Monday, November 14, 2011

Crock Pot Pizza

I found this recipe somewhere online, but when I went to print it... it didn't print the site address, so I am not sure where it came from.

a jar of your favorite sauce- we used 2 jars that we had in the cupboard
your favorite pizza toppings- we used a red pepper, yellow pepper, onions, garlic, bacon, pepperoni, ground beef, and olives
1 tube of pre made biscuit dough
1-2 c of your favorite cheese

Pour the sauce into a Crock Pot first.  Then add your veggie toppings (we sauteed the onions and garlic before adding them).  Cook any meat you are using.  Then, add meat on top of veggies.  Open the dough and tear into quarter sized pieces and drop on top of the contents of the crock pot.  Cook on love for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3.  Add your cheese then cook for another 15-30 minutes (depending on how you like your cheese).  Cut into wedges and serve.

I had never heard of cooking pizza in a crock pot, but I thought why not.

 This is what it looked like before cooking.

And this is what it looked like after. I was a little worried on how I would get it out of the pot... I mean would the sauce cause it to be mush...

This was how it looked plated.  It came out pretty easily... We used a spatula to get what we could out and then just used another spatula full of sauce.

The only thing I would change with this recipe... would be to not let my husband touch it.  He added some extra spices to the sauce, because it was cheap store brand.... and he got a little too excited with the pepper and it was a bit spicy!

Crock Pot Chicken

Another recipe that I am not sure where it came from

1 cup baby carrots or 2 to 3 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 c chopped onion
1 rib celery, sliced
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
4 med potatoes, quatered
3-3.5lbs chicken
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups strong chicken brother, condensed or made with double bouillon
little salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil

Layer carrots, onion, celery, green beans, potatoes, chicken and bacon.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over the rest.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

A new twist on an old standby.  The bacon really adds some good flavor to this meal.(doesn't bacon make everything better!)  This was really fast and easy to prepare.  I used the rest of some chicken thighs we had, but you can use whatever kind of chicken you want...even a fryer chicken. 

BBQ Beef Sandwich

I have no idea where this recipe came from... I found it in our recipe folder one day....

3lbs stew meat
1/2c water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1tbsp minced onion
1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
1.4c brown sugar
1/4c ketchup
1/4c mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce

In Crock Pot place meat along with 1 cup water a bouillon cubes.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (high 3-4).  remove meat and shred with a fork after cooking and retain 1 cub of the juice from cooking.  Add rest of the ingredients to shredded meat.  Put in crock pot and cook on low 3-4 hours.  Serve over hamburger buns or your favorite rolls.

These were really good.  I decided to cook this because my husband loves BBQ (I do not) and I wanted to do something for him.  I chose to cook the meet on high for 3-4 hours, then do the rest on low, so that it didn't take 12 hours to make (I never get up to the kitchen in time to cook anything for 12 hours!).  We loved this, will probably make again.

Menu 11/4-11/13

Breakfasts: (rotates)
Breakfast Sandwiches, Waffles/Sausage, Cereal/Smoothie/Oatmeal

Snacks: (rotates)
Granola Bar/Cheese, Yogurt/Almonds and Fruit Leather

Lunch/Dinner (whatever we have for dinner, we have for lunch the next day)
Friday- we went out to eat
Saturday-Chicken Patties (from Costco) with Chips and Fruit
Sunday-BBQ Beef Sandwich(recipe) and Rice Casserole (recipe)
Monday-Pita Cheeseburgers (from Costco) with Chips and Fruit
Tuesday-Crock Pot Chicken (recipe)
Wednesday-Deli Sandwiches with Chips and Fruit
Thursday-Chicken patties(from Costco) with steamed veggies
Friday- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Pesto Sauce and Veggies (from Costco)
Saturday-Chicken Pot Pies(from Costco) for the in laws, Chad and I went out with my family
Sunday- Crock Pot Pizza (recipe)

This month I am trying to get the menu planning and menu posts lined up with my new monday schedule, which is why this post has a bit more days than normal.  After next week my menus will be starting on Monday too... so I am slowly getting there.

Menu Plan 11/14-11/20

Here is the Burke Family Menu for this week:
Breakfast: (rotates)
-Waffles/Sausage, Breakfast Sandwiches, Muffins

Snacks (rotates)
Granola Bar/Applesauce, Yogurt/Almonds and Fruit Leather

Lunch/Dinner(whatever we have for dinner, we have for lunch the next day)
Monday-Quinoa Burger (recipe), Veggie Chips, Fruit
Tuesday- Pita Cheeseburgers (from Costco), Chips, Fruit
Wednesday- Sante Fe Chicken (recipe)
Thursday- Chicken Patties (from Costco), Rice Casserole (recipe)
Friday- Frozen Pizza and Veggies
Saturday- Deli Sandwiches, Chips, Squash Bites
Sunday- Baked Potato Soup (recipe)

Usually I only have 3 dishes that I make throughout the week, but this week we have 4... however, all but the Quinoa Burgers are Crock Pot Meals (which are my favorite type).  You can look for these recipes to be posted later in the week after the dish is cooked.

I have decided to start posting my menus on a site that does a linky for menus.  If you need more menu ideas, head over there and check out the site.

*This menu has been linked to: Meal Plan Monday

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Menu Planning

Today, over on my other blog, I explained our menu planning and grocery list.  If interested you can read the entry here.... It might give you a better idea of how our menu is created as well as maybe some ideas you could implement for your own menu planning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crescent Wrapped Brie

If this doesn't look amazing to you... just trust me it is.  This is a recipe from my wonderful mother.  Her and I have been making this for many many years.  Very Simple to make too.

A Round of Brie
A package of Crescent (think Pillsbury)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet or pie plate with cooking spray.  Lay out your 8 crescents in a star pattern, with points facing out.  Make sure some are overlapping so there is no empty hole in the middle.  If you don't like the taste of brie rind (i don't) scrape it off with a knife.  Then place the brie on top of the rolls, in the middle.  Next, fold the points over on top of the brie.  Maneuver them so your brie is mostly covered.  Bake for 15 mins or until crescents are golden brown.  Enjoy.

In the above picture I cut the round in half so the cheese would ooze out.  This is my favorite way to eat Brie.  And I can never finish it in one sitting.  Best to share with a friend.

Sweet Hot Bean Dip

Recipe from here

1 (8oz) block of cream cheese, softened
1 (15.5oz) can of bushes chili starter beans
1 jar of salsa (8.5 oz)
1-1.5 cups grated cheese of choice

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Spread cream cheese evenly over bottom of the dish.  next using the lid of the can, drain the liquid from the beans (do not rinse) and evenly spread on top of cream cheese.  Pour salsa on top of the beans (using enough to cover them).  Bake for 30 mins. or until edges begin to bubble.  Remove from oven.  Add the shredded cheese (enough to cover salsa) Place back in over just long enough to melt the cheese (about 5-8 mins). 

I first found this recipe on pinterest.  We doubled our recipe since we were taking it to a get together.  I also used one can of a sweet starter bean and one of a regular starter bean... I wanted to give it a different flavor.  We used our favorite mexican blend of cheese.  This was pretty good.  I think i either used too much shredded cheese or cooked it to long with the cheese, because the shredded cheese was a little firmer than i wanted and it made it hard to stick a chip in without it breaking.  We had about half leftover when we got home... it didn't last through the next day.

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Original Recipe here

6 slices bacon
2pkgs frozen corn (10 oz each)
1 can cream style corn (16 oz)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 c water
1/2 c onion, chopped
2 c potatoes, diced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 can chicken broth (16 oz)
1 c milk
1.4 c butter
corn starch

In skillet, fry bacon until crisp, remove and reserve.  Add onion and potatoes to bacon drippings, saute for 5 minutes.  Combine everything in Crock Pot except butter and milk.  Cover and cook on low 7 hours.  Pour 1.2 mixture into blender and puree until almost smooth.  Return to Crock Pot with milk and butter.  Cover and cook for 1 more hour.

I think this turned out good.  It was my first time ever making chowder.  We used the rest of the corn and potatoes from earlier in the week.  (the potatoes where those small finger length potatoes that come in 3 colors... which is why my picture may have more color than yours will- it was what we had).  Of course I forgot to get it started early so I had to cook mine on high for 4 hours instead of low for 7.  That may be why we had to use corn starch to help thicken it up some, because ours was still pretty creamy.  However, I liked this and will probably use it again.

Slow Cooked Texas Stew

I can't find where this recipe is from, it seems to have disappeared.

2lbs beef tips, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes (14.5oz)
1 can condensed beef brother, undiluted (10.5oz)
1 jar mild picante sauce (8oz)
10 oz frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3 carrots, cut into 1.2 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4c all purpose flour
1/2c water

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large slow cooker. Cook, covered, on high for 3 to 4 hours or until meat is tender. Stir together flour and water. Stir into meat mixture and cook on high for 1 hour.

Simple, easy! We used stew meat instead of beef tips and baby carrots instead of regular carrots. This was amazing. Everyone loved it. It cooked all day long and just smelling it was enough to make me hungry.

Creamy Chicken with Vegetables

The original recipe is here.

3-4lbs of chicken
2lbs new potatoes, cut in half
1/2lb baby carrots
1 lg onion, cut into eights
1 can chicken broth (14.5oz)
1 c sour cream
3tbsp all-purpose flour

In crock pot stir all ingredients except sour cream and flour. Cook on low 10-12 hours (high 4-6) or until chicken is tender. In small bowl stir together sour cream and flour. Stir into chicken mixture. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until thickened (5 to 6 mins). Season with salt and pepper.

Very simple and very good. We used the bone in thigh Chicken we buy in bulk at Costco. Everyone got one piece of chicken and some veggies. This was really good. Perfect meal for those yucky weather days we have been having lately

Menu 10/28-11/3

No new breakfast or snacks. Sorry, I know some of you really enjoyed the breakfast and snacks I have posted, we are just too busy right now. I have accepted the fact (and I hope you can too) that we will only be making 2 or 3 meals a week and the rest will be store bought stuff.

However... I do have two new dinner/lunch for you and it's good....

First, we did try Costco Pita Cheeseburgers this week... they are pretty good. We also had the rest of the Asparagus and Gruyere ravioli we had before. And we added Frozen Chicken Pot Pies from Marie Callendar to our repertoire... they are good as well.

Now on to the new menu item.... Creamy Chicken with Vegetables and Texas Stew!

Not only that but as an added bonus, Chad and I went to my sister in laws house on Saturday and I am sharing the two recipes we took-Crock Pot Corn Chowder and Sweet Hot Bean Dip.

And just for the fun of it I am sharing a favorite comfort food of mine.... Crescent Wrapped Brie....

And just so you know... I actually have pictures for some of these!

Menu 10/21-10/27

Nothing really to post this week either. We spent the weekend out of town for a wedding. Great wedding, beautiful. I took a bunch of pictures and can't wait till I have time to edit and upload some.

For other meals we had Breaded Chicken patties from Costco, Pizza from Costco and then Steak Fajitas and Spanish Style Quinoa (which we have made before). For the fajitas we used leftover tortillas that we had gotten a few weeks before (from Costco... I love them, gotta check the brand next time). We got some steak strips from Costco, then we sauteed some onions and pepers and put it all together and added some guacamole... Viola!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Menu 10/14-10/20

Nothing to post this week. We went out of town this weekend for a family reunion and will be out of town this coming weekend for a wedding. So instead of trying to cook with everything else going on (husband had a test, I had a test, plus laundry and packing for 2 weekends) we went to Costco and tried some things.

Friday was just hubby and I... so we bought some chicken tenders and crab rangoon and that was our dinner.

Saturday was Ruma's Deli... which is right down the street and I love love love it. I had yet to go since we moved here, so decided it was time.

Monday we had the Slow Cooker Tacos that I have posted about before.

Tuesday we tried some breaded Chickens along with some fire roasted veggies. Both were really good.

Tonight (wednesday) we had angus cheeseburgers, waffle fries, and stir fry veggies. Also very good. I wasn't a fan of the veggies, something in them didn't agree with me, but everyone else loved them.

Tomorrow is Asparagus and Gruyere Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce and the rest of the stir fry veggies. Hubby and I made the ravioli tonight, because he works till midnight tomorrow, and they were really good. Can't wait to eat the rest of it.

We also tried Costco (kirkland brand) waffles this week... taste just like Eggo brand. We also tried these sausage patties which were good. The last item we tried were Zucchini Souffles. They weren't bad for being microwavable.. but I still prefer the homemade ones hubby makes.

With the exception of the Chicken Tacos, everything is pre-made from Costco and just requires being heated up. I think everything next week will be the same... but I will let you know. It's just that time of the year... So much going on.

Pineapple Pork tenderloin


3lb pork tenderloin
2tbls brown sugar
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbls cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2tbls soy sauce
1/2c apple juice
16oz frozen pineapple

combine meat, sugar, spices and cornstarch in a plastic bag. Seal and shake. pour it all into crock pot. Add garlic and peppers. Pour in soy sauce, juice, and pineapple. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or high for 4-6.

Some how when we did the grocery list, I missed the apple juice. luckily, I used canned pineapple (in 100% juice of course) instead of frozen pineapple, so I just used pineapple juice instead of apple juice. I also don't have the time or patience to do the mixing in a bag stuff, so I just mixed it all right in the crock pot. The pork was so tender, it fell apart with a fork. this was really good. The pineapple gave it a sweet taste that contrasted well with the pork.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings


6lb chicken pieces
1/2c chicken bouillon broth
4tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1tsp poultry seasoning
6ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
6small carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2c packaged biscuit mix
3/4c milk
1 tsp parsley flakes

Wash chicken pieces, cut away fat. place chicken pieces in Crock Pot. Add broth, salt, pepper, seasoning. Add celery and carrots on top. Cover. Cook 7-9 hours on low. Combine biscuit mix, milk, parsley flakes; stir until just moistened. Drop dumplings by spoonfuls over chicken. Cover, cook on high 30 minutes.

This was pretty good. My husband says it tasted almost like his grandma's... which is a big deal! I made the mistake of scheduling this on a night I wasn't home... so Hubby had to do the biscuit part. Well he did... but he followed the package directions instead of these. Which means he used water instead of milk, and no parsley. They were garlic biscuits so the no parsley part was fine. But since he used water they didn't quite cook right in a crock pot (crock pot filled with water vapor...) So they took longer to become biscuits and the ones in the center never quite made it.... So make them with MILK not water.... Still very good, we all enjoyed it.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes


2lbs ground beef, turkey or chicken
1/2c onions, chopped
1/2c green peppers, chopped
1 (14oz) cans tomato sauce
8oz tomato soup
1/2c brown sugar, packed
1/8c ketchup
1.5 tbls Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbls mustard
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

cook beef in large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring to break up meat. Drain fat. Add onion, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 5-10 min or until onion becomes translucent and mixture become fragrant.
Transfer meat mixture to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, stir well to combine.. cover, cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve on fresh buns or toast.

These were YUMMY!!!! Love it. Super easy, super good. OUrs were really sweet... but that was becomes we used Splenda brown sugar and we didn't pay attention to the conversion, so we had too much brown sugar. But still really good. Served ours on toasted buns with tater tots. Definitely will be reappearing on our menu.

20 to 40 clove garlic chicken


3-4lbs chicken
1 large onion, sliced
2 tsp salt
1 tbls olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
20-40 cloves garlic, peeled

Place onion slices on the bottom of the crockpot. In a large bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper and the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker. Do not add water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook it the more tender the chicken will be.

Honestly... we didn't like this recipe. It has potential. We love garlic and onions, but I don't know. I think if we would of had it on some rice or quinoa with a salad or something it might of been better, but we didn't... so it wasn't.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pork Stew with Vegetables


1tbsp vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb) cut into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes
1 med onion coarsely chopped
1 rib celery sliced
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves crushed
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
2tbsp all purpose flour
1 c chicken broth
1/2 pkg (16oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms drained well
2tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add pork, onion, celery, basil, rosemary, and oregano; cook until pork is browned. Place pork mixture into crock pot. Whisk flour with chicken broth, pour into crock pot. Stir in frozen vegetables and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. About 15 minutes before serving, stir lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

This was really good. I didn't cook the stuff in the skillet first... I just threw it in the crock pot. We just ate in plain, not over rice. Very good, thick stew.

Menu 10/7-10/13

all store bought stuff- cereal, smoothie, oatmeal, waffles, etc.

pork stew with vegetables
20 to 40 clove garlic chicken
crock pot sloppy joes
crock pot chicken and dumplings
pineapple pork tenderloin

Store bough stuff: yogurt, granola bars, almonds, fruit leathers, veggies

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hummus Dip

This is a new favorite that was passed on to us from a good friend. It is a second dish we take to parties now.

Take your favorite Hummus Dip (store bought or homemade) spread some on the bottom of a round glass shallow serving dish. A couple inches worth. Chop some tomatoes and sprinkle over top. Chop some cucumber and sprinkle over top. Chop some onions and sprinkle over top. Then sprinkle some feta cheese over all of it. Serve with pita or pretzels chips.

This is very good. Not everyone likes hummus, so we usually take this and our seven layer dip so that people eat one or the other. We rarely bring any home. This is a great, light snack for your family as well.

Lean Seven Layer Dip

I have no idea where this recipe came from. I have been making it for years to take to parties and get togethers. I have changed the original recipe so much that I think it is safe to say this is my recipe now.... Enjoy!

16oz can fat free spicy or zesty refried beans
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1.5 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
11.5 oz jar quacamole
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 c light sour cream
3tbsp canned, drained, diced green chilies
1.5 seeded, chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
4oz shredded 75% light cheddar cheese
2tbsp finely, chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 c sliced, drained black olives

In medium bowl, mix together beans, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and garlic
Spoon bean mixture into a 6cup glass serving bowl. Using a spatula, spread evenly to form a flat layer. Pour guacamole evenly over beans and smooth with back of a spoon. Sprinkle green onions evenly over top. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and chilies. Spoon mixture evenly over onions and smooth. Sprinkle tomatoes over top. In a second small bowl, mix cheese with cilantro. Sprinkle evenly over tomatoes. Sprinkle olives over that. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Depending on the individual ingredients you purchase this is a pretty healthy dip. Of course it is amazing, so it is very hard to now devour the whole thing (which throws the health factor out the window). Because it is usually so well liked, I usually double the recipe and then put it all in a 9x12 glass pyrex dish. I usually get a can of plain refried beans and a can of zesty beans and mix them together. We like to use either Wholly Guacamole or the new one at Shop n Save (calenta maybe?) They come in flat plastic containers with a paper covering. Both very good. You can also make your own, but I never have good luck with my avocados being ripe when I need them. This was the dish that made me fall in love with cilantro. The taste of fresh cilantro is just wonderful. I usually get either scoop tortilla chips, or pretzel and/or pita chips for this. I love love love this dish and have never had complaints from anyone that has ever eaten it. (Except for my mother, who complained because there were onions in it.)

Asian Chicken


1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz water chestnuts, canned, drained, sliced
4.5 oz whole mushrooms, jarred, drained
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 to 6 chicken breasts, boneless
4 tbls hoisin sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Place peppers, garlic, water chestnuts, mushrooms and ginger into stoneware, stir to blend. Place chicken breasts on top of vegetables. Drizzle with hoisin sauce and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

This was pretty good. It had a great flavor. Because of the hoisin wings we made a week or so before this, we didn't have enough hoisin sauce. Wish we did, because it gave the chicken excellent flavor. We also didn't add the cayenne pepper because it makes my husband sick. This recipe is definitely a great new way to have chicken.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos


2 can diced green chilies
24oz salsa
2tsp cumin
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
4lb bone in chicken thighs

Place chicken in the bowl of a slow cooker. Top with salsa, diced green chilies, cumin, onion and garlic. Cover and set on low. Cook for 8 hours. Remove chicken from pot, shred, and return to juices. Spook chicken into taco shells, with whatever toppings your family likes. Or use the meat to make burritos, tostadas or as a filling for enchiladas.

This was absolutely wonderful. If you are looking for a make ahead recipe for shredded chicken to use in your dishes, use this one. When you slow cook something on a bone, the longer it cooks, the more tender it becomes. The flavor and texture of this chicken was just perfect. We put into hard taco shells and added some shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese and guacamole. We ate it with some chips and our leftover seven layer dip. This is definitely a recipe that will be making more appearances to our menu.

Menu 9/23-9/29 and 9/30- 10/6

I am combining these two weeks because we had a lot of activities, so we didn't do alot of cooking. Also, alot of what we did cook was either store bought stuff (pizza, deli sandwiches) or was repeat meals that I have already posted the recipes for. I also can't find the menus anymore so I am recalling these by the recipes I set aside to post here. I subbed for most of both these weeks, so things were a bit busier than normal.

Waffles, Cereal, Smoothies or Oatmeal is what is on our breakfast menu currently... too busy at the moment so we need dishes that don't require a lot of prep work.

Slow Cooking Pork Chops (repeat meal)
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Asian Chicken
Lean Seven layer Dip
Hummus Dip
Crock Pot Pork Loin (add Pork Loin and onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots and celery to a crock pot add some salt and pepper and a little water and cook on low 8 hours.)

We have been rotating between granola bars, almonds and fruit leathers, yogurt and veggies, all store bought.

Tuscan Pasta


1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15.5 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
2 cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained (4.5 oz)
1 med green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c water
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 oz thin spaghetti, broken into halves

Place all ingredients except spaghetti in Crockery Pot. Cover and cook on low 4 hours or until vegetables are tender. Turn to high. Stir in spaghetti; cover. Stir again after 10 minutes. Cover and cook 45 minutes or until pasta is tender. Garnish with basil and bell pepper strips if desired.

Serves 8

My husband got his meal this week so this was for me. I am a pasta fiend. I think it comes with being Italian. So when I found this crock pot pasta meal I was definitely looking forward to it. And it was pretty good. Personally I am a white sauce kind of gal, but this red sauce dish was still worth it. We used Spiral Pasta instead of spaghetti. I would definitely recommend spraying the crock pot with cooking spray to keep everything from sticking. And if you like your pasta extra saucy...double up on the tomato sauce. If your looking for an easy, yummy crock pot pasta meal... you've found it!

Slow Cooking Pork Chops

Original Recipe

Our recipe
8 pork chops
2 cans tomato sauce (8oz)
1/2 c chopped green peppers
2 bags pearl onions
3 cans french cut green beans
1 clove garlic, chopped

Saute pork chops in skillet until brown. Place remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Add pork chops and enough water to almost cover chops. Cook on law for 6 to 8 hours or until chops are tender.

I am not normally a pork fan (unless it is in the form of bacon or breakfast sausage), but this was so good we did it the next week as well. The original recipe only called for 6 pork chops, but we needed 8, so we add an extra can of green beans to spread it out some more. We also used pearl onions instead of regular onions and they were really good. We got some red pearl onions and after simmering all day, they were really sweet and super good. This was definitely a hit.

Hoisin Chicken Wings


2.5 lbs chicken wings or drumettes
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 piece fresh ginger (1 in size) peeled and grated
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Put the chicken into the crock pot. Add the hoisin sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours. Stir before servings.

These were for my husband. He wanted to watch football on Sunday and wanted some football food to eat. These were ok. My husband loved them, but said it needed more hoisin sauce. I am not a fan of wings to begin with, they are too messy for me. But, they were pretty good. Great for a football day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I haven't forgotten about this blog... Was subbing for a full week so been pretty busy, I plan to update the past few weeks this weekend so be looking for the updates... Also I just finished next weeks menu and I think I have outdone myself... It looks amazing and our grocery list will be super small because I am using all the extras in our freezer!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Menu 9/16-9/22

I think last weeks menu of crock pot meals and casseroles made us lazy because that is what we got going on all week long this week. Also, I have two tests this week and my husband has 1 so we need to have lots of study time. This week we have 1 casserole and 5 crock pot meals (the other meal is sandwiches because we won't be around for dinner and my in laws won't be around for the next days lunch).

Nothing new this week, we are doing frozen waffles and fruit and our ham and egg cups this week.

Good Ole fashion Chicken and Veggies in a Crock Pot (here's the recipe... add a roaster chicken, some potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic to a crock pot add some rosemary and oregano and water and cook on low 8-10 hours. Enjoy!)
Chicken Wings
7 layer dip (not made because we had salsa and chips instead)
Butternut Squash Soup (my mother in law made this, I will have to get the recipe from her)
Taco Corn Bread Casserole (repeat meal)
Slow Cooking Pork Chops
Tuscan Pasta


Nothing new... Apple Sandwiches, Fruit Snacks/Almonds, Yogurt and Granola Bars

Spanish Style Quinoa

I am not sure where we acquired this recipe, but we love it!


1tbls vegetable oil
1/2c uncooked quinoa
1/2 med onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sm red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/4c water
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
makes 8 servings

heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. stir in the quinoa, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes until the onion is tender, and the quinoa has lightly toasted. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, then season with the spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir the quinoa occasionally as it cooks.

If you have never had quinoa, your missing out. I think I was first exposed to this wonderful member of the rice (i think) family at CBW. There you could substitute your rice for quinoa. To me, quinoa has a nutty flavor that rice and it is much healthier for you. We make quinoa a lot. This is one of our favorite recipes with quinoa. It goes great with mexican dishes. It is fairly easy to make and while it is simmering you have enough time to cook whatever else you are going to have with it. If you have never cooked quinoa before, here's a tip for you: you know the quinoa is done when the tail separates from the base (you will know this when you see it)and it gets a little translucent. Truly an amazing food, try it!

Macaroni and cauliflower Cheese Bake

Original Recipe
This is a Jamie Oliver Recipe!


1/2 head of cauliflower
8 oz cheddar cheese
4 oz parmesan cheese
small bunch of italian parsley
1lb dried macaroni elbos
1c creme fraiche or sour cream

remove the outer green leaves from cauliflower and discard. Sliced the ends off the stalks and cut into small florets. Grate the cheese into a large heatproof bowl. Finely chop the parsley. bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and all the cauliflower and cook according to package directions. Place the bowl of cheese over the saucepan and add the sour cream. Stir every so often until the cheese is smooth and melted. If the water boils up beneath the bowl, just turn the heat down a bit. Add the parsley and a bit of salt. Remove the bowl of cheese using oven gloves. Drain the macaroni in a colander. Return the pasta to the pan and pour the melted cheese in and stir. You can either serve it like this, or finish it under the broiler to make it crispy and golden. Preheat your broiler to a medium to high heat. Add 2/3c water (if you saved your cooking water use that) and stir it in. Transfer to a baking dish. Place under broiler until golden and bubbling.

So as I have mentioned before we need 8 servings of everything, so we added to this a bit. We put a full head of cauliflower and 8oz of Parmesan. If you wanna do that.... Do a 2:1 ration of your cheese, have double the amount of cheddar as you do Parmesan, because Parmesan cheese has that bite to it and the cheddar gives it a smoother taste. Also we just made a double broiler for the cheese, we didn't put it over the pasta-there was no room. So we just boiled some water in a separate pan and then added the bowl to that. Stir the cheese frequently so it doesn't stick to the pan. I loved this. I am a mac and cheese purist (of course that changes a bit more every time we go here), so I wasn't too sure about the cauliflower, but it softened while cooking and it was super good. Another recommendation I would have if you decide to use the whole head of cauliflower... use a 1.5 of noodles so you get a good mix of noodles and cauliflower. We didn't put ours in the broiler.... I like mine creamy (mac and cheese at its finest) and the benefit of doing most of the cooking is you get your say when it comes to that cooking :-) This was super good.. and the cauliflower made the mac n cheese healthy enough for me to get away with having pasta and cheese in the same dish (my two favorite ingredients).

Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches

Original Recipe

1 chuck roast 93-4lbs)
3/4c soy sauce
1 beef bullion cube
10 whole peppercorns
1tbls rosemary
1tbls minced garlic

Cut all the fat off the roast. spray crock pot with nonstick spray and place roast in crock pot. Mix together soy sauce, bullion cube, peppercorns, rosemary, and garlic. Pour mixture over the roast. add enough water to the crock pot to cover the roast. Set the crock pot on high and cook for 1 hour. Turn down the heat to love and cook for an additional 10 hours. The roast is done when you can pull it apart easily with a fork. Shred the roast with a fork and serve on rolls with cheese. Use remaining juices for dipping sauce.

First of all... we just cooked on high for 6 hours... I don't get up early enough to have 11 hours to cook something before dinner. We also didn't use cheese. We toasted our buns, through the meet on and dipped away. They were really good. We served with the mac and cheese recipe coming up next. Really good. Father in law said it was better than Arby's!

3 Meat Pizza Casserole

Original Recipe

1lb bow tie pasta
1lb mild pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 (26oz) jars spaghetti sauce (pick your favorite)
1lb cubed cooked ham
1 pkg sliced pepperoni
3 (8oz) bags of shredded cheese (mozzarella or your favorite)
2 tbls chopped garlic
1 tsp dried oregano

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Cook sausage, garlic powder, and oregano with onions until the juices run clear. In a greased 9x13 inch pan, pour small amount of sauce to lightly coat botoom. 1st layer- 1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 remaining sauce, 1 bag of cheese, sausage and onions. 2nd layer- 1/2 of remaining pasta, 1.2 remaining sauce,1 bag of cheese,2 tbls parmesan cheese, ham. 3rd layer- all remaining pasta and sauce, 1 bag of cheese, all the pepperoni (cover the top completely with pepperoni. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

THIS WAS AMAZING!!!! Seriously. Everyone will love it. But, it is a big mess. When you scoop it out of the pan it goes all over the plate. But worth it. i think next time we are going to try and use lasagna noodles and make it like a lasagna so that it stays together better. But it was sooooooo gooooooood.

BLT Wraps

Original Recipe

1 cup mayo
1/2c dried tomato pesto
8 (10in) flour tortillas
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional)
16 bacon slices, cooked
salt and pepper to taste

Combine mayo and tomato pesto in a small bowl. Spread evenly over 1 side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2in border. Layer lettuce, onion, and bacon evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll up tortillas, cut in half diagonally.

The original recipe called for dried tomatoes in oil, but we used tomato pesto because we had some in the fridge and wanted to use it before it got gross. It was really good. These were super easy and very good. We served them with some sun chips. A nice, quick, light meal. The only thing we would change is that next time we would double the bacon just to give it more flavor and crunch. (and because the men of the house love bacon... but who doesn't?)

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Original Recipe

1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can deiced tomatoes (plain or flavored)
1 10oz package frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (choose your favorite color)
1 10oz can enchilada sauce (any style)
1 10.75oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2c milk
1c shredded cheese (we used mexican blend- our favorite)
2 chicken breast

In a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion and bell pepper. place 2 chicken breasts on top of mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together enchilada sauce and soup. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker. Cover. Cook on law heat for 6 to 8 hours or high heat for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken and cut or shred into bite sized pieces. Add chicken back to soup. Top with cheese and serve. Can also be topped with avocado, sour cream or tortilla chips.

We doubled this recipe because we need 8 servings of everything (4 for dinner, 4 for next days lunch). This was really good. Since things are so crazy right now, we broke out our crock pot earlier. It just makes things easier. Spend a few minutes in the morning (or make the night before and leave in fridge till you get up) to throw it all in the pot and let it go. I actually thought it was better the second day. While in the fridge the mixture thickened up so when you reheated it for lunch it was really thick and filling.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Taco Corn Bread Casserole

Original Recipe

1 package (8.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1 egg
1/3c milk
3 cups cooked taco seasoned meat (roughly 1 pound)
1 can black beans
1 cup (8oz) sour cream, light
1 cup colby jack, cheddar or mexican cheese, shredded and divided
1/2c onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1c shredded lettuce
1 can sliced olives

In a large bowl, combine the corn bread, egg and milk until blended. Spread into an 8 x 8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Brown meat, add taco seasoning and cook according to package. Combine taco meat and beans, spread over corn bread. Combine sour cream 3/4c cheese and onion. Spread over meat mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce and remaining 1/4c of cheese.

Ummm... YUM! This was fantastic. It was a mess coming out of the pan, more like a taco salad then a casserole, but still really good. We served it with a side of tortilla chips and guacamole and salsa. It was really good. The corn bread base was the perfect off set for the rest of the dish. I decided next time I make it we are going to double the recipe and make it in a bigger pan (9x12 probably) so that we can cut out the chips and dip and to spread it out a little more.

Bran Flax Muffins

3/4c wheat flour
3/4c all purpose flour
3/4c flaxseed meal
3/4c oat bran
1c brown sugar
2tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2c carrots, shredded
2 apples, peeled & shredded
1/2 c raisins
1c nuts, chopped
3/4c milk
1 tsp vanilla

Makes 24 small muffins

Mix together flour, flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in apples, carrots, raisins & nuts. Combine milk, beaten egg and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Spray muffin tins or insert liners. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

I want to thank Mary for exposing us to this wonderful dish when we visited her down in Florida last summer. This dish is a very frequent meal to our menu. It really doesn't take long to stir everything together and it is very good. We do 2 muffins per servings. Very balanced meal.

Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

6 thin slice of ham
6 large eggs
grated white cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda or other cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham, letting it ruffle up the sides. Mix together egg and cheese then pour into ham cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

These are really good. And you can change it up how you want. We added green peppers and onions to ours that we sauteed before adding to the egg mixture. Use your favorite cheese and favorite omelette toppings. Very easy and very good. Serve with a glass of milk and some fruit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Menu 9/9-9/15

Ham and Egg Cups
Bran Muffins

Taco Corn Bread Casserole
BBQ Chicken Burgers with Slaw (omitted because we had a late breakfast saturday so we just ate a late lunch and cut out dinner)
Corn Fritters (Omitted this week)
Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
BLT Wraps
Pizza Casserole
Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
7 layer Tostadas(can't tell you anything about this one, because husband didn't follow the recipe, he made it completely different... maybe next time...It sounded yummy)
Spanish Style Quinoa

No new snacks this week, we loved our Apple Sandwiches and Fruit Salsa with Cini Chips so much from last week that we are repeating them this week!

Grilled Chicken Breast Tostadas

We grill almost year around, but for most people the grilling season is wrapping up soon, so here's a yummy new grilling recipe for you to try.

Grilled Chicken Breast Tostadas (original recipe)

Serves 6
2 limes
3 tbsp EVOO
1 clove garlic, minced
3 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 1/2lbs)
1 cup sour cream
Bag of Mexican blend shredded cheese
6 6inch tortillas
olive oil

In a gallon sized ziploc bag, combine juice from 1 lime, olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and marinate at least 1 hour. While chicken marinates, mix 1 cup sour cream, with 1 tsp lime zest and 1-2tbsp lime juice to make a lime crema. Store in fridge until ready to serve. preheat grill to high. Grill chicken for about 4-6 minutes per side until juices run clear. Brush tortillas with olive oil and toast on grill for about 30 seconds per side or until nice and crisp. Remove from grill and sprinkle with salt. Slice cooked chicken breasts into slices and build tostadas. To build: Spread tortilla with guacamole then top with chicken, salsa, lime creama and cheese.

These were really good. We added cheese to the original recipe because I love cheese :-). Next time I think we will just go with plain sour cream, not the lime creama. Maybe we just had too much zest, but the next day the lime creama tasted sour when we had the leftovers. The original recipe has links to make your own tortillas, guacamole, and pico de gallo, but we just bought our own tortillas, our favorite quacamole (Wholly Guacamole) and used the salsa we had here. It was a busy day, so we needed something that would be quicker to make, and we shaved some time by using some store bought stuff. I also put the chicken marinade together while eating my lunch, and it tasted amazing! We served it with a side of spanish style quinoa but you could also serve it with some Texas baked beans, or queso dip and chips or whatever you favorite Mexican side dish is. Definitely a keeper.

Cucumber Wraps

Adapted from this recipe

Cucumber Wraps
Prep Time: 10 mins
Servings: 1
1 sun dried tomato 10in tortilla
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
6 slices cucumber
2 tablespoons alfalfa sprouts
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tomato, sliced
1 leaf lettuce
1 ounce pepperoncini, sliced

Spread tortilla with cream cheese. Arrange cucumber slices in a single layer. Cover with sprouts, then sprinkle with oil and vinegar. Layer tomato slices, lettuce, and pepperoncini.

This was really good. It was also pretty quick and easy to make. It was a bit watery because of the cucumber, so definitely not a meal to eat in the car. It is light, but pretty filling. We served ours with sunchips.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tasty Tuna Burgers


This is a repeat recipe for us. We make it every other week or so. It is really good. And I don't like tuna, so me saying its really good means something. Super easy too. Just put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well, make patties, fry patties. Takes about an hour, but only because it recommends you let the patties sit in the fridge for 30 mins before fry to help them stick together better.

Instead of buns we have served this on those thin buns as well as on ciabatta bread and english muffins.

You could even substitute can chicken for the can tuna. We use this sweet chili sauce we found at the store and plain ole hot sauce in it. If you want to spice it up, add some minced jalapeno as well. If you don't like dill, it is still great without it. Other items you could add to stretch it more is corn or shredded carrots.

We usually just pair this with french fries or baked chips and a piece of fruit. It tastes good the next day for lunch too. Highly recommend this one.

Apple Sandwiches


Slice and core and apple. Soak apples in lime juice to keep from browning (only necessary if you aren't eating them right away). Spread one side of an apple slice with peanut butter. Top with Granola and Chocolate Chips. Take another apple slice and spread peanut butter on one side. Put peanut butter side down on top of other apple. Enjoy!

Got this off Pinterest. Pretty simple. If you don't have an apple corer (don't use a slicer/corer because you want to keep the skin) then I found a cute idea to use the mini cookie cutters. Slice the apple then use the cookie cutters to take our the centers.... extra touch kids will love. These are pretty simple and super good. What's not to love- apples, peanut butter, granola, chocolate. Takes like 5 mins to make. We are having these for a snack tomorrow too, so we put some lemon juice on the apples to keep them from browning... I will let you know if they last. If not its a good after school snack or weekend snack.

They got a little brown, but not too bad. I am definitely a fan of these!

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Orzo

This is a variation of this recipe.

We substituted Orzo for the Orecchiette because it was what we had and we love orzo.

It wasn't bad. I personally didn't care for it, but I am not a fan of broccoli. The rest of the fam thought it was great. Pretty easy to make, but goat cheese is a more expensive cheese here, so this could cost a little more than most side dishes. Doesn't take too long to make... the orzo takes about 20 mins, so get that started right away. The chili flakes really made this a zesty meal, so make sure to pair it with something mild. We paired ours with tortellini, but next time we will probably pair it with some chicken so we don't have so much pasta in one meal.

Zucchini Spaghetti


This was pretty good... better than I expected. Pretty easy and doesn't take much time either. The part that takes the longest is slicing the zucchini.

Some points:

-make sure you really drain the zucchini... the moisture makes the already runny dressing even more runny.
-have a good mandolin slicer....ours isn't that good and to get it to cut the zucchini all the way through you have to really use a lot of pressure.... and with that comes the not so fun part of our night... I was putting so much pressure on the zucchini that I have julienne width sized cuts on my right palm and it hurts something fierce. Of course, if we could find our guard that probably wouldn't of happened.
- the dressing is pretty runny. We used half and half instead of light cream, because we couldn't find light cream at any of the 5 stores we tried.... We are thinking next time to try heavy cream or maybe even sour cream to thicken it up more. I am hoping that our leftovers we are having for lunch tomorrow will have more flavor because it has been marinating in the dressing all night. We shall see.
- we also couldn't find fleur de sel so we just used some sea salt and it tasted good.

We paired this with some plain old salt and pepper baked chicken and it was a great meal. We had some fruit yogurt for desert.

This meal was easy and fast to do and there were very few dishes used. I think this meal is a definite repeat.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fruit Salsa and Cini Chips


As mentioned, we have 2 snacks a day. We wanted to try some new snacks this week, so this was a recipe I found on Pinterest.

First of all... YUMMMMMM!!!

Let's talk about the salsa first...This is wonderful. Love the different fruits it uses in the salsa, and it is super easy to make. Cut up the fruit, stir in the other ingredients, chill and your done. After we let it chill, we divided it up into individual servings and froze them. We will take them out of the freezer the night before when we back up the next day's meals. I hope it tastes as yummy after its been frozen as it did today, because then we can make big batches of it and freeze it and unfreeze as we need it.

The cini chips... are wonderful too. I mean it. It takes a little longer than the salsa to make, but totally worth it. We used the big (10"? burrito size) plain flour tortillas. I sprayed the cookie sheet first, because I was worried they would stick. Then followed the directions. Yum...the first batch didn't even make it to be divided for this week's snacks.... For the second batch I put the spray and cin/sugar on both sides to give it extra flavor and they were fantastic. One thing I will caution... don't forget to use the spray again after the cini/sugar, otherwise the cini/sugar doesn't all stick to the chip.

We had been talking about getting ice cream today and dh and dfil both said they tasted better than DQ ice cream. These chips would be great by themselves too... A nice, healthier snack. Would be good on the side of homemade yogurt and/or ice cream too.

Breakfast Burritos


I love meals that you can freeze and reheat later. They fit our families different schedules wonderfully. I got this recipe off Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it.

However, I am not sure it worked for us this time. This is one we will have to retry, because I love the idea and it sounds amazing.

Had some problems this time... First of all, make sure you get flour tortillas, my dh and dmil got corn and they just didn't work as well. Also, make sure you get soft taco size tortillas (8 inch i believe). They got the tostada size and they were just to small to stuff so we ended up making breakfast quesadillas instead. And since the quesadillas took up more room on the cooking sheet, i tried to layer them with foil and they just didn't flash freeze well enough and they were a pain to individually wrap. However, they look yummy.

These weren't too bad. I think they would taste better if we had used the flour tortillas. And they needed more cheese on them. I really didn't put that much because dh complains I use too much cheese. but more cheese would of held them together more. We will defintly try and redo these at some point.

** we have re-tried this recipe and it worked great with flour tortillas and we used a little more cheese, which held them together wonderfully.   These are working great now.  We have been wanting more home-cooked breakfasts but don't have the time to cook every morning.  I can just pull these out when I pack the lunch boxes the night before and they are ready to be zapped in the morning.

Menu 9/2-9/8

I am only posting the items that come from recipes. Some of the things on our menu sometimes are store bought items (like cereal, yogurt, granola bars, deli sandwiches etc.)

Breakfast items:
Breakfast Burritos

Lunch/Dinner items:

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Orzo
Grilled Chicken Breast Tostadas
Spanish Style Quinoa (we are making this again next week so I will post something about it then... I already got next weeks menu and recipes together and getting the recipe to write about would require me going upstairs and waking everyone up...)
Zucchini Pasta
Tasty Tuna Burgers
Zucchini Soup (this got omitted because we needed a leftover night to clear the fridge)
Cucumber Wraps

Fruit Salsa and Cini Chips
Apple Sandwiches

It startes

For those of you that don't know us that well, let me give you some background on this blog. In our family we cook 95% of our meals and snacks. It started because
1) it's cheaper
2) we both need to lose weight, so this is a way to better know what's in our food and
3) it gives us time to spend together

Because we cook majority of our meals, we are always on the lookout for good recipes. And we have a lot. But it's one thing to collect recipes, it's another to try them. With creating this blog, my hope is that it will help us to try new things.

Every Wednesday our menu for the next week (with the menu it goes Friday to Thursday) is created. Thursday is grocery shopping day. We do the shopping on Thursday because our local farmer's market (Sappington Farmer's Market) does $10 off $50 dollars and the local grocery store (Shop N save) does the same thing once a month. So we save a little bit.

We usually do 3 smaller meals a day plus 2 light snacks. It has worked out pretty good. My husband has lost about 30lbs just changing food. Maybe more, we haven't weighed ourselves in 2 months. So it's working.

We also have fairly busy lives. Right now we live with hubby's parents (I lost my job a few months ago and so we couldn't afford our apartment anymore). And my in laws eat the same food we do. Which means 4 adult schedules to manage. The 3 of them work. My father in law works the early morning shift, so he is not home for breakfast during the week, so whatever we choose for breakfast has to be something he can take with him or that he can easily make. My mother in law works during dinner one night a week, so dinners have to be mobile or easy reheated. My husband works 2 or 3 days a week, different shifts and will have school 2 days a week starting in a week, so he needs stuff he can take with him. Since they are usually at work during snack time, snacks have to be easy. I also have school 2 nights a week, so some meals have to be made ahead of time. Since we are all on different schedules, we usually double the dinner recipes and the extras become lunch the next day. Snacks are usually finger foods so they can eat them at their desks. And some of our meals have to be made a day ahead of time. And since we are so busy, meals can't take a long time to cook.

Each week I am going to post our menu and then when we cook a new recipe, I will post the recipe and our opinion of it. Hopefully it will provide you with some new, fairly fast simple meals to try with your own family.

Feel free to post some of your favorite recipes for us to try, please include links to the recipe or post all the instructions and ingredients. And if you try one of our recipes, please let us know your opinion as well.

Recipes you probably won't find us cooking:

Anything with oranges or alot of citrus... I am allergic.
Mushrooms: Mother in law gets sick
Pepperoni: Husband gets bad heartburn.

Other than that, we are up to trying almost anything once.