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

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 29 - October 5, 2013

Sunday:  Grilled Chicken & Kale Salad with Feta, Strawberries, Pecans, & Raspberry Vinaigrette

·          We had a make-up soccer game this evening, so I fed the kids an early dinner before the game.  When we arrived back home, Chad grilled us some chicken while I made a fresh kale salad.

Monday:  Chicken Nacho Bake with Roasted Green Beans & Carrots

·          I found this recipe from a Kraft Foods magazine years ago (in our no-kid days!).  It’s really delicious and SO easy to prepare.  I made the kids’ chicken breasts without any salsa since they don’t like spicy foods.  Everyone was happy with this simple but tasty meal!

Tuesday:  Spaghetti Pie with Caesar Salad

·          This is a fantastic recipe from my sister-in-law, Amber.  It’s easy to prepare, and can even be done ahead of time if need be.  It’s also just as delicious as a leftover meal the following day!  I used mild Italian turkey sausage.

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
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. 

Wednesday:  Pizza Night!

·          Sometimes you just need a pizza night, right?  J

Thursday:  Leftover Pizza

·          Chad was gone this evening, but we had plenty of pizza leftover for the kids, my mom, and I to eat for dinner.  I added a salad to our meal, which kept this a super easy and low-key meal!

Friday:  Chicken Taquito Enchiladas with Spinach Salad

Chicken Taquito Enchiladas
·          This recipe is from a wonderful class I was part of called “Apples of Gold.”  It’s been over 5 years now, but the church where we were members has a wonderful group of Godly women who started this class to mentor young wives and mothers in the church.  We met each week for an amazing meal and wonderful lesson.  When the 6-week class was over, we were filled with knowledge from some fantastic women, and we also had a little book full of delicious, new recipes.  This is one of them, and it is ridiculously good & easy!

18 chicken taquitos
1 pint sour cream
1 can green enchilada sauce
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare the taquitos according to the package directions.  Place in a sprayed 13x9 baking dish.  Mix together the sour cream and enchilada sauce and pour over the top of the taquitos.  Top with the shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and sauce is heated through.  Enjoy!

Saturday:  Pinto Beans and Cornbread

·          I love this time of year when comfort foods can really come out of summer hibernation.  Beans and cornbread is such a delicious, economical, & filling meal that hits the spot on a fall day!  I tried The Pioneer Woman’s Beans, and I must say, they are wonderful (as most of her recipes are)!  I ended up adding 2 teaspoons of salt at the end (she recommends 1) because my bacon wasn’t all that salty.  I also added onion powder and garlic powder.  The greatness of her recipe is that you cook the beans over the stovetop for 2 hours, without soaking them first.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to make beans, but have forgotten to soak them overnight.  With this recipe, there is no need!!  Yay!!  I made enough for a small army, so we will eat off of them and add them to our meals for a few days, I’m sure.  J