Menu Plan Monday ~ 23 Aug

mealplanmonday_v2 Got lots going on this week.

So glad I have planned out my menus. We have dance classes on Monday/Wednesday and Friday this week, plus curriculum night/PTO on Wednesday night and a knitting session for me on Thursday evening.

Without the plan, I think we would devolve into eating a lot of junk and fast food. This way, I know my family is getting healthy food and I can control fat, protein, and portion sizes.  Not to mention we have great leftovers for lunches.

As you can see we’re back into the chicken routine.  I’ve been finding chicken thighs on sale at the grocery and substituting them for the breasts in menus where I can. They are juicier than breasts and easier for my tummy to digest. The rest of the family doesn't seem to mind, either.

Here’s what I have planned for the week:

I’ve included links to all the recipes since so many of you have asked me for them.  Most are mine, a few other folks’.  All are posted on so it should be easy for you to access and print.

Join us over at Menu Plan Monday on orgjunkie’s blog – you can get some great ideas for your own dinners and share what you’ve got planned as well!  There are some great recipes over there – I was picking up a few ideas myself this morning that may show up in my own menus in the next few weeks.


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Another one for the crock pot!

crockpotWe tried another new crock pot recipe this week.  It turned out very, very well.  Even the littlest of the household proclaimed it “yummy.”

I am really enjoying this new habit I’ve accidentally started. We’re trying out a new crock pot recipe every week. 

And you know what I am really loving about it? The fact that my kids come home from school and the house is filled with the smell of whatever is cooking in the crock pot. They are already hungry and they start asking what's for dinner right away. By the time dinner is ready, they've been smelling it for 2 or 3 hours and they can't wait to dive in!

It works great for luring picky eaters into trying something new. Hee hee.

I’ll continue to share with you the recipes that make the cut in the house.  The ones we reject, I will save you from. How does that sound?

And, since I’m going to be doing this, I am going to have to get better about remembering to keep my camera close by so that I can take pictures of the dish as I go.  I totally forgot again yesterday. Oops.  So, you will have to trust me when I tell you this turned out really well. I’ll do better next time, I promise.

Since I'm so slack, I scanned the picture from my cookbook so you would at least have an idea of what it looked like. I am not one to try a recipe if I haven't seen a picture, so I figure this is better than nothing. It's a little grainy, but you get the idea.

Pork roast
Here is the recipe:

Slow-Cooked Pork Loin

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (3-4 lbs)
1 tbs canola oil (I used olive)
1 med onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 c water
1 c unsweetened apple juice
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Houston House Seasoning

  1. Cut roast in half (I didn’t do this, mine was already in two pieces)
  2. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil.
  3. In the same skillet, sauté onion and celery until tender.
  4. Add roast and vegetables to slow cooker.
  5. In a small bowl, combine gravy mix & water.
  6. Stir in other ingredients and pour into crock pot.
  7. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  8. Skim fat from cooking juices; thicken if desired (I didn’t)

And here are the few things I did differently than the recipe.

  • I generously seasoned the roast with House seasoning before browning and again after I added everything to the crock pot.
  • I used 3 celery ribs. One seemed like it would be lonely in the crock.
  • I have a big giant thing of brown gravy mix (thanks Costco!) and so I used 2 tbs in what I made.
  • I poured a little of the gravy into the skillet to cook off the fond on the pan and then poured that into the crock
  • I poured the gravy onto each serving of meat as I fixed each plate. It was so good!
  • We served with mashed potatoes and veggies.

I am looking forward to “repurposing” the leftovers. Wondering if it would do well in some BBQ or maybe Brunswick Stew.  SuperMan has an awesome Brunswick Stew recipe. Maybe one day I will sweet-talk him into letting me share it here.

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy!

Yummy for Your Tummy

I tried a new recipe today – another crock pot recipe. I’ve told you I am big (*huge*) fan of the crock pot. I mean, seriously, why wouldn’t you be when it takes a cheap cut of meat and makes something scrumptious out of it with little to no effort on your part? 

And this was definite scrumptiousness.  SuperMan said it reminded him of something his mom would’ve cooked. High praise, let me tell you, and something I have never  heard with regards to my cooking in almost 20 years of marriage.

So, this one is worth trying out.  Ok?


I actually had both crock pots going tonight. I had the big one with a batch of tortilla soup that I had made earlier in the week and felt like it needed a little more “doctoring.” So, I added a can of enchilada sauce and put it back on to simmer for a while.  The little one had tonight’s dinner yumminess in it.


The recipe comes from a Taste of Home Slow Cooker recipe book.  It’s called “Beef in Onion Gravy” but I think that sounds way too bland for how this tastes.

Here’s the recipe, and my modifications are noted as well. (because I hardly ever cook anything exactly like the recipe, unless I’m baking)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used the low fat variety)
2 Tbsp Lipton Onion Soup Mix (I used the whole pack)
2 Tbsp Beef Broth (I used about 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 lb beef stew meat (I used 1 1/2 lbs)

  1. (I seasoned my meat using Houston House Seasoning and then browned it off in a skillet for about 10 minutes)
  2. In a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker, combine the soup, soup mix, tapioca, broth.  Let stand 15 min (I let stand while I browned the meat)
  3. Stir in the beef. (I also used about 1/4 cup water and deglazed the skillet and added that yumminess (the fond) to the crock pot)
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hrs (I cooked on high for 4 1/2 hrs)
  5. (While it was cooking I thought the gravy mixture was too gelatinous so I added about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water and mixed it in. )
  6. I cooked some egg noodles al dente and dumped them in the pot with the beef and gravy just before serving.

We served it with a salad. 

My 8 year old said, “Mom, when I first saw this I thought it looked gross. Then, I tasted it and it’s YUM!”  She proceeded to clean her plate.

So, kid-tested and hubby-approved.

I hope you give it a try and let me know how your family liked it!