Menu Plan Monday ~ Jan 18th

And another week is here.  Is it me or are these weeks just flying by?!

This week I wanted to talk a little bit about recipes.  I get many emails asking me how I avoid the dinner rut each week and honestly I think it’s just because I’m constantly trying new recipes.  I know that scares many people but you’ll never find a new favorite meal if you don’t try new recipes.  The way I look at it is this…some recipes are winners and well some are not but what we are is never bored 🙂   Of course it does take time to source out new recipes week after week (especially that meet my specific criteria) but as I find new favorites I add them to my Family Favorite Recipe Index.  Then on weeks where I’m rushed and have less time to plan and look for recipes, I can just pull from our favorites list.   It doesn’t take me any longer to prepare a new recipe than it does an old one.  As long as I have a recipe to go by I’m good.

I’m definitely an amateur cook but as I try new recipes and build my index I gain more and more confidence.  Yes I’ll still have failures and probably always will (remember my pizza braid?) but that’s okay as long as my successes outnumber my failures in the long run, right? 🙂

Do you have a Family Favorites Recipe Index?  If you’ve got one posted on your blog will you please link to it in the comments for me (it may go to spam but I’ll keep checking there and move them over)?  I’d love to come take a look and maybe add some new recipes to try to my growing list.  To keep my lists organized I simply open up my recipe folder in my bookmarks and then save the link into the appropriate sub-folder. I have my sub-folders listed like this:

Allergy Friendly, Appetizers, Beef, Breads/Muffins, Breakfast, Chicken, Desserts, Drinks, Holiday, Meatless, Misc, Pizza, Pork, Potatoes, Salads, Soups and Veggies.

Some of the sub-folders even have sub-folders.  Sure makes it easy to find what I need later.  And so I never lose my bookmarks (again) I use Xmarks.  Works great!

Here is what’s on our menu this week:

Monday: Crockpot Maple Ham with Shredded Potato Casserole (this isn’t your lot-fat variety but gosh is it good :))

Tuesday: Chicken and Thyme over Pasta

Wednesday: Mexican-Style Ravioli

Thursday: Dinner out, yay!

Friday: Leftover Buffet

Saturday: Mac & Cheese & Carrots served with sausages

Simple Supper Sunday


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.

Have a great week everyone.  Also don’t forget to enter to win a seat in my latest organizing workshop giveaway!  This giveaway closes on Tuesday, January 19th at 2:00 pm PST.

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


67 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ Jan 18th

  1. 1
    Angela says

    I’m thinking of doing a variation on the shredded potato casserole you posted…. I have shredded potatoes that were free to us, and I need to use them up!
    I surfed around your site tonight and enjoyed visiting some of your favorite links – thanks for all the work you do!!

  2. 3
    [email protected] Funk says

    Our family likes to try new recipes a lot of the times, too. If we like it then the printed recipe goes into a cover protected sheet within our family cookbook (no more hand printed 3x5s – course I kind of miss handwritten recipe cards). One of our faves Crescent Chicken Bundles sided with a green salad. Yummy!

    BTW, trying the baked spaghetti this week! 🙂

  3. 4
    In the Bag says

    It’s funny, as much as manage so much information electronically, I’m still attached to print for recipes. I have 8 binders full of recipes that I’ve clipped or printed. I have an Excel sheet that provides details on all of them so they are easy to look through, but sometimes it’s just fun to sit and flip through them. Thinking about family favorites, I’ve discovered that we tend to go with variations on a few familiar themes — pork tenderloin, grilled steak, roasted chicken, etc — but there’s enough variation along the way to keep us from getting too bored. It really is a juggling act though to balance things a family will like with new recipes.

    Thanks for bringing up this topic – it’s given me something to think about. I might start bookmarking more of my family’s favorites online as well.

  4. 5
    Carrie says

    I’m really enjoying getting back into the menu planning swing. Though I think I’m going to take the route of just planning meals but in particular for certain days. I always seem to do it out of order. 🙂

  5. 6
    Chrissie says

    Thanks for this invaluable resource, not too long ago I was searching for menu plans and couldn’t find ANY. Then I found your blog…sorry I can’t remember how. But I am sure glad I did!!! Week 2’s menu plan is posted. Last week went so much smoother knowing what was for dinner. Thanks again!!!!!!!

  6. 11
    Laurie says

    I am surprised you aren’t using Evernote to keep your recipes organized. It is a fabulous way to organize recipes as well as many other things you may want to reference again (eg. crafts, books to read, etc). It can be used offline so it comes in handy if you ever don’t have internet access.

  7. 12
    Lora says
  8. 13
    Louise says

    Wow, that potato casserole looks amazing.

  9. 14
    Teresa says

    Missed posting last week….and so glad to see you post how you bookmark your recipes. My bookmarks need some serious help so I’m really looking at your method carefully. I’m also going to be putting a Family Favorites list on my site. Thanks Laura for all the things you do!

  10. 15
    Joyce says

    We are the same way!!! We do have our favorites, and are starting to link them online along with photos because I love when recipes come with photo so I can literally see how things are supposed to be coming along. We LOVE trying new recipe. One that I love is one of your favorites too I think. I got it from here anyhow…the teriyaki chicken recipe. And I was short on time once, so instead of doing a separate zucchini dish, I just tossed 2 sliced up zucchinis during the last 20 minutes of baking…I think I could possibly do 3 small ones next time for more veggies. It was delish!!!

  11. 16
    purple moose says

    I don’t have our favorite recipes online. That would be a neat idea, though. Hmmm. . . maybe that’s what I’ll tackle this year. On second thought. . . nah! Too much work! 😉

  12. 17
    Kelly B says

    Mexican style ravioli looks great!

  13. 18
    Cathy @multimom says

    I do NOT have a family favorites list – that is a fantastic idea though!! However, I don’t post anything on my site that I don’t make at least on occasion. 🙂 I did find a way to show all the recipes in an index, with thesis which I’m quite proud of. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for link up! 🙂

  14. 19
    Bonnie says

    I am soooo with you on the trying new recipes ! We probably average about 4 to 5 new recipes a week. Sometimes more, rarely less. There are just so many recipes out there !! So many different tastes to experience !

    I don’t have a family favorites list per say but I have links to some favorites in my side bar …

    Here’s a couple you might like … I think they meet your specifications !

    and I serve those meatballs with this ….

    I’m hungry now … good thing it’s just about time to start cooking dinner !!

  15. 22
    Laura @ Sahm I Am says

    I am going out of town to visit my mom, so most of this week’s menu plan in Mr. Sahm’s plan. He made a plan that the kids are sure to like! I was so proud of him, I had to include his plan in MPM!

  16. 24
    Frugal Mommy says

    This is a habit I am trying to get in a groove with. I started a new venture this month and am really trying to become organized. I don’t have recipes posted yet so check my site later in the week.

  17. 25
    Michelle says

    I’ve been passionate about cooking for more than ten years now. I’ve all but moved past using cookbooks at this point. I encourage all of you to try creating your very own versions of what you see in print. It’s so rewarding to know it’s your own creation. Once you get the feel for recipes and what ingredients do in them, you’ve cracked the code and can create your own! It’s lots of fun — in a mad scientist sort of way. 🙂

    Here is my Family Favorite Recipes label on my blog.

    –That Mexican Ravioli recipe looks interesting. I may have to play with it and make it my own one of these days. 🙂

  18. 26
    alexis says

    I love this thing! I am doing new recipes every week…by the LETTER! This is Week C for us…chicken, crepes, chocolate, and chili! We found a new favorite last week (B) and made beef–steak au poivre. OMG was it good!!!

  19. 29
    Jen says

    I am working on losing weight so my dinners this week are all 400 calories or less per serving.

    I made the manicotti listed at my blog last night and it was delicious. Everyone ate it up–even the kids who swear they hate mushrooms didn’t even notice that that is the main ingredient! (Don’t tell)

  20. 31
    Nic says

    I have a huge binder of recipes that I’ve printed off from blogs, recipe websites etc. I also have a list of recipes I’ve found that I want to try and I try and include at one of those each week. I have my favourites and staples too that I cook again and again. I love that there is now such easy access to so many recipes with the internet.

  21. 32
    Megan says

    We’re always trying new recipes, too. Partially because I LOVE to cook but also because I grew up in a house where we always had the same thing. It’s really easy for me to get sick of the same food now!

  22. 33
    Selena says

    This week when I sat down to write up the menus I kept in mind that my husband is traveling all week. I didn’t even use a single recipe book for my menus. I consider this entire week “family favorites” and just picked meals that are simple and nourishing both to our bodies and soul. The kids and I miss dh so much when he is away.

  23. 34
    Rebecca says

    I love the family favorites idea; we are going to have to try it.

  24. 36
    angie says

    that ham casserole sounds great I will be adding it to my menu plan for next month

  25. 37
    The Happy Housewife says

    Once I finish the pantry challenge my goal is to start trying new recipes. I feel like we are in a rut, but nothing we can’t change, lol!

  26. 38
    Leigh Ann says

    I got the idea to compile a “Family Favorite Recipes” list from you. My list is small right now, but I plan on building it up slowly. We’ve changed the way we eat, so it’s a slow process of adding. We’ll get there though! Thanks for MPM! It’s definitely brought a new level of accountability to how I feed my family. 🙂

  27. 40
    Gina says

    I’ve got our Family Favorites listed on my Recipes Page here:

    My kids eat a lot of things most kids don’t, which is awesome, so you’ll see a lot of variety there. And everything is easy and CHEAP (I was going to say just like me, but ahem…).

  28. 41
    Jennifer in MamaLand says

    Well, you all have motivated me, in addition to organizing our week’s eating for the first time EVER, to go back and update my out-of-date list of family suppers. About two YEARS out of date, to be specific. I am so ashamed… (((blush)))
    Stay tuned for exciting updates! And good luck to everybody else organizing their week.

  29. 42
    Rona says

    Online classes…what a great idea. I would attend but I start my new fulltime job. Any chance you’ll offer it as a podcast?

  30. 43
    Megan says

    Thanks for hosting! I usually try one new recipe or so per week, but it seems like things have been so busy lately I’ve fallen off the wagon a couple of weeks. Thanks for the inspiration to pull those cookbooks back off the shelf!

  31. 44
    nicole says

    This is my first time to participate! I’m excited to find new recipes, we are definitely in a rut. 🙂

  32. 45
    [email protected] says

    mexican ravioli?? sounds delish!! yummy menu as usual!! 🙂

  33. 46
    Kelly says

    This is my first time to participate. I’m excited. Thanks!

  34. 47
    Tiffanee says

    I also love to try new recipes!! I think it brings a bit of excitement and change in my sometimes boring meals. I love the idea of getting all my favorites together online. I also have a binder that I keep all my favorites it and I love it. I will probably keep it going. I am working on transfering all my favorites to my blog a little at a time.

    Thanks for all the incredible ideas!!

  35. 49
    debi b says

    I think it’s just fabulous that you try new recipes all the time. I wish I had it in me to do the same for meals (I do it ALL the time for desserts. LOL)
    I don’t have a family favorite section on my blog, but the Potato Soup in this week’s menu is definitely a favorite. YUM!

  36. 51
    Christine says

    Love, love the potato casserole. It is not good for you, but it feels so good to eat. 🙂

  37. 52
    Megg says

    So excited to say that this is my first (of hopefully many) menu plan Mondays!

  38. 53
    TaderDoodles (Lisa Baldwin) says

    Seems like a played a long time ago but this is the first time in at least a year and it’s on my new blog.. hopefully this time I’ll keep up!

    I’m off now to go see what ya’ll are having!

  39. 54
    Zom says

    I keep a running list of family favorites until I hit 31! (diabetic) (winter) (summer)

    If I find something great I add it to the list. My husband jokes that he’d better not tell me he likes it because it will get added to the favorites & put on the backburner until I run out of exciting new recipes. Oh Well!

  40. 56
    Jen says

    I’m feeling a bit more excited about week 2 of meal planning. Actually, I’m so excited that I spent Friday night planning through the first week of Feb. Sometime in the future, I’m going to have to sneak in that mac ‘n cheese recipe….

  41. 57
    Jen says

    p.s. try the hash brown bake on my blog…probably just as good as yours but maybe a little more healthier (will post tomorrow)

  42. 58
    Redemption Unlimited Girls says

    Sorry – Ours may have been entered twice due to confusion as to whether it made it through the system. Feel free to delete either one of the links!

  43. 59
    Martianne says

    We will be challenged this week to stick to our menu as we deal with a surgery for our 2 1/2 year old and a possible deployment for Hubby. But, at least the plan is there… Plus, I had fun searching out some in-budget, easy Dominican recipes to help us celebrate Our Lady of Altagracia this week. The kids are so excited for the feast day on the 21st that we are preparing all week.

  44. 60
    Martha says

    Wow Laura, I haven’t been by in awhile, always forget to link up lately sine I post my menu plans on Saturday. The MPM players just keep growing and growing! Impressive! Hope all has been well in your world 🙂

  45. 61
    Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom says

    hahaha oh man, I just accidentally left a comment on a post from July thinking it was current. I think that means I need sleep….

    Thanks for the fun link-up, and I’m looking forward to following your blog! 🙂

  46. 62
    Danielle @ Transforming Home says

    I love this website! Thanks so much for the recipe index. I am always looking for new, kid-friendly, easy meals. Can’t wait to check out everyone’s menu plans for the week. Maybe I should enter next week??


  47. 63
    Liza Smith says

    I LOVE this idea! I will definatly be returning next week!

  48. 64
    Jen says

    the maybe-it-is-a-tiny-bit-better-for-you cheesy tater recipe is up 🙂

  49. 65
    Jessica W. says

    I keep my family recipes on my website…quite handy when I’m at work or away from home and want to check what ingredients I need to pick up for dinner:

  50. 66
    Homecooking Mommy says

    Here’s hoping that I can remember to post it each week!


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