Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 15-21, 2013

*Since this upcoming week is Christmas, there won't be a menu posted next Sunday.  I should be back the Sunday after that.  Merry Christmas everyone!*

Sunday:  5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili

·          We had this delicious chili for lunch after church.  I put everything in the crockpot around 9:00am, and it was perfect when we ate lunch at 12:30.  I had some turkey from Thanksgiving in the freezer, so I actually diced that up and used it instead of chicken this time.  We couldn’t even tell the difference.  I topped ours with avocado, tortilla chips, and shredded cheese.  It really hit the spot on a cold day.  (

Monday:  Taco Pizza at Mom’s House    

·          We went to my mom’s house on Monday night for dinner, and she made this delicious taco pizza from Life in the Lofthouse.  After cooking the pizza, we topped ours with some fresh chopped lettuce to give it a little more crunch.  Chad added a little more spice to his with some Frank’s Red Hot.  The kids enjoyed this as well!  After dinner, we all went to look at Christmas lights.  We love Christmas!

Tuesday:  Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, & Spinach Salad

·          I had a ladies Christmas party this evening, so I made a quick dinner of frozen chicken nuggets and French fries for Chad and the kids before I left.  I added a spinach salad with apples, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to give a little bit of green to the plate.  J

Wednesday:  Breakfast

·          Chad was out of town, which almost always means breakfast!  This time…biscuits, bacon, eggs, & berries!

Thursday:  Grilled Soy-Orange Chicken, Roasted Diced Veggies, & Yeast Rolls

·          Chad’s parents always come over on Thursdays, and this day they stayed for dinner!  Earlier in the afternoon, I marinated chicken in orange juice, soy sauce, fresh ground pepper, olive oil, and garlic powder.  Chad grilled it for us.  I also diced up 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, and 3 sweet potatoes.  It sounds like a lot, but I wanted some leftovers!  I tossed it all with olive oil and season salt and roasted it at 425 for 25 minutes.  I stirred everything around after the first 15 minutes.  Yum!

Friday:  Leftovers for Me

·          As I said, I wanted leftovers!  Chad was hunting this weekend, and the boys were staying the night with my mom.  So Payton and I enjoyed the leftover chicken and vegetables from the night before.  J

Saturday:  A Happy Meal and Take-Out Pad Thai Night

·          Chad was still off hunting, and Ranger had a fever and wasn’t feeling well.  He said he wanted a cheeseburger for dinner, so I picked up Happy Meals (their fave) for the kids and some Pad Thai from a local Thai restaurant for me.  Everyone was happy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 8-14, 2013

Sunday:  Frito Pie with Turkey Chili

·          We were on day 3 of being “iced in,” and chili seemed like the perfect dinner.  I thawed some ground turkey from the freezer and prepared chili with ingredients I had on hand (beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, spices).  It was yum-o, and hit the spot on that cold day!  Plus, we had great leftovers for lunch the next day.  J

Monday:  Beef Enchilada Stack with Spinach Salad

·          This is a wonderful enchilada recipe, and it makes quite a bit, so it’s perfect for a large family, when you are entertaining, or if you want leftovers.  This was actually half of a recipe that I made a couple of months ago and froze.  I had spent the afternoon doing quite a bit of cleaning because we combined the boys into the same room.  So, I needed a quick meal that wouldn’t stop my momentum in order to cook dinner.  Viola!  I love taking advantage of my freezer whenever possible for days like this.  I threw together a simple salad with fresh spinach, feta, diced apples, balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil.  (

Tuesday:  Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake, Caesar Salad, & Whole Wheat Bread

·          Another great Pinterest find!  This is absolutely wonderful…seriously!  I made the full recipe, which was a ridiculous amount for my family.  But, it was great because we had it for leftovers the next night.  Plus I had lunch for a couple of days.  Adding the red pepper flakes really makes this recipe special.  It’s just a hint of spicy, without being too overbearing for the kids.  I’ll definitely make it again.  (

Wednesday:  Leftovers!

Thursday:  Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

Swedish Meatballs
·          This is one of Ranger’s top 5 favorite meals.  He LOVES meatballs!  He particularly likes Swedish meatballs like you can buy at Ikea.  I’ve had this recipe for a while…I was a subscriber to E-Meals several years ago and this was one of our favorites.  It’s so easy, can be prepared ahead of time, and everyone enjoys it!

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t allspice
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 c water
2 T flour
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all meatball ingredients together.  Form into 1″ balls.  Place in 9x13 pan and bake for 30 mins.  In large skillet, mix together the onion soup mix, water, flour, and milk.  Heat until thickened.  Add cooked meatballs to skillet.  Simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.  Serve over egg noodles, cooked according to package directions.

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli
·          Cut up your broccoli into bite-sized pieces and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!).  Drizzle with a little olive oil (I use my olive oil sprayer) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, and toss it around.  Roast for 5 minutes more.  The broccoli is ready when the edges become brown and crispy.  Yum!  Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and add a little fresh lemon juice if you have it.  It’s delish!

Friday:  Pizza and Movie Night!

·          We ordered pizza and watched “The Polar Express” in the media room.  It was a perfect family night!

Saturday:  Dinner with Family!

·          We went to Wade and Amber’s (Chad’s sister and her husband) house for dinner.  My kids are pretty much in hog heaven anytime we are at their house.  J  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 1-7, 2013

Sunday:  Dinner out with Small Group

Monday:  Chicken Fried Venison, Garlic Butter Spaghetti Squash, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, & Bread

·          Chad was able to prep the venison and prepare it outside on the grill, which I always love!  I took care of the vegetables inside.  We had our favorite Garlic Butter Spaghetti Squash and roasted Brussels sprouts.  For the Brussels sprouts, just cut them in half and core them.  Some of the leaves will fall off of the outside, and that’s ok!  Put the Brussels sprouts in a ziplock bag and toss them around with olive oil, salt, & pepper.  I left mine in the bag for about 30 minutes so that the olive oil would really sink into the sprouts.  Then I roasted them at 400 degrees for 15 -20 minutes or so, stirring them around about halfway through.  You’ll know they are done with they have started turning golden brown.

Tuesday:  Pizza Night

·          We had to run some errands late in the afternoon, which almost never happens.  Chad was eating out that evening, so we picked up a pizza from the deli at the grocery store for a quick, easy dinner.  J

Wednesday:  Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas with Rice

·          My friend Sharon made these for us several months ago when she and her family stayed with us, and they are DELISH!  This week, I actually made several frozen meals for some family friends, and this was one that I knew would freeze well.  Everything that I made for them, I also made for us.  These enchiladas are so, so good…even as a leftover!  (

Thursday:  Chicken Pot Pie

·          This was the afternoon that “Ice-Maggedon 2013” hit the metroplex!  My goodness…I was so happy that I made meals for another family because it ensured that we had dinners as well.  The roads have been so unsafe, that leaving the house is almost impossible. This is a wonderful and simple chicken pot pie that can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer. 

Chicken Pot Pie
        2 cans Cream of Potato soup
        15 oz frozen mixed veggies or canned veggies (drained)
        2 cups cooked chicken, diced
        ½ cup milk
        1 tsp thyme
        Black pepper
        2 9-inch pie crusts
        1 egg, slightly beaten

        Combine soup, veggies, chicken, milk, thyme, & pepper.  Spoon into prepared pie crust.  Cover with the other pie crust, crimping the edges of the two pie crusts together to seal.  Slit the top crust with a sharp knife, and if desired, brush with beaten egg.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Yum!

Friday:  Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted, Diced Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, & Asparagus and Rolls

·          We’ve had this a few times lately, but it sounded delicious again during our days of being “iced in.”  It’s a great cold weather meal, especially since this one was already prepared and in the freezer.  As always, I used ground turkey instead of beef and oatmeal instead of bread crumbs.  also diced up a sweet potato and a zucchini and cut up some asparagus and roasted it all together with a little Season All at 400 for about 20 minutes.  Roasting different vegetables together this way is a great use of any random vegetables you might have in your fridge that need to be eaten before they go bad.

Saturday:  3 Envelope Pot Roast Sliders with Roasted Pesto Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli

Slow Cooker Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders
·          This recipe is actually a combination of Six Sisters’ Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders and You’re Too Crafty’s Best Pot Roast Ever.  I saw the Six Sisters recipe first and liked the idea of having pot roast sliders rather than traditional roast with sides.  But, I didn’t want the flavor of salsa, so I used a Coke instead, as suggested by You’re Too Crafty. 

So, I put my roast in the crock pot.  Then I mixed 1 packet of onion soup mix, 1 packet of Italian dressing mix, & 1 packet of Au Jus gravy mix with 1 cup of water.  I poured that on top of the roast, then poured a Coke on top of that.  I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then on low for 3-4 (my slow cooker cooks pretty hot).  It was SO, SO GOOD!  The house smelled amazing all afternoon!  Seriously, the gravy is so ridiculously delicious that I could have downed it with a straw.  J 

I used King’s Hawaiian Rolls, spicy mustard, & Havarti cheese to make our sliders.  I put the gravy in small bowls so we could dip our sliders into it.  I’m not kidding…these are DELISH!  Make them!

Roasted Pesto Potatoes

·          Wash and peel potatoes and dice them into 1-inch chunks.  Throw them in a bowl with several generous spoonfuls of pesto.  Stir it all around and toss onto a greased baking sheet.  Roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are golden and fork tender.  J

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November 24-30, 2013

Sunday:  Pizza Night

Monday:  Honey BBQ Meatloaf with Roasted Broccoli & Carrots

·          My mom and I went to see a movie on this evening, so I prepared this delicious meatloaf (a family fave!) and had it in the fridge so all Chad had to do was throw it in the oven for dinner.  I substituted turkey for the ground beef and oatmeal for the breadcrumbs.  I also cut up some broccoli and carrots that he roasted as well.  Everyone was happy!  (

Tuesday:  Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Butter Spaghetti Squash & Roasted Green Beans

Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin
·          This is a wonderful and easy recipe from my friend, Meredith.  Simply put a pork tenderloin (which are often on sale and usually very affordable) in the crockpot and top with half a jar of apricot preserves and half a bottle of hot & sweet pineapple chili sauce (mine is from Target, but I think any version of a hot and sweet sauce would work).  Cook on low for 6 hours, and it simply shreds into tender deliciousness.  It’s a little spicy, but not too spicy for the kids.  Yum!

·          Love this!  (

Wednesday:  Dinner at Mom’s!

Thursday:  Thanksgiving!

Friday:  Sliders with French Fries and Pears

·          After a few days of family and food, we had an easy night at home.  Chad grilled little burgers – sliders – and I threw some fries in the oven.  We all sat together on the floor and had a picnic while watching “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.”  We love these nights!

Saturday:  Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Soup with Garlic Bread

·          I pinned this recipe recently on Pinterest from Family Fresh Meals and was pretty excited to try it.  It was FABULOUS!  Seriously…it’s so, so good!  After we (Chad helped chop the veggies while I tended to Payton) put it all together in the crockpot, I realized just how much soup there was.  So, we invited some friends over to eat dinner with us.  There was more than enough for everyone, and Chad and I even had it as a leftover for Sunday lunch.  The kids ate their soup, and I appreciate how there are some veggies in there that they barely realized they were eating!  This is a new family favorite!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 17-23, 2013

Sunday:  Crockpot Venison Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice

Crockpot Venison Tacos
·          This recipe is actually intended for a beef brisket, but we have a few venison roasts in our freezer, so I used one of those instead.  I used this recipe from Gimme Some Oven – a blog I really enjoy!  The flavor of this dish was perfect, but sadly, I didn’t account for the lack of fat in venison, so our lunch ended up very dry.  We still made due and added barbeque sauce and made quesadillas for everyone.  But, we were both disappointed.  L  We will try this again, though!  We have plans to increase the cooking liquid and decrease the cooking time.  I’ll let you know!

Monday:  Roasted Chicken & Veggie Tortellini

Roasted Veggie & Chicken Tortellini
·          This recipe is great because you can really add any vegetables you have on hand.  It's a one-dish meal that has everything tossed together.  Using a rotisserie chicken makes it super easy and delicious!

- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 tomato
- 1 head cauliflower
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- 9 oz package of cheese tortellini
- 4 Tbsp pesto
- parmesan cheese

Cube the zucchini and cut up the cauliflower.  Put them on a foil-lined cookie sheet (for easy clean-up!) and toss with a little olive oil and the Italian seasoning.  Roast at 400 degrees until they just start turning golden brown - about 15 minutes depending on size.  Sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan when done.  Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bones and dice up the tomato.  Make the tortellini according to package directions.  Toss the chicken, roasted veggies, tomato, pesto, and tortellini together.  Enjoy!

Tuesday:  Grilled Venison Steak, Roasted Ranch Potatoes, & Roasted Green Beans

·          Again with the venison…I know!  But, since Chad shot it, we will eat it!  Chad actually took the lead and seasoned and grilled the venison, so all I did was take care of the sides.  My mom was over for dinner, so she diced potatoes for me.  J  Then I tossed them with a little olive oil and a generous amount of dry Ranch dressing mix.  I roasted those alongside green beans for 20 minutes (our potatoes were diced smaller so they would cook faster) at 425 degrees.  We really enjoyed Chad’s steaks, and I enjoyed a dinner with a very easy clean-up!

Wednesday:  Breakfast Night!  Biscuits, Bacon & Cheese Omelets,  & Fruit

·          Chad was out of town, and I could barely chew food because of a little adjustment to my braces, so it was to one of the boys’ favorite dinners we went…breakfast!  Seriously…this is never a bad idea in my house. 

Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s!

Friday:  Grilled Kickin’ Chicken with Roasted Asparagus and Seasoned Yellow Squash

·          We love making this chicken, and it pretty much never fails to be amazing.  It’s so easy too, which is a big plus in my book.  The longer it marinates, the better it tastes!

Roasted Asparagus & Seasoned Yellow Squash
·          I washed and trimmed asparagus and placed it on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Then I sprayed on a little olive oil with my olive oil spritzer and sprinkled a little pepper and season salt on it.  Done!  For the squash, I cut two regular sized yellow squash into slices and threw them in a bowl.  Then I drizzled on olive oil.  After that, I added Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  I tossed that all together and added a little more olive oil and breadcrumbs until I liked how everything was sticking to the squash.  I put that on the other side of the baking sheet with the asparagus and roasted them together at 425 for about 15 minutes.  They both turned out great, and I was especially happy with the squash.  My boys really like a crispier zucchini or squash, and this was a perfectly quick way to make that happen!

Saturday:  Kickin’ Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach & Apple Salad

·          We had chicken leftover from the night before, so I diced it up for quesadillas.  I tried a new way of making quesadillas based off of making grilled cheeses in the oven.  I saw a tip on Pinterest several months ago that you could make several grilled cheese sandwiches in your oven at the same time by placing them between two baking sheets.  (I, of course, line mine with foil for easy cleanup!  J

I thought that the same method could work for quesadillas, and it did!!  I buttered the tortillas and put chicken and cheese in between them.  I placed a sheet of foil on top of the quesadillas, then another baking sheet over the foil, thus “smooshing” the quesadilla together.  I had the oven going at 425 degrees and let the quesadillas cook for about 12-15 minutes.  They turned out perfectly!  They were golden and crispy, and everything inside was hot and gooey.  I will definitely use this method for quesadillas again!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 10-16, 2013

Sunday:  Chicken Tenders with Roasted Carrots & Zucchini
·          We’re hosting our small group at our house this month every Sunday night at 5:30.  So, dinner after group needed to be quick and easy!  Adding fresh vegetables to Purdue Simply Smart chicken tenders makes a healthy meal that we all enjoy.

Monday:  Simple Crockpot Paella with Toasted Whole Grain Bread

Simple Paella
·         This recipe is from Parents Magazine a few years back, and I actually haven’t ever tried it.  I’m not sure why I finally did, but I’m happy I gave it a shot!  It’s delicious and easy.  I’ll probably add a little more spice to it the next time I make it.  Also, don’t worry if your rice seems a tad thick or dry before you add the seafood and peas.  It will receive quite a bit of moisture from those last ingredients.  J

Crockpot Seafood Paella

Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup chopped sweet peppers
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (reduce by half if you have younger kids)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
12 oz. fresh or frozen shrimp
12 oz. tilapia fillets, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas

1. Coat a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; add peppers, onion, and garlic and set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the broth, rice, thyme, crushed red pepper, and turmeric. Microwave on high for 4 minutes or until just boiling. Pour over vegetables in cooker.

2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 4 hours. An hour before it's finished cooking, stir in shrimp, tilapia, and peas. Cover and cook for the last hour. Remove cooker from liner; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday:  Dinner with My Mom!

Wednesday:  Jamie’s Pasta Casserole with Peas & Bread

Jamie’s Pasta Casserole
·          This is a flavorful and easy recipe from my sweet friend, Jamie.  It makes a good amount and is a great leftover or freezer meal!

Ground Beef
Spaghetti Sauce
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
Pasta of your choice
Mozzarella cheese

Prepare a meat sauce how you would typically make it.  Cook your pasta.   After pasta is finished, combine warmed cream cheese and sour cream, then mix the combined mixture with pasta. Pour pasta in an oven safe dish and pour meat sauce over pasta.  Top with mozzarella cheese, cover, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Thursday:  BBQ Turkey Sausage, Baked Beans, & Mashed Potatoes

·          We had been gone most of the afternoon, so a quick meal was my plan.  I sautéed turkey sausage with BBQ sauce and made two quick sides of Bush’s Baked Beans and mashed potatoes.  Apparently this was a green veggie-free night!

Friday:  Family Dinner with Friends

Saturday:  Date Night! 

·          My mom came and stayed with the kids so Chad and I could have a date night!  Yay!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 3-9, 2013

*The kids and I were out of town late last week and early this week, so I took a week off from the blog.  I hope this week’s recipes make up for it.  J

Sunday:  In New Mexico

Monday:  In New Mexico

Tuesday:   Coming home from New Mexico – Here’s a recipe I made the week before!  J

·          I made this several months ago, and we really enjoyed it.  She’s actually altered the recipe just a bit, and I think for the better.  This time around, I used chicken tenders instead, which I think made it even better because the yummy pretzel breading covers more of the chicken.  Yum!  The homemade honey mustard dressing really makes this recipe special.  Try it!  (

Wednesday:  Quick Fettuccini Cacciatore, Kale Salad, & Whole Grain Bread

·          I’ve had this recipe from Kraft Recipes since Chad and I were newlyweds, but I haven’t made it in forever.  It’s an easy and flavorful recipe, and even my boys ate it without too much prompting.  It makes a good leftover too!

Kale Salad
·          Wash and chop fresh kale into bite-sized pieces.  Top with chopped nuts (I used pecans) and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Then drizzle over a little olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Sprinkle with ground pepper and toss everything together.  If you like kale, I think you’ll really enjoy this salad.  If you don’t know much about kale, this is a great way to give it a try!  What’s also great about kale is that it holds up well to the dressing, so it can be eaten a day or two later and still have a good bite to it!

Thursday:  Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Brown Rice & Quinoa and Sautéed Spinach

Balsamic Glazed Salmon
·          Salmon has always been a bit of a tricky fish for me.  It needs to be cooked the right way, or it just seems a bit off.  We’ve had success grilling it, but I wanted to try it in the oven.  The Pioneer Woman has a simple way of baking salmon that I was really pleased with.  I placed our salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzled with olive oil.  Then I sprinkled on salt and pepper.  That’s it!  Place your salmon in a cold oven and heat to 400 degrees.  Leave it in the oven for 25 minutes, and it’s done!  I thought ours cooked perfectly.  While the salmon was in the oven, I made a simple glaze that is a recipe from my sister-in-law, Amber.  It was the perfect way to flavor the salmon!

Balsamic Glaze:
¼ cup water
¼ cup vinegar
1 ½ T fresh lemon juice
1 T plus 1 tsp. brown sugar

Stir together in bowl.  Simmer until thick and boiled down to about 1/3 cup.

Sautéed Spinach with Feta
·          In a cold skillet, place a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  Put in a few garlic cloves that have been finely chopped.  Heat these together until the garlic just starts to turn golden.  Don’t let it burn!  Once your garlic and oil are hot, put fresh, washed spinach in your pan.  Put quite a bit…the spinach will cook down to almost nothing.  There needs to be enough that it’s mounded in your pan.  If you are cooking for more than 2-3 people, do a few batches.  Toss the spinach around so it’s coated in the oil and garlic, then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for 1 minute ONLY.  After 1 minute, remove the spinach to another plate.  Cook more spinach if necessary.  Before serving, top with crumbled feta cheese.  Delish!

Friday:  Britney’s “10 Chicken,” Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic & Butter, & Roasted Green Beans

Britney’s “10 Chicken”
·          We visited with family last weekend, and one night I saw what my cousin Britney was making her family for dinner.  She called it “10 Chicken” because the first time she made it, her son, Maverick said, “This is so good, I could eat 10 of them!”  I told Ranger this story, so naturally he tried it and said the same thing.  Hehe…sometimes peer pressure isn’t a bad thing.  J

Chicken (we used boneless thighs)
Italian Dressing
Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder

Marinate the chicken in the dressing, soy sauce, & garlic powder in a Ziploc bag.  I think this would just taste better and better the longer you marinate it.  Britney pulled hers out from the freezer.  Chad grilled it up for us, and it was so, so good!

·          This is our absolute favorite way to eat spaghetti squash.  It’s so easy, and of course adding garlic, butter, & parmesan cheese makes it absolutely delicious!  (

Saturday:  Chicken Fried Venison, Pinto Beans, and Caesar Salad (And also a Buttermilk Chess Pie!)

Chicken Fried Venison
·          Chad shot a deer a few weeks ago, so he came home with venison that he cut up and froze into a few different cuts.  He used part of the meat for chicken fried venison tenders that he cooked outside on the grill burner.  They were yummy!!  Ranger ate a ridiculous amount.  We had some pinto beans frozen from the last time I made a batch, so those were an easy addition to the meal.  I added a simple salad, and we all ate to our heart’s content!   

·          Since Chad was using buttermilk to prepare the venison, I used some of it for a buttermilk chess pie.  Callen has been wanting to make pie for several weeks, so we finally did!  I even made a pie crust from scratch, which I haven’t often done.  I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, and it was so flaky and wonderful!  After making it and seeing how easy it is, and then tasting how delish it was, I will make this pie crust again and again!  The Buttermilk Chess Pie recipe is from  We ate it warm, about 1 hour after I pulled it from the oven.  Seriously…it was amazing!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 20-26, 2013

Sunday:  Crockpot Creamy Chicken Taco Chili

·          This was a perfect soup to throw in the crockpot before church and cook on low until we were home for lunch.  I used a rotisserie chicken that I had shredded and placed in the freezer several days ago and just put it in the crockpot frozen.  Since I was using already cooked chicken (instead of raw, frozen chicken breasts as the recipe originally calls for), I also added one can of vegetable broth.  This helped the soup stay creamy and not dry.  We all loved it, and it made excellent leftovers for a couple of days!  (

Monday:  Chicken Strips with Roasted Broccoli & Carrots

·          Soccer and softball night!  As always, a quick easy meal is a MUST!

Tuesday:  Oh My Goodness Chicken, Roasted Parmesan Green Beans, & Bread

·          I came across this on Pinterest (of course), and it seemed easy enough to try!  It was tasty, and plain enough that the boys had no problem with it.  Chad & I added Frank’s Red Hot to ours to give it more of a kick!  I might play with the flavors a bit the next time we try this.  (

Wednesday:  Elbow Pasta with Turkey Sausage & Marinara, Caesar Salad, & Warm Garlic Bread

·          I had some turkey sausage in the freezer that I thawed out and browned.  After draining it, I added it to marinara sauce and then poured it over prepared whole wheat, elbow macaroni pasta (my kids’ favorite).  I rounded out the meal with Caesar salad and warm, toasty, whole wheat garlic bread.  Yum!

Thursday:  Burger Night!

Friday:  Birthday Party!

·          We attended a friend’s birthday party, so we ate dinner there.  J

Saturday:  Baked Tacos, Cilantro Lime Rice, & Spinach Salad

·          I haven’t made these in quite a while, but Chad is always happy when I do!  They are really delicious, and they are also quite easy to prepare.  It’s a great way for our kids to eat tacos, as baking them helps keep them all “stuck” together and also softens the shells so there’s less mess.  It’s definitely a nice way to change up taco night.  I did use her recipe for homemade taco seasoning, but I bought my taco shells from the store.  J  (

Cilantro Lime Rice

·         This tasty rice could not be easier.  Just make rice as you normally would, then add butter, cilantro, lime juice & zest, & a little garlic salt.  Yum!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 13-19, 2013

Sunday:  Sandwiches

·          We have small group at 5:30, so the kids had sandwiches before we left.  They were able to enjoy a few treats while we were at group.  J  Chad & I ate after we came home.

Monday:  Dinner at Grammy & DadDad’s

·          Chad was out of town, so we spent the day at Grammy & DadDad’s house.  It was great!  They fed us lunch & dinner, the kids played with all their favorite toys, & I had a relaxing afternoon without any chores.  J

Tuesday:  5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili with Toasted Whole Grain Bread

·          This is one of the tastiest soups we’ve ever had.  I almost feel silly saying that because it’s so ridiculously easy that it seems unfair that it’s also ridiculously good.  I used the meat from a rotisserie chicken.  We topped ours with fresh avocado and shredded cheese.  I actually doubled the recipe and took some over to some friends.  Even with that, we had more than enough for our dinner and a couple of days’ worth of lunch leftovers!  This will be repeated throughout this fall and winter, without a doubt.  (

**  It would be easy to make this even healthier by making your own salsa verde and making white beans ahead of time rather than using canned…but I am not quite that together.

Wednesday:  Meredith’s Chicken & Veggie Tacos with Rice, Tortillas, & Grilled Corn, Avocado, & Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Meredith’s Chicken & Veggie Taco
·          This is definitely a favorite in our house, and it’s a wonderful recipe to make when having company.  We had some friends from church over, and everyone seemed happy with this meal!  I love dicing all the vegetables up ahead of time.  When it’s time for dinner, it’s so simple to just throw everything together over the stove and have a delicious, healthy meal in no time!

Ground Chicken  (I used 2 pounds.)
Finely chopped/diced veggies of your choice (I used 1 zucchini, 3 big carrots, & 2-3 big handfuls of spinach.  I use my mini food processor to chop everything really small.)
1 Can Rotel
Taco Seasoning
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic

Cook the chicken with olive oil & minced garlic until no longer pink.  Drain chicken if necessary. Add your finely diced veggies, Rotel, & taco seasoning.  Mix it all together until everything is heated through.  Serve with tortillas or chips of your choice.  We used corn and flour tortillas and topped them with some shredded cheese.

This ground chicken is delicious and healthy and very easy to freeze and have on hand for other meals.  I always make more than we need because it’s such a good leftover and great to freeze.

·          I’m still holding on to a little bit of summer with this salad.  Instead of grilling the corn, I roasted it in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, turning occasionally.  Before placing it in the oven, I sprayed on a little olive oil.  It turned out perfectly!  This salad is a delicious addition to any meal.  (

Thursday:  Bacon, Pear, & Raspberry Grilled Cheese with Zucchini Chips

·           These sandwiches are so, so, SO delicious!  I can’t even tell you how much we enjoyed these!  I love when someone thinks of such a great recipe, and I repeat it.  I followed her recipe exactly.  When I told Callen we were using “muenster” cheese, he heard “monster,” and was pretty happy about it!  To make the sandwiches “smoosh” together a bit more, I placed a heavy sauce pot on top of them while they were grilling on the stove.  If you have a Panini press, it would be even easier.  J  (

·          My kids love making and eating these, and they seemed like the perfect accompaniment to our grilled cheeses.  (

Friday:  Date Night!!!

Saturday:  Dinner with Friends!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 6-12, 2013

Sunday:  Pizza with Small Group

Monday:  Sautéed Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli

·          Ranger & Chad had soccer practice at 6:00, and then Chad had a softball game at 7:30.  So, I went easy and made sautéed spinach ravioli.  I buy it frozen from CostCo, and it’s delicious!  I melted butter in my skillet and then added the frozen ravioli.  I sprinkled a little of the cheese that comes with the ravioli over the top.  Once it browns on the bottom, flip them over and add another sprinkle of cheese.  Once the other side it browned, dinner is ready!  This was a great meal to make for the whole family, even though everyone ate at different times. 

Tuesday:  Breakfast!

·          Chad was gone, so we had our go-to breakfast for dinner! 

Wednesday:  Dinner Out

·          Chad was still gone, and the kids and I had been gone all day, so we grabbed a little Chick-fil-a for dinner.  J

Thursday:  Swedish Meatballs over Egg Noodles with Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Swedish Meatballs
·          Ranger has become quite the fan of meatballs.  He particularly likes Swedish meatballs like you can buy at Ikea.  I’ve had this recipe for a while…I was a subscriber to E-Meals several years ago and this was one of our favorites.  It’s so easy, can be prepared ahead of time, and everyone enjoys it!  The gravy really puts this one over the top.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t allspice
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 c water
2 T flour
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all meatball ingredients together.  Form into 1″ balls.  Place in 9x13 pan and bake for 30 mins.  In large skillet, mix together the onion soup mix, water, flour, and milk.  Heat until thickened.  Add cooked meatballs to skillet.  Simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.  Serve over egg noodles, cooked according to package directions.

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli
·          Cut up your broccoli into bite-sized pieces and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!).  Drizzle with a little olive oil (I use my olive oil sprayer) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, and toss it around.  Roast for 5 minutes more.  The broccoli is ready when the edges become brown and crispy.  Yum!  Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and add a little fresh lemon juice if you have it.  It’s delish!

Friday:  Jeff’s Mexican Tacos

·          I took the boys late in the afternoon to see “Turbo” at the $1 movie theater.  Chad stayed home with Payton, and after she went to bed, he made dinner for us!  I came home after a fabulous date with my boys to a home-cooked meal…a girl could get used to this!  Our friend, Jeff, is a wonderful cook, and he shared this recipe with Chad.  **A bonus of this meal was that we had enough leftover to add with eggs the next day and have breakfast burritos for lunch!**

Jeff’s Mexican Tacos

1 Yellow Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Potato
1 lb. Ground Sirloin
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
3-4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
Tortillas, or chips… if you want to serve as nachos

Brown ground sirloin in a skillet while you dice the onion and bell pepper.  After meat is browned, add garlic, onion, bell pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 6-7 minutes while dicing the potato.  Add potato, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally.  If you want tacos, serve in tortillas.  Chad decided the boys might have more fun building and eating their own nachos on this night, so he served the taco mixture in ramekins with tortilla chips and a mound of grated cheese on each plate.  The boys loved it!  And Chad chose to add Siracha to his nachos… because he likes it spicy!

Saturday:  The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm!

·          Our church went to The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Celina and served hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner.  J