Easy Cheesesteak Sliders

I have received so many DMs and messages on IG and Facebook about this recipe so I knew I had to get this blog post up STAT! It’s funny because this was really a spare of the moment thing that I decided to try. My Hunny took me and the kids to Dave and Buster’s a few weekends ago and Middle Diva ordered a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. She kept saying how good it was and ate it all before I could get a bite *side eye*. So when I was in the grocery store this past weekend I saw beef shaved steak on sale and decided to make my own version as sliders using our fav Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. It was a hit! I’m sure this is on Pinterest already a hundred thousand times but that’s why I love cooking because you can always put your own spin on things! Here’s my version of Cheesesteak Sliders:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Beef Shaved Steak (the one I used was 14 oz and more than enough for 4 people)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper sliced (feel free to use more if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (you will use 1 to cook the veggies and the other 2 to melt over your rolls)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 package of Provolone cheese
  • To season my meat I used approximately 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of Seasoning salt (Tony’s), onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, & about 1-2 tsp of Steak sauce (use sparingly because it could get salty real quick!)
  • 1 package of Hawaiian rolls (12 count)

Directions:

I first started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized sauce pan I added the olive oil and a tablespoons butter and let it melt on medium low. I turned it up to medium high and then added the onions and peppers and sautéed them for about 2-3 minutes then I put the heat on low and let them simmer while I seasoned my beef.

I cooked the beef on my electric griddle but you can certainly turn up the heat to medium high on the same pan you cooked the veggies (I would remove the veggies and then add back in when closer to the beef being done.) I added the beef to a hot griddle and then added my steak sauce and then once the beef was almost cooked added the veggies. This goes fast because the beef is thin so be mindful of that. Turn the heat down if need be you don’t want to burn your meat!

I cut my package of Hawaiian rolls in half by slicing the lengthwise similar to if you were leveling a cake. I then added a light layer of mayonnaise (optional) and then my cooked meat and veggies, and topped off with the cheese and then the top half of the rolls. I melted the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and added a dash of garlic and onion powder. I then poured that over the top of the buns and put in the oven about 10-15 minutes so the cheese would melt. I removed from the oven and sliced the rolls and served with tater tots. This would be good with chips or fries and a side of fruit for dinner or serve this as part of your spread for Super Bowl Sunday!

If you make this recipe please share by tagging me on IG @severalpeoplesmama! I love to see y’all cook!

Also don’t forget to join our Cook Yo Meals community on Facebook! We are sharing meal plans, dinner inspiration and just learning new ways to get a meal on the table. If you’re interested click here.

Love Ricki

Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Hi y’all and Happy New Year!!! Today I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe that my family absolutely loved. It took no time to throw together so it’s perfect for weekends when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You could also prep it ahead a time and cook it in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on low while you’re at work during the week. Serve the fajita meat over nachos in a burrito or chimichanga or if you’re keto like me put it over a salad. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2-3 tabs of olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 red, green, yellow or orange peppers sliced (I used a combo of all three)
  • 1 whole onion sliced
  • Ranchaco seasoning (Coming soon!) but you can use a combination or taco and ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
  • Juice of on lime (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean chicken and slice in uniform pieces. Make sure you keep everything similar size so it cooks evenly.

Add chicken to sliced veggies. Pour oil and mix. Season chicken and veggies and mix thoroughly so seasoning is well coated on food. Spray sheet pan with oil or cover with foil. Spread chicken and veggies on sheet pan. Make sure it is one layer so don’t overcrowd your pan, use two if necessary.

Cook in oven for about 15-20 minutes then take out and turn meat over. Let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from over and squeeze lime and cilantro over chicken and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have started a new Facebook group which is all about food inspiration, meal planning and fun! If you’d like to join click the link here.

Love Ricki

Flipping recipes: Cajun Seafood Alfredo

Let’s be honest, sometimes we get bored with cooking the same things week in and week out. At least I know I do. I’m always looking for ways to transform meals we already love into something new and better. And I think I accomplished it with this dish!!! Y’all this was soooo good!!! Those several people I have the pleasure and honor of being the mama of DEVOURED THIS!!! Everyone loved it (Bean said there was a lot of cheese, he isn’t the biggest cheese fan lol, but he still gave it his approval)! I shared the process of how I made this delicious creamy, cheesy filling lasagna in my Instagram stories and I added to my highlights for reference. It was easy to make because we skipped the step of making a ricotta or cottage cheese filling. Here’s the recipe and I hope you and your family makes it especially before the new year because this is NOT diet friendly!!!

Cajun Seafood Lasagna

Ingredients

For the filing:

  • 1 cup of red, green, yellow, or orange bell peppers chopped – use a mix of any combo or only one
  • 1/2 cup of red onion (can substitute white or yellow)
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms chopped (optional)
  • 1 to 2 cups of Shrimp, Crawfish tails, and/or crab (imitation or real). I just used shrimp and crawfish tails only.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. I also used Crawfish/Crab boil seasoning but leave this out if you don’t want a spicy lasagna.

For the sauce:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Liquid from filling (see one directions)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups of half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I use the one that has basil, garlic and oregano already added from Aldi)
  • Garlic powder or garlic salt or you can also use a tablespoon of minced garlic, salt and pepper.

You’ll also need 1-2 (16oz) bags of shredded Mozzarella and Italian Blend cheese and lasagna noodles. I used oven ready noodles but partially cooked them beforehand because I wasn’t sure if there would be enough sauce to cook them in the oven. Next time I would just use regular lasagna noodles.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil noodles in water according to directions. Add oil and some crawfish/crab boil if using to the water to prevent sticking and add flavor.

For the filling:

  • Add the olive oil and 1/2 the butter to a sauté pan on medium high. Once butter has melted add onions, peppers and mushrooms. Add garlic (always add garlic to something already in the pan because otherwise it will burn and destroy the flavor of your food). Cook until softened. Add more butter and add shrimp crawfish and seasonings. Cook for 2-3 minute until shrimp are done. Add diced 2-3 tablespoons of diced tomatoes There will be liquid at the bottom of you pan. Remove veggies and seafood and strain liquid and set to the side. This will go into you sauce and give it great flavor so don’t skip this step.

For the Sauce:

  • In same pan you cooked the filling add butter on medium low heat. Once melted add 2 tablespoons of flower and cook. Makes sure you cook the flour, you don’t want raw flour taste in your sauce!!!
  • Once cooked add preserved liquid by whisking in slowly until combined. You should have a thick paste consistency. Slowly whisk in chicken broth if using then half and half or heavy whipping cream. Then add Parmesan cheese. Add seasoning and diced tomatoes. Make sure to taste food to see if additional seasoning or cheese is needed. Turn off heat. Sauce should thicken while standing.

To assemble the lasagna:

  • In a sprayer 9×13 pan add 1-2 tablespoons of sauce. Then add lasagna noodles to cover bottom.
  • Top noodles with sauce, then seafood/veggie filling, then mozzarella and Italian blend shreds cheeses. Repeat until you have at least two to three layers. Top with sauce and cheese. I added chopped green onions and fresh basil to the top prior to putting in the oven but that’s optional.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let lasagna set for an additional 15-20 minutes before serving.

We ate this with a side salad. The kids are already asking when am I making this again. This recipe was a little work but definitely worth it. Let me know if this is something you would try and if you do please make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Need easy but delicious meals for dinner?Check out my cookbook available for purchase now: Click here.

Love Ricki

Money Saving White Queso

Hi y’all! I wanted to share a quick and easy alternative to the Velveeta and Rotel combo we always use when we want nachos! If you haven’t noticed a block of Velveeta is almost $8!!! I actually stopped buying the brand awhile ago and usual get the store generic brand but even that can get pricey. Enter White Queso which comes together easy and fast using only a few ingredients. You can also add whatever else you want to it to suit your tastes but I have included the basic recipe below. If you try this tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama and let me know what you think!

White Queso

Ingredients:

  • One package of American white cheese (you can find this in the cheese section, but I wouldn’t suggest you get the individually wrapped slices)
  • One small can of green chiles
  • 1/2. Cup of Half and Half or Milk
  • 1-2 Teaspoons of diced tomatoes with green chilies (rotel) or diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning (or add more to taste) You can also use salt to taste.

Directions:

Shred cheese or chop into little cubes. Spray pot and spoon you will be using to make the Queso, this will make for easier clean up. Add half and half or milk and warm. Add cheese a little at a time stirring in until melted. Add can of green chilies. Add diced tomatoes or rotel if using. I wouldn’t use too much as you want to keep this the milky white color. Add seasoning to taste.

And you’re done! Of course I’m extra so prior to adding the half and half I sauté a few chopped onions and a clove of minced garlic. I also add fresh chopped cilantro at the end. Feel free to add whatever flavors you want. The cheese used is not strong so it takes flavor really well!

Also a lot of you asked how I prepare my taco meat. It’s super easy and makes for a thicker consistency (similar to Taco Bell). I brown my ground beef then drain any grease. I think add a packet of taco seasoning (I use Aldi version) and half a pack of dry ranch dressing mix. I will add a tablespoon of so of water but I never add as much water as the package says. I will also add more taco seasoning/ranch seasoning to taste. It’s important you taste your food! You know #itsbetterwhenitsseasoned around here!!!

I hope you enjoy the recipe! And in the comments let me know what else quick and easy recipes you’d like me to make. I’ll also be adding the IGTV video as well (IG is making me trim it so I’m still editing ugh) My Cook Yo Meals FB group is coming soon and I look forward to all the fun we’re going to have over there!

Love Ricki

I wrote a cookbook & here’s a recipe from it!

Yaassssssssssssss!!! Unless you’ve been living under a rock then you already know I wrote a cookbook! I want to share that of course and a recipe from my book but more importantly I want to share that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT IN LIFE!!! No matter what! It was not easy accomplishing this but I set a goal and met it and I have to say I’m proud of myself. I work a full time job, raise 4 people, write for this blog, make videos for YouTube, manage all my social media and did I mention I’m single. Whew Chillay! Yeah this was hard, but not impossible. What kept me going was the words of Myleik Teele saying “Done is better than Perfect” I have told y’all many times that technology and me are not friends so when it comes to creating things on the computer I AM LOST! But I can say I googled & Youtubed everything whenever I had a question. I was determined to get this done because the uncomfortable feeling I’ve been having lately wouldn’t let me stop. All I can say if you’ve been feeling something inside you telling you to make a move or a change DO IT!!! Don’t think about it, just do it. There is no failure only lessons!

Well I am very happy to present my cookbook Cook Yo Meals Volume One. It includes over 20 recipes to inspire you to make dinner for your family. The recipes are easy, delicious and use simple ingredients. Almost nothing makes me happier than when people enjoy my recipes. All I ever want to do is make cooking enjoyable again and I hope my cookbook does that. My cookbook is available for purchase below:

https://payhip.com/b/WN19

As a thank you for following me I wanted to share one of my newest family favorite recipes, Upside Down Mississippi Roast! And I also recorded a Cook with Me video to go along with it. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

Boneless beef roast

1 pack of Au Jus gravy mix

1 pack of Ranch Dressing Mix

½ cup of water

2 sticks of butter

¼ cup of onions (I use frozen)

1 package of frozen green beans or can use 1 can of green

beans

½ cup of sliced mushrooms (optional)

4-5 Russet Potatoes

1 block of cream cheese

Seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder

¼ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

1-2 cups of shredded cheese, I used Colby Jack but feel free

to use whatever you like or have

Directions: Spray or oil crockpot so roast won’t stick.Place roast inside and sprinkle half the pack of gravy and ranch mix. Turn roast over and season other side. Place stick of butter on top and add the ½ cup of water to the bottom of the crockpot. Place lid and cook on low from 4-6 hours depending on how fast your crockpot cooks and how big your roast is. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When roast is done cooking shred with fork and add the frozen onions and green beans to the crockpot and let warm while you prepare the potatoes. I prepare my potatoes in the instant pot but can also boil on the stove until tender. Here are my instructions for the instant pot: Add potatoes to the instant pot and fill with enough water to cover. Set on manual for 12 minutes and don’t forget to set vent to sealing. Once done perform quick release (set vent to venting to release steam). Open instant pot and drain water from potatoes. Can place back in Instant Pot and then add cream cheese, butter, seasonings and mash. Add heavy whipping cream. You want it to be somewhat thick in order to spread. Place shredded roast with green beans and onions in a casserole dish or 9×13 pan. If you are adding mushrooms, add them now. You can add a layer of cheese now if you would like. Spread mashed potatoes to cover roast. Add cheeses on top and place in oven for 15-20 minutes just until cheese melts. This dish contains the meat, potatoes and veggies so it is a complete dish. Add the bread and you’re done!!!

Check out the YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/dJ_Y8116Bts

I hope you make this! Tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama (make sure to follow) and show me what you’re cooking! And also follow me on Pinterest under the same name!Pin the recipe here:

Love Ricki

I’m in love…with the Crock Pot

I really should be saying slow cooker but just like we call tissues-Kleenex, we call slow cookers-crockpots so that’s what I’m going to refer to it as here. He treats me well and even feeds me, what’s not to love about a crockpot??? I know in the world of instant everything a crockpot seems outdated and old fashioned. Especially since the Instant Pot or pressure cooker hit the scene. I do have a little thing going on with my Instant Pot (post soon come) but it can NEVER REPLACE THE LOVE I HAVE FOR MY CROCKPOT!!! So let me count the ways…

  • It takes cheaper cuts of meats and tenderizes them – That meat you can purchase because you’re on a budget is sometimes a little tougher but it will be broken down by the slow and low cooking of your crockpot. Also great for beans.
  • It cooks a meal WHILE YOU’RE GONE!!! – this in itself should be one of the number one reasons that you should own a crockpot! Who doesn’t want a meal waiting for them when they get off from work, errands, & chauffeuring kids around? I’ll wait…
  • This is a great appliance for beginners – There is nothing complicated about using a crockpot and there are so many great easy recipes for new cooks!
  • They use less electricity – Crockpots actually can reduce electricity costs especially if you have a newer version and they actually use less energy than a pressure cooker.
  • There are soooo many recipes – from simple to complex a lot of things can be made in the slow cooker.
  • Flavor – because of the slow and low cooking the food has better taste in every bite.

So since I’m all about this slow cooker life let me give you a few tips as well:

  • Get a slow cooker with a timer. A lot of us leave our home for the day and we are not always back to turn the crockpot to warm when the 4-6 hours are up. Do yourself a favor and get a crockpot with a timer so it will automatically switch to warm when the time is up and you won’t have burnt food (contrary to popular belief you can burn food in the crockpot- ask me how I know). I have linked one <a href=”http://&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>here.
  • Prepare your food the night before or meal prep on the weekend but you are more apt to use your crockpot if you have your ingredients ready to go ahead of time.
  • Stop lifting the lid on your crockpot!!! One of the ways it cooks is it keeps a certain temperature for a certain time period, sometimes your recipes don’t come out as tender or flavorful because you’re lifting the lid before time. That increases cooking time so if you need to check on it just peep thru the lid- that’s why they make glass lids!
  • Use crockpot liners- they are life savers! You can get them from any local grocery store and they make clean up a dream! Or check them out with this <a href=”http://&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>link.
  • Be creative! There are sooooo many recipes you can cook in the crockpot beyond taco soup (even tho that’s a great one). Get on Pinterest, check Amazon for books (I’ve linked them on my storefront) or check out my blog and Instagram for recipes, ideas and inspiration.

So those are some of the many reasons I fell in love and still am to this day with my crockpot. I have linked my most recent grocery haul and mini meal prep below that helped me prepare for some delicious crockpot meals I made this past week. So do you own a crockpot? What’s your favorite recipe to make in it? Comment below!

Love Ricki

If you decide to make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission  for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to offset expenses to run this blog and other platforms so thank you!”

My favorite kitchen books

Hi y’all! In this post I want to share my favorite kitchen books and why I think it’s worth reading them. Notice I said kitchen books because not all of them are actual cookbooks even though they may contain recipes. Back in 2009 and 2010 when I became pregnant and had Lil Diva I began to learn about how to manage a household efficiently. I also became addicted to reading blogs. They were relatively new then but I was grateful for the people who wrote them and shared so much information! That’s probably why I always wanted to blog lol. I wasn’t a SAHM but a lot of the things I learned from mommy bloggers helped me be able to work and feed my family well. And helped me to stay on a budget. So today I’m passing this information on to you!

First we’ll start with my absolute favorite cookbook ever even tho apparently I have lost it in my move last year BUT I have it on kindle lol so…

This was one of the very first books I bought when I really got interested in making cooking and meal planning work for me. I was OBSESSED with my slow cooker and I wanted to try every recipe possible. Well it’s probably in this book! One of the reasons I love this cookbook so much is that it has sooo many recipes using simple ingredients you probably already have. When cooking for different people who seem to have different taste buds it’s always best to cook simply. I’m more adventurous when it comes to cooking because I love trying new things but my family isn’t. If you want to get started cooking for your family start with this book and inexpensive slow cooker and plan 2-3 nights a week. You will discover it’s not hard to put together a meal at all. .

Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy was one of the first books I read on learning how to be frugal. Not cheap but frugal which to me means being able to meet the lifestyle goals I want by managing my money well. I’m not quite there yet lol but I’m trying. In this book I learned and still live by several principles she shared in her Eleven Miserly Guidelines. She taught me not to shop at the same store and making a menu plan based on grocery ads. This book was written for women who wanted to make the switch and stay at home with their children vs working outside the home but they’re are so many gems here that can be applied to anyone who wants to save money. I highly recommend this book. I also have her second one Miserly Meals on Kindle where she shared more recipes.

Cut your Grocery Bill in Half by Steve and Annette Economides (America’s Cheapest Family which is their other book and also very good) is another book that isn’t a cookbook that contains a few recipes (but not many) BUT it really gives good information about reducing your grocery costs. Some things I learned from this book: more tips on menu planning, knowing food prices for your area and stretching meals and how to store and organize your refrigerator and pantry. They also talked about once a month grocery shopping and cooking and even though I don’t practice this there some good tips to glean from it.

Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn is still a book I reach for often. She is one of the original several people’s mama and has TEN kids! Some biologically and some thru adoption from other countries which is really cool because she shares recipes from her kids origins in this book as well. Why I love this book: In addition to the many recipes I have tried and love she also gives helpful tips on how to grocery shop, meal preparation and has a section on the homemade pantry which gives recipes for dressings, seasoning mixes and more you can make yourself. I recommend this book especially if you are feeding a larger family like myself.

Who doesn’t love Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman? I have been following her blog and making her recipes for YEARS and she has not disappointed me yet. She has about 5 cookbooks currently but her first two The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Food from My Frontier are my absolute favs! The reason I love these books: She cooks real food with a little fancy stuff thrown in here or there. This where I learned how to add cream cheese to my mashed potatoes (best idea ever and no you don’t taste it) and how I learned to cook the beat pot roast ever. She also has a bomb lasagne recipe! Get these books if you want to hearty and filling down home food! Also she still has tons of recipes on her blog which I love!

Miss Kay is the beloved matriarch from the Duck Dynasty Family and she can cook! In Duck Commander Kitchen she shares May recipes she has made to feed her family through the years. I enjoyed this book real southern food using regular ingredients. Again sometimes I think I’m fancy and my cooking will reflect that but there is nothing like a good bowl of pinto beans and cornbread which she shares in this book. If you’d like to try your hand at southern and some creole/Cajun recipes check this book out!

If you know me you know I enjoy baking. And one of the recipes I use to be famous in my family for was Red Velvet Cake! Well The Cake Mix Doctor by Ann Byrn is where I got this easy but delicious recipe from and it’s absolutely worth the cost of the whole book. Cake mixes are cheap but you can make truly delicious recipes from them and she shows you how in this book. She also shares some frosting/icing recipes and shares history & tips on how you can use cake mixes to make delicious cakes (some with some alcohol!) brownies and bars. This is one of my top favorites, if you love to bake or even if you don’t but would like to contribute a delicious desserts for family gatherings and holidays- get this book!

Yeah so I think this book is going to be my favorite favorite!!! It’s my dinner inspiration ebook!!! I’m writing a book lol. I won’t call it a cookbook per se because it’s more like me sharing recipes I’ve tried and loved and passing on to you to make your own. I’d like to think on my platforms I don’t show you how to cook but I inspire you to want to make something (mostly dinner lol) good to eat! Hopefully this ebook will make you want to cook and actually like it, that’s my only goal. Look for this ebook to be available for purchase next month!

Editors note: My cookbook is finished! Looking for delicious but easy recipes that don’t use complicated ingredients? I got you! Check out my cookbook which is available to purchase here: https://payhip.com/b/WN19

So those are my picks and link to all the books are discussed is here. Listen I heard if you want to hide something from someone, put it in a book. Don’t let that be you. I understand knowledge about any and everything can be found online but there is NOTHING about having your own library that can never be taken away from you! Let me know in the comments if you already have these books or which ones you’re looking forward to purchase!

Love Ricki

If you decide to make a purchase through my link, I will earn a small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to offset expenses to run this blog and other platforms so thank you!”

Meal Planning for People who don’t like to Meal Plan

I don’t understand why people have to be rebels and not get with the program. Meal planning is where it’s at!!! *Insert clapping hands* It saves time, money and it’s waayyyyy less stressful than standing in front of the refrigerator and squinting and frowning because you don’t know what the hell you’re going to make for dinner! Plus you’ll have less wrinkles. BUT I know it isn’t for everyone so that’s why I am writing this post. Some people just like to live on the edge and they can afford botox so meal planning is not a top priority. However, I want to show you how you can meal plan even if you don’t like it and I also included some meal ideas for when you are stumped on what to make. So here are my tips:

  1. Keep a stocked pantry/fridge/freezer. To be able to cook meals on the fly you have to have inventory. Make sure you have the basics you need to make simple recipes and your favorite recipes. This way you are always able to make the process of choosing what to have for dinner easy.
  2. Make your own recipe book. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can get a notebook from the dollar tree and write down every recipe you ever made or want to make. Or you can just keep a master list in your phone. Or dedicate a board on Pinterest. The key is to have a list that you can refer to when trying to come up with an idea of what to make for dinner. And even if you DO like to meal plan you should have a list of recipes to refer to when planning out your meals for the weeks anyway.
  3. Assign a theme to every night. Sunday – Soul food Sunday, Monday – meatless Monday, Tuesday – Taco Tuesday, Wednesday – Italian Night, and on and on. You assign it based on what your family usually likes. That way at least you have an idea to start with on what to make. For example for Taco Tuesdays you can make tacos, nachos, enchiladas, chimichangas etc.
  4. Have a Fend for Yourself (FFY) night or nights – I actually include this in my meal plan but it’s an easy idea that everyone should follow. This actually doesn’t involve eating out. It means you get the night off from cooking and everyone figures it out. I have older children and no husband so this is pretty easy for me but this can be done with smaller kids by buying their favorite lunchables and snacks & fruit and letting them eat it for dinner. I promise YOU WON’T GO TO JAIL FOR FEEDING YOUR KIDS SNACKS FOR DINNER! I mean just don’t do it everyday, Or do. I won’t tell anyone. Little kids are usually snack lovers anyway so in my opinion it’s a win/win for everyone. And as far as the husbands, since I no longer have one I probably am not the best person to follow advice from but I’m pretty sure they can figure it out too. I’m just saying! *shrugs shoulders*
  5. My final tip is utilize the internets. Google is your friend. So is Pinterest. And blogs like this one. If you have some ingredients on hand and you are not sure what to make, put it in a search and see what recipes you can come up with. I will warn you though this is truly living on the edge because you may not like what you try but then again you just might. That kind of living raises my blood pressure because I HATE wasting food and my money but if you got it like that…heeyyyyyy.

So those were my tips for meal planning for people that are so against the awesome idea of planning what to eat in advance so they are not stressed and hungry. No judgement from me lol. Below I have listed a few meal ideas for when you THINK there’s nothing to eat in the house. And of course they are all budget friendly. Let me know what you thought of this post and if you meal plan or if you’re a rebel and choose to live life dangerously hungry!

Simple Meal Ideas:

Soup & Sandwich – Can of soup and your favorite sandwich with deli meat or a bowl of Top Ramen with the deli meat or leftover chicken in it.

Quesadillas – Anything can go between two tortillas and some cheese. Beans, meat, veggies, the options are endless.

Baked potato bar – Baked potatoes are super filling and can be plain or topped with whatever you can think of.

Pasta night – You can use any shape pasta you want, any sauce and add any topping and you are even better than Chef Boyardee.

Pizza & Salad – Frozen pizzas (even those cheap ones for a dollar!) and a simple salad can satisfy hunger. Or you can make your own by buying the pre made crusts or using tortillas, bagels, garlic toast or even a slice of bread. Pretend you’re at Mod’s and pile on the toppings, it’s free (kinda).

Love Ricki

Back to YouTube!

Hi Y’all so you asked and I delivered! I am have relaunched my YouTube channel and I am so excited with all the ideas for content I plan on bringing you! Please make sure you subscribe and check out my first video back below!

Don’t forget to like and comment!

Love Ricki

5 Reasons Why You Need a Meal Plan

So for the past few weeks on my IG account (@severalpeoplesmama) I have been sharing my meal plans, how and why I meal plan and some of my family’s meals. It was only right I make a blog post about it so you (and I lol) could refer back to it. I even attached a meal planner I created to go along with the information I’ll share in this post. So let’s get started on the reasons why you NEED to meal plan and some tips on getting it done.

Why you need to meal plan:

  1. You eliminate stress and set yourself up for success.

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We have way too many other things to stress us everyday, don’t make what’s for dinner one of them. By taking a few minutes while watching TV you can create a plan to feed your  family and get rid of the most annoying question ever asked in adulthood, “What’s for dinner”. Take the pressure off yourself and plan ahead.

2. You save money. I don’t care if you shop the grocery sales or not, when you are prepared you save your coins. When you make a menu plan it keeps you from buying unnecessary items that may or may not get eaten and prevents you from wasting food. It also keeps you from eating out when you know you have a meal planned and ready to cook.

3. You make better choices. Like it or not we become what we eat. Fast food has become so convenient to get. We have Postmates & Doordash and other delivery services that make where we don’t even have to leave the house to get our fix.  However we all know eating those things day in and out will not just cause us to gain weight, it will KILL US (eventually). You are in control of your diet and meal planning is a tool you can use to make better and hopefully healthier meals for your family.

4. You encourage variety. When you take the time to plan your meals (and keep a record) you can really think about what you can prepare for you and your family. It will also keep you from making the same things over and over again. I also believe it’s important to write down meals so you can give your family an overview and make necessary changes.

5. Saves time. Time is the one thing we cannot get back and I personally have other things I could be doing than wasting my time in the kitchen or doing a last minute grocery run because I don’t have my shiggity together. Knowing what you’re going to cook let’s you know what you need to buy and prep ahead of time. Why wouldn’t you want to save yourself time to do some things YOU want to do?

Now that we know why we should meal here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Make two lists, one of every recipe you know how to make and then make a list of the things you already have in your freezer, fridge, pantry, etc.
  • Look at your schedule. You have to be available to cook the food you’re planning. If it’s going to be a busy evening then maybe plan for a crockpot meal. If you know you’ll have more time, like for me a Sunday afternoon, then plan a meal that may require more time or try a new recipe.
  • Grab your grocery sales ads and look at the “loss leaders” These are the items usually on super sale which grocery stores actually lose money on but they get you in the store. Those are the items you want to focus on adding to your menu plan that week, and it it’s a great sale buy at least 2, one for now and one for later.
  • Now it’s time to plan! Take your lists and use the menu planner I’ve created here to write out your plan for the week. If you need inspiration follow me on IG, click some popular hashtags like #dinnerinspiration or go to Pinterest and pin away! There are so many resources available to get it done!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Use the hashtag #cookyomeals on IG if you share your meal plan/meals/recipes or tag me! If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer, comment below!

Do you need delicious but easy recipes that don’t use complicated ingredients? I got you – check out my cooking available for purchase here: https://payhip.com/b/WN19

Love, Ricki