475 Meal Planning for Mere Mortals EAT AT HOME COOKS

475 Meal Planning for Mere Mortals EAT AT HOME COOKS

475: Meal Planning for Mere Mortals:


Join Kathi and one of her very favorite podcast co-hosts, Tonya Kubo, in this discussion of one of the most common struggles: meal planning. We all have to eat. So, why is meal planning so challenging sometimes? And doesn’t it just seem like it should be easier? For those of us who struggle with clutter, meal planning is often a companion struggle and compounds the decision fatigue. Something that has really helped me is having meal plans from Eat at Home Cooks. They come straight to my inbox, complete with a coordinating grocery list, and relieve me of so many decisions every month. One of the best parts is that Eat at Home Cooks has thought of everyone and has a variety of plans including:


  • Instant Pot and Slow Cooker meal plans
  • No Flour, No Sugar meal plans
  • Plant-Based meal plans


EAT AT HOME and Save Money, Time, and Energy:


If you struggle with making dinnertime happen, you’ll LOVE these easy meal plans that do all the hard work for you! Color-coded shopping lists and printable tried and true family recipes make dinnertime a breeze! Use EAT to claim yours here.


Eat at Home meal plans takes care of all the “thinking” part of dinner by giving you the meals, recipes, grocery lists, and more! This is huge because it relieves us from decision fatigue in the area of meal planning. Say yes to making dinner easy (and save 30% through August 31 with code EAT!).



Yes, you CAN have dinner on the table in JUST 15 MINUTES! This meal from this month’s Eat at Home Meal plan is faster than waiting in the drive-through window most nights. P.S. Curious about the Eat At Home Meal plans? Check this out! EAT AT HOME COOKS

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Meet Our Guest 


Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious and fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy Facebook group and the Clutter Free for Life membership program. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters, and one very tolerant cat.

Visit her at www.tonyakubo.com


# 426 The Episode Where Kathi Says She Wanted to Punch Roger in the Face – PLUS Getting Dinner on the Table with Eat at Home Cooks’ Tiffany King

# 426 The Episode Where Kathi Says She Wanted to Punch Roger in the Face – PLUS Getting Dinner on the Table with Eat at Home Cooks’ Tiffany King

Do you sometimes wish that someone else would do your meal planning? Kathi and Tiffany King are here to make your wish come true. We all know that successful meal planning lessens decisions and chaos in this busy life, but finding the time to consistently devote to it can be challenging. Tiffany King has developed Meals at Home to help relieve decision fatigue and help us save time and money. Join in the discussion to find out:

  • Why it’s so helpful to have a consistent meal plan
  • How meal planning will help you save time and money
  • How meal planning will help to alleviate decision fatigue














Get your meal plans here for 30% off with code EASY.


Eat at Home Cooks: 30% Discount with Code: EASY

TIffany King


Eat At Home Tonight Cookbook





Learn more about Clutter Free for Life.

Order your copy of Ready For Anything today.


We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

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Meet Our Guest

Tiffany King

Tiffany King

Tiffany King has cooked more than ten thousand meals for her husband and four kids. Over the years, Tiffany has learned what works and what doesn’t work for getting dinner on the table fast. Her recipes have been developed in a real kitchen for her busy family and tested by the millions of readers of Eat at Home. Connect with Tiffany at Eat at Home.


Read along with the podcast!




Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars



Apricot and Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

I love any recipe that is a twofer.

A twofer is any dish that can be served just after making, and then is also fabulous later on as a LOOP (Left Over On Purpose.)

Let me introduce: Baked Oatmeal.           

The reason I love this recipe is twofer:

  1. It is a warm, nourishing breakfast to have on a Monday morning when the world feels like too much and you just need some comfort food to make the world right again.
  2. It is perfect on a Tuesday morning, straight from the fridge as an “Oatmeal Bar” which I then grab and go as I drive into town for work with my homemade latte.

See? Twofer. (That is, if your crew doesn’t eat the whole pan first. If that’s a possibility, you may want to consider making TWO pans to be assured of oatmeal bars later.


2 1/2 cups oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whole almonds, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped           

1 cup blueberries

1 1/3 cups whole milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup brown sugar, divided

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, divided (2 tablespoons melted, 2 tablespoons room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla



Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. 

Fold in the almonds, apricots and blueberries. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, cream, honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla to combine. This creates a custard-like mixture that you then pour over the oats.

Cut up the rest of the butter and put that on top, along with the remaining brown sugar.

Bake for 25 or 30 minutes, or until the oatmeal has absorbed the liquid and is golden brown on the surface.

Cool slightly before serving.


Let me know if you’ll be trying baked oatmeal, or if you have a favorite twofer recipe in the comments!




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Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

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#398 Simple Meal Prep from Hope’s Table by Hope Helmuth

#398 Simple Meal Prep from Hope’s Table by Hope Helmuth

Do you love to cook, but getting dinner on the table every night can be overwhelming? Today Kathi dishes with Hope Helmuth, author of Hope’s Table: Everyday Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen. Hope’s cookbook is filled with beautiful, simple and delicious recipes for everyday meals. Kathi and Hope scoop up their best kitchen tricks to keep you and your family happy at mealtime.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Tips and tricks for staying organized in the kitchen.
  • How to keep your kitchen clean and ready to cook anytime.
  • PLUS: How to clean your cast iron skillet quickly and easily.

Book Giveaway

For a chance to win Hope Helmuth’s book Hope’s Table: Everyday Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen, answer the question, “what is your biggest challenge in the kitchen?” in the comments below.



We would love to stay connected.

To share your thoughts:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Two of Hope’s Favorite Recipes

Serves 4
An easy one-dish meal that is full of flavor and color. The chicken melts in your mouth.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
3 red potatoes, cut into chunks

¼ cup butter
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8–¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Lay chicken and vegetables in a greased large skillet or a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Make sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter and add garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, cayenne pepper, and parsley. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables. Toss well with hands to make sure sauce is coated evenly. Bake at 350°F for 1½ hours.

Makes 20 bars
This recipe from my grandma Shank is great for fall parties. Mom used to make these for our youth group parties, and she would top each square with a candy pumpkin.

1 cup oil
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese,
¼ cup butter, softened
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash salt

In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, mix together batter
ingredients in order listed. Pour batter into a greased and floured
10 x 15-inch baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 20–25 minutes.
Make icing: In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together
cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla,
and salt. Beat until fluffy and smooth. Spread on cooled bars.

Meet Our Guest

Hope Helmuth

Hope Helmuth

Mennonite Cook, Mother, and Blogger

Hope Helmuth is a Mennonite cook, mother, and blogger who enjoys creating recipes, entertaining guests, gardening, graphic design, and photography. She, her husband, and two daughters live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where they own a toy store, Timeless Toys, and several other businesses. Connect with her at Homefulthings.com, on Instagram, and Facebook.


Episode #311: Plan Ahead for Your Next Instant Party – How to be Ready to Celebrate at a Moment’s Notice

Episode #311: Plan Ahead for Your Next Instant Party – How to be Ready to Celebrate at a Moment’s Notice

Who doesn’t love a good get-together with friends or family? How do you make an instant party when you don’t have time to run to the store and you haven’t done a deep clean in awhile?

Kathi and her clutter free expert, Tonya Kubo, join in on this fun episode full of tips that make your next party stress free. They share their favorite party recipes, cleaning ideas and ways to let your guests help out so they feel like they are part of the fun. No one wants a stressed out hostess and with these tips you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your guests instead of worrying about tiny details (you know, the ones that probably don’t really matter!).

Recipes mentioned in the show:

Kathi’s Macaroni Salad recipe for Instant Pot
Tammy’s Maltby Cake Recipe
Kathi’s recipe for “really quick chili”
Tonya’s Icebox Cakes (2 recipes):

Tonya’ Cowboy Caviar

2 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (taste first to check heat)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (optional)
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice from 2 fresh limes, about 4 tablespoons (lemon works too)
Dash of red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside. Mix salad ingredients in a bowl stir in dressing to blend. You can serve immediately but it’s even better after 2 hours in the fridge.
Notes: This can be made the night before. You can sub the black beans for any type of firm canned bean. Black-eyed peas and pinto beans are great substitutions.

Share your favorite tips! Win Kathi’s What’s for Dinner Solution!

To win:
Leave a note in the comment section below. Tell us what your favorite cleaning tip or recipe is for your parties. Winner will be chosen on July 10, 2018.

*Giveaway is for US residents only.



Thanks to Our Sponsor: Duck Pack and Track


Thanks for Listening!

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  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now .


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Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. She and her husband, Brian, are raising two spirited girls in the agricultural heart of California. She writes about fighting the demons of comparison, clutter and compulsion on www.tonyakubo.com.

The Clutter Free Kitchen: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Food

The Clutter Free Kitchen: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Food

1. The Use-it-Up Shelf

In my fridge I have a small shelf that has cheese that has been opened, butter sticks that are cut in half, salami that’s about to expire and salad toppings (shredded carrots, chopped celery, sliced cucumbers) that need to be eaten first. I have put a piece of tape on it that screams “Eat me first!”

The “Use It Up” shelf is a reminder that these things need to be eaten first so that we are not wasting food and money. Why eat cheese that will expire in three months when you have some that will expire in three weeks?

 2. Tag Your Pantry

Use blue painter’s tape to mark anything that is going to expire in the next month. Make sure those boxes and cans are towards the front, so you can see what needs to be used up when you’re thinking about what to make for dinner.

3. Meal Plan

And speaking of what to make for dinner, deciding early in the week what you’re going to cook for the rest of the week is one of the best ways to make sure you use all the fresh ingredients you have in your fridge.

4. Store Smart

  1. Don’t store bananas and apples together (apples quicken the ripening of bananas).
  2. Store fresh herbs in a jar of water in the fridge.
  3. Trim asparagus ends and keep them in the fridge in a glass of water (just like you would with a bouquet of flowers) to help them last longer.
  4. Keep citrus good longer by putting it in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to three weeks.

5. Prep Food as Soon as You Get Home

It’s easy to be optimistic in the store; “Of course we will use all of these vegetables. I will lovingly make salads and veggie soup every night for my family.” But when the dinner crunch is looming, it’s so much easier to grab a frozen pizza and vow to make the salad tomorrow night – until tomorrow night comes….

One of the best decisions we’ve made is to prep our shop. When we get home from the store (or that evening) I will go through and wash and spin salad, grate carrots, slice veggies, hard boil some eggs, and generally prep as much food as I can for the coming days. We are about six times as likely to eat fresh food when it is prepped.

6. You have permission to eat all the veggies/fruit in a day.

My friend, Jenn, told me that her kids didn’t want to eat the fruits and veggies that she bought because they were afraid she was saving them for special recipes. Then there would be soft carrots and limp celery and all that money went to waste. Now Jenn tells her kids “Eat all of the fruits and vegetables in a day, it’s fine!” That way she makes sure they are not going to waste.

We now get some of our fruits and veggies from imperfectproduce.com (Use this link to get $10 off your first order! Our orders turn out to be about $15 every other week.) We love the freshness of all the produce we’ve received. (The reason they are imperfect is usually an unusual shape or size or too large of a crop.) We find ourselves eating up the fresh produce because we get to pick what’s in the box and know that we will use and love all of it.

7. Shop Your Pantry Before You Shop Your Store

We’ve all done it—arrived at the store and then thought to ourselves, “Do we have milk? I can’t remember. I’ll pick some up just in case…” And that “just in case” jug of milk is now the fifth gallon of milk in your fridge.

Before you go to the store, do a double take of what you actually have at your house so you’re not spending your valuable grocery dollars on stuff that you already have.

8. Use Your Freezer

I freeze just about everything except for salad. I am a freezer ninja! But here are a couple of ways I use my freezer that might not have occurred to you:

Soup Bag: I have a freezer bag that I use for any veggies that might be on this side of ripe: leftover salad fixings (sliced mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, etc.) and then when the bag is full, I sauté everything in there and use it for the base of a veggie soup. It comes out different every time, but it is consistently delicious.

Berry Bag: I love fresh berries and eat a lot of them (on my morning oatmeal, whenever we have company over and I make Instant Pot Cheesecake,) but sometimes even I can’t go through the several types I can buy in a week (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry). So when they are starting to get ripe I’ll throw them into a bag in the freezer and use them to make smoothies or defrost them and make Warm Berry Compote . Both super easy and a great way to not waste a single, beautiful berry.

9. Fall in Love with Cooking Again

As I was writing this article early Saturday morning and thinking through the “Use it Up” principle, I started to feel the guilt of the apples sitting in our fruit bowl that needed to be used up. Since Saturday morning is the only time during the week I cook an actual breakfast (the rest of the week is YOYO – You’re On Your Own) I decided it was now or never. I found a great recipe for Sautéed Apples and put those on top of wheat pancakes for our breakfast. It was a major win.

There is really no better feeling in the world than to cook something from ingredients you already have (and would go to waste if you didn’t use them.)

It’s easy to get into a rut of making excuses for not cooking, but if cooking is something you once enjoyed, it’s time to fall in love with cooking again. Here are some ways to do just that:

  1. Read great books about people who love to cook. I’m currently listening to Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters but have enjoyed so many other books by people who love to cook (professionally and for the ones they love). Here is a list of books I’ve loved to listen to while I cook:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love Paperback by Kristin Kimball

My Life in France Paperback by Julia Child? and Alex Prud’homme

  1. Watch real cooking shows. Yes- it’s fun to see people make life-sized gingerbread houses with fully animatronic witches made out of 4,000 gumdrops. But if you want to get inspired to get into the kitchen, watch real people making real food. I love America’s Test Kitchen (PBS) and always want to run into the kitchen and create after seeing any of their chefs doing their thing.

3. Cook with people you love. This is my best tip. Make an event out of it and get in the kitchen with good food and lovely people.

I would love to hear you ideas about how you’ve reduced food waste in your home.