Monday, August 21, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 8/21/17

Coffee flavored beer is delicious...especially when your friend had a hand in creating this delightful beverage. 

I didn't make anything except the chicken from my list last week.  I'm not sure if it is the hot weather which saps my appetite or the fact that I just haven't been feeling particularly creative in the kitchen.  Yeh, and I also didn't shop last week either.  This week though, I went to grocery store on Friday night, cleaned out the refrigerator and made myself ready for the upcoming week.  I'm definitely planning on making a few new things along with a couple of old favorites.

Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade, Roasted Garlic Parmesan Pearled Couscous, Roasted Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes kept us in leftovers for a couple of days as you can see by the lunch container.  I liked this marinade....but I honestly prefer some of the others I've made from Good Cheap Eats, not to say that I won't use it again when I have a little bit of yogurt and a little bit of buttermilk in the frig.

I made three Naan Pizzas which I ate for dinner twice and lunch once.  As always, these hit the spot and heat up beautifully for future meals.

Publix had garlic basil papperdelle fresh pasta BOGO and I made a pesto type of sauce with onions, peppers, roasted green beans and tomatoes, rotisserie chicken {on sale}, garlic, and Italian seasoning.  After sauteeing the onions and peppers until soft, I added the seasonings, chicken, prepared pesto sauce into the pan and then slowly streamed in about 1/2 cup of chicken stock to make a thick sauce.  In total, including removing, chopping, and storing the remaining chicken from the carcass this meal took only 30 minutes to prepare.
Unfortunately for me, there weren't any leftovers from this meal.  

I got a another great deal on boneless, skinless chicken thighs again this week so Jerk Grilled Chicken is on the menu again.
I never made the Vegan Sloppy Joes but with the great deal I got on ground beef, I believe I'll try out Crockpot Sloppy Joes with ciabatta buns I got on sale also.

A carry over that will keep the kitchen and house cool is One Pan Fajita Rice.  I already have the chicken chopped and ready to go making this an easy, hardly any dishes, 30 minute meal.  Great for a Monday.

My favorite way to eat pork is using this recipe for Brined Grilled Pork Chops.  It takes a few extra minutes to prepare, but the results are worth the effort.  
BLT Dogs were so, so good last time that I think adding them to our summer menu plan is a fantastic idea even though they might not necessarily be the healthiest option.  Steaming the buns and charring the dogs on the grill is the secret to what makes these great. This time I'm using turkey bacon to top them and I'll make a giant green salad to offset the badness. 😄
Since there are only two of us eating each meal, I typically half recipes and plan to do just that for the Sloppy Joes which will leave me enough to make half of this Tater Tot Casserole.  I'll also be able to use up the remaining turkey bacon.  Rain is forecasted for the end of the week which will help offset the heat from the oven.  Again, a huge green salad to help in the justification process.

I also bought fresh figs this week at the grocery as they were BOGO and I'm planning on getting a few ideas from here to enjoy them for dessert this week.  My son doesn't care for them so I won't have to worry about them being gone before I even get a bite. 

Have a happy solar eclipse Monday!

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 8/14/17

It's that time of year again when I wish that the weather would cool down just a little.  It's unbearably hot around these parts and outside activities between the hours of 11am to 4pm ain't happening for this girl and.....We have at least two months of this to go.  Even grilling on the back porch can be miserable unless it is raining.  We truly sweat buckets for two months of the year and just like every year I'll whine a bit about it but revel in the soon to be moderate temperatures, forgetting {like childbirth}, the worst of it once its over.  That is until the next year.

Regardless, we still gotta eat this week.  Keeping things easy and cool is paramount.


 Slow Cooker Creamy Beef Stroganoff is a good recipe.  Unfortunately, I cut my beef fairly small and ended up with more of a chipped beef consistency making it more of a beef gravy rather than a true stroganoff,

I got a fantastic deal on boneless, skinless chicken thighs and marinated them with jerk seasoning and then put them on the grill.  So simple and delicious.  The jerk marinade was "hot and spicy"but strangely enough it worked and didn't burn my face off.

After these two meals, I didn't cook because I had a work and then a family dinner back to back.   Friday came along and we ordered a pizza.  It was edible but not stellar.

The most memorable part of our week though, was the 
It was delicious and I'll make this dessert for years to come.
I added more blueberries like the recipe indicated that you could, otherwise, I followed the instruction exactly.  I even measured the fresh lemon juice.  Good move on my part as the result was out of this world.  I might be just a tad biased since I especially love any and all lemon blueberry combination baked goods.  Yum!


**Taco Topped Stuffed Potatoes {freezer meal}

Have a great week!

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 8/7/17

I just got back from a mini vacation and to be honest, I didn't think any farther in to the future than the days I was going to be gone.  I have meat in the freezer though, so we definitely won't starve even if I don't make it to the store in the next few days.

The only picture I have from last week is taco bake topped with chopped salad and homemade thousand island dressing.

Layer the following ingredients in this order in an 8x11 pan sprayed with cooking spray:
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 lb taco meat {use your favorite recipe} with 1 cup salsa {I used verde} mixed in
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese or taco blend

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.
Top with chopped iceberg lettuce, chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes and thousand island dressing.

**Breakfast for Dinner--German Sausages, Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Spinach, Toast

**Healthy Almond Butter Tofu (I'm using peanut butter}

**Grilled Chicken Salad

I hope you have a sunshiney week with lots of love and kisses!

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 7/31/17

Chicken Barbecue

Ham and Cheese with Gouda and Mozzarella

Chicken Pesto

Naan Pizza used up a lot of small odds and ends that were languishing in the frig just waiting to well....rot, for lack of a better expression.  The bread worked so well for the crust, I bought another pack from Aldi to have on hand for an easy pizza night.

BLT Hot Dogs were our star recipe last week.  Absolutely delicious and simple!
**NOTE:  I bought Hormel pre cooked bacon at Sam's which makes this dish even more simple.

Panna Cotta
Next time I'll add a bit more gelatin and top with a blackberry reduction.  Sweet and tart speaks to me.

I was all set to make this recipe but when I came home Ty had made his version of Macaroni and Cheese.  A great end to my day!

Breakfast for dinner wasn't on the plan but worked out to be a quick meal with minimal dishes.  Gotta love that.

You see that delicious looking plate above?  Well, that is my biggest culinary regret this week.  We ate at Bonefish and I left my entire meal in the to go container on the table 😮  Fontina Grilled Pork Chop, Au Gratin Potatoes, and Steamed Green sad.


**Country Chicken Skillet

**String Cheese Manicotti 
{divided and one for the freezer...I'm only cooking this if it rains.  If not they will both go to the freezer}

**Mexican Veggie Burgers 

**Nachos or Fantastic Taco Casserole

**Eggplant Parmesan Stacks


**Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake For Two

**Individual Berry Cobblers

That's all for us this week.  See ya!

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 7/24/17

It is unbearably hot in my neck of the woods, and besides that seemingly depressing news, there are two things that I've been thankful for over the last seven days:
1.  It rains every afternoon and I don't have to water my plants.
2.  I can dare to turn my oven on since the temperature drops when it rains by at least 15 degrees.

I honestly didn't follow my menu plan at all.  My oldest favorite son and his fiance came over Monday and we used most of the fresh vegetables in the frig to top a Rotisserie Chicken Salad.  Our meals became less balanced as we used up any and everything green.  Gotta shop I guess.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

I will not wait so long to make this again.  This recipe is so simple and delicious!

Wings and Rice a Roni {on super sale}
I used to love, love Rice a Roni, but now...not so much.  We've been eating less processed food and this childhood favorite won't be making it's way to my cart again.  Now, the taste isn't horrible, but I can make a homemade version that tastes significantly least to me.
This time we sauced our wings with 3 tbs butter, 1/2 sliced fresh jalapeno, approx 1/4-1/3 cup molasses, and 1/4 cup Ken's Buffalo Wing Sauce {another super sale item}.  Saute the pepper in the butter add other ingredients and allow to melt together over medium heat stirring frequently until bubbling.  Place the wings {baked and cooled} in the sauce and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes until coated and warmed through.

I really need two ovens to make this meal.  The potatoes were just a tad bit over crispy and the green beans were significantly colder than serving guidelines allow.  The chicken itself was perfect.

Waffled Grilled Cheese


While on the "junky side" of things I like to make, this menu allows us to eat and not head to the grocery store this week...well at least not me heading to the grocery store.  I might have to send Ty to get a few fresh things to round out our meals though.  Since everything is simple and doesn't require a lot of prep I should be able to manage to stick to it.  We will see :)

Have a great week!

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday To Do List

I haven't made one of these in a while, but checking things off of a list is so satisfying I couldn't help myself ;)  Now...if I would have posted this on Sunday I would have really been on the ball.

  1. Water plants
  2. Clean off back porch
  3. Laundry
  4. Visit my Mom
  5. Iron clothes for the week, spray with starch first
  6. Spray inside and outside for bugs
  7. Straighten closet 
  8. Put away clothes
  9. Freeze taco meat, after making enchiladas for freezer (didn't get to this as the power went out)
  10. Chop veggies 
  11. Make guacamole (power out)
  12. Straighten freezer
  13. Look up info for August
  14. Clean off counters in bathroom, clean tub, toilet
  15. Wash rug
  16. Brine Shrimp
  17. Make marinade for steak
  18. Defrost chicken and make this for Ty
  19. Spray Round Up around exterior fence and on weeds in flower bed (have to get a new sprayer, the old/new one broke)
  20. Pack lunch--prep fruit etc for grab and go
  21. Prep for Tan and Jesse coming over
  22. Lowes-fans and doorknobs (just didn't get there)
  23. Shred cheese
  24. Load and unload dishwasher
  25. Shred leftover carnitas 
  26. See Tobie's counter tops
Ty didn't take a picture of the finished product but...this recipe is great!  I cooked this at 250 degrees F for about 5 hours and the meat was tender enough to shred easily with one fork.  When I was shopping for groceries yesterday, the pork shoulder roast just so happened to be on sale...I felt like fate had intervened and the universe placed a large arrow pointing at the roast saying "make me"!  I'm glad I listened.

Taco meat for the freezer.  After browning, I combined approximately 1.5 pounds of beef, and 1 pound of ground chicken, seasoned, and simmered until all of the flavors combined.  I allowed the meat to cool and separated the meat in to three, three cup bags.  A tip that I learned at Jessica's blog is to place items that you want to freeze in the refrigerator to completely cool down before freezing.  This significantly cuts down on ice crystals.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 7/17/17

This past week was leaps and bounds better on the meal planning front.  Now, I'm not saying I followed any specific recipes because I actually never made it to the grocery store last weekend to purchase any fresh items. Tuesday brought a viral disaster that knocked me off of my game for the next couple of days and food was not even a thought in my mind.  By the time I was back on my feet, I decided to just get creative with what we already had.  None of the meals were flashy or new recipes,  but we had plenty.  And, bonus, I saved the money I would have spent at the store.  This weekend, I'm hoping to stash a few items in my freezer to cover me when I have another pseudo emergency like this past one.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Aldi Organic White Shells with Cheese, Sauteed Okra

{adjust cooking time for boneless pieces, I cooked for 15 min, flipped and cooked for 15 more}

Springer Mountain Farms wings {found on sale for a great price...pretty tasty but Scott's Famous Wings are better}, Pearled Couscous, Baby Spinach Saute

Bucatini Pasta Toss
{fresh tomatoes, butter and olive oil, leftover chopped chicken breast with cheese}

Quiche {I start with this recipe and add whatever I have on hand.  This time bacon, green onions, a bit of mozzarella, feta, and pepper jack cheeses}  Corn Hash {fresh corn sliced off the cob, orange bell pepper, onion, butter, and seasonings sauteed in a cast iron skillet until crisp tender}, Roasted Fresh Okra


Pioneer Woman Simple Perfect Enchiladas {freezer meal}, two pans

Taco Stuffed Potatoes
{I have got to take a picture when I make these..super quick weeknight meal}


I have lots of options available for this week even though sometimes that works against me.  Too many choices and all that, but this way my creativity won't be stifled by a set in stone menu.  At least that's the reasoning my mind is going with this week.

Have a happy, healthy week and even though the temperatures are outrageous, I'm hoping to be outside this weekend making some memories.

Wishing you Sunshine and Cool Breezes {relatively, of course} for the days ahead...xoxoxo

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