Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 23-29, 2015

Sunday:  Dinner with Friends after Church
  A wonderful family from church invited our family over for a meal.  

Monday:  Crockpot BBQ Shredded Chicken Nacho Bowls with Fresh Fruit & Veggies

Crockpot BBQ Shredded Chicken Nacho Bowls
  This recipe is simple, versatile, and tasty!  My sister-in-law Amber shared it with me, and my kids really enjoy it.  I enjoy how easy it is!  You need 2 ingredients:  frozen chicken breasts and BBQ sauce.  That’s all!  I put three large, frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and poured over about half a bottle of BBQ sauce.  Then, I cooked the chicken on low for about 6-7 hours.  After that, I shredded the chicken and stirred it around, then turned my crock pot to warm until dinner time.

We served ours in little scoop chips with shredded cheese and called them “Nacho Bowls” to make it fun for the kids.  I added grapes to the kids’ plates, but didn’t worry about any veggies as I had given them a good serving for lunch.  I was headed out for dinner with some girlfriends, so this easy dinner was perfect for Chad and the kids!

This chicken is wonderful as nachos, tacos, sliders, and on salads!  Make extra…you’ll love having the leftovers!

Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken Burritos with Salad

  I used the leftover chicken from the night before for burritos.  We added some fresh veggies, and our healthy, delicious meal was ready to go!

Wednesday:  Italian Crescent Rolls with Fresh Veggies

  I pulled out some frozen ground beef I had in the freezer from last week when I made a pasta dish.  I warmed the meat in the skillet with a little pasta sauce.  Then I unrolled store-bought crescent rolls, sprinkled in a little mozzarella cheese, put a few spoonfuls of the meat and sauce, and rolled up the crescents.  I sprinkled on a little garlic salt, then baked them in the oven at the temperature and time suggested on the crescent roll package.  These were a fun dinner for the kids, but adding in some fresh fruit and veggies made it a fairly healthy one as well.  The ground beef had diced zucchini and tomatoes in it from last week’s meal, so that gave some extra healthiness to it also!

Thursday:  Chili Lime Cumin Cod with Roasted Green Beans & Sour Cream Muffins

(upside down picture...ha!)

Instead of buying frozen tilapia from Costco this month, I bought frozen cod.  I looked up several cod recipes on Pinterest and decided on one that looked good.  We had to have an early dinner because Ranger and Chad needed to leave for baseball practice by 5:40.  I’ll say that this cod was okay, but not great.  I definitely plan to buy cod again, but this recipe lacked a bit of flavor, so I’ll try another recipe next time.  We all ate it, but we used various dipping sauces.  :-)

I also roasted some fresh green beans at 450 degrees for about 15-18 minutes.  I had tossed them in bit of olive oil and sprinkled on a little season salt before roasting.  These were delish!

  This recipe is from a class called “Apples of Gold” at our church several years back.  It is originally a Paula Deen recipe, so you know it involves butter, and you know it’s delicious!  These are ridiculously easy and fast to make, and they are SO, SO good.  My apologies to any of you that eat gluten and dairy free.  Sadly, I can’t see any way to adapt these tasty bite-size muffins.  I made a half recipe for our dinner, and we ended up with 18 mini-muffins.

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease miniature muffin pans.

-Mix the flour and butter together, add the sour cream, and blend well. Place spoonfuls of the batter in the muffin pans. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes

Friday:  Venison Kabobs, Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower, & Oatmeal Cookies (Family Movie Night!)

Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower
This is a GREAT way to eat cauliflower!

- 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, until it starts getting golden on the top.  It's so, so yummy!  It's very much like macaroni and cheese!

Saturday:  Family Birthday Dinner!

  To celebrate our nephew, Davis, turning 15!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 16-22, 2015

Sunday:  BBQ Turkey Meatballs with Salad

  I wanted a simple meal that would be ready when we arrived back home after church.  I put some frozen turkey meatballs from CostCo in my crock pot and poured over a good amount of BBQ sauce.  Then I just put the crock pot on low, and the meatballs warmed in the sauce for about 3 hours while we were gone.  That’s all!  I added a green salad, and lunch was ready in less than 10 minutes!  The meatballs are pretty big, so I only ate 2, although it doesn't look like much on my plate.

Monday:  Korean Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grilled Zucchini & Sweet Potatoes

  My friend Dana posted this chicken recipe on her blog from Skinny Taste.  Dana always feeds her family healthy food, and I’m usually game to try most recipes she blogs about.  J   These did not disappoint!  The marinade was so simple to throw together.  I made a double recipe and, as my chicken breasts were pretty big, I cut them in half before pounding them thinner.  I love any time I plan ahead and do meal prep once that can be used for multiple meals during the week!

Chad grilled these for us, and I also sliced some peeled sweet potatoes and zucchini lengthwise for him to grill outside as well.  He just spritzed them with olive oil and sprinkled on a little salt and pepper. I wanted to try and keep the house cool, so I didn’t want the oven on.  J

These are really delicious!  With the leftover chicken and veggies, I diced it all up and put it in the fridge to use in meals later in the week.

Tuesday:  Chicken, Cheese, & Veggie Quesadillas

Chicken, Cheese & Veggie Quesadillas
  I used the leftover chicken and vegetables from last night’s dinner that I had diced up and made quesadillas.  The flavor of the chicken and the yumminess of the grilled veggies made AMAZING quesadillas!  All 5 of us demolished our dinner!  Even after having the chicken again for dinner, there was still chicken left for me to have on salads a few lunches during the week.

Wednesday:  Fresh Tomato, Beef, and Rotini Pasta

Fresh Tomato, Beef and Rotini Pasta
  This is an easy and tasty recipe that is perfect for a hot, summer night.  I’ve posted the original recipe below.  For our dinner, I also added in some diced zucchini that I had so that our dinner was a one dish meal!

Fresh Tomato, Beef, Mushroom & Rotini Pasta

(You can easily decrease or increase this recipe.  It makes great leftovers!)

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c chopped tomatoes (I use the sweet cherry tomatoes)
salt & pepper
1 1/2 c uncooked pasta
fresh basil
Parmesan cheese
sliced mushrooms (optional if you like them!)

- Brown beef, garlic & mushrooms, pour off drippings
- Stir in tomatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.  Toss beef mixture and basil with pasta.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday:  Leftover Night

Friday:  Dinner at Mom’s!
  Chad was out of town, but the kids and I had a tasty meal at Mom’s house and watched a movie.  J

Saturday:  Chicken, Broccoli, & Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce Pasta

Chicken, Broccoli, & Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce Pasta

  This meal is a family favorite, and it’s so easy to throw together!  All you need is any kind of chicken you have on hand (rotisserie, grilled, baked, sautéed), broccoli (fresh or frozen is fine), pasta, and alfredo sauce.  For this meal, I used the Creamy Cauliflower Sauce from Pinch of Yum.  It is so easy and so good!  But, we’ve also made this with store-bought alfredo and been just as happy, even if not quite as healthy.  J  This meal also freezes well, so if you make double and freeze half, you’ll have an easy meal that’s ready to go for a busy night.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 9-15, 2015

Sunday:  Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken with Roasted Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes

  I found this wonderful recipe for grilled chicken from Living Well Spending Less.  It is so, SO simple to put together, and has so much flavor!  Our chicken was super moist (I used boneless, skinless thighs, but you could certainly use chicken breasts if you prefer). I served ours with roasted Parmesan green beans and roasted, diced sweet potatoes.  This would be an excellent recipe to make more of and freeze as she suggests.  We saved some of the leftover cooked chicken for salads the next day, then froze the rest in a Food Saver bag.  It will be a delicious addition to a pasta or Mexican food dish in the near future, without me having to cook more chicken!  J

Here’s a pic of our next day salads…

Monday:  Dinner at My Mom’s House
  My Nima was in town all week (hooray!), so we went over to have dinner with her and my mom.

Tuesday:  One Pot Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli, Brown Sugar Carrots, and Garlic Bread

  My mom and Nima were at our house for dinner on this night, and a pasta dish sounded really yummy.  I haven’t made this spaghetti in a while, but it is absolutely wonderful!  Really, it’s so good, and cooking it all in one pot together also makes it super simple.  Cooking the spaghetti in the pasta sauce and chicken broth leaves the pasta so flavorful, and the sauce really sticks to the noodles instead of sliding off and being runny.  It’s also an amazing leftover meal!  This recipe made more than enough for 4 adults and my 3 kids (who don’t eat a ton), and Chad and I had leftovers for lunch the next day, and I had it again another day.

Wednesday:  Thai Food Take-Out and Netflix Date Night with My Guy
  The kids stayed the night with Chad’s sister’s family, so we had a stay-in date night on our couch.  It was perfect!

Thursday:  Crispy Tilapia, Fish Sticks, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes, and Toast
  Ranger and Chad had their first baseball practice for this upcoming fall season, so I made a quick dinner using Costco’s crispy frozen tilapia (for us) and fish sticks (for the kids).  I added in some fresh, roasted veggies and buttered toast, and everyone was happy.  J

Friday:  Grilled Venison Steak Medalions with Roasted Zucchini, Butternut Squash, and Potatoes

  This was family movie night, but Chad wanted to grill.  I am certainly not going to argue with that!  He made some scrumptios venison steak medalions outside and I grilled some diced veggies inside.  Our whole dinner was ready in 20 minutes!

Saturday:  Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Wraps with Fruit

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Wraps

  I bought some wonderful tortillas at Costco that have only 4 natural ingredients; they stay in the fridge and you cook them on a skillet as you need them.  They are such a find!!  

So, having meals wrapped in tortillas makes for an easy dinner.  I made bacon and scrambled eggs and shredded some cheese.  

Then, after I prepped my tortillas, I wrapped everything up tightly and warmed them all together on my skillet.  It sealed the tortilla and kept all the yummy ingredients inside!  

It was perfect for kids.  Ranger asked if he could be the photographer for this meal prep.  Ha!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 2-8, 2015

Sunday:  Salsa Ranch Chicken Wraps with Salad

  This recipe from Thrifty Frugal Mom is incredibly easy and pretty tasty too!  We had family movie night on Sunday this week, and these were a great movie food.  I served ours with a salad, and we were all set!  I used rotisserie chicken in mine and mixed up the filling earlier in the afternoon.  So, when it was time to make dinner, I just had to assemble and cook them on the skillet.  J

Monday:  Hobo Dinner and S’mores Dip!

Hobo Dinner
  I’m not sure everyone calls dinner in a foil packet “Hobo Dinner,” but that’s what it was called the first time I had it at church camp a million years ago.  But, the basis of it is a ground beef patty with seasonings and Worcestershire, pile veggies on top, add a few more seasonings and olive oil, and then wrap everything up in a foil packet.  The kids helped with this, and had a blast!  I had bowls of potatoes, green beans, bell peppers, and zucchini, and they assembled their own dinner.

I planned to grill them originally, but we had some coals on the fire pit that were ready for a fire, so Chad cooked them that way instead!  The kids played in the water while we cooked our dinner outside. 

Then, we all opened our packets and dinner was ready!  It was pretty hot, so I let the kids’ cool for a few minutes.

If you want this recipe and more like it, go here:

To continue with cooking things in foil over the fire, I threw some marshmallows and dark chocolate chips in another foil packet, and we cooked that over the fire too!  

Then we ate it as a dip with animal crackers!  Delish!! 

Tuesday:  “World’s Best Chicken” with Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

  This recipe from Fresh Dreamer was super simple to make, and we all gobbled it right up!  It was very easy to add roasted broccoli and carrots to this meal, which are two vegetables my kids always eat without complaint.

Wednesday:  Venison Barbacoa Tacos with Salad

Venison Barbacoa
  This was essentially brisket tacos that Chad made with a venison roast from the deer he shot last year.  Again, the Food Saver has been well worth it!  Here is a picture of the recipe since Chad made it using his game cook book.  I really enjoyed them, and think they would be good with any cut of meat.  J

Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner!  Eggs, Bacon, Fruit, & Donuts

  Chad was gone for work, so the kids and I had an easy dinner.  Their Grammy and DadDad had brought them some Krispy Kreme donuts earlier in the day, so I let them have one after they had eaten all their protein and fruit.

Friday:  Chicken Tenders, Salad, & Grapes

  To make family movie night easy and fun, I just prepared some Purdue Simply Smart Chicken Tenders from the freezer (even Chad and I like these!), made a quick salad, and added a little bowl of grapes.  I took this picture to show how different our plates can look…everyone likes a different sauce, Payton doesn’t eat salad so she had a green applesauce, and Callen was sick to I didn’t give him much food.  Still, everyone was happy and everyone made a happy plate!  I was happy because clean-up was a cinch!

Saturday:  Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Broccoli

Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
  A family fave!  I made a double recipe and took the same meal to some friends of ours.  This is the easiest, tastiest meatloaf recipe.  I altered the original recipe from Can You Stay For Dinner.

1-1.5 lb. 90% lean ground turkey
½ cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided

1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, egg, salt, and black pepper.
-Shape the mixture into a long, thick loaf and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
-In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.
-Bake for 35-45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 19 - August 1, 2015

Summer food blog break due to multiple VBS weeks, children staying with family, and the husband being out of town.  :-)  I'll have a new menu next Sunday, August 9th!  Thanks!