Meal Planning in the Real World

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What a surprise to wake up this morning and find that I got a mention on the latest episode of the Catholic Momcast! Thanks, Danielle and Allison!

If you’re visiting from there and are looking for the recipes, you’ll find them at my cooking website, CookAndCount.

My recipes are not “just for diabetics” but I include nutrition information with each one, so that families like mine who have someone with special nutritional needs can find out what they need to know before they cook. These are simply recipes that my family enjoys. I hope you find some new favorites among them.

Here’s a little info on how I do meal planning:

I divide a sheet of paper or page in my planner into 3 columns: type of recipe (easy, meatless, takes all day) / name of recipe (and source, if it’s not mine) / groceries needed.

Then I go through my recipes and sometimes take a peek into the recipes I’ve recently printed out from other websites (I have a whole crate of these, with folders … I may have a problem).

I ask family members if they have any requests.

Then I fill in the “name of recipe” column with the meals I want to make for the next week or two. (Sometimes I get really organized and go for a whole month, but it’s been a while.)

I categorize the recipes, so I know what I have to work from – that makes it easy to choose in the morning (or the night before) based on what the day is going to bring. If I have 3 meetings for work, I’m not going to be picking a labor-intensive “takes all day” recipe. That’s when I want to go for something quick and easy, which gets its own category on my recipe site!

Finally, I look at each recipe and take note of any ingredients I’ll need in order to make those. That becomes my shopping list.

Minus the description column, here’s my menu plan from earlier this year.

Thanks for visiting – let me know which recipes you plan to try!

Peace and all good,


Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz

What’s for Supper? September 11-17, 2015


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. Here’s what we had for dinner this week.

FRIDAY 11: Takeout pizza.

barbecued chicken c titleSATURDAY 12: Grilled chicken, yellow rice (from a mix), salad.

SUNDAY 13: “Fend for yourself” once again; I had a picnic at a church event. TheDad and TheKid made do.

steak fajitas from leftovers T (2)c for cook and countMONDAY 14: Beef fajitas with leftover steak (which I freeze immediately after the meal to deter poachers). Just warm up the steak in the last few minutes of cooking the fajita vegetables.

skillet chicken noodles c tTUESDAY 15: Skillet Chicken and Noodles. This can be on the table in about 35 minutes, it’s satisfying, and if there are any leftovers, it makes a great lunch!

apple coffee cake (12) c tWEDNESDAY 16: As on most Wednesdays, spaghetti and meatballs. And we had a birthday at folk-group practice, so I baked an Apple Coffee Cake.

chicken caroline T CTHURSDAY 17: Chicken Caroline, rice, green beans.

What’s on your dinner menu for the week?

What’s for Supper? August 30-September 3


I’m linking up with Simcha Fisher for her “What’s for Supper?” feature. I’ve only got 5 days here, because last week I was late, and I haven’t actually decided what we’re eating tonight. Even though it’s 5:15 PM right now.

cucumber tomato salad (1)c TITLESUNDAY 30: Hamburgers, hot dogs, tomato-cucumber-onion salad, baked beans (my secret recipe for baked beans: for every 15 ounces of canned baked beans, add 3 TBL ketchup and 1 TBL yellow mustard. Stir. Bake 20 minutes at 350.)

MONDAY 31: TheKid was visiting friends, so Hubs and I went to the diner for omelets.

Chicken breasts with Mushroom Sauce c title

TUESDAY 1: Chicken Breasts in Mushroom Sauce based on this recipe from author Jeanne Grunert. I still need to write up how I made it (note “based on” above) and include the nutrition information. This was a big hit.

WEDNESDAY 2: Spaghetti and meatballs. This is our Wednesday-supper tradition because I have folk-group practice on Wednesday evenings, and this dinner is easy to make and to clean up.

Chicken Thighs BBQ rub baked beans c titleTHURSDAY 3: Chicken thighs with barbecue rub, tater tots, salad, baked beans. Next time I’m putting those on sandwiches with a little cole slaw.

rainbow stirfry c title FIAs for tonight, I could make my Meatless-Friday recipe that’s up at today…I have everything here to make that happen. We’ll see.

What’s for Supper? August 23-29, 2015


I’m a huge fan of meal-planning linkups, so I was all aboard when Simcha Fisher announced she’d be hosting a “What’s for Supper?” linkup each week. The best part about this linkup is that you don’t do your week-ahead meal plan, but actually your week-before plan. So you get the real thing here. Or as much of the real thing as we remember.

steak fajitas from leftovers (2)c for cook and count

SUNDAY 23: Steak fajitas and macaroni salad

piccata bites c

MONDAY 24: Chicken piccata bites, steamed spinach, rice

big batch savvy spaghetti and meatballs RHTUESDAY 25: Spaghetti. I made a big batch on Tuesday, so now I have enough in the freezer for 10 more dinners (the containers keep getting smaller as the number of people eating dinner in this house shrinks. We’re down to 3 now…)

BYO Strawberry shortcakeWEDNESDAY 26: Happy Birthday to TheDad! Big Brother came home for dinner and grilled New York strip steaks (seasoned just with salt and garlic pepper). I baked sweet potatoes and made corn on the cob. For dessert, we had “build your own strawberry shortcake” with pound cake, fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries (and mini chocolate chips).

Hawaiian Chicken c titleTHURSDAY 27: Hawaiian chicken over rice with broccoli/cauliflower vegetable blend.

FRIDAY 28: We visited my parents. They made grilled salmon with honey mustard, corn on the cob, broccoli & cauliflower, raw carrots and celery and Caesar salad.

barbecued chicken c title

SATURDAY 29: Barbecued chicken, salad, and Trinity Rice (to use up the leftover rice from earlier in the week).

trinity rice with almonds c square

Hop on over to Simcha’s linkup and get some great ideas for your family dinners!