Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 24-30, 2013

Sunday:  Lasagna, Spinach Salad with Apples, Feta, & Balsamic Dressing, & Whole Wheat Garlic Bread

*  The last time I made lasagna, I made a double batch and put extras in our freezer.  This was one of those nights when I really appreciate how nice make-ahead freezer meals are!

Monday:  Herb Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta, Roasted Green Beans, & Whole Wheat Bread

*  Yum, yum, yum!  This was a very delicious dinner that we all enjoyed.  It was a bit more involved than some of my dinners, but Payton went to bed early, so I had more time to stand over the stove.  There wasn't much of this dish that could be done ahead of time (which is my preferred way to cook), but it was worth the extra minutes at the stove.  I served it over angel hair pasta, and even made a double batch of the sauce so I could have some in the freezer for an easy meal another night.  (

Tuesday:  Dinner with Mom  :-)

Wednesday:  Amber's Spaghetti Pie, Salad, & Whole Wheat Garlic Toast

Amber's Spaghetti Pie
* I'm noticing that I really wanted pasta this week.  Sorry if that's not your thing!  I'm still using the nursing excuse to carb-load.  ;-)  This recipe is wonderful and easy.  My sister-in-law shared this with me, so of course I named it after her!

Spaghetti Pie
(Amber Smith)

-4 oz. spaghetti noodles
-1 Tbsp. Butter
-1 egg
-¼  cup parmesan cheese (grated)
-½ cup mozzarella cheese
-½ lb Owens Italian style sausage (I used mild.)
-½ jar spaghetti sauce (I use Bertioli brand)
-1 small package of cottage cheese
-cooking spray

Brown sausage. Drain and add spaghetti sauce.
Boil pasta. While hot, mix with butter, egg, and parmesan cheese. Press into a greased pie pan, making it look like a pie crust. 

Put cottage cheese on top of pasta “crust”.  Pour meat sauce over cottage cheese. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Thursday:  Crock Pot Enchiladas, Cilantro Lime Rice, & Salad

Crockin' Enchilada Casserole
*  You've got to love the Crockin Girls!  I love using my crock pot, although I haven't had it out in a few weeks.  Shame on me!  These were quite tasty, although not particularly healthy.  (It would be very easy to make a healthier version of this using ground turkey and a homemade cream soup.) I used corn tortillas instead of flour, but that's just our preference.  I'm sure this recipe is on their website, but I grabbed it from their cookbook.

Crockin' Enchilada Casserole

- 1 pound hamburger meat, browned
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 can Ranch Style beans
- flour tortillas
- 1 bag shredded Velveeta crumbles

Brown hamburger meat; add soup, tomatoes, and beans to the hamburger meat and mix well.  Tear tortillas into trips and place a layer in the bottom of the slow-cooker.  Next, add 1 layer of 1/2 the meat mixure, then a layer of cheese.  Repeat layers, ending with cheese.  Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.

Friday:  Dinner with Friends

Saturday:  Monterrey Chicken with Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli

*  We have had this recipe a few times over the last year, and we always enjoy it.  Now that the weather is warmer, I'll be asking Chad to grill some on weekend nights, which I'm really excited about!  It's always nice to get the grill's one less pan in the kitchen!  When we make this, we only put a little of the Rotel on the chicken the boys will eat (they are big into spicy).  I also made the sweet potatoes from this blog post, and they are ridiculously yummy.  Seriously...make them now.  We devoured them!  Add some roasted broccoli, and your meal is complete!  (All Things Simple)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 17-23, 2013

Sunday:  Eat Out

*  We met some friends for dinner who were in town for the evening.  :-)

Monday:  BBQ Meatloaf, Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

*  Chad was out of town this evening, so I reheated some of the yummy BBQ meatloaf from a few weeks ago that I had wrapped and thrown into the freezer.  My mom came over, and there was plenty for both of us.  Adding some fresh, roasted Parmesan green beans made this a perfect meal! 

Placing leftovers or extra servings in the freezer for nights when Chad is gone is one of my favorite ways to make sure I use all the food I make during the week.  It makes me so sad to throw away food simply because I forgot about it in the fridge or didn't plan well.

Tuesday:  Salad with Chicken

*  Chad was gone again, so it was just the kids and me for dinner.  We had some leftover Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets from our friend, Jamie, which worked out well for all of us!  The boys had chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, & fruit.  I made a big salad with fresh spinach and mixed greens, topped with a few of the cut up chicken nuggets, strawberries, blackberries, feta cheese, & sunflower seeds.  I dressed it with a little olive oil and raspberry-infused balsamic vinagrette. 

Wednesday:  Honey Soy Chicken with Parmesan & Yogurt Roasted Cauliflower, Salad, & Whole Wheat Garlic Bread

*  I had never made these before, but they were both easy & delicious.  I used bone-in chicken breasts (I removed the skin before marinating) because it's what the original recipe suggested.  It does add a little more flavor and keeps the chicken moist.  I marinated mine that morning, so they sat all day in the tasty liquid.  Next time I will try to remember to marinate them the night before as I think they would be even better!  Definitely do what the recipe says with the remaining marinade, and heat it up to brush on the chicken as it cooks.  This really adds more moisture and flavor.  The leftover chicken was quite yummy on my salad the next day for lunch.  Bonus!  (Thanks to

Parmesan & Yogurt Roasted Cauliflower
*  My mom made cauliflower like this several months ago, and we have loved it ever since.  She found the recipe on Pinterest, but hasn't been able to find it since.  It's so easy though, we've been able to repeat it.

- cauliflower cut up into bite-size pieces
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- plain Greek yogurt
- freshly-grated Parmesan
- Italian bread crumbs

Roast the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, & pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet at 400 for 15 minutes.  Take the cauliflower out of the oven and mix with Greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese (Add as much as you like.  I've never really measured it...I just eye it and add enough until the cauliflower is creamy without being drenched.)  Top with Italian bread crumbs and put back on the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes more.  It's so, so yummy!  It's very much like macaroni and cheese!

Thursday:  Macaroni with Beef & Cheese with Roasted Green Beans and Corn

*  We have had this dinner many times over the last year or so.  It's very kid-friendly, but it's also very homemade, not at all like a boxed mix from the store full of preservatives.  The full recipe also makes a ton, so it's a great freezer meal too!  The only thing I would note about this recipe is that you need some time to make it.  It's not hard at all, but it requires some wait time between a few of the steps.  It's not something you'll whip up at 5:00 for dinner at 6:00.  (Thanks to!)

Roasted Green Beans & Corn
*  I've made roasted green beans in the past, so that's nothing new.  But, I learned from Pinterest that you can take frozen corn and roast it as well!  Just toss it on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, & pepper and place it under the broiler for 5 minutes.  That's it!  So easy!  I over-salted ours a bit this time, so I'll be a little less generous the next time around.

Friday:  Date Night!

*  Chad & I went on a much-needed date while my mom kept the kids...yay!

Saturday:  Sweet Chili Lime Chicken with Cilantro Couscous & Roasted Broccoli

*  This is one of our favorite new recipes.  It's ridiculously easy, fast, & tasty!  Chad actually made most of this meal for me since it was a Saturday and he was home.  If you don't like things very spicy, or if you need to keep it milder for the kids, use less of the red pepper.  You could also make it healthier by using rice or quinoa, but I love the couscous so much in this recipe.  :-)  (Thanks to

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 10-16, 2013

Sunday:  Lunch:  Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken
*  2-3 large chicken breasts
    1 can rinsed & drained black beans
    1 can drained corn
    1/2 - 1 cup salsa
    4 oz cream cheese

    Put chicken in crock pot and toss everything else on top.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours!  About 30-45  minutes before you are ready to eat, shred the chicken and mix everything together.  Enjoy over chips or in tortillas!

Sunday:  Dinner:  Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Strawberries & Maple Syrup, Eggs, & Bacon

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
*  We had most of a loaf of whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread from Sprouts sitting on our counter.  It was just this side of stale, so I decided it would make delicious French toast!  And I was right!  It was ridiculously good...we all stuffed ourselves!  I can count on one hand the times I've made French toast, but after this meal, we will definitely make it again and again!

Monday:  Dinner Out

*Chad was actually sick this day and didn't want dinner, so my Mom was so awesome and came and grabbed the boys and took them to dinner at Mooyah (Ranger's fave!).  She brought me a burger home!

Tuesday:  Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce & Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

*  These were delish, and so easy!  I used a rotisserie chicken and corn tortillas.  The sauce is scrumptious, and it is made from scratch rather than using a can of creamed soup.  I'm not saying I'll never use a can of creamed soup ever again, but when it's easy to substitute, I'm all for it!  (Thanks Joyful Mama's Kitchen!)

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
*  Lay out fresh green beans on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Toss with a little olive oil, salt, & pepper, then sprinkle a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan.  Roast in oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or 400 for 10-15.  Just keep your eye on them, and you'll see when they are ready!

Wednesday:  Dinner out...again!

*  Chad wasn't 100% well yet, and he thought quesadillas from Chili's sounded good.  So, of course we ate what he wanted since he's been sick!  Originally my plan was the leftover chicken enchiladas from the previous night.  I enjoyed them for lunch instead!

Thursday:  Make-our-own Pizza Night

*  Our niece, Milla, was here, so I wanted a fun dinner for the kids.  Plus, Chad was working late and wasn't planning to be home for dinner anyway.  The kids had so much fun making their own mini-pizzas, and there was plenty left for me to eat.  We added some pears, and everyone was quite happy.

Friday:  Man-Pleasing Chicken with Roasted Broccoli & Potatoes

*  The name of this recipe cracks me up, but that's what you get with Pinterest!  The chicken is delicious...even the kids ate it right up (and of course, my man was quite pleased!).  :-)  What I loved about this whole meal is that I prepared everything earlier in the afternoon.  Then, all I had to do was toss it all in the oven.  I don't have alot of time to stand over the stove between 5-6 pm.  I used chicken tenders.  (

Roasted Broccoli & Potatoes
*  Dicing the potatoes into smaller chunks allows them to roast in the same time as broccoli.  I used a little Season All on the potatoes in addition to the olive oil, salt, & pepper that are my go-to roasting ingredients.  

Saturday:  BBQ Chicken Pizza

*  I realize that we had 2 pizza nights this week, but our week took a few unexpected turns, so we just rolled with the punches.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
-  whole wheat pizza crust
-  rotisserie chicken
-  BBQ sauce of choice
-  fresh cilantro
-  thinly sliced red onion
-  freshly grated mozzarella cheese

Bake the crust according to directions, or make one from scratch if you've got the time!  Brush with BBQ sauce and top with chicken, cilantro, red onion, & finally cheese.  Bake until done and enjoy!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 3-10, 2013

Sunday:  Papa Murphy's Pizza

*  Because Mama needed a night off, and pizza sounded delicious!

Monday:  Baked Parmesan Paprika Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots

*  This is another great Pinterest recipe!  It was so delicious, and the boys even ate it up without complaint.  :-)  I used chicken tenderloin strips instead of chicken breasts, so it cooked more quickly and there was more of the yummy parmesan breading on every bite!  Thanks!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots
*  Cut the brussels sprouts in half and cut the small core out of each side in a v-shape.  You might lose a few top leaves, but that's ok.  Lay the brussels sprouts cut-side down on a foil-lined and sprayed (with olive oil or cooking spray) cookie sheet.  Cut your carrots in little sticks (the smaller they are, the faster they will cook), and place on the other side of your cookie sheet.  Drizzle all of the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.  Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and check.  The brussels sprouts may be done before the carrots, so just take them off the cookie sheet and toss the carrots back into the oven until they start to brown up a bit.  In my opinion, the more brown the brussels sprouts are, the tastier they are!  The fresh lemon juice makes all the difference to us.

Tuesday:  One serving of One Pot Spaghetti, Peas, & Whole Wheat Garlic Toast

*  Chad was gone, and thankfully I thought ahead a few weeks ago when I made One Pot Spaghetti.  The original recipe makes quite a bit, so I froze enough for one meal knowing I could heat it up just for me one evening when Chad was gone.  It was still delicious! The boys had an all-star dinner of chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, peas, & grapes.  :-)

Wednesday:  Chicken Crescent Squares & Salad

*  Chad was gone again, but I had some tasty Chicken Crescent Squares frozen, so I tossed a couple in the oven and had them with a a salad.  The boys like these as well!  They are so easy to make, and they freeze really well.  (

Thursday:  Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, Roasted Purple Potatoes, & Kale Salad

*  This recipe is one of my favorite pins.  I love the smoky BBQ flavor.  I changed it up just a bit by using turkey instead of beef and oatmeal in place of panko.  Chad loves Stubbs BBQ sauce, but it's just a bit too spicy for the boys, so I use half Stubbs and half Sweet Baby Ray's.  It's delicious! (

Kale Salad
*  Chop up kale, making sure to remove the spiny stem.  Toss with roasted walnuts or macadamia nuts and freshly grated parmesan.  Make a quick dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & fresh-squeezed lemon juice.  Toss dressing with salad and enjoy!  This is a very hearty and healthy salad, and it's so easy to make!

Friday:  Beef, Tomato, & Bow Tie Pasta with Salad & Whole Wheat Garlic Bread

Beef, Tomato, & Bow Tie Pasta
1/2 lb lean ground beef
minced garlic
fresh, sliced mushrooms
salt & pepper
garlic salt
1 chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
bowtie pasta
parmesan cheese

Brown beef, garlic, & mushrooms in olive oil.  Once browned, drain off any fat and return beef to pan.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, & garlic salt.  Add the chopped tomato and sun-dried tomatoes and keep over low heat.  Meanwhile, make pasta as directed.  Combine cooked pasta with beef and tomatoes.  Top with fresh parmesan and enjoy!  This recipe makes a great leftover too.  It's so adaptable that you can toss in any vegetables you have on hand.

Saturday:  Grilled Tilapia Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, Cilantro Lime Rice, & Black Beans

Grilled Tilapia Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
*Chad grilled the tilapia for me with olive oil, lime juice, Tony Chacere's seasoning, & pepper.  He recommends grilling the fish on foil.  I had originally planned to make a mango salsa because we received some mangoes with our co-op.  But, the mangoes weren't ripe enough, so I altered the plan and made pineapple salsa instead.

fresh pineapple
orange or red bell pepper
red onion
garlic salt
Dice all vegetables and mix together.  

Cut up fish and serve in corn tortillas with pineapple salsa.  Yummy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February 24 - March 2, 2013

Sunday:  Breakfast - Blueberry Waffles, Scrambled Eggs, & Bacon

Breakfast for dinner is a big favorite around here...especially with the boys.  Ranger asks for it pretty regularly.  We often have it on Sunday night.  I've discovered a yummy 6-grain, organic waffle and pancake mix at CostCo made by Central Milling Company.  We usually add blueberries to it.  It's delicious!

Monday:  Dinner at Mom's (Nonnie) house  :-)

Tuesday:  Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake & Roasted Broccoli

*  We really like this recipe.  It's also a great one to take to people because it freezes and reheats well.  I made a double recipe, and it made 4 8x8 pans.  This is also a reasonably healthy dish, although I used full-fat cheese rather than low-fat.  I don't cook with low-fat dairy products.  :-)  (Thanks to Tasty )

Roasted Broccoli
*  Our absolute favorite way to eat broccoli is roasted.  Toss chopped broccoli with a little olive oil, salt, & pepper.  Roast at 400 or 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then stir it around.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes more until the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven, squeeze juice from half a lemon, and add a little fresh parmesan.  Yum!

Wednesday:  Roasted Veggie & Chicken Tortellini with Whole Wheat Garlic Bread

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!

Thursday:  Leftovers

Chad had a work dinner this evening, so I had the tasty leftovers from the night before while the boys had chicken nugets.  :-)

Friday:  Lasagna, Caesar Salad, & Whole Wheat Garlic Bread

I know everyone has a lasagna recipe you enjoy.  I make lasagna a little different every time, I think.  This time, instead of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, I used spinach artichoke dip.  It was a fun change!  

Saturday:  Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin, Kale & Dill Mashed Potatoes, & Roasted Broccoli

Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin
*  This wonderful recipe is courtesy of my friend, Meredith.  It is very flavorful, and it's not too spicy for the kids.  Spray your crockpot with Pam.  Add a pork tenderloin (these are often on special at the store!).  Add half of a jar of apricot preserves and half a bottle of Sweet Chili Pineapple sauce from Target (I'm sure anything sweet and spicy would work!).  Cook on low for 6 hours.  During the last hour, shred the pork so the tasty sauce runs over all of the meat.  Serve it alone or over rice.

Kale & Dill Mashed Potatoes
*  Cut up potatoes (ours were purple this time!), place in a large pot, and cover with water.  Heat on stove until boiling and boil for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain and return to the same pot on the stove.  Mash with potato masher.  Add chopped fresh dill and kale (I chopped the kale in my mini food processor), along with sour cream, milk, salt, & pepper.  These potatoes are a good way to add in extra greens, although I must say I prefer potatoes loaded with cheese, sour cream, & bacon!  :-)