A Meal Plan for this Week

Every Sunday I sit down with my husband and we hash out our meal plan based on the 7,000 after school activities we have going on. Even with a ton of events we almost always sit down and eat dinner as a family. Whether we have to bump up dinner to 5:00 or push it back until 7:30 we eat together because I think it’s so important.

This week I sat down to create the meal plan at the kitchen table and got up before I finished.

A little while later I came back to my list and noticed that my 5 year old had added onto the list.

See if you can pick out the meal she has decided on:


Happy Monday Everyone!


Weekly Menu

I hate cooking.

No, that’s not actually true.

I really really dislike cooking.

It’s not calming for me, it’s not enjoyable, I just don’t like it.

I don’t like menu planning either.

(I have obviously now entered my Archie Bunker phase of life).

But I do both because it’s hard to be a stay at home mom and not be the one in charge of cooking. I have I tried to lobby to hire a cook, but somehow, my husband sees that as my role.

So seeing as this appears to be my gig for awhile, I decided to make a menu planning board.


I used a frame I already had, printed out a free menu planning printable, and used an old expo marker I had from teaching to write out the meals.

We’ve been using this for a few weeks and somehow it just makes the whole process a little more enjoyable.


And yes, we eat out once a week.

I need to keep moving toward that white light at the end of the week or else I’d completely give up and just serve cereal for every meal.

*In case you are interested I found the meal plan printable here.

*And just for the record, my husband is awesome and always helps me cook.

Do You Ever…

Do you ever sit down for an hour looking through recipe books, figure out a meal plan for the week, go to the store and buy your groceries, only to return home only to discover that you cannot find your meal plan and have no idea why you have green pears, frozen spinach, and back beans sitting on your counter?



Me neither.

My Favorite Things – Day 3

Welcome to Day #3 of Big D & Me’s Favorite Things

What’s today’s favorite thing?

Why it’s my favorite sandwich in the whole. wide. world.


It’s actually my  answer to Subway’s delicious flat bread veggie sandwich. If I had not found my own version there’s a good chance I would have eaten our grocery budget for the month in these – I love this sandwich so much!

So here’s how I make my favorite sandwich:

Start with this yummy flatbread – I buy ours at Costco.


Melt your favorite cheese on it – give me a break people, it’s a veggie sandwich, I deserve some cheese.


Chop your favorite toppings: red onions, cucumbers, banana peppers, spinach, & tomato.


Add some spicy mustard


Pile everything on (and yes, that’s another flatbread on top ready to go after I eat this first sandwich)


Roll and devour 🙂


So there you have Day #3 of Big D & Me’s favorite things.

Come back to tomorrow for Day 4!

Fruit as a Dessert?

Fruit is not a dessert.

I repeat. Fruit is not a dessert.

I hate it when you are visiting someones house and they say, “For dessert, I got ice cream for the kids and some some water melon for the adults.”

First, the kids should get the fruit, they’re still growing. The only part of me growing is my rear and I’ll be the one to worry about that thank you.

Second, watermelon is NOT a dessert.

Chocolate. Toffee. Marshmellows. Cake. Frosting. Cookies.   Those are desserts!

But, in an effort to expand our horizons I decided to try a new dessert recipe which includes fruit.

Gasp! Horror!

I came across a recipe for a simple Blackberry Blueberry Pie and decided to give it a shot.

(unfortunately, I can’t find the original source so if you know it, tell me, and I’ll give proper credit)

Because of my hesitation for this kind of dessert, I decided to less the fruit in the recipe by one fourth.

After all, we don’t need to jump into crazy and implusive changes all at once!

The recipe is super simple and is mighty pretty when it’s all done.

The moment of truth came when it was time to taste this dessert.

I thought it was okay.

Fine. I’ll admit it was good.

Alright. Alright. It was GREAT! My husband and I loved it. I’ll have to admit that my vanilla ice cream ratio to blueberries was not equal BUT it was good and it is a fruit desert so that’s saying a lot from me.

The kids were less than thrilled with the dessert but considering two out of the three of them thought I was poisoning them and didn’t even try it, I’m still counting it as a win.

(and just for the record, those two pie haters love eating blueberries and blackberries right out of the container, but throw a little ice cream on there and it’s poison suddenly)

Since I have one more pie crust left I’m going to cut up some apples and follow the recipe using those while adding some cinnamon too.

While this dessert will never take the place of anything covered in chocolate in my mind, it was pretty tasty.

What about you? What’s your favorite dessert item to eat?

A Proud Mom

My six year old has come over to the dark side with me.

At least that’s the opinion of my husband.

To really understand this scenario you have to go back with me thirty years.

The place I remember going out to eat more than any other growing up is Pancho’s.

Glorious Pancho’s.Enchiladas made with cheese from a can.

Tamale sauce with a one inch top layer of fat.

Sopapillas still dripping in oil.

And the pinatas at your birthday…….

…..don’t even get me started over that thrill.

When our family gets together at the holidays, there has to be at least one trip to Pancho’s.

Well, my husband doesn’t get it.

Neither does my brother-in-law who is married to my sister.

They’re what we like to consider, “Pancho outsiders.”

They weren’t as fortunate as us to grow up with this delicacy so they don’t understand.

When our family goes to Pancho’s for the holidays, my husband always chooses to work that day. Whatever. More chiquitos for us.

So yesterday, my son and I were discussing places to eat for my birthday.

“No way,” was my response when Steak n’ Shake was suggested.

“No can do,” when Pizza Hut was offered.

But then he said, “What about Pancho’s?”

“Now there’s an idea son. I like it.”

And then he said the words I will never forget.

“When I grow up I want to work at Pancho’s so I can eat their food everyday.”

There just couldn’t be a prouder moment for this mom.

My family was equally proud when I told them.

Imagine, mother and son eating lunch together everyday enjoying tacos and refried beans.

Just the two of us making wonderful memories.

After all, my husband will be stuck eating leftovers at the house because he never came over to the dark side.


How long have you stood looking into your pantry trying to decide what to eat?

I think I stood there for 5 minutes today before coming out with a granola bar.

A granola bar, that’s it. Nothing exciting.

You’d think the choice would have been easier since yesterday I went to Costco and spent $170 on groceries.

But alas, it seems I didn’t buy the cheeseburger in a box that would have made me oh so happy.

Damn my store buying will power.

Where to Go? – Restaurant Printable

My husband and I had a date night on Saturday.

Once the babysitters were settled we left.

We then drove around aimlessly for 40 minutes because we couldn’t think of a new restaurant to try.

 It seems like every other time we are in the car, driving from one activity to the next, we see a new place and say, “Next time we should try that place.”

But inevitably, we never remember the restaurant when its time to choose a place to eat.

We even say to ourselves, “We need to write that name down.”

But we never do.

So I decided to make a list.  If you would like a copy of this form, click here.

If you download the form, please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me.

My husband and I eventually settled for a steak place and had a great meal though next time I hope we don’t waste forty precious child free minutes deciding on the restaurant.

Tuesday To Do Party Todays Creative Blog

Halloween Party Food

Last year we held our first ever Halloween party and it was a ton of fun for everyone (a ton of work too but let’s focus on the fun for now).

My husband and I baked, dipped, frosted, stirred, cooled, and heated till we were on sugar overload.

Below this picture of our buffet are four of the treats and how we made them.

Witches Hats: Use Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies as the base, melted chocolate (orange colored), Hershey Kisses on top

Eyeball Cake: Boxed cake mix prepared and baked in a soccer ball cake pan, colored icing

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies: I don’t particularly love pumpkin flavor but I found these irresistible – every time I walked by the kitchen I would pick one up. I found the recipe at Relatively Reagan.

What you need:
Box spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter
1 cup pumpkin pie filling or puree
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and pumpkin with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add all the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
Using a small cookie schoop dop mounds of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart.
Bake about 10 minutes and cool completely before frosting
For the Filling:
Stick of butter
block (8 oz) cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla and couple of dashes of cinnamon
Put filling on one pie and cover with another

Oreo Mummies: Dip Oreos into melted white chocolate, place on wax paper, drag a fork sideways through the chocolate, place candy eyes on top, cool in fridgeHere are some sources for candy eyes (I have never bought anything from these companies so I’m not recommeding, just listing) : One Stop Candle and The Baker’s Kitchen. I am using some I found at Michael’s this year.

Do you have any favorite Halloween treats you make?

The 36th Avenue