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31 Meal Solutions for Overwhelmed Moms

31 Back to Basics Meal Solutions

When life gets messy, complicated, broken, or crazy busy, sometimes it’s time to just take a step back and go back to the basics.  I picture Will Smith teaching Kevin James the basic step clap dance move. Less cue tip and making the pizza, and back to home.

We had been graciously loved on with meals and even some restaurant gift cards over the past few weeks, even though I was reluctant to ask for help. Even when I resisted, good friends persisted, and we are so grateful, because I really couldn’t do it on my own.

I hadn’t made it to the grocery store in over a month, and the task of meal planning, making a grocery list, putting away all the food, and then feeding us all was overwhelming enough to make me curl up in the corner. Instead giving up for the year, I decided to make a list of BASIC, EASY, BRAINLESS, FAMILY-FRIENDLY MEALS that wouldn’t require a lot of energy or ingredients.

I came up with 31 of our favorite Back-to-Basics Meal Solutions to get us back on track, and I’m sharing those with links to most of the recipes at Land O’Moms. I’d love to add to my list of go-to meals, so be sure to share your favorites!

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How to Turn Spaghetti Leftovers into Spaghetti Pie


There’s not very many comfort foods I love more than a warm plate of spaghetti.  My mom’s spaghetti sauce can take your mom’s any day of the week. It’s one of my favorite dishes on earth. And it’s one of those recipes she’s never written down, but made for decades. We ate spaghetti almost every week growing up, and now it’s one of my kids’ favorites too!

But sometimes the leftovers just don’t do it justice. I’m ready for a new twist – something that keeps the flavor, but makes it feel like a new meal. That’s why I love taking the leftovers and making it into Spaghetti Pie the next day with easy ingredients that I already have on hand. (You can also make this from the beginning by making spaghetti according to your regular recipe, and then following the following instructions.)


What’s YOUR favorite way to re-serve leftovers?



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“Thankful” Pumpkin Bars with Alpha-Bits Cereal

This post is part of a campaign with Mom It Forward Blogger Network and Alpha-Bits, but all my opinions are my own.


It’s November – the month of thankfulness. And couldn’t we all benefit from another helping of thankfulness?  We’ve been talking a lot about gratitude around here, and trying to be even more intentional with our kids during this season. But I have to admit, if I’m not having a grateful heart, it instantly rubs off on my boys.

All the more motivating to practice gratefulness in front of my kids. 


We know that action is the best reinforcement, so instead of just talking about things we are grateful for, we put it into a fun cooking and decorating activity.


We made these yummy pumpkin bars together (see recipe below), and they took turns adding ingredients and cracking eggs.  {We also used baking as an opportunity to apply fractions and measurement math skills.}


While the bars baked and cooled, they told me what to write down on their “Things We Are Thankful For” list, and then they practiced reading the list. I love real-life learning.


Next I had them sort through Alpha-Bits cereal, to spell their thankful words. Playing with your food is encouraged for this activity

I let them snack on the leftover cereal while I iced the Pumpkin Bars. {Alpha-Bits are a guilt-free delicious breakfast/snack for children. With 20g of whole grains and 12 essential vitamins and nutrients per 30g serving.}


Then they got to decorate their bars with the Alpha-Bits cereal letters and gummy pumpkins. 


Thankfulness. Family. Pumpkin. Fun with Learning.


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