Posts tagged food
Meal Plan Monday

Everyone develops tricks when it comes to food. One of ours right now is 1) Picking a "meat of the week" and 2) prepping several meals on Sunday or Monday. I've recently switched to Monday because the house is quiet and I can pop a few meals in the Instant Pot between writing sprints. It forces me to get up and away from my keyboard because I don't want to overcook the food.


This week our meat of the week is chicken. One of the other advantages to picking one meat for the week is that I can buy in bulk. In this case I got the big sheet of chicken breasts. I have three breasts in the crock pot slow cooking on high for 4 hours. This shreds beautifully when done! I love shredded chicken because it can be made into many things from BBQ to Mexican to salads. I also have three breasts (cubed) in the Instant Pot with a honey bourbon recipe. I also simmered a Japanese style chicken soup on the stove while all of this was going on because my youngest recently realized he likes chicken broth soup and I thought this would a nice alternative to have on hand for lunches or lighter meals.

Our meals this week look like:

Monday: chicken quesadillas

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday and salad

Wednesday: honey bourbon chicken and rice (and soup)

Thursday: heat-and-eat night

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Having multiple meals that use the same ingredients and trimmings means I don't end up buying too many ingredients, and the ones I do buy get used up. Making one different meal with the same type of meat means my family doesn't hate one type of food by the end of the week.

Get the honey bourbon recipe we use here.

The shredded chicken is so simple. Just chicken and a cup of water. When it's done I shred it with two forks, letting the chicken soak up some juices for a few minutes before I pull out about a third. The rest I season with taco seasoning. I now have a plain shredded chicken that can be used with anything and a seasoned chicken to be used in our Mexican dishes.

Shopping list:

We keep tortillas in stock at all times

  • Shredded cheese

  • Salsa or pico (or both)

  • Avocados or guac

  • refried beans

  • sour cream

  • jalapeños

  • taco seasoning (sometimes I buy a packet and sometimes I make my own with spices from the cabinet with this recipe.)

Alternatives we switch to sometimes: nachos or BBQ. Instead of a tortilla we plate up some chips and cover them in goodies and pop it in the microwave. Or if someone just wants something different I always reserve some shredded chicken with no seasoning. That way it can be heated up with some BBQ sauce. Add a side salad and some garlic bread to complete the meal!

I love cooking, which is why most of my books usually have a character who loves to cook. In my latest series, the Reckless Kiss series, the heroine loves cooking so much her kitchen is the only thing she's actually decorated in her house. The final book in the series released just last week. So if you like super steamy romance, check out Reckless Kiss, Reckless Love, and Reckless Nights!

Alexis Anne makes a living from writing books. She's one of those non-award-winning, never-hit-a-list, no-one's-ever-heard-of authors who quietly rakes in the dough by being focused on her craft while wearing a hat for business. She's an introvert and prefers it that way.

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Prepping for the Week (and stuff)

12523864_977355795688650_384953137270714797_n First off, let me start by saying Good Morning to all you lovely people! Good morning! So often life is what we make of it and not enough of us do something as simple as smiling and saying good morning.

I was reminded of this during my morning run. I truly live in a cool freaking town. We're an athletic town. We have a National Training Center with several Olympic athletes. We're a triathlon destination. We have low Florida hills, lakes, and beautifully paved trails. I try to get out and run every morning after I lose drop my kids off at school. My run is on the trail around our lake. It's pretty busy and every one--serious athlete in training or senior citizen--smiles and says good morning. It's quite possibly the nicest way to start the day.

Anyway. Prepping for the week. I promised you guys more tips and recipes for the busy writer-mom. Here goes. This week we went light on the Sunday night prep. Nate and I are running a 5k in downtown Orlando Thursday night and the kids are off from school Friday. Here'e what our menu looks like:

Slow cooked BBQ Pork

Spaghetti and meat sauce

Beef nachos

Veggie lasagne

Publix (pre-cooked) Chicken and parmesan baked asparagus

Chicken parmesan grits

Pancake batter

All the beef for the nachos and spaghetti was browned Sunday night and portioned off for the two meals it is part of. The pork is slow cooked and divided into portions. The veggie lasagna is a one-pot, cooked, and portioned. The nachos and asparagus will be created on their respective nights. Both are incredibly easy.

In addition, I washed and portioned out fresh grapes and celery. They key for fruit and veggie consumption in our house is having it grab-and-go ready, plus on the eye-line when you open the door. They are sitting next to a bowl of plums.

For breakfast we also pre-cooked a 5 cup pot of chicken parmesan grits, which is basically grits (quick or slow) but the water is substituted with chicken broth. When the grits are down I add half a cup of half and half, three pats of butter, and a handful of grated parmesan. Once cooled, we portion it off for quick breakfasts. Nate adds smoked turkey sticks to his while I much on whatever is the kitchen after my run.

I also premade my special pancake batter for quick pancakes during the week. It's stored in an old Ranch dressing squirt bottle, ready and waiting to be used.

Below you'll find links to some of the recipes I used this week, plus a link to my Pinterest board, Meals I Actually Cook.

Baked Parmesan Asparagus

One-Pot Lasagna (this month we subbed the meat for zucchini and squash)

Meals I Actually Cook Pinterest Board

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One last bit of fun news! First Draught is back with all new episode tomorrow! We've changed the format slightly. We've moved to a half hour show (instead of an hour) and we're sending you out the video and podcast links all at once. You can sign up for the newsletter here: and check out the website tomorrow (Tuesday) for this month's show!

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