A day late and a dollar short

Well, maybe not a dollar short… but definitely a day late.

As I posted yesterday, I had a stomach bug thingy going on –  not sure if it was from something I ate or a virus, but I was pretty much horizontal and green most of the day.  Little Bit ended up coming home from school early with a virus of her own – of the snotty kind, not the tummy kind – so we spent the afternoon on the sofa together. Big Girl became our nurse and we had a quiet day.

I woke this morning feeling MUCH better (thankfully) and found that Little Bit was still under the weather. She’s spent most of the day on the sofa watching TV, playing on the computer and drawing pictures. I think it’s just a cold virus type of thing, so we’re holding off on the doctor for now.  No strep-like symptoms or fevers to be concerned about. She’s just puny. But she will be back to school tomorrow.

So, today, I was finally able to focus on figuring out what our menu for the remainder of the week without turning green.  Even though the thought of food was rather nauseating yesterday, it bugged the heck out of me that I had no menu plan in place. (Yes, I know, I’m a little uptight that way. I like my routines!)

I’m very happy to have my plan in place now… It frees my mind up so that I can worry about other things… (and trust me, there are a lot of other things to worry about!)

mealplanmonday_v2

  • Monday: BBQ Chicken tenders, homemade macaroni & cheese, grilled broccoli
  • Tuesday: homemade Salisbury steaks
  • Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, cous-cous and grilled veggies
  • Thursday: Beef Stew
  • Friday: Baked Potato bar w/ salad
  • Saturday: Homemade Mexican – tacos, nachos & fajitas
  • Sunday: Crock Pot “Baked” Chicken, mashed potatoes & salad
  • Monday: grilling out or Low Country Boil

I’m also craving my veggie chili, but it’s just been too darned hot for that yet. Hopefully it will cool off soon so we can enjoy some. I will eat it for lunch if nothing else. Winking smile

I guess I’m just going to be a day late all week – since today is Tuesday and I really should be posting my Project Life pictures today.  Oh well.

Hop on over to orgjunkie.com for some ideas for more menus.

Menu Plan Monday ~ 11 Oct

Happy Monday!!

I am so loving this fall weather. Makes me feel so alive and so much like baking and creating. 

Busy week in our house this week – the girls had a break from dance classes last week, but we’re back on the normal schedule this week so we will be busy. I’ve got some comfort foods planned and hoping to find time to do a little baking as well, but we will see.

menu plan monday

Here’s what’s on the menu for us this week:

  • Country Fried Steak & Gravy
    I use cubed steaks for this and cook them low & slow on the stove for about an hour. Makes a really tender steak. I’ll serve with some mashed potatoes and veggies.
  • Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
    This is one of Big Girl’s favorite meals and comfort food for me. I make it the easy way – I use Paul Newman’s Garlic Alfredo sauce (I watch for it when it’s on sale and stock up) and whole wheat noodles.
  • Sesame chicken bites
    One of my go-to easy recipes that the kids love. I’ll serve it with some baked french fries and fruit.
  • Salmon Croquettes
    SuperMan loves the leftovers for breakfast sandwiches.

And, well, I don’t know what else.  I’ll see where the week takes me, I guess, but this gets me started. I’ll probably toss in some chili or a crock-pot meal in the mix but I will wait to see where the week’s agenda goes.

I hope you have a great week! Check out other menu plans over at orgjunkie.com.

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 4 Oct

I’m not going to be cooking much this week.  That is because I spent a lot of time cooking this past weekend. We had company all weekend and dinner guests Sunday night – I cooked several big meals and we’ll be enjoying the bounty of leftovers for a few days.  I love it when that happens.  I love cooking, so it’s not a chore to me, but it is really nice when you cook a little extra and can take a break – especially after a marathon cooking session.

Here’s what we have planned for the week:

  • Monday: Rotel Chicken Pasta Bake (leftover from Sunday night)
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti (leftover from Sunday lunch – may make this into baked spaghetti to mix it up a bit)
  • Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings (using leftover chicken from the 2 5-lb chickens I grilled this weekend)
  • Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan (using leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday)
  • Friday: BBQ Ribs & baked acorn squash

That should take us through the week quite well.  I have no idea what we will do Saturday night – SuperMan and I have plans and so the kids will probably do something easy like pizza.

What are you doing this week?  Any good recipes to share?
Join us over at orgjunkie.com for your Menu Plan Monday.

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Flying by the seat of my pants

My menu plan was out the window this week. Between travel over the weekend and the Labor Day holiday AND a raging cold, thinking about what to eat/cook this week was just beyond my capacity on Sunday or Monday.

So, I’ve been winging it.  Which is a little stressful, a lot more expensive, but is also blossoming my creativity. What can I cook with what I have on hand and without a trip to the fast-food takeout joints?Weight Watchers Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Tonight’s dinner?

Chicken Parmesan.

YUM.

I love Chicken Parm. It brings back memories from my (Italian) childhood. Lots of cheese, garlic, tomato sauce, and of course, chicken.

Today I tried a crock-pot recipe for Chicken Parmesan recipe. I checked out several “traditional” recipes and a few crock-style recipes and invented my own version.

One thing I did differently was that I did not bread my chicken. My grandmother may be watching from up above thinking this is a sacrilege but I was trying to eliminate the extra carbohydrates and I figured that was an easy way to do it. Besides, in the crock pot, the breading would’ve just turned to mush. And I don’t need bready mush – ever. 

I also didn’t make my traditional tomato sauce that I use for spaghetti and most anything else Italian I make.  (Grandma may decide to disown me now.)

I figured I was going to try the super-easy, super-simple method and see how it turned out. So, I just used an extra-large can of crushed tomatoes and seasoned them with some garlic, Italian seasoning and my Houston House Seasoning.

And, I used high-protein pasta.  I like Barilla Plus. They have an angel hair pasta, so that made the decision easy for me.  I like the fact that I’m feeding my family the extra protein and vitamins without the white flour and fillers in regular pasta.

The verdict?

Major yumminess.  And major easiness, too. A win-win as far as I’m concerned.

The kids loved it, too.

I served it with garlic bread and SuperMan will probably get a salad with his (when he gets home from work, that is)

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 4-6 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Houston House Seasoning
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic (I use diced garlic in the jar but you can press 2-3 cloves fresh garlic)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of celery seed
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound of angel hair pasta
  • Garlic Bread (you can’t eat this without it!)

Preparation:

  1. Season chicken breasts with Houston House Seasoning.
  2. In a large skillet, brown chicken breasts in olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, sugar, celery seed, about 2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning and 2 Tbsp of minced garlic.
  4. Add your chicken to the slow cooker.
  5. Pour tomato mixture on top.
  6. Set your slow cooker on low and let the chicken cook for 6-8 hrs.
  7. When you are ready to serve, boil your pasta water and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  8. While the pasta is cooking, place the chicken breasts in an oven safe dish and top with about 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture on each breast. 
  9. Sprinkle some of the cheese on top of the chicken.
  10. Bake in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.
  11. Serve the chicken on a bed of pasta that has been topped with about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce that is left over in your slow cooker.

And here’s a link where you can print your own copy.

 

And, as my grandpa would say… mangi!

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 30 August

Happy Monday, everyone!

This week will be an interesting one for us. SuperMan is going on a new work schedule and won’t be home until after 7 each night (boo!) which means that the girls and I will be on our own for supper most nights. This will be a challenge for me. What to cook that the girls will enjoy/eat and will still be appetizing for SuperMan when he gets home…

Here’s what I have planned for the week:mpm-1

  • Twice-baked potatoes with a salad
  • Chicken Parmesan
    This will be a new one to try on the kids. I don’t know if they will like it or not.
  • Steaks cooked on the grill with fresh veggies and buttered potatoes
    This is usually a SuperMan-cooked dinner. It will be interesting to see how I do cooking steaks.
  • Pizza Braid
    I saw this recipe last week when I was perusing other Menu Plan Monday posts. Have to try it.
  • Sloppy Joes with homemade french fries & fresh fruit
    Kid-friendly & fast – good for one of those nights we have dance classes.
  • Chicken Pomodoro
    I have had this on my list for two weeks and haven’t made it yet. Maybe this week?

 

What are you cooking this week?

Join us over at orgjunkie.com and share your menu plan!

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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 AllRecipes.com 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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What’s for Dinner?

Here’s one of my favorite go-to recipes for the nights that SuperMan is working late and it’s just me and the girls for dinner.

Sesame Chicken BitesSesame Chicken Bites

Yum.

My girls love them just like they are straight out of the oven. No sauces, ketchup or anything needed.

I make them with two gallon sized zip top bags.

I use one for the mayo base coat mixture.  The second is used to hold the breading coating.  Easy cleanup and easy prep. Love that.

I use flash-frozen chicken tenders and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  This makes the dinner such a snap to make!

Here’s the recipe.  I think it would also be great to serve at a cocktail party with a little honey mixed with horseradish for a dipping sauce.

Sesame Chicken Bites

1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup (apprx) sesame seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Houston House Seasoning
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Cut in bite-sized pieces)
(you can also use chicken tenders cut into pieces)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large gallon zip top bag, mix the bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Add a dash of Houston House Seasoning
  3. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard & house seasoning.  Pour into a second gallon zip bag.
  4. Drop chicken pieces into the mayo bag and toss to coat.  I usually let the pieces sit in the bag in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Drop the mayo-coated chicken into the bread crumb/sesame seed mixture and toss to coat.
  6. Place chicken nuggets on sheet pan that has been sprayed with oil.
  7. Bake at 425 for approximately 15-20 minutes (or until chicken is done and coating is lightly browned)

I serve them with homemade french fries, a little fruit and sometimes some yogurt. Quick and easy – and healthy!

You can print the recipe here.

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