Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vacation and Cooking

The end of August, we went on our annual, week-long summer vacation to South Lake Tahoe. We had great weather (low 70s while there was a spike in temps back home) and we enjoyed a fire-free summer for a change. This was the first vacation in four years that we didn't have to worry about fires, smoke, headaches and Son #2's asthma. The wind was a little crazy towards the end of the week and it even hailed our last day in Tahoe. Different weather than we were used to but a great vacation nonetheless.

Every Mom knows that a Mom on vacation with her family never truly enjoys a "vacation-vacation." There's still cooking and cleaning that needs to get done so I usually need a vacation from vacation. :) This Tahoe trip actually felt like a real vacation for a change. Even though I made all our meals, I planned easy ones so it didn't feel like work. We didn't have much planned other than bike rides and beach days so it was quite relaxing. We all had a blast!

This year, we did our vacation on the cheap. I'm talking super cheap. On our drive up, I jotted down breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas for the week and then made my grocery list. The list worked out really well! We went grocery shopping as soon as we rolled into Tahoe, and because we bought all the food, I stuck to the menu. We saved loads of money by eating at home and packing lunches for our beach days. We didn't eat out at all. That was the first time we've vacationed like that. The easy, inexpensive and quick meals kept our costs down but also ensured that I'd continue to cook healthy meals for my fam.

Meal Planning is not only good for vacations but if you're a busy mom, too. If you have the food in the fridge and know what you're going to make, it keeps you from going through the drive-thru. Keep it simple so you stick to the plan. :) Leftovers are also great for fast meals. I'm a big believer in cook once, serve twice so don't be afraid to grill up some extra chicken, pork or steaks. Just be sure to change up the dish so you don't serve the same boring leftovers.

This post is dedicated to my friends who ask me how I manage to stay busy in the kitchen...

Cereal, fruit, bagels or quesadillas. The bacon and brie quesadilla was everyone's fave!
I cooked a large package of bacon in the oven and used a slice or two of bacon in our "gourmet" sandwiches.

Sandwiches or wraps...change it up every day so it's not "just a sandwich:" salami, turkey, ham, grilled chicken (leftover from dinner the night before), roast beef and add different cheeses, too (sliced cheddar, provolone, brie, etc.). Don't forget the lettuce, tomatoes and pepperoncinis. :)
Serve with chips/crackers, fruit and a cookie. When I serve a little junky snack with the healthy foods, my boys really enjoy their lunches and don't ask to eat out.

Make grilled chicken (grill extra chicken for sandwiches, quesadillas, burritos or enchiladas), spaghetti (get a large jar of sauce so extra sauce can be used for meatball subs), steaks (again, grill an extra steak or two), burritos (from leftover chicken or steak), enchiladas (again using leftover meats) and meatball subs (Super easy- just heat frozen meatballs in spaghetti sauce and serve in hot dog buns.  The buns are the perfect size for kids.)
Serve with salads, veggies and fruit. Serve a little ice cream to make dining IN a treat.  ;)

**To start, plan 2-3 days worth of meals and use the leftovers to get another 2-3 meals out of it. It's the perfect way to make healthier food choices for your fam. Stick to the plan and stay away from the drive-thru. :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails