Happy Tuesday! We closed out another busy week last week just in time to start yet another one. I almost can’t wait for winter, just because maybe we’ll finally get to slow down a little bit.
Neil is on call this week and we are both finishing up massive freelance projects, all while juggling in-progress ones as well. We’re both in separate rooms right now at 10 pm working on bits and pieces, trying to get ahead for tomorrow. Its always feast or famine with this business, and while that keeps me from turning away work 99% of the time, I’ll be happy to hit slow patch soon.
With that said, we started the week on a good foot food-wise. Neil pan-seared tuna steaks and garnished them with avocado, soy, ginger, and lime (recipe via Food Network) for dinner Sunday night. It was the first “adult” meal we’ve really had in a while that wasn’t prepped with Kaitlan in mind or planned to last several days. Kaitlan hasn’t had a lot of seafood, and she enjoyed it okay — though not as much as the broccoli and mashed potatoes. She would live on peas, broccoli, and mashed potatoes if we let her — oh and watermelon.
For the first part of this week, we’re doing pork pot roast in the crockpot with carrots, potatoes and onion, and the latter half of the week will most likely be something else in the crock, just for ease. I really want to do pulled pork, but we’ll see what’s on sale. It really feels like fall, so I’m craving all the comfort food.
This weekend I’d like to prep a few crockpot meals to freeze, just for those random Thursdays we seem to find ourselves without meals. I cleaned the fridge out over the weekend and got rid of some things that had just fallen to the bottom and gotten freezer burn. I think prepping a few meals once a month will fit, and hopefully won’t end with the same fate.
Done any freezer cooking? What do you recommend?
Happy Hump Day! Our meal planning this week feel totally on point and we’ve been on this upward trend of getting our food act together on the weekends. Of course, as I say that, we have another out-of-town weekend coming our way for Neil’s race. That being said, I *think* we can hold it together.
On Sunday we prepped 2 pounds of chicken, 2 pounds of hamburgers, Sweet Potato Casserole (technically made Saturday, cut the sugar significantly), pumpkin spice muffins and donuts, and kale chips. While I know many people prep way more, this is by far the most we’ve gotten done in a few months on a Sunday. We spent about $70-ish for everything and it’s enough to get us to Thursday-Friday on lunches and dinners.
We’ve introduced a few more grains into Beeb’s life. She had her first PBJ (half on whole-wheat) over the weekend and has had toast on the same bread a few times. It’s big kid food! She’s also still really digging the kale chips — which I’m loving because it’s just another easy way to get greens into her diet.
I’m thinking our snacks for race weekend will be mostly packets (for Beeb), PBJ, puffs and cheerios and that we’ll munch on granola bars, trail mix, and maybe another batch of muffins. We last took Beeb to the track at 7 months, so I’m excited (and nervous) to see what 13 months will be like! With that said…
Have any toddler snack must-haves for us?
So we ended up eating our smoked pork butt for almost the entirety of last week. It ran out by dinner Thursday, so we picked up a pizza (gotta get those gas points at Hy-Vee). I don’t think you can get more frugal than that.
We also put together a meal of roast chicken, gravy and sweet potatoes for Charlie and Victoria. They just had their baby a few weeks ago, and it was exciting to pay one of the many favors we received forward. Those meals in those first weeks were a lifesaver!
We treated ourselves to lunch out at Flat Branch. Beeb loves the steamed veggies, she was by far the happiest baby at the restaurant.
And then we made meatballs and spaghetti squash over the weekend to start the week.
I made some kale chips for Beeb. I wanted to give her something a bit different (crunchy!) but with only 2.5 teeth, we are somewhat limited. These are super light and easy/gentle for her to crunch into and it’s a surefire way to get more greens into her. They’ve been a hit and were so easy to make, just a little coconut oil and Himalayan sea salt.
I was almost giddy at the amount of prep I got done this weekend, felt almost like pre-Beeb days.
I also charred some peppers for her, which she also digs. She is so good with veggies, but we are definitely struggling with meat. I feel like some days, she’ll just tear into it, and other days it’s sneakily thrown to the dogs, smashed under her cup, or spit out. Our conundrum is this, do we feed her anything, just to make sure she gets something, or do we stand our ground to make sure she doesn’t end up with a limited range of foods she’s willing to eat? Ideas? Right now what we’re going to try to do is sneak things into other things and hope it works.
We’re back! So I’ll just come out and say it: Neil is an amazing bargain hunter when it comes to proteins.
On Friday, he came across a ridiculous deal on pork butt at Schnucks — 79 cents per pound! Needless to say we’ll be eating pulled pork for a good part of this week. He smoked it on Sunday and I’m not ashamed to admit that Kaitlan’s bedtime was delayed because we were hovering over the stove eating the ends with our fingers.
On Saturday, he also made an impromptu super spicy dirty rice and kielbasa dish that was to die for. Because the weather is finally hot enough for tomatoes, we’ve been eating several bags-worth from my mom. It’s bittersweet — I’m definitely not looking forward to grocery store tomatoes again over winter.
We hoped that changing things up a bit would help Kaitlan’s boredom with straight baked chicken and veggies. She used to just eat whatever we put in front of her without pause, but she’s definitely showing a trend of being more discerning and wanting change or different tastes. She loved the kielbasa and rice and the pulled pork and sweet potato tots we had on Monday.
Some other fun ideas we’d like to try:
- Crispy Cauliflower Tots from Kirbie’s Cravings
- Baby Bolognese and Rice and Bean Cakes from Savy Momma
- Leftover Mashed Potato Puffs from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
- Cheesey Quinoa Veggie Bites from The Melrose Family
- Vegetable Rice Balls from Misty Yoon
- Veggie Chicken Meatballs from Hungry Happens
I like that these ideas use/incorporate things we already eat regularly and have around the house and just presents them in new and delicious ways. One of my new local CrossFit friends also suggested the site Thriving Home for more ideas, so I’ll be checking that out.
Have you dealt with toddler food boredom? What did you do? I refuse to end up here.
Lightning fast weekend! I made a short trip down to Branson to celebrate Becca’s birthday at the lake and was home by 1pm on Sunday. I laid in the sun, finished a book and a stack of magazines and finally saw Pitch Perfect the whole way through.
The theme of this weekend is RIBS — 6 lbs of ribs to be exact. They were on sale this week, so Neil picked up some baby-backs, potatoes and veggies and we hope that will get us through most of the week. We did half on the grill, and we’ll do half in the crockpot. We also grilled a bunch of chicken for lunches and beeb.
And the finished meal:
I know I’ve gotten a little off track on these posts the past few weeks. It’s mostly because our weekends have been out of town or with guests, so it’s made meal planning super basic. I’m talking meat and steamed veggies basic. Not a big deal, I mean, goals met, workouts had — but it’s just not very exciting to talk about.
This is the last week that it will be an issue for some time. We’re taking Beeb to Minnesota for her first State Fair. It was one of the things I always dreamed about doing with my own child, I grew up doing it every year. While I suspect we won’t make it every year, it will still be cool to do as often as we can so she has memories of it growing up like I did.
In Beeb news, she had her 1-year appointment at the doctor this week! We’ve been given the green light to start transitioning her to milk. We’re going with organic whole milk for now. She had her first 1/2 bottle yesterday and so far so good.
She’s been a little fruit monster lately, but we’re trying to put more and more in front of her to try. She had bowtie pasta the other day, and a few baked beans. She loves sharing pieces of toast with me, and of course birthday cake was a hit too. It’s been fun, and she’s still so open to almost everything.
This has me on the hunt for a few more adventurous meals that she can partake of. I don’t have the wherewithal to cook separate things, but I am missing a little of the fun we used to have with meals. It doesn’t help that I’ve picked up a bad magazine habit. Oh food photography…you get me every time.
So on that note, anyone have any great toddler-friendly recipes that won’t have Neil and I feeling blah?
It’s Tuesday! I meant to get a post out for the weekend on Friday, but things just got too busy with work and finishing up August courses, and I wanted to get enough done that I didn’t have to worry about anything on the weekend. Success, though I love getting more posts out, so boo.
Freelance is also in high gear right now. It always seems to be feast or famine for us, but right now we are in a major feast. So many exciting projects and clients who need help. Neil is doing a bunch of new hardware set-up for a local business, I have branding to do, and then we have our normal maintenance and upgrade projects for our existing clients. No complaints here but woof, it’s a lot to stay on top of.
On top of the near constant buzzing from computers being set up around the house, we’re also trying to get the place looking good for Kaitlan’s birthday party next week. I can’t believe she’s going to be one! And yes, I have monthly updates still unfinished — it just all went so fast! We’re just having a little family and close friend shindig — with cake of course.
Neil tackled some mulching over the weekend while I scrubbed floors and did some cabinet cleaning in the kitchen. I also baked some banana bread, which we seem to be eating like a game of Tetris…
We also perfected a simplified restaurant favorite of ours — Gogi Bowls from Seoul Taco, recipe coming this week! Definitely perfect for days you don’t want to do a lot of cooking or heat the kitchen up — which let’s face it, is most of them during August.
We just made another batch of pork, so I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ll be eating for most of this week. It’s seriously just too hot to cook guys, so consider this our meal planning post — salads, fruit and easy steam veggies are it for the week for us all. At least there is an upside to the weather…
Is the heat chasing you out of the kitchen and away from prep?
I feel like the theme of the weekend (and now carrying into this week) is Mexican. We had Mexican after our freelance kick-off meeting on Saturday, and now we have kind of a deconstructed Mexican casserole vibe going on for the first few days of the week. We’ve made it before, it’s pretty awesome, and it lasts well into the week. Neil did the assemblage this round and included some anaheim peppers from my mom’s garden.
I’m kind of lamenting not doing a lot of prep, but I got a lot of training and Beeb time in, so I don’t feel all that bad. Plus it’s summer so half our meals are some kind of salad. My mom has a mess of cucumbers and tomatoes, so that’s going a long way as well. We also have a ton of fruit and easy veggies prepped for snacking, so we won’t go hungry this week.
Speaking of Beeb…
Definitely a lot more underfoot lately. Our cabinets are now mostly childproofed. I’ve left a few with intentional items in for her to pull out and play with. I just didn’t have the heart to lock everything down, there is definitely some productive play opportunities for her in the kitchen and sooner than later she’ll be ready to start helping.
She also got her first lunchbox this weekend. Decided it was time to upgrade from the ziploc bags I’ve been sending to daycare. It was the one she had the most reaction to — most likely because of the big eyes.
She’s also developed a love of eating shirtless (in addition to television jingles). We’ve never been able to get her to keep a bib on, so after this weekend, we’re just nekkie.
Her meals continue to be mostly shredded chicken, some kind of potato or masher and green veggies. She loves peas, so they are currently heaviest in the rotation. We’re going to do some quinoa this week to see what she thinks of that. Sticky things that clump for easy grabbing are a hit.
What are you eating this week?
We’re back from vacation! Still playing a little bit of catch-up, but definitely not as much as I thought we would be, so that’s a relief.
Vacation food-wise was good. Since we opted to cabin-camp rather than tent camp, we were actually able to store/prep most of our meals, saving us quite a bit of money and making things really easy with Beeb.
Getting back on the track of food prep this week. We split our week up to take advantage of some sales. Have you ever done that? Lucky’s had chicken breasts and chicken brats on sale this week for an amazing price. So the first part of the week will be chicken on chicken with mashers and beans, and the latter half of the week is still a little in the air — most likely something crockpot. I just didn’t want to do chicken all week, so I’m hoping the sales will deliver.
I find that not only do we get fresher food by splitting the week, we waste less food as well. We’re close enough to a grocery store (several actually) that it’s not a huge drive/hassle, and we only buy what we need.
Beeb meals are shredded chicken with lots of fruit and veggies. I continue to love that her first experiences with food are in the summer, there are so many easy options and she’s really good at feeding herself. I’m thinking in the next few weeks I’m going to buy her a lunch box. I’ve been just throwing her cubes in a resealable bag, but I think we’re ready for a lunch box and a few new food items to accompany her bento box.
We’ve also been buying a few things frozen (squash, corn, broccoli, and sweet potato) and thawing/warming them in a pinch or for daycare to round out her meal, which has been really convenient.
All this to say, I feel like we’re really in a groove for the week, and that always makes me happy!
What are you eating this week?
There’s nothing I like less than a hot kitchen when it’s hot outside. We’ve enjoyed a mild (albeit wet) summer up until this week, and now the heat is literally on — awesome timing given my goal to do more food prep ahead of time.
Sunday we had a hodge-podge of cold salads, chicken burritos, and refrigerator leftovers. And we’ve started the week with taco salads, which surprisingly we haven’t had in a long time. If you’ve been following us for some time, you know that I practically lived on them while I was pregnant. I also had quite a bit of the above salsa, which I think is now my favorite thing ever. Awesome roasted flavor and a really nice texture.
They are awesome in the summer because it doesn’t matter if they are hot or cold, but they don’t leave you feeling unfulfilled. Speaking of some of my summer faves that don’t require a lot of kitchen time:
- Green Papaya Salad Spring Rolls
- Bacon, Egg, Avocado and Tomato Salad
- Paleo Crock-roasted summer vegetables
- Cucumber Egg Salad Sandwiches
- Almond-crusted Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Mayo-less Yogurt and Avocado Chicken Salad
- Guacamole Bruschetta
- Fresh and Savory Quinoa Salad
I forget that I was actually a food blogger in another life. Lots of awesome, but so much work!
Chicken and egg sandwiches have been on the menu for lunches, and cold cereal and oatmeal for breakfast. Hot weather just hasn’t really put us in the mood for anything complicated or hot…
However, we’re closing out the week with baked chicken, roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes. I feel like we eat this a lot, but it’s purely because Kaitlan loves both broccoli and potatoes, and we don’t have to prep anything differently. Watching her eat mashed potatoes has to be just about the most adorable thing ever — aside from everything else she does.
I’m currently meal planning for a trip we have coming up next week. While trips used to be super easy to plan, it’s a whole other ball game with a somewhat independently eating baby. I’ll let you know how it goes.