I love this time of year. I love the chill in the air at night, getting to watch college football on Saturdays, and love getting to finally pull those sweaters and boots out of the closet. One of my favorite things about the beginning of a new school year is the routine that comes along with it.
With the fall comes homeschooling, the re-start of the mom’s group I lead, AWANA….life just falls into step – and with all of that scheduling, I tend to re-start my meal planning. I’ve talked a lot about meal-planning on the blog and have a big Weekly Menu archive (check it out for ideas – I do!), but tend to let it fall to the wayside during the summer.
I’m excited to be bringing it back for the fall/winter season here on the blog, and I hope that my menu ideas help you in your planning, or at least spark an idea or two for you. Happy planning everyone!
Sunday: Homemade Taco Bell Crunch Wraps
These are ridiculously good and so fun to make. Buy the super-big (yes, that’s a technical size) tortillas, and smear with a bit of refried beans. Place a crunchy tostada on top of the beans, and top that with seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and any other desired toppings. Next, wrap it all up. If you want to go the extra mile, you can place the finished product on a griddle or you can just eat it as is.
The great thing about something like this meal is that pickier eaters can just opt to have a regular taco or burrito. No biggie.
Monday: Old-Fashioned Mac n’ Cheese, Apricot Chicken, Green Beans
I have been on a serious quest to find the “perfect” homemade mac n’ cheese recipe for a looonnnnggg time! I am constantly tweaking the type of cheese, the quantity, etc. I might have a winner on my hands – and if my family hadn’t been SO ready for dinner, I would have stopped to photograph it for a post. (I’ll work on getting it up soon though!)
The Apricot Chicken is a lot like our family favorite, Cranberry Chicken (which is why I linked to it!) The only difference was that I used almost a full jar of apricot preserves instead of a can of cranberry sauce. Since apricot preserves is quite a bit sweeter than cranberry sauce, the resulting dish was quite a bit sweeter. We like our original better, but this was still good.
And I’m really not sure if there’s anything quite like eating green beans you picked out of your garden an hour before dinner. So fresh and oh so good. I used to just boil the fresh beans, but my MIL just taught me how to use my pressure cooker, and I LOVE this method!
Tuesday: 10 Minute Chili, Corn Bread
We often call this chili, “Hannah’s Chili” after my oldest daughter as she started making this for us when she was just 6 years old. (Yes, it’s that simple!) Brown up some ground meat, throw in some pantry ingredients, and you’ve got a hearty and delicious meal. We almost always pair our chili with corn bread. (My favorite ever corn-bread is made from the Corn Muffin Mix you can find in the bulk section at Winco!)
Dippers is another recipe I’ve been talking about blogging for 6 years now. It’s a family favorite, and something I used to make ALL the time when my husband and I first got married. Basically, this is a one-pot rice dish, made with chunks of chicken, green chilis, diced tomatoes, and salsa that you “dip” into with tortilla chips. We spread the rice/chicken mix out on our plates, top with cheese and then scoop it up with chips. It’s so so good.
*If enough people comment or ask for the recipe, I’ll blog it soon! You’ll motivate me. 😉
My friend Mindy doesn’t blog anymore, but thankfully her recipes remain! Her Oven Stew is one of my favorites – and so so easy to make. I just throw everything in my Dutch Oven (can’t live without this thing) and let it cook low and slow all afternoon. It comes out nice and thick – not at all “soupy” and goes perfectly over mashed potatoes.
Friday: Spaghetti, Baguettes
My husband had to work late, so the kids and I had a simple spaghetti for dinner. When you do your menu planning, cut yourself some slack and remember that easy meals are awesome! When I don’t put the “faves” like spaghetti, tacos, pizza, etc on the menu, everyone is usually a little disappointed! I may like to try new recipes and make my meal plan all “pinteresty” but my family likes known favorites too.
Saturday: Homemade Deep Dish Pizza
We had our church’s biggest event of the year this Saturday, and let me tell you – we needed some comfort food to help us recover that night! It was an AWESOME day and so neat to see so many volunteers come together to do something for our community, but that pizza tasted soo soo good after a long day on our feet. I remember growing up and my Dad saying that “there’s nothing like pizza when you’re hungry” and it’s so true! It hit the spot.
Hope this helps with your meal planning. I’ll be back next week with another week’s worth of ideas. Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite thing about fall is!