Relish! Menu Planning Review & Giveaway!

As you all know I love organizing and menu planning. Needless to say, when I got an email asking me to review the Relish! Meal Planning Website, I was really exited, and now I’m excited to be giving away a free membership in honor of my 500th post!

Meal planning can really help you to save money, and it will save you a lot of time. This website would be a great tool for everyone whether you’re a beginner or an expert at menu planning, and it’s very user friendly.

There are a lot of great features that I think you’ll find very helpful. On your main screen, you’ll find a list of meals to choose from, and each week there’s a different list of recipes featured here. The page instructs you to choose 5 meals and one dessert from the menus. On this page there is also a list titled “Dime and Dash,” which gives you a list of quick and inexpensive express meals to choose from.

And on this page you’ll also see a section for favorites. Each week when you create a menu, you can choose to add certain meals to your favorites section, and once these are added to favorites, they will always appear on your menu planning screen. I really like this feature because it allows you to throw a couple of things that you know your family loves in with the new recipes that you select from the menu screen.

Another great feature on the main menu screen is the Recipe Legend. Beside each meal is a symbol which describes what kind of meal it is, and the legend tells you what each of the symbols mean. For example, KF means Kid Friendly. C equals Crockpot. LC means lower calorie. And M means Morning Prep.

And of course, the site is equipped with all the recipes you need. On the main menu planning screen, just click on a meal, and you’ll be directed to a printer friendly page with all the recipes that you need for a particular meal. And to make this feature even better and more useful to you, there is a pull down menu where you can select how many people the meal will be for, and the recipe cards that you view will be adjusted to fit the number of people in your family. Super!

Another favorite feature of mine is the shopping list component. Once you’ve selected the meals you want for your menu, click “create custom menu” and the site directs you to a shopping list. In the first column is a list of “Items You Need but May Already Have.” (Things like milk, butter, and spices.) And then all your other shopping list items are organized into food groups, and the shopping list even includes the quanity of ingredients you need. (So if you’ve selected 2 different meals that include chicken breasts, and you have 4 family members, your shopping list will have 8 chicken breasts on it.) The shopping list even goes as far as to tell you how many eggs you need, or what size package of chili powder you’ll need.

Now let’s say you go on the main menu screen, and none of the featured recipes sound good to you. No problem! Just visit the Menu Archive, and you’ll find a ton of other options, or pull up your Past Menus. But let’s say, you already have a list of favorite recipes on rotation in your house, and you want to add these recipes in with one or two of the Relish recipes each week. No problem again! If you have a favorite recipe, just submit it to Relish, and they will convert it to a meal and put it up with entrees in your favorites list.

Another part of this website that I found very interesting was the “This & That Section.” This section includes a list of special menus. They feature menus for special occasions like Dinner Parties & BBQs, Superbowl, Lunches, Gourmet Potluck, Easter Brunch, Christmas, and Mother’s Day. And the section also includes a list of fun menus for kids of all ages. The list included several movie themed menus including Ratatoille, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age, and even Twilight. Sounds fun, huh? And I think this section could make your party planning a breeze.

I’m excited to be giving away a One Year Membership to Relish! to one Simply Sweet Home reader. This is a $58.80 value!

Giveaway is Now Closed.

Additional Entries:

-Bonus Entry: Tell me something you’d like to see more of on this blog in 2010 (recipes, organizing, crafts, party planning, deals, etc.)

One entry for following me publicly on blogger.

-One entry for joining my feedblitz mailing list, or 2 entries if you are already a member prior to this giveaway.

-One entry for subscribing in a reader.

-One entry for following or subscribing to my new business blog.

-One entry for following me on twitter and/or becoming a fan on facebook.

-One entry for tweeting about this giveaway.

-Two entries for writing about this giveaway on your blog and linking back to Simply Sweet Home.

(Just leave comments for each additional entry, and please leave a user name/link or something so that I can verify. Thanks!)

Other Rules:

-Don’t forget, if you don’t have a blog or a profile with a visible email address, please include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you if you win. (Can’t stress this enough!)


MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to see the entire Giveaway Blog Hop List….

Menu Plan Monday for May 25

Breakfasts: cereal, waffles, french toast sticks, monkey bread
Lunches: chicken fingers, grilled chicken salad, bacon & egg sandwiches, hot dogs

Monday – Cookout
Tuesday -Leftovers from last week
Wednesday – Crispy Chicken Sandwiches
Thursday – Chicken Tortilla from freezer
Friday – Crock Pot Roast Chicken, carrots, potatoes
Saturday -Chicken & Rice w/ broccoli
Sunday – Leftovers

Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Plan Monday for May 4

I haven’t really given much thought to this week’s menu, so this plan is just a tentative one, but then again, I suppose every plan is a tentative one.
Also, for those of you who are interested, I’ll be posting my Smokey Mountain Chicken from last week’s menu as my recipe of the week. It’s very easy to make and very tasty!

Now here’s my menu:

Breakfasts: cereal, yogurt, pancakes, bacon & egg sandwiches
Lunches: pork sandwiches, chicken fingers, tuna sandwiches

Monday – Pizza & breadsticks
Tuesday – Italian Chicken, Alfredo Pasta Side, Pinto Beans
Wednesday – Cheeseburger Macaroni, corn, beans
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Eat out
Saturday – possibly Chicken Poulet
Sunday – leftovers

Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Plan Monday for April 27

Before getting to this week’s menu, I want to tell everyone who may just be stopping in from Org Junkie about my Break Pal Giveaway. I’m giving away 5 memberships to the Break Pal Fitness Website. It’s designed specifically for bloggers and people who work at a desk job. So if you use a computer a lot, you should definitely enter to win!
Now for the menu: I’m planning for an easy week this week, because I have a lot of chores and things to do around the house. By the way, in case you tuned in for last week’s MPM post, I have to tell you that the Oven Chicken on last week’s menu was very good, but the next time I make it I’m going to pour about 1/2 cup of rice into the baking dish so it will cook up more like a casserole with just a little bit of sauce/juice over the actual chicken. I may also try it again without adding water, so that the sauce will be more thick. But anyway, it was good. My hubs really liked it. The pictures I took of the dish didn’t turn out so good, so I may have to make it again before I post it to see if I can get some better photos. But one way or another I will post it in the future. (Till then, just see last week’s post for a link.)
Breakfast: Cereal, Banana Muffins, Waffles, oatmeal

Lunch: salad, tuna sandwiches, chicken fingers, leftovers


Monday – Pork Sandwiches
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday – Hamburgers & Fries
Friday -Easy Alfredo, salad, garlic bread or biscuits
Saturday -Eat Out
Sunday -Smokey Mountain Chicken

Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Plan Monday for April 20

I’m a little late with the menu. It was sort of a busy weekend because my husband started his 7 days off (yay!). And yesterday evening when I tried to get on the computer, the internet was down due to storms in the area.
But I did manage to plan a good menu for this week. I’ve got a new recipe to try plus an old favorite that we haven’t had in a while, and one of our favoirtes Mexican Chicken Casserole.
Hope you’re all having a good Monday!
Breakfasts: cereal, chocolate chip muffins, cinnamon toast or monkey bread
Lunches: chicken fingers,tuna sandwich, turkey sandwich, salad, leftovers
Monday – Sloppy Joes
Tuesday – Oven Chicken (new recipe), rice, and Great Northern Beans (from the freezer)
Wednesday – Leftovers from Tuesday
Thursday – Broccoli Cheddar Chicken & Mashed potatoes
Friday – Eat Out
Sunday – Not sure…possibly leftovers
Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Plan Monday for April 13

Breakfasts: pancakes, cereal, carnation instant breakfast, yogurt, fruit

Lunches: tuna sandwiches, salad, leftovers

Monday – Roast Beef & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits
Tuesday – Hamburgers & Fries
Wednesday – Shrimp Alfredo, salad, & garlic bread
Thursday – Bacon & Egg Sandwiches
Friday – leftovers
Saturday – eat out
Sunday – Cheeseburger Macaroni

Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Plan Monday for April 6

Breakfasts: French toast, waffles, yogurt, fruit, Carnation Instant Breakfast

Lunches: Bacon & Egg Sandwiches, Grilled Chicken Salad, leftovers from dinner


Monday -Chicken Mutz – I’m doing a slight variation on this recipe.
Tuesday – Leftovers from Monday
Wednesday – Tacos
Thursday – Chicken Poulet
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Going out for Hubby’s Birthday
Sunday – Sloppy Joes or Hamburger Helper (for hubby’s birthday)

Visit Org Junkie for more menus and recipes.


Menu Monday for March 30

I’m starting to coordinate my menus around my husband’s new ever-changing work schedule a little better. Items that take a while to cook are being prepared on his off days or when he’s on day shift, and on the days he’s on night shift, I’ve been fixing leftovers or something that I’ve made ahead the night before while he was working. It’s taking a little more time to plan these days, but I’m adjusting well so far.

And you may have noticed that for the past couple of weeks the number of dinners I’m cooking has decreased. My husband’s trying to diet a little. No, we’re not totally changing our menus…I’m kind of a picky eater myself, and my husband doesn’t go for what he calls….I believe it was “fancy fru-fru” food. So the only major changes that we’re making is to add more fruit into his diet and more green vegetables, and we’re starting to limit his portion sizes. And the great thing about this is that we have leftovers that I can pack into his lunches or have for another dinner. We’ve always had some leftovers, but now the casseroles and things that I make seem to be lasting even longer….which is awesome!

Here’s our menu for this week:

Breakfasts: fruit, cereal, yogurt, Monkey Bread, English Muffin Sandwiches
Lunches: grilled chicken salad, tuna sandwich, Ravioli, leftovers

Monday – leftovers from last week
Tuesday – Red Beans & Rice, corn, rolls
Wednesday – Meat & Potato Casserole
Thursday – Lemon Pepper Chicken, broccoli, rice
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Roast Chicken, potatoes, and carrots.
Sunday – leftovers

Visit Org Junkie for more menus, recipes, and fun.


Menu Plan Monday for March 23

Breakfasts: waffles, honey buns, cereal, Carnation Instant Breakfast, yogurt
Lunches: Bacon & Egg Sandwich, turkey sandwich, tuna sandwich, leftovers

Monday- Pepper Chicken & Sour Cream Gravy, peas, & rice
Tuesday – Meat Loaf (new recipe), peas, mashed potatoes, biscuits
Wednesday – Chicken Lasagna (new recipe) & Italian Bread
Thursday – Leftovers (from Mon & Tues)
Friday – Chicken Fingers
Saturday – Leftovers (from Wed & Fri)
Sunday – Creamy Chicken Soup & Biscuits

Visit Org Junkie for more menus, recipes, and fun.


Menu Plan Monday for March 16

I’m having a hard time getting organized for this week. First of all, I’m just not in the mood for anything in particular. And also I just went grocery shopping, and I have a ton of stuff to choose from. Plus I already have a fridge full of leftovers. (I know, it’s usually a good practice to have the fridge cleaned out before going shopping, but I wanted to get it done today, and there was too much food to clean out in one meal, so….here we are.)

And then my husband is going out of town to an academic tournament this weekend, so that’s two days that are basically open. (I don’t really plan for anything when it’s just me.)

Then my mom had a big cooking day and gave me a whole bunch of pork meat to take home, which sorta compounded the situation. Now the fridge is filled to capacity. (Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra food, especially pork. I love pork!) But when I have a lot of stuff to choose from, it makes it harder for me to plan for some reason.

I’ve placed a bunch of the pork meat in a ziplok and put it in the freezer for later, leaving out enough meat for two or three rounds of sandwiches. So the good news is that I don’t have to cook anything for the next two days. Yay! Actually I’ll only be cooking two or three times this week.

I love that there’s less work…but it’s so hard to make a structured plan on weeks like this. Does this make sense to anyone, or am I just strange?

Oh well, here’s this weeks tentative plan…

Breakfasts: Carnation Instant Breakfast, cereal, toaster pastries, and muffins

Lunches: chicken & pasta (we have two leftover plates from Applebees), sub sandwiches, pork sandwiches, leftovers from dinner


Monday – Leftover Buffet
Tuesday – Pork Sandwiches, deviled eggs, mac & cheese, pork & beans
Wednesday- Lemon pepper chicken
Thursday – Sloppy Joes
Friday – Husband’s out of town, so I’ll be having something quick and simple.
Saturday – Ditto.
Sunday – possibly Buffalo Chicken Fingers & fries

Visit Org Junkie for more menus, recipes, and fun.