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:
Homecoming week and the teenager activities are picking up at breakneck speed
Please note these meals are not in order
One of the teens will be out of town, there are extra shifts of work, and another has orchestra practices and a concert in addition.
Chicken enchiladas, I’m going to cheat and just layer them. I don’t have the patience lately to roll them. Salad on the side
Grilled Cheese, but a little fancier, we have sourdough and a couple of different cheeses, but you get the idea. It’s a mood.
I headed down to Charleston on the first of the week to visit Heather and her family, so my menu is a little shorter than normal.
It’s also a super busy week on the caregiving front, so I’m trying to manage expectations, mainly my own, and not get trapped in the loop of perfectionism that I’m not doing all the things.
- Chicken thighs with broccoli and wild rice
- Mediterranian takeout
- Salads with grilled chicken
- Spaghetti bolognese
- Grilled chicken breasts, wild rice, fresh sliced tomatoes, and corn on the cob
Change is change, whether it’s work or home and that can be stressful. We’ve got this, and we are getting back into a routine.
We have been trying Hello Fresh to try to reduce some of my mental workload and reduce as much stress as possible. I’ll report on how much we like (or don’t) the meals we try and how they go over with the teens.
- Spiced apricot chicken with rice and roasted carrots
- Spicy meatballs with roasted green beans, and jasmine rice
- Honey ponzu chicken with ginger lime rice and roasted broccoli
- Italian chicken and pepper hoagies, home fries and corn on the cob
- Beef falutas supreme with lime crema and black beans
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 badly 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 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 choose. We are no longer young adults but 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 life skills 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.