I can’t eat anymore. Can you?

The holidays have really been a parade of great food and good family times…but I am stuffed. Even though I’ve passed up many tempting items in the past few days, I’m still feeling the effects of inevitable overindulgence. It’s just the way January always rolls in: Cold, melancholy, and more than a little bit bloated.

Beyond that, though, it’s time to get my game face back on. We survived a freakishly busy fall, wallowed in our two weeks of down time, and now we’ll be back to nearly full-tilt schedules in less than 24 hours. I allowed us to eat down our freezer stores in the name of sanity, but tomorrow is a school day and there’s nothing ready-made left for us to eat. Whether I want to think about food right now or not, I’ve got a hungry husband and two big-eating boys who’ll be looking for those dratted 3 meals a day.

Fortunately, it’s much more pleasant to batch cook and organize myself when I’m rested and calm, so while there’s a bittersweet quality to admitting that our interlude is really ending, it’s as good a time as any to haul myself into the kitchen and get started on setting things right for a solid start to 2016. Actually, if I’m honest, I already got things going the other day, when we invited friends over for New Year’s Day dinner and I made 6 lbs. of meatballs — that’s one of this week’s quick dinners already done, and many days’ worth of freezer meals as well. But man cannot live by meatballs alone, so I’ve got a date with 3 roasting chickens. Whatever 2016 may bring, it will not find me unprepared.


Friday, 1/1: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and salad with friends. Happy New Year!
Saturday, 1/2: At a family party
Sunday, 1/3: Sunday roast chicken, baked sweet potatoes and broccoli **
** I’m roasting 3 chickens today — One for dinner and leftovers, one for soup, and one for pot pies.
Monday, 1/4: Chicken noodle soup **
** I’ll double the soup and freeze half
Tuesday, 1/5: Turkey tacos **
** I’ll make a triple batch of taco meat and freeze two portions for later
Wednesday, 1/6: Freezer meal — meatball subs and veggies with dip
Thursday, 1/7: Pasta with creamy wild mushroom sauce, salad

Friday, 1/8: Cobb casserole and rice **
** I’m making two casseroles, one for the freezer
Saturday, 1/9: Slow cooker — pot roast and mashed potatoes
Sunday, 1/10: Porchetta, risotto and asparagus
Monday, 1/11: Winter souvlaki **
** I’ll marinate a double batch of the chicken for this dish and freeze half
Tuesday, 1/12: Freezer meal — chicken pot pie with puff pastry crust
Wednesday, 1/13: Croque madame, salad
Thursday, 1/14: Teriyaki chicken and shrimp with stir-fried vegetables **
** I’ll marinate extra chicken and shrimp and freeze

Friday, 1/15: DIY Salad and bread
Saturday, 1/16: Homemade pizzas
Sunday, 1/17: Quiche Lorraine and spinach salad **
** I’ll make two quiches, one for the freezer
Monday, 1/18: Zesty Italian chicken and pasta toss
Tuesday, 1/19: Sloppy joes and fruit **
** I’ll make a triple batch of the filling for the joes and freeze two portions
Wednesday, 1/20: Sheet pan nachos
Thursday, 1/21: Vegetable fried rice

Friday, 1/22: Sausage and vegetable bake
Saturday, 1/23: Spaghetti carbonara and salad
Sunday, 1/24: Spoon roast, mashed potatoes, and vegetables
Monday, 1/25: Jambalaya
Tuesday, 1/26: Chicken fajitas **
** I’m doubling the chicken and freezing half
Wednesday, 1/27: Leftovers — spoon roast French dip sandwiches and fruit
Thursday, 1/28: Pasta with peas and pancetta, salad

Friday, 1/29: Tomato-poached eggs and bread
Saturday, 1/30: Dan Dan noodles
Sunday, 1/31: Pork schnitzel, red cabbage and spaetzle