We may live in three homes and have three very different lives, but we’re family by choice.
Each week we will be updating this post with our weekly menu plans.
You can learn a little more about our lives below the weekly plans, by clicking the Continue Reading button just below the three menus. Remember, these are plans and plans change. Sometimes life alters those plans. Would you like a printable to help with your menu planning?
Weekly Menu for Heather, Lisa, and Amanda:
Tuesday is the last day of school for my senior. I’ve been warned, it gets here quickly. No lies were told.
Last week got off track, the four-year-old has been sick enough to throw the household off-kilter. She’s on the mend. We, the adults, are sorting through the effects of not enough sleep and a lot of stress.
We’re preparing for a business trip and a graduation party (they both happen next week, but company is coming and I won’t be here.)
Chili Honey Chicken Thighs, Rice, Green Beans
Chopped salads with grilled chicken (the little girls will get fresh fruit to supplement the salad they will complain about)
Sausage Peppers and Onions (and zucchini and yellow squash) over Cheese Grits
Sub Sandwich Night (everyone picks their toppings and they can toast them if they want to), fresh fruit
My son is home for the summer after college graduation! This week is filled with some of his favorite meals and he will split cooking duties.
We are working on developing a recipe notebook that he will take to law school this fall — food he can cook batch cook and freeze, as well as simple, quick meals as he learns to navigate the intense L1 year.
- Pork tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli
- Spaghetti bolognese and salad
- Molasses-soy glazed salmon and vegetables
- Hamburger steak with sweet onion-mushroom gravy and veggies
- Shrimp with honey-garlic sauce, broccoli, and rice
Our college kid is home! There will be an adjustment period as we figure out meals again.
- Pesto Chicken Bake with Spring Salad Mix and Garlic Bread
- Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops with Green Beans, and Thyme Roasted Potatoes
- BBQ Cheddar Burgers with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potato Wedges
- Maple Dijon Pork Meat Loaves with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes
- Chickpea Curry and Coconut Rice
What do our households look like?
Heather is married with six children, two are preschoolers, and four are teenagers. Three of the teenagers are there full-time, one is there mainly on weekends during school, but much more whenever school is not in session. Family nights out are generally cost-prohibitive and saved for special occasions. We are working hard to eliminate takeout, a habit that developed when Heather’s depression flared for most of ’21.
Lisa is married with a child starting law school in the fall of ’22. She is also a medical caregiver for a family member.
Amanda is a single parent. She has two children, one in college.
What are our current menu plan challenges?
- Multiple schedules
- Business travel
- Empty nest
- Large family
- Changing tastes due to medication
- Food intolerances
All of these things affect not only what we choose to cook, but whether or not we have the energy or wherewithal (executive function) to make what we chose. We are no longer young adults, but we do remember those years well. Home-Ec 101 was started, in part, by that overwhelming 4:00 pm dread of not knowing what to make that was a result of not having learned the lifeskills as kids.
We’re here to help.
We’ve got an entire series on menu planning. A free printable to plan your menu and shopping list and plenty of beginner to intermediate-friendly recipes to get you going. Also, Heather is fantastic at Iron Chef, Pantry Clean-Out Edition.