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


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.

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! { }

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mexican Red Lentil Stew

Mexican Red Lentil Stew -




Weekly Meal Plan November 2-6

Do you want to know the best thing I got for my classroom this year?

Dot Matrix computer paper.

My parents were planning some renovations this past summer and they did a little purge of non-essential items that were taking up space including 2 boxes of computer paper that they could no longer use.

My mom asked me if I wanted it and the answer was an unequivocal YES!

See, as many of you know, kids like to draw, create, cut and glue. If I have any plain white paper in my room, it is gone instantly. So I figured this could be great free time, indoor recess, doodle paper.

Little did I know my students would get so creative!

One day, on the way out to recess a little girl in my class handed me this little creation.


A purse…she had made me a purse out of paper. Pretty clever if I do say so myself, but it was what was on the inside that was even more fun.



She made me money for my purse. I think I may be the only person to ever be given an $8000 dollar bill before. Trying to decide what to spend it on…

The last few weeks have been crazy busy and my meal plan has made sure that though we are running around we are not hungry….I love a good meal plan.

Here is what we are eating this week:

Honey Sriracha ChickenWonton SoupMozzarella Stuffed MeatballsPizza RollsFrozen Pizza

Grocery List:

  • Rice
  • Stir Fry Veggies x 2
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Sriracha
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger
  • Chicken breasts
  • Garlic
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions
  • Ground beef
  • Bread crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Pasta
  • Dry active yeast
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Oil
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pizza roll toppings
  • Salad stuff
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Pork meatballs from the freezer
  • Chicken broth
  • Sesame oil


We love Sriracha! Pairing it with honey sounds like a great idea to me…

Honey Sriracha Chicken


I have some leftover wontons and pork meatballs in my freezer..that means most of the work is already done for wonton soup! And I love wonton soup…




We love this hearty, easy slow cooker meal. Who doesn’t love a good meatball? Especially when it is stuffed with cheese.




Andrew was lamenting about pizza muffins that one of his co-workers brought for lunch. I don’t know how to make pizza muffins…but I do make a mean pizza roll. Hope this helps satisfy the craving!