Tackle it Tuesday #140: Meals Made Simple with Toni

by JenaW

This week, we have guest tackler Toni from The Happy Housewife.

Remember, you too can be a guest tackler at 5M4M. Just email us at tackleittuesday at gmail dot com.

My name is Toni but you might know me as The Happy Housewife.

I am a homeschooling, military wife of six kids. And just to keep things interesting around here, I am expecting baby #7 in April.

I love to save money, cook, homeschool, sew, and blog. I am always trying to find new ways to use old things and can’t stand to put anything in the garbage. It must be recycled or reused in my house. Life is never dull with six kids, and I love every minute of it.

As a homeschooling mom of six (soon to be seven) kids, I find my energy dwindling towards the end of each day.

In order to stay on top of my meals I decided to tackle a week of meals in one day. This way the dinner hour for the rest of the week will be stress free and the work will be minimal.

My planned dinners for this week are: tuna casserole, salmon turnovers, pizza, baked ziti, bean and ham soup, and spaghetti.

First I browned my meat for the baked ziti.

While the meat was browning I boiled water to cook the noodles for the tuna casserole and baked ziti.

Then I ground my grain for the week.

Once the grain was finished I started a batch of bread dough in the bread maker.

I chopped onions for the tuna casserole, baked ziti, and soup.

I then shredded the cheese for the pizza and baked ziti.

By this time the noodles and beef were done so I assembled the baked ziti and tuna casserole. Both of these items freeze very well, but I am storing them in the fridge since we will be eating them this week.

I started my beans soaking for the soup, which I will make tomorrow morning in the crock pot.

I made a master mix for pancakes and waffles, all I need to do is add milk and eggs for a delicious hot breakfast.

I then bagged up the flour I ground to be used later in the week for bread, pizza crust and muffins.

I cleaned up the kitchen and then shaped the bread dough into loaves. This should last us through two lunches.

Although I did have to wait for the bread to rise and bake the rest of the cooking process took about an hour and that included clean-up. I also prepared tonight’s dinner while I was working.

An hour spent today will save me several hours this week in cooking time and two nights I won’t have to cook at all. My family will enjoy healthy, home cooked meals, and I will enjoy a hassle free dinner.

The organizing mommy says: Wow! That is one great way to get organized! Can you imagine having to do very little cooking for a whole week?! What a great idea!!

Each week on Tuesday, we are posting before and after pictures of a project or trouble area that we tackled this week.

The project can be little or big – whatever you want. Basically, Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done. (It doesn’t even have to be housework… just whatever is on your To Do list.)

If you tackled a project this week, just add a comment and add your link below.

Happy tackling ladies…

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom Featured Columnist: Jena

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maddy January 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

How strange! I’m tackling the very same thing this week. I had to laugh at the bread though as we also get through two loaves a day. Dang that bread machine was a sound investment.
Best wishes


2 Jeanette January 27, 2009 at 1:57 am

wow – you are a very organized mommy! I hear you on the not throwing anything away if you could use it for something else.


3 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls January 27, 2009 at 3:23 am

Wow, that’s a great idea – I’d love to have a week’s worth of meals all done and ready to go! :)


4 L2L January 27, 2009 at 7:19 am

Prep cooking (as I call it) is such a time saver. You might enjoy a cook book called Don’t Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer. I live out of that cook book now. Going to go check out your blog as I too am a military wife that has also chosen to homeschool our children!!!!


5 Amber Stevens January 27, 2009 at 7:58 am

I love making meals ahead of time!! Great tackle!


6 Laura January 27, 2009 at 8:13 am

What a great tackle! i am good at meal planning, but haven’t made them all ahead. Good idea!


7 Tammie January 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

What a GREAT use of time! I’m impressed AND encouraged. I need to make a menu, and look to see what I can do ahead of time. I think Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom fits nicely here …

Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.


8 Katie January 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Why is it that these work projects always leave me feeling so inspired and motivated?! Thanks, ladies.


9 susieshomemade January 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Great tackle! Doing things ahead of time really makes life easier:-)


10 Brenda January 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Such a great idea!


11 Alisha January 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I so need to do this. I really think it would help with the dinner time chaos. Especially with my 15 month hanging on my legs and crying while I try to cook dinner.


12 Courtney January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Great tackle. I try to cook ahead sometimes too, but I really should do it more often! Way to go! My tackle is up now too.


13 Bridget February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

My first project for this year was to create a blog (just like you guys). Now that this is done, I’m moving along with special project posts!


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