Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to School Meal Planning...What do you do to make life easier?

My sweet blog friend, Leigh @ Hines-Sight Blog is having a fun link up today that is so timely for those of us getting ready to get on the "Back to School" train (a train, by the way, that flies at the speed of light it seems).  Leigh is hosting a Meal Planning Made Easy linky party to help us get motivated with new ideas and recipes for the busy school year! 

Knowing this linking party was coming up and seeing as how I am desperate to start this school year being ultra organized (yep...a bit obsessive...but that is the way I roll) I couldn't resist picking up this little recipe booklet from the Taste of Home folks. It is filled with some yummy, healthy and most importantly... quick and easy recipes.  I particularly appreciate how many of the recipes give instructions on how to make ahead and how to use them from frozen!  There are offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, healthy snacks along with some slow cooker recipes. I can't wait to try many of the recipes because so many sound like they will be big hits with my boys. 

The 1st recipe I am going to try is:

Good-Morning Granola (submitted by to TOH by Mary Bilyeu from Ann Arbor, Michigan who says, "This is ridiculously easy to make and has lots of healthy ingredients. It's a great way to start your day and keep you going. With pretty packaging, this tasty granola makes a nice gift or bake sale item."

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries

Step 1  In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, honey and oil. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and mix well.

Step 2 Transfer to a 15 in. x 10 in. x 1 in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 3 Stir in dried fruits. Store in an airtight container.  Serve with yogurt if desired.

As far as back to school prep., I have already managed to do all our back to school shopping, clothes and supplies included so I am feeling so ahead of the game, especially since school doesn't start until August 16th! 


  1. I love homemade granola. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for that magazine. I'm sure to find a few things my little guy would like, too.
    I came over via

  2. Hi Bella, great granola recipe. I'll have to check out the magazine, I could always use some back to school menu ideas! found you through Leigh's linky party!

  3. Well now...even though I am an empty nester it's still fun to have great meal ideas on hand! I am going to pick up the TOH back to school brochure for DD#1. She can use the help with her busy life!

  4. Thank you so much for linking up today, and linking back to the blog. This looks great. I appreciate your efforts. This will be a great start in the morning.


  5. i think crock pot recipes were a staple for my mom during back to school- it was something she could do before leaving for work and was ready when we all got home

  6. What a brilliant idea! I hate i missed out on the link up today, but thank you so much Bella & Leigh for the recipes! That feta pasta salad looks divine.

    I'll definitely have to link up with you Ladies & join in on the recipe exchange fun.

  7. Thanks for the recipe and magazine suggestion! I plan to link up too!

  8. This looks like a wonderful magazine and I'll have to look for it the next time I go shopping. Thanks for your wonderful comment on my blog. It really touched my heart. :)

    ~ Wendy

  9. Great recipe!!! You are ahead of the game for sure!


    Art by Karena

    Do come and enter my Giveaway from Dr Perricone!! It is very exciting!

  10. Ha ha ha... I saw this book at the check-out counter and had to re-read the bottome caption - I thought it said "All on CarB"... It seriously took me several minutes to figure out why they were publishing meals with so many CARBS.... now that I read your post, I feel so silly, and realize it really reads, CARDS! Oh my! This heat has gone to my head! LOL

  11. I just purchased at Border's going out of business sale Taste of Home Church Suppers. Wow! That is a great magazine. Can't wait to cook from it!

  12. I'm so impressed that you are so organized. Back to school shopping always seems to take longer than expected. Enjoy the rest of the summer break.


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