New Year- New Plan

Our Christmas break was wonderful! Long days of sleeping in, lounging with coffee and fun with friends and family.

It was a little difficult to get up Monday morning and return to work…not only for me,  but for the little ones that I teach too.

We made it to Friday even though it was a lot of indoor recess. Thankfully, my sweet students had lots of funny moments to keep me going through the week.

On Friday, when everyone’s patience was coming to an end, I had to take some time to talk about friendships, treating others kindly and respectfully and sharing feelings in a clear way.

After my discussion everyone was quiet for a moment. A little girl in my second row put her hand up.

“Yes?” I said.

“Mrs. Skinner” she said thoughtfully, “You are kind of like a kid therapist.”

Yep…kind of.

Thanks for noticing all the hard work I do. Now let’s go to the gym…I’ll teach you badminton.

I still meal plan every week, but a Christmas gift that Andrew and I got has changed my meal planning ways.

I have to admit, I only bought the meat that we needed each week for our meals. I know that is not the most economical way of doing things, but I HATE repacking meat when I buy it in club packs. And then after I fought with the repacking, I would take it out of the freezer to use, only to find it freezer burned.

Well this little food saver is supposed to make it far easier to repackage, and cut out the freezer burn entirely.

So I sat down and decided I would make a MONTHLY meal plan. I didn’t want to go load up on things I could vacuum seal and then not know what to do with it all.

So here is what I came up with:

From this I figured out I needed

  • 8 servings salmon
  • 1 club pack of ground beef
  • 1 club pack of ground pork
  • 1 club pack of chicken thighs

Now to get repacking!

The chicken thighs were easy. I just split it up into amounts that we would use and vacuum sealed away. It took minutes. Next I split the ground beef into 3 parts. 2 packages of just ground beef, and then I made a double recipe of mozzarella stuffed meatballs and sealed those.

Lastly, I made an entire club pack of ground pork into Asian flavored meatballs. I use these in stir fry bowls and to make my wontons for soup. Before I sealed my meatballs, I did freeze them on a cookie sheet so they would retain their shape…and it was a good idea because that machine sucks all the air out! It would have just been a pile of mush.

The salmon was already frozen so no need to deal with it at all.

I couldn’t believe the difference in price for our club pack meat! I knew I would save SOME money, but I literally saved HALF!

And, my meal planning/grocery shopping lists are ready for a whole month…what will I do with all my free time?

Here are the recipes that I will be making over the next month. I hope you find a few new (or old) favorites to add to your meal plans.

Split Pea Soup

DSC_2811a

Lemon Rosemary Lentil Stew

This Slow Cooker Lemon Rosemary Lentil Soup is one of the easiest soups to ever come out of your kitchen. Fresh vegetables, lemon and rosemary become an amazingly hearty soup with minimal effort. Carrots, onion, yellow bell pepper and red lentils are flavored with garlic and a dash of cayenne pepper and slow cooked until tender.

Crockpot Bolognese

Crockpot Bolognese

Heavenly Salmon Salad

Heavenly Salmon Salad

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Juicy pork Teriyaki Meatball Bowls seasoned with ginger and garlic coated in a sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce served over fluffy rice. BudgetBytes.com

French Dip Cupcakes

French Dip Cupcakes

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Loaded Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Soup - so full of flavor and so many delicious ingredients. This soup will keep you warm and full any time of year! { lilluna.com }

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mexican Red Lentil Stew

Mexican Red Lentil Stew - BudgetBytes.com

 

 

 

Top Posts of 2016

I can’t believe another year is drawing to a close.

It is true what they say: As you get older, the years seem to go faster.

Feels like I just blinked and we are ready to ring in the New Year.

Before 2017 is fully upon us, here is a look back at the 10 most popular Summertime Melissa posts of the past year.

Enjoy!

10. Gluten Free Multi Grain Bread

Thank you Bulk Barn for your simple bread mix that makes a relatively good loaf (if not small and compact) of (gluten-free) bread.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

9. Moorea

This was quite possibly the most incredible place I have ever been. I look forward to a day when I can return and maybe never come back…

Moorea

8. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake

Who doesn’t love a great, easy pumpkin recipe?

Pumpkin cream cheese dump cake

7. Heavenly Salmon Salad

This is quite possibly one of my favorite recipes of the year! So delicious, very healthy and so easy to make.

Heavenly Salmon Salad

6. Kauai

This was the start of our big 3 week holiday and not like many other places we had been. Kauai is laid back and lush…a great combination.

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5. Klosse

Childhood nostalgia (and a mild heart attack) on a plate!

Klosse

4. How To Successfully Shop at Goodwill

This post evolved over a long period of time. We were first going to do a video post, but we filmed it and were instantly embarrassed…so luckily my dear husband is a whiz with computers and made us all the cool gifs to create a great post. Thanks Viv for the fun…not only on that particular shopping trip, but just generally in life.

Yes. No.

3. Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwiches

This is a post from back in 2014, but it is one of the most read pages on my blog. I forgot how good these sandwiches are…maybe we will be having some next week…

Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwich

2. Noorish

I had so much fun with my friend Sarah at this restaurant. She has introduced me to the world of all-things-vegan. And though I won’t be giving up meat any time soon, I do love a good vegetarian recipe from one of the Oh She Glows cookbooks she has gifted me. I’m not sure that Andrew is as happy…but he will get used to it.

Bodhi Burger

1. Braided Nutella Bread

This was the most popular page on my blog over the last year…and when I looked at the site, the pictures didn’t even work! This was a delicious little treat. Good thing it is rather time consuming, or I might attempt this more often.

Braided Nutella Bread