Monday, December 22, 2014

December 14-21, 2014

*  This will be my last post until after the New Year!  I hope everyone has a wonderful and merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!

Sunday:  Small Group Christmas Party


Monday:  Healthy Mama Crockpot BBQ Chicken

·          I made this recipe long, long ago when I was stocking up the freezer before Sweet Baby #2.  I wanted to take a meal to some friends of ours that could either be frozen and made later or just used in the crock pot the next day, and I remembered this recipe that has everything you need right in it!  I also wanted to make enough for us to have as well.  The bummer was, I did my multiplication wrong and didn’t have as much chicken as I should have, so our sweet friends were a little light on the chicken and heavy on the veggies.  J  She sweetly said it was fine and that they added some pork to the meal that they already had in the fridge.  It really is a yummy and healthy meal that takes a little time to prep on the front end, but then you just stick it in the crockpot and it’s done!


Tuesday:  Dinner & Christmas Lights at Nonnie’s!


Wednesday:  Girls’ Dinner
·          Daddy was in charge of the kids!


Thursday:  Green Eggs, Bacon, & Pancakes


·          Chad was out of town, and the kids requested breakfast for dinner.  I made some whole wheat pancakes - this time I added flax!  Just to make sure they took in some greens, we had green eggs (egg omelet with spinach and feta).  J

And, I actually made a kale salad for myself and topped it with some basil and tortilla crusted tilapia from Costco.



Friday:  Green Chili Sour Cream Chicken with Roasted Broccoli & Carrots

Green Chili Sour Cream Chicken


·          I had some leftover sauce from making these Chicken Enchiladas With Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce that I had placed in the freezer a while back.  I thawed the sauce during the day, then I warmed it a bit on the stovetop.  Meanwhile, I browned some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a sauté pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  When I turned them to the second side, I poured the warmed sauce over the top.  I simmered the chicken and sauce together for 25-30 minutes.  I served ours over brown rice with sides of roasted broccoli and carrots.  This was an easy meal to throw together since I made double sauce 6 weeks earlier!


Saturday:  Dinner Out


Sunday:  Crockin’ Girls Baked Ziti, Kale Salad, & Garlic Bread
·          Here’s a bonus day this week since there won’t be another menu until after the New Year.  J  Chad’s parents and my mom came to church with us on Sunday morning, and then they ate lunch with us.  I found this wonderful recipe in my Crockin’ Girls cookbook.  It was PERFECT for a Sunday lunch!  All I did once we arrived home was make a salad and warm some garlic bread.  There was plenty for all of us and a decent amount for leftovers. Yay!  I used sweet Italian turkey sausage.


Crockin’ Girls Baked Ziti 
from the new cookbook, The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion

Ingredients:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or Italian sausage/ground turkey (whatever suits your fancy)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano, divided
1 16-ounce box ziti noodles
2 26-ounce cans of spaghetti/pasta sauce
1/2 teaspoons parsley

Directions:
Brown ground beef with the onion and garlic; drain and set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, egg whites, 8 ounces of mozzarella, Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano in a separate bowl; mix well. Rinse uncooked ziti in cold water. In the slow cooker, layer 2 cups sauce, 1/2 of the ground beef mixture, 2 ounces mozzarella, 1/2 of the ziti, and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture; repeat. Top with the remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle the remaining oregano and the parsley on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 7-13, 2014

Sorry for the late post this week...the Christmas season and all its festivities has kept us a bit busy!  Thanks!  :-)


Sunday:  Easy Caramelized Baked Chicken, Roasted Butternut Squash & Green Beans, & Bread

Easy Caramelized Baked Chicken


  This recipe is from a blog called Eezy Recipes, and it most certainly fit that description!  I prepared the dish in about 5 minutes…that was it!  I did spoon over some of the sauce a few times while the chicken was cooking just to make sure the sauce stayed over the top of the chicken so it could get nice and caramelized.  It was delicious!  My kids loved it!

When the chicken had about 20 minutes left, I roasted some fresh green beans spritzed with olive oil and sprinkled with Season All alongside some cubed butternut squash that I had seasoned with a little olive oil, sage, salt, and pepper.  Yum!  Once the chicken was done, I turned the oven up to 425 degrees so the veggies would finish roasting at a higher temperature.


Monday:  Pizza Night 
  A quick meal before Callen and Payton's preschool Christmas program.  


Tuesday:  Ground Venison and Veggie Soft Tacos with Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas



  I'm really taking advantage of having venison in our freezer from Chad's last hunting trip.  He ground some of the venison, and it cooks well for any recipe where you would normally use ground beef or turkey.  I love it because it has almost no fat, so I don't even have to drain off the grease after browning it!  I'll take organic, lean meat any day!  



  I sauteed some fresh, chopped spinach, carrots, onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil.  Once all of those veggies were soft, I browned the meat and added homemade taco seasoning (from One Good Thing By Jillee).  Once the meat was cooked through, I added some diced tomatoes.  I left all of that on warm while I made homemade, whole wheat tortillas (from The Lean Green Bean).  We topped ours with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.


Wednesday:  Honey Garlic Pork Chops with Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter and Sauteed Zucchini

  These pork chops are simple and delicious!  Chad grilled them for me, so my job was even easier.  I marinated them for a few hours before grilling time.  

  A favorite way to eat spaghetti squash in our family!


Thursday:  Santa's Village with Grammy and DadDad!


Friday:  Christmas Party with Our Church Youth Group


Saturday:  Grilled Dove, Hunters Rice, Spinach Salad

  Chad took care of dinner for me!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

November 30 - December 6, 2014

Sunday:  Dinner with Small Group


Monday:  Gumbo with White Rice
·          Chad made some amazing gumbo with some of our leftover turkey, duck, and sausage.  It was amazing!  I’m pretty lucky to have a guy who enjoys cooking (when he has time!).  Gumbo is an adaptable recipe because you can use a bit of whatever meats you have on hand.  Here’s Chad’s version:

Chad’s Conglomerate Gumbo

Total Time:3 hours
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2 hr 45 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

4 duck breasts, spoonbills a good option
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup smoked turkey/chicken
Salt and pepper
Tony Chacheres
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 cups broth/stock
2 cups water (fill broth bag after emptying)
1 bag frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts

Directions

Prep by chopping onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic (trinity) and set aside in a bowl.  Cut sausage into ¼ slices and set aside with duck breasts and shredded turkey/chicken.

Add small amount of oil to hot dutch oven type pot and sear the duck and sausage together for about 6-8 minutes.  Remove meat, set aside in a bowl, and proceed to roux.  To make roux, add the ½ cup oil to pot and let get hot over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until rich brown, about 20-30 minutes.  Be patient, whisk constantly, and do not let burn.  If you don’t have time for this step, buy a jar of ready-made roux.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, along with the trinity mixture and cook for 10 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon until mixture well coated and onions start to wilt. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, Tony Chach to taste. Add 4 cups broth, 2 cups water, and bay leaves while whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Add okra. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready to serve.  Serve over steamed rice, top with green onions, and taste before adding hot sauce to preference.


Tuesday:  Pepperoni Rolls, Caesar Salad, & Fruit
·          I had a Christmas party, so before I left I made crescent pepperoni rolls for Chad and the kids.  Just cut a mozzarella stick in half, put inside a crescent triangle, add 4 pepperoni slices, and roll up.  Bake according to the crescent roll directions.  Easy and kid-friendly!


Wednesday:  Balsamic Flank Steak with Roasted Broccoli and Boiled Potatoes


Balsamic Flank Steak
·         Flank steak is an inexpensive cut of meat, but it needs to be seasoned and cooked well so that it’s tender and tasty enough to eat.  This recipe came from Pinterest, and we really enjoyed it!  For some reason the recipe isn’t showing up on the original site anymore, so I have it below from memory.  Chad actually grilled ours outside (instead of cooking it inside as the recipe suggests).  I actually only had ¼ cup of regular balsamic vinegar, so the other ¼ cup was blackberry balsamic vinegar.  I wasn’t totally sure how it would turn out, but it was delicious!  I marinated mine for about 7 hours.  The original recipe said to marinate it overnight.

½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
*Stir all ingredients together and pour over a 1 - 1.5 pound flank steak.  Marinate and grill.

As sides, I roasted broccoli and boiled some small honey gold potatoes in a little water and butter.  I seasoned the potatoes with kosher salt and dried rosemary as they were cooking.  My mom used to make potatoes like this for my daddy.  J  The boys LOVED them!


Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s
·          We had dinner at Mom’s, and she made a yummy taco pizza from Life In a Lofthouse!


Friday:  Dinner Out


Saturday:  Spinach Salad with Flank Steak, Feta, & Pears

Chad and the boys had a bowling and pizza night with the guys from church, so I made a salad for myself with the flank steak leftover from earlier in the week. Payton wasn't feeling well, so she had Cheerios and applesauce.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 16-22, 2014

*There will be no blog next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday and all of the plans we have with family.  Feel free to check out the pages above to search through some of the recipes listed here on our menus.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Sunday:  Dinner with our Small Group


Monday:  Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls with Salad



·          It’s dinner wrapped up in a crescent roll, so it has to be delicious!  J  I used some rotisserie chicken I had on hand and followed her recipe.  However, I rolled mine up lengthwise, so my rolls were much smaller, which was actually better for my kids.  Either way, they were wonderful!  I served ours with some Dijon and honey sauce I had in the fridge from the previous week.  (And yes…we ate on paper plates...just keeping it real!)  J


Tuesday:   Tilapia with Fresh Vegetables

·          Chad was gone for the evening, so the kids and I had some tilapia and vegetables.  A pretty easy meal is sometimes the best option!  I made a salad for myself.



Wednesday:  Parmesan Baked Pork Chops, Roasted Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes, & Rice



·          These were simple, crispy, and delicious.  I actually prepared them earlier in the day and then just placed them in the oven to be ready in time for dinner.  For those of you who don’t enjoy pork, this would also be yummy for chicken or turkey.  J


Thursday:  Venison Steak, Mashed Cauliflower, & Spinach Salad



·          Chad grilled some flavorful venison steaks that were amazing!  My mom was over for dinner too, and we all enjoyed it.  I can’t put any recipe here because Chad took charge of this meal.  J


Friday:  Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Soup

·          This was a favorite of ours last fall, and I’m glad the cooler weather reminded me of it again.  It takes a little bit of time to chop the vegetables, but once that’s done, it’s incredibly easy to toss together in your crock pot.  It makes quite a bit, so I prepped all the ingredients, but I only made half of it.  The other half I froze except for the broth, water, and spaghetti sauce.  I’ll add those in when I make it another time.


Saturday:  Pasta with a Venison & Marinara Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, & Garlic Parmesan Crescent Bread Sticks

Chad brought home deer meat from his last hunt, so now we have a freezer full of different cuts of venison.  It’s so lean and healthy, and I’m happy to have it…especially since Chad cooks anything he kills.  J  He chose to make some of it into ground venison, so he made pasta using the venison in place of beef or sausage in the pasta sauce.  Yum! 


We wanted some garlic bread, so I used some crescent roll dough to make garlic Parmesan bread sticks.  I laid out the dough and pressed together the seams to it was just one large rectangle.  Then I melted butter and added fresh-pressed garlic to it.  After brushing the butter and garlic on the dough, I sprinkled it with Italian seasoning and fresh Parmesan.  I baked it at 375 degrees for about 9 minutes.  They were quite tasty!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 9-15, 2014

Sunday:  Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Zucchini



·          The kids and I had just arrived home from an 8.5 hour road trip, so Chad made us a wonderful, home-cooked meal!  It was delicious, and very appreciated after a day of eating in the car.  J  He breaded chicken and fried it in a little oil on the grill burner outside.  He made a sauce with marinara and mushrooms to go over the chicken, then sprinkled on some freshly-grated parmesan.  I ate every bite!

***As a bonus, Chad made these wonderful one-cup pumpkin pies for the two of us after the kids went to bed...so good!




Monday:  Chicken & Waffles with Eggs



·          We had some leftover breaded chicken from the night before, so I wanted to use it in some way.  Our kids were all in different stages of being sick or getting over it after our weekend travels, so I also needed a dinner they would eat.  Chicken and waffles to the rescue!  I found this wonderful recipe for whole wheat pancakes and a maple honey mustard dressing from Sarcastic Cooking.  Both were so delicious!  I just gave the kids waffles, chicken nuggets, eggs, and fruit, but Chad and I had sliders as the blogger suggests.  They were wonderful!


Tuesday:  Rotisserie Chicken & Roasted Veggie Tortellini

Rotisserie Chicken & Roasted Veggie 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!

Ingredients:
- 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!


Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Salad & Bread



·          I pinned the recipe on Pinterest from Joyously Domestic, and I was so pleased with how it turned out!  The outside is a bit spicy because of the steak seasoning, so I made sure to give the kids only roast from the middle.  But, adding the thyme and rosemary is such a tasty change from my regular roast…I’ll definitely make this again!  The leftovers will make a delicious base for a stew, so I placed ours in the freezer for a meal later on.


Thursday:  Chili from a Friend
·          A dear friend of mine brought dinner over.  J


Friday:  Dinner Out


Saturday:  Breakfast for Dinner – Pancakes, Eggs & Fruit


·          Chad and Ranger were hunting for the weekend, so I had lots of fun with just Callen and Payton.  They asked for breakfast for dinner and Rio 2, so a breakfast picnic it was! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 2-5, 2014

** The kids and I are traveling for the next few days, so here is the menu a bit shorter and earlier than usual.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday:  Leftover BBQ Pork Sandwiches
·          This pork was from Halloween night…perfect for a quick Sunday lunch or dinner!  J


Monday:  Chicken & Butternut Squash Bake with Roasted Broccoli

·          I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and some butternut squash, so I just typed in those two ingredients in Google and found a recipe that looked yummy!  This recipe was the 2nd one I read, and I decided it was easy enough and looked quite tasty.  It did not disappoint on either account!  It took about 5 minutes to put together (my butternut squash was already peeled and cut from CostCo) and then I just stuck it in the oven. 

I was careful with the red pepper flakes since this was for my kids also.  The chicken ended up tasting just like a rotisserie chicken, so my kids gobbled it right up.  The boys ate their veggies without convincing, and Payton….well, she’s Payton.  ;-)  I definitely agree with Laura that you need to use dark meat or bone-in chicken breasts for roasting chicken this way.  It will keep it from being dry and powdery.  This recipe will be one I make again this fall!


Tuesday:  Dinner with Mom  J


Wednesday:  Pizza Night (With Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust)

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
·          This is a simple dough recipe that can be used for pizza or focaccia bread.  It’s enough for 2 decent-size pizzas.  The recipe says regular flour, but I substituted whole wheat this time.

1 package dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the water.  Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the center and add the water and oil.  Begin to stir with a fork, bringing the flour in a little at a time until all flour is incorporated.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise.


When ready to make your pizza, roll out dough on an oiled baking sheet (I used my fingers).  Add whatever toppings you like and bake in a 500 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until the crust is brown around the edges and the cheese is bubbly.  Don’t place it too close to the top of your oven.  J


Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 26 - November 1, 2014

Sunday:  Crock Pot Honey BBQ Meatloaf with Steamed Veggies

·          Our family fave in a crock pot!  Why have I never thought of this before??  I prepared the meatloaf as I always do (recipe here), but this time I lined my crockpot with a couple of layers of foil and placed the loaf in.  I cooked it on low for about 4 hours.  When we arrived home after church, it was ready and delicious!  To make things even simpler, I made a bag of the microwave steam veggies, and our meal was all set in no time.  Because I lined the crock pot with foil, clean up was also a breeze.  It also made great leftovers for my lunch for a couple of days!




Monday:  Baked Buttermilk Chicken with Pesto Potatoes & Green Beans



·          I made this quite a long time ago and recently came upon the recipe (from Group Recipes) again.  This time, I decided to make my own homemade version on Cream of Mushroom Soup

I’ll just say that I will ABSOLUTELY make cream of mushroom soup from scratch again.  It was so flavorful and delicious all on its own…not to mention how tasty it was in this dish.  I feel a little silly for being afraid to try it before.  I actually had some fresh mushrooms frozen that I thawed a bit before dicing up, sautéing with diced onion and then adding to the soup.  For those of you who don’t like mushrooms, this soup would be good without them….the flavors of the butter and onion would be wonderful on their own.  In reading the comments, this recipe for cream soup also seems adaptable for those families on a gluten free or dairy free diet.

Pesto Potatoes
·          I diced up red potatoes into bite-sized pieces and then tossed them in a bowl with some prepared pesto (storebought J).  Then I roasted them in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  I tossed them around and roasted them for an additional 12 minutes or so, until they were golden brown on the edges.


Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner! 


Wednesday:  Baked Tacos with Green Salad



·          I’ve made these a couple of times, and we always enjoy them!  This time I did make the homemade taco shells as she (Jillee) suggests.  Thankfully I remembered to line the bottom rack of my oven with foil because the taco shells will drip a little bit as they are cooking….so don’t forget!  I’ve done it in the past with store-bought shells, as well as with both homemade and store-bought taco seasoning…we like them however they are prepared.  These are really great tacos for kids as the mixture stays stuck inside the shell instead of falling all over the place!  As a default, I made a green salad again.  It’s an easy way to have veggies on our plates that the kids will eat.  J


Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s

·          Chad had a work dinner, but the kids and I didn’t just pine away while he was out…we had a pumpkin decorating party at Nonnie’s!


Friday:  Halloween!!  J

·          Our kids have been so excited for Halloween!!  My mom and Chad’s parents came over for dinner and trick-or-treating, so I made BBQ Pork in the crock pot…easy peasey!



Saturday:  Family Day at the Lake with Our Church

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 19-25, 2014

Sunday:  Turkey, Swiss, & Pear Paninis with Spinach Salad



·          These are a delicious and easy dinner option that we all enjoy.  I use blackberry preserves as the sauce inside, and it’s so yummy!


Monday:  Crock Pot Mozzarella Pesto Chicken with Salad and Bread

·          Chad went dove hunting, so this was a great dinner that would be ready for all of us whenever we were ready to eat.  It’s also incredibly simple!  (Just A Pinch)


Tuesday:  Fish Tacos

·          Ranger had a baseball game at 6:00, so we needed an easy dinner that the kids and I could eat early, and Chad could eat once we were back home.  I made some tilapia and we all had tacos.  I topped the fish with spring salad, fresh yellow bell peppers, balsamic dressing, and feta cheese.  It was fast and easy to make them again for Chad once we were back home after the game.  J


Wednesday:  Dinner Out


Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s

·          Chad was out of town, so the kids and I had dinner and stayed the night with my mom. 


Friday:  Pasta Bolognese with Salad & Bread



Pasta Bolognese
·          I’ve made this recipe from our Uncle Jerry and Aunt Hosannah many times, and one of my favorite things about it is that it is so freezable!  So, on nights like this one, I easily pulled some sauce out of the freezer, thawed it, then warmed it slowly on the stovetop.  I boiled fresh pasta, made a green salad, and broiled a little bread with olive oil and garlic salt.  It makes a tasty, healthy dinner in no time!




Saturday:  White Chicken Enchiladas with Rice & Salad




·          I found this recipe on Pinterest last year some time, and we loved it the first time I made it!  I had totally forgotten about it until going back through some old blog posts.  Verdict is…we still love it.  J  I actually made the kids their own chicken burritos by just baking some tortillas with only chicken and cheese inside and then a little bit of butter on the tortilla.  I baked these in a separate pan from the enchiladas for about half the time.  The kids aren’t really that “saucy,” and just having these as baked burritos made it extremely kid friendly.  To make things even more simple, I used a rotisserie chicken.


Monday, October 20, 2014

October 12-18, 2014

Sunday:  Taco Soup & Cornbread

Taco Soup
·          This recipe is from one of my mom’s friends, Pat.  It’s my favorite taco soup recipe, and it’s so incredibly easy!  This time, I used ground turkey because it’s what I had on hand.  This can be made quickly on the stovetop, or in the crock pot more slowly, which is what I did.  I browned the meat and then placed everything on low in the crockpot while we were at church.  J

1.5 – 2 lbs ground beef or turkey, browned and drained
½ diced onion, sautéed with meat
3 cans stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cans pinto beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel
1 can mild chopped green chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 package Ranch dressing mix

Mix together and simmer.  Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream, and any other of your favorite toppings.


Monday:  Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, & Biscuits

·          We had a busy day, so I picked up a rotisserie chicken from Costco.  I added in some fresh roasted broccoli and hot biscuits, and we all enjoyed a tasty meal.


Tuesday:  Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli Chicken Bake with Spinach Salad & Whole Wheat Bread

Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli Chicken Bake


·          I had some rotisserie chicken leftover from the night before.  I keep frozen spinach and mozzarella ravioli in the freezer for an easy pasta meal like this one!

Place frozen ravioli in a single layer of a greased baking dish (whatever size you choose for you family).  Top the ravioli with chicken (or any protein of your choice) and pour over pasta sauce.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove foil, top with parmesan and bake an additional 5 minutes.


Wednesday:  Dinner at Mom’s  J


Thursday:  Pizza Night


Friday:  Island Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus & Sweet Potatoes



·          Chad was out hunting this evening, so I actually made the kids breakfast for dinner (spinach egg scramble, bacon, toast, and fruit), and then I made dinner for the two of us to eat when he arrived home.  This is an incredibly simple and flavorful pork tenderloin.  The spices would have been too hot for my kids, but Chad and I both thoroughly enjoyed it.  If the kids had eaten this also, I could have just given them the inside of the tenderloin, as it wasn’t the spicy part.  I roasted asparagus and diced sweet potatoes to go along with our meal.  Yum!  (Recipe courtesy of Little B Cooks)


Saturday:  Grilled Dove, Hunters’ Rice, & Pear Walnut Salad




·          Chad has been hunting quite a bit lately, and we have a freezer with a good amount of dove in it now!  He wanted to have a big meal and invite over a few of his hunting buddies, and my mom came over too!  All I did was make a big green salad with pears and walnuts.  Chad took care of the rest!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 5-11, 2014

(Apparently, I declared this the week of the crock pot!)

Sunday:  Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops with Rice and Spinach Salad

·          These are so delicious and so EASY!  I put them in my crock pot around 6:45am, and when we returned home from church around 12:15, they were perfect!  This recipe came from StockPilingMom.com, and I altered it only slightly.  Instead of pork chops, I used thick-cut turkey chops.  They were so moist and tender.  I served ours over a packet of brown rice and quinoa that I buy from Costco with a spinach salad.  Chad went back for seconds!  We didn’t even stop long enough so I could take a picture.

It does call for a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup, and I know many people now are avoiding them.  I don’t cook with canned cream soups often, so it doesn’t bother me to use them on occasion.  This recipe is so easy, fast, and delicious, I would recommend everyone try to find an alternative soup option just so they can enjoy this dish!  There are gluten free, organic, and homemade cream soup options if you so choose.  J


Monday:  Slow Cooker Quinoa & Sweet Potato Fajitas



·          This dish is so simple, and so yummy.  But, I’ll warn you…it makes a TON!  So, if you have a large family, this will be plenty…and if you have a small family, you’ll have leftovers for days.  J  I love that it was all together in one crock pot.  It was easy to add some fresh tortillas and, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.  (Thanks to Chelsea’s Messy Apron!)  Chad was gone for several days later this week, and these leftovers fed me very well.  J


Tuesday:  Leftovers


Wednesday: Mummy Dogs, Monster Teeth, & Goblin Salad


·          When Daddy’s away, the little monsters will play…and eat!  (And yes…I did put a couple of candy corns on their salads.  J )


Thursday:  Turkey, Cheese, Fruit, & Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins
·          These little muffins have rounded out many meals for my little rascals over the years.  I always keep a batch in the freezer to pull out as a healthy addition to our plates.  It's a really forgiving recipe, so feel free to add different things.  I usually add even more veggies. 

3 eggs
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup of another shredded veggie
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup whole oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix eggs, banana, applesauce, vanilla, and veggies.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes for mini muffins.




Friday:  Dinner & a Movie with Nonnie


Saturday:  Slow Cooker Asian Style Country Ribs with Rice and Stir Fry Veggies




·          I was so looking forward to trying this recipe, and it did not disappoint.  I didn’t even remember to marinate the ribs the night before, as the recipe suggests.  I just put everything in the crock pot and turned it on.  The meat was tender and full of flavor.  About an hour before we ate, I topped the meat with some fresh snow peas and broccoli.  I spooned just a little bit of the sauce over the vegetables and put the lid back on the crock pot to cook the vegetables.  When it was time to eat, I topped rice with the ribs, broccoli, and snow peas, and dinner was served!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 28 - October 4, 2014

Sunday:  Pizza with Small Group


Monday:  Turkey, Apple, & Swiss Paninis with Spinach Salad

·          Chad had a softball game at 6:30, so he took the boys with him.  I needed to have a dinner that was easy to make for all of us at different times.  We had some yummy, whole wheat bread from the bakery that I didn’t want to waste.  So, I made paninis!  I buttered the outside of two slices of bread.  In the middle I spread a layer of blackberry preserves on one side.  Then I topped it with turkey, thinly sliced apples, and Swiss cheese.  I grilled them on the stovetop between to skillets.  They were delish!  I served them with a spinach salad.


Tuesday:  Rotisserie Chicken with Caesar Salad

·          Ranger had a 7:00 baseball game, so my mom brought over an easy dinner of rotisserie chicken and Caesar salad from Costco.


Wednesday:  Turkey & Spinach Lasagna, Spinach Salad, and Bread


·          I wasn’t feeling very well, so having a lasagna in the freezer saved our dinner on this evening.  J


Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  Eggs, Bacon, Whole Wheat Toast, and Fruit


Friday:  Dinner Out with My Mom


Saturday:  Daddy Night – Hot Dogs & Fruit!


·          I had dinner out with some girlfriends, so Daddy was in charge!