Weekly Meal Plan

Now that I’m a working mom, I find that I don’t have as much time to cook. I also don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking or thinking about cooking, because I’m either working, sleeping or spending time with FW. That’s why I’ve started planning meals* in advance. This way on Saturdays we can go to the West Side Market, pick up our ingredients for the week ahead, Sunday I can do some minor prep, and then we’re set for the week. It makes my life easier and helps when I get home and am too tired to even start to think about dinner. Some things that are working really well right now:

  1. Planning one meal as a freezer meal that takes little to no preparation. This works two ways – this means I plan a meal that I can freeze part of and also plan one meal from our freezer. I have a few meals in our freezer that I made when I was home on leave or that I make extra and freeze or even that my mom has given me – and having these once a week (or more!) has been a life saver.
  2. Planning one meal as a crock pot meal. I typically prepare the meal the night before so that when I wake up there is not much to do to prep. Mornings now are pretty crazy so not having to do much in the morning for dinner makes my life that much better.
  3. Trying one new meal a week and having at least one staple meal. Mondays or Tuesdays are usually “new meal day” because I’m the least tired. By the time Wednesday or Thursday hits, I’m too pooped to be creative and try something new. That’s when an old favorite or staple meal comes in.
  4. Not underestimating the power of leftovers! I try to make sure I cook a little extra – either to freeze for a future meal (see #1) or for lunches.

Disclaimer: While this is my fourth week doing this now, who knows how long this will last – and each week is different and flexible – but I thought I’d share with you what we have planned for the week ahead.

Anyway, if you’re wondering, here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Homemade pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage

B cooks dinner, based on this Lidia recipe

Pasta making

A video posted by Melissa Koski Carney (@koskim) on


Monday: Braised veal breast tacos and taco salads

Saturday night we had braised veal breast with pearl onions (this amazing recipe) and we have tons of leftover veal – it will be sooo good with tacos! And then all we need to do is get the tortillas, beans, greek yogurt, avocado and cheese ready.

Tuesday: Slow cooker creole chicken and sausage

Last year I went to New Orleans at this time and bought a ton of creole and cajun spices. I came back, and when I was pregnant, I couldn’t stand the thought of those spices. I’m not pregnant anymore and can’t wait to make this! Going to modify this Pinch of Yum recipe.

Wednesday: Breakfast! Likely eggs and spinach and veggie burgers.

B has a soccer game Wednesday night, so a relatively light and quick meal is appreciated.

Thursday: Either freezer chicken rollatini (from my mom) and pasta OR chicken chorizo sweet potato veggie hash. It will be a game time decision based on how late I have to work and what we’re in the mood for. We may hold off on the freezer meal for next week!

If we do the veggie hash, it will be this recipe but with chicken chorizo on top.

Friday: Takeout! Sushi or buffalo chicken salads likely.


Saturday: Scary movie night with friends – B will make us some homemade pizza.

And thats it! Do you plan your meals ahead of time?

Linking up with Ilka and Angela for the Fitness and Food Linkup.

WIAW: Pumpkinfest!

Cheers to Wednesday! And I’m cheersing you this week with pumpkin beer. Because ’tis the season AND I love a good pumpkin beer. And today’s What I Ate Wednesday appropriately features my pumpkinfest eats!
The day started off with a decaf latte and some cinnamon honey egg white oats. I’m really jamming on the egg white oats lately and they’re easy for me to make in my office. So fluffy and delicious!


And a side of an Asian pear. Aka an apple-pear. I love these!20161013_131642

Lunch was random leftovers. Some leftover soup and some leftover chicken from some lettuce wraps I had made as a crockpot meal earlier in the week. In any case, it was really good.20161013_125318

And for an afternoon snack, I enjoyed some nuts and 2 Boobie Balls (aka energy balls for all you non-breastfeeding folks). 20161012_115035

Then it was time for pumpkinfest! Which basically was a Halloween-type party in my office featuring pumpkin beer and treats. I had some pumpkin candy corn, beer and a cookie.20161012_154141

Dinner was a one pan roasted pesto salmon with some veggies. It hit the spot – I can’t remember the last time I had fish! And it was so easy to make! 

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And I even has leftovers for lunch the next day!

There we go – another What I Ate Wednesday.
Some questions for you:

  • Have you had any pumpkin beers or other pumpkin treats yet?
  • Do you like candy corn?

Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. All views are my own. 

No, YOU’RE The Best

I really can’t complain about the weekend. We had gorgeous weather and were able to spend time outside. I got in 2 outdoor runs. We had outdoor beers and an outdoor lunch. I was semi-productive. The Indians won. AND I got to celebrate some hard work at the Best of Cleveland event.

Friday night after work, B and I opted to take a walk before dinner and find somewhere to grab a drink.  As we were walking, the little guy fell asleep!

It was a gorgeous night, and tons of people were out for the baseball game.
img_20161014_201642 So we did what any new parents would do- found a patio to enjoy a nice beer and ordered a pizza. Pizza 216 really is my favorite place for thin crust. 20161014_201919 img_20161014_193108

We were able to follow along with the Indians game and were excited when they won!

Sunday morning, Mary was running 16 miles, so B, FW and I decided to join her for the last 3ish. I am really enjoying running with B and sharing the stroller!
That afternoon, we headed to the east side of town to enjoy the changing leaves and 70 degree temps and watch a college football game. But first, we had time for a little walk. Followed by lunch- tater tots and hot dogs! I had an amazing vegan dog with lentil chili, cheese and veggies.



I think FW enjoyed the football game – the weather was perfect!


That night,  B had tickets to the Indians game and while he was there watching them bring home another WIN, I was at the Best of Cleveland event, celebrating the @InTheCLE twitter account. The citizen voice twitter handle that I founded a few years ago  (each week it features a new Clevelander) won Best Social Media so me, Victoria and Laura were there manning the booth and getting new sign-ups.

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The event didn’t end until late, but I headed out a littlr early to get some work done when a client crisis popped up. I was pooped- I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle it all!

Sunday morning included some smiles with this guy…


And also a run with Nicole (like the good old days!), some meal prep, and cooking. 20161016_104107

And because it was sunny and 78 degrees, B and I were able to go for a walk with FW and enjoy lunch outside.



And then a perfect grilled dinner. I love the warmer weather we are having!!


  • Did it feel like summer near you again suddenly?
  • Did you get in any runs or races this weekend? It seemed like everyone I knew had a race!

And because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Thinking Out Loud: First Single Working Mom Day

This post is dedicated to all the single working moms out there. Or all the single moms. Or all the working moms. You know what, it’s dedicated to all the moms out there because you’re all rocking at what you do, even if you don’t know it.

I had my first experience as a “single working mom” this week. B had to be out of town for work super early one day so it was my turn to do the dreaded daycare drop off AND pick up.

It was my first drop off. I expected a few things going into it: first that I’d have to get up super early if I wanted to work out, get ready for the day, feed and change FW AND make it out of downtown and back to downtown by 8 a.m. Second, that it’d be hard because I hate saying goodbye to FW in the morning.

Well, it was both of those things times ten. Of course when my alarm went off at 4:58 a.m. I didn’t want to get up. It felt like I had just fallen back asleep from FW’s 3 a.m. feeding and it was SO COLD and dark out. I managed to get out of bed only 15 minutes later than I wanted to, and got in a 29 minute workout. Not quite what I wanted … but better than nothing.

I quickly showered, got my breakfast ready (a.k.a. I grabbed a yogurt and some granola and fruit), fixed a crock pot meal and then woke up FW. He was super giggly and happy (he is a morning person!), which made me happy as well. Phew, I thought – this is nothing!

Of course two things happened then. One, he took about 15 minutes longer than usual to eat. And I felt too guilty on this particular day to cut him off. And then, he of course decided to have a massive “I haven’t pooped in two days” type of blowout right before we were ready to leave.

Before leaving, I took a look at my calendar for the day and remembered I was triple-booked for after work with daycare pickup, a board meeting (that I was going to be late to because of a work meeting) and another appointment.

FW was still giggly when I put him in his car seat. He was smiley all the way to the parking lot. And then, when he realized he wasn’t going for a walk/run, he seemed to get serious. (Yes, this may be all in my head)

When I got to the daycare, I was the first person there. Even the employee at the check-in seemed surprised, saying “Oh, wow, he’s the first little one! He’s so young!” (didn’t make me feel better)

And then, of course as I put him down to leave, he started crying. I know he wasn’t crying because I was leaving (right?! he can’t really know…), but it didn’t help matters. I ended up dashing to my car before the worker could see me crying as well.

On the bright side? I made it to work 10 minutes early. And didn’t get any baby bodily fluids on my work outfit.

So – single working moms … well all moms – I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you manage to make time for yourself. I don’t know how you get enough sleep. I don’t know how you turn off your “mom face” after dropping off your child with someone else and turn on your “work face.” I have so much admiration and am in awe of all of you.

Shared as part of the Thinking Out Loud linkup. Because I really can’t make complete thoughts at this moment and this seemed like a TOL post.


WIAW: Typical Office Eats

Welp, as I mentioned, I’m back at work from maternity leave.  Which means – back to my typical office eats. Every day is somewhat different, but for today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I wanted to share a pretty typical day of food and snacks when 99% of the food I ate that was at my office. Here are last Thursday’s eats!

Breakfast was oats – I’ve been on an egg kick lately, but B was traveling for work and didn’t have time to make me eggs and since I’m lazy, I made some egg white oats and topped it with banana and mixed nuts. They were SO good! I love egg whites in my oats heated up – they fill me up longer AND take on a custardy type texture.


Snacks also included more mixed nuts. Here are the containers we have at work. 20161006_121400

Lunch is not that pretty looking but it hit the spot! A ton of roasted veggie s(squash, eggplant, onion, zucchini) and some ground chicken gyro meat that was leftover from dinner. All on top of some spinach. YUM.


Later snacks included an apple.20161006_135408

And a few of these boobie balls. Or energy balls – whatever you want to call them. I may have consumed more than 2 as the day went on …20161005_100658

Dinner was one of my favorite quick and easy meals – roasted veggie hash topped with a runny egg. I need more easy quick meals in my life!20161006_182547

And of course, dessert. Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple topped with some chocolate chips, chocolate wafers and PEANUT BUTTER. There was more peanut butter on the bottom too.20161006_200221

That was it for my What I Ate Wednesday eats! I headed to bed literally right after my dessert and conked out. I’m so tired now that I’m back at work. Between running, working, and not sleeping (FW is still waking up 1-2 times a night to eat), I’m not sure how my brain is functioning most days.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Arctic Zero? Favorite flavor?
  • Do you prep lunches for work/school in advance or make them daily?

We Love Grandparent Time

FW got an extra dose of Grandparent Time this weekend – he spent Friday night with B’s mom and the rest of the weekend with my parents!

I neglected to take any photos Friday night with B’s mom, but FW got to spend some time with her because B and I had tickets to the Indians playoff game!!

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It was a great night for some baseball and seasonably warm (80 degrees!). Oh yeah, and we won!

We followed the game with some local thin crust pizza. I love Pizza 216’s dough.20161007_205216

Saturday we woke up and it felt like fall was here! We decided to take my parents away from downtown for the day and spent some time in Burton, Ohio for their Oxtoberfest AND apple butter festival.

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We watched people make apple butter and of course ought some to go.

After the festival, we made quick stop at Ohio wine country. I love Spring River for its views and I’m glad my parents got to check it out.

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We started Sunday with a run (faster than my previous runs!) trip to the Market, a walk around Ohio City and brunch at Le Petit Triangle.


My mom and I split the lemon curd French toast and the Croque Madame. They were so so good!

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B also got this fancy coffee drink. I got to have the whipped cream but he enjoyed the rest of it which had grand marinier and whiskey I think. 20161009_114952

After that it was time to say goodbye to my parents – which is always so sad. Luckily we were headed right to Sofia’s cross country meet so that helped keep my mind off of them leaving. FW was thrilled to cheer on his cousin at her race. 20161009_143056

It was fun watching the kids run!

And then it was already nearly time for Sunday family dinner with B’s family. We ended the weekend with a fall meal – beef stew and apple crisp. And of course, milk for the little guy. Cheers to a great week!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you enjoy any fall meals? What’s your favorite fall meal?
  • How do you like your eggs?

I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.


WIAW: Back From Maternity Leave

Last week I went back to work after taking off 3 months of maternity leave. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I was so surprised that it was. I was an emotional wreck. After spending 3 months with FW, I could barely think about leaving him all day. I may go into those emotions more in a future post, but for now, it’s  What I Ate Wednesday! And here are my eats from my first day back at work, last Thursday.

But first, here’s a pic of FW all dressed up for his first day of daycare. It’s from my Instagram account (@koskim).

Tie? ✔ Elbow patches ✔ Little guy was all dressed up for his first day at daycare! #fwcarney

A photo posted by Melissa Koski Carney (@koskim) on

Anyway, breakfast was B’s specialty! He made me egg whites, spinach and tomatoes and I packed it up and brought it into work. It was nice to be back eating at my desk and an old staple.


Lunch was a whole bunch of roasted veggies I had prepped a few days earlier and some grilled chicken, all on top of some spinach. Plus some avocado. It was so good and hit the spot. 20160929_132638

Snacks during the day included an apple from our apple picking adventure, a PB&J muffin AND some nuts. You can see some pistachios AND these delicious pumpkin spice almonds that my coworker shard with me. I love pumpkin spice flavored things!!20160929_144747 20160929_152453

Dinner was right from the freezer. I knew I’d be too tired (emotionally and physically) and drained after my first day back to think about dinner so I had taken out some Skinnytaste Late Summer Enchilada Pie from the freezer and paired it with some more spinach and roasted zucchini. This dish is my FAVE and it freezes well! SO happy to have some freezer meals these coming weeks as I get back into the groove of work and figure out how to balance little sleep, running and a newborn. Yikes.


That was it! I almost had some ice cream and leftover french toast for dessert, but I honestly was too tired to move off the couch and open the freezer. I passed out around 8:30 p.m. – a record for me!

Some questions for you:

  • Working moms – any tips for getting healthy meals for dinner ready?
  • Do you like pumpkin spice flavored things? What’s your favorite?