I’m happy to report meal planning is going pretty well! I enjoy sitting down with my list of recipes, thinking about the week ahead and writing out what to cook each night.  The recipes chosen are then translated into a shopping list to which I add breakfast, lunch and snack items.  Luckily lunch usually consists of leftover dinners, which makes it easier.  The project manager in me loves the process of making a plan and executing sed plan.

Week two was a success though I still seem to slightly over buy somethings and under buy others.  I’m starting to think meal planning for Jellybean needs to go beyond dinner, as many of the foods we don’t have enough of are for her.  Raspberries/blackberries/blueberries, in particular, are consumed at a remarkable rate.


Here’s what we’ve been munching on lately …

Dinners for Week 2:

  • Grilled Lemon Dijon Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower and Baked Oven Fries … the oven fries are AMAZING.  You must try them, Mkay?!  I seriously want to eat them everyday all day long.
  • Brisket with carrots and potatoes … one of my favorite holiday recipes that I occasionally make on non-holiday weekends.  One of these days I hope to share the recipe with you!
  • Saucy Chicken with Rice … super easy and perfect for a week night.
  • Homemade Pizza … I’ve been dying to make homemade pizza crust for a while now.  The last time I tried to make it the yeast had expired – FAIL – this time I was properly equipped with non-expired yeast!
  • Lemon Almond Chicken Salad with Biscuits … I may or may not have been out of bread and way too lazy to venture to the store so I decided to just throw some frozen biscuits in the oven.  They were delish and it was kind of like having a deconstructed sandwich :)
  • Out to Dinner x2 … While the goal is to only order in or go out once a week, however this particular week was special.  My parents were in town over the weekend visiting & my girlfriends and I did a little girls night out.  So my once a week only is more like a guideline, not a rule {wink, wink}.

I made two new recipes this week!  I am glad they were both a hit so they can be added to the queue of dinner options.  It is always disappointing when a recipe looks delicious and then is just so-so or worse not yummy at all.

Goals for next week: try another new recipe (or two!) and try to use more of what’s already in the house.

What have you been making for dinner lately {please add links in the comments!}?  Any tips for meal planning?



Sometimes it’s a little tricky finding recipes that are both adult and kid friendly.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to add more food variety to Jellybean’s diet.  Which seems to mean we all need to eat the same thing for dinner at least a few nights a week.  Hamburger casserole and lemon chicken stew have been my go to family dinner recipes over the past few weeks and while they make great lunch we just need some new recipes in the mix.

Enter Pinterest – side note I think there’s a possibility Pinterest will replace Googling at least in some cases – and with a few clicks I found some great chicken and broccoli casserole dishes.  I made a few modifications to this recipe and voila a delicious family friendly dinner!

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole Recipe, Dinner ideas for toddlers | Life's Tidbits

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole Recipe

1 Tbls Coconut Oil (or vege or olive oil)
1 lb Chicken Breasts – cubed/bitesize
2-3 Cups Fresh Broccoli – chopped/bitesize
1 Small Onion Diced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt & Pepper – to taste
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 Tbls Mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 Cups Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
1 cup raw white rice (cooked)

Cook the rice per the instructions on the box.  I like to substitute the water for chicken broth to add a little extra flavor!

Meanwhile in a large skillet or dutch over add oil, chicken, broccoli, onion, poultry seasoning and salt/pepper.  Cook over medium heat until the chicken is done.

Add in the soup, mayo and water gently mix until well incorporated.  Mix in the rice.  Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Makes about 6 servings.

Toddle Eating Chicken & Broccoli Casserole - Family Dinner Ideas | Life's Tidbits

Toddle Eating Chicken & Broccoli Casserole - Family Dinner Ideas | Life's Tidbits


I think Jellybean was a little puzzled as to why I was being such a paparazzi while she ate her dinner!

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole dinner recipe | Life's Tidbits

This recipe is pretty delicious and the whole family approved…yay!  I’m happy to have one new recipe, but I would love to add at least another 3-5 new {easy} dinners into our rotation.

What are your go to family friendly recipes that toddlers love?



I love themed parties.  LOVE THEM! So when it came to planning Jellybean’s first birthday party I immediately took to Pinterest to brainstorm ideas for themes.  It didn’t take long before I settled on a Winter ONEderland theme.  I pinned FAR TOO MANY details in hopes of being able to pulling them all off for the party.  Then planning came to a complete stop.  Work, life, motherhood and {some much needed} evening relaxation trumped party planning.

I had my heart set on sending out paper invites instead of doing an Evite for Jellybean’s first birthday.  I managed to motivate, design and print (using Vistaprint) the invitation just in time to get them out a few weeks before the party.  When the husband and I sat down to discuss decorations, food and other details he had one rule for me.  I had to LIMIT how much I took on for the party.  This meant doing things such as buying vegetables precut and not embarking on tons of DIY projects.  The hubby knows me well and putting a few restrictions in place helped me not go overboard.

Despite the party planning procrastination I am incredibly pleased with how the Jellybean’s first birthday party turned out.  Not to mention … how special and love we felt to have so many friends and family there to celebrate our little snow baby’s 1st birthday!

Jellybean in her Winter Onederland Birthday Girl Outfit … and yes I love playing ‘stylist’ for my sweet daughter.  She’s already got that stoic model face down :)

1st Birthday Winter Onederland Snow Baby Outfit - Pink/Sparkle tutu and flower headband | Life's Tidbits

Snowflake Onsie and Pants (Carter’s)  |  Tutu and Headband (Etsy)

And now for all the party details!!!

Pink stripped snowflake straws / Baby it's cold outside | Life's Tidbits

Winter Onederland Food Table and Snowflakes | Life's Tidbits

Winter Onederland Food Table | Life's Tidbits

Let it Snow Winter Onederland Party Decoration | Life's Tidbits

DIY Strawberry Tower | Life's Tidbits
The strawberry tower was so easy to make though a bit time consuming.  All you need are a bunch of strawberries, toothpicks and a styrofoam cone.  It was easiest to put the toothpick into the cone at an angle and then put the strawberry on … go slowly I definitely pricked myself a couple of times with the toothpicks.

DIY Chalkboard 1st Birthday Sign | Life's Tidbits

Winter ONEderland pink snowflake cupcakes | Life's Tidbits

Thank You Snow Much DIY Sign, Snowflake Stamps and DIY Sugar Cookies | Life's Tidbits

Snowflake Sugar Cookies | Life's Tidbits

Water Bar:  Snowflake Paper Straws  |  Baby It’s Cold Outside FREE Printable  |  Picture Frame  |  Glass Drink Dispenser
Decorations: Let it Snow Doorway Curtain | Plastic Clear Snowflakes Table Cover | Snowflake Cutouts
Cupcakes: Editable Snowflakes
Chalkboard Poster:  DIY using PhotoShop and printed at Staples … DIY instructions can be found here
Thank You Table:  Snowflake Treat Bags |  Thank You Snow Much Sign (DIY)  |  Snowflake Stampers | Snowflake Cookie Cutters

What was the theme of the most recent party you threw?



Do you have a dish that reminds you of your childhood?  For me, it is totally hamburger casserole.  I remember hating the peas and pushing them aside, but absolutely loving the hamburger/rice part of the meal.  I am not sure where my mother got the recipe from.  Regardless, it was a go to dinner growing up and makes almost weekly appearances in my house today.  The only change I’ve made from my mother’s recipe is to substitute green beans for the peas.

Another bonus about this recipe … Jellybean LOVES it and it’s easy to whip up even after a long day!!

Super Easy and Fast Hamburger Casserole Recipe. Perfect for family dinners (and toddlers)!  |  Life's Tidbits

1 lb Ground Beef
1 pkg Onion Gray
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/3 cup Rice
1 1/2 cups water
Frozen Green Beans (1 1/2 cups) or Peas (10 oz)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)


Season beef with salt and pepper and brown in a pan over medium heat.  Drain the excess fat.  Add onion gray mix, garlic powder, rice and water.  Stir ingredients together and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cover.  Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is fully tender.  Stir occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, defrost peas or green beans per the directions on the package.  Add the peas or green beans to the mixture and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Super Easy and Fast Hamburger Casserole Recipe. Perfect for family dinners (and toddlers)!  |  Life's Tidbits

The one tip I have about this recipe is to buy A LOT of the onion gravy when it goes on sale.  It’s on the pricier side, however totally worth it … my and Jellybean’s humble opinion.

What dish reminds your of your childhood?

Happy Cooking!

If you enjoyed this post, please add your tidbit by commenting below.  Don’t forget you can follow us on PinterestInstagramFacebook and Twitter.


Growing up green beans were always called string beans in my house.  Or at least that’s what I think they were called as each time I go to say green beans my brain desperately wants to say string bean.  STRING BEANS, STRING BEANS, STRING BEANS!  Okay I think I got it out of my system. =)

Oddly enough I have a few fond memories of cooking with string green beans.  I’m standing in the kitchen next to my grandmother (or mother) snapping off the ends of the green beans and eating a few along the way!  Green beans are one of those things I can eat cooked or raw.

But back to the recipe …

Do you ever have one of those days where you defrost meat and then none of your go-to recipes sound appealing? I’ve been having that happen to me frequently as of late.  The other week I decided to defrost some ground turkey for dinner.  Shepard’s pie, taco salad, turkey meatballs and a few of my other easy recipes felt just well ‘over-done’ … get it?! I’m so funny – well probably not, but I couldn’t help myself.

So yeah, anyways, it was time for something new, easy and healthy!  I was browsing Pinterest while contemplating dinner.  After doing a quick search-a-roo on ground turkey I had a few contenders.  The husband and I really enjoyed this new meal.  One of the best parts … it’s a ONE pot meal so relatively easy cleanup.

Recipe: Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Turkey | Life's Tidbits

Recipe inspired by The Lemon Bowl

1 lb ground turkey
4 garlic cloves – grated
2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tbs fresh grated ginger)
1 lb green beans – trimmed
½ cup chicken broth
1 tbs corn starch
3 tbs soy sauce – low sodium
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs chili sauce (more or less to taste)
½ tbs sesame oil

Serving Size – 4

Pre-heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Add the ground turkey, garlic and ginger.  Break up the turkey and cook until browned.

In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, corn starch, soy, rice vinegar and chili garlic paste.

Once the turkey is browned, add in green beans and broth/soy mixture.  Cover and let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.  Stir occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn.  Add in the sesame oil.  Cook an additional minute or two then serve.

Serve with Israeli couscous or rice.


This recipe has definitely grabbed a spot in our dinner rotation!  What’s an easy recipe you are digging lately?

If you enjoyed this post, please add your tidbit by commenting below.  Don’t forget you can follow us on PinterestInstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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