Sunday, January 11, 2009

Out of the Box Meal Plan for January 12-18

Okay, so this past month for me is truly an "out of the box" month. Things have been crazy over here and I have barely had any time at all to plan dinner, let alone make dinner and then get to the dishes afterward. I worked a seasonal job that will be ending very soon. Things are starting to slow down again in my life and I am trying to get caught up on all the things that I couldn't get to while I was working. I made lots of baby food this week and I felt great about that. While I was cutting the apples I came up with an idea to get my (almost) three year old to eat some apples too. (I will show you that in a minute.) There were many nights when I worked that my sweet husband had to come home from work and whip up with something for dinner...usually from a box in the pantry or a box in the freezer. I have; however, managed this week to mix in some fun ideas that did not come from a box to keep your interest, and keep you coming back. :) All of these recipes use only a few ingredients and most are VERY easy. Here's the plan this week.

Monday: Taco Tater Skins
Tuesday: Fazoli's for me and my son for $2.76
Wednesday: Cheese Boats
Thursday: Chicken Stuffing Bake and Onion Potatoes
Friday: Chili Cheese dogs
Saturday: Fish Sticks or shrimp poppers with vegetable steamers
Sunday: Reuben Sandwiches
Bonus: Frosty Snowman Cake
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Someone had mentioned the idea of adding some good lunchtime ideas. I will have a few of those the next time I post. For this week I am adding a new, kid-friendly, way to pack fruit into your lunches.

I am showing you these ideas with apples, but you could use pears, cucumbers, and possibly even carrots. Use whatever suits your needs for that lunch.

What you need:
Apple corer
Little cookie cutter(s)
knife
Cutting board

Idea One: Apple rings
1. Core the apples, making sure to get rid of all seeds.

2. Slice the apples into thin slices.

Idea Two: Fun shapes
1. Slice the apple from the side of the apple, avoiding the core altogether.
2. Lay apple slice flat on cutting board and push cookie cutter through. Children can eat the shape and the shape outline.
3. Let your kids help you if they are old enough...or for some of you, young enough. ;)
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This is a long post. I apologize for that. Here is the shopping list for the week:

Reuben Sandwiches
8 slices of Rye bread
Thousand Island salad dressing
4 slices of Corned beef
4 slices of swiss cheese
spreadable butter
1/2 can of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well

Taco Tater Skins
To turn this into a meal, serve with soup from the can
6 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs. taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
15 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, chopped
Salsa and/or sour cream, optional

Fazoli's for me and my son for $2.76
$2.76 and a Fazoli's restaurant

Cheese Boats
8 slices bread
spreadable butter
4 slices American cheese (or cheddar)
12 strips of bacon cooked

Chicken Stuffing Bake and Onion Potatoes
1 pkg. Instant chicken stuffing mix
1-2 lb. cooked, cube chicken
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cond. Cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbs. Dried Parsley flakes

Chili Cheese dogs
1 can of hormel chili (or generic...I used the kind from Aldi)
hot dogs
Shredded cheddar cheese
hot dog buns

Fish Sticks or shrimp poppers with vegetable steamers
1 box frozen fish sticks
ketchup
1 box shrimp poppers
cocktail sauce
1 bag vegetable frozen steamers

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