Thanksgiving…planning ahead!

Thanksgiving Collage

Pictures via Pinterest

I had some extra time this morning and decided to use it planning my Thanksgiving menu and shopping list. It didn’t take me long because of some time saving techniques I’ve developed and used year after year.  I keep a file folder in my kitchen labeled ‘Thanksgiving’ where I keep recipes and notes from the previous year. After each Thanksgiving, I write down short notes on the following:

  • How the meal turned out
  • How much was leftover
  • How much food I bought (like 10# of potatoes)
  • What items were hits/misses
  • Guest List
  • Recipes that I want to use again

This is so helpful in planning for the current year. I can just pull out the file folder and plan accordingly.  All I have to do is send an email to my guests to confirm that they are coming and what they can contribute.  I have learned with my family it is best to give detailed instructions on what they should bring so there are no last minute runs to the store!

In early November I will head to the store with my pre-made shopping list and get most of my list before the rush.  Then, Thanksgiving week I only have a few fresh items to purchase.  I like to prep as much as I can ahead of time  so that Thanksgiving day can be spent enjoying company.  I have also become a huge fan of crock pots as a perfect solution for keeping the food hot while 30 family members move through the buffet line!  I know this all seems a little early but a small amount of planning ahead saves time, energy and creates amazing peace of mind.

Simple Meal Planning: Summer Edition


If you’ve been to your local Farmers Market lately, you probably have seen an abundance of fresh produce.  Asparagus, artichokes, green beans, watermelon, strawberries, and peaches are just a few of my favorites.  What better way to honor what’s in season than to entice you with a simple summertime meal plan perfect for busy moms, professionals and anyone else wanting healthy, budget friendly food.

Delicious meals do not need to be complicated.  In fact, most of my favorite meals consist of nothing more than breaking down your plate into quarters.  Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables.  A simple green salad and another vegetable such as steamed green beans,  grilled peppers or a steamed artichoke.

One quarter of your plate should include your protein: chicken, fish, or beef (a serving the size of an average fist is plenty).  The final quarter should contain your grain/starch.  This might include a serving of potatoes, rice or a slice of delicious whole grain bread.

This entire meal takes about 20 minutes to prepare and can be repeated over and over because it is so easy to add variety in this simple quartered plate meal plan.

A great dessert might include a bowl of fresh blueberries/strawberrries topped with whip cream.  Another favorite is grilled fruit.  Dust your favorite fruit with sugar and grill or broil for just a few minutes.

The hallmarks of good nutrition include balance, variety and moderation.  Summertime is perfect for making healthy changes for you and your family!

If you want some simple recipes check out my Pinterest Delicious Food Board!

What are your favorite, simple, summer meals?