Meal Plan Monday: Week #3

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Week three! Get those recipe cards out and join up here for some refreshing ideas for your pantry! If you’ve missed any of the weeks before this, feel free to check Week 1 and Week 2 for more great recipes!

Do you need ideas for kid’s lunches, too? Check out Kidgredients Guide to Awesome Lunches eBook for great tips, tricks and 10 new recipes as you prepare those lunch boxes! (I’m sure they’d make excellent at-home snacks, too.) I am proud to be an affiliate of Kidgredients, and by purchasing through this link I do earn a commission on qualifying sales.

Don’t forget to tag #cookingwithMPM if you do happen to use some of these, so we can see your delicious your dishes! On to great food

If you want to submit any of your recipes to be featured, feel free to use the contact form on the “About the Blogger” page, or email me at

Monday: Simple Chicken Wraps

Tuesday: Veal Saltimbocca by Kidgredients

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Photo Credit: Kidgredients

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Lemon and Herb Chicken by Kidgredients

Thursday: Sloppy Joes

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Photo Credit: Mellie and Lou

Friday: Tuna Casserole from Mellie and Lou

Saturday: Pasta Marinara (American Style, no seafood involved)

Sunday: Slow Cooker Pork and Veggies



Mummy Confessions Recipes from above:

Simple Chicken Wraps:

500g-1kg chicken breast, either cut into fillets or cubed
Turkish Wraps, Flat wraps, or Pita bread
lettuce, tomato, onion, or other toppings
cheese if desire
sauce such as dressing, aioli, etc if desired
Season All by McCormick

1. Cut chicken into desired size and cook until nicely browned and cooked in the middle. When nearly done, sprinkle season all to taste. Separate unseasoned for kids if needed.
2. Place into wrap or bread and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Pasta Marinara (American Style):

Pasta of choice (we choose fettuccini)
Vegetable Oil
Small Onion, finely chopped
1 Grated Carrot
1-2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Can Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil Oil
(or 1 Can crushed tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
(or 1 Can crushed tomatoes and 1/2 jar Tomato paste with basil)
1 Tablespoon Chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano

1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. In separate pot, boil water and cook pasta. Drain pasta once finished, but cook the sauce while it cooks.
2. Cook onion, carrot, and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat to boiling.
4. Reduce heat; Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt (or Vegeta) or sugar, depending on how you like it.
5. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle cheese over top for more taste.

Sloppy Joes (This also makes a great dip for nachos or chips):

500g minced beef
3/4 Can Tomato Soup
1/2 Cup Salsa
Hamburger Buns or round rolls

1. Cook beef until well browned, breaking up the meat as you go. Pour off grease
2. Stir in tomato soup and salsa once meat is browned.
3. Heat to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until no longer soupy, but still saucy. Stir occasionally. Add salt or Vegeta to taste if needed.
5. Serve on burger buns.

Slow Cooker Pork and Veggies

1 Kg pork tenderloin
1 pack French onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 Tbsp crushed garlic
3 Tbsp soy Sauce
pepper (optional)
Potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
Carrots, peeled and cut

1. Peel potatoes and carrots and place in slow cooker.
2. Mix all dry ingredients and put over top of tenderloin in slow cooker. Pour all wet ingredients over top.
3. Cook on high for 6 hours or so, until roast is cooked through.

I Don’t Get Out Much

Mummy Confession: I don’t get out of the house much. With or without kids.

School holidays has rolled around again, and that brings my stubborn side out. The side that hates leaving home. We have only left the area a handful of times, because the thought of it alone exhausts me. It’s gotten worse with the number of children. Though, I love socialising and getting out of the everyday routine, it’s so daunting just to get out of the house!

Take for instance this typical before, during and after a trip outside of our neighbourhood: I corral all the children together as I tell them we are going somewhere. Next, they all dart in opposite directions excitedly as I yell for them to put on various articles of clothing. I answer questions of, “where’s that?” I’m serious that it takes about fifteen minutes for shoes alone.

After about an hour, everyone is dressed. Now, I have to convince the oldest and middle children to use the toilet before we leave, because I’m not managing three children in a McDonald’s restroom on the way there.  Twenty minutes later, they have finally finished.

Then I wrangle the kids into the car, buckling them in, and drive to my destination, answering various questions (the same one over and over again usually) about where we are going and who we are meeting. Following that, I get them unbuckled, unload and set up the pram, filling it with several bags of “just in case.”

We roll up in the pram, and I chase them around for hours (as again, they all take off in multiple directions at once) with trips to the toilet every twenty minutes and snacks every ten, while trying to simultaneously prevent the youngest now from putting everything in his mouth and crawling away.

Finally, I find myself debating with them about getting back into the car. Several threats and bribes later I accomplish the feat. Strolling back, I lure them back into the car, changing the littlest, feeding the littlest, buckling seatbelts, wrestling the pram back in the car, and then taking a deep breath before getting home and unloading all the “not tired” passengers. And that’s just a typical venture out for a short while. (Minus the pram for Grandma’s house.) Can you imagine if we actually got out?

I know, I know, it’s good for kids to have experiences, spend time exploring and learning. But, when the holidays roll around and I am not scheduled to get somewhere twenty minutes later than what I set out to arrive, it takes a while to work up the energy and, dare I say, courage to take all of them out on my own.

It’s not that they aren’t behaved. They behave like any child, and I love them to bits. I just don’t feel like spending half an hour negotiating with a toddler on why it’s time to go home. It’s a lose, lose situation and someone always winds up crying. Generally, it’s the children in the car on the way home. And let’s not talk about how the baby now realises when we’re leaving and breaks down in hysterics as I try to strap him into his car seat.

How does it go for you? Do you brave the outside neighbourhood when it’s holiday time? How much time does it take “psyching yourself up” to leave?

My Kmart Mini Haul for under $20!

Mummy Confession: I went in to Kmart to look for thermal wear for our future trip to the snow, and I bought other things (in addition to thermal wear)

*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored, affiliate or otherwise promoted by Kmart in any way, and is my totally honest opinion and recommendation

In preparation for our upcoming family holiday, I went to Kmart to check out their winter clothing situation. Maybe that was my first mistake? We all know Kmart lures in deal-seeking mothers and then they lose the plot when they see all the bargains on offer!

It’s always a bad (or great) idea for me to venture into the Baby section. Usually I just check things out, but this time, I found some truly great products that I wanted to share with you! Why? Because, they are a great bargain, and I love saving money!

My youngest has started solids in the last months, and let’s just say all of the bowls, plates, and utensils have done their rounds. I wanted to get some decent, yet not too pricey, replacements. Plus, I will be needing more as one more child to serve or preferably unbreakable dinnerware. Here are some of the deals I found for under $20 total!

Smock Bibs: $5- Rather than bubs covering himself in his dinner, a two pack of these bibs is just $5! They are plastic on the front and have the long sleeves to keep arms clean, too! My only issue is that they only come in one size. They probably won’t fit my baby in a couple more months, as he is gigantic. Saying that, I’m sure they have art smocks for bigger kids in store somewhere. Right? Because Kmart has everything.

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2 Nonslip Plates: $3- With that price, I wanted to buy more, but I just got some to try out. They’re great and don’t slip around on the table! Other brands would be so much more pricey, so I just thought this was too good to pass up! They aren’t completely flat either, so good for my Starting Solids bubba! One thing that would have been awesome as well is if they made a divided plate with the non slip on the bottom, too!

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

2 Nonslip Bowls: $3- Again, bargain alert! Such a great find, and deeper than the plate (obviously), I had to try these as well. They have the little non slip bit on the bottom as well, and, again, excellent for my toddler insisting on eating her milk and cereal all by herself!

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

20 Piece Disposable Feeding Set: $6- Included in this set are 4 sippy cups with lids, 4 bowls with lids, and 4 snack pots with lids, as well as 4 spoons and 4 sporks (so the total number DOESN’T include kids.) This is a great little set for starting off, especially as we don’t use a lot of food in one go. I love the disposable option, as you don’t feel as guilty recycling a well used product since it didn’t cost as much. It’s a great option to have in the car or nappy bag, too for a “just in case” moment! At the price, they are also slightly cheaper than the alternative. Though, neither brand of the sippy cups would I deem “spill proof.” So if you want spill proof, check out my overview of sippy cups, including some better options.

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

They have so much more on offer, but this is all I needed for now, so I had to practise self-control. So, if you are in need of replacing or adding to your plastic wear for toddlers and babies, Kmart is definitely the place to check out first! I love seeing all theyhave on offer, and their Stock is always changing, so you are bound to find something new and great nearly every time you visit!


What a Week! Life Update.

Mummy Confession: This week has been phenomenal, and it’s not even half over yet!

This week has been super busy, even though it’s the first week of school holidays! We haven’t left the house yet, but my goodness has a lot been happening anyway! All of my kids have huge accomplishments for the past few days, and I’m so excited for them! As for me personally, I am pretty happy with my accomplishments this week as well. I have to write it all out because it is just so much all at once! What a joy!

Little Bub has just started crawling the conventional, all-fours style (not that he wasn’t getting around before) and is well into everything! Apparently under the trampoline or train table are the spots to be for a four-wheel driver! In addition to that, he has been attempting to wave, and has actually started to eat some solid foods. We were struggling to get him to open his mouth before this. He’s a big fan of chicken.

Potty training, toilet training

One child is doing exceptionally with toilet training- next to no accidents! I am probably more excited about the last part, as it means less laundry for mama! I could really do with less laundry, as I have to catch up on a room full! I admit this not happening sooner has been all my fault, as I was a little daunted by the prospect of toilet training while managing an infant who is very needy and clingy! And, well, all of the lovely stories as we attempted in the past.

Food, recipe, meal, mealplan,
Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum

Lastly, and nearly five years in the making, my eldest and resident picky child has started to actually eat new foods as we started Meal Plan Monday. No word of a lie, I was shocked that she finished her portion of peas the first night, and a portion of meat the following night! We still do her meal a little differently, but I am amazed! I will let you in on my secret for her success: the desire for big muscles. No, I’m not joking, and it has taken some time, but I guess the way we went about it helped. Her daddy goes to the gym to work out, and the incentive of going with him someday, and having bigger muscles than him has encouraged her to eat her food. (We also may have told her that her muscles got bigger with each bite…) After she ate them, she told me she liked them, so hopefully less of a battle the next time!

For myself, I finally finished up a post on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors which I have been working on (and reviewing) for probably around two months now! I have to say I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, although the video could use some work. Hubs helped me take some great photos with it in action, and I have to say it is helping with my clingy child who hates sleep!Mum

I have also started up a weekly series with a meal plan, and so far I am doing pretty well with keeping up! It is probably part of the reason my picky Child is doing well, and I hope it keeps helping us as a family as well as giving others ideas and recipes for the week ahead!

So, wow! This mother has her work cut out for her in the remaining week, but I am so excited about all of these significant milestones for all of the kids and my small accomplishments apart from being their mum. These may all be small things to some, but to see my kids flourishing makes me so happy!

What have your littles been up to this week? What have you accomplished? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?

Mealplan Monday: Week #1

Hello everyone! This week starts up a new series in my Blog, Meal Plan Monday!
Every week, on an ongoing basis, I will be posting 5-7 recipes from myself and others for the week ahead. I know I could use some ideas for the repetitive rotation of meals in our household, and maybe some of you are the same? I hope to provide some delicious recipes for you to try and share! If you wish to share a recipe, feel free to use the contact forms to send a message, or use the contact information on the “About The Blogger” page, with your favourites!

Meals here suit 2-4 people, possibly more if indicated.

Feel free to tag me in your photos of you cooking with these recipes using #cookingwithMPM and by tagging my social media.

So, onward to planning! Click on the links below to find the recipes and enjoy planning your dinners this week! Subscribe for email updates to get the links to these recipes straight in your inbox.

Monday: Simple Schnitzel in Mushroom Sauce

Tuesday: Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum

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Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum

Wednesday:Crunchy Panko Polenta Fish Fingers from Kidgredients

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Photo Source: Kidgredients

Thursday: Slow Cooker Veggies and Beef

Friday: French Toast Sandwiches

French toast sandwhich

Saturday: Chicken Drumsticks/Wings and Polenta

Sunday: Lasagna from Kidgredients

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Photo Source: Kidgredients


If you want to have some more ideas, check out Week #2

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Recipes from above by Mummy Confessions:

Simple Schnitzel in Mushroom Sauce
Ingredients: 1 chicken breast per person (give or take)
1-2eggs (depending on number of chicken breasts)
Optional Vegeta Gourmet Stock or salt

1. Cut chicken into fillets
2. Mix eggs in bowl nicely and place breadcrumbs into another bowl.
3. If using Vegeta or salt, mix in with breadcrumbs if desired.
4. Dip fillets in egg, then dip in breadcrumbs until all of the chicken is covered.
5. Pan fry until golden brown.

If you don’t want to do the following, you don’t have to…but I prepare this Mushroom Sauce and serve over top, or with rice and the mushroom sauce over top.
Leftovers: You can refrigerate and use the schnitzel for sandwiches the next day, or in a salad!

Baby Meal:
Pureed Cooked Chicken & Pureed corn
from Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food

Toddler/Preschooler meal: Chicken Schnitzel pieces with rice (and Mushroom sauce)
Cut Schnitzel into pieces for easier eating or fry up smaller pieces of schnitzel for the younger ones (sort of like chicken nuggets)

French Toast Sandwiches
Ingredients: Sliced Bread
Fillings for Sandwiches (we use ham &cheese)
Tomato Soup (optional)

  1. Whisk eggs and milk together to make dip.
  2. Dip pieces of sliced bread on either side, coating bread.
  3. Lightly Toast the bread on either side in a pan.
  4. Add fillings (Ham & Cheese for us) into the sandwich and finish toasting until nicely browned on either side and cheese is nicely melted.
    Serve with veggies or tomato soup.Baby Meal: Scrambled Eggs
    from Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food

Toddler/Preschooler Meal: Like above, just cut into squares, triangles, or use a cookie cutter and make fun shapes.

Chicken Drumsticks/Wings and Polenta
Ingredients: Chicken Drumsticks or Wings (we usually have 6-8 drumsticks and 10-15 wings depending on the size)
Favourite Marinade or Seasoning (mine is Masterfoods Honey, Soy & Garlic or McCormick’s Season All)

1. Marinate chicken (if you can do this for a few hours or overnight, it tastes even better, but I usually don’t have too much forethought and just mix it at the time before)
2. If desired, pan fry chicken to get golden brown on the outside.
3. Place chicken and pan contents into oven-appropriate dish and cover.
4. Cook at 200 Celcius for 40 minutes or more, until chicken is cooked nicely.
5. Boil water while chicken is cooking.
6. Add polenta according to instructions on pack, stirring or whisking continuously until polenta thickens. (We do about 1 Cup Polenta and 4-5 Cups of water as a ratio.)
7. Continue to stir or whisk occasionally, cooking polenta for about 30 minutes or so. Polenta is not crunchy when cooked.
8. When polenta is finished cooking, pour into a bowl or onto a large,flat plat for serving.

Leftovers: Chicken Drumsticks/Wings can be refridgerated and reheated properly again the next day, and so can the polenta, but in my opinion, it does lose some flavour (and I prefer eating the wings cold the next day rather than heating them up).

Baby Meal: Pureed Cooked Chicken & Pureed Peas
rom Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food

Toddler/Preschooler Meal: Unseasoned/Lightly Seasoned Drumsticks and for the younger ones, I pull the meat off the bone. Polenta served on the side separately.

Slow Cooker What-Veggies-I-Have-And-Beef Meal
Ingredients: Whatever vegetables you want to mix
I used (2-3) potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 red capsicum, 1/2 Cup peas, 1/2 Cup corn, and 1/2 an onion
250-500g beef (depending on how meaty you like it)
2 beef stock cubes
1 pack French onion soup mix (only if no onion available)
Vegeta Gourmet Stock or salt to taste (at end for adults)
1/2 Cup Red Wine if desired

1. Peel potatoes & carrots and chop to desired size (I usually cut all vegetables pretty small, so my toddlers have no issues eating them).
2. Chop up capsicum and onion as well to desired size.
3. Dissolve the two beef stock cubes into two cups of boiling water.
4. Cut up beef as small as you want (I like mine cubed) .
5. If desired, pan fry beef until nicely brown.
6. Add everything into the slow cooker, add more water if necessary (food should be half covered with water) and stir. Add wine if desired.
7. Cook on high for 5-7 hours or until veggies are to your liking.
8. Remove portions of food for younger kids without seasoning. Add Vegeta or salt to taste for adults.
9. Serve with/over rice, with bread, pasta, or mashed potato.

Leftovers: Can be refrigerated and eaten next day. Or use leftovers in Puff Pastry Delight

Baby Meal: Beef purée and puréed carrot
from Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food

Toddler/Preschooler meal: Unsalted/unseasoned Slow Cooker meal with rice/pasta/mashed potatoes.

Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum
Ingredients: Pasta (we love spirals)
500g Beef Mince (Ground Beef)
1-2 Capsicums (Red Bell Pepper)
1-2 Carrots, grated
1/2-1 Onion, finely chopped
1-2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (or you can boil tomatoes and do it yourself as well)
Bay leaves, Basil and/or Oregano (optional)
Vegeta Gourmet Stock or salt to taste
Olive Oil
Cheese on top if desired.

  1. Cut capsicums in half, and remove seeds & place cut portion down facing aluminium foil and bake in oven at 150-175 Celsius until nicely roasted for approximately 30-45 minutes.
  2. Grate carrots and chop onion, and pan fry or cook in pot until onion is nicely browned.
  3. Cook beef mince until nicely browned (I tend to even over-brown it just to be sure).
  4. Once Capsicum is nicely roasted, peel skin off and chop up into smaller pieces and add to bolognese mix
  5. Put all of the cooked ingredients into a big pot.
  6. Boil water for pasta. Put in pasta. Drain when nicely cooked.
  7. Add the diced tomato and mix everything together, putting put to simmer. Add spices if desired.
  8. Portion out for toddler/preschoolers without adding salt or Vegeta. Add salt or Vegeta to taste.
  9. Serve either with bolognese on top of pasta (keeping separate), or mix entire bolognese sauce through the pasta.
  10. Serve with cheese on top if desired.
    Leftovers: Can be refrigerated and stored for eating the next day, or you can use the Bolognese later in a Lasagna or in a Puff Pastry Delight Dish.

Baby Meal: Pureed Pasta or Pureed Cooked Chicken from Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food

Toddler/Preschooler Meal: As made for adults, just no salt or seasoning added. Possibly need to cut up pasta, depending on the size.

Real mum. Real life. Real confessions.