Sample Meal Plan

There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting down on a Sunday after church with a cup of tea and a stack of cookbooks. I’m prepared not to move until our meal plan for the week is fully planned and the grocery list is made. I even take it a step further by writing it out on a large whiteboard in our kitchen, which garners a lot of comments from friends thinking I only wrote it to impress them. The reality is that I just really enjoy cooking for my family *and the whiteboard displays my skills to my husband so he never forgets how lucky he is to have me ;).

I realize this is not an ideal Sunday, or any day, for some people. Hence my decision to share my meal plans with you! For the record, our dinners are fairly healthy, with the majority being gluten free/low GI and made with fresh ingredients. I like to think I prove that healthy doesn’t mean bland. If my eight year old will happily eat it, so can yours!

Week 1 -Simple recipes to show you that it’s not hard to cook every night & it won’t take hours in the kitchen!

Monday: Ribs, Baked Green Beans, Chopped Salad.

My husband makes incredible ribs on the BGE. I’ll get him to write his recipe and do a post on those soon.

For the green beans: I simply heat an oven to 425, spread fresh green beans on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt (toss to coat), then bake for about 15-20 minutes until their blistered but not burnt.

For the salad: I mix iceberg & romaine, broccoli, and mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Using my handy dandy salad chopper I bought on amazon, I chop it into small pieces. For my son, I dollop on some ranch and that’s his salad. For my husband and I, I add tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and green olives and toss with an Italian dressing.

Tuesday: Seared Salmon, Brussel sprouts, brown rice.


For the Salmon: Pre-heat oven to 425. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add olive oil. Season salmon with salt & pepper. Place skin side up in the hot cast iron pan for about 3 minutes to form a crust. Flip the salmon and immediately transfer the whole pan to the oven for 10 minutes. It’s incredible every time.

For the Brussels: I buy the shaved Brussel Sprouts from Trader Joes, toss in olive oil, salt & pepper, spread on a parchment lined baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes. I do put these in the oven before I start on the salmon, and they’re finished at the same time.

For the Brown Rice: I buy the frozen brown rice from Trader Joes, microwave it for 3 minutes (no shame) then add garlic butter and Maldon salt before serving.

Wednesday: Black Bean & Avocado quesadillas with Mexican Rice.

For the quesadilla: These are super simple. I use Siete foods tortillas because they’re grain free, but if that’s not a concern for you then use any low carb tortilla. Shredded Mozzarella cheese, Sliced Avocado, and canned black beans come together pretty easily. Serve with greek yogurt mixed with a dollop of chipotle hot sauce to make them seem gourmet ;)

Thursday: Laura Lea’s Salmon Cakes with leftover green beans (re-seasoned with sesame oil to give them an asian flair.)

For the salmon cakes:

Friday: Caprese Chicken and broccoli.


For the chicken:

For the broccoli: Again, I use the oven to make veggies. Same strategy: chop the florets into pretty small pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes. When they come out, squeeze with half a fresh lemon and shave some parmesan cheese on those trees. My child begs for this broccoli. It’s kind of weird, actually.

Saturday: Pizza for the kiddo, date night with the other man that lives in our home. If we weren’t going out we’d eat leftovers this day.

Sunday: We call this soul food Sunday. It’s when I go back to my roots and cook the stuff Paula Dean dreamed up. Pork Chops, Mac & Cheese (I use Eat Banza so the pasta is gluten free) and Collard Greens.

For the Pork Chops: Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and a splash of olive oil. When the butter stops foaming, you’re ready to add your pork chops previously seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for about 8 minutes per side, until golden brown and juices run clear. I found a meat thermometer to be an awesome addition to my kitchen! No more guessing whether or not the inside is cooked! You can google the temperature your meat is supposed to be.

For the Macaroni & Cheese: So good, ya’ll. So good.

For the Collard Greens: Cook 2 pieces of bacon in the bottom of a large pot. Add collard greens and sautée in the bacon fat (told ya it’s soul food). Once wilted, add enough chicken stock to cover the greens. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and leave on the stove as long as you can. I put these on when we get home from church and don’t eat them until 5+ hours later.

Enjoy having your meal plan made for you! If you make anything, please tag @larsenbeckett on instagram. If you have questions or need more in depth help on any of these, let me know so I can elaborate!

Bon Appetit!

Tips and Tricks for Antiquing Like a Pro

My favorite hours are the hours I spend searching the hidden corners of thoughtfully sourced booths in antique shops.  In close second comes estate sales, where I spend countless hours, sometimes with a flashlight, digging for gold in the darkest closets.  The thrill of the hunt is a deep rooted passion, and I'm happy to share some tips and tricks for antiquing like a professional that will make it enjoyable for you as well!

Photo courtesy of Charish.

Photo courtesy of Charish.


Tip/Trick #1: Caffeine

Yes, I'm encouraging drug use before partaking in these activities (and yes, caffeine is a drug, google it). To find the good stuff you need to be alert. I'm talking bright eyed and bushy tailed. You have to be able to make quick decisions and think clearly.  Brain fog is not a party to a well spent antiquing trip. Maybe you're one of those people that doesn't need caffeine for this, but I'm not, and this is my blog, so I'l telling you to drink all the caffeine.

Tip/Trick #2: Pack Lightly

A cross body bag is key.  Things are tight in there, and the last person you want to be is the one who swings around to grab something you spotted out of the corner of your eye, knocking over an entire bookshelf of milk glass with your Never Full, successfully losing all credibility and having to avoid your favorite shop for months. I'm sure you could tell from the detail that I am indeed speaking from experience....moving on! These are the items you need in your purse: shopping list if you have specific items in mind, cash, credit card, ID, tape measure, and inspirational photos if needed. That's it!

Tip/Trick #3: Arrive Early

This one is kind of common sense. You're not going to get the best items if you let all the other hunters out into the field before you. Whether it's a monthly market like Scott's in Atlanta, an estate sale, or even stopping by after a new shipment at your favorite local haunt (I'm looking at you, Plantation Shop) the key is to get there before everyone else.  It's a calmer environment, allowing you to think clearer. Which leads me to my next tip and trick for antiquing like a pro....

Tip/trick #4: Give yourself a pep talk

Antiquing calls for quick decisions, and confidence is key!! If you love an item, buy it! I can't stress this enough.  I have passed on one too many items due to lack of trusting my instinct. I've since grown up, but it heeds repeating: you know what you like, you have good taste, you're a goddess, you have great hair, and you're going to leave this place with the best treasures ever.

Tip/Trick #5: Negotiate

I say this because I'm also a realtor, so negotiating is in my blood, but it definitely applies here too! Unless an item is marked as their best and final (usually denoted by an x or colorful dot) then you can ask "what's the best deal you can give me on this?" This is where knowing your product is key.  If you know how much a 12" ginger jar usually costs, you know if you're getting a deal or not.  Please be careful not to be rude though, sourcing these items for you to cherish is the way a lot of people make a living.


Photo courtesy of The Distillery.

Photo courtesy of The Distillery.

As I'm writing this I realize there are tips and tricks for antiquing that differ from the tips and tricks for estate sales, etc. If you find this quick rundown helpful let me know, and I'll write more detailed posts breaking down each venue!