in the kitchen

Weekly Meal Plan

Mimi and Weston at mountain

My sweet sister, Mary, and her new husband, Weston, visited us this past weekend. My brother-in-law had a seminar in town so they both traveled from Anchorage, where they live and stayed with us. On Sunday night, instead of my son cooking his weekly meal, the newly-weds took our family out to dinner at the Screen Door restaurant. It was a fantastic meal and a very nice way for house guests (them) to say thank you to their hosts (us) by treating us to a meal at a restaurant.

If you’re a regular reader of our weekly meal plans, you’ve probably noticed our family hasn’t been out to dinner in a long time. It’s actually been over a year that we’ve gone out to dinner at a restaurant. It was a real treat, especially when it came time to clean up the kitchen and no one in our family had to do it.

Mimi and Weston wedding
The happy couple at their wedding! Could they be any cuter with those boots on?

Weekly Meal Plan

This meal plan is from Monday, September 3, 2012 to Sunday, September 9, 2012.

Monday: (Labor day) Dinner at our friend’s house – we brought a green salad to share

Tuesday: clambake (leftovers from dinner group at our house)

Wednesday: pinto beans, brown rice and fresh salsa (with tomatoes from the garden)

Thursday: whole wheat pasta with zucchini, mushrooms, and onions

Friday: oven roasted chicken breasts, quinoa, and green beans (from the garden)

Go Gingham: Weekly Meal Plan
I tossed peppers in with the green beans, too.

Saturday: family dinner at my sister’s house – we brought a green salad to share

Sunday: egg strata with vegetables from the garden

My son was totally off the hook with his meal on Sunday since we ate dinner out. I’ll probably have him mop the kitchen floor for me this week or some other “mean mom” thing. My daughter got invited to a football game with friends on Friday night so she didn’t make dinner like she had signed up to do. The compromise was that she made lunch on Saturday and the green salad for Saturday night’s family party at my other sister’s house.

Family party
Not quite the entire family but almost!

I’m sorry my mom and my older brother and his family couldn’t be here for this big family gathering. My mom is visiting my brother and his family in Switzerland and we missed them all dearly.

I hope you had a wonderful Labor day weekend! What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Go Gingham related links

How to sew a mop cover – and how to use one thanks to my teenage daughter
BBQ and grilling tips – from my brothers – only 2 of them are pictured above
My sister’s wedding bouquet and the tie worn by the groom – she knitted both of them!
More meal plan ideas and how to get started meal planning
Why I love leftovers – confessions of a leftover food lover!

Image credits: all of these photos were taken with my sister’s fancy camera – mostly with the self-timer. I was hoping she’d leave her camera behind (she usually forgets something when she stays with us) but she didn’t. Drats!

8 thoughts on “Weekly Meal Plan

    1. You’re on! Send yours into the city and I can send mine out to the country. Mine will probably act like they don’t know how to cook and clean but don’t be fooled by their teenage ways!! Thanks, Cathy 🙂


  1. Okay, I just have to ask. How do you get your family to eat pinto beans almost every week? If I tried that I think they would stage a revolt. In fact I don’t think my kids would EVER eat pinto beans. What’s your secret recipe?


    1. Lisa, I will definitely share my recipe – I do cook beans regularly. Usually, I soak and cook 2 1/2 pounds of beans a week (6 cups dried). We put them in everything. Beans by themselves aren’t too interesting (although the pinto bean tastes better than most beans plain) but it’s what we put with them. I’m not serving canned beans, either. Fresh salsa, chipotle peppers (, sour cream sauce (this recipe: and sometimes just whatever jar of leftover salsa is in the refrigerator. My kids eat bean and cheese burritos for breakfast several times a week, too. Many times with an cooked egg in the burrito!
      Thanks, Lisa!


    1. Oh, Amy, thank you!! But really, we didn’t start off the year by saying, “we’re not going out to dinner for a year,” it just happened. The more we all cook at home, the more we like our home cooking and we know what’s in it. I do like to go out to eat for meals I don’t cook at home – like sushi!! It has been a huge money saver for our family and allows us to do other indulging – like traveling to Spain 😉
      I’ll pass along to my kiddos that you called them saints. They’ll be thrilled!
      Thanks, Amy.


      1. Hi Sara,

        I think it’s even more amazing the fact that you didn’t plan to not go out. I agree that home-cooked food is mostly better and more healthy, but I still crave being “treated” and so we do go out every once in a while. I completely believe it has been a huge money-saver, and you’ll definitely remember your trip to Spain much more than a bunch of run-of-the-mill dinners out.

        Still in awe,


  2. Sara,you sister and her husband are adorable. I love that they made their vows their own way and are living true to themselves. I am so glad you had some time together.

    I am especially interested to hear how you handle the things that come up to sidetrack your meal planning. It seems that your “policy” that the kids make dinner once a week makes it easier for you to ask them to do another service for the family when they are unable to cook dinner.

    I am still struggling with finding foods to cook that my whole family will eat – and eventually cook themselves! – but your weekly update helps keep me motivated. Thanks!


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