Monday, October 19, 2009

4 week meal plan.

Here's my list for Oct. 18th thru Nov. 14th.

Oct. 18-24
Sun: burritos, veg, fruit
Mon: pork loin tacos, corn, rice
Tue: leftovers, veg, fruit
Wed: Roast, potato, carrots, fruit
Thr: Western Meal, tortilla shells, corn
Fri: leftovers
Sat: leftovers/sandwiches

Oct. 25-31
Sun: sloppy joes, veg, fruit
Mon: Baja soup, fruit
Tue: leftovers
Wed: BBQ beef*, green beans, peaches
Thr: Meatballs w/ mushroom soup gravy, veg, & fruit
Fri: pizza-most likely homemade
Sat: leftovers/sandwiches
* BBQ beef was leftover from the roast last week. I shred & add my BBQ sauce & freeze until I need it.

Nov. 1-7
Sun: Baked Chicken, potato, & salad
Mon: chicken casserole*, peas, fruit
Tue: spaghetti, hotbread, salad
Wed: Cheeseburger soup**
Thr: leftovers
Fri: Bubble Pizza***
Sat: leftovers
*for the chicken casserole, I'll use the leftover baked chicken from Monday's meal.

**Recipe for Cheeseburger Soup as follows:
2lbs ground beef
1 onion
2 cans corn
2 cans diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 1/2 lbs. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 cans red beans, do not drain

Brown ground beef w/ onions, drain well. In large pot, combine burger/onion, corn, beans, & tomatoes. Simmer 3 hrs. Then add Velveeta cheese and let melt. (You could let this simmer in your crock pot on low for 3 hrs & then add the Velveeta.

***Recipe for Bubble Pizza

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 (15oz) can pizza sauce
2 (12oz) tubes refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown ground beef & drain. Stir in pizza sauce. cut biscuits into 4 pcs. & place in greased 9x13 pan. Tope w/ beef mix. Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 min. Sprinkle w/ cheeses. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5-10 minutes b/4 serving.

Week of Nov. 8-14

Sun: Beef Stroganoff, noodles, veg, fruit
Mon: breakfast for supper- eggs, bacon, toast
Tue: Karen's Chicken Soup, grilled cheese
Wed: leftovers
Thr: Shepherd's Pie*
Fri: leftovers
Sat: leftovers/sandwiches

*Recipe for Shepherd's Pie from Taste of Home, Makes 2 pies (eat one freeze the other)
2 lbs ground beef
2 cans(10 1/4oz each) beef gravy
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen peas & carrots
2 t. dried minced onion
Additional Ingredients (for each casserole)
2-3 c. mashed potatoes (can be instant)
2 T. butter, melted

1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over med. heat until no longer pink, drain. Add the gravy, veggies, & onion. Spoon half into a greased 2 qt baking dish. Top w/ mashed potatoes. Drizzle w/ butter & sprinkle w/ paprika.

2. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30-35 min. or until heated thru. Place the remaining beef mix in a freezer container/ziploc freezer bag & freeze for up to 3 months.

To prepare frozen casserole: Thaw in frig, transfer to a greased 2 qt baking dish. Top w/ the potatoes, butter & paprika. Bake as directed above.

I have used canned veggies, & the worked just fine.

Also, when making freezer meals, remember to date the meal w/ the name of what it is & baking instructions.

Monday, October 12, 2009

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

A month or so, prepackaged chocolate chip cookies were on sale at Dillons, Buy 3 get a gallon of milk free. So, for those of you who haven't eaten your cookies is a great recipe to use them in. It is from the Easy Weeknight Favorites cookbook.

1 (15-18oz) pkg Chocolate chip cookies*
1 c. milk
1 (9oz) commercial graham cracker crust (xtra serving size)
1 (8oz) container cool whip, thawed

Dip 8 cookies in milk & place in a single layer in graham crust. Top w/ 1/3 whipped topping. Dip 8 more cookies in milk & place on top; spread w/ 1/3 whip topping. Repeat layers w/ 8 more cookies, milk, & remaining whipped topping. Crumble 2 cookies, & sprinkle over pie. Cover & chill 8 hrs b/4 serving. Yield 8 servings
* For cookies, we used Nabisco Chunky chips Ahoy. You'll need 26 cookies for this recipe. THere may be a few leftover in the pkg.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Week 3 meals

Ok, Like I said earlier, we are flexible w/ the meal schedule. I didn't really stick to the plan last week, so hopefully can do better this next week. I did forget that this weekend we will be camping so the scheduled meals will be pushed off a bit. We go w/ 3-4 other couples & are assigned a meal. We have Sunday morning & we decided french toast, sausage patties, & fruit would be good. Here's the rest of the week:

Monday: camping-cooks choice

Tues: Salmon patties, corn,fruit, & bread

Wed: Leftovers (Awana night...busy...busy...busy)

Thurs: Meatloaf*, mashed potato, fruit, blueberry muffin

Friday: Pizza & bread stix (might splurge & order out instead of homemade)

Sat: Rootbeer BBQ sandwich, veg & fruit

*Meatloaf recipe from the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

All-American Meat Loaf

Prep: 7 min Cook: 55min

2 lbs. ground chuck
3/4c. uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. milk
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. ketchup
3 T. brown sugar
2 t. prepared mustard

Combine 1st 8 ingred. in a large bowl, press into an 8x8 lightly greased pan. Bake 350 for 40 minutes.

Combine 1/2 c. ketchup, brown sugar, & mustard: spoon over meat loaf, & bake 15 minutes more or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sticking to the menu?

Ok, so this past week, I tried to stay on the plan for meals, but ended up only eating 1 or 2 items. The week b/4 I made sloppy joes. I forgot how much this makes, so we ate on it for many meals after. Also, I made the sausage spaghetti casserole & still have some in the frig for tomorrows lunch. Next time I plan these two meals, I will save 1/2 of each & freeze them for later meals. I am posting the Sloppy Joes recipe as well as dip recipe we had tonight at small group.

Sloppy Joes from the Ultimate Southern Living cookbook

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef*
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 sm. green pepper, chopped
1 (10 3/4oz) can tomato soup (undiluted)
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. prepared mustard
1/8 t. garlic powder

Cook 1st 3 ingred. in large skillet, drain fat. Stir in Soup & next 6 ingred. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Serve w/ hamburger buns or chips.

* If cooking mass amounts of hamburger for bulk/freezer cooking, 1 pound of cooked burger is equal to 2 cups. You'll need 3 cups cooked beef for this recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1- fully cooked rotissirie chicken
1- 8oz brick Cream cheese, softened
1 c. Ranch dressing ( I used Kroger brand & it was fine)
1/2 c. Red Hot (Buffalo sauce)
shredded cheese
Celery sticks/chips/sliced baguette bread for dipping

Dice up as much chicken as you can get from the bones & put in microwave safe bowl. Add cream cheese, ranch dressing, & Red Hot & mix. Put in microwave for 7 minutes or until hot/bubbly throughout. Stir once during the middle & when done. Top w/ shredded cheese & serve w/ celery sticks/chips/ or bread.

I usually make ahead of time & store in my mini crock to heat up later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wow! This has been a busy week of getting the boys back to school & me starting a new job. It is the 1st paying job I've had since my State Farm job 6 years ago. I've had to make some adjustments...trying to get all my mommy duties done w/in the day. I couldn't have done it w/o planning my meals. Here is a list of what I'd planned for this week.

Sun: fried pork chops,scalloped potatoes & pears
Mon: French fri casserole,green beans & peaches
Tue: leftovers( I was exhausted)
Wed: Tuna burgers, peas, & grapes
Thur: Stomboli w/ sauce, asparagus (family did not like this), & banana
Fri: Sloppy Joes w/ pickles & chips
Sat: Grilled Chicken, potatoes&onions-grilled, fruit, & bread

Next weeks menu will be:

Sun: leftovers for lunch
Itallian sausage spaghetti, salad, & fruit
Mon: leftovers
Tue: Chicken casserole, peas, fruit
Wed: sausage links & homemade mac & cheese, fruit, veg
Thur: leftovers
Fri: homemade pizza, veg, fruit
Sat: leftovers/sandwiches for lunch
chicken tenders, potatoes, & fruit

Before figuring out what we would be having these 2 weeks, I sat down & wrote out everything my family likes. Then from there, I filled in my monthly calendar.(I plan meals a month at a time). I then shopped my pantry to see what I would still need. Luckily, I had most of week 2 food in my freezer/pantry so I won't have to buy much at the store. Also, I don't always stick to my planned meal for a certain day. I am fairly flexible w/in the week, but try not to stray from the plan by ordering pizza/take out.

Ok, think that's it for now...till next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slow-Roasted Summer Tomatoes

So everytime we head to Minnesota, my mom & I ALWAYS stop at a Byerly's grocery store. We LOVE this store & especially their pastries! Also, they have quarterly complimentary food magazines. This recipe is from that mag.

12 tomatoes
20 cloves (yes, 20)
5 large thyme sprigs
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Place a lg pot of water on the stove & bring to boil.

Fill large bowl or sink basin w/ ice water.

Using a paring knife, core tomatoe & cut a small x in bottom of each tomato.

Place tomatoes in boiling water, wait for 2 minutes till the skill starts to come off, then place the tomatoes in the ice water to cool. Once tomatoes are cool, peel off the skin & set aside.

Next, cut tomatoes in 1/2 at the equator of the tomato. Remove all the pulp & seeds & place in a bowl. (this can be saved for tomato sauce)

Spread the olive oil on a lg cookie tray & place tomatoes flat-side down on the tray. Sprinkle w/ fresh thyme & crushed garlic & season w/ S&P. Roast in oven at 180-200 degrees for 10-12 hrs or 7-8 hrs if using a convection oven. (like over night) The tomatoes are done when they are done, like fresh apricots.

Allow tomatoes to cool. Slip them into sturdy zipper-top freezer bags, press out the extra air, & freeze. (Save the oil from pan for salads*)

The uses for these roasted tomatoes are nearly endless. They make a great side dish alongside roasted meats, a perfect pizza or bruschetta topping, can be cut up for a quick pasta sauce, or added to lasagna. If you want individual plated appetizers consider garnishing a roasted tomato half w/ a bit of fresh mozzarella & a basil leaf drizzled w/ evoo, good balsamic vinegar, or a simple vinaigrette.**

* I kept some of the garlic to make a garlic butter for steak. Can't wait to try it!
** I doubled the recipe & had 40 cloves of garlic. Let's just house smelled of garlic for a good day.

These are delicious! 2 trays made approx. 2 quart size freezer bags.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So yesterday, Jerrett & I went to the Museum of Natural Treasures in downtown Wichita. I had a coupon for buy on get one free admission. So it only cost me $8.95+tax. Jerrett really enjoyed it. He even told me today that he really liked it. There are a few dinousaur models that he happily posed by. Now that he reads, he likes to read the information on the different displays. He also had lots of questions.
The 1st floor consisted of dinosaur bones, anciet eygptian artifacts, and lots of statues/carvings. Some of it "creeped" him out. The 2nd floor was all war memoriblia. No pictures allowed on that floor. The 3rd floor was mostly Kansas history as well as United States Presidents.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I have thought about doing a blog for over a year about some of my favorite past times...Cooking & Reading. This blog will contain recipes that are family favorites as well as newly tried ones. Also, since I read a lot, I thought I would include recently read books & give them a thumbs up or down rating. Enjoy!