Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 22-28, 2013

Sunday:  Breakfast

·          We had a house full of sick kids this weekend, so when they requested breakfast for dinner, I was happy they were asking to eat anything.  This meal was pretty much the first food they had eaten all day.

Monday:  Quesadillas with Fruit

·          I used chicken from a rotisserie chicken to make quesadillas.  For the boys, I just used chicken and cheese.  For us, I added tomatoes and creole seasoning.  Chad needed to leave early, so this was a perfect quick meal for everyone.

Tuesday:  Perdue Chicken Tenders with Roasted Green Beans and Carrots

·         We had a soccer game at 6, so we ate an early dinner beforehand.  On any soccer night, I always want a quick, healthy dinner that I know my kids will eat.  Perdue has a frozen chicken line called “Simply Smart” that is actually pretty good and healthy.  Even Chad and I enjoy them!  Adding roasted vegetables helped to round out the meal.  We all had a great dinner, and Ranger had a fantastic soccer game!

Wednesday:  Pasta with Parmesan Garlic Chicken Sausage, Basil Pasta Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, and Warm, Buttered Bread

·          I browned the chicken sausage and added it to some pasta sauce.  The kids really like elbow macaroni, so I prepared a whole wheat elbow to add to the sauce.  Chad came home late that night, and this was an easy meal for the kids and I to have early, and then I was able to keep it warm until Chad was able to eat.

Thursday:  Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas with Black Bean, Corn, & Avocado Salad

·         These enchiladas are delicious and easy to put together.  The sauce really puts it over the top!   This recipe also freezes really well, so when you make it, make enough to have a pan for the freezer.  It’ll be perfect on a night when you don’t want to cook!  (

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad
·          I adapted this recipe from  We weren’t firing up the grill, so instead of grilled corn, I used canned.  I also added black beans.

½ pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
½  can sweet corn (drained)
½ can black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper


Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.  Drain and rinse the corn and black beans.

Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, black beans, and corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle. Enjoy!

Saturday:  BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes

·          This is one of our favorite meals…EVER!  We’ve finally had some fall temperatures, so bring on the comfort foods!  Of all of the different meatloaf recipes I’ve made, this is by far our favorite.  I follow her recipe (Can You Stay for Dinner), except I substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.  It’s much less greasy.  Also, I use oatmeal in place of the bread crumbs, and then I add an egg.  I’m not sure how her meatloaf stays together without the egg, but clearly it does!  For the barbeque sauce, I do a little combo of Sweet Baby Ray’s and Stubbs to make everyone in my house happy.  Obviously, use whatever sauce your family likes.  Another reason this recipe is so fabulous is that I made a large loaf, and we had enough for lunch after church the next day.  Seriously, if you’ve never made any recipes I’ve posted before, make this one.  I’m not kidding.

Mashed Potatoes

·          Cut up potatoes (any kind) into 1-2 inch square chunks.  Put in a pot and add just enough cool water to cover the potatoes.  Boil for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and add back in the pan.  Add milk (I actually used heavy cream this time!), sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper, then mash it all up together in the pan with a potato masher.  Taste and add more of whatever you need to reach the consistency you like!  Yum-o!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 15-21, 2013

Sunday:  Small Group

·          We meet with a small group from our church at 5:30, so after, we made a quick dinner of sandwiches.

Monday:  Kids – Pepperoni & Cheese Quesadillas; Us – Grilled “Kickin’ Chicken”, Baked Potaotes, & Roasted Broccoli

·          Monday night is soccer practice night, so the kids ate an early dinner of pepperoni & cheese quesadillas with apples.  After practice, Chad grilled up some chicken I had marinated earlier with Frank’s Red Hot, olive oil, lime juice, & minced garlic.  Callen & Payton were already in bed, and Ranger sat and talked with us and had a bedtime snack while we enjoyed our dinner.  J

Tuesday:  My Birthday!

·          It was my birthday, and unfortunately, Chad was out of town.  But, my mom was able to celebrate with us.  We ate together at La Hacienda and had a GREAT meal!  The kids are kind of hilarious when we actually go to a “sit down” restaurant because we do it so rarely.

Wednesday:  Mushroom Asiago Chicken over Pasta with Roasted Green Beans & Bread

·          I found this recipe via Pinterest (of course), and definitely wanted to give it a try.  Our friend, Jeff, joined us for dinner, and there was more than enough for all of us.  It was pretty simple to make, although it is a stand-at-the-stove dinner, so I was a little hot.  No big deal though!  We all really enjoyed it.  I served ours over whole wheat elbow pasta because it’s an easier pasta for my kids to eat.  They pretty much thought they were eating macaroni-and-cheese with chicken!  Asiago is a pretty strong cheese, though.  So, if that’s not your thing…you’ve been warned.  (

Roasted Green Beans
·          Lay out your trimmed green beans on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Toss the beans with olive oil, salt, & pepper.  Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the green bean.  (I prefer the smaller ones.)  Sprinkle a generous amount of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese over the top and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes.  These are YUM-O!

Thursday:  Grilled Salmon, Oven-Baked French Fries, Avocados & Grapes

·          This meal sounds a bit random, and in a way, it was.  Originally I had planned for cheeseburgers, so earlier in the day I had cut up potatoes and had them soaking in salted water in the fridge, ready to make oven-baked French fries with them.  But, Chad came home and revealed that he had enjoyed a cheeseburger for lunch. 

We still had to have fries, but I changed the plan and had Chad grill some salmon marinated in soy sauce, garlic powder, & lemon juice.  We had an avocado that needed to be eaten, so we added that along with some grapes to our meal.  So, pretty random, but also pretty tasty!

Friday:  Grilled BBQ Chicken, Roasted Zucchini & Sweet Potatoes, & Bread

·          My mom and great-aunt came over and joined us for dinner.  Chad made some delicious BBQ chicken on the grill while I roasted veggies & warmed bread inside.  These fall temperatures we’ve been having are great!

Saturday:  Mini Cheeseburgers, Chips, & Apples

·          We finally had the burgers I had planned to have a few days ago.  They were delish, as always!  Since I had already made our fries, we simply added chips and apples.  Everyone was happy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 8-14, 2013

This is a very kid-friendly menu this week, as Chad was gone for three evenings, and we had soccer on another.

Sunday:  Dinner with Small Group

Monday:  Fish Sticks, Tator Tots, & Apples

·          Ranger has soccer practice at 6pm on Monday evenings, so our meal has to be quick.  Chad usually works until it’s time to practice, so I actually don’t plan Monday’s meal with he or I in mind, particularly.  I ate with the kids, and then made Chad a grilled sandwich with fruit after practice (before he left to play a softball game!).  Our Mondays will be all about convenience for the next 6-7 weeks.  J

Tuesday:  Hot dogs, Macaroni & Cheese, & Spinach Salad

·          For some reason, my boys don’t complain about eating fresh spinach, so I’m always glad when I can add a spinach salad to a kid-friendly dinner.  I skipped out on the hot dogs and macaroni, and just made myself a large spinach salad with some leftover chicken, boiled egg, strawberries, sunflower seeds, and a little bit of olive oil and raspberry-infused balsamic vinegar.  Everyone was happy!

Wednesday:  Breakfast for Dinner!

·          You know us…if Chad isn’t home for dinner for 2-3 nights, the boys are going to request breakfast for dinner.  I’m usually happy to oblige since it’s quick, easy, & they eat it with no complaints.  J

Thursday:  Dinner Out

·          On the third night of being home with the kids for dinner without Chad, I decided we should go out.  I let Ranger choose since it was also his first day of preschool.  Mooyah was his choice!

Friday:  Chubby Chicken & Cream Cheese Taquitos with Black Beans

·          I saw this recipe on and thought it would be delicious and easy.  Both things turned out to be true!  I love any recipe that can be made with a rotisserie chicken.  I actually made the chicken mixture up earlier in the afternoon, so when it was time to cook, I just assembled the taquitos and cooked them on the stove.  They are really, really yummy!  The boys liked that they had veggies that they “can’t taste.”  J  I made 8 good-sized taquitos.

Saturday:  Leftover Taquitos and Black Beans

·          We had just enough to have one more meal!  Hooray!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 1-7, 2013

Let me start out by saying, I didn’t intentionally set out to have such a carb-loaded, cheesy menu this week, but somehow that’s what happened.  When I planned our menu, I must have been craving some comfort foods.  You’ve been warned!

Sunday:  Chicken & Spinach Bake with Caesar Salad

·          This was delicious, healthy, and quite easy to prepare.  Three things that make it a winner in our house!  I used a rotisserie chicken that I shredded, which made it even easier.  It’s a great way to add spinach to a meal without it being a stand-alone side.  It also made more than enough, so I portioned it out for leftovers and set some aside to take to my mom.  I didn’t make it ahead of time, but it is a great recipe for making in advance.  (

Monday:  Breakfast for Dinner!  Eggs, Bacon, Pancakes, & Strawberries

Tuesday:  Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Oven-Baked Zucchini Chips, & Grapes

·          Ranger’s soccer practice was moved to Tuesday this week due to Labor Day, so my goal was to cook a healthy, quick dinner that the kids – especially Ranger – would eat without any complaint.  He needs all the energy he can possibly have to practice when it’s so ridiculously hot outside.  These chicken nuggets were quick and easy to prepare, and I felt good that we weren’t eating take out (which we absolutely do, but I just wanted to avoid it on this evening!).  I didn’t use homemade bread crumbs…mine were store-bought.  J  I’ll definitely make these again.  (

·         My kids have always enjoyed these, and this time, the boys helped me make them.  They had an absolute blast dipping the zucchini in the milk and tossing them into the bread crumb mixture for me.  Sure….it was a bit messy.  But, we all had a great time!  Plus, the boys always happily eat something if they’ve actually helped make it.  I baked ours for 15 minutes then flipped them and baked them for another 10.  They were perfect!  (

Wednesday:  Jamie’s Pasta Bake with Caesar Salad

Jamie’s Pasta Bake
·          This is my friend Jamie’s recipe, and it is DELISH!  I was reminded of it a few weeks ago when I made a Pioneer Woman pasta dish that is very similar.  I actually like this recipe a bit better because of the cream cheese.  I could actually just eat the noodle mixture all by itself!  All the kids ate their portions, and I loved having this for leftovers at lunch during the week.  Seriously…make this!

Pasta Casserole
Ground Beef
Spaghetti Sauce
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
8 oz sour cream
Pasta of your choice
Mozzarella cheese

Make meat sauce how you typically make it and prepare pasta, any kind. After the pasta is cooked to al dente, combine 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 20-30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes to melt the mozzarella.  Enjoy!

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday:  Outback Alice Springs Chicken with Kale Salad

·          I’ve made this once before, and we all enjoyed it.  It’s a simple recipe that packs quite a bit of flavor, and in keeping with my unintentional “theme” of the week, it has cheese in it.  J (  Callen helped me make a kale salad topped with slivered almonds, feta cheese, & balsamic vinaigrette to balance out the meal.

Saturday:  Callen’s 3rd Birthday!!!

·          We celebrated Callen’s 3rd birthday with family on this day.  CostCo helped us out with lunch that day, and we had enough for leftovers for dinner.  Ranger had his first soccer game on this Saturday as well, so we were all exhausted and happy to have food ready to go.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 25-31, 2013

Sunday:  Lake Day with Friends!

Monday:  Basil Lime Chicken with Roasted Green Beans & Carrots

·          We had Ranger’s first soccer practice on this evening, so I wanted a healthy meal to give him some good energy that was also easy to prepare.  I actually used pork chops because I didn’t have any chicken on hand.  Chad was able to grill for me, and I roasted up the veggies inside.  The sauce that you make up to pour on the meat when you serve it really makes it delicious!  (

Tuesday:  Dinner with My Mom!

Wednesday:  Cheesy Enchilada Stack with Kale Salad

·          I made this several months ago, and when I happened upon the recipe again this week, I was reminded how much we enjoyed it.  It is actually pretty easy to make, and after preparing it, I remembered how much food it actually makes.  It would have fed my family plus another very easily!  The kids all ate it, which is always a plus!  I served ours with a fresh kale salad topped with slivered almonds, feta cheese, & balsamic dressing.  Yum!  (

Thursday:  Leftovers
·          Clearly we had enough from the night before!  J

Friday:  Texas Rangers Game!
·          The kids stayed the night with my mom while Chad & I enjoyed a Rangers’ game with friends. 

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

·          This is one of my favorite recipes ever, and I’m not sure why I don’t make it more often.  I love the sweet-hot flavor alongside the crispness of the lime juice.  It’s a quick meal to put together, especially if you have your chicken cut up ahead of time.  I usually serve ours with roasted broccoli.  Couscous is a fun variation on rice or pasta, and it soaks up the sauce nicely.  The only downside is that Callen LOVES couscous, but his eating couscous ends up looking like he showered in couscous.  J  (