Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I completely stuck to the meal plan last week--it helps being fully stocked up on groceries! On leftover night Thursday, we used leftover taco meat and leftover baked chicken to make quesadillas. Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--BBQ meatballs, baked potatoes, butternut squash
Monday--Chicken dinner (similar to chicken pot pie, but with biscuit topping)
Tuesday--Baked ziti
Wednesday--Cubed steak in the crock pot, mashed potatoes, veggie
Saturday--Chicken and rice

Baked Oatmeal

I adapted this recipe from

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
Handful of dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, egg, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla extract. Stir in raisins and dried cranberries. Spread into 8-inch square baking dish. (I used a round 9-inch cake pan--it was easiest to reach in the cupboard!)
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I adapted this recipe from

1 onion, chopped (I used about 1/2 an onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced (I didn't have any fresh garlic on hand, so I used some garlic powder)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes)
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy (I didn't have any hominy, I just added an extra 1/2 cup or so of corn)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (omitted)
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (I used leftover chicken from the previous day)
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado (omitted)
shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used cheddar)
chopped green onions (omitted)
  1. In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Use It Up Tip: Frosting

I make a conscious effort to use up leftovers before they have to be thrown out. My family is more likely to eat them, however, if they're re-purposed into something new instead of simply warmed over. From time to time, I post "Use It Up Tips," ideas for turning boring leftovers into something more exciting.

When I frost a cake or cupcakes with canned frosting, I never quite use it up. A great way to use it up is to frost plain cake donuts. Add sprinkles and you have a fun snack for you and/or the kids!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I finally did a major grocery shop last Friday, so I have some more options for cooking this week. Last week we had: Tuesday--Hubby and one kid were gone, so the rest of us had chicken noodle soup or squash ravioli; Wednesday--Turkey/Wild Rice Soup and Applesauce Muffins; Thursday--Pork roast, baked potatoes, green beans; Friday--Pizza; Saturday--Steak, roasted potatoes, corn and salad.
Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Foil-Baked Asian Chicken and brown rice
Monday--Tacos and Mexican Rice
Tuesday--Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie
Wednesday--Tortilla soup
Thursday--Leftovers or chicken nuggets
Saturday--Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Foil-Baked Asian Chicken

This recipe came from All You magazine (April 17, 2009).

8 tsp. olive oil
4 cups baby spinach
4-4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
4 tsp. teriyaki sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear off 4 10-inch squares of aluminum foil. Brush each square with 2 tsp. olive oil. Place 1 cup spinach on each square, slightly off center. Top with a chicken breast half and some mushrooms. Drizzle 1 tsp. teriyaki sauce over each portion; sprinkle with salt.

Fold each piece of foil over to cover chicken and vegetables. Crimp edges together tightly to seal. Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot. We had brown rice with this.

Applesauce Muffins

This recipe came from We ate them with our Turkey and Wild Rice Soup.

1 1/2 Cups of Unsweetened Applesauce (either store bought or homemade is fine--I used homemade raspberry applesauce)

1 cup white sugar (reduce if using sweetened apple sauce)

1 slightly beaten egg

1/3 cup melted margarine or butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the applesauce, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together. Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

I based my soup off of this recipe from

2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
2 cups water
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups turkey broth
1/3 cup shredded carrot (I cut my carrots in pieces instead of shredding it; I also used more than 1/3 cup--about 3-4 carrots chopped)
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (I used regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds (I did not have any slivered almonds, so I omitted these)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (I also did not have lemon juice, so I skipped this, too)
3/4 cup half-and-half cream (I used evaporated milk instead)


  1. Bring the wild rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender but not mushy, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, fluff the rice with a fork, and cook uncovered 5 minutes more. Set the cooked rice aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, and cook until it turns a pale yellowish-brown color, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the turkey stock until no lumps of flour remain. Stir in the carrot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, whisking constantly, until the stock is thick and smooth and the carrot is tender, about 2 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the wild rice, turkey, salt, pepper, and almonds. Return to a simmer, and cook 2 more minutes to heat the ingredients. Stir in the lemon juice and half-and-half; bring the soup almost to a boil, and serve hot.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I still haven't gone to the grocery store for a major shopping trip, just picked up some things here and there at the local (and expensive) store, so I don't have a complete menu until I make my grocery list and go shopping. Last week Thursday we had French Toast and scrambled eggs and Saturday we had Kids' Choice: chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and mixed veggies. Here's what we're eating (so far) this week--
Sunday: I made a turkey I bought around Thanksgiving when they were $0.39/lb. We also had mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing and rolls; we also had brownies for dessert.
Monday: Turkey Tetrazzini
Tuesday: Turkey/Wild Rice Soup
Wednesday through Saturday: TBD

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Use It Up Tip: Potatoes

I make a conscious effort to use up leftovers before they have to be thrown out. My family is more likely to eat them, however, if they're re-purposed into something new instead of simply warmed over. From time to time, I post "Use It Up Tips," ideas for turning boring leftovers into something more exciting.

One of my favorite way to use up leftover potatoes is to make fried potatoes as a side for another meal. I melt butter in a skillet, cut the potatoes into thin slices, sprinkle with dried onions and/or seasoning salt, and fry until crispy. I usually use baked potatoes (and often make 1 or 2 extra just for the leftover possibilities), but have used potatoes that have been cooked with meat, or boiled potatoes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Despite a sketchy plan last week, I stuck to my basic plan except for Saturday. Our something with hamburger: pizza burgers on day old buns leftover from Christmas. Something with chicken: Orange chicken breasts (from All New Joy of Cooking), brown rice, veggies. On New Year's Eve we had roast beef cooked with carrots and potatoes and steamed broccoli/carrots, with cherry crisp for dessert. We had chili on New Year's Day, and on Saturday we used the leftover chicken from Wednesday to make a chicken/stuffing bake that was on the back of the Stove Top box.
Here's what's up this week:
Sunday--French dip sandwiches made with leftovers from New Year's Eve.
Monday--Baked potato bar
Tuesday--Sausage and sauerkraut, fried potatoes, veggie
Thursday--TBD, depends on if I get to the grocery store this week, otherwise I'll dig in the freezer for something

Cherry Crisp

This was our dessert on New Year's Eve.

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup butter
1 can cherry pie filling

Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter until you get fine crumbs. Put half of crumb mixture in 9 x 9 pan. Spread cherry pie filling on top. Put rest of crumb mixture over pie filling and pat down.
Bake at 350 degrees of 30 minutes.

Taco Dip

A great dip recipe for any gathering of family and/or friends.

1 can bean dip
1/2 carton sour cream and same amount mayonnaise (About 2/3 - 1 cup each)
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning

Spread bean dip onto platter. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning and spread over bean dip. Top with tomatoes, green peppers, black olives, green onions and grated cheddar cheese. Refrigerate until serving.