers or whatever you find
    W-Hungry Jack Casserole (ground beef, baked beans, and bbq sauce) w/ biscuits and a veggie
    Th-BLTs and chips

    That’s as far as my week goes! I usually go from Friday to Thursday with my menu.

  10. 10

    M-Slow cooker rotisserie chicken, spinach, baked sweet potatoes
    T-Eat out
    W-Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, green beans
    Th-Soy sauce chicken legs, napa cabbage, cauliflower
    F-Turkey spaghetti, zucchini

  11. 11

    Su-Beer-Can Chk/BBQ Pot & Carrots/Napa Cabbage Salad
    Mo – Taco Salad
    Tu – Pork Kebobs/Rice/Homemade Tzatziki
    We – [Kids] Fish Sticks/Fries [Adults] Seafood Thai Curry
    Th – Random Chicken Dish??? (can’t quite decide)
    Fr – Homemade Thin Crust Pizza Night
    Sat – Out….WHEW!

  12. What a great challenge to work on. I know I could use some more gratitude in my life. I am VERY grateful to FINALLY be in a house! This week will be my first week of meal planning (and essentially real cooking) in over 6 months. I’m SO, SO happy to be planning meals again!

    Monday – creamy Italian crock pot chicken leftovers from Sunday

    Tuesday – burritos with Brazilian-style black beans

    Wednesday – panini sandwiches & lemon mint granita

    Thursday – leftovers

    Friday – sweet & sour meatloaf (it tastes SO much better than it sounds) & roasted broccoli

    Saturday – leftovers or eat out

    Sunday – some sort of crock pot something or sandwiches.

  13. Monday – sausage, potatoes & kale

    Tuesday – homemade mac n cheese, sliced tomatoes

    Wednesday – crock pot chicken chili

    Thursday – grilled halibut w/ quinoa & salad

    Friday – Chicken tikka masala, peas & rice

    Saturday – Grilled beef kabobs

    Sunday – Whatever we find at the farmer’s market that morning!

  14. 14

    Some how this week, we got stuck on Mexican and Italian food! At least it’s good right?
    M- Honey Lime Enchiladas, zucchini and summer squash, beans
    T- Chicken and pastina bake, salad and garlic bread
    W- tacos
    TH- lasagna, bread and salad
    F- out

    Have a good week!

  15. 15
    Jenn E.

    I’m excited about this week’s menu:

    Sunday- Pizza at a church meeting
    Monday- Pork Tenderloin and Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts
    Tuesday- Chicken Salsa Packets (chicken breast baked w/ taco seasoning, salsa and cheese) served w/ soft tortillas
    Wednesday- Spaghetti Pie
    Thursday- Popcorn Shrimp and baked fries

  16. 16

    Hi there, I love your site, and get excited every time it uploads on my browser. 🙂

    Here’s our menu for the week, including baked goods:

    Sunday: -Pork Chops in Tomato Basil Balsamic marinade
    -Wild Rice
    -Baby Arugula & Spinach salad w/ Italian dressing
    -Bananas and sugar
    -Truffle Brownies
    -Banana Pecan muffins with streusel topping
    Monday: -Gas-grilled beef fajitas with Golden Pride tortillas
    Tuesday: -Leftovers
    -green salad
    Wednesday: -Tacos, chicken or beef, with all of the toppings
    -fruit salad
    Thursday: -Leftovers/Pizza
    -green salad
    Friday: -Date Night, sandwiches from JJ’s or Subway for the drive to Columbia, MD to visit family.

    This is the menu for my husband and I – grad and undergraduate students. We like the kitchen, especially when we have time.

  17. Monday:
    -Whole Wheat Spaghetti w/ Tomato Sauce

    -Vegetable Enchiladas

    -Zucchini & Yellow Squash

    -Cinnamon-Oat Pancakes

    -Mac & Cheese

  18. Mon – Chili Mac & salad
    Tue – Black bean burgers & salad(the Man wants lots of salad right now)
    Wed – Beef stir fry with green peppers, and bitter gourd
    Thu – gyoza, rice and pumpkin
    Fri – Hiyashi Chuka (cold ramen noodles with juliened veggies, ham, egg and some soy based dressing)

    Weekends as always, manly.

  19. 19

    Super easy and delicious campground meal is hobo packs. Take some heavy duty foil and pull off a rectangle. Pour a bit of oil on it, then layer chopped potatoes, sliced onions, carrots, and a hamburger patty. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more oil. Wrap up like a packet and then cover with an additional piece of foil. Cook over the hot coals of a campfire until the meat and potatoes are cooked! YUMMY! We eat this every single time we camp our our kids love assembling their packets. We made these this weekend with lean beef and it was not as good. The meat was too dry. I would use an 80/20 so you have a little more fat.

    We have also made pizza in a cast iron skillet while camping, but this was fairly labor intensive. Have fun!

  20. 20

    First time commenter- hooray!

    Sun- Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Suace (
    Mon- Stuffed Bell Peppers
    Tues- Broiled Salmon with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
    Wed- Roasted Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
    Thurs- Leftovers
    Friday- Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin
    Saturday- Spaghetti alla Carbonara

  21. 21

    Monday – Dinner Out 🙂
    Tuesday – Homemade Mac & Cheese
    Wednesday – BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    Thursday – Brats on the grill
    Friday – Homemade Pizza

  22. 22

    My favorite item to make while camping is a breakfast of Gallo Pinto(essentially rice and beans and onions and garlic with Salsa Lizano(or Worcestershire sauce which isn’t as good but much easier to find without a trip to Costa Rica)) and fried eggs. It generally requires the car camping version of camping to do, with pots and pans and a propane stove, but it sets you up well for a day of hiking or other outdoor romping around.

    This week is a crazy one so I expect most of my planned meals to go all to heck.

    M: Shrimp Scampi
    T: Concert and a friend’s going away party (to S. America to teach people to farm for 6 months…how cool is that), most likely bar food for dinner
    W: Huevos Ranchero’s with fresh corn tortillas
    T: In-laws come to town. I don’t know when so we may be restaurant-ing it, or maybe a flat iron steak with some CSA veggies
    F: At a rehearsal dinner… I think
    S: My aunts wedding
    S: Family wedding recovery

  23. 23
    Jen Schulte

    Our plan this week:
    Monday-lasagna & salad
    Tuesday-grilled chicken breasts (marinating in a new Lime viniagrette dressing), cous cous, green beans
    Thurs-same, getting ready to head out for the weekend!

    Friday-Monday we will be away visiting my family in Oil City, PA … an hour south of Erie in case you never heard of it. Happy Labor Day to all!

  24. 24

    F – soba stir fry with edamame
    S – baked pesto chicken with roasted potatoes and zucchini
    S – pasta with tomato pepper cream sauce
    M – mexican style fish with olives, tomatoes and jalapenos
    T – risotto with sage and pear
    W – blue-cheese burgers
    T – leftovers

  25. Monday: Chicken and Rice with Corn
    Tuesday: Seared Shrimp Tacos
    Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese and Apples
    Thursday: Basil Cream Chicken with Broccoli and Carrots
    Friday: Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Salad
    Saturday: Mandarin Chicken with Veggie Stir Fry
    Sunday: Pasta a la Betsy (from

  26. 26

    I see lots of people on here making sweet potato fries (which I love but have never made at home). Can someone post a quick recipe for these? Is it just olive oil, S+P? Peeled or unpeeled? Thanks!

  27. 27
    Jane Maynard

    Hey Lara!

    I’ll have to make them again and maybe do a post…but until then, I peel them before cooking them, slice them super thin (like chips) and either fry in oil on the stove like french fries, or bake them until they’re cooked. I sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    If you have a trader joes, they have some in the freezer section that are DELISH as well. I haven’t made my own in a while b/c I keep buying those.

    hope that helps! someone else may have a recipe or suggestion as well…let me know if you have questions!

  28. Hey Jane! Enjoy your camping! Our campsite cooking last weekend was a fiasco — we forgot the connector between our stove and fuel — so we had to make do by going into Calistoga and eating at restaurants 🙂

  29. 29
    Cecilia C. Jackson

    We have two things in common. First, there are two young ladies in our respective families who play well alone with their toys creating scenes and situations, often these situations mimic past experiences. Yours is your child and mine is my granddaughter. Second, we have the same couch.

    Much happiness and blessings to you.


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