April Meal Plan #2: Starting Swim Lessons

swim pic cropped

Big Sis and me, at parent-tot swim lessons several years ago

Next week, I’m embarking on an adventure that requires a whole new level of organization and planning: early evening swim lessons for two children in the five-and-under age bracket! Pondering the post-lesson locker room antics already has me shuddering. But you know what? I’ve done this before and we somehow all managed to survive. I have great faith in our abilities!

It does mean, however, that meal planning for Mondays and Wednesdays must be simple and fast. They’ll be coming home hungry. I’ll be coming home short of patience and energy. How will I address this reality? In future weeks, I hope to employ the slow cooker… or maybe also do up some super simple skillet meals. But for now, I’m still on my Lenten pantry challenge. And I’m sticking with it, even if I’m a little light on veggies and a little heavy on carbohydrates…

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Fridge, freezer, and pantry items I’m using up with this week’s plan: pasta, bread crumbs, garlic, chicken nuggets, black-eyed peas, corn meal, rice, beans, tortillas, jar curry, frozen meat, rice

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Swim Lesson Night #1anchovy and garlic pasta with cut fruit

Swim Lesson Night #2 – chicken nuggets with garlic-sauteed greens and cut fruit

Pantry Challenge #1smoked sausage and black-eyed peas with cornbread

Pantry Challenge #2rice and bean lunch wraps

Pantry Challenge #3 – jar curry with either pork or lamb, served over rice.


April Meal Plan #1: Soggy Spring Break!


(Tea party with the kids in our hideously dark dining nook!)

Oops! I missed my usual Sunday posting. Apologies! I was very busy with nothing in particular, which is generally what happens on a weekend when you have small children (especially if it’s the first sunny day in eons). The fact that we’re officially on Spring Break around here only made it worse! To top it all off, I just didn’t feel like cooking, so our Sunday dinner involved burgers, fries, and milkshakes from a local drive-thru.

It was glorious.

But Lenten observances wait for no woman, and now I’m back to trying to clear out my pantry. (Side note: why, oh why did I buy all of these canned artichokes? Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe they are secretly breeding when my back’s turned…)

You’ll note some heartier dishes on this week’s menu. In part, that’s because I’ve got to use up some russet potatoes. But it’s also because this weekend’s brief moment of sunshine ended all too quickly. The forecast for the rest of the week is both gloomy and soggy. Again.

Sigh. So much for Spring Break.

At least our boots and raincoats had a little time to dry off. And an excuse for more hot chocolate isn’t a bad thing, right? Ah, well. Here’s everything I’m trying to use up this week… and the menu I’ll be following to do so. (Bonus: if I get really inspired, I might even make some homemade hummus. Take that, random chickpeas and inexplicable bounty of garlic!)

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Fridge, freezer, and pantry items I’m using up with this week’s plan: frozen broth, frozen razor clams, buckwheat, linguine, canned artichokes, sweetened condensed milk, potatoes, garlic, onion, lemon, giant hunk of Parmesan cheese from Costco

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Vegetarian: mushroom and garlic buckwheat risotto (I’ll throw in some spinach, too)

Big Easy 1: razor clam linguine with sliced fruit and sauteed asparagus

Big Easy 2: roast chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, and some sort of steamed veggie

Reusing Leftovers: chicken noodle soup with stock made from boiled chicken carcass

Tea Party: I love serving well-styled odds ‘n ends to my family, and it’s one of my kiddos’ favorite meals. This time around, I’ll be making spinach-artichoke dip to serve on our favorite Dutch oven bread. We’ll also have sliced strawberries with condensed milk pound cake. I’ll serve with whatever cured meats, sliced fruits, and crunchy veggies happen to be lying around our fridge.