Planning Meals with Martin’s {and free recipe card printables}!

Hey, friends!  Today, let’s talk about food!  More specifically, dinner.  I don’t know about you, but I love to eat and so do the men in my family.  Every day, we eat dinner together as a family and I try to plan ahead for great meals we can all enjoy.  But sometimes I feel like we’re stuck in a rut.  Particularly when Little Crafter gets involved in making the menu.  If it were up to him, every week would look the same: Spaghetti, tacos, BBQ, leftover spaghetti, leftover BBQ, pizza…or some combination thereof.  It’s a challenge to find recipes hubby can eat, though, since he’s lactose intolerant and can’t have cream, milk, or cheese.  

I recently heard about the Meal Planner feature on the Martin’s website and decided to check it out.  The Meal Planner lists a suggested entree, side, and dessert for each day of the week, and if you click on the title of any dish, you can see the complete recipe.  To my surprise, I did find meals that were lactose free, or could be easily adapted.  I showed the list to hubby and together we settled on two meals that sounded good to both of us!
The first one was:
Teryaki Steak
Caramelized Vegetables
The dessert listed for this meal called for heavy whipping cream, so I just swapped it for a lactose-free dessert that was listed elsewhere in the meal planner; Rasbperry Chocolate Bars.  
Teryaki Steak is my absolute favorite food when we go out to dinner at The Melting Pot, but I’ve never tried making it myself, so it’s exciting to have a recipe!
The second was:
Steak Tacos
Fried Ice Cream
We looooove Mexican food in this house; just last week Little Crafter ate three tacos in one sitting!  Obviously, the hubs can’t eat the Fried Ice Cream, but I figure he’ll have some leftover Raspberry Chocolate Bars…no reason I can’t try this for myself!
I made a list of all the ingredients I’d need.  Fortunately, I already had a lot of the things the various recipes called for: things like sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, vegetable oil, certain spices, and vanilla extract.  They also called for some of the fresh herbs we’re growing in our fun polkadot pots: cilantro, rosemary, and lavender, which I was excited about.  The other thing I appreciated is that several of these recipes call for the same ingredients, like garlic cloves, chili peppers, red peppers, and onion, so I don’t have to worry about anything going to waste if the recipe doesn’t call for the whole thing.
Little Crafter and I headed to Martin’s, where he was more than happy to be the official “driver” of our cart.
He was a great helper as we selected our ingredients and shopped for the best deals.  Here are a few of the things we picked up:
The recipe I was most excited to try was the Raspberry Chocolate Bars, so of course, we needed Seedless Red Raspberry Jam and Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips.  

One of the things I like about shopping at Martin’s is that you can see how much you’re saving on certain items compared to the price at other grocery stores.  It was nice to know I was getting the chocolate chips 30 cents cheaper than if I had gone to the store down the street.

The Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars also require chopped pecans, so I was excited to see that they were one of the weekly specials!  I saved 25%; woohoo!

We also got lots of other necessary ingredients for the other recipes, and found some great deals along the way, like graham crackers 2/$4 and a super sale on Simply Orange juice, which we needed for the Steak Tacos.  
Little Crafter had a lot of fun helping me pick out all our items, especially the produce, and as a reward, I let him get a few gumdrops in the bulk candy section…where we also happened to run into some friends from church!  

To see lots more photos of our trip and feel like you were really shopping with us {it’s always quite an experience, trust me!}, stop by and check out my Google+ Album!  I promise more cute pictures of LC!  Once we got home, it was time to get busy putting all our ingredients to work!

Of course, I need a place to write down and store these fun new recipes, so I made up some recipe cards to use…and I can’t very well not share them with you, now can I?  Here are the four designs I came up with.  Click the link for each one to download it to your own computer and print out as many as you want!
Recipe Card 1 {top left}
Recipe Card 2 {bottom right}
Recipe Card 3 {top right}
Recipe Card 4 {bottom left}
They are scaled to print as 4×6, so be sure to tell whatever program you use to print them to size them appropriately.

Here’s a look at mine, all printed out and ready to use:

The first recipe I tried {no surprise} was the Raspberry Chocolate Bars, and they were just as delicious as they sounded!  They were also quick and easy to make, which you know is super-important since I’m no gourmet chef!  The recipe made a full 9×13 pan of bars, so we had plenty to share with our Bible Study group, who wholeheartedly gave them two thumbs up!

There were even two people in the group who didn’t think they’d like these because one isn’t a huge fan of chocolate and the other isn’t crazy about raspberry, but both were pleasantly surprised and said they were actually really good!  {And I know they weren’t just saying so to be nice because they cleaned their plates.} Yay for a tasty new recipe that’s easy to make!  Don’t forget to check out Martin’s Meal Planner to see how it can help you add some variety to your daily dinner menu!  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have, um, a little something to take care of…

Hugs & Glitter,

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9 comments on Planning Meals with Martin’s {and free recipe card printables}!

  1. Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects
    May 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM (1 year ago)

    We don’t have a Martin’s here but I love the meal planners! And that cart is just the best – we have ONE grocery store nearby that has the car-carts and I go there whenever I can, it’s the only way to keep my daughter in the cart!

  2. Tawna Thompson
    May 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM (1 year ago)

    What a great feature to have on their site! And those look very tasty!

  3. Emily
    May 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM (1 year ago)

    These raspberry bars look so delicious, and what a brilliant idea to integrate this with shopping! I wish some of my local stores had ideas like this!

    A Tossed Salad Life

  4. Grandma
    May 22, 2013 at 9:05 PM (1 year ago)

    Those Raspberry bars were quite yummy…glad you tried them :)
    I like the meal planner too…great ideas.

  5. Jocie@TheBetterHalf
    May 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM (1 year ago)

    oh my goodness, that is super cute that he wrote the menu! adorable!

  6. Marilyn Clark
    May 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM (1 year ago)

    Wow, what a great menu planning site! These raspberry chocolate bars look absolutely amazing. I tried to download your recipe card #3 and couldn’t find a way to print it out….help?

  7. Megan
    May 23, 2013 at 9:42 PM (1 year ago)

    Mmmm those raspberry chocolate bars look YUMMY!! Those recipe cards are so cute, too! I pinned them. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  8. Kadie
    May 24, 2013 at 11:52 PM (1 year ago)

    I’m totally going to have to use the menu planning, I need all the help I can get with that! I’m loving the cookie bars you made , they look delish.:)


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