Well, the last few weeks of pregnancy, and the birth of our third child, Harrison James, has kept me from putting out a weekly menu for awhile. I am excited to be back on track today!

I don’t know about you, but I seem to enjoy cooking more in the fall and winter. I always like to cook for my family, but there is something about  a chill in the air that makes me happier to get in the kitchen and prepare warm and hearty food for my husband and kids.

I also want to share a tip with you today. If you do start to plan your meals, either weekly, or monthly, SAVE YOUR PLANS!!! I have a big stack of calendars with seasonal meal ideas on them. I refer to my old plans ALL the time for ideas when I am planning my current meals. I know a few of you use a wipe-off board to plan your menus, so to you, I would give you the advice to purchase a cheap dollar store calendar as well. Keep the pretty menu board out on display, and simply copy your weekly menus into the cheap calendar and stash that away. Why go to all the trouble to plan out a menu only to throw away your wonderful resource? You can also use the calendar to make notes about if the meal worked or not, or if you’d change something about the recipe.

Okay, here we go!

Monday: Turkey Fettucini – We all have leftover turkey right now, so why not make a delicious turkey pasta? If you don’t want to make a heavy cream sauce, I make an awesome alfredo by: Mix half and half (I’ve seriously even used milk!) with 1 T butter, a few ounces of cream cheese (low or non fat will work), and some out of the can parmesan cheese. You can also throw in some grated mozzarella and sour cream for a thicker consistency. It is good, and much lower in fat than a traditional cream sauce. Add your turkey bits to the sauce as it thickens and toss over your favorite noodle.  Serve with some garlic bread to mop up the extra sauce and your favorite salad or veggie.

Tuesday: Ground Beef Biscuit Stew (When I make this recipe, I add 1/2 a packet of chili or taco seasoning for some extra flavor.)

Wednesday: Home-made Chicken Nuggets – Simply chunk up your chicken breasts or chicken tenders into bite sized pieces (It is easier to cut the chicken when it is still slightly frozen, so don’t thaw it quite all the way before you make your cuts.) You can bread your nuggets with a myriad of things…breadcrumbs (home-made or store bought), parmesan cheese, or just good ol’ shake and bake (which comes in a ton of flavors.) Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve this up with some oven fries or mac and cheese.

Thursday: Cheesy Chicken and Pasta Skillet – There is even a cooking how-to video on this one out there. This is a great very non-traditional pasta.

Friday: Belgian Waffles with Strawberry Syrup and Whipped Cream – YUM! Simply thaw a carton of frozen strawberries and mix with desired amount of sugar, and blend to your desired consisetency. Leave the strawberry mix as is for a chunkier topping, or blend until smooth for a traditional syrup. This is awesome either way. I like to mix up my own whipped cream when I can, but a dollop of Cool Whip is terrific too!

Saturday: Beanie Weanie – Let’s face it..it’s just fun to say this dinner’s name. I also like to cook a “cheaper than cheap” dinner at least once a week, and nothing gets cheaper than hot dogs. You can make this fancier with the additions of some bbq sauce, brown sugar, ground beef, sauteed onions, etc.

Sunday: Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles : I just found this recipe this morning, and it sounds pretty good to me…and EASY! Throw a can or two of creamed soup into the crock pot. Sprinkle a pouch of onion soup mix on top of the creamed soup. (The recipe had a great idea of pouring the soup mix through a strainer if you have a non-onion eater in your house like I do. This way, the seasoning goes into the mix, but not the onions.) Stir the soup mix and add in your chicken. I would use chicken breasts. Right before you are ready to serve, cook your noodles. Serve the chicken in sauce over the noodles. I can’t wait to try this. (I usually have tested and tried each recipe idea I give you guys, but this one sounded pretty good and foolproof.)

Enjoy your week ladies. Happy planning!