FREE Printable Menu Plans
Organize your meal planning schedule with these Free Printable Menu Plans! You can schedule by month or by week with these lovely, free printables!
Hey, all! Erin here from Printable Crush! Since the summer began, my meal planning has been pretty much non-existent.
When that happens, I end up buying groceries I don’t need, I don’t eat as healthy, and I DREAD cooking dinner.
Between having three kids, working at home, and cleaning, cooking can take the back seat. If you’re like me, hopefully, these Printable Menu Plans will keep you on track!
It’s easier for me to remember things when I write them down on paper. It solidifies what I’m thinking and helps me plan better, so I just love having a menu plan on paper. My plans are to get a page laminated, then write on it with a dry-erase marker.
When I’m ready to go to the store, I’ll just take a picture of the grocery list with my phone. That way, I’ll save on paper, and I don’t have to take the time to write it into my phone, or forget the paper when I go to the store!
If you need a little help with menu planning, try these tips:
- Keep a secret Pinterest board for your menu plans. When the week is over, you can move the recipes you like to your public boards and delete the ones you didn’t like and start over again!
- Try to create dishes for the week that have some of the same ingredients.
- Try new recipes, but make sure you add some family favorites to your list every week. I find that I spend way more time trying new recipes and you don’t want to burn yourself out.
- Create meals that have combined preparation time. For instance, have to recipes that have grilled chicken so you only have to grill chicken once and you save it for the next meal!
- Keep your refrigerator (somewhat) organized and clean. When my fridge is too full, it’s hard for me to remember what I have and I buy multiples. I had to buy a new refrigerator and I actually bought a smaller one so I would HAVE to throw out the leftovers more often!
I think the best thing about menu planning is that I eat healthier, and I save money. I’m a lot less likely to buy snack food when I have a set list of items. I’ve been following a menu plan for the past week, and I feel SO much better!
If you love this organizing helper, you’ll enjoy these posts too!
Link Party Palooza #154
Welcome back to the Link Party Palooza! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I can’t wait to see your ideas and feature YOU! Check back next Friday night to see if you were featured!
Here are some of our favorites from last week’s link party. There were so many fabulous projects and recipes shared!
White and Shabby Scandinavian Living from Heart Handmade UK
Vanilla Texas Sheetcake from Embellishmints
Cherry Salsa from Art From My Table
Here are some favorites from I Heart Nap Time this week:
Easy Cookie Decorating
Easy Cookie Decorating… tips and tricks for helpers of all ages to make delicious and beautiful cookies!
Every single year, it seems like summer just flies by. It feels like just yesterday we were planning our first trip to the pool. Now it’s almost time to head back to school!
Each new school year, my kids and I love to surprise their new teachers with a gift. And we love to thank them for the important job they do. This year we decided to decorate some bright and simple crayon cookies.
The fun thing about these cookies is that we made them with cookie decorating products designed by me! It is super fun to see them in action!
The boxed kit above is my “Shape Shifter” Set, a kit that includes 20 cutters that transform into 40 different designs. In addition, the kit includes templates that allow you to transfer the design onto a blank cookie before decorating. Neat, right?
Also included are recipe cards with my cookie and icing recipe, step-by-step decorating instructions for each design, and a summary of all the best tips from my blog.
For this project, I used the pencil cutter from my Shape Shifter set, the bonus crayon template from my Back to School cutter set, and food color markers that I picked up at my local craft store.
If you’ve ever tried to decorate cookies with kids, you probably know that it can be time consuming and messy. As a result, I usually do a little prep work ahead of time. That way,they can get straight to the fun.
Depending on the ages of your children, you can decide how far ahead to prep.
Cookie Decorating is easy for kids of all ages!
In this case, I baked and iced the cookies so that they had time to dry and my kids could get straight to work. After outlining with a #2 tip, I flooded the cookies and let them dry overnight.
The next day, my daughter wanted to decorate the minute she woke up. It was as simple as positioning the template over the dry base and tracing the design with a food color marker.
I loved watching her focus and concentrate. She really loved figuring things out for herself.
I like this project for several reasons. It’s short and simple enough that kids don’t get frustrated or lose interest. Most of all, they experience the joy of creating a handmade gift.
She made something she was proud of, and had fun in the process. I can definitely tell that she inherited my crafty gene.
This project can easily be adjusted depending on the ages and personality of your children. They can help with the baking process, and piping and flooding. You could also skip royal icing altogether and use colored dough or even fondant. Most of all, the possibilities are endless and it’s easy to personalize.
Decorated Cookies make an easy, fun gift!
I always give cookies “platter style” in deli-type containers with lids. You can also package them in clear cellophane bags tied with twine, or in individual cookie boxes. And kids love to help with this too!
I hope that my new cookie decorating kit will simplify the process and make cookie decorating a fun, enjoyable project that you can share with your family.
For more information on where Sweet Sugarbelle products can be purchased, along with cookie decorating tutorials, tips, and techniques, be sure to check out my blog, The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. I can’t wait to see you there!
Looking for more great cookie ideas? You’ll love these!
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches – creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between crisp and buttery sugar cookies. The perfect summer dessert!
When it comes to desserts, there are three main components that will always get a smile from my kids: cookies, ice cream, and sprinkles.
These sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches are a delicious combination of all three! They’re simple to make, popular with both kids and adults, and a tasty way to keep cool all summer long.
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are so easy to make!
To make things easy (and make all my sandwiches the same size), I decided to do slice and bake sugar cookies. So much easier and faster than rolling out the dough and cutting with cookie cutters!
The sprinkles aren’t strictly necessary, but they definitely make the cookies more fun and colorful, so they’re a must in my book. :)
Shape the dough into a log (it definitely doesn’t have to be perfect!), then chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes. After it chills, it’s super easy to cut into slices. Place the slices on a greased (or parchment covered) baking sheet, and bake 8-9 minutes.
After the cookies have cooled, it’s time for the fun part – assembling the sandwiches! I used a two tablespoon ice cream scoop to make measuring the ice cream easier.
Return the ice cream sandwiches to the freezer for about 30 minutes to set, and then enjoy! I love how fun and whimsical they are, not to mention delicious!
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 12 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sprinkles
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. Fold in the sprinkles. Shape the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place the cookie slices on a greased baking sheet and bake 8-9 minutes, or until lightly golden on the bottom. Remove and let cool completely.
When the cookies have cool, scoop about 2 tablespoons of ice cream onto the bottom of 12 of the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies. Freeze 30 minutes before serving.
If you love this delicious treat, you’ll enjoy these too!
Soft and chewy s’mores cookies with a buttery graham cracker flavored dough, a gooey marshmallow and chocolate HERSHEY’S KISS on top! This summer treat is even better than the traditional s’mores and no campfire is needed!
One of my favorite summer traditions is roasting marshmallows with the kids in the backyard. We make a fire at least once a month at our house and always have a great time together. When we have a big group over with little kids running around, I find it easier to make a s’mores dessert instead of actual s’mores. You get the best of both worlds.
Which is which I’m introducing the s’mores cookies today. I was inspired by a s’mores cookie I tried in NYC a few months ago and knew I had to recreate them at home. There’s just something about the graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate combo that makes these completely irresistible.
I’ve partnered with Hershey Kisses for today’s post and they added just the right amount of chocolate to these s’mores cookies. HERSHEY’S KISSES chocolates make the perfect treat any day of the week! I love baking with them all year round.
Seriously, once you take a bite into these gooey cookies, you will fall in love. They taste best when they’re warm, so that the chocolate melts right in your mouth. Your guests will not be able to resist these delicious cookies at your next BBQ. You MUST make them.
My girls helped me whip up these cookies and their favorite part was unwrapping the HERSHEY’S KISSES chocolates. Miss Ady didn’t help much, but she enjoyed watching on my hip. Then she was off digging through the cupboards and pulling everything out. ;)
How to make s’mores cookies
To get started all you need is butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt and flour.
Once the dough is mixed together, you’re going to roll the dough into balls and then roll the ball into graham cracker crumbs. If you don’t want the graham cracker crumbs on the outside, you can skip this part. It just give it a little extra flavor and texture. Then you’re going to bake them for about 8 minutes.
Once they’re just about done, you’re going to put a sliced marshmallow on top and broil them for a minute or so more to toast the marshmallow.
Once the marshmallows are toasted, you can place the HERSHEY’S KISS chocolate right on top, and as it sits there for a few minutes it will melt right into the marshmallow.
Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, divided
- 18 large marshmallows, cut in half
- 36 HERSHEY’S KISSES chocolate, unwrapped
Combine the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix just until combined. Then slowly mix in flour, salt, baking soda and 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs. Mix just until combined.
Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (could use a medium cookie scoop) and then roll into the remaining graham cracker crumbs. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly golden.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn the heat to 450°F. Place the marshmallow halves on top of the cookies or broil and then cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the marshmallows are lightly toasted. Then remove the pan from the oven and press down the marshmallow lightly with a HERSHEY’S KISS chocolate.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
These cookies taste best (and like a real s'more) when warm. To warm, place in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
Seriously so good! Such an easy treat for summer and one that will surely bring a smile to anyone that tries them!