Menu + Holiday Gift Guide Series: For the Cooks in your life

Hope your weekend was fantastic!  Mine seemed like it just flew by.  But it was really nice family time, especially when the hubs took my 3 year old to play golf with him.  Pretty sure I got almost all of my Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree.  Check that off my to do list.

This week is for those of you that haven't gotten all your shopping done and are drawing blanks for ideas.  But first, my menu for the week.

Dinner Menu for week of 12/9-14

Monday My super delicious fancy smancy grilled cheeses and one of HEB's soup bowls.  My grilled cheeses are just like any, I roast red bell peppers, smear basil pesto on my bread, slice avocados, and use swiss, provolone, and mozzarella cheeses.  Yum!
Tuesday  Stew.  I use lean stew meat and it usually comes out so chewy and I'd prefer it to be more tender.  So this time I'm trying stew in the crockpot and we'll see how it turns out.
Wednesday  Cheez it chicken.  I usually use french friend onions but I'm going to try out this recipe of my SIL.  Maybe she'll grace us with a recipe visit. Wink, wink!
Thursday  Teriyaki chicken with edamame and brussel sprouts.  The chicken is a freezer meal that I add veges too.  

Alright let's get this cooking shopping on!  My amazing SIL is the BEST baker I've ever known.  Seriously homegirl can bake anything.  She is the one who got me started and she still amazes me with her yummy goodies, great taste, and well used creativity.

For my birthday my SIL made me a Menu Planner to put in my kitchen to decorate and simultaneously help me organize.  Check out her tutorial below.

Menu Planner tutorial 

Hello Bloggers! I am happy to be guest- starring on Sara's blog today to give you a tutorial on her birthday present- a weekly meal planner.

Here are the materials you will need for this project:

  • 1 piece of large scrapbook paper (this will be your "background" so you'll want a cute design)
  • modge-podge 
  • brush to apply
  • one small wooden board (I got mine at Michaels, they have them athobby lobby too!)
  • stickers or wooden letters to write the word "MEALS"
  • small clothes pins
  • small cards to write meals on
  • hot glue gun
  • tulle (to hang)

Step 1: Wrap your scrapbook paper around the board. Crease along theedges (you want about 2 cm to wrap around so you can glue it to the back). Remove the paper and cut off the excess.

Step 2:  Use the foam brush to apply modge podge to the back of the scrapbook paper, then press the scrapbook paper on the board and around theedges. Apply modge podge all over the front of the scrapbook paper to seal it, and apply a generous amount along the edges to keep the paper secure.  At this point if you see any bubbles in the paper you will want to smooth them out. Then, lay the board aside to let the modge podge dry.

Step 3:  Next, I put these cute stickers on the top of each clothes pin, I put an S for Sunday an M for Monday.. and so on. I went ahead and used hot glue to make sure the stickers would stay on. (You don't have to use stickers.. on another one I made I simply used a glitter sharpie to write the initial for each day on the clothes pin, and then I glued acute little button on for decoration!)

Step 4:  Once the board is dry, lay your clothes pins out along the bottom of the board to get correct spacing, then hot glue (tip: I went ahead andput the "meal cards" on each clothes pin to make sure I was getting the right amount of spacing between each one). My meal cards are actually little gift tags I got in the scrapbook section at Michaels.They are Martha Stewart brand.

Step 5:After you glue your clothes pins, get your wooden letters (or you could use big stickers) and glue them on.  I used wooden letters from Hobby Lobby that I spray painted brown with some paint I happened to already have from another project.

Step 6:  Next I was wondering where to store the extra cards, so I made as mall pouch on the back of the board. I simply cut a square a little larger than the menu card out of the extra scrapbook paper.  I folded the edges and applied hot glue to them, then stuck it on the back of the board, then put the extra cards in it.

Step 7:  I went ahead and wrote out meals that I know Sara cooks. You really can use the front and back of each meal card and you could write it pencil if it was a meal you are not sure you want to keep on your rotation!

Step 8:  I used some tulle to make a hanger, made a bow to complete the lookand then hot glued this to the back of the board.

Now, it is easy to plan out each weeks meals and to remember differentrecipes you like by simply looking through your menu cards! And youwon't hear from your hubby "What's for dinner" he can simply check out the meal planner!

If you don't feel like making anything for your cooks check out these gifts that my SIL has on her "want list this year!
  • Rosemary Bush:  I know it sounds lame but really, I LOVE using fresh herbs in my cooking.  It's also an added plus because Rosemary smells amazing in your house AND you can plant it.  So it's a gift that just keeps on giving.  Most grocery stores have small rosemary bushes for around $10

  • Taylor Digital Measuring Cup Scale, 3890 (Google Affiliate Ad):  If you don't bake, then you probably just won't understand.  But there have been too many time that I've had to google conversions with my hands covered in flour or some sticky mixture!  Plus eyeballing doesn't always work when you have a 11 oz can of something and you only need 7 oz, really must they be that exact with their measurements?  The baker in your life will appreciate it and maybe you can get some yummy cookies made when they want to test out their new measuring cup!

Photo courtesy of thisoldhouse.com

  • Trudeau Pot Spoon Rest:  Umm, need I explain?  Not having to wipe up a nasty mess from spoons sitting on the counter, priceless!  This little baby is a measly $7 on Amazon.com and will save tons of Lysol Disinfectant wipes!

  • Pantree:  This baby will be great for preventing a Mama cook from waking up their baby from pans banging because each pan has it's place.  How easy would it be to grab the exact pan you need without having to search through them all! ($17.99 on Amazon.com)

  • Joseph Joseph Spaghetti Measure:  I have a bad habit when I make spaghetti that I always make either too little or way too much.  Problem solved! ($6.95 at cutleryandmore.com or $12.07 Amazon.com) 


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