#SmallSuccess: On the Menu

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruellest month.” But T.S. Eliot was never a soccer mom whose Kid was also involved in community theatre–during soccer season.

I’m doing more driving now, just for one child, than I did when I had 3 kids without drivers’ licenses at home.

I saw October coming and it wasn’t going to be pretty. It was, however, going to be predictable. I had schedules for rehearsals, performances, soccer practices and games, a whole month in advance.

So I did something I haven’t done in quite a while–not since TheKid was involved in his first community theatre productions, way back in 4th grade. I made a meal plan for a whole month. Christine does this all the time, and it was her mention of it that made me realize that this was something I needed to do.

A previous year's meal plan calendar on my trusty clipboard.
A previous year’s meal plan calendar on my trusty clipboard.

I use pencil for a reason, because things DO happen. I filled in (in pen) the commitments on the calendar so I’d know when it wouldn’t be a good idea to make a new recipe that requires several hours of simmering. Then I got busy filling in the blanks with the dinner plan.

not so spicy peanut chicken

I hung up the menu on the inside of one of my kitchen-cabinet doors. I check it in the morning to find out what to defrost. I tried to put items that use similar ingredients together–so the stir-fry that contains red bell peppers was planned in the same week as the sausage-and-pepper sandwiches. This way, nothing would be wasted.

We’re only 2 weeks into the month, but that plan has saved my bacon. It’s been one less thing to stress over.

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

The show closes in 10 days and soccer has only 2 or 3 more weeks to go. November should be easier. But I’m going to make the time to put together a meal plan anyway. These past 2 weeks have shown me just how worth it this effort is.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

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This month I’m joining all the cool kids in the #Write31Days adventure! I didn’t pick a keyword or a theme, because just getting something written for all 31 days is challenge enough for me right now.
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What’s for Supper? Dec. 4-10

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s blog at Aletia, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with 7 Quick Takes!WFD collage 12102015
Here’s what we had for supper this week (and it featured WAY too much rice. Even for me, and I love rice.)

FRIDAY: Pizza. We had a Street Urchin invasion and I didn’t have enough fish to feed the whole crowd.

SATURDAY: Pork carnitas with pico de gallo, pinto beans and rice.

SUNDAY: Tandoori chicken thighs, roasted potatoes, green beans.

MONDAY: Hawaiian chicken, rice, vegetables.

TUESDAY: Leftover pot roast (I freeze this), noodles, gravy, roasted carrots with cumin.

WEDNESDAY: Vodka pasta, garlic bread.

THURSDAY: Chicken with lemon, thyme and onions, rice, steamed spinach.

7QT: What’s for Supper 11/20/15

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

baked steelhead trout T CFRIDAY: Baked steelhead trout with olive oil and salt. SO GOOD. That’s pretty much all I ate.

beef noodle skillet (2)c TSATURDAY: One-pot beef and noodles with mushrooms.

SUNDAY: We went to the diner. It’s like Cheers, but with omelets. We always run into someone we know, the manager knows us by name and some of the waitresses can place our orders without checking with us first!

DSC_0003MONDAY: Ranch breaded chicken tenders, rice, vegetables.

steak fajitas from leftovers T (2)c for cook and countTUESDAY: Fajitas, French fries and vegetable platter.

WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs.

Roasted Asparagus (3) T C

Roast chickenTHURSDAY: Roast chicken, stuffing, roasted asparagus.

7QT: What’s for Supper Nov. 6-12

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

mahi burgers (3) c TFRIDAY: Mahi burgers with grilled pineapple and honey mustard. We didn’t even miss the bun. You can find Mahi burgers in the frozen (not breaded!) seafood section at the grocery store. TheKid suggests that next time, we make fish tacos out of the Mahi burgers. Sounds like a plan!

SATURDAY: We went to our favorite diner. I got a hot open-faced roast beef sandwich and French fries. (They never do give enough gravy on these–I like to put the gravy on the fries as well.)

SUNDAY: Steak, roasted potatoes, vegetables.

MONDAY: “Miss Jill” Chicken, green beans and carrots, noodles and gravy.

TUESDAY: Tacos with fresh Pico de Gallo. I use homemade Taco Seasoning in my tacos.

sausage and peppers (8)c titleWEDNESDAY: Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches.

rustic chicken with onions over spinach (1)T C

 

 

 

THURSDAY: Chicken with Lemon, Thyme & Onions, rice, vegetables.

What’s for Supper? 10/30 – 11/5, 2015

 

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Yup. I’m really late today. I spent the morning in the school library, like I do on most Fridays. In the afternoon I was the second-grade substitute. We had a little extra time, so I played a game with them: guess how to spell my name. (The kids have known me since pre-K, but have never seen my name written down.)

name challenge

It took them 20 minutes.

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

Friday 30: Steelhead trout, baked with olive oil and salt. There were side dishes, but I have no idea what they were.

Saturday 31: Hoagies on the way to the Notre Dame football game! Go Irish!

pork chop cider mustard roasted veg (6)T CSunday 1: Pork chops with apple cider-mustard glaze and roasted sweet potatoes with apples, carrots and onions. I still need to write up the recipe!

 

 

chicken caroline T CMonday 2: Chicken Caroline. I don’t remember the sides.

pot roast with noodles TC

 

 

Tuesday 3: Pot roast, noodles, gravy, mushrooms.

Wednesday 4: Pasta with Italian sausage.

 

 

chicken caesar sandwich c titleThursday 5: Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

7QT/What’s for Supper? 10/30/15

 

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

teriyaki salmon (3) c tFRIDAY 10/23: Teriyaki salmon, fried rice, vegetables. We used the fried-rice recipe linked above with no added shrimp or vegetables, just onions and garlic, since we were having other vegetables on the side.

SATURDAY 10/24: TheKid was in a show. We had tickets–so we dropped him off for an early call time and had dinner out before the show.

SUNDAY 10/25: fend for yourself!

steak fajitas from leftovers T (2)c for cook and countMONDAY 10/26: Beef fajitas, baked beans.

chicken pot pie title C

 

 

 

TUESDAY 10/27: Chicken pot pie. I had no idea TheKid likes this. But he asked if I’d make it, then had 2 whole servings.

WEDNESDAY 10/28: Spaghetti and meatballs.

not so spicy peanut chicken

 

THURSDAY 10/29: Not-so-spicy peanut chicken, rice.

7QT/WFS October 16-22, 2015

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

shrimp pad thai 6 T CFriday: Shimp Pad Thai. This was a new recipe and it was definitely a big hit. It’s a very light, fresh-tasting dish.

 

 

 

2015-10-17 18.52.42Saturday: Roast chicken, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes, beer rolls using Danielle Bean’s recipe. TheKid thought he’d get away with this lovely combination. I sent him back for the vegetable.

Sunday: Chicken enchilada stack with homemade enchilada sauce, salad.

Monday: Sausage and pepper sandwiches, salad.

 

Hawaiian Chicken c titleTuesday: Hawaiian Chicken over Jasmine rice with green beans and carrots.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs.

Thursday: Hot open-faced roast beef sandwiches with French fries. Gravy on top of all of it.

7QT: What’s for Supper: October 16 and a BONUS Dog Story

 

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

Today, we don’t only have a dinner menu, we’ve got a dog story! Because that’s how we rolled around here this week.

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

FRIDAY 9: Takeout pizza. Yum. (That’s also “What’s for Lunch” for me for the next 3 days.)

Greek steak pitas CSATURDAY: Greek-seasoned steak on pitas with tzatziki sauce, cucumbers and French fries. This was a big hit.

 

 

barbecued chicken c titleSUNDAY: Barbecued chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob, salad

crispy ranch chicken tenders C

 

 

MONDAY: Crispy ranch chicken tenders, cumin-spiced carrots from The Catholic Foodie’s cookbook, boiled potatoes

 

 

TUESDAY: Tacos, Mexican rice, corn. My “secret recipe” for tacos: use a can of tomato sauce in place of water.

WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs

Isn't he a sweetie?
Isn’t he a sweetie?

THURSDAY: The dinner plan went right out the window when TheKid walked around the corner to get a haircut (we’re less than half a mile from a shopping center with Target, Panera, Taco Hell, cheap haircut place and more. I’ve hit on the important stuff.)–anyway, a little dog followed him home. We put him (the dog, not TheKid) in our yard and checked his license tag, which only had a license number, no phone number or anything else, and then called the township who forwarded the whole thing to animal control. Meanwhile TheKid called a friend who has a dog to get some kibble for him. And then we were afraid that the dog might just be put down, and he was a friendly little fellow, so I tied a rope to his collar and started walking down the street asking people if they knew the dog. One neighbor drove around the block to ask someone he thought might know who owned it. We finally tracked him down to the house right near where he’d joined TheKid on his way home from the haircut. Apparently they have a doggie door, and the dog knows how to open the gate. No one was home, so I left a note with my phone number and took Louie home with me again. By this time, there was no time to cook dinner before TheKid’s rehearsal, so I put him and the dog in the van, got Chick-Fil-A drive-thru for TheKid, and made the rehearsal run with a rather smelly dog panting behind me in the back seat. 5 minutes after I got back home, his owners called. They only live around the corner, but it took almost 15 minutes after that call before someone drove around to get him, and then all she did was talk to the dog, not to me. TheDad met Big Brother for wings, so that was his dinner, and I got mac & cheese from Panera and returned to rehearsal, where I ate my dinner behind the wheel, in the parking lot. Then I came home for some Benadryl for my itchy eye. There’s a reason we don’t have pets.

What’s for Supper: October 2-8

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. And since TWO linkups are better than one, and there are SEVEN days in a week of suppers, I’m also joining up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

Here’s what we had for supper this week.

tilapia lemongrassmac n cheese dutch oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 2: Tilapia with Ginger and Lemongrass, homemade mac & cheese (this recipe, but without the seafood), salad

Sausage and pepper pasta bake T CSATURDAY 3: Sausage & Pepper Pasta Bake. This was a new recipe and a big hit.

SUNDAY 4: fend for yourself after a family party where we all had huge lunches

 

 

chicken caesar sandwich c titleMONDAY 5: Chicken Caesar Sandwiches and salad

TUESDAY 6: Hot open-faced roast beef sandwiches with gravy, French fries (with gravy, because gravy fries are awesome) and mixed vegetables

WEDNESDAY 7: Spaghetti and meatballs

THURSDAY 8: We tried a new recipe for Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas that I found somewhere on Facebook and saved to try. General concensus: the chicken was good, but the vegetables weren’t. I won’t be making it again. It was edible, but no one really liked it.

What’s for Supper? September 25 – October 1

whats-for-supper

I’m linking up at Simcha Fisher’s Patheos Catholic blog, where she’s got a great weekly “What’s for Supper?” feature going on. Last week there was no linkup due to the World Meeting of Families, so I’m looking forward to this week’s link. Here’s what we had for dinner this week.

FRIDAY 25: Baked salmon with olive oil and salt and crispy roasted potatoes, both from the Catholic Foodie cookbook. We also had green beans.

sloppy joes (4) T C

SATURDAY 26: Sloppy Joes, raw vegetable platter.

luau chicken (3)c T

SUNDAY 27: Luau chicken with pineapple, orzo, and salad.

beef noodle skillet (2)c T

MONDAY 28:  One-pot beef and noodles with mushrooms.

TheKid insisted on photographing this dish for the blog. He took photos from crazy angles until I rescued my camera. Then he photobombed my shot.
TheKid insisted on photographing this dish for the blog. He took photos from crazy angles until I rescued my camera. Then he photobombed my shot.

 

TUESDAY 29: Sally’s Magic Chicken, baked potatoes, and a salad that was served, but nobody took any.

WEDNESDAY 30: With 2 of the 3 of us down for the count with a stomach bug that’s just bad enough to make you feel really nauseous (and fortunately, nothing worse than that) we had chicken soup with pastina. Hubs, the Last Man Standing, had leftover chicken from Tuesday’s dinner.

THURSDAY 1: There was takeout, since I was still under the weather. Hubs picked up some Egg Drop Soup for me. That’s my go-to soup when I’m not feeling good. I think everyone’s on the mend now.