Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 31, 2014

monday meal plan 300x153 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 31, 2014Here is my free weekly meal planner for the week of March 31, 2014.

I just returned from #TypeAWDW late last night and am already jumping back into the Monday morning routine.

Although I didn’t spend any time in the Disney Parks on this trip to Orlando, I ended up getting sick during in the overnight hours on Saturday, so I haven’t actually eaten any solid food in about 36 hours.

In honor of my unexpectedly imposed broth/tea fast, I thought I’d share a Soup Menu with you this week.

I was actually inspired by this time last year when I shared a Soup Swap on my Talk of the Town TV segment last year (click the link to watch the actual video from the segment).

For those of you who don’t recall, I got together with about five other ladies in my small group and we each made 5 portions of the same soup (large enough to feed a family of four) and then shared them with each other. It took quite a large stock pot to pull off, but it ended up providing meals for about two weeks (and beyond!)

I also had a great Beer Cheese Soup at the Big River Brewery while at Disney’s Boardwalk and found a great copycat recipe that I’m sharing below, along with some of my other soup favorites.

Remember, if you also want some help on breakfast & lunch, check out my meal plan archives or eMeals for help in that category).


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 31, 2014

As always, I hope you take what’s helpful for you and just leave what’s not. Here you go:

Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014

Monday: Chinese Chicken Rice Soup

Tuesday: Chef Jack’s Corn Chowder from Paula Deen

Wednesday: Meghan’s Chicken Tortilla Soup from a Farmgirl Dabbles

Thursday: Big River Grille’s Beer Cheese Soup from The Recipes of Disney

Friday: my Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

Saturday: Miso Soup

Sunday: Beef Vegetable Soup

What are you eating in your home this week?

30 meals for 30 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 31, 2014


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 31, 2014

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Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014

monday meal plan 300x153 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014My free weekly meal planner is back for the week of March 24, 2014.

 I took last week off since it was Spring Break and I felt like our family was all over the place, literally! (You can check out our kids’ Dollywood FireChaser Express review, as well as our adventure to the Five Below Grand Opening this weekend).

But after days of eating on the road, we’re all together back at home, so we’re focusing on some simple, family favorites this week.

So with that in mind, I’ll share what my family will be eating this week. If you want some help on breakfast & lunch, check out my meal plan archives or eMeals for help in that category).


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014

As always, I hope you take what’s helpful for you and just leave what’s not. Here you go:

Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014

Monday: Scrambled Hamburgers

Tuesday: Homemade Chili with Fritos Scoops

Wednesday: Pita Tacos with Refried Beans

Thursday: Sesame Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Gyoza

Friday: Pizza night with salad

Saturday: Lo Mein & Miso Soup

Sunday: Grilled Cheese with Soup

What are you eating in your home this week?

30 meals for 30 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 24, 2014

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30 Meals for $30

30 meals for 30 30 Meals for $30

Didn’t think it was possible to make 30 meals for $30? What about 30 meals for under $30? Well I’ve done it!

And if you watched my TV segment on Talk of the Town, you’ve already seen it done…


 30 Meals for $30

That’s right, I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks per day for 6 days (not to mention the leftovers…)

So here’s your plan:

30 Meals for $30

    BREAKFAST                        SNACK                        LUNCH                        SNACK                            DINNER

Mon        Smoothie                    Applesauce              PB & banana roll up           Carrots & PB                   Chicken & Rice

Tues         Cereal             Sugar-Free Oatmeal cookies      Fried Rice                Cucumber Rounds         Spaghetti with garlic & olive oil

Wed        Oatmeal                   PB Crispy Rice balls     Black Beans & Rice          Celery & PB                Chicken Noodle Soup & Crackers

Thur       Smoothie                  PB & Crackers                Mac & Cheese           Sugar-Free Oatmeal cookies                  Chopped Salad

 Fri          Cereal                        Pineapple                        Soup & Salad                  Applesauce                 Black Bean Chicken Chimichangas

Sat          Oatmeal                   Hard Boiled Eggs       Black Bean Quesadillas        Smoothie pops               Sweet & Savory Crepes

Watch the full TV segment on 30 meals for $30 from Talk of the Town:
NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather I did 99% of my shopping at ALDI because they have such great prices everyday and I wanted to prove that you don’t have to be able to coupon to drastically cut back on your weekly grocery bill! Here’s the breakdown:

30 Meals for $30 Shopping List

Whole fryer chicken (.89/lb = 4.45)

bananas = .44/lb
lettuce = .99
carrots = .99
cucumber = .25
bagged salad = .49
Frozen berry mix = 2.29
canned pineapple = .89
applesauce = 1.29
garlic = .99
rice = 1.59
egg noodles = 1.29
spaghetti = .89
oatmeal = 2.29
rice cereal = 1.89
tortillas = 1.29
saltines = .99
black beans (canned -2 ) = 1.18
peanut butter = 1.89
block cheddar cheese = 1.79
Mac & Cheese = .39
milk = 2.89
OJ = 1.79
eggs = 1.79
__________
$28.55
Keep in mind, some of these items, like the rice & oatmeal, will last long beyond this meal plan. Also, I played with adding a roast in for $3.99 ad taking out items like the saltines & applesauce, which would still keep you at that $30 mark and add more protein in to your week.
Are you up for the $30 for 30 challenge??

 30 Meals for $30

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Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

For our recent Disney Side @ Home Celebration, I made something really special that my kids were still talking about for weeks afterward: a Mickey Sandwich Cookie!

Mickey Sandiwich Cookie Recipe 756x1024 Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

This Mickey Sandwich Cookie recipe is not unique in the ingredients, but I thought the concept was quite clever…consider it a homemade Mickey Oreo icon wink Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

Making these Mickey Mouse cookies was actually much simpler than I could have imagined.

As part of being a Disney Side @ Home hostess, I received the Wilton Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutters Set. I adapted sugar cookie dough from Wilton and used a store-bought white frosting.

Screen Shot 2014 03 22 at 10.10.30 PM Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

For the cookie dough, first preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then cream 1 cup softened butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar (in a stand mixer for about a minute). Then add in 1 egg and 1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract (our is from Mexico) until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift 2 1/2 cups AP flour with 2 tsp baking powder & 1 tsp salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the stand mixer. DO NOT OVERMIX or the dough will become tough.

Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter Dough Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

Form into ball on floured surface and divide dough in half. Roll out dough to make it about 1/8 inch and then cut out Mickey heads with your Mickey cookie cutter. Bake cookies on a cookie sheet lined with a silicon baking mat for about 6 minutes…do not over-bake! Once out of the oven, allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Once cookies are cooled, put a generous amount of white frosting on the flat side (bottom) of one Mickey head cookie. After frosting one cookie, take the flat side of a second cookie and match it up to the frosting.

Voila! You have your Mickey Sandwich cookie.

It really amazed me that something so simple as putting two cookies together with a schmear of frosting could be such a big hit. It just goes to show that you don’t always have to reinvent a recipe, but just smush it together with itself every once in awhile icon wink Mickey Sandwich Cookie Recipe

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Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

monday meal plan 300x153 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014My free weekly meal planner is back for the week of March 10, 2014.

I’ve been slacking in posting my meal plans for you since my triumphant 30 meals for $30 post…I guess it took more out of me than I realized icon wink Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

But in all seriousness, I jumped back on the horse this weekend and cooked up a storm Saturday night.

While Ricky has been out of town every weekend working on the Winter Jam Tour, it’s left me a little more freedom to experiment with just me & the kids at home.

So on Fridays after I pick the kids up from school, we head over to the library to pick a movie for family fun night. While they look for books, I’ve also been thumbing through the cookbook section.

So far, I’ve not only found an old favorite from my friend Erin from 5 Dollar Dinners (only $6 on Amazon right now!):
 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

I’ve also fallen in love with Homemade Pantry:
 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

The first night I got it, I started in on homemade jam & pie crust to make homemade pop tarts. There is no comparison between the store bought (40+ ingredients, most of which I cannot pronounce) and the homemade version (5 basic ingredients most people already keep in their fridge/pantry).

 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014So on Saturday, not only did we make tacos & salsa from 5 Dollar Dinners, but I also made meatballs & sauce, roasted broccoli cheese soup & banana bread (technically Kariss made that…all by herself even!).

 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

So with that in mind, I’ll share what my family will be eating this week. If you want some help on breakfast & lunch, check out my meal plan archives or eMeals for help in that category).


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

As always, I hope you take what’s helpful for you and just leave what’s not. Here you go:

Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

Monday: Pot Roast with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday: Sesame Chicken with rice

Wednesday: Corned Beef & Cabbage

Thursday: Spaghetti & Meatballs with salad

Friday: Pizza night with salad

Saturday: Roasted Broccoli Soup with cornbread

Sunday: Tacos with Salsa Fresca

What are you eating in your home this week?


 Free Weekly Meal Planner: March 10, 2014

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Sugar-Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

One of the biggest hits from my 30 meals for $30 Talk of the Town TV appearance were my Sugar-Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookies.

Sugar free oatmeal banana applesauce cookie recipe Sugar Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

Even Drs. Rodan and Fields, who happened to be appearing with me that day, loved them!

 Sugar Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

Here is my Sugar-Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe:

recipeseo placeholder Sugar Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

sugar free oatmeal banana cookie recipe Sugar Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

You could also add raisins or dried cranberries (make sure they don’t have extra sugar added in them already!) for a more traditional oatmeal cookie taste.


 Sugar Free Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookie Recipe

When I made these cookies for Talk of the Town, I added chocolate chips to them and everyone seemed to love that touch!

If you wanted to make this sugar-free cookie recipe gluten-free as well, just exchange the quick cooking oats for gluten-free oats.

To make this sugar-free oatmeal banana applesauce cookie recipe dairy free, exchange the milk for almond milk (tastes just as good!).

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Black Bean Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

Black Bean Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

4 flour tortillas
1 1/3 cups shredded chicken (taken from your leftover garlic crockpot chicken)
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 mashed black beans
salt, pepper & hot sauce to taste
Vegetable or Canola oil to coat bottom of pan

Heat oil in deep frying pan
Stir together all ingredients (except for oil & tortillas) in a bowl.
Place 2 Tablespoons of chicken mixture into center of flour tortilla.
Fold in both sides of tortilla and then roll.
Place Chimichanga seam side down into oil until lightly browned, then flip and repeat on other side.
Remove from pan and let sit on paper towel for one minute before serving.

(serves 4)


 Black Bean Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

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Order Girl Scout Cookies Online

order girl scout cookies online Order Girl Scout Cookies OnlineIt’s that time of year again – Girl Scout Cookies are back!

And if you’re looking to  order Girl Scout Cookies online, I’m here to help.

I’m working on getting a streamlined log-in to a website to make online Girl Scout Cookie ordering easier, but for now, you can leave a comment below with your name, email, Girl Scout Cookies you want and how many boxes of each.

*If you do NOT want your comment published, simply start your comment with PRIVATE and that way it will only come to my eyes and not be published on SamiCone.com*

Here are your options…

2014 Girl Scout Cookies

  1. Thin Mints (my favorite!): Thin & Minty
  2. Tagalongs: Peanut Butter patties
  3. Thank U Berry Munch: with gratitude and premium cranberries
  4. Dulce De Leche: Latin-inspired caramel
  5. Samoas: chewy & rich
  6. Do-Si-Dos: peanut butter sandwich cookies
  7. Trefoils: traditional shortbread
  8. Savannah Smiles: crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies

Cookies are $3.50 per box

My 9 year old daughter is part of Girl Scout Troup #5058 here in Middle Tennessee and it’s her first year as a Junior Girl Scout!

Kariss Cone Girl Scout cookie order 768x1024 Order Girl Scout Cookies Online

To kick off her first year in 2014 as a part of the Middle TN Girl Scouts, she wants to sell 2014 boxes.

To do this, we obviously have to reach out to a LOT of our friends, both in person and online. If you don’t live here in Middle TN, we are happy to ship them to you with orders of 12 boxes or more.

Can you help?

Your cookie purchase helps girls build a lifetime of skills and confidence

We only have TWO WEEKS to sell, so let’s get those orders in NOW! Orders must be turned in by January 14, 2014 and cookies will be available on February 8, 2014.

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The Ultimate Cheesy Bread Bowl Recipe

ultimate cheesy bread bowl recipe 768x1024 The Ultimate Cheesy Bread Bowl Recipe
My husband got this Cheesy Bread Bowl recipe from a friend he used to work with (thanks Brooke!) and now we can’t host an event without it! I detest mayonnaise, and I still love this appetizer.

The Ultimate Cheesy Bread Bowl Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz package softened cream cheese
  • 1 c Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise (my husband refuses to let me buy anything else)
  • 1/8 tsp of ground while pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic salt
  • 10-12 oz of shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Round loaf of White Mountain Bread
DIRECTIONS:
*Cut a circle in top of bread and hollow out the top to create a large bread bowl.
*Take top of bread and pull into chunks and set aside.
*Combine first four ingredients in medium size bowl and mix well.
*Add cheese to mixture.
*Pour cheese mixture into hollowed out bread bowl.
*Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes (until bubbly with brown edges).
*If desired, scatter chunks of bread around the bread bowl on the cookie sheet during the last five minutes of cooking.
*Serve immediately and wait for compliments to the chef icon smile The Ultimate Cheesy Bread Bowl Recipe
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Free Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan

Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan 693x1024 Free Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan

My free weekly meal planner is taking a break for the week of December 23, 2013 and instead I’m sharing our Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan!

I thought it a little absurd to try to share a meal plan for the week of Christmas since not only are so many of you traveling and in homes other than your own, but I’m assuming you probably have things pretty well mapped out by this point. (Although we still don’t know what we’re doing for Christmas dinner! Anyone have an extra seat at their table? icon wink Free Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan

But I did think it would be fun to share our family’s Christmas breakfast meal plan that has become a tradition in the Cone home.

This is especially great because I can assemble the majority of the menu the night before and then pull it out of the fridge to put in the oven first thing in the morning so that it’s ready to eat while we watch the Disney Very Merry Christmas Parade and dream of being at Disney World for Christmas one year!

Our Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan

*Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Instead of the typical bread you use for casseroles like these, we take flour tortillas and layer them with eggs (spiked with hot sauce), sausage (cooked with onions) and Mexican cheese. I adapted this from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

*Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
My daughter loves Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole, so this cheesy hash brown copycat recipe is the closest we could find to match theirs!

*Mint Citrus Salad
Just like it sounds, I take orange and grapefruit wedges and let them sit in a bit of fresh mint and sugar overnight. It’s that simple!

*Florida Sunrise
This drink comes from my husband’s family where they basically mix fruit juice and a lemon-lime soda, usually OJ & sprite (sometimes with a splash of grenadine to make the ‘sunrise’ extra bright!).

I already hear what you’re saying, “Sami, you don’t even like saying the word casserole, much less eating TWO of them!”

These are different, not only because I make them myself, but they also contain very few ingredients.

And my family loves them!

So what about you…do you have any Christmas breakfast traditions?

Don’t forget to check out my meal plan archives or eMeals for help in that category).

 


 Free Christmas Breakfast Meal Plan

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