Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Menu Plan - August 18th - September 1st

This month seems so very long, doesn't it?

I have done the grocery shopping and the menu planning for the next two weeks, so here we go.  Keep in mind that sometimes I switch meals around, if let's say on a specific day I realize that I forgot to thaw the meat for that meal, or if I feel like something else from the menu, I just switch the days.

The great thing about menu planning is that it's not written in stone, it is an outline and helps tremendously when doing the grocery shopping, but it doesn't mean you are not allowed to switch things around here and there.  Just go with the flow.

Monday 18th
L:  French Bread Pizzas
D:  Pork Chops with Parmesan Potatoes

Tuesday 19th
L:  Clam Chowder with Oyster Crackers, Sliced Peaches
D: Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Carrots, Potatoes

Wednesday 20th
L:  Green chile and bean burritos
D:  Bratwurst Hoagies w/ Sauerkraut, Fries

Thursday 21st
L:  Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches
D:  Steaks with cream sauce, Rice, Salad

Friday 22nd

L:  Ramen Noodles (we love these for a quick lunch)
D:  Spaghetti Pizza Pie, Salad

Spaghetti Pizza Pie

Saturday 23rd
L:  Hotdogs
D: Portuguese Bean Stew, Rice

Sunday 24th

L:  Bacon, Eggs, Toast
D: Mini Cheese Topped Meatloaves, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Monday 25th
L:  Cheesy Quesadillas
D:  Yummy Hero Sandwiches

Tuesday 26th
L:  Ravioli
D: Salisbury Steak, Rice

Wednesday 27th
L:  Cheese and Ham Sandwiches, Fruit
D:  Chicken Stroganoff, Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Stroganoff

Thursday 28th
L:  Hotdogs, Carrot and Celery Sticks
D:  Fettucine Alfredo

Friday 29th
L:  Leftovers
D:  Chicken Egg Rolls, Salad
Chicken Egg Rolls

Saturday 30th
L:  Homemade Pizza
D:  Hot and Spicy Lasagna
Sunday 31st

L:  Bacon, Eggs, Toast
D: Baked Pork Chops, Mash, steamed broccoli

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

{ Cheesy Pork and Veggie Rice }

Cheesy pork and veggie rice

You know when you buy a pack of pork chops and you think there are more in there than there really are?  But you don't notice it until you go to cook them for dinner?

It's not the first time I've done this, either because I forget that there are not enough in there when I buy them, or because I have a pack of pork tenderloin chops sitting in the freezer that need to be cooked, and are just not enough to feed everyone.

I came up with this recipe last night as I sat there staring at 6 small chops and wondering how I would feed 4 of us.

The result was a delicious, filling meal that everyone enjoyed.  I paired this rice with some corn on the cob and dinner was a success.

Please keep in mind that I don't measure, I learned how to cook at a very young age with my great grandmother and she never measured.

Cheesy pork and veggie rice
Cheesy Pork and Veggie Rice

Pork tenderloin chops (I had 6 small ones), diced into small cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 bay leaf
paprika to taste
Turmeric to taste
Small bag of mixed veggies
1 and a half cups of rice
3 cups of water
shredded cheese

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, the onions and the bay leaf.  Season with the salt and pepper, garlic powder and paprika to taste, stir well and cook on medium/high until onion is translucent.

Add the pork and cook until brown making sure it is cooked all the way through, then add in the mixed veggies.  Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Add the rice, stir well and pour in the water.  At this point, sprinkle on some turmeric, I like my rice to look nice and yellow so I added about a teaspoon, stir.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is to your taste.  Some people like it very well done, others prefer their rice with a bit of a bite to it. 

When the rice is cooked to your liking, sprinkle on some cheese, stir, place a lid on the skillet and let it sit for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.  Enjoy!!!

Cheesy pork and veggie rice

Monday, July 28, 2014

{ Menu Plan Monday }

I only have meals planned until Friday, as that is when I will need to go to the grocery store.  I will be working on the new Menu Plan today, and I'm really going to try and make it very simple and inexpensive, as our budget is quite tight this month.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday -
Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad

Oven Chili Dogs

Oven Chili Dogs

Wednesday -
Cheesy Spanish Rice Casserole, Veggies

Homemade Quesaritos

*Grocery Shopping *

Saturday -

Sunday -

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{ Crockpot Beef Stroganoff }

Ooooohhhhh beef stroganoff.  I think it is right up there in the comfort food list for me.  I don't make it very often, but this quick and easy crockpot recipe may just change that.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Source:  All Recipes

1 1/2 pounds top round steak, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 ounce) can canned mushrooms
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place the beef in the bottom of a slow cooker, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place onion on top of beef, and then add mushroom soup, mushrooms, and water. Season with chives, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and bouillon.

In a small bowl, mix together the wine with the flour. Pour over the beef.

Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours. Stir in the sour cream and parsley, and continue cooking for 1 hour.

{ Bread Machine Yeast Rolls }

As much as I love making fresh bread and kneading the dough and going through the whole process, sometimes I rely on my bread machine.  Especially if I want a loaf or rolls but have other things going on and don't have the time to be in the kitchen.

This recipe is wonderful for that, not only does it always turn out great, but I can get the dough going while I finish chores or run an errand.

Bread Machine Yeast Rolls

Bread Machine Yeast Rolls
Source: Betty Crocker

1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ Better for Bread™ flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine or active dry yeast
Butter or margarine, melted, if desired

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except melted butter in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.
Grease large cookie sheet with shortening. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)

Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.

Bread Machine Yeast Rolls

Friday, July 18, 2014

{ Scalloped Potatoes and Ham }

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Mmmmmm, comfort food.  If I could eat just comfort food, every single day, without ever putting on weight, I would do it.

Alas, I'm watching what I eat so I don't make these scalloped potatoes and ham very often, but last night, it just came together and at the request of my daughter, these were put in the oven.

I really have to control myself and not over do it, seriously, I could eat 2 or 3 helpings of these.  So good.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Adapted from:  Kraft.com

7 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 container (16 oz.) BREAKSTONE'S FREE or KNUDSEN Fat Free Sour Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili flakes to taste
Shredded Mexican Blend cheese
1/2 lb. Black forest ham (I just tore it into small bite size pieces)

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COOK potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan 10 to 12 min. or just until potatoes are tender; drain. In a big bowl, mix together the potatoes, sour cream, salt and pepper.

PLACE the potato mixture in a greased baking dish, layer the ham on top, the follow up with a layer of shredded cheese.  End with buttermilk, I just poured some over the top to make it a little creamier and not so dry.

BAKE 30 min. or until heated through.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

{ Lucky Leaf Winner }

Thank you to those that entered the giveaway :) 

I used Random.org to pick a winner, and that was:

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane

Congratulations Stacy :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

{ Cinnamon Roll Cake }

Oooooohhhhh my word.  This cake is just beyond words.

If you're looking for simple cake to enjoy with a cup of hot coffee, then look no further, this is it.

I am not going to waste anymore time, but jump right into the recipe, because I know that is what you're waiting for.

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Thursday, July 10, 2014

{ Skillet Lasagna }

Skillet Lasagna


If there is one thing we all enjoy, is a plate of gooey, cheesy, hot lasagna.  There is just something about it, it screams comfort food.

Usually it involves quite a long preparation process, and truth be told, it's always worth the time when you see it sitting there on your plate....stacked and those beautiful layers just waiting to be dug into.

Skillet Lasagna

But sometimes I want the taste of a good lasagna, only made in a fraction of the time, and if I can pile it all in one skillet, then even better.

This is a quick dish to make on a weekday, pair it with a slice of Foccacia, and your family will think you are superwoman.

Skillet Lasagna
Skillet Lasagna


1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.
Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

Skillet Lasagna

{ One hour skillet foccacia }

Who doesn't love a good foccacia???  I honestly hadn't had one in quite a long time, but I was recently gifted a beautiful cast iron skillet by my sweet friend Amy, and have since been trying my hand at yummy recipes.

This one was on my list to try and boy was it a huge hit for dinner tonight.

My husband and kids couldn't stop eating it and have requested it again.

Recipe comes from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet.

One hour skillet foccacia
One Hour Skillet Foccacia

for the dough:
3/4 c warm water
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast (I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast
2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
2 c all-purpose flour ( divided )
1/2 tsp salt
for the parmesan butter brush:
3 Tbsp unsalted or salted butter, melted
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy ( about 5 minutes).
Turn the mixer on low speed and add 1 cup of flour and salt. Mix until combined.
Add oil and mix well.
Gradually add as much of the remaining cup of flour as you can ( it can be only 3/4 of it) and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 degrees F and when it's ready turn it off. Keep the door closed.
Grease the skillet.
Place dough onto a floured surface (use the remaining flour from the second cup) and fold the dough few times until you feel it's smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball.

One hour skillet foccacia

Roll out the dough into a size of your skillet.
Place in skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers.
Mix melted butter, parmesan and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the dough with half the butter.

One hour skillet foccacia

Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with remaining butter. Let cool until safe to the touch and slice. Serve.

One hour skillet foccacia

{ Homemade Vanilla Creamer }

Ohhhh creamer, I love it so much.  I get so excited when Fall and Christmas roll around because I know that all the limited edition creamers will be hitting the shelves.

One thing I don't get excited about is the price.  These creamers can be quite pricey at times.

Of course you can forego the creamer in your coffee, but I'm a creamer kinda gal, I have to have a little splash of somethin' somethin' in there.  My favorite is plain old vanilla, but I also love caramel, cinnamon, girl scout cookies and hazelnut and creme brulee....see my problem???

If you only know just how easy it is to make these at home, you would never buy another at the store, and hey, if you keep a couple cans of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry, you will never run out.

So here you go, easy peasy creamer.

Homemade Vanilla Creamer
Homemade Vanilla Creamer

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 and half cups of milk (can be skim, low fat, vitamin D, whatever)
Vanilla extract

Mix everything in a mason jar, shake it up well, and pop in the refrigerator.  It keeps for about 2 weeks.

Homemade Vanilla Creamer

How easy is that???

Kick it up, kick it down, change the flavoring, it's up to you.

Here are a few you can try:

Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract with a teaspoon of cinnamon
Almond extract
Coconut Extract
Pumpkin Pie Spice