Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan 11.29.2010

I meant to post my menu plan from the week before Thanksgiving...but never got around to it. We were mostly eating out of the freezer and pantry that week so believe me, you didn't miss anything grand!

Here's the new plan I made in the car on Saturday!

1. Homemade pizza
2. Spaghetti
3. Stuffed green pepper soup
4. Grilled cheese and tomato-basil soup
5. Baked Potato Soup
6. Skillet penne with sausage and spinach
7. Pizza w/Santa at school
8. Tuna melts
9. Piccata chicken
10. Shredded beef tacos and quinoa salad
11. Cheeseburger soup
12. Nachos
13. Breakfast casserole

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan 10.29.10

*I thought I set this to auto-post last week...*

1. Santa Fe enchiladas (leftover from last meal plan)
2. Ravioli carbonara (also leftover from last meal plan)
3. Spaghetti | salad | french bread
4. Tacos | refried beans
5. Homemade pizza--cheese/pepperoni/veggie
6. Chicken soup | grilled cheese sandwhiches
7. Cheeseburger soup
8. Aunt Rosie's Shepherd's Pie | green veggie
9. Beef stew | cornbread
10. Red and black bean bake
11. Skillet penne with sausage and spinach | salad
12. Lasagna
13. Roast beef | mashed potatoes | green veggie
14. Fish tacos

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quinoa: Two great recipes

My friend, Allie, served this at Bunco and it was DELICIOUS! I'm going to make it as a side to serve with chicken tacos.
Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

I tried this recipe last week and it was really, really good! It made a great side with our pan-fried chicken.
Quinoa Goat Cheese Risotto

6-Week-Refrigerator Bran Muffins

Six-Week-Refrigerator Bran Muffins

2 cups boiling water
2 cups Bran Buds cereal (Kelloggs)
5 cups flour
5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (I used butter)
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 cups All-Bran cereal (Kelloggs)
1 quart buttermilk

Mix water and Bran Buds. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir and try to mash up any hard lumps as completely as you can.

Combine flour, soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a really large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating after each addition. Add buttermilk, All-Bran, the water/Bran Buds mixture. Add the flour mixture and stir only until moistened.

Batter will keep in the refrigerator (in Tupperware-type container, glass jars, etc) for up to six weeks.

When ready to bake, fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes at 350.


My notes:
I baked a batch of these immediately after I made the batter. They were good, but the mixture gets better with time! The subsequent batches were better.

I didn't count how many muffins this made, but I'm guessing between 4-5 dozen. I typically only baked 6 muffins at a time because a couple of picky eaters in my household turned their noses up at them. No worries...more for the rest of us!

You can add raisins if you'd like. I'm not a big fan of raisins so I didn't add them to mine.

Click the links above if you're unsure about the Bran Buds or the All Bran and you'll see the picture of what you need to buy.

The longer the batter sat, the thicker it became. It's okay. Your muffins will still be moist and yummy.

This batter makes a LOT--probably 16+ cups. Make sure you use a big bowl to mix it and make sure you have plenty of containers to put it in!

I think the cost for both boxes of cereal was around $7. I got TWO batches of muffins from both boxes. In fact, I probably still have enough of the second one for another batch.

Menu Plan 10.14.2010

Hmmm, that's weird. My last two menu plan posts never appeared. Even more strange is the fact that I can't find them anywhere in my saved/archived files. Weird. Let me assure you I *have* been cooking! Hope this post is successful!

1. Meredith's lasagna
2. Pork and black bean chili
3. Tuna melts
4. Spaghetti soup
5. Piccata chicken
6. Loaded baked potatoes
7. Santa Fe enchiladas
8. Chicken tacos/quinoa salad
9. Roast beef/sweet potatoes
10. Ravioli carbonara
11. Snack supper (sausage balls, chips/dip)
12. Allison's chili
13. Pan-fried chicken and spinach/mushroom pasta
14. Eating at church!

I need to add a few of these recipes so I can link them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Menu Plan 9.3.2010

I am so tired of making summer menus. I simply like fall and winter cooking better. I'm hoping I'm nearing the end of the hot afternoons that make turning on my oven such a bothersome thing to do. I even snuck a soup recipe in this rotation in hope that we'll have an evening that is soup appropriate!

1. Burgers | fries | corn on the cob
2. Emeril's kicked up tuna melts | chips or sweet potato fries
3. Grilled brats | chips
4. Fish tacos
5. Penne Rustica | salad
6. Skillet penne with sausage and spinach | salad | bread
7. Sweet and sour meatballs | brown rice | broccoli
8. Chicken pot pie | some green veggie or salad
9. Taco salad (addicted to this recipe)(it's so darn easy)
10. Potato soup
11. Shredded beef tacos 
12. Breakfast casserole
13. White chicken enchiladas
14. Bunco! (Menu TBD)(John and the kids will eat out!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Menu Plan 8.20.10

1. Chicken piccata (this recipe only with chicken instead of turkey)
2. Tuna melts (tried these last time and YUM!)
3. Paninis (we use our George Foreman grill)
4. Pizza (probably frozen or take-out)
5. Chicken chow mein
6. Mexican vermicelli
7. Bison nachos 
8. Roast beef and mashed potatoes
9. Chicken fajitas or quesadillas
10. Grilled brats
11. Celebrity chicken (from Southern Living 1995 Annual Recipes Cookbook)
12. Taco Salad (tried this last time too and loved it!)
13. Spaghetti
14. OUT TO EAT! One afternoon we have an event to go to in Woodland Park and we're going to stop at our favorite Mexican place on the way home.

I'll decide on the sides later. Probably salad, green veggies, bread, rice or couscous.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Menu Plan 8.6.2010

1. Carmelized onion-gorgonzola pizza (left from last meal plan)(from Taste of Home cookbook)
2. Fettuccine alfredo w/chicken (also left from last plan, also from Taste of Home)
3. Bleu cheese burgers | sweet potato fries (also left from last time)
4. Melissa's Taco salad
5. Kicked-UpTuna melts | chips | fresh veggie or salad
6. Skillet penne with sausage and spinach | salad and/or fresh veggie
7. Grilled chicken | Tomato orecchiette with brie and basil  (made this pasta last week--so yummy!)
8. Fish tacos (John loves these. Asks for this every time I made a new meal plan!)
9. Spaghetti | salad | bread
10. Panini sandwiches (good bread, meat, cheese cooked on George Foreman grill)
11. Burgers | corn on the cob
12. Chicken broccoli fettuccine | salad | green veggie
13. Red and black bean bake | salad
14. Pesto chicken | salad | summer squash

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan 7.26.10

I checked out a bunch of cookbooks from the library hoping it would help me get my cooking mojo back. We'll see.

1. Reuben braids (I'll post the recipe if it's a keeper)
2. Bleu cheese burgers | sweet potato fries
3. Flank steak | Gruyere polenta
4. Chicken fettuccine alfredo | salad
5. Grilled brats | corn on the cob
6. Bison nachos
7. Fish tacos
8. Mediterranean pasta
9. Zucchini bacon lasagna | salad
10. Tomato Orecchiette with Brie and Basil | salad
11. Carmelized-Onion Gorgonzola Pizza
12. Turkey Sandwiches with Red Pepper Hummus | chips

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Menu Plan 7.9.10

I really haven't had much motivation to cook lately. I have been cooking, but I haven't enjoyed it. Instead it's felt like drudgery. Our menu for the last month and a half has looked pretty much like this: burgers, brats, eat out, spaghetti, tacos, fish tacos, eat out. Lather, rinse, repeat.

We've eaten out way too much lately. Way too much. I'm trying to get back on track and I plan to eat every meal at home for the next two weeks. Wish me luck.

Here's my menu plan:

1. Burgers | sweet potato fries | corn on the cob
2. Brats | hot dogs | chips | beans
3. Chicken parmesan | salad
4. Turkey piccata | couscous | salad
5. Pizza | salad
6. Pancakes | sausage
7. Red and black bean bake | salad
8. Burgers | chips
9. Corn and tomato tart | salad
10. Chicken stir fry | rice
11. Steak with bleu cheese | asparagus | salad
12. BLT sandwiches | chips
13. Hot ham and cheese sandwiches
14. Fresh veggies and cornbread

I didn't link the recipes so if you see something you want to find, use the search box in the top left-hand corner of the blog.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Menu Plan 5.14.2010

This menu plan is a little shy on meals...because we'll be traveling and I won't be cooking!!!

1. Burritos (left from last menu plan)
2. Spaghetti | salad | french bread
3. Grilled brats | hot dogs (kids) | chips
4. Burgers | sweet potato fries | corn on the cob
5. Turkey Piccata | rice pilaf or couscous | green beans
6. BLT salad
7. Dallas tacos
8. Teriyaki chicken | brown rice | broccoli
9. French dip sandwiches | chips
10. Pizza

The Menu Plan that Never Got Posted

Oops. Didn't even realize I never posted this from the last two weeks!

1. Burgers | Sweet potato fries | tater tots (for the kids)
2. Green chili chicken enchiladas (YUM! This recipe is a keeper!)
3. Red and black bean bake
4. Garlic chicken farfalle
5. Grilled brats | hot dogs | corn on the cob
6. Reuben sandwiches | chips
7. Fish tacos 
8. Dallas tacos
9. Steak with bleu cheese | salad | green beans
10. Chicken spaghetti | french bread | salad
11. Burritos
12. Homemade pizza
13. Fajitas
14. Texas Roadhouse for school fundraiser. Yipee!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Menu Plan 4.16.2010

John will be traveling some so I planned some kid-friendly meals, and I'm trying to use all the meat in my freezer this time around too!

1. Easy stroganoff
2. Eggs | sausage
3. Turkey|cheese quesadillas
4. Beef tacos
5. Chicken noodle soup | grilled cheese sandwiches
6. Spaghetti and meatballs
7. Grilled burgers
8. Burritos (oh my gosh, these are sooooooo good!)
9. Grilled brats | hot dogs
10. Pork and black bean chili (lots of pork to use up!)
11. Pesto chicken and pasta
12. Southwestern pizza
13. Meatball minestrone (need to use up some meatballs too!)
14. OUT TO EAT!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Menu Plan 4.1.2010

I don't have time to link these recipes right now. If you see one you're interested in, use the search box in the top left corner of this blog!

1. Chicken stir-fry (left from last rotation)
2. Grilled burgers | sweet potato fries
3. Ham | Hash brown casserole | Asparagus | Sister Schuberts rolls (Easter)
4. Black bean and pork chili
5. Spaghetti
6. Beef enchiladas
7. Skillet penne with sausage and spinach
8. Grilled brats/hot dogs
9. Parmesan chicken
10. Chicken and ham lasagna
11. Susan's Breakfast casserole
12. Homemade pizza
13. Burritos (excited to try this recipe!)
14. Eating out!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shannan's Hearty Bean Soup

Hearty Bean Soup (from Shannan I)

1 tsp olive oil
1 each: medium carrot, onion, zucchini, all chopped
1 can condensed bean with bacon soup
1 can water
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion (undrained)

Saute onion and carrot five minutes. Stir in zucchini and saute one minute. Stir in soup, water, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

John's favorite cake.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter (or I suppose you could use margarine)
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Sift sugar, flour, and baking soda. In saucepan, melt butter, cocoa, and water over low heat; bring to a boil. Add dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into greased and floured jellyroll pan. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

1 stick butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp buttermilk
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Bring butter, cocoa, and buttermilk to a rapid boil (in saucepan). Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. Mix well and spread on cake while warm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Menu Plan 3.19.2010

Got some easy, kid-friendly meals in this rotation because John will be doing some traveling. Hoping for nice weather to grill a little! I'm still working on my grocery list, so I'll figure side dishes out later. Probably salad/veggies

3. Pancakes and sausage
4. Grilled brats/hot dogs
5. Burgers (grilled)
6. Tacos
7. Chicken Eden Isle (John's b'day request)
8. Homemade pizza (cheese for kids) (Greek for us!)
12. Chicken stir-fry
13. Grilled tilapia
14. Out to eat w/friends!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mexican Vermicelli

My husband has a subscription to Western Horseman magazine and the day it comes in the mail, he reads it from cover to cover. I think he has an inner cowboy that is begging to be released.

Anyway, it's not at all uncommon for him to tear recipes out of his magazine and leave them on the counter or the kitchen table (subtlety is his gift) in hopes that I'll take a hint and add the recipe to our menu rotation.

I made this for him several weeks ago and he loved it. The kids didn't love it, and I thought it was okay, but he asked me to make it again, and I like to keep him happy.

Mexican Vermicelli

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb vermicelli
1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
dash of garlic powder
2 cups diced onion
2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 pound can stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1.5 cups whole kernel corn (I used frozen)
1 cup water
sliced or grated cheese--any kind

In large skillet or stockpot, brown vermicelli in butter, breaking into small pieces (I think it would be much easier and less messy to break the pasta BEFORE you started browning it!). Stir in meat and brown, draining excess fat (I didn't follow directions; I added my beef that had been previously browned, frozen, and thawed). Add remaining ingredients and blend. Cook on stovetop over low heat for 25 minutes. Prior to serving, cover with cheese and allow it to melt.

*I think I ended up adding an extra can of stewed tomatoes and some more water. Your finished dish should be of a casserole-like consistency. I also omitted the celery and used way less onion than it calls for!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Julie's Soft Sugar Cookies

Okay...I decided to be nice and share this instead of keeping it all to myself!

Soft Sugar Cookies

3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400. Mix flour baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter. Add sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add sour cream and half of flour mixture. Beat, scraping bowl. Add remainder of flour mixture.

2. Roll on lightly floured surface. (I usually do about 1/3 of mix at a time). Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. (Note....these are pretty thick cookies which is one of the reasons they remain so soft). Cut with cookie cutter.

3. Place on cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart. Bake about 8 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.


2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
6-8 tsp milk for spreading consistency (4-5 tsp for piping consistency)

Mix Well!


Julie thinks that one reason these are so good is the almond extract in the frosting. I concur.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Menu Plan 3.5.2010

I decided to link things again because it helps ME find things quickly. Also, all of the meals are ones that I can make on top of the stove without turning on the oven. Something wacko started going on with my oven this week. And seeing as how we just replaced the kitchen faucet and garbage disposal (also this week) we're really not jazzed about replacing the oven. on the stovetop it is!


1. Basil chicken (don't be impressed, it's a boxed Macaroni Grill kit I got *cheap* w/coupon)|salad|bread
2. Pork and black bean chili|rice|sour cream
3. Pizza--takeout, not homemade
4. Grilled burgers|sweet potato fries (I buy Alexia brand frozen sweet potato fries)
5. Fajitas|black beans| fixings
7. Grilled brats|hot dogs (I'll be gone when my fam has this. It will likely be accompanied by all kinds of junky sides). smile.
8. Mexican vermicelli (I will post the recipe later this week. It's a new recipe that John loves).
9. Baked potato soup|cornbread
10. Beef stir fry|rice
11. Spaghetti|bread|salad or green beans
14. Pesto chicken and pasta| salad| bread

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Menu Plan 2.19.2010

I'm still too lazy to link, and I also haven't figured out the side dishes. That's on my list for this afternoon so I can get my grocery list together. We'll be eating at church on Wednesday nights--Lenten soup suppers--so I'll have one night a week to have a break from cooking!

1. Skillet penne w/spinach and sausage
2. Chicken noodle soup
3. Lemon Chicken (on Kelly's recipe blog)
4. Pork and black bean chili
5. Baked potato soup (It's a Southern Living recipe and I don't have it on this blog)
6. Slow-cooker beef tacos (I linked so I could find this recipe again!)
7. Roast chicken
8. Meatball minestrone
9. White chicken chili
10. Meatloaf/mashed potatoes
11. Homemade pizza
12. Spaghetti w/meatballs
13. Grilled pork chops

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Menu Plan 2.5.2010

Again, if you see something that sounds good, use the search box in the top left corner to find the recipe. I've lost the love for linking all these recipes in my post.

1. Pulled pork sandwiches/chips/corn on the cob
2. Mexican vermicelli (J clipped this from Western Horseman. If it's good, I'll post the recipe).
3. Pot roast/mashed potatoes/green beans/rolls (Will's bday dinner request)
4. Hamburgers/sweet potato fries
5. Susan's breakfast casserole/biscuits
6. Beef stir fry/rice (didn't eat this from last meal plan!)
7. Grilled brats/chili dogs (bratwurst was B1G1 free again)
8. Pinto beans with tomato, bacon, & cilantro (another meal left from last meal plan)
9. Poppyseed chicken/rice/green veggie or salad
10. Fajitas/guacamole/cilantro rice
11. Beef stew/cornbread
12. Chicken Eden Isle/peas/rolls
13. Spaghetti soup/salad
14. Super bowl night appetizers: wings, sausage balls, buffalo dip (don't think I have a recipe for that on the blog), Mississippi Sin Dip

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Menu Plan 1.22.10

My friend Carol asked last week if I was ever going to post a menu plan again.

Why, yes. Yes. I am.

I got off track late last year. Not with menu planning (oh, ya'll know I'm too type A to go very long without a plan) but with posting. I just got tired of linking all the recipes.

So...I'm not adding links this time. If you see a recipe you want to try, you can do a simple search of my blog to find it.

Oh, and did you know today is National Handwriting Day? Indeed it is. So here's my handwritten menu plan. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bunco Recipes

It was my turn to host Bunco last night. It seems to be the tradition in our Bunco group to send out the recipes for the appetizers/snacks afterwards. I've gotten SO many great ones in the few years we've been doing this. So, since I'm tying these out for my Bunco friends, I thought I'd share them with you too!

Bunco Snacks

Mississippi Sin Dip
Seven Layer Mexican Dip
Fresh veggies w/Hummus
Reese's cookies
Rolo Pretzels
Whimzie's White Chocolate Popcorn aka "Crack"

Mississippi Sin Dip
(from Melanie aka BigMama)

Mississippi Sin Dip

1 loaf french bread
8 oz. container of french onion dip
4 oz. can green chiles, drained
1 package of bacon bits
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

And yes, all this cheese makes it seem very fattening, but think of all the calcium!

Plus, the bacon bits provide some protein.

Anyway, cut out top of french bread and scoop out insides. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Put the dip inside the loaf of french bread and put the top of bread back on. Wrap the whole thing in foil and bake 1 hour at 350. I personally love this served with Fritos Scoops, but it would be great with crackers too.

This was SOOOOOOOOO good. I baked it in the bread, but I think you could probably just bake it in a bowl. And I didn't put the top back on it because we ATE IT!

Seven Layer Mexican Dip

1 can refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 carton guacamole dip (mine was 12 oz)
8 oz sour cream
1-2 cups salsa
grated cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sliced black olives

Mix the beans and taco seasoning together and spread in a round platter (with a lip--probably should be 1/2 inch deep) or in a 9x13 dish.
Spread the guacamole dip on top.
Follow with a layer of sour cream.
Pour the salsa on and spread.
Cover with grated cheddar.
Top with green onions and black olives.

You could even add lettuce or tomatoes too.

Scoop with tortilla chips or fritos.


Here's my recipe for Hummus

I like it with triscuits, sliced red pepper, carrots, chips, etc.



white chocolate almond bark (or white chocolate)

microwave popcorn

( 2 1/2 squares of white chocolate almond bark (or white chocolate) to 1 bag of m/w popcorn OR

1 package of white almond bark to 5 bags of m/w popcorn)

Pop popcorn per directions. Put popped corn in a big container. Melt your chocolate per directions on package, stirring occasionally. Pour over the popcorn, stirring until it’s all covered. Pour popcorn onto wax paper that you have taped lightly to countertop. Spread, let cool and set, Break up any chunks and it’s ready to enjoy.


Reeses' cookies

1 tube Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough
1 bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups
mini-muffin tin

Unwrap 24 mini-Reeses (take off the paper cup liner too) and set aside. Pinch off dough, roll in 1-inch balls and place the dough balls in muffin tin. Bake according to directions on tube of dough. Immediately after pulling the "cookies" out of the oven, smash a Reeses into each cookie. Let cool in the muffin tin for awhile so they don't break when you pull them out.