Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week of October 25th

Monday - Cheddar sausages, french fries, green beans

Tuesday - Shrimp Alfredo, peas, garlic toast

Wednesday - Pork BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, corn (To make the pork BBQ, I am putting a pork loin in the Crock pot after I rub it with brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper. I will cook it with a little water and then add bottled BBQ sauce to it for the last 30 minutes.)

Thursday - Steak (for daddy and A-baby), sweet potatoes, lima beans

Friday - we will be at a Halloween party at A-baby's school, so I'm sure we will snack there. If we are hungry, left over Pork BBQ.

Saturday - Fish sticks, noodles, beets

Sunday - I'm looking at ideas for a spooky meal. I can't make up my mind!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's just me and A-baby this week, so I'm going for easy, healthy, and stuff Daddy doesn't like.

Butternut Squash and Vegetable soup with buttered rolls

Leftover beef vegetable soup thickened with a rue served over mashed potatoes

Teriyaki chicken, rice, peas

Leftover Butternut Squash soup (depending on how it turns out)

Pigs in a blanket and corn

Eat dinner out since we have to go to the airport

Something nice for Daddy's return. Perhaps a pot roast, veggies, and potatoes.

Butternut Squash and vegetable soup

This soup is a work in progress as it's on the stove when I'm typing this.

Update: The soup is done and eaten. The changes I've made are in green.


  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 large Vidalia or sweet onion, cubed
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced Next time I will use 4 or 5.
  • 1 medium potato, skin on, cubed Next time I will peel them.
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • 48 oz chicken stock, divided
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.
  2. Add diced onion and celery, sprinkle with salt and pepper, saute 1 minute.
  3. Add garlic, saute 1 minute.
  4. Add potato and carrot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, saute 5 minutes (or while you cut up the squash).
  5. Add butternut squash, sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger, saute 5 minutes.
  6. Cover with chicken stock (Don't use all 48 oz of it, you might need some more for later. Also remember that the veggies will releases some juices, too.)
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
  8. Strain liquid and reserve.
  9. Blend until smooth, adding reserved liquid as needed.
  10. Return to hot stove, add more spices, salt, and pepper to taste.
  11. Stir in fresh parsley
  12. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tonight's dinner

Tonight's dinner is brought to you by my imagination. I hope it's good or we will be eating leftover homemade beef vegetable soup and grilled cheese again.

I don't know where the idea came from except from the fact that the "ethnic" aisle and the pasta aisle are one over from each other at the local grocery store. Or maybe I've had too many glasses of wine Reese's cups. So I'm making a taco lasagna.

**I've made some edits since we've eaten this.**


  • 1 lb ground meat (I used turkey that already had taco seasoning added)
  • If your meat isn't pre-taco-seasoned you will need a packet of taco seasoning. (Typically found in the spice aisle)
  • Some onion, diced.
  • 1/2 can corn, drained
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 1-2 cups of cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 soft tortillas, cut in half down the middle


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Brown meat with onion until cooked through.
  3. Place 4 tortilla halves in greased dish with flat sides against the side of the dish.
  4. Spread 1/2 of the refried beans onto tortillas.
  5. Layer 1/2 of the meat, 1/2 of the corn, and 1/3 of the cheese on top of the beans.
  6. Dollop 1/2 of sour cream on top.
  7. Top with 4 more tortilla halves and repeat layering and dolloping.
  8. Put remaining tortilla halves on top to fully cover.
  9. Top with desired amount of cheese. (I also sprinkled some Wahoo! Chili seasoning on mine.)
  10. Cover with foil. Place into 350 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  12. Let stand for a few moments before cutting and serving.

Some variation ideas:

Don't throw away your remaining corn or refried beans. Make some Spanish rice with corn added and serve up with refried beans with cheese on top.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Menu planning Monday... err.... Tuesday

I was in Tampa visiting my sister this weekend so today is menu planning Tuesday. I should have sat down and done is last night because now we have nothing to eat for dinner. I think Dominos Pizza is calling my name. I wish they sold salads. Maybe Ledo's instead.

Regardless, here's this weeks menu.

French fries
Fresh peaches

Carry out

Baked ham steaks
Cheese rice

Crock pot chicken & dumplings

Meatball subs
Deviled eggs
Baked potatoes

Saturday: (day of my vendor/benefit party)

Leftover smorgasbord

Fruit salad

Roasted turkey breast (maybe grilled if the weather is nice)
Homemade applesauce
Cranberry sauce

Recipes for the chicken & dumplings and homemade applesauce are listed on the recipes page. Look at the tab for it at the top of the page.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why and how I menu plan


Life around our house is ever moving. There is always something to be done, something to be cleaned, re-arranged, replaced. Or there is always somewhere to be.

I'm a 24 year old mother and wife. I also work full time while maintaining our home. First and foremost I am a mother. Our daughter was born November 27th, 2007. My husband and I have been together since September 18, 2001 and married since January 7, 2006. After our daughter's birth I gained 68 pounds. Not good. I had to do something about it. Along with the guidance of a doctor, I have been able to change the way I eat and lose weight. In one year, I've lost 51 pounds. It's hard and I'm not going to lie - I miss eating cupcakes and brownies. But healthy food doesn't have to be tasteless.

I'm an insurance agent who sits at my desk from 7am until 3pm Monday through Friday. But I also am a consultant for Tastefully Simple ( I love Tastefully Simple products and they help my boring, healthy food taste good.

Since I am gone from 6am until 4pm each day, I would often get stressed out about making dinner. I found us stuck in a rut of eating the same 4 things and then left overs, take out, or eating out the other 3 days. Not to mention breakfast and lunch on the weekends. So I decided to take control and pre-plan everything.


I plan once every two weeks and think of menus to use. Often I will think of a meal we haven't had in a while when I'm at work, in the car, where ever and I just jot it down on a piece of paper and stick it in my purse [along with the other two million things in my purse]. Otherwise I just have a blank paper and start writing down things to eat. I have two weeks worth of calendar printed out. (I use this one - I assign our dinner meals for Monday through Friday and then breakfast and dinner for Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is kind of whatever-goes-goes. Now, just because I have a certain meal assigned to a certain day, doesn't mean we have to have it on that day. I'm totally flexible. Then I check the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I have in stock and what needs to be purchased. I make my grocery list and check for coupons. Then I shop! I try to buy local for produce and such. And I have saved a ton of money by growing mint, parsley, basil, oregano, sage, and chives on my own this year. I look to expand my garden next year.

Word to the wise: do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will buy useless foods that end up getting tossed out or lots of junk food.

If there are some things that can be prepped a night ahead, I do that while I'm cooking today's meal. Getting ahead is essential since I feel like I am eternally washing dishes, laundry, wiping butts noses messes up, tidying up, and cooking.