Menu Plan Monday: A Summer Menu

Here’s my meal plan for a short week.  I am thankfully going on vacation and so only needed to plan for 5 meals, one of which is a meal while on vacation, where we take turns cooking, and when it is your turn, you bring the dinner, dessert and the appetizer.  We are doing  my Double Peppered Pork Chops since my sister in law would love these, and my In-laws love pork- the salad is a fun summer salad, and the dessert is chocolates from our trip to Hershey. If you can believe it, they don’t love dessert, but they love chocolate candy- so we are covered.

Many of you are also celebrating this week for the 4th of July Holiday, so the the rest of the week is all you will need.  Here are some ideas from my meal-plan:

Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas (leftover grilled chicken from the weekend)
Steak Roll-ups with Peppers, Zuccchini, jasmine rice
Homemade Chicken Nuggets, veggies with dip

Baked Chicken nuggets
Crockpot Taco Soup, grilled cheeses for kids

taco soup
Vacation Meal: Double Peppered Pork Chops, chopped salad

double pepper pork chop

And that is it.  Another week of meals.  I have honestly been cooking so much lately, none of which is on the blog.  I have the good fortune of having some great cooks as my friends and I am totally inspired to make better food when I entertain with or for them- so I am trying to have more fun and get together with my people more often- it is good for my cooking. A good audience is very good inspiration.  Picky kids are sometimes not so much… Not following any eating program does have it’s advantages too: I have made more Sangria in the past month than I think I have ever had in my life. I am getting pretty good at making it with any type of wine, and with good results.  My Red Sangria recipe has been requested over and over, and will be making a showing on vacation for sure.

red sangria

What are you making this week? This weekend? For the Holiday?  I will be sharing a great salad with you tomorrow that is perfect for a gathering for a party this week…just saying:  Sangria and salad…what more would you really need?

For great meal or holiday recipe ideas, you can check out where I link my recipes and plan up here: and Jill Conyers & Mommy Run Fast.

Summer Vacation Bucket-List (Printable)

Have you made your list yet? Did you start already?! Without me?! Whaaa…t?!

Tell me what you are doing! I would love some ideas.

Tonight I am sitting down with my kids to come up with some grand plans for our summer days. Since I work 3 days a week, and essentially have 4 day weekends (whoot!) this summer, I can plan some little getaways, and also fit in some playdates with friends who we don’t see very often, or some camps or day-trips.

I am armed with 2 paper calendars, my brochures of ideas, and now I need my list:

Summer Bucket List


Isn’t it perfectly cute?

You can print it here.  I plan on filling this baby right up and maybe off the page! There are atleast 30 things that I want to do- whether I can afford to do them all is another issue all together.  I will fill up half with freebie fun things and the other half with the cost-a-few like the drive-in movies, or the water-slides. EEEeeee! So fun- SCHOOL is OUT!!!

Have a fun weekend!

Easy & Fast Brownie Ice Cream Cake

brownie ice cream cake

Last week was a whirlwind, and there was a tone of things going on in my house- the end of soccer, t-ball, 2 field trips, and back to back parties in and out of my house! My daughter’s party started at 4pm and I still had no cake at 11am.  But I still made it: without any stress, very little money, and it turned out awesome!

This is the same cake that I made  last year and it was a HUGE hit.   Everyone was asking for the recipe and couldn’t believe it was homemade.  Whats better is that it can feed up to 24 people!!  I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Balancing Beauty & Bedlam, to make this the first time, and when I made this again this year, I was once again, so happy with the results and smart enough to make enough for 2 cakes…{= lots of leftover cake}!

Here is the way that I make this cake:

Easy & Fast Brownie Ice Cream Cake

This recipe makes 2 cakes, and feeds 20-24 people! Perfect for a big birthday party and really easy to make!


  • 2 disposable foil pans, 9x13, about 2 inches deep.
  • 1 package favorite brownie mix, **and ingredients to make it
  • 1 jar chocolate fudge sauce (or you can use chocolate syrup)
  • 2 boxes of your favorite flavor ice cream sandwiches (should be 12 per box)
  • 1 extra large tub of whipped topping (or 2 regular sized ones)
  • 1 family sized bag of chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos)
  • decorations


Spray your disposable pans thoroughly.

Make the brownies according to the package directions, splitting the batter between the two pans. Instead of baking the full time, cut it in half and check to see it cooks until set in the middle (mine took 15 minutes for the two pans).

Remove from oven and press the brownies down gently to form a base for the cake.

Let cool.

In a zip-top bag, dump all the cookies and crush to small pieces.

Top the brownie layer with a thin layer of chocolate sauce.

Then sprinkle some cookies.

Then top with 1/4 of the whipped cream for each pan, so you use 1/2 of it.

Unwrap the ice-cream sandwiches and place in one layer in each pan.

Top with chocolate sauce

Then cookies, and then the rest of the whipped cream and more cookie crumbles.



I used chocolate for one cake, and vanilla for the other- but they have mint chocolate chip ice-cream sandwiches and lots of other flavors that would be great to suit everyones' tastes~

Isn’t it pretty? It keeps forever in the freezer too if you want to make it ahead and not day-of like me (I have ZERO freezer space!)!  Since it is almost gone, I am wondering when I can make this next- whose birthday is coming up, or can I just make it for a regular party?!

I know it isn’t chock-full of healthy ingredients,  but it works for an ice-cream cake that will rival a store-bought cake any day and it tastes WAY better! I used the store brand of ice cream sandwiches but Oreos, CoolWhip, Pillsbury brownies, and Richardson’s Fudge sauce for the choices of ingredients- not sure how much of a difference this would make~ Not quite in-line with my normal grocery choices, but it is worth it for this special treat in my view!

ice cream cakeI am linked for some great recipes with: