Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Menuy: March 2-April 2

Sunday: Mediterranean Pork
Monday: Steel Cut Oats
Tuesday: Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati
Wednesday: Tillapia, Lemon Orzo salad with Veggies
Thursday: Glazed Mini Meatloves (I still haven't tried these---even though they've been on my planned menus about 4 times now!), Baked Zucchini Fries
Friday: Skillet Pizza

Menu: March 20-26

Sunday: Breakfast Burritos
Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili
Thursday: Rice and Beans

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Go-To Smoothie Recipe

Mix in blender until creamy!
  • 8 strawberries, hulled
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cubes ice, crushed
  • 1 Banana

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I am really enjoying doing these meal plans. I think it works best for me to plan 2 weeks of meals in I am going to post both weeks at once. My appetite goes much with mood so I switch things around a lot and this gives me two weeks worth of leeway.

I know this isn't the easiest blog to read. I always love recipe blogs with pictures, but at this point, I feel lucky to just get them all down in one place. I do however plan on starting to rate the new recipes I find with stars so you can know if they are really worth trying!

Menu: March 13-19

Monday: Valentyna's Turkey Chili, Michelle's cornbread
Tuesday: Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl
Wednesday: Salmon, red potatoes
Thursday: St. Patricks Day! Corned Beef and Cabbage
Friday: Tuscan Chicken Salad
Saturday: Homemade noodles/marinara sauce

Menu: March 6-12

Monday: Slow cooker Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas
Tuesday: Rice and Beans variation
Wednesday: Hot Dogs
Thursday: Chicken Spiedie Sandwiches
Friday: Ratatouille
Saturday: Steel Cut Oats, Omelets, Fruit

Basic Stroganoff

My friend Karen brought this over right after Miles was born. We've been loving it ever since. Super easy!

In slow cooker:

1 lb of stew meat
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of french onion soup

Cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

Then in the last 1/2 hour or so, add about 3/4-1 cup of sour cream.

Serve over your favorite pasta or rice.

Chicken Caeser Pita's

For my pita's I use this delectable soft wrap recipe.

I usually put some chicken in the slow cooker for about 3-4 hours, then I shred it up when done.

Whip up a quick salad of tomatoes, olives, and green onions. Mix in the shredded chicken and top it off with Ken's LITE Caeser dressing. Then stuff the salad into the pita. Simple, easy, delicious.

Greek Stuffed Chicken

Candra, this recipe is for you. I think that I'd labeled it Mediterranean chicken on my last meal plan. I got this recipe from my friend Crysta, who is one of the best chefs I know! Enjoy!

Greek Stuffed Chicken

Butterfly your chicken

then mix all of these ingredients that you want in a bowl:

half of a red onion, chopped
a bunch of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
a lot of feta cheese, crumbled
a bunch of kalamata olives, halved
a huge handful of parsley, chopped
a splash of balsamic vinaigrette dressing
some pepper

Stuff the chicken. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes and you will be in for a treat!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Menu: February 27-March 5

Sunday: Gracie's Birthday Dinner- Mike's Tillapia & Mixed Veggies
Monday: Pat's Birthday Dinner- Skillet Pizza
Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Pita's
Wednesday: Mexican Lasagna
Thursday: 15 minute stroganoff
Friday: Greek Stuffed Chicken
Saturday: Candra's Ritz Chicken

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Menu: February 20-26

Monday: White Chicken Green Chili Soup
Tuesday: Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Glazed Mini Meatloaves
Thursday: Fiesta Rice Salad
Friday: Skillet Pizza
Saturday: Sandwiches

Meals: Feb 13-19

Sunday: Country Style Pork and White Beans
Monday: Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers, Green Beans
Tuesday: Golden Mac and Cheese
Wednesday: Pasta with Guiltless Alfredo
Thursday: Baked Fish Chips
Friday: Pasta Salad
Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Skillet Pizza

We recently purchased a 12", deep dish cast-iron skillet. We've made two delicious creations so far and are hoping for MANY more. Tonight was Skillet Pizza. I modified a few recipes and it turned out just perfect. Hope you enjoy too!


Skillet Pizza
Adapted (barely) from The Best Skillet Recipes by Cook’s Illustrated

Pizza Dough:

2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour, plus extra as needed (can use all-purpose, but dough will be less chewy)
1 & 1/8 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (about 1/2 envelope)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)

Dough Preparation:

1. Pulse the flour, yeast, and salt together in a food processor (fitted with a dough blade if possible) to combine. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil, then water through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a sticky ball that clears the sides of the workbowl, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. (If, after 1 minute, the dough is sticky and clings to the blade, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed until it clears the side of the workbowl.)

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Once risen, the dough can be sealed in a zipper-lock bag and frozen for up to 1 month; let thaw on the counter for 2-3 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator, before using.)

Note: You can also let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight for 8-16 hours, and then set dough on counter at room temperature for a half-hour before using.


1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Grease a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide it into 2 equal pieces, and cover with greased plastic wrap. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep the other covered), press and roll the dough into an 11-round on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet.

3. Spread 1/2 cup of the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan over the top. Set the skillet over high heat and cook until the outside edge of the dough is set, the pizza is lightly puffed, and the bottom crust is spotty brown when gently lifted with a spatula, about 3 minutes.

4. Transfer the pizza to the oven (keeping it in the ovenproof skillet) and bake until the edges are brown and the cheese is golden in spots, 7-10 minutes. Using pot holders (the skillet handle will be hot!), transfer the pizza to a carving board, slice into wedges, and serve.

5. Wipe the skillet clean, let it cool slightly, then repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan to make a second pizza.

Pizza Sauce:

*Makes enough for 2 16-18 inch pizzas

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Monday, January 31, 2011

Meals: Feb 6- Feb 12

Monday: Baked Potato Soup
Tuesday: Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Southwest Pasta Salad
Thursday: Black Bean Soup
Friday: Parmesan Tillapia
Saturday: White Bean and Tuna Salad

Meals: January 31-February 5

Monday: Fettucine Alfredo, Salad
Tuesday: White Chicken Green Chili
Wednesday: Italian Beef Sandwiches
Thursday: Baked Chicken Taquitos
Friday: Orzo with Peas and Parm & Lemon Pepper Chicken
Saturday: Grilled Cheese
Sunday: Glazed Mini Meatloaves, Baked Zucchini Fries

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crusted Salmon with Mustard & Orange Scented Rice

4 4-to-6 ounce salmon fillets
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. dried bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 425
2. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
3. Divide mustard between the tops of the fillets. Spread mustard evenly over fillets
4. Sprinkle bread crumbs over fillets.
5. Roast about 7 minutes, or until fish just flakes
6. Turn on broiler and broil fish about 6 inches from heating source until crumbs are just toasted.

Orange Scented Rice

1 Tbs olive oil or butter
1 tsp. freshly grated orange peel
2 cups water
2 cups instant rice
1/2 tsp salt

In medium pot heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmers. Add orange peel. Immediately add water, rice and salt.

Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 5-7 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff and serve.

Pork with Gingered Pear & Pumpkin Pie Spice Rice

4 6-ounce boneless center cut loin pork chops
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 15-ounce can pear halves in juice, sliced
1 Tbs butter

1. Heat broiler, Season pork with salt and pepper. In large skillet heat oil over high heat until it shimmers.
2. Cook pork in skillet 3 minutes, turning one, or until browned on both sides.
3. Place pork on a jelly-roll pan and broil 7 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove and keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, add the ginger to the skillet, stirring to combine. Stir in mustard to combine.
5. Add pear juice. Cook about 3 minutes until liquid has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6. Add butter and swirl until melted.
7. Gently stir in the pears and remove from heat. Serve pear sauce with pork over Pumpkin Pie Spice Rice.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Rice:

2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup instant brown rice

1. In medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add pumpkin pie spice, stirring, about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2. Add water, salt and rice. Bring water to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 10-12 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meals: January 23-29

Sunday: The best Chicken Noodle soup (EVER) courtesy of Pat
Monday: Baked Potatoes with Chili, Broccoli with Cheese
Tuesday: Pork with Gingered Pear, Pumpkin Pie Spice Rice
Wednesday: Rice and Beans
Thursday: Bulghur Wheat Salad
Friday: Crusted Salmon with Mustard, Orange Scented Rice
Saturday: Power Enchiladas

Rice and Beans

One night a week is set aside for Rice and Beans at our house. It's healthy, it's easy...and it makes Pat feel like he's soaking up his life in Brazil again for just a few short minutes.

Here's how we make it:

2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (we use black, red, or pinto)
Pour the beans in the pot and then fill it up with water until about 1/4 inch above the beans
Put in 1/2-1 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 cup of diced onion
a pinch of salt
and some Kielbasa or sausage if you have it on hand.

Cook rice (we prefer Basmati...but really, anything will do) according to package directions.

Add cilantro to the beans and serve!

California Pizza Kitchen Chopped Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette

1/2 tsp. dry basil
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. chopped garbanzo beans
3/4 cup chopped turkey breast
2 Tbsp green onion
Tomatoes to your liking

Herb-Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh shallot
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups pure, mild-flavored olive oil
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

To make the dressing:

Process all ingredients except oil and Parmesan using a hand-held, propeller-blade type mixer (or use a whisk in a small bowl). Slowly blend in oil. When all oil has been incorporated, stir in Parmesan. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Adapted from CopyCat Recipes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mike's Tillapia

4 Tillapia fillets

3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Combine chips and all seasonings and coat both sides of the Tillapia. Broil for 4 minutes on each side.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meals: January 16-January 22

Sunday: Skillet Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Monday: California Pizza Kitchen Chopped Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette
Tuesday: Lemon Baked Chicken, Mixed Veggies
Wednesday: Rice and Beans
Thursday: Mike's Tillapia, Herb Roasted Potatoes
Friday: Whole Wheat Pizza, Fruit
Saturday: Lemon-Orzo Salad with Veggies and Chicken

Other: Bran Muffins

A New Start

Wow. Are you totally shocked to see a post on this blog? Well, it was time. One of my New Years resolutions was to actually plan out my weekly meals. It seems that every night I find myself walking around the kitchen saying..."What in the world are we going to do for dinner?" So I've decided to try to map the meal plans out here and link them to the recipes if I can. I can't guarantee perfection....and I can't guarantee that a month or two from now this blog will again disappear from the blogosphere...but here's to trying! Happy New Year!