Sunday, June 28, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/29/2015 and Weekly Recipe Review

I truly made it through the week without buying any new items for my frig/freezer with the exception of a few lunch items,  Fresh lettuce, yogurt, and fruit rounded out our week.  No real weekly recipe review (I'll do it for you below) since I only cooked a couple of times and supplemented with a frozen pizza for my Wednesday and Thursday meals.  I'm back home from house sitting and this coming week I am gonna cook like a fiend!

This lentil casserole is completely delicious!  I substituted rotisserie chicken for the bacon and only used one cup of the soaked lentils (I soaked them for about 18 hours changing the water 2-3 times).  However, I kept the cheese total amount almost the same as the original recipe that uses the whole bag of lentils,,,,I know..... slap my hand or something, but the end result is something to write home about, for sure.
My 22 year old ate a healthy serving and thought it was delicious,
Even with both of us eating dinner with a green salad, there was enough to have 2 filling lunch servings too.

VERDICT:  We will make this again, and again.  As a matter of fact I think this recipe has usurped our previous favorite of Lentil Tacos.

This is my new favorite fancy salad to make,  I'm crushing on the Worcestershire lemon juice that is put over the lettuce prior to dressing it with a garlic vinaigrette mixture.


It looks like it's overly brown but,,,it works!

Now truly that's ALL that I made this week.

I'm hangry!  So with that being said I'm truly needing real meals at real times that are filling and complete (a meat, starch, and a veggie).  So here goes for this week...I'm mainly cooking for myself since Tan is house sitting this week.  He said he "might" be around for dinner though so we'll see...

Green Salad
To Do:  Brown ground beef, make lunch, laundry, shopping, call Ty

Basmati Rice
Peas (Green or Snow)
To Do:  Put chicken in the frig

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat - Tastes just like Panda Express except it takes just minutes to whip up and tastes a million times better!
Grilled Chicken with Litehouse Freeze Dried Poultry Seasoning
(I'm trying the seasoning for the first time)
Grilled Broccoli
To Do:  Put pork in Marinade in the frig


grilled balsamic pork chops with basil and dijon
Green Beans on the Grill
To Do:  Put hashbrowns in the frig, cook wings in oven

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings


Dessert of the week and I can't wait!!
Coconut Crunch Pie

That's it...I think I won't wake up hangry for at least 5 days thank goodness!  Since all of my recipes are new this week...I reserve the right to flake for a day, especially since I will probably be working late most days.  On the days that I truly cook,  I will take lots of pictures of my successes and flops ;o)
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/22/15

Guess what?  I am still using items from my pantry to make meals with no major shopping done for two weeks.  This time my so called pantry challenge has been painless since there is only two of us eating at home.  Ty has relocated for his summer job and Tanner and I are less picky about foods.

Really what I'm saying is that Ty is picky and we are not.
This fact is a pain in my rear when I'm planning dinners {and he is home}.

Conclusion:  I have to finish the pantry challenge before he gets home so I don't constantly hear "I don't want that for dinner....Can we get wings/pizza/subs aka junk food.

Aaaah...the joys of having a picky eater with access to a car and a full bank account from working at a sleep away camp for 12 weeks. :p

I may have to purchase some meat, fruit, veggies, and lunch items but truly I won't need to purchase any of the accouterments {good word, huh?} until at least next week.
Oh, please don't let there be any sales that I can't pass up!  I'm a sucker for a bargain on items that we continuously use.

My favorite meal this week that I finally took my own picture of was the 1905 Columbia Salad {which I've been calling the 1805 Columbia is worth the effort}
Just be sure and use the correct amount of Worcestershire sauce or it can become overpowering.  Actually, if I was initially making this I would probably start out with half the amount.  You can always add more.

Okay, on to the plan for this week.  Sunshine and love y'all.


Happy Father's Day
{eating at Mom's and hanging with Dad}
Grilled Hamburgers
Potato Salad

Granny's Blueberry Cobbler
{I'm making this}
To Do:  Pack lunch, soak lentils, relax!


Cheesy Bacon Lentils
Leftover Green Salad
To Do:  Buy a rotisserie chicken from store and de-bone, freezing leftovers for future meals, pack lunch, put beef in the frig.


Korean Beef and Rice
Basmati Rice
Grilled Veggies
To Do:  Nothing, off tomorrow.

I'm not sure what I'll be making for the remainder of the week...I've been house sitting for some friends {or rather they have allowed me to use their house equipped with a beautiful pool} for this week.  Depending on what Tanner is doing will depend how much more I cook.  If it's just me, I will simply make a frozen enchilada meal with a fresh salad, quesadillas, or frozen pizza.
If Tan wants to eat with me though we will do mostly grilled items.  I'm dying to keep trying out the marinades I found at  I've already tried the Asian version {see my notes here} and only need fresh cilantro for the spicy southwest version  I'm certain the recipe won't disappoint.
Here are my ideas for the next couple of days.
Spicy Southwest Grilled Chicken Breasts
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Wings
 {I'll bake them extra extra crispy before letting them slow cook to heat through}

Have a great week!
This post is linked to

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly Menu Review

This week hasn't gone absolutely "on plan" as I worked shopped late {gotta spend the Beall's bucks} with my Mom.   That put me behind a day on my menu and I was invited to an unexpected event which put me behind another day.  So only three items on my review list this week.
Luckily, my oldest son is a can do kind of guy and fends quite well for himself in the area of food. This isn't to say that he wouldn't rather I cook most nights, but he's not eating cereal or peanuts if I don't.
He usually makes wings and more wings...all types of wings.  He can't seem to get I'm emulating him and I'm making salads...lots of salads. {I'd say mine's healthier but when you add the kitchen sink..who knows}

I didn't take a picture of the 1805 Columbia Salad but I'm making it again for our Friday night dinner because my bff and I ate the entire thing by ourselves on Sunday.  It was that good!  Even though it seemed super weird for me to add Worcestershire sauce and lemon to the works.  I tossed that and the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and then served the dressing on the side.  The dressing was tangy and garlicky and perfectly worked on this savory salad.  I'll post a picture next week so you can get a visual.

Yummy Taco Salad
The secret is in the dressing...I eyeball the amounts since I've been making it so long, but the next time I'll measure so I can give an accurate recipe.

Grilled Asian Chicken Salad
This salad is a conglomeration of this link and my imagination.  It was delicious too!  I used the Asian style marinade this time for my chicken {I will add a little more soy and fresh ginger when I use this again} and we truly liked it.  I let the frozen breasts defrost in this concoction and grilled them very quickly.  It was enough for my son and myself to eat a dinner and lunch.  A cherry jam based vinaigrette over the top was tasty.

I'm hoping that I have enough time next week to make at least a couple main course salads, eating fresh and not heating up the kitchen {The heat index is over 100 degrees}.  My problem is getting started can chop enough for one meal or five meals with no fuss.  You just have to start, lol.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/15/2015

Healing salty water - Salt Springs
Salt Springs, one of our new favorites for boating.

My lingering "yuk"{illness} has gone and I'm challenging myself to cook sides and extras out of my pantry this week.  I so have to clean and organize that space!  Seriously, it's bad ya'll,. 
One benefit of having a full pantry though is the fact that I'll save some cashola this week at the grocery store.  I didn't shop last week at all and this week will be minimal with only some meat and lunch items going in the basket.  Since most of my bills are due at this time of the month my extra "deals" and shopping problem at the grocery store will work in my favor.  Now what we have each night might seem a little mismatched but I don't really care....I just want to be able to see a shelf and not worry about falling cans in my pantry.

Here in Florida, summertime has hit us like a ton of bricks.  So my wish for everyone this week is to stay cool and not sweat.  Happy, happy ;o)

Pool Party Decorations and Treats!
It looks like we'll be eating chicken wings but I'm making
{drum roll please}

Columbia's Famous 1905 Salad
{probably only 3 of us will eat this but I want it}
To Do:  Put pre cooked meat in the frig.

Taco Salad
Taco Salad
{not my picture but I will be taking a pic of my masterpiece this time around}
Corn Muffins or Cornbread or Corn Stix
To Do:  Put chicken in the frig with marinade for a slow defrost


Grilled Chicken
Potatoes Au Gratin
Grilled Green Beans
To Do:  Put hamburger in the frig


Korean Beef with Basmati Rice
California Slaw combined with Asian Slaw
To Do:  Grate cheese

Baked Spaghetti and Cheese Recipe - he took one bite and said this was better than any mac and cheese I've made! Spaghetti, Monterey Jack cheese, flour, dry mustard, milk and eggs - just whisk it all together and bake. Easy side dish or could even be a meatless main dish!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Sauteed Okra
Green Salad
Leftover Slaw
To Do:  Nothing, tomorrow is Friday


Amazingly enough these meals look great to me with minimal prep or fuss required...I'm truly looking forward to eating at home this week.
This post is linked to

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Weekly Recipe Review

When you fill the taco shell with meat and cheese and bake it....something magical happens and turns a ho hum weeknight meal in to something special.  I prefer mine with just a little meat and cheese but stuff 'em full if that's what you like.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia always hits the spot when paired with homemade tartar sauce.  A squeeze of fresh lemon juice along with some dried dill brightens the mayo based sauce. 

German Chocolate Bars  are a super simple delicious dessert that remind me of magic cookie bars.  Delish!
{Magic Cookie Bars play a serious role in my birthday week}

Dirty Rice with a dollop of greek yogurt and cayenne sprinkled over the top was a quick one pot meal with minimal dishes...Yay!

This is a family favorite which I CAN NOT photograph and make look even a tad bit appetizing.

Tanner has convinced me to make pepper jelly, and a friend from work has a garden with like 50 pepper plants....she is gladly sharing. {She's not a fan of spicy}  I'll be canning up a storm. {I'll need some practice...I've only done it like twice}  This said same girl is super experienced in canning so she'll be my go to for an emergency consultation, lol.

I varied from my meal plan just a little this week {mainly because of lingering illness} but that's okay...I used up some of my pantry items that need to be rotated {I also need to organize the pantry} but I still have a lot more.  I've come across some serious good deals over the last months, and you name it I've got it!  However, now I'm going to save some time and cash by using up all those good deals.  Next weeks menu plan and review ought to be very interesting...

Monday, June 8, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/8/2015

My Boys!

Mom and Dad with the Graduate

Sister from another mother
{They even look alike don't they?}

His youngest cousin....Pals for life.

and last, ME with my baby!
{he probably won't like that term, lol}

This past week has been a flurry of activity with Graduation activities and also sending the Graduation boy off to his summer job.  He is a camp counselor at Warren Willis Camp and will be gone for the whole summer.  He only has limited time off so I probably won't be seeing him much but this has been a dream of his for the last eight years at least.  I'll miss him though {sniff sniff}.  

I'm spending this Monday saddled with a stomach virus so my menu this week is gonna look very boring and sparse but...when I'm feeling better you never know what might happen.  I'll post my weekly review and let you know if I get some inspiration that right now I am definitely not feeling.

Sunshine and Sunflowers
Today, sunflowers continue to provide a resource for commonly used ...

Baked Tacos Recipe
Oven Baked Tacos
Yellow Rice
Chopped Lettuce, Tomatoes, Grated Cheese
To Do:  Not much, I'm only cooking for Tan since I'm sticking to coke and crackers.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia ...easy way to change up the fish! @Ashley ...
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
Homemade Tartar Sauce
Steamed or Roasted Broccoli
Leftover Rice
To Do:  ??, off tomorrow for a flurry of doctor appointments.  Put sausage in the frig.  Mail Ty's ping pong paddles.

Green Salad
To Do:  Put ground chicken in the frig

Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes
Au Gratin Potatoes
Roasted Fresh Okra and Green Beans
To Do:  Nothing, tomorrow is Friday and I'm working at the hospital


That's it for this week.  No new recipes {gasp} and everything is thirty minutes or less to prepare.  I'm open to doing more if I find the time and I'm hungry but the way I feel now doesn't seem to point in that direction.  Next week will be a lot more interesting...actually I think I'm gonna do a complete week of grilled foods....but we'll see.  I am reserving the right to change my mind.
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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Graduation Day

Congratulations Ty! ❤ you to the moon and back xoxo