# dinner ideas # healthy dinners

Meal Planning is a Homemaker MUST + Our Dinners of the Week

Meal planning is a homemaker must. Through the years, I've gone for long periods of time when I was on top of meal planning, and long periods of burn-out where I didn't meal plan at all. And I can definitely say that meal planning helps my life go more smoothly, it's better for our food budget, and I end up producing more appealing meals that the whole family actually enjoy.

In today's video I'm sharing the meals we made this past week. I write them down on this magnetic meal planning paper pad and place it on the fridge. I always get the days wrong (as you will see), but it's helpful to have a meal plan written down, as well as a grocery list. To give you an idea on what we spend on groceries, our bill for this week, which included all of the ingredients I needed to make the meals, plus breakfast items, snacks for the kids, and other fresh produce, ended up being $170. This is a great price for a family of six considering that many of the items I bought (milk, eggs, etc.) would last for more than one week as well.

The potato gratin recipe comes from William & Sonoma's Bride and Groom cookbook, the chicken roll-up recipe was one I originally found on Kristin Stepp's channel and she got it from Plain Chicken (links below). The Linguini with Clams (pantry staple) is from All Recipes. I will also leave my versions of the recipes down below as I did alter some of them a bit.

Featured in the video:
⚜️Meal planning notebook/ grocery list
⚜️Lemon juicer
⚜️Instant Pot
⚜️Slow Cooker
⚜️Cast Iron skillet
⚜️Cellar Door Candles
⚜️ Kitchen-Aid white mixer
⚜️Copper measuring cups
⚜️Kristin Stepp's YouTube channel
⚜️Plain Chicken blog
⚜️Boos block
⚜️Vintage kitchen timer
⚜️French apron
⚜️Blue & white Churchill plates
⚜️Red Le Creuset casserole dish

Potato Gratin


  • 1 1/2 tsp butter (room temp.)
  • 2 lb russet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart baking or gratin dish with the butter. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices around 1/8 inch thick. (You can also use a mandolin.) Crush the garlic and add into the pot along with the potatoes, cream, half and half, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the temperature and cook for around 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to your greased baking dish and cook in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. 

Recommended Products:

Created using The Recipes Generator

Chicken Piccata


  • 4 thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 Tbs parsley, chopped


  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat it lightly. In a large pan, melt 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the chicken and cook until brown (roughly 3 minutes on each side). Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the broth, lemon juice, and capers to the same pan. Bring this to a boil, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until it is fully cooked through (about 5 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a platter. Stir the remaining 2 Tbs. butter into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley. 

Recommended Products:

Created using The Recipes Generator

Salmon with Dungeness Crab a la Balboa


  • 4 6 oz. salmon steaks
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper
Crabmeat topping
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 oz. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix all of the topping ingredients. Heat the olive oil and butter in your roasting pan in the oven. Place the salmon in the pan and top with the crab mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Recommended Products:

Created using The Recipes Generator

The tacos are pretty self-explanatory. I like to make taco meat in large batches and freeze it (ground beef or ground turkey cooked with taco seasoning according to the package directions). Then I freeze it. I have cooked mine in the Instant Pot.

The Chicken Roll-up recipe can be found on Plain Chicken. I initially discovered it on Kristin Stepp's YouTube channel.

The Linguini with Clams recipe can be found here.

The Peach Crisp recipe can be found here.

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I hope you enjoy today's meal planning video. Let us know how you meal plan and what your process is. If you struggle with meal planning, I hope this video inspired you and gave you some new great recipe ideas too. Your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

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M and J said...

This is amazing Jennifer, thank you! I hope you do this all the time!

Kristin said...

Love this! Such great ideas!

Unknown said...

This was one of my favorite videos! As a homeschooling mom of 9, I understand the meals burnout. One thing we do to help is have a child prepare the midday meal during the school year. Then I go for a walk with that child after lunch while the others clean up. Beautiful bonding time! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration!

terrylee said...

Love this, will be making these recipes this week

Mommyoftwo said...

Hi Jennifer! Love your shirt at the beginning of the video! Can you share a link? Also is that a cutting board with the yellow edges? Can you share a link to that as well? Great video!

terrylee said...

BTW you put the lemon in the juicer with the cut side down where the holes are, I know it seems wrong but you get the most juice this way and it doesn't squirt all over the place.

Unknown said...

Terrylee, you may enjoy BuzzFeed's article on using lemon juicers.

Lori said...

Your crab/salmon "print" button is linked to the potato recipe.

Main comment: Years and years ago I read this excellent advice: "On a 'home day," know what you are having for dinner by 10 am. On an 'away day," know what you are having by 10 pm the night before." This has served me well over the years. I, too, menu plan as I make my shopping list, but the days on which we eat various things often changes.

Margo Smith said...

Wow, 9 children! You sound like an awesome mom, and what a great idea on the cooking.

Angela said...

I think ALL your recipes only show potato recipe.

Unknown said...

Hi! Thank you for the wonderful recipes. When I try to print the salmon or chicken recipe it will print the potato recipe instead.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello everyone, thank you for your comments. I apologize about the glitch in the recipes. I am using a recipe app to post the recipes and there appears to be a problem with it. You will have to hand write the recipes for now and hopefully next time I will have the problem fixed. I have another meals of the week I'm working on right now. I hope you will enjoy it!