MPM ~ Jan 3rd Happy New Year!

Hello lovely ladies!  How are you?  Welcome to the first Menu Plan Monday of 2011!   If you are looking to get yourself organized this year, planning a menu is an excellent place to start.  I’m not kidding.  The amount of head space and time it saves you is incredible.  The many benefits of menu planning have been a lifesaver for me and my family.  It’s definitely made for a much smoother running household that is for sure.  If you are new here, welcome.  Please feel free to browse the many different menu plans you see listed below, you’ll find a great variety of ideas and recipes.

Sunday was one of those grand days that just left me so in awe of God’s beautiful design everywhere I looked.  It was Canadiana at it’s best.  Pond skating and hockey!  Here are just a few pictures of our fun:

The sunset was stunning.  Sunsets like these are new for us as we were surrounded by mountains at all sides where we used to live and spent a lot of time socked in by clouds.  Every day here I am blown away by the array of colors, it just doesn’t get old to me!

Okay so I need your help again.  For Christmas I got a new waffle maker and used this recipe to make up a batch of Buttermilk Waffles.  They were good but were soft and not very crispy.  I’d prefer a little more crispy.  If you’ve got a family favorite waffle recipe would you mind sharing the link in the comments for me.  Thanks!

If you are looking for some menu inspiration and maybe a new recipe or two to try check out this resource put together by Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  It’s a linky of all her (your) best recipes of 2010.  She has a different post for each category.  Check it out and feel free to add your own link.  I’ve even snagged a recipe from over there for this week 🙂

Here’s what we’ll be eating:

Monday: Spinach Chicken Pasta

Tuesday: Brown Sugar Meatloaf served with rice and broccoli

Wednesday: Cheesy Ham & Potato Soup served with Bread Machine Garlic Bread

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Pizza Sandwiches

Saturday: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Simple Supper Sunday


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.

Did you know that the 206 menu plan links last week shared over 16,000 clicks among them.  Wow!

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


83 Responses to MPM ~ Jan 3rd Happy New Year!

  1. 1
    Rita says

    The pictures are very beautiful. Happy New Year!

  2. 3
    Char says

    Happy New Year Laura! I am looking forward to another year of menu planning and getting organized. Thanks so much for being a fabulous hostess!

  3. 4
    Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says

    I don’t have a recipe for you, but I find that my waffles get crispier with more sugar. Not exactly the healthiest for New Year’s resolutions, but delicious!

  4. 5
    [email protected] says

    Happy New Year Laura! I wanted to say a special Thank You!! You were my TOP Referrer in 2010! Thanks for all your hard work!

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Whoot, love that! 🙂

  5. 6
    The Happy Housewife says

    Wow, your pictures are beautiful. Even though I don’t like the cold, I would love to “hop” in to one of your photos! So much fun!
    Going to check out your spinach chicken pasta, my kids can’t seem to eat enough pasta in our house!

  6. 7
    Tiffany says

    Happy New Year! Your sunset photos are beautiful!

    • 8.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Lynn, I’ll definitely give it a go!

  7. 9
    Christine says

    Wow! Just gorgeous. Looks a little cold for my taste, so I don’t think I’d enjoy being there as much as I enjoy looking at the pictures! This Florida girl is very content to live vicariously through you. =)

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      Actually yesterday was pretty warm out at only -4 degrees C. The week before we were at -30 degrees C. Now that is cold! lol

  8. 11
    Miz Helen says

    Hi Laura,
    Your photo’s are very peaceful and beautiful what a wonderful place. Thank you for sharing the beauty and hosting us today.

  9. 12
    Wendy (The Local Cook) says

    Happy New Year! I’m trying to lose weight, get organized, and workout regularly in the New Year, so today’s post captures my menu plan, workout schedule, and organizing schedule. Hope I can do this!

  10. 14
    Trish says

    Our favorite waffle recipe:

    Put in a large mixing bowl:

    3 eggs
    3 cups of milk or orange juice *
    1/2 cup of extra light olive oil
    A squirt of vanilla extract

    Mix then add:

    3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (we grind ours fresh from soft white wheat)
    2 tablespoons of baking powder
    1 teaspoon of salt

    Mix well. Cook according to wafflemaker directions.

    *we have found that buttermilk works great for pancakes, but regular milk, soymilk, almond milk, or orange juice makes a crispier waffle. Oh, and if you add the o.j. be sure to add some cinnamon, too. YUM!

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      Thanks Trish!

  11. 16
    Crystal & Co. says

    Pictures like those just do not happen in Texas. 🙂

  12. 17
    Queen of the House says

    So glad you are enjoying your beautiful surroundings! There is nothing like snow to make things beautiful! 🙂
    Thank you for hosting once again. Happy New Year! 🙂

  13. 18
    Samantha says

    Sorry, I am no help on the waffles – my kids like them soft and not crispy (weird!) The chicken and spinach pasta recipe looks delicious!

    • 20.1
      Laura says

      Awesome, thank you!

  14. 21
    Cheap Thrills says

    Happy New Year! On the waffle cripiness: I’ve just made sure the (already non-stick) surface is greased/oiled well, and really, really hot. Then I leave them in for about 30-60 seconds longer than the manuf. says. Still leaves them fluffy, but crispy outside. HTH!

  15. 22
    Sally says

    Good morning…I have a great recipe for waffles that come out crispy…the secret is to separate the eggs and whip the whites to soft peaks and then fold into the batter at the end leaving some lumps…it works great, but I cant say I have tried it with buttermilk…good luck! BTW, first time poster but have read your blogs for awhile! 🙂

    • 22.1
      Laura says

      Thanks for the tip Sally, appreciate it!

    • 23.1
      Laura says

      I’ve added it to my list, thank you!

  16. 24
    Wendy @ Celiacs in the House says

    Happy New Year. I always use Pamela’s Baking Mix for our gluten-free waffles. You have to try making hash brown potatoes in your waffle iron. I saw this in Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. They get so perfectly crispy, so fast. My kids love them this way. She just mixes shredded drained potatoes with a little oil and salt and plops a scoop right into the waffle iron. Sorry, that’s the best crispy waffle I’ve made in my new waffle iron lately.

  17. 25
    SnoWhite says

    What a beautiful way to ring in the new year! God’s world is amazing, isn’t it?!

    We’re having sweet potato waffles this morning — in our new waffle maker too!

  18. 26
    Natanya @ Fete & Feast says

    Wow, those pictures are amazing. Talk about capturing the splendor of Mother Nature.

    I’m a big fan of waffles because I can make extras and freeze them. My favorite recipe has the benefit of being make-ahead, so you can prep the batter the night before to make the morning easier. It also uses white wheat flour.

    I have a non-stick waffle maker, but my gut instinct is to spray every cooking surface with cooking spray. I found that when I don’t spray my waffle maker though, my waffles are very crispy, so you might try that if your new maker is non-stick.

    I’m looking forward to participating weekly. Thanks so much for hosting!

    • 26.1
      Laura says

      I did spray my waffle maker even though it is non stick so maybe I’ll forgo that step. Thanks!

  19. 27
    MemeGRL says

    Happy new year!
    This is such a special recipe for us–my mom loved these waffles, most of all for that they were dairy free. They really are light and fluffy and if you leave them in long enough (a problem–everyone wants these RIGHT NOW when we’re making them!) they have a great crisp to them. This is how she sent it to me years ago…Enjoy!

    Mom’s Favorite Club Soda Waffle Recipe
    2 C Bisquick
    1 large egg, slightly beaten
    3 Tbs vegetable oil
    1 1/3 C club soda

    Place baking mix in bowl or wide pitcher.
    With fork, beat egg with oil. Stir in to baking mix.
    Gradually add soda, mixing until batter is moist and thick.
    For best results, let batter rest five minutes before starting.
    Pour on waffle iron; close. Bake to done, whatever that means for your iron (2 minutes? no steam?). Waffle should be brown and separate easily from iron.
    Best eaten immediately though they can be reheated later.

    • 27.1
      Jessica says

      I have never heard of using club soda in waffles before. I’m late getting going this morning, and now all I want is waffles! Now I’m gonna have to go make some!

    • 27.2
      Laura says

      Sounds yummy, thanks!

  20. 28
    flora says

    Love the photos. This is my first year attempting menu planning, hopefully it will help me become better organized and soon become a habit.

    And I agree with Natayna, if you can go without spraying the waffle maker it does seem to prevent soggy waffles. We prefer ours crisp too. But we are gluten free, so I doubt you’d want a recipe from me 🙂

    • 28.1
      Laura says

      Hey Flora, I do cook gluten free along dairy and egg free as well for my son although I make his waffles separately and freeze them for him as it’s too expensive for us to all eat things made with his special flours.

  21. 29
    Lara says

    We’re having the spinach chicken pasta this week as well…one of our very favorites! Love your beautiful pictures. 🙂

  22. 30
    [email protected] says

    Sunsets and pond hockey? Canadiana is right! We’ve had such mild temps here in Nova Scotia that we haven’t been able to skate quite yet, but I look forward to it. Outside is just so much better. 🙂

    I posted about our waffles back in March. I’m not sure where I got the original recipe, but chances are good that I tweaked it anyway – I always do. We always keep the dry mix in the pantry, so it’s easy to do in the mornings. Cook longer for more crisp. Yum!

    • 30.1
      Laura says

      Mmmmmm, thank you!

  23. 31
    Corrie says

    1-1/4 cup Flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    2/3 tsp salt
    1 tbsp sugar

    1 cup milk
    2 egg yolks, beaten thick
    4 tbsp melted fat (margarine or butter)
    2 egg whites beaten stiff

    Stir together flour, baking powder, salt & sugar. Combine milk and melted fat with beaten egg yolks. Combine mixtures. Stir only until blended. Fold in egg whites. Cook on hot waffle iron.

    From the 1958 Edition of the Five Roses Flour Company Cookbook

    I always tripple this recipe and it makes enough to feed four hungry adults and a kid or two (and a piece for the dog). They cook up nice and crisp. The recipe says “for crisper waffles, use 2 tbsp more fat and cook longer”.

    • 31.1
      Laura says

      Loving all these waffle recipes, they are really making me hungry 🙂


  24. 33
    angie says

    Thanks again for hosting this linkup I love to come to this blog each week sharing what we are having and getting so many great ideas

    • 34.1
      Laura says

      No I’ve never tried them that way, but am definitely willing to give it a shot! Thanks!

  25. 35
    Kelly the Kitchen Kop says

    Well, I’m not sure if anyone will even see a link so far down on the list, but since this is the first time I have done a meal plan in AGES, I thought I’d better go ahead and add mine to the pile!

    Of course I had good motivation to finally get going on the meal planning train: I am starting a new job and need to be on the ball, AND I’m going to watch my carbs more now that we’re in the new year, as part of the 2011 Weight Loss and Wellness Adventure I’m doing at my blog.

    Take care!

    • 36.1
      Laura says

      Thanks for sharing Ranee!

  26. 37
    Amy says

    Those pictures are so pretty, thanks for sharing. And also thanks for hosting.

  27. 39
    Jessica (Cheapskate Life) says

    Thanks for the gorgeous pics! That spinach chicken pasta looks so yummy! I’ll be adding olives to my recipe next week though, because I like the way olives can complement certain dishes. I also have to say THANK YOU for sharing the recipe for the brown sugar meatloaf. I have been searching for a similar recipe for months. I haven’t tried it yet, but I was going to make meatloaf this week, but decided to wait for next week just in case a good recipe was featured on a blog. Impeccable timing!

    • 39.1
      Laura says

      Love it when that happens, woohoo!!

    • 40.1
      Laura says

      Can’t wait to check it out!!

  28. 41
    SilverMoon says

    277 Menu plans? Clearly I overslept!

  29. 42
    se7en says

    By now you are burdened with waffle recipes!!! Here’s ours…
    My hubs got me a waffle iron the year that “iron” is the wedding anniversary gift and I haven’t looked back!!! I never even knew you could make waffles before then I just thought you got them in restaurants!!! Like what was I thinking – but anyway that was in the olden days before kids so forgive my stupidity!!!

  30. 43
    Stephanie says

    When I want crispy waffles I use the Overnight Waffle recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. It is very similar to the recipe linked by Lynn here in the comments. I think waffles made with yeast tend to have a crisper texture than those using baking soda as the leaven.

    Also, I serve them as soon as they are done-no waiting on a plate for all to finish. If I have to wait to serve everyone at the same time, I’ll keep the cooked ones on a rack in the oven at a low temp.

  31. 45
    CrystalC2B says

    Hi Laura!

    I’m so happy one of us has a new waffle maker! I’m thinking I need to look into a new one. Mine always squishes the batter out the back by the hinges. What a nightmare to clean!

    What kind did you get? We also need pictures!

  32. 46
    Texan Mama says

    To make the waffles crispy, use shortening to grease the waffle iron instead of cooking spray. Just put a little dab of it in there, then close the lid and let it melt. It really helps for pancakes in the pan too!

  33. 47
    Living the Balanced Life says

    Oh, the pictures are beautiful! And so different from our lives in GA where we were SO excited to have the first white Christmas in over 100 years! And you know what, it was only about 2 inches, lol!
    I am going to try the Spinach Chicken pasta!
    What is valuable to you?

  34. 48
    Kathleen says

    Hello and Happy New Year! I just found you and linked up. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!

  35. 50
    Kate says

    Hey there, I’ve been a long time reader and this is my first week to participate. For whatever reason I can not link up 🙁 I’ve tried three times and it’s just not showing up 🙁 I thought I was pretty computer savvy, and have done link ups before… Anyway, really enjoy your blog, thanks for the all the inspiration!

    • 50.1
      Laura says

      Kate I just added your link for you without any problems. I’m not sure why it didn’t work for you. Sorry about that.

  36. 51
    Gina says

    Happy New Year, Laura! Thanks for having such a consistent meme and a wonderful site. 🙂

  37. 52
    Lindsey says

    The brown sugar meatloaf is fantastic! We’ve scaled back on the sugar though, and put the ketchup/sugar mixture on top rather than on the bottom. Seems plenty sweet to me even without the sugar. 🙂 Oh, and your pictures are beautiful!

  38. 53
    Lexi says

    Hi everyone! I haven’t posted for a while, but I added a recipe today for low-fat Fettuccine Alfredo.

  39. 54
    Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    Ahh…I’m getting back into the swing of things with meal planning. Like many, I’ve got renewed enthusiasm…so we’ll see how long that lasts. LOL! This year I’m going to TRY and add breakfast and lunchbox meal plans also since those are big challenges for me. I’m hoping that if I write them down and put them “out there” I’ll be more likely to change things up and get a little more variety for my family. Happy New Year!

  40. 55
    April Westerhold says

    Thanks so much for doing this, it is awesome! NEW FOLLOWER!

    P.S. My son would have so much fun on that ice! Loves hockey!

  41. 56
    Peggy says

    Happy New Year!

  42. 57
    Sweet Mummy says

    Happy New Year from Alberta! Excited to stay up to date with Menu Planning Mondays. I know it always feels better when I have SOME Kind of plan for meals for the week. Thanks for the encouragement to keep doing it!

  43. 58
    julie says

    Your pictures of your Canada winter are a good way to start the New Year. Thanks. I am excited about 52 weeks of organizing.

  44. 59
    Sabrina says

    Hoping to start menu planning each week in 2011! Thanks for the inspiration.

    I use the BHG Waffle recipe:

    Works like a charm! Be sure to play around with your number setting on your waffle maker. Slightly increase it too cook them longer and get them crispy. Good luck!

  45. 60
    Brenda says

    I had the same problem when I received a new waffle iron. I found that if I cooked the waffles twice the amount of time (or two cycles) they were much more crispy.
    This is the recipe I use:
    Homestyle Waffles
    3 Eggs
    3 cups milk
    1/2 cup oil
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    3 3/4 cups flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon salt


  46. 61
    thefarmprincess says

    Thanks for this great site. I’ve decided menu planning is going to be my New Years resolution. That spinach pasta looks delicious!! Gonna have to remember that one.

  47. 62
    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says

    You pulled at my heart strings with your photos 🙁 As a Canadian living in Kansas, I miss watching everyone play hockey on the lake so much. Gorgeous photos.

  48. 63
    Susan says

    Easy Peasy Waffles
    2 cups biscuit mix
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 large eggs
    1 cup of club soda
    Stir together first 3 ingredients, add club soda, stirring until blendedl
    Cook in preheated oiled waffle iron until golden
    Crispy outside soft inside…beautiful coloring!

  49. 64
    Cheryl says

    I was just going to post my waffle recipe, but Susan uses the same one. The club soda makes the difference. I have found that when i make them with club soda that has gone flat (because I should have just made four batches in the first place!) they are not as crispy. I make a bunch, flash freeze, put them in a bread bag in the freezer and toast like eggos in the morning. Big hit around here.


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