December 18, 2010

Menu: Dec 19 - 25

Sunday: Grilled chicken salads
Monday: Lasagna
Tuesday: Lasagna
Wednesday: Fish sticks, tots, and mixed veggies
Thursday: spicy chicken and rice with broccoli
Saturday: bacon, biscuits, and fried eggs
Steaks, baked potatoes, corn

No menu for next week - visiting family! :)

December 12, 2010

Menu: 12/12 - 12/18

Sunday: Spaghetti squash with chicken parmesan
Monday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Wednesday: southwest chicken sandwiches and sautéed zucchini
Thursday: quiche
Friday: spaghetti
Saturday: Out to eat/Menu Make up day

Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400*. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven.

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November 29, 2010

Menu: 11/29 - 12/11

Nothing exciting. Almost everything is out of the freezer from the meals I made while pregnant. Still working on trying to get a routine going during the day and cooking is lower on the list than the baby and cleaning the house (such a sad reality!). 

Menu: Nov 29 – Dec 4
Monday: Leftover turkey and dressing with baked sweet potatoes
Tuesday: Pancakes
Wednesday: Dinner with Santa on base
Thursday: Baked chicken spaghetti and roasted brussels sprouts
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Wild Game Dinner out in town

Menu: Dec 5 - 11
Sunday: Hamburgers, mac and cheese, and sautéed zucchini
Tuesday: Beef ravioli in tomato sauce
Wednesday: Fish sticks, mixed veggies, and tater tots
Thursday: turkey chili
Friday: Mini meatloaves, sautéed squash, and au gratin potatoes
Saturday: White Elephant Potluck

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Crescent Rolls

Adapted from BH&G

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup melted butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, egg, salt, and half the flour. Beat until smooth. Add in melted butter and remaining flour and continue mixing. No need to knead. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle. Cut each circle into 12 wedges (like you're cutting a pizza). Roll each wedge up from the wide end. Place each roll on a greased baking sheet. Once done, cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour).
Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes.

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November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Week!

It's one of my most favorite times of the year! Lots of food and the Christmas season can start bright and early Friday morning. :D

We ended up having friends surprise us by bringing us dinner last Thursday evening. We ate that for two nights, so I just continued with the menu after that. I did end up taking meatballs out of the freezer last night and eating that with this tomato sauce and pasta. Very yummy!

Tomorrow we're having lunch with friends. I'm bringing a homemade pecan pie and crescent rolls. If they turn out great, I'll post the recipes later this weekend. If they don't get rave reviews you'll never hear about them again. ;)

As always I'm still making our own turkey this weekend. There are just certain things that I only have this time of year, so by golly I'm still making them later this weekend!

Friday-Sunday Menu:
Squash Casserole
Potato Casserole
Dressing (okay, so this is a recipe I got from a friend last year)
Rolls (I bought them this year since I don't need or want 4 tins worth, but this recipe is THE BEST EVER!)
Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie recipe - I thought it was excellent and very easy. I liked the fact that it didn't require corn syrup since I never keep that around the house.

The crescent rolls I made were good. It was definitely easy to make and made a lot. Will share the recipe later (need to type it up).

My friend made this sweet potato casserole which I have to say is amazing. I loved the crunchy topping and didn't miss marshmallows one bit.

November 15, 2010

Back to cooking again (kinda)!

Aiden Alexander was *finally* born 11/2/10 at 10:23pm. He was 8lbs 7.9oz and 20 1/4"long (I think?! lol). He is a wonderful healthy baby!

This week is my first full week of me being completely by myself. Thankfully I made quite a few frozen meals during my extended pregnancy which is allowing us to eat well without me overdoing it (recovery is going slow for me).

Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie
Sunday: Leftover chicken pot pie
Monday: Beef ravioli in homemade tomato sauce
Tuesday: Chicken enchiladas and corn
Wednesday: Sausage and broccoli quiche
Thursday: Fish sticks, tater tots, mixed veggies
Friday: Mini meatloaves, mac n cheese, and carrots
Saturday: Out to eat!

October 31, 2010

41 weeks, 2 days...

That's right, I'm still pregnant! He's being evicted soon though. :)

I haven't made a single meal plan recently which is driving me nuts! Up until a few days ago I was still enjoying cooking, now it's too much for me. But I thought I'd share some of what I've been eating, some old and some new.

Eggplant Caponata with homemade baguettes
Red Beans and Rice
Spiced Beef Kabobs
Applesauce Pancakes
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
Pumpkin Cornbread
Homemade biscuits
Cheesy Lasagna Rolls
Zucchini Chips
Chocolate Chip Banana Spiced Muffins

October 17, 2010

It's that season again...

...that's right, pumpkin season! My favorite!

If you own a crockpot and a blender/food processor, MAKE YOUR OWN PUMPKIN PUREE!

Save those seeds and roast them! (Sorry, no recipe since I just roast with whatever strikes my fancy.)

Muggle Cookies

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Lattes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Soup

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cookies

And head on over to Give Peas a Chance. She has a lot of pumpkin recipes! :)

Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Irya's Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin (2 cups using homemade)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
½ cup water
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together with spices. Cream butter, oil, and sugars. Add eggs and pumpkin and mix well. Add water. Mix wet and dry ingredients slowly. Add nuts if using. Pour into 2 greased floured 9×5 loaf pans or one Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done at 350*.
For muffins bake for 15 minutes for mini muffin tins or 20-25 minutes for regular muffins tins. 

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Pumpkin Puree

There are several ways of doing this, but this is by far the easiest method I've found. If you can make your own puree, do it! Well worth the small amount of effort.

First, buy yourself a pie pumpkin. They're smaller than those that you carve for Halloween. :) Give it a good scrub.

Then cut the top off (don't take too much off!). Then cut the pumpkin in half. Using a spoon scoop out all the stringy goop and seeds (keep the seeds for roasting!).  Cut the pumpkin halves into 4ths or whatever you need to do to fit it in your slow cooker. Do NOT add water or anything. Just throw in the pumpkin chunks into the slow cooker and turn it on high. Ignore for a few hours. It's done when it's tender with a fork. Let the chunks cool for a bit before peeling the skin off. Use a food processor to puree the pumpkin in batches. You can use a blender, but you'll have to add some water.

You can store your fresh pumpkin puree in the fridge for a few days or freeze in one cup batches (freezer bags work great) in the freezer for several months.

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October 08, 2010

Menu-ish: 10/10-10/16

This will probably be my last attempt at a menu for a bit. Baby has already dropped and such, so it looks like I'll be a mommy very soon! :)

Easy Baked Tilapia (didn’t make from last menu)
Teryiki Madness spicy chicken copy-cat w/ broccoli (sorry, no real recipe)
Grilled hamburgers and zucchini with tater tots

October 03, 2010

Menu: 10/3 - 10/9

Homemade pizza! (did not get to make from last menu)

Fend for yourself

Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Turkey Sausage

Chicken taco salads



Baked Oatmeal w/ fruit added
Leftovers/menu make up day/out to eat

Not as adventurous this week. I made sure everything on the menu is something that DH can make if need be. I'm really slowing down lately. 

Soy Ginger Salmon

Original recipe here.

1 lb salmon filets
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup orange juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, pour in brown sugar, lemon pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, olive oil, and ground ginger. Heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice.
Place fish and marinade into a re-sealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight for best results.
Reserve marinade and bake salmon at 400* for 15-20 minutes (time depends on thickness) in a non-stick sprayed baking pan/dish.
While salmon is baking, put marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes, stirring occasionally. For a thicker sauce use cornstarch or a bit of flour while cooking.
Serve salmon with sauce on top.

DH, the salmon lover of the family, thought this was fantastic! I put my paranoia aside and cooked the marinade down unlike the original recipe. Glad I did! I also baked the fish rather than broil because I prefer to not have the smoke detectors in the house going off. :)

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Playgroup Granola Bars: Variation #2

Original recipe here.

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of raisins, semi sweet chocolate chips, nuts total
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x13 baking pan (any non-stick spray works great).
In a large bowl mix the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, salt, raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts.
In a separate bowl beat the egg and add to it the honey, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix well. Pat mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut into bars while it's still warm.

Updated recipe 10/19/10. Haven't tried other dried fruits in it yet, but will in the future! Love these bars. :)

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September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Latte

When you're 2 1/2 hours away from a Starbucks, you find a way to have your treat. I actually think this recipe is better than theirs since it uses actual pumpkin. Definitely healthier! :)

2 cups milk
1 cup strong coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pot and whisk. Heat until steaming hot on medium-high.

Makes 2 servings.

Top with whipping cream and a bit more pumpkin spice/cinnamon if that's your thing.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 TBL canola oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate chips optional

Combined all ingredients. Drop by Tablespoon-full onto sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Make 24 cookies.

These are cake-like cookies, but very delicious. You can cut down on the sugar some if 1/2 cup is too much for you.

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September 26, 2010

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Recipe originally from Thank you to "little miss sunshine" from operation homefront online for sharing!


16 oz. fat free sour cream
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1 tbls. fresh chopped cilantro (1/2 tbls. dried)
2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1 can Mexican Rotel
1 cup chopped onions
16 corn tortillas
8 oz. shredded pepper jack and colby cheese blend
1 can diced green chiles


In a saucepan, mix together sour cream, soup and cilantro. Heat through and set aside.

Combine the chicken, Rotel, onions and green chiles in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Heat until onions are transparent.

Warm the tortillas until flexible. Then, fill each tortilla with about 2 tbls. of the chicken mixture and about 1 tbls. of the cheese. Roll tortilla up and place seam side down in a 8x11 dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour over the sour cream sauce and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

Really liked this version! DH and I do not like sour cream, but had no problems eating this. I don't even think DH realized it had sour cream.

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Not-So-Plain Jane Sloppy Joes

Recipe is originally from Hungry Girl (I think).

1 lb. raw extra-lean ground turkey
5 small hamburger buns
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1 cup canned tomato sauce
3/4 cup canned no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry steak seasoning blend
dash salt

Spray a large pan with nonstick spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Add turkey to the pan. Spread the meat around in the pan to break it up a bit.
In a small dish, combine Splenda, salt and steak seasoning. Sprinkle this mixture over the meat, and continue to stir meat in the pan. Once the meat has browned, reduce heat to medium.
Add onions, peppers, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar to the pan. Stir, and then continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauces and paste to the pan and stir well. Reduce heat to low, and cook the mixture for an additional 5 minutes.
Toast the buns, if desired. Put 1/5th of the mixture on each bottom bun, and then finish off with tops of the buns. 

DH and I decided we like this Sloppy Joes a lot better than other ones I've tried. While we're not big sloppy joe fans, this is quite tasty. Will make this again.

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Menu: 9/26 - 10/2

I'm still enjoying trying out new recipes! :)

BLTs and frozen veggies

Not-So-Plain Jane Sloppy Joes on homemade buns (using artisan bread dough) with steamed broccoli

Chicken Squash Bake (really liked this recipe! Even DH who hates yellow squash wanted seconds!)

Homemade Pizza (spinach, tomato, and sausage for me, sausage for DH) (pizza dough recipe if you don't use artisan bread)

Soy Ginger Salmon, sautéed zucchini, drop biscuits


Leftovers/menu make up day/out to eat

Just a note: I'm due with my 1st child in 3 1/2 weeks! Don't be surprised when I suddenly stop updating on here (hopefully I have at least a couple more weeks left!). Do know that I will be back to posting afterwards. After all, I cannot survive without some sort of plan to make a grocery list from. :)

September 19, 2010

Menu: 9/19 - 9/25

Last week we ended up having 2 last minute events, so I didn't get around to making chicken parmesan. I also had pregnancy brain when shopping and somehow forgot the cheese and salsa for the quesadillas. We ended up having hamburgers, squash, and tater tots that night. *sigh* Hopefully this week will go a bit smoother. ;)

Chicken and cheese quesadillas
*Bake Playground Granola Bars (loved these!!! Can't wait to mess around with this recipe for some different tastes.)

Fend for ourselves (schedules don't mesh for dinner)

Chicken parmesan, whole wheat pasta, and steamed broccoli

Eggplant Caponata (loved this! I recommend cutting the recipe in half unless you're feeding a crowd) w/ baguette and baked paprika-parmesan chicken (good basic recipe; I upped the temp to 400* and baked for 30 minutes, and next time I'll bake it on a rack)

Tuna fish salad (grilled sandwich for DH) and squash

Homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, and bacon

Breakfast – blueberry pancakes (Tried a new pancake recipe which wasn't as great as this one that I tried last time, so I'm not going to bother posting the one I used.)
Leftovers/menu make up day/out to eat

September 15, 2010

Oatmeal and Apple Bars

Original recipe thanks to "Yogi" from the operation homefront online forum.

1 medium apple chopped
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 c. all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1-1/2 c quick cooking oats

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with vegetable pan spray. In a large bowl, cream butter with both sugars. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and oats; mix well. Stir in apples. Spray a 1 oz. cookie scoop or tablespoon with vegetable pan spray and drop dough on prepared pans. Bake 15-18 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

Makes: 2 dozen cookies

I used this recipe, but added some cinnamon. I then baked it in an 8x8 baking dish for double the time. Cut into bars and wrapped each individually. Made for soft, chewy bars that tasted divine! Works great for snacks. Next time I'll decrease the sugar a bit (it's rather sweet) and bake in a slightly larger pan though the recipe does work great as is.

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September 14, 2010

Menu: 9/12 - 9/18

Chili-rubbed steaks and pan salsa, sautéed zucchini, and baked sweet potatoes
*Bake oatmeal and apple bars for snacks this week

Chicken parmesan, whole wheat pasta, and steamed broccoli

Breakfast burritos w/ Italian sausage, tomatoes, eggs, jalapeños and tater tots w/ sautéed squash

Chili Pasta skillet made w/ ground turkey and corn added

Chicken and cheese quesadillas

Easy Baked Tilapia w/ bisquick drop biscuits

Leftovers/menu make up day/out to eat

September 11, 2010

Lime and Garlic Chicken Spinach Salad

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
 pinch salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
More lime juice to taste

Mix together the onion, garlic, pepper, salt, and 1/4 cup lime juice in a zip bag. Add chicken and marinate for at least a few hours. Grill and slice. Serve over spinach. Top with more lime juice to taste.

DH and I added chopped tomato, parmesan cheese, sliced carrots, croutons, and walnuts to our salads to make it a complete meal. Very yummy! The chicken was not too strong tasting, so using more lime juice as the dressing worked out very well.

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September 06, 2010

Menu: 9/7 - 9/11

Calzones with Italian sausage and spinach

Baked Spaghetti Squash
-I cooked spaghetti squash as normal. In a baking dish I layered a thin layer of spaghetti sauce, half the squash strands, a layer of mozzarella cheese, rest of squash, and rest of sauce. I topped with a little more mozzarella cheese and shredded parmesan cheese. I baked until bubbly. It was really good. Got DH approval which is great since he usually hates meals without meat and is not a big fan of spaghetti squash. Can't wait to experiment with this more!

Baked Dijon Salmon Filets, steamed broccoli, and steamed rice
Salmon Review 9/9 - Okay, I made this tonight. Will not make again. While not horrible, it wasn't great. More mushy on top despite being put under the broiler. There are much better ways to cook salmon.


Breakfast – Cinnamon Twists with leftover Brioch dough* (the twists were amazing and easy! Recipe can be found in the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)
Leftovers/menu make up day/out to eat

At some point this week I'm going to try Apple and Pear Coffee Cake and Oatmeal and Apple Bars.

*Brioche dough is the basis of the Apple and Pear Coffee Cake and comes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

August 29, 2010

Hotdog Buns

For those that love the ease of making artisan bread like me, don't forget that you can make buns out of the doughs too! I've made plenty of hamburger buns, but since we rarely eat hotdogs I hadn't made hotdog buns before today. Homemade buns made the bratwurst amazing. So much better than store bought!

For those that need step by step instructions, check out the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website blog. They've also got hamburger buns on there along with a lot of videos and other ways to expand on what's in their books.

August 28, 2010

Menu: 8/29 - 9/6

Bratwurst and cooked carrots (did not eat from last menu)

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs, spinach side salad

Southwest Chicken Sandwiches and steamed broccoli


Hamburgers, cooked carrots, and pasta side

Grilled Chicken Salads

Cinnamon Rolls (I'm being lazy, they'll be store bought lol)
Leftovers/menu make up day/frozen meal/out to eat

BBQ with friends

Ribs, sliced grilled squash, drop biscuits, and mac n cheese

Nothing exciting this menu. Just cooking a few things that we haven't had in awhile!

August 23, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Adapted from Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (4 oz) chopped mild green chilies, drained
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup corn, frozen
1 cup black beans (not dried)
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
crushed tortilla chips or sliced corn tortillas

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic, 1 cup chicken broth, and seasonings in a bowl. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken. Shred with forks. Return to slow cooker. Add corn and black beans. Add more broth if necessary. Check seasonings. Let slow cooker remain on high until soup is hot.
Top each serving with cheese and tortillas.

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August 22, 2010

Menu: 8/22-8/28

BBQ chicken pizza (slightly adapted for us) and spinach side salads
Mixed berry cobbler (I would post recipe, but I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.)

Chicken tortilla soup

Slow cooker pepper steak

Baked tilapia (still debating how lol), zucchini, herb pasta

Velveeta spinach and pasta dinner

Bratwurst, frozen veggie blend

menu make up day/out to eat

A couple of new recipes for me again this week! Will post them after I try them and make sure they're edible. ;)

August 18, 2010

Chicken for Tacos, Taco Salads, and Stuffed Burritos

This is a slow cooker recipe! Easily changed based on your needs.

chicken breasts (frozen or fresh, however much you need)
diced tomatoes with no salt added, 1 can (or 2 if doing a full pot worth)
taco seasoning, 1 packet (or 2 if doing a full pot)

Throw chicken (no need to cut it up) into the slow cooker. Combine taco seasoning with diced tomatoes. Pour on top of chicken. Cook on low all day or on high for about 3 hours (depends on how much chicken you have). Right before dinner, remove chicken. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Throw back into slow cooker and stir well.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
4 ½ teaspoons cumin
2 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons black pepper

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Beef Pot Roast

This is a slow cooker recipe!

2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless beef chuck pot roast
12 oz tiny new potatoes or 2 medium potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 onion cut into wedges
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Trim excess fat from meat. Thinly slice vegetables; places vegetables in a 4 or 5 qt slow cooker. Cut roast to fit; place on top of vegetables. Combine the 3/4 cup water, worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, and salt. Add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

For Gravy:
After meat is cooked, measure juices and skim fat. If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1 1/2 cups. Place juices in a pot. In a small bowl stir 1/2 cup cold water into 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. If desired, season with pepper.

I personally find that the vegetables cook too much if left in for the full time. I'd recommend waiting to add the vegetables (mostly potatoes and carrots) till half way through the cooking time (unless you prefer really soft falling apart vegetables).

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August 15, 2010


We finally moved into base housing at our new location last week. This is the first week that I've gone back to planning meals beyond the "what am I going to eat tonight?" and "is the commissary even open?" (I'm having trouble adjusting to a smaller base where things are not open everyday for long hours. lol) Having a kitchen again with all my stuff is completely exciting for me though! I have a ton more pantry space, but less counter space....and an old, scary oven (at least it's gas, which I love). I have one new recipe for this week too, I'll post it up soon. :)

Menu: 8/15 - 8/21

Sunday dinner:
Red beans and rice

Monday dinner:
Beef pot roast w/ sweet potatoes and carrots

Tuesday dinner:
Salmon w brown sugar glaze, steamed broccoli, whole wheat pasta

Wednesday dinner:
Chicken soft tacos, black beans, zucchini

Thursday dinner:
Spiced beef kabobs and grilled corn

Friday dinner:
Grilled chicken salads

Saturday dinner:
Out to eat/menu make up day

June 29, 2010

Baked Tilapia

Recipe courtesy of a member of the OHO forum.


Cooking spray
5 Tilapia fillets
1/4 cp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (or more to taste)
2 tbsp. Parsley
1/4 cp. Parmesan Cheese

Arrange Tilapia in bottom of baking dish (or sheet) coated with cooking spray. (single layered)
In seperate bowl; combine lemon juice, butter, garlic, worchestershire sauce, and red pepper. Pour over Tilapia.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 425 F for approximately 10 minutes or until tilapia is done. Sprinkle parsley over tilapia and serve.

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Menu: 6/21-6/29

See, I haven't completely stopped making menus. I just forgot to post this last one up. Been busy, busy, busy!

Monday Dinner: BLTs (spinach instead of lettuce) and steamed broccoli
Wednesday Dinner: delivery pizza
Thursday Dinner: Waffles and bacon
Friday Dinner: Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage (cut recipe in half), fried squash, homemade biscuits

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Cereal and fruit
Saturday Dinner: Friend’s birthday
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: Biscuits and scrambled eggs
Sunday Dinner: spicy chicken stir fry (Newman's Own has a good Asian dressing without the HFCS that's in Kraft)

Monday Dinner: Baked tilapia, whole wheat pasta, and zucchini (DH loved the tilapia! :))
Tuesday Dinner: beef ravioli and broccoli

June 10, 2010

Another purpose for the oh so wonderful cast iron skillet...

Storage is a premium in my kitchen. When I finally bought myself a wonderful cast iron skillet last year (a must have for any kitchen!) I was overjoyed. But I could not find a place to keep it but still be able to access it without bodily injury. One day a light bulb lit up over my head.

Magnets sticks to cast iron skillets.

I went out a bought a wall hook that can handle the weight easily. With the aid of a magnet I now have not only a great place for keeping my skillet but also a place to hang up my recipes as I'm cooking.

It's on the wall at a height that's easy for me to see and read from my main prep space. And now I don't lose my recipe under a mound of ingredients (which has happened multiple times). Or play storage games with the skillet.

May 26, 2010


Anyone have suggestions for quick, healthy meals other than salads, wraps, and pastas?

I need to branch out!

May 19, 2010

Menu: 5/18-5/22

Tuesday Dinner: BLTs
Wednesday Dinner: Tilapia, zucchini, and pasta side
Thursday Dinner: Beef Noodle bowl (I'm using a different Asian dressing though - one without HFCS)
Friday Dinner: Sloppy Joes (w/ ground turkey) and sautéed yellow squash
Saturday Breakfast: Waffles
            Lunch: grilled cheese w/ tomato
Dinner: Cajun Chicken Pasta (cutting recipe in half)

No menus for awhile after this due to TDYs, vacations, and moving! I’ll still post new recipes as I make them.

May 09, 2010

Pineapple Pork Chops

recipe from Nates

4 boneless center cut pork chops, 3/4" thick
1 8oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a baking pan with nonstick canola oil. Place pork chops in baking pan. In a small bowl, mix together pineapple, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Spread pineapple mixture evenly over the top of the pork chops. Bake for 50 minutes.

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Menu: 5/6-5/17

Thursday Dinner: chili rubbed steaks with pan salsa, zucchini, and pasta side (I forgot to defrost the fish that I planned on last menu. lol)
Friday Dinner: squadron dinner w/ First Friday
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: scrambled eggs/salads/artisan bread loaf
Saturday Dinner: Grilled chicken kabobs w/ squash, red bell pepper, and onion
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: cereal/chicken and spinach wraps
Sunday Dinner: spaghetti with ground turkey and zucchini added
Monday Dinner: southwest chicken sandwiches and steamed broccoli
No menu for 5/11-5/15 - we'll be enjoying beautiful San Diego with friends!
Sunday Dinner: frozen chicken and veggies meal
Monday Dinner: Spicy black beans and rice w/ chicken added

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April 29, 2010

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 (6 oz) boneless salmon filets
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Prepare the rack of a boiler pan with cooking spray.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place on broiler pan. Whisk together the brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon mixture evenly over the top of each filet.
Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

If your house has issues like mine (my smoke detector likes to go off when the broiler is on despite having a clean oven), you can easily cook this at 450* checking for doneness after about 12-15 minutes. May need extra time depending on thickness.

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April 27, 2010

Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs

Well, my version that we happen to love!

Chicken drumsticks (however many you want)
Olive oil
Sriracha hot chili sauce  (find it in your grocer's international food area)
Dry seasoning(s) of your choice (I used garlic and wine seasoning this time)
Gallon sized ziplock bag

Amounts are going to vary depending on taste and how many drumsticks you're cooking. Don't skimp on the oil since that helps so much in browning. I added the oil, hot chili sauce, and seasoning to the ziplock bag. Mixed well. Then I added the chicken and kept mixing till all was coated well. And since I don't like chicken skin period, I took all the skin off the meaty part before adding it to the ziplock bag. 

Cook on a baking rack on a sheet pan at 400-450* for about 30-45 minutes. If you don't have a baking rack, just turn them over halfway. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it's cooked all the way through. When I cooked these I also baked artisan bread in the same oven, so I had the chicken in at 450* for 30 minutes. Excellent!

April 26, 2010

Menu: April 25 - May 6

Sunday Dinner: country style ribs, corn, and au gratin potatoes
Monday – Friday Meals:
            1. Salmon with brown sugar glaze, steamed broccoli, and rice
            2. Spicy roasted chicken legs w/ frozen veggies and artisan bread loaf
            3. Tacos
            4. Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina with sautéed yellow squash and artisan bread loaf
            5. Chicken quesadillas
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Waffles
Saturday Dinner: out to eat/menu make up day
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: Cinnamon apple dutch baby
Monday – Thursday Meals:
            1. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
            2. Hamburgers on homemade buns and zucchini chips
            3. Pineapple pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn
            4. Baked tilapia and yams

April 16, 2010

Menu: April 16-23

Friday Dinner: Spaghetti w/ Italian sausage and zucchini
            Dessert: Blackberry Cobbler (but with less sugar this time!)
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: muffins and eggs
            DH request: Homemade salsa
Saturday Dinner: Homemade pizza
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: leftover muffins and pizza
Sunday Dinner: Spiced Beef Kabobs, veggie kabobs, and potatoes
Monday – Friday Meals:
            1. Tortellini with Fresh Vegetables
            2. Calzones
            3. Lettuce Wraps
            4. Cheesy chicken and rice casserole
            5. Leftovers/menu make up day/chicken nuggets, tater tots, and frozen veggie

April 09, 2010

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips

2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 425*. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Place zucchini rounds in a separate bowl with the milk.
Dredge slices in bread crumb mixture and planed on a sheet pan lightly sprayed with oil.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning over once at 15 minutes.

I was able to prepare these in the time it took to preheat the oven, which is great in my book! I found them to be really tasty. In the future I will probably experiment with different seasonings to add to the breadcrumbs to add more interest.

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April 07, 2010


I've tried a few other recipes that are similar, but I always come back to this version. It's the best!

3 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

Stir the dry ingredients together. Then rub the butter into the flour until it looks like cornmeal (fork will work or a few pulses in a food processor). Then add the milk and stir. Don't all it all right away incase you don't need it all (I almost always do though). The dough will be thick and sticky. Scoop out of a bowl and onto a floured surface. Do a couple of light kneads and pat it out with your hands to 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Flour a glass (or a biscuit cutter if you're fancy) and cut the biscuits out. Put on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with butter or oil if you want darker golden biscuits. Baked at 450* for 10-15 minutes.

The trick is to handle the dough as little and as lightly as possible, so no rolling and no heavy kneading!!!

For buttermilk biscuits, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and substitute buttermilk for the milk.

Lemon Chicken

14 oz boneless chicken thighs
2/3 tsp salt
2 tsps water
6 tbsps corn starch (or potato starch if you have it)
oil for frying (as required)
7 1/2 tbsps sugar
6 tbsps lemon juice
4 tbsps rice vinegar
6 tbsps water
2 tsps corn starch (or potato starch)

Score the chicken using the tip of a knife, making incisions in places where the flesh is thick. Put the chicken in a dish and sprinkle the salt and 2 tsps of water over the chicken. Can easily add other seasonings of your choice. Leave the chicken skin-side down to marinate for 10 minutes. Coat all of the chicken except the skin with the 6 tbsps starch.
In a separate bowl mix the sugar, rice vinegar, and 6 tbsps water. Add to that the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add the 2 tsps starch and stir thoroughly until it dissolves.
Line a deep dish with paper towels to absorb excess oil after frying. Put enough oil to deep-fry the chicken in the pan and heat it to 350*. Put the chicken in the hot oil and fry, turning it over occasionally. Fry the chicken for one more minute after it begins to float to the surface to ensure that it cooks all the way through. Place the chicken on paper towels and allow the oil to drain off. Leave it to sit for 2 minutes to let the juices settle.
Put the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. Place it over moderate heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, then remove it from the heat.
Cut the fried chicken in half lengthwise, then cut cut the chicken horizontally into 3/4" strips. Arrange the chicken on a serving dish and pour over it the hot lemon sauce.

We love this dish, but it's really the sauce that makes it so good. So if you're not into the fried chicken part, feel free to make the sauce and pour it over a healthier cooked chicken. :D

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Corn Soup

7 oz creamed corn (can also puree regular corn for this recipe)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
sugar (pinch)
1 beaten egg
4 tsps corn starch (or potato starch if you have it)
2 tbsps water

Put the corn starch in a small bowl and dissolve it in the water.
Put the chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the corn to the boiling stock and sir it in thoroughly. Season with salt and sugar. Bring soup back to a boil.
Stir the dissolved starch again. Add it a little at a time to the soup, stirring until it thickens.
Add the beaten egg a little at a time while the soup is boiling. Stir using large, circular motions. Once the egg has spread throughout the soup and has started to set, turn off the heat.

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Bolder Burgers (for 2)

1 pouch of StarKist Tuna Creations, Herb and Garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup non-fat ranch salad dressing
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Combine tuna, 1/4 bread crumbs, salad dressing, and egg in medium bowl. Mix well. Form into 2 patties; coat each side with remaining bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Recipe easily doubles.

DH did not like these, but he did eat them. I thought they were okay. Not great, but okay. It is different!

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