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Meals on Monday…a new tradition between you & me.

                    Source:  Country Living

It’s January.
We’re all pledging to get our acts together in many different areas of our lives.
Or, at least I always do.
Meal planning is always one of those areas that I try to tackle a couple times a year.
Usually, in January and again around August.
The beginning of a brand new year and the start of a new school year are typically what encourage me.
In January, I usually stay focused until about March,
and in August, I usually do good until about October.
This is not good friends.  
It means that I’m only planning meals four months out of a whole year.
The rest, I’m just winging it and living on a prayer.
I’ve admitted to you numerous times over the past year that I cook for some mighty particular eaters.
I’d like to think that cooking for picky eaters is my excuse for falling short in the meal planning area
and not the fact that I might just get lazy after a few short months of practicing diligence.
{if I’m being totally honest, I can probably claim both excuses}
 So, I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to show you a picture of a beautiful kitchen every Monday
and then share with you some of my meal options for the week.
I love a good challenge and I’m very competitive with myself.
In other words, if I write something down, I have to be able to cross it off the list.
I’m hoping that if I pledge to give you this post each and every Monday all year long, 
I’ll actually succeed in meal planning this year for more than four months out of twelve.
Without further ado, here is my meal plan for this week…

There.
Those seem easy enough, right?
You can click on the link under each picture to take you to the recipe that I’m using for each meal.
I’m only going to give six meals because I know myself,
and I know there won’t be seven home-cooked meals.
I sure hope this helps me and you plan our meals and cook for our families more in 2011.

On a final note, don’t you just love that kitchen?
Isn’t it perfection.
love the white boarded walls.
love the open cabinets.
love the lemons in that jar.
love the clean countertops.
love the collection of bowls.
love those calming colors.

linking up with:

Angel - Sounds fun! Love that kitchen too. And Ina’s spaghetti and meatball recipe just got printed and stuck in my binder. Thanks!

Lissa - this is a great idea! :) good luck with keeping it up all year!

Sarah - Love this! My sis-in-law and I were just talking about this this very morning. I use a template from orgjunkie.com that helps me a lot with this. It is called Menu Plan Monday. I am going to check out a couple of your recipes -they look wonderful!

Vintage Sassy - I am a new lover of your blog! It’s beautiful and I love the music. Being an almost empty nester, I’m afraid I’m getting out of the meal planning…but 2011, I’m gonna really try to cook again for me and the Mr. Thanks!

xo
LeAnn

Kat - Those looks delicious!

I just finished our menu plan for the week too;
*Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup and Cheese Paninis
*Meat and Cheese Lasagna with salad and garlic bread
*Chickpea patties with Chopped Mediteranean Salad
*Homemade Pizza and Salad with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Mozzarella cheese.
(Our Lasagna will last us two nights)

It’s such a good feeling to have a plan for the week. Your menu looks delicious!!! (all of my recipes, for this week, come from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook)

slip4 - Love love that kitchen, and I look forward to seeing more of them. Thanks for sharing your meal plan…it is definately a weak spot in my household plan!

ChRiS - well i went to 1 recipe wasn’t there then i attemped another and thought oh this is easy and sounds great then i saw it called for wine….sighs…i only make recipes that i have the ingredients in the pantry and i make nothing with wine so guess i am back to taste of home and kraft recipes!! let us know how good these are they sure look good!

Sheri - Tara, you’re making me tired just reading this. In my world – this would be what my momma would call a ‘lofty’ goal (for me) LOL. I will live vicariously through you. However – just as a fluke I am making Chicken Marsala tomorrow night because i discovered i had all the ingredients on hand. That’s about as far as it goes this week. (oh, and thanks cause now i can’t get Bon Jovi out of my head…livin on a prayer…that was Bon Jovi right..? :)

Rie - love that idea!

Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things - I’m with you, Tarah!

Set out with such great goals -and it just fizzles….

BUT – like you, I’m determined this year!

Love your meal planning – i’m doing that too, today – I feel so administrative today – prepping for an amazing year now that the kiddo is back in school.

Happy New Year, Love love LOVE that kitchen!

xoxo

Kurtzhals - Ha! I was up until midnight last night making our meal plan for the week. Let’s see how that one works out……
PS, that crock pot fajita thing….let me know how that is.

Woodard Gang - I can totally relate! I’m soo motivated for a fresh start come January and then I fizzle out! Hoping to do better and stay more motivated like you this year!

Julie Johnson - Yum! Love that kitchen..it’s one of my favorites! I did meal planning for the week at Caribou this morning. Maybe that should be my new Monday tradition…$1 coffee, and the store is nearby! :) We’re having Mexican fiesta bake, chicken and artichoke casserole, white chili, ghoulash, and pizza. I too have a very picky crowd!

Traci - Great idea! Thanks for the motivation. I really needed it.

A Lasting First Impression - Wow, can I come to dinner at your house??? Those look amazing! I mean plan all year, it is my way of taking some of the stress out of my life, and staying on butdget! I love the Everyday Food Magazine, great recipes, easy ingredients, and managable for crazy weeknight meals. I mix in two, maybe three, more time consuming/complicated meals, but find if I add any more than that I loose steam and get burned out!!!! I wish you luck, and look forward to your Monday posts! If you need any help, encouragement, or tips let me know! I would love to help!!!

Arriving - Mmmm I do, reallly seriously, love that kitchen. Love your Monday meals idea. Maybe I will modify and try to make one of your recipes each week? Thank you!

Farmgirl Paints - You go girl…those recipes looked amazing. May have to steal some for myself:)

Tracey - So why are you eating at my house tomorrow night…I think I am coming to yours instead! Looks deliciouso! Tell me how the sirloin comes out…want to try it!

Deborah - Tara, what a great idea!
I love meal planning but have to admit that I sure dont get to do it as much as like I’d like to.
The days I have off from work are days I like to cook and create.
Those meals look fantastic!!
And I love that country kitchen…gorgeous!!
Have a great week!!

Deborah :)

Cherry - Just visiting, from Menu Plan Monday … beautiful photos! And have fun with your menu planning this year!

Megan - This is great! I’m looking forward to Mondays :)

Sherry at the Brownstone Arsenal - My Mom and I LOVE Barefoot Contessa! I’ll definitely check out that spaghetti and meatball recipe! Your pictures have my mouth watering.

Have a blessed week,

Sherry

Theresa - Beautiful kitchen…awesome looking meals.

I find that if I plan it out AND write out my grocery list with everything I need from the recipes AND go to the store AND then keep the just bought ingredients near eachother in my pantry and a list on my fridge…i am usually okay…and when I start to fall short, I have a Pampered Chef party–new gadgets always make me want to cook!

One Life Many Journeys - I just have one question….can you come cook it for me? LOL. I will try to make at least one of them.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - I’m so with you! It’s in the air…. Thanks for the good ideas. I’ll be posting my week’s meals soon, too!

theelizabethhighsmith - when’s dinner? this all looks delicious, there is hope for the picky’s in your family this side of twenty years ago i wouldn’t have wanted any of it, there’s hope! they’ll start loosing those taste buds and wise up, just you wait!

Tricia - A Rosy Note - You can do it! Really, I think planning is half the battle. Maybe you’ll inspire me :) Have you ever seen the Stonegable blog? She plans out her meals and posts them each week too. You should take a peek.

christan - I love your blog – your photography – your idesas.

And I ABSOLUTELY love the string snowmen pictured along the top. Love them! I will be making them with my daughter this winter… Thanks!

Sarah Jane - Now I know where to go for ideas on what to cook every week! hooray:)

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