simple, simplify, Simply...Cooking

Simple Menu Plan and My Potato Soup Recipe

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Yesterday I posted on facebook that I had made a menu plan for September because life will soon get busier and I may as well plan ahead now, while I have the time.

Here was my post:

I just wrote out our meals for September. I want to plan ahead before life gets busy and I want to stock up on what I will need–Before you give me a high five, trust me, it’s basic. Pizza on Fridays, crockpot on Thursdays, Tacos on Tuesdays, etc.. #nofrills#simplemeals#theyjustwanttoeat#backtoSIMPLE

Really. That’s what I am all about. Getting back to simple.

No more elaborate color-coded meal plans, systems,  or cooking for a month. Just simple dishes focusing on those around the table, rather than what’s on it.

Seriously, my kids just want to eat. They don’t care about Pinterest-perfect. They would much prefer traditional simple meals, to a  mama running around busy trying to keep up with Betty Crocker.

So, as I (tried) to show you all on Facebook Live yesterday (the video kept cutting out 🙁 ) I printed out a calendar for September from my computer’s iCal. I handwrote a meal for each day (knowing they can be switched around as needed) but I also kept it easy because each night of the week is the same theme. 

For example, Tuesday is Tacos. That is something I can make it minutes because that day is usually busy. I can serve it with beans and corn or tortilla chips with guacamole. And every Tuesday, since we are out of the house all day, I know what I am making and don’t have to think about it.

I scheduled Thursdays as a crockpot day. We usually do different types of chicken in the crockpot or veggie chili, etc. So each Thursday I can pick which one I want to do. I just need to change to sauces or seasonings, etc.

I scheduled Fridays as pizza day. I like to make homemade pizza, and we can vary toppings and types. Or once in a while, we can order pizza out!

Then, with those days of the week taken care of, I sprinkled other favorite meals throughout the month: Ravioli, chicken Parmesan, Quesadillas (again, different types- bean cheese, chicken, whatever I have on hand.) and soups. I  add a side of veggies, fruit, salad, etc. and we are done!

I will make sure when I do my grocery shopping coming up that I have most of the ingredients (non-perishables) for the month, so during the month I will just fill in as needed. (I haven’t gone “grocery shopping in the grocery store” in almost a year. I will write about my life-changing grocery shopping method soon!)

Anyway, it is simple. I enjoy cooking (and eating!) but also know at this stage in my life, it isn’t necessarily the time for elaborate meals. (I had all summer for that!) As life gets in full swing with back-to-school, simple is best for us. Predictability is fine too. And like I said, I can switch the meals around so it’s not always the same, but at least I have a skeleton outline to work with and the ingredients on hand for the month. And if we get some down time, then I can experiment with an elaborate meal on that day, but it won’t be every week!

I look at our grandmothers and how they lived and I would love to get back to that mindset.

They didn’t have these elaborate systems and methods. They simply cooked what they knew. I don’t think there was nearly as much fuss. I much prefer to focus on relationships around the table these days rather than stressing over elaborate cooking plans.

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Now, many of you asked for the potato soup recipe, so here it is! I have been making it forever, I don’t measure, but cook by sight, smell, and taste–so bear with me! Let me know if you have any questions.


Simple Potato Soup: 

~About 8-10  potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I add more depending on how much I want to make)
~1 (32 oz) box of chicken stock (again, add more if using more potatoes. Generally, I use enough to just cover the potatoes.)
~2-4 onions, chopped into large chunks (alter depending on your tastes. I like to err on the side of more for more flavor.)
~a few tablespoons butter
~salt and pepper to taste
~shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Melt butter in large pot.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add potatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to low, add salt and pepper,  and simmer for about an hour.

Using the blender, puree the soup in batches until nice and smooth.

Top with shredded cheese.

Makes a great supper served with homemade bread or salad.


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  • Reply Nydia September 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    So funny, Karen…I meal plan almost exactly the same way! It does make life FAR more simple. Also, the time I would use to focus on meal planning or cooking I can use for my family and ministry. I often remind myself that eventually I will live a different season of my life when being elaborate with food will bless my family time in a deeper way (other than just their tummies) as my children one day visit our home with their families!

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