2018 Meal Planning

Friday, January 5, 2018

I love to cook, I just do not always like cooking. Weeknights, sports, lessons, church, traffic, work, kids, tired, not creative, sick of my cooking, craziness, doctors visits that last all day. We all feel the same way.

Instead of resolutions at the New Year, I make challenges for myself. One of my challenges is to read the LDS Standard Works (post below). Another Challenge is to write something positive that happened down each and every day.

I have also challenged myself to cook at home 5-6 nights a week, ALL YEAR LONG. I do not cook on Friday's unless we are having a special family night, but I do count leftover nights as home cooking night because someone has to heat it all up in the microwave. I am boring, we eat tacos nearly every Wednesday night because of sports, scouts, church, meetings. I make pot roast every first Sunday of the month unless its Super Bowl. We are basic, not fancy, not fussy. I have added my 2018 meal plan below as well as my most tried and true recipes, and a few new ones, I may end up hating. I will totally adjust this as the year goes on, but this nice little game plan will be a nice start.

Tip: I clean out my fridge every Friday and make a meal plan and grocery list when I am not hungry. I stick to the week's meal plan pretty religiously because I hate wasting food.  When I make lasagna, enchiladas, spaghetti sauce, or anything else that freezes well, I usually double or quadruple my recipe and this saves me so much time and angst.

2018 Meal Plan


Blank Word Calendar Template 

LDS Standard Works in a Year

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Year New Tradition!

Since the age of 15 I have challenged myself to read the Book of Mormon each year. I have loved this daily ritual and it has blessed my life greatly. After 25 years of this habit, this year, I have decided to try to read the entire LDS Standard Works in a year.

What? A friend told me you could do this in about 8-9 pages a day or about 20 minutes of listening. This is something I know I can accomplish, but it will really be a change for me. I will have to make a concerted effort to expand my reading time and will have to change my routine somewhat. I plan to do this with a hybrid of reading and listening and involving my family. One idea I have is to listen to/read the scriptures during dinner each night.

This is totally new to me, so I am open to adapting as the year goes on.

I have made two charts you can download below. The first two links are two-page format so you can print two-sided. The second format is one page, and I like this one the most. I need a reward for progress and I like to color the boxes each day as I read.

Let me know if you are planning to read along with me, I love having moral support!

LDS Standard Works 365 List
LDS Standard Works 365 List BW
LDS Standard Works 365 Chart

Pi Day Pie Crust

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pie Crust 
2 cups flour 
1 tsp salt
½ cup chilled butter
1/3 cup frozen shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg beaten
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tbs ice water
Combine flour and salt, cut in butter and shortening. Stir in sugar, egg and vinegar. Mix in just enough ice water. Chill for 4 hours in plastic wrap or freezer for ½ hour. Split dough in half and place one half back in fridge. Roll out one half of dough and place in pie dish. Quickly add filling and then roll our top crust and place on top of pie. Brush top of pie with 1 egg beaten with 2tbs water and sprinkle with sugar. I like to use large grain sugar,you can purchase at Spoons n' Spice or from The Bakers Catalog.

Christmas Breakfast

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Layer the following in a greased 9 x 13 pan:

32oz frozen hash browns (preferably the square type, not shredded)

1 onion, chopped fine

2 C. chopped ham, or cooked bacon, or cooked sausage

1 ½ C shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ C shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix the following and pour over the layered items:

6 eggs

1 ½ C milk

½ tsp. salt

Let sit overnight and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hrs. Uncover for last ½ hr.

Thanksgining 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Here is this year's final menu. In my efforts to have teh oerfect bird I am still trying new recipes. This year we are trying the Pioneer Woman's brine and roasting techniques. I'll let you know how they turn out. I'll have to post pics later as I have not made these yet. I am also going to make carmel apples and use them as placecards. It should be fun. Yum!
Thanksgiving 2011 Menu

Artichoke Dip & Chips
Carmel Apples

Mashed Potatoes
Company Carrots
Roasted Yams
Cranberry Sauce

Apple Pie
Razzleberry Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream

My Favorite Turkey Brine
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 18

3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
2 gallons Cold Water
4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
5 whole Bay Leaves
Peel Of Three Large Oranges

Preparation Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.

Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.

Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

Recipe: Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
Prep Time: 18 Hours Cook Time: 3 Hours Difficulty: Easy Servings: 12

1 whole Fresh Turkey (I Use A 20-lb. Turkey)
Preparation Instructions
Rinse the turkey thoroughly with cold water. Place the turkey into a large brining bag and place in the fridge for 16-24 hours and let it work its magic.

After the turkey has slurped up all of the wonderful flavor of the brine for 16-24 hours remove it from the brining bag and rinse the turkey thoroughly again inside and out.

Now tuck the legs and wings however you like to tuck them and place bird, breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it is entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan. Place in a pre-heated 275 degree oven and walk away. The rule of thumb now is to roast the turkey at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes per pound. So for a 20-pound turkey, roast it at 275 degrees for about 3 ½ hours. (For a 15-pound turkey, roast it for 2 ½ hours.) Note: there’ll still be more cooking time after this, but it’ll be at a different temperature).

When it’s time to remove the turkey from the oven, melt one stick of butter in a bowl. Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Brush 1/3 of the butter all over the skin of the turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey uncovered back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes until the thermometer registers 170 degrees and until the juices are no longer pink.

Remove from oven, cover with foil until you are ready to serve it.

Turkey Dressing
1 Dressing package like Mrs. Cubbins or Pepperidge Farms
1 Package Sausage (sage flavor if available)
I stick of butter
1 onion
1-2 Chopped apples
Sage to taste
2-3 cans Chicken broth as needed

Cook onions in butter until soft and pour over dressing mix and apples. Cook and add sausage. Pour broth over as needed and add sage as desired. I like to use A LOT! Bake for 20-30 min (just until warm) at 375.

Company Carrots
6 large carrots
1 Tbsp. grated onion
Small bunch of parsley chopped (about a 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp. horseradish (I tend to use a bit more)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. each of pepper and salt
1/4 cup carrot water (reserved from cooking carrots)

Peel and chop carrots; cook until tender, reserving water. In a baking dish combine the other ingredients; stir in carrots. Top with mixture of 2 Tbsp. melted butter and 1/4 bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes at 375°F

Cranberry Sauce
2-3 cups cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
apple chopped (optional)
Grated orange peel
½ to 1 tsp allspice
cinnamon to taste
½ tsp orange extract (optional)

Cook in saucepan over med low heat for 25 minutes

Artichoke Dip
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (14 to 15 oz) artichoke hearts, drained, cut into small pieces
1 4 oz can green chilis

Heat oven to 350ºF. Mix all ingredients in ungreased 1-quart casserole. Cover and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot.

Amazing -out of this world-melt in your mouth-make you wanna slap your mama rolls!

2 TBS yeast (SAF is the best and the only yeast I use)
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water or milk (I only use water)
3 eggs (egg substitute works just as well)
5 cups of flour (I usually need an extra half cup, but be careful too much flour = heavy rolls. Been there done that!)

Dissolve yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. I usually measure the yeast into a bowl and then add the water. Cream together butter and sugar. Add salt, hot water and eggs, Mix well. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and yeast mixture. Mix until batter is smooth. Add additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until it forms a soft dough. It may take more or less than 5 cups. Allow dough to rise until double in size, about an hour. I also cover the dough with a towel or flour sack cloth. Punch down dough and roll out. Cut into strips and tie knots out of each strip. You can actually form the rolls into crescents or any other shape you choose. Knots are easiest for me. Place on greased cookie sheet and brush each roll with melted butter. Allow to raise, usually another hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. When you remove from oven, brush again with melted butter. Makes about 24 rolls. Double this for larger crowds.

Roasted Yams
1 large yam, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet or shallow baking dish with aluminum foil. Arrange slices of potato in the prepared pan so they are overlapping slightly. Season with salt and pepper and then drizzle olive oil over them as evenly as possible. Bake in the preheated oven until potatoes are tender and have begun to wrinkle around the edges, about 30 minutes

Pie Crust (I use this crust for all pies I bake)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup chilled butter
1/3 cup frozen shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg beaten
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tbs ice water

Combine flour and salt, cut in butter and shortening. Stir in sugar, egg and vinegar. Mix in just enough ice water. Chill for 4 hours in plastic wrap or freezer for ½ hour. Split dough in half and place one half back in fridge. Roll out one half of dough and place in pie dish. Quickly add filling and then roll our top crust and place on top of pie. Brush top of pie with 1 egg beaten with 2tbs water and sprinkle with sugar. I like to use large grain sugar, you can purchase at Spoons n' Spice or from The Bakers Catalog.

RazzleBerry Pie
1 bag frozen raspberries (fresh when in season)
1 bag frozen blackberries
2/3 cup sugar (more if you like sweeter pie)
4 TBSP flour (more if berries and juice look thin)

Thaw fruit almost completely and drain juice through colander. In a large bowl mix fruit, sugar and flour together and pour over bottom crust in pie dish. Add top crust and pinch together. Brush top crust with egg and sprinkle with sugar Cover edges with foil or pie crust protector. Bake for 30 minute at 400 degrees remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes until crust is brown

Apple Pie
2/3 cups dark brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ cup lemon juice
1 TBS vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
4 lbs tart green apples
¼ cup butter

¾ cup flour
4 ½ TBS sugar
2 TBS butter
3 1.4 oz skor/heath bars

Combine first seven ingredients. Add apples and toss to coat. Cook on Med/high heat until softened (10 minutes). Place in pie shell. Sprinkle streusel over apples. Place top crust on top. Coat with egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. You will want to place foil over the crust edged to prevent burning.

Meikle's in the news

Sunday, November 20, 2011

OUr family had the unique opportunity to be featured in an articel in teh Salt Lake Tribune today. It was a crazy, but fun expereince.

The great benefits of gratitude for children

By Ben Fulton
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Nov 17 2011 01:01AMUpdated Nov 17, 2011 11:54AM

Whenever David Meikle thinks about the difficulties of the ongoing Great Recession, he thinks back to the words of his grandfather, who lived through the Great Depression.
"One time I said to him that times back then couldn’t have been so bad if people could still sell apples for a living," said Meikle, 42, a noted painter living in Salt Lake City. "He let me know in no uncertain terms just how bad things were in the 1930s, because he lost everything, then started all over again."
When Lacy Egbert, Meikle’s wife, gave birth prematurely to the couple’s third child in 2006, she remembers being envious of the woman in the hospital bed next to her. She was able to hold and nurse her baby, while Egbert’s was away in an intensive-care unit. When Egbert learned later that the woman’s child was born with far more complications than her own, she felt somewhat ashamed.
"I was the woman who should have been grateful," Egbert said. "It was a moment that really changed my outlook."
Combined with her husband’s recollection of his grandfather’s perseverance, it was also a moment that changed their family. After Sam, now 5, made it out of ICU and back into Egbert’s arms, the couple decided to make fostering a grateful attitude in their four children a priority.
Visit their household today, and you’ll see a "Grateful List" written in colored crayon on all their bedroom doors. The list of reasons to be grateful range from life’s necessities — "bed" and "family" come up for frequent mention — to the exotic — Daniel, 8, is partial to Pokémon. They even fall into the political realm, with 7-year-old Amelia grateful for President Barack Obama.
"[Being grateful] means being happy and loving for all that you have, and knowing that there’s nothing else you need," Amelia said.
Skeptics will no doubt scoff. The wisdom of a child, however, is backed by numerous studies linking better sleep and stress management, stronger relationships, less depression and fewer health problems to those who maintain an attitude of gratitude. And habits fostered early in life extend into adulthood.
A leading expert in the field known as "positive psychology," University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons penned an entire book on the subject in 2007, titled Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Rene J. Valles, a child psychiatrist with Valley Mental Health, said the link between gratitude and good overall health is solid.
"Just having a positive attitude in itself can improve not only children’s mental health, but also physical health," Valles said.
But don’t be too hard on yourself as a parent if your toddler or child doesn’t take to that sentiment right away. A self-centered orientation is a normal part of development, with abstract concepts such as thankfulness acquired in time as children age, Valles said. Starting early helps.
Being a role model is crucial. Saying "thank you" to your friends in conversation, showing appreciation for a meal, whether in prayer or compliments to the chef, and marveling at the beauty of a sunset are all behaviors your children will learn gratitude from far better than if you merely instruct or tell them. The old saw about spoiling your child applies, too.
"If children see parents who are materialistic, who must have the latest car or electronic equipment, that sends a mixed message of entitlement," Valles said. "There’s a tendency to undervalue objects when you have a lot of them."
A gratitude journal — similar to the bedroom-door lists of Egbert and Meikle’s children — goes a long way. So does talking about what happened during your child’s day.
"We go over everything that happened during their day," said Egbert, who works part time in marketing at the University of Utah. "From the good to the bad. But we always try to come back to the good so they can focus on a positive note."
These simple behaviors teach children to be grateful not only for what they have by sheer chance — being born inside the borders of a stable, modern and prosperous country that affords opportunity — but also for what others do for them.
Douglas Goldsmith, executive director of The Children’s Center and licensed child psychologist, urges parents to preface as many sentences as possible with the words, "How wonderful it is that ..." Fill in the blank, Goldsmith said, and you give a child a valuable perspective on life’s myriad gifts and wonders.
It’s no easy goal. In a consumer-driven world where even so-called adults have grown skeptical and angry over what they want or don’t have, it may even seem impossible. Those facts alone, Goldsmith said, make striving for gratitude all the more worthwhile.
"As soon as we say the word ‘gratitude,’ people roll their eyes," he said. "We should ask them what they’re rolling their eyes for. That we cannot remember why we should be grateful is probably how we’ve become so disappointed and disenfranchised as a society."
Egbert admits she struggles to be satisfied with all she has herself sometimes. She sometimes longs for the latest Apple product, and there are of course times when her children act up.
"I tell them, ‘You may not feel grateful now, but you will one day,’ " she said. "It never hurts to keep reminding them."

Captain Rex

Thursday, November 3, 2011

William enjoys Daniel's costume as much as Daniel does. I guess Star Wars fans are growing ever plenty in our house!

Tiny Dancer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here are a few pics of my beautiful ballerina. Mia LOVES dance and it is so much fun to watch her grow into something she loves so much.

My Superman!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Friday, July 15, 2011

Some fun pics from Oregon 2011. We had a blast!

William Lightsaber

Monday, August 16, 2010

You have to listen carefully, but if you do, you can hear his Father's influence eeking through!

Rock of Ages

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rock of ages

Call it rock steady. The solitary and statuesque black monolith looming over the Great Salt Lake shore near Interstate-80 stood for decades as a traditional test of a Utah painter’s skills.

Utah painters of the late 1890s and early 1900s flocked to the ancient volcanic remnant. Alfred Lambourne tackled it. JT Harwood, John Hafen, Richard Tallant assayed it as well. So did Paul Fjellboe, a painter so eccentric he loaned his numerous works to Salt Lake City medical and dental offices for a nominal deposit, then seldom reclaimed them.

Back in time when nearby Saltair Resort was the ideal spot for a family outing or first date, Salt Lake City denizens knew its silent stare from the waters of what was then called Black Rock Beach. Stories were passed from generation to generation about diving from the rock’s top-most point, or even selling hot dogs near the monument.

Thomas Alder, managing partner at Williams Fine Art, noticed that images of the rock turned up repeatedly during research for a forthcoming book on northern Utah he will co-author.

“I never figured out why,” he said. “But that beach was certainly an area lots of people flocked to.”

Today the remains of a volcanic “plug” formed when the flume stopped spewing lava sits still mostly for the odd graffiti artist. All the more reason, Alder thought, to bring an old tradition into the present time. The gallery sent an e-mail invitation in May asking current Utah painters to tackle the formation, and for a new exhibit of Black Rock paintings.

“Several of them didn’t even know what I was talking about,” Alder said. “One wrote back, ‘Oh yeah, that thing I see out the car window with graffiti and brine flies?’ But then they got out there to paint it themselves, and really had an experience.”

The resulting new paintings run the gamut, Alder said, ranging from stark depictions of the rock’s harsh beauty to the whimsy of childhood memories the site evokes.

David Meikle, a Utah landscape painter who recently saw his mammoth painting of Mount Olympus unveiled at the new City Creek Center downtown, was one of the chosen. The 40-year-old artist had no idea what to expect driving out to the shoreline to set up his easel.

“The old paintings of Black Rock strike you as very romanticized,” Meikle said. “When I went out there I was struck by the location’s vast openness, and swarms of brine and dragon flies. It was a bit hostile, really.”

But it made for a fascinating encounter with intense contrasts in light, he said. And the challenge of painting an unfamiliar object was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

Dennis Smith, another painter in the exhibit, remembers Black Rock with more clarity. Now 68 years old, Smith was a child in the 1940s and ’50s, during the Saltair Resort’s last hurrah before a fire shut it down and ended the shoreline’s festive era.

Smith launched into the Williams Gallery’s assignment with relish, painting four works spanning various times. One shows him as a younger man, floating in the salty water near the geological formation. Another finds the rock draped in the glow of a sunset. A third depicts the rock, and Kennecott’s smokestack, in the distance with a Saltair roller coaster in the foreground. Smith’s most intriguing rendering, however, finds members of the fated Donner Party passing the Black Rock on their way into winter in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

Smith said the giant rock is for him both a location on Utah’s map and a point in historical consciousness.

“It’s a pivot point — a marker that tells you where you were in relation to home,” Smith said. “Black Rock is a landmark in time and awareness, and all that time somehow melds together when you have a physical marker such as the one we have at the Great Salt Lake.”

Pirate Party

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Daniel chose a pirate themed swim party for his birthday this year. I think this was theme #5 or #6, but we finally ran with it and had a blast! Except for Mia's minor head bash on the floor (don't run).

Last Day of School

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hooray for Summer! End of 1st grade for Daniel and Mia survived kindergarten.

Mia and Mom

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I love my Princess Pink she is the best little daughter I could have asked for. She is a great sister and a fabulous helper. She loves to read and sing and dance. I love being your mom Mia!

Good Looking?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sam asked me if he was Good Lookin or just Lookin the other day. I thought I would just let his public decide. What do you think?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

We finally decided to get a cat even though Dave is allergic and our lives are already crazy enough. We found him at the super pet adoption and he really is the perfect cat (for us that is). We think he is around 4 or 5 he is so friendly and social and besides sneaking into the neighbors house and causing trouble with other cats he is a good cute boy. Dave is not even bothered by him and he stays well away from the oil paint (smart kitty). Come by sometime and check him out we love him!

The Billboards are UP!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

After two years and much anticipation ALL of the Utah state line billboards are officially up and ready to be viewed. So enjoy your travels this summer and keep your eyes open for Dave's billboards as you cross the state line!

Mud Bath

Friday, June 25, 2010

I think it time to get some more sand for the sand box. My children have now discovered how to make mud and take mud baths. Just for the record this took 45 minutes and 3 baths each to clean them up. At least they had fun. I am still finding muddy handprints all over the garage, garbage cans, garden tools, windows, cars, toys, etc. Crazy kids!

Poor William

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The whole family has been down with a crazy cough, cold, snot infested bug the past week and a half. But our cute little bug William has suffered the worst. We spent a good part of the past two days at the doctor and up at Primary Children's with the poor boy. He has the metapneumovirus which sounds so crazy I can barely say it. (I am also very sleep deprived so
that may also be the reason I cannot pronounce the dang word.)

He has a few rough days (and nights) ahead, but should be back to his normal self in a week or so.
I am hoping all will be well for his birthday in a week.

I cannot believe how fast he is growing up!

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