Posted in Menu planning

Monthly Menu ~March 2011

Week of February 28

  • Monday – Dinner at Boy Scouts ~ We’re having a roast and spaghetti buffet-style dinner.  Yummo!
  • Family Favorite Meal – pinto beans and ham (already in the freezer), cornbread, raw veggies
  • New Recipe Meal – ham, hoppin’ johns, veggies
  • Ethnic Night – crockpot pepper steak with rice, fortune cookies
  • Easy Meal – Italian Beef Sandwiches (already in the freezer), chips, raw veggies
  • Meat and Potatoes – Pork roast, baked potato, veggies

Week of March 7

  • Family Favorite Meal -White Castle burgers, chips, raw veggies
  • New Recipe Meal – Italian chili, rolls
  • Ethnic Night – spaghetti with bolognese sauce, bread sticks, salad
  • Easy Meal – apple cinnamon pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon
  • Meat and Potatoes – cheddar brats, fried potatoes, veggies

Week of March 14

  • Family Favorite – homemade hamburger helper, veggies, biscuits
  • New Recipe – Left-Over Turkey Potpie (using left-over chicken), left-over mashed potatoes, rolls
  • Ethnic Night – Spaghetti carbonara, cheddar bay biscuits, salad
  • Easy Night – bacon and egg quesadillas (from $5 dollar dinner, Breakfast, and Lunch cookbook,  hash browns
  • Meat and Potatoes Night – chicken in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, green beans, Easy Rolls, or Buttermilk biscuits

Week of March 21

  • Family Favorite – pinto beans (in the freezer), cornbread
  • New Recipe – Bramble beans, veggies, cornbread
  • Ethnic Night – spaghetti with homemade sauce, crescent rolls, salad
  • Easy Night – sandwich buffet, chips, raw veggies
  • Meat and Potato Night – ranch chicken legs, pasta Roni, veggies

Week of March 28 (Spring Break for me)

  • Family Favorite Meal – spaghetti pie, garlic bread, salad
  • New Recipe Meal – slow cooker beef stew, biscuits
  • Ethnic Night – tacos, Spanish rice
  • Easy Meal – chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies
  • Meat and Potatoes – pork chops, side dish TBA, veggies
Posted in Eat at home ingredient spotlight, Ethnic, Main Dish, Mexican, Pantry Challenge, Recipes

Taco Crescent Bake

Another recipe I found on the Menus4Moms website.  It is easy to put together, especially if you use taco-seasoned ground beef that you have already cooked and then frozen.

My picky hubby was surprised with how delicious this recipe was and how it didn’t taste too taco.  He does not like some spices used in Mexican cooking, especially cumin.  As a result, I make my own taco seasoning so I can adjust the number of spices.  When I make the taco meat, I also adjust the amount of taco seasoning.

Taco Crescent Bake

Stars of the recipe:

  • A can of crescent rolls (I like the seamless one but the regular one
    works just fine.)
  • 2 cups of tortillas, roughly chopped, divided in 1/2
  • 1 pound of taco-seasoned ground beef
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (We love sharp cheddar here, but mild cheddar would be okay.)


  1. In a greased 9 by 13 baking dish, unroll the crescent roll and press onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides.  (If using regular crescent rolls, press all the seams together.)
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed tortillas over the crescent rolls.
  3. Next, layer the ground beef over the tortilla chips.
  4. Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and remaining tortilla chips.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  6. Serve plain or with additional sour cream or salsa.

This is linked up to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

Printable Recipe

Posted in DIY, Recipes

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

I like to make my own taco seasoning because I can adjust the number of spices.  I also feel better about knowing what exactly is in the taco seasoning.  Plus, I use very little taco seasoning when I make tacos because I have a picky hubby, especially with Mexican food.  A few years ago, I would rarely make Mexican cuisine at home.  Instead, I would go to restaurants to fulfill my cravings for Mexican cuisine.  I’m glad I can now make Mexican food at home.

Here is a recipe for Taco Seasoning that I found on the Copy Kat website.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
  • 6 tsp. chili powder
  • 5 tsp. paprika
  • 4 & 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 3 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne powder, optional


  1. Combine ingredients and store them in an airtight container.
  2. To prepare, brown 1 lb. of beef.
  3. Add 3 Tbsp. (I use about 1.5 Tbsp.) of seasoning and approx. 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Simmer until water is absorbed.
  5. Serve in a hard taco shell or tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Eat at home ingredient spotlight, Main Dish, Recipes

Sloppy Joe Pizza

Sloppy Joes on a pizza?!?!  Sounds weird, huh?!?!  Guess what, the taste is out of this world.  Hubby and I both enjoyed the pizza.

Last week, I made sloppy Joe’s for dinner one night and then froze the leftovers with a plan to use the sloppy Joe on a pizza.  I used store-bought pizza dough but feel free to use homemade dough.  It really does not matter.  Then treat your mouth to an unbelievable treat.

Sloppy Joe Pizza

Stars of the recipe:

  • Pizza dough (either store-bought or homemade)
  • leftover Sloppy Joes
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • one or two stalks of green onions


  1. Prepare the dough according to your recipe (if homemade dough) or directions on the package (store-bought).
  2. Spread sloppy joes evenly on the dough.
  3. Place cheddar cheese on top of the sloppy joes. Garnish the top of the cheddar cheese with green onions.
  4. Bake according to the recipe or directions.  (I baked mine at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.  My dough was a Pillsbury Thin Crust dough.
  5. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

This is linked to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

 Printable Recipe

Posted in Main Dish, Recipes

Orange Chicken

Thursday was the Chinese New Year. We are currently in the year of the rabbit. Anyway, I decided it would be appropriate to have a Chinese-type meal for supper to “celebrate” the new year. Since it had been on the menu for the previous week but had not been made, I decided to make it. Rachael Ray describes it as a “fake out” meal and a “make your own take out.”   The end result looks fancy, but it really is simple to make. Also, since it’s a “make your own take out meal,”  you can control what’s in it.

Continue reading “Orange Chicken”
Posted in chicken 1, Main Dish, Recipes

Chicken stew with parsley dumplings

I found this recipe about twoish years ago while watching the Food Network.  The show was Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller.  She had a lot of good ideas and recipes.  One of the best recipes I got from watching her show was a recipe for chicken stew with parsley dumplings which is now one of hubby’s favorite meals.  He typically does not eat dinner leftovers for lunch.  However, he will make an exception when I make this for dinner.

Chicken stew with parsley dumplings

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, about 2 cups
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (Sometimes I leave these out because hubby does not like mushrooms.)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used between 4 and 6 cups instead.)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, add the oil.
  2. Add the onions and carrots and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken and cook just until the chicken starts to brown, but is not cooked through.
  4. Add the mushrooms, peas, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.
  5. Add the chicken broth and set pan over high heat.
  6. Bring to a boil. Let simmer 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  8. Add buttermilk and oil and stir with a fork until mixture comes together.
  9. Using a large spoon or a small ice cream scoop (I use a cookie dough scoop.), drop 8 golf ball size (mold with your hands, if necessary) dumplings into simmering liquid.
  10. Cover pan and cook 5 minutes (no peeking!), until dumplings are puffed up and cooked through!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Menu planning

February 2011 Meals

To make it easier to menu plan, I decided to have five different themes during the week.  I’m not assigning specific nights for the themes.  When I finalize the meal plan for the week,  I will then assign the days.

Week of January 31

  • Ethnic night (Chinese New Year) – orange chicken over rice, vegetable egg rolls, fortune cookies
  • Family Favorite – veggie soup, rolls
  • Meat and Potatoes – ham and scalloped potatoes, veggie
  • Easy Night – pancakes and eggs
  • New Recipe Nightham and pineapple stir fry, veggies
  • Leftovers

Week of February 7

  • Ethnic night – bowtie lasagna, garlic bread, salad
  • Family Favorite – Skyline chili over spaghetti, cornbread
  • Meat and Potatoes – deviled chicken, pasta or rice a Roni, veggie
  • Easy Night – Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, French fries, veggies
  • New Recipe Night Beef Hash in the crockpot, rolls
  • Leftovers

Week of February 14 (Parent Teacher Conferences this week ~ Need 2 easy meals so that hubby can feed boys while I’m still at work.)

  • Ethnic night – chicken fried rice, fortune cookies
  • Family Favorite – chicken in the crockpot, buttered noodles. green beans (either Monday or Wednesday)
  • Meat and Potatoes – pork roast, creamed peas, green beans, baked potatoes
  • Easy NightSloppy Joes, potato chips, raw veggies (either Monday or Wednesday)
  • New Recipe Night – upside-down chicken and dumplings
  • Leftovers

Week of February 21

  • Ethnic night  -taco crescent bake, salad
  • Family Favorite – sloppy joe pizza, salad
  • Meat and Potatoes – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, roll
  • Easy Night Waffle House waffles, hashbrowns smothered, covered, and chunked
  • New Recipe Night  – swiss chicken, creamed corn, seasoned green beans, rolls
  • Leftovers