Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu: November 29-December 5

We are all feeling better and had a wonderful time with family for Thanksgiving. It was nice to get away but it is good to be home! I have a pick up this week for a grandmother's dress and a wedding gown fitting to do as well, so I will be trying to keep things simple for meals.

  • Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies
  • Grilled Chicken Salad - Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, cheese, carrots, boiled eggs, etc.
  • My MIL is making Chicken Taco Soup on Wednesday. :o) I will also be making up a pan of Zucchini Brownies for our Ladies Christmas Party at Church.
  • Pork Roast, herbed brown rice, and steamed broccoli
  • Breakfast-for-Dinner - Egg Bake, fresh bread, and fresh fruit
  • We may go to a Christmas party on Saturday.
  • Roast Beef Sandwiches, baby reds, and a raw veggie tray
Here is the Master List if you need a few other ideas for dinner this week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Menu: November 22-28

The kiddos and I all ended up with a stomach bug this week and so I actually didn't end up cooking at all. We had a bunch of leftovers in the fridge so that's what we had.

This year we are celebrating Christmas at Thanksgiving with my side of the family as everyone will not be able to get together at Christmas. It will be a busy Monday and Tuesday for me getting things together for Christmas and I've also got a wedding gown fitting.

Dinners will probably consist of either leftovers, sandwiches, or I have a few meals in the freezer. Knowing all of this, I am including a list of the foods that I will be bringing/making for Thanksgiving week with my family. I have three sisters so we will each be taking a different dish for each day.
  • Turkey - I am in charge of making the turkey this year and I am thinking about trying a new Weight Watchers recipe that I discovered. I will try to post the recipe sometime Monday or Tuesday.
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (made from the turkey drippings)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Friday, we will be in charge of:
  • Saturday, I will be in charge of making the cinnamon rolls, which I will make up on Friday night and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our Anniversary Present

The hubby and I have been talking about getting a really nice Cuisinart Food Processor for quite awhile. We kept watching and waiting for them to go on sale and then decided that we'd wait until Christmas to get one for ourselves. One of my hubby's co-workers will give him these flyers for estate sales that his parents run. A few weeks ago, the hubby was reading one of these flyers and saw that there was a 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor for $50. He talked to his co-worker about it and said that if it was in good shape we'd take it. We figured that it would be a good anniversary gift for ourselves as we would both use it.

Almost week after our anniversary the hubby brought the new food processor home. It was love at first sight for me. The food processor had barely been used even thought it probably over 5 years old! I got to use it the other night when grating carrots and apples for my Harvest Apple Muffins. I loved it even more after using it. As many of you may know, I absolutely love my KitchenAid mixer and I have to say I think I love the new food processor just as much! My hubby sure picks the best gifts, he's such a wonderful guy. :o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu: November 15-21

This week we'll be spending some time with my family so I won't be cooking a whole lot.

  • Pork Roast, brown rice, and steamed broccoli - I think this may be the only meal that I am cooking this week. (Thursday)
  • I made Jambalaya ahead of time to use for lunch Sunday, but my uncle and aunt ended up being in town and took us out for lunch. We will be eating the jambalaya for dinner on Monday night.
  • Some friends of ours asked us out to dinner at Christianos on Tuesday night.
  • Wednesday, we will probably be eating dinner at my MIL & FIL's house. 
  • Friday-Sunday we will be spending time with my family.
I know this doesn't really help anyone else out, but here is the Master List if you need a few ideas for dinner.

Friday, November 12, 2010

KitchenAid Mixer Deal at Kohl's

The hubby bought me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas almost 4 years ago and, as many of you know, I LOVE it! If you are in the market for a stand mixer or looking for a good Christmas gift idea for your wife then you'll want to check this out. A friend posted this link on Facebook and I just couldn't resist sharing it here on the blog.
Kohl’s: Amazing Deal on 4.5 qt Kitchenaid Mixer (Beats Black Friday Pricing)
BY CHRISTY ON NOVEMBER 11, 2010 had the KitchenAid® Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer on sale for only $199.99, but if you use the coupon codes that are available you can score an amazing deal in conjunction with the mail in rebate and FREE Kohl’s Cash. Your final price can be as low at $103 (+ tax).   You will need to purchase the mixer by November 15th in order to claim the rebate.
Kohl’s Cardholder Deal
KitchenAid® Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer 199.99
Use the code HOLIDAYGIFT for 30% off = 139.99
Shipping is FREE, but there is a $3.25 surcharge you will have to pay
Pay today = 143.24 (+ your states sales tax)
Get $20 back from Kitchenaid mail-in rebate
Brings price down = 123.24
Plus, earn $20 in Kohl’s cash ($10 for every $50 you spend)
Final Price = 103.24 after coupon codes, rebate & Kohl’s cash
**You can earn an additonal $10 in Kohl’s cash if you spend $10 more to get you over $150

Non-Cardholder Deal
KitchenAid® Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer 199.99
Use the code EXTRA20 for 20% off = 159.99
Shipping is FREE, but there is a $3.25 surcharge you will have to pay
Pay today = 163.24 (+ your states sales tax)
Get $20 back from Kitchenaid mail-in rebate
Brings price down = 143.24
Plus, earn $30 in Kohl’s cash ($10 for every $50 you spend)
Final Price = 113.24 after coupon codes, rebate & Kohl’s cash

This is a super deal considering you can pick one up on Black Friday at Sears for $199.99, which has a mail in rebate of $50, making the final price $149.99.   With the Kohl’s deal, you pay less and you don’t even have to leave your home!
**The Kohl’s cash you earn is based on your total after discounts, but before any tax or shipping charges.

Harvest Apple Muffins

I have been wanting to attempt an Apple Oat Muffin or Harvest Apple muffin for over a month. I've never had one before but thought the combination would be really good. I finally found a couple of recipes that I will use as a base and then edit them to my own taste. Here are links to the two recipes that I used for reference - Apple Oat Muffins (Good Housekeeping) and Apple Oat Muffins (Hola Jalapeño blog). If you decide to make either recipe without changes, let me know what you think of them, but here is my version

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parmesan (Herb) Bread

I used the Best Bread Machine Bread recipe from and then made a few changes. It turned out to be so delicious! Make sure you follow the steps exactly.
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package yeast(or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • butter
  • Optional ingredients:
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the oil, flour, cheese, (herbs), and salt to the yeast. Select Dough setting, and press Start.
  3. At the end of the final cycle, remove from bread machine to a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seams to seal. Spray two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Place dough in pans, cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place bread pans in oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Baste with a small amount of butter.
Parmesan (Herb) Bread shown alongside a bowl of my Chicken Tortellini Soup.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creamy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole

I love a good chicken and rice casserole but most of them call for a can of condensed cream of something soup, which has a lot of sodium in it. Last night I decided to come up with my own version of this without using a cream soup for the base. Here is what I came up with and it was so delicious!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of low-sodium chicken broth (roughly 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (you can use white rice, just change up the cook time)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2 cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook chicken in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add rice, broth, and seasoning. Bring to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes.
  2. Toss broccoli florets and milk into saucepan with rice and chicken, stir and cover. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Top with remaining cheese and leave over heat for 5 minutes. Once cheese is melted you are ready to serve.
I serve a nice side salad along with this dish.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's here!

I am very excited that the part for our oven came in the mail today! I'm hoping that the hubby can get it installed without any problems tonight so that I have a working over by tomorrow night so that I can start using it again. As much as I would enjoy attempting to make roast chicken in my slow cooker, I really like my recipe for oven roasted chicken.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu: November 8-14

I still don't have a working oven, so most of the meals this week will be either slow cooker or stove-top.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Flavors of Fall" Pork Loin Roast

I am still not able to use my oven so I had to come up with an alternate to roasting my pork loin. I decided
to slow cook the pork loin in my crock pot, then transfer it to a roasting pan and broil it for a bit to add the nice "crispy" layer that roasting would have provided.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Today I went to roast some butternut and acorn squash to put in the freezer for future use in breads, muffins, etc. I had my squash all cut up and on the pans, popped them into the oven and turned it on. I then left the room to attend to one of my munchkins. I can back to check on the progress of the squash about 30 minutes later (and to make lunch for all my kidlets) only to discover that my oven was not "firing" up (it's a gas range). I tested the broiler and the stove top to discover that they were working just fine. After some searching on the internet, I came to the conclusion that the ignitor must be causing the problem. Until I have the hubby take a look at it and decide on a plan of action, the menu may get a little switched around for the next week or so. Looks like I'll be doing some crockpot, grilled, and stovetop meals for a bit. I am currently testing out how to "bake" squash using only the broiler... I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Homemade Lasagna

When I was a kid, Lasagna was reserved for occasions that were a little more on the special-side, mostly because it took so long to prepare. I have always loved the way my mom made it and I continue to make it pretty much the same way.

  • 1 lb. 85%-90% lean ground beef, ground venison, or even ground turkey/chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 quarts tomato sauce
  • 1 4 oz can mushrooms or 1/2 cup fresh, optional
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 box lasagna noodles (I never use up the whole box)
  • 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese (I'm using fat free)
  • 5 oz shredded Parmesan
  • 1 carton cottage cheese or Ricotta cheese (I'm using fat free)
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic.
  2. Add tomato sauce, mushrooms, and herbs, stirring until well mixed.Simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan; repeat for 2 more layers. Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted.