As you know, I’m all about planning my week, doing my shopping every Monday and never going back to the grocery store all week. But, this week? This week I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving, and my table will have 12 people. So my goals are a little different this week. This week I want to make at least one thing each day for Thanksgiving. I want to keep my home clean (including my kitchen.)
Here’s my plan:
Monday: Dinner: King Ranch Chicken Casserole (just reheat what I need from last week). To prepare for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pie
Tuesday: Dinner: Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake (see review, below). To prepare for Thanksgiving: Butternut Squash Soup (recipe to be posted Tuesday).
Wednesday: Dinner: We may go to the gym this night and eat there. After all, the goal? Keep my house clean! To prepare for Thanksgiving: Set tables
Thursday: Thanksgiving! (obviously, I’ll be heating and reheating and baking and…)
Friday: Leftovers. I’ll also have a Marie Callender’s Dinner Bake on hand to make sure I don’t have to cook on Friday
Saturday and Sunday: Night out with the family or pizza or… leftovers, of course!
Sounds like a pretty easy week, right? Well, I’m certainly getting some help this week from Marie Callender. I actually discovered Marie Callender’s meals BK (Before Kids). The Huz and I stopped in at his aunt’s house and she asked us to stay for dinner where she was “preparing his favorite: Lasagna.” The kitchen smelled so warm and delish, I couldn’t believe that she was preparing this huge meal for herself (her husband was at a meeting that night.) You can imagine my surprise when she took a cardboard, no-longer-frozen lasagna out of the oven! It tasted homemade! She shared that she makes them all the time for she and her husband, and usually ends up with enough to last 2 nights
On occasion I’ve purchased Marie Callender’s to have around for nights when I need flexibility. But, since I’ve become a meal and menu planner, its pretty rare that I need to heat up a meal. But last week we did so much running around, that I grabbed a few of Marie Callender’s bakes while at Wegmans. Last week, we tried Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna. Three meat! I never make lasagna with 3 meats! There was enough in the package for all of us to eat, though I also threw together a small salad.
While heating up the dish, I was reminded how helpful it is to have full-meal frozen dinners on hand, for the nights when you just can’t “whip something up.” I used to be really good at having quick meals ready. But when our electricity was out for 22 hours over the summer, we tossed everything. And never really restocked. Since then, I’ve kept very little in my freezers. I didn’t realize until this past week what a relief it is to a have a frozen back-up meal.
So, in making my meal plan for this week, I’m already planning to need the frozen back-ups, because I’ll be making and baking for Thursday.
As a member of The Motherhood, I received 4 coupons for free Marie Callender’s Bakes, and some coupons to share with friends for discounts on other Marie Callender’s samplings. (Like pies! Yum!) I’m giving away 2 of the FREE coupons for Marie Callender’s Bakes to 1 reader. To win, comment to this post, sharing how you’ll keep your sanity this holiday season. (Coffee? massage? prepared frozen meals? what will make your days easier.)
Want to try a bake (or a pie or a steamer?) I bought some of those, too. There are printable coupons on the Marie Callender’s site. Good ones, too: $1.50 off a bake, which at Wegmans is about half price.
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