November always seems like a short month. With two FishKid birthdays and a long Thanksgiving weekend, the month seems to fly by in a flash.
And it always seems like daily life is full! A look at the calendar tells me that in addition to the regular schedule of school, piano lessons, Biology lab, and hockey practice, we also have art co-op, more medical tests for moi, the aforementioned birthdays (aka school holidays), two field trips, a visit with old friends from KC, and cookbook edits. Whoo eee! It’s gonna be a great month!
So, easy meals are the name of the game. Items with an asterisk * will come from my current or future freezer stash. (Check out Life as Mom on Saturday for my freezer cooking plan.) These are all very budget-friendly and make use of what is seasonal and on sale.
Here’s how the plan is shaking down:
A few months ago I started offering my kids a breakfast bar. It was a great way to accommodate staggered wake-up times as well as to keep me from being a short order cook on weekdays. I forgot about it in the wake of our fall vacation, but it’s back! I plan to offer a daily selection of these items:
- Cranberry Granola*
- Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (just taught my 9yo to make it)
- Instant Oatmeal Packets*
- Baked Goods (quick breads, muffins, biscuits)*
- Pancakes or Waffles (precooked and frozen)*
- Hard cooked eggs
- DIY Smoothies
- Applesauce or seasonal fruit
- Breakfast sandwiches*
I’ve got an easy lunch rotation going on, too
- DIY Pasta Salad
- Tuna or Turkey Sandwiches
- Soup and Grilled Cheese
- Sunbutter and Pomegranate Jelly Sandwiches
- Snacky Lunch
I’ve got the whole month of dinners planned. Yes, really. And it really wasn’t that hard, especially with my new tweak: dinner buffets.
Since we have Mexican food and pasta each once a week, I’m framing them as buffets. I’ll offer several different options of taco fillings along with toppings and different bases, like tortillas or hard shells. Each of my peeps can make himself happy and I don’t have to hear, “But I wanted quesadillas,” when I’m serving tacos.
As my teenage son said, “It’s like XYZ Buffet — but only good.” Amen to that, bro.
We’ll be having each of these themed buffets once a week, but since I can vary the sauces and fillings, it really won’t be the same thing twice. We get variety as well as something we can count on.
3. Grilled marinated chicken*, sauteed greens, rice, bread
4. Pizza Night
5. Mexibar: taco filling (like Salsa Verde Beef), toppings, tortillas, taco shells or chips
6. Grilled tri-tip, baked potato, salad
7. Quesadillas, salad
8. Pasta bar: lots of noodles, two kinds of sauce, garlic bread, salad
9. Bday dinner – Kid’s choice
10. Chihuahua Chili, cornbread
11. Pizza Night
12. Mexibar: taco filling (like Carnitas), toppings, tortillas (maybe homemade), taco shells or chips
13. Dinner with friends: Enchiladas, Salad, Green Beans, Rice
14. Birthday dinner – Kid’s choice
15. Pasta bar: lots of noodles, two kinds of sauce, garlic bread, salad
17. Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Garlic Green Beans
18. Pizza Night
19: Mexibar: taco filling (like leftover roast chicken), toppings, tortillas, taco shells or chips
20. Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Salad, Biscuits
21. Beef and Barley Soup, Popovers
22. Pasta bar: lots of noodles, two kinds of sauce, maybe a lasagna, garlic bread, salad
25. Pizza Night
26. Mexibar: taco filling (like Shredded Beef), toppings, tortillas, taco shells or chips
27. Turkey Pot Pie
28. Quesadillas, veggie dippers
29. Pasta bar: lots of noodles, two kinds of sauce, garlic bread, salad
30. Chef’s Choice