Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Menu Plan 1/15/18

Happy {after the fact} New Year.  Obviously, I haven't gotten off to a very good start with meal planning or anything else for that matter.  I came down with the dreaded flu on Christmas Eve and honestly just this week have I begun to feel like eating or participating in anything fun.  Not only was I coughing, sneezing, etc., etc. but I was nauseous and had difficulty keeping even liquids down.  As a matter of fact I lost about ten pounds and my physician was so concerned that I had to have some additional testing to verify that I am truly on the mend.  Thank heavens I am on the road to recovery and now I can start my year off right.  I'm just going to pretend that this is the first week of the year and forget about the last three weeks.  Nope, I will not let the recent past define the tone for 2018.  

I haven't shopped for food for about four weeks now and my freezers are looking pretty bare.  We have used up all of the meat that I had stashed and eaten more than our fair share of restaurant and fast food items.  In a way,we have been on a pantry challenge and we didn't even know it, lol.  Ty received an Air Fryer for his birthday so I know that a lot of experimentation is going to be happening over the next few months.  To me, it is basically a convection oven (which I adore) that is portable.  The possibilities are endless with what we will be making.

Here are a few things that have happened since I have posted:

My youngest son graduated from college.  Yay!  These are my parents and him on the big day.

I can wear youth sized Converse and they cost a lot less.

We built the cutest gingerbread house right before Christmas.

My soon to be daughter in law put together this beautiful spread for a special Christmas Eve celebration.

Chicken Wings (in the air fryer)
French Fries (air fryer)
Roasted Green Beans and Peppers

Leftover Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Leftover Barbecued Ham 
Fordhook Lima Beans


Crockpot Chuck Roast with Gravy
Rice or Potatoes
Green Beans



I'm easing my way back in to cooking and as you can see there isn't anything that is remotely complicated about these dishes.  This easy method is working well for us at this point.  I'm only shopping for menu ingredients that I am missing this week which should keep food costs low.. although the missing ingredients are meat along with vegetables so maybe not so low after all.  

Have a great week...stay well.

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 12/11/17

I'm not sure what I'm writing this week but I do know that my scattered thoughts are showing, lol.
Thought and more thoughts with a few menu ideas thrown in for good measure.

 Buying these at the grocery this week because they are on sale and...well, we love, love them.

 Roasted Vegetables

 Elderberry Syrup to keep the sickness away.

 I've got to finish my tree.  I bought a similar size, but prelit tree, this year on Black Friday and I have put it up....I just haven't decorated it.  Gotta get on that business.

Makes me 😃


Taco Topped Potatoes, and  Easy Sheet Pan Souvlaki are also options for dinner this week.  I'll round out our meals with something green and quite possibly a salad too.

Have a great festive week!
This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 12/4/17

As the year winds down, simplicity is forefront in my mind.  Not only with food but with well...with everything.  So today, I'm going to simply post what we are going to eat this week.  Without any further ado...here is the plan.

SUNDAY:  Teriyaki Marinated Grilled Steak, Grilled Shrimp, Cauliflower Mash, Green Beans, Buttered Bread  To Do:  Make Chicken Bacon Sub for the freezer

MONDAY:  Rotisserie Chicken Salad, Leftover Bread

TUESDAY:  Grilled Hamburgers with all the fixin's, Oven Baked Fries

WEDNESDAY:  Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Skillet Okra

THURSDAY:  Bucatini All'Amitriciano {using turkey bacon and the recipe as more of a suggestion} Something Green


All  of these recipes are tried and true and require little to no thought which falls right in to my simplified routine for this week.  Smile at everyone you see this week....Santa will be here before we know it!

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 11/27/17

Painting with a Twist is an activity that is so much fun, especially during the holidays.  Not only do you get to socialize with some of your friends during the festive season, you also bring home your creation!  

My goal for the next few weeks is to focus on house improvements which are going to monopolize most of my brain power.  I've made an over the top detailed list of "all the things" for  my project even though I have and always will have champagne tastes on a beer budget..  Luckily, Ty will be on winter break from school soon so he can help supervise the progress and accept deliveries on the days that he isn't working.  I know, I know...not the best time to start multiple home projects but when I'm finally ready, I am a woman on a mission.  I've planned and made numerous lists about doing this for about five years.  Envisioning the finished product is so exciting to me, like a kid on Christmas Eve.


Gringa Mexican Rice

Cheese Board Tagalongs

 Cheese Board for a work lunch (I made salami rosettes)

Horrible photo, daylight savings time is hard, lol.  This casserole is a great change of pace that fulfills any junk food cravings you might have and also uses easily available freezer and pantry items.  I used crescent rolls as my dough since pizza dough wasn't an option in my frig.  It was super tasty although my sodium limit for the day was more than likely met at least twice.

Thanksgiving Day 2017
This is my best friend on the left, her brother, sister, and Mom.  We had a great day, and all of the food was truly delicious this year!  My family celebrates on the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving so my sons and I spend the actual holiday day with our friends.

I recently had an autoimmune flare that necessitated lots of medications including double doses of steroids to treat the inflammation that was causing not only pain but compromised perfusion in my extremities.  Of course, as a result, I am puffy and feeling a little chunky.  From past experience, I know that the puffiness/chunkiness will resolve as the medications work their way out of my system, but for now meals including lunches will be structured.  This doesn't mean I am restricting any specific foods (see chili dogs above) because I refuse to ever diet again, however I am reducing portion sizes and sticking closely with the plan.  Snacking is out for now.  To be honest, being "good" probably doesn't help that much but it makes me feel like I'm in control of my illness instead of the other way around.


Green Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Green Salad

Roasted Red Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus Leftovers

Leftover Baked Potatoes
Lima Beans

Have a great week!

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Monday, November 20, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 11/20/17

I was inspired to make a cheese board for my family Thanksgiving celebration this year due to all of the posts that seem to be going around right now.  Ty even decided that he would refinish an older cutting board for me to use as the serving piece.  Didn't he do a lovely job?  We celebrated our special day on Sunday and ate some seriously yummy food....now Thursday is all about relaxing and enjoying the true start of the Holiday Season.  I am even planning to decorate the house and tree.  Heck, I may even crank down the a/c, start a fire, and drink some spiked egg nog ;)

Last week's menu was over the top successful.  And...I have a few pictures to show ya.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp
They were even better when I heated them up the next day in a dry frying pan.  Usually seafood reheated isn't my favorite, but this particular recipe was a superstar in this aspect.

Italian Zucchini Pie
I used a regular pie crust instead of the crescents which required a significantly longer cooking time but it was delicious as always.

Black Bean Soup
I substituted quite a bit for this recipe.  I only made half since there is just the two of us eating each night.  I used one can of black beans, and one can of refried black beans to avoid using the immersion blender.  Ty asked that I add some corn, sweet pepper, and onion to the mix and the additions gave the soup a delightful texture.  We also had leftover rice that we served the soup over.  We will definitely make some version of this soup for the upcoming colder months.

Pumpkin Chipotle Bucatini with Ground Chicken
This pre made sauce from Aldi is absolutely delicious!  I browned the ground chicken on Sunday and stored it in the refrigerator until the day that we made it.  The only step for this yummy dinner was to add the sauce and chicken to the crock pot and cook on low for about 4-6 hours.  No other seasoning required.

Artichoke and Cheese Strudel
Again from Aldi!  You can see how delicious it is since there was only about 1/4 left when I got to take the photo.  This frozen delight is part of Aldi's Oktoberfest inventory that I look forward to each year.  My only recommendation is to be open with the cooking time.  Watch carefully when baking as I found this pastry takes about 10 extra minutes in the oven to reach the golden brown color.  A tip I have to share is use parchment paper to cover the cooking sheet.  The bottom of whatever you are baking gets crisp and no washing required.

I had intended on using the crock pot again for Thursday evening for convenience with attending my class...however, I have now coordinated my work schedule to use Thursday's as my study day.  Since I was home, I cooked this in the oven with wonderful results.  The meat was tender and moist and the flavor from the mushrooms permeated the whole dish.  The smell during the oven time had our stomachs rumbling.  Time got away from me and I didn't get to make a veg to make a balanced meal before my class started.  That seems to be an ongoing problem for weeknight meals that I need to pay some extra attention.  I've been so focused on the main portion of the meal that the green part suffers.

Scalloped Potatoes
These come from a box...sometimes a sale price combined with a coupon makes me buy these.  A nice reminder of my childhood and despite the preservatives quite delicious!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
This dessert for two is perfect for Ty and myself.

Baked Chicken Cutlets {freezer meal}
Green Salad with Feta, Cranberries, and Almonds
I love having things in the freezer that are ready to go and baby greens that don't require a lot of prep are right up my alley.

This week's absolute favorite recipe goes to Gringa Mexican Rice!  Of course, it was dark and we were really hungry and I didn't get a passable photo of the results.  The Famous Dave's seasoning was exchanged for Montreal Steak seasoning and I used Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic for the Garlic Pepper seasoning with fantastic results.  I used leftover chilled rice, and pre cooked ground beef to make this meal come together in about 5 minutes.  At the end of the cooking process, I stirred in about 1 tbs A-1 sauce that took this recipe from good to great!  We will be having this weekly until I either have a change in my course schedule or until we get tired of eating it.  Again, I didn't make a green vegetable because I didn't prep any over the weekend.  That's my number one goal in the upcoming weeks.  Prep the veggies, prep the veggies....no excuses.

Next week's {Thanksgiving Week} 

SUNDAY:  Family Thanksgiving Potluck, Cheese Board, Lemon Pecan Slab Pie, Individual Creme Brulee.  Lots and lots of other good stuff!
To Do: Put chicken in the marinade and place frozen bag in the frig.

MONDAY:  Grilled Chicken, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Asparagus 
To Do:  Nothing, freezer meal.

TUESDAY:  Spinach and Bacon Quiche {freezer}, Caesar Salad
To Do:  Cook rice, put hamburger in the frig.

WEDNESDAY:  Gringa Mexican Rice, Leftover Caesar Salad
To Do:  Not exactly sure yet, my assignment for Friendsgiving hasn't been given yet.  Just been given, I'm making a ham.

THURSDAY:  Friendsgiving!

To Do:  Nothing, a day off tomorrow...shopping maybe???

FRIDAY:  Eating out if I shop, otherwise I'll plan on the fly.

That's it!  Have a happy Thanksgiving Day and enjoy, without guilt I might add, all of the cheesy goodness that in my mind makes the day super special!

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 11/13/17

I have to get back on track with cooking dinner each evening.  Well, actually for two days each week I need to have homemade freezer or crock pot meals ready to go.  I have forgotten what school (even one class) does to my desire to plan and cook.  I'm only hesitant to do slow cooker meals because all of the recipes I have are just too much with too many leftovers.  Neither myself nor Ty seem to have a huge appetite these days but then again, I haven't made anything that we find super exciting.  The weather this upcoming week lends itself to one pot easy meals and since I'm not trying to win any cooking contests with this menu plan I hope to be comforted and pleasantly surprised. 

Here are a few HIGHLIGHTS from the last couple of weeks:
  Barbecued Ham

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Ham and Roasted Butternut Squash Nachos

Leftover Baked Potato Hash with Chicken

That's really about the extent of my cooking, if you can even call it that.  I've freely used my pantry and freezer contents to throw together some pretty bizarre dinners that definitely didn't warrant photographic evidence.  Let's just agree that cheese played a central theme in all things dinner.


Black Bean Soup-make half, serve with rice {To do: brown hamburger, brown chicken, chop onions}

Gringa Mexican Rice-use leftover rice, green veggie

Chipotle Pumpkin Spaghetti-use bucatini, freeze half for a rainy day {To do:  put hot dogs in the frig}

Cheese Dogs-green veggie {set up the crock pot}

A fairly boring menu for this week, but two of the days have items that can be cooked for a long period of time in the crock pot or on top of the stove.  My class with required attendance is on Wednesday and Thursday and starts about an hour after I get home after work.  If I don't eat before class, it's too late after....going to bed with a full belly makes me feel like a sloth.  The last two weeks have been a mad rush and ended with dinner options that were neither healthy or tasty.  This plan will alleviate my option to run through the drive through on the way home.  I also won't be eating french fries while on live webcam, a fact that will surely please my classmates.

Have a great week!

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 10/30/17

Aah, a flashback from days gone by.  We always carved pumpkins at this time of year when the boys were small.  It's one of those activities that were lost as my boys {well, they aren't boys anymore} grew up. 

Lots of new stuff happening in our household this week.  I made the decision in September to go back to school and honestly, the admission process went so smoothly that I believe it must have been meant to be.  I started doing homework this past weekend and my first class is Wednesday evening.  All on line. On line classes are something that I am not familiar with and never thought I would participate in.. but I am doing it despite my inexperience.  Thank goodness Ty hasn't left for college yet.  I get the benefit from a computer whiz right in my own home.  I can work a program like nobody's business but I struggle with troubleshooting any problems I encounter.

  Another thing I'm focusing on this week is to cut out any and all simple sugar desserts.  To satisfy my sweet tooth I'll be eating baked apples with maple syrup or honey and plain yogurt.  Ty is certainly a bad influence in that area.

Happy Halloween!


Grilled Chicken, Roasted Butternut Squash, Baked Potatoes


Chicken Parmesan-using pre-made cutlets
Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes
Green Salad

Green Salad

Roasted Asparagus

Grilled Shrimp


Homemade Naan Pizzas

Sheet Pan Macaroni and Cheese

This post is linked to orgjunkie.com