Do you Menu?

Menu Planning may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually one of the laziest things I've ever done. Since I started planning our meals for the week (and eventually the month) I've noticed some improvements in the way we eat and in the way I shop. Knowing what's for dinner not only saves time, it saves money and helps us eat healthier as well.

By planning out the week's meals I can make a more effective list for the grocery store and purchase only those items that we will need for the week. I make fewer impulse and duplicate purchases, and have practically eliminated the mid-week run to the grocery store—not to mention those impromptu take-out nights.

And if you display your menu where the family will see it, you'll never hear the words, "Mom, what's for dinner?" again!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash

1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (or equivalent amount fresh)
½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
tsp cumin
1½ tsp paprika
tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced (optional)
½ cup diced bell pepper
½ cup diced chopped onion
2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)

Cut squash in half. With a spoon scrape out seeds and stringy membrane. Lightly drizzle cut sides with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place cut side down on baking pan. (I lined mine with non stick foil.) Bake @ 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Let squash cool until it can be handled. Turn squash over and use a fork to shred it into "spaghetti" strands. (Mine yielded 2 1/4 cups.)

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic in remaining oil until vegetables are softened. Add squash and all remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to desired consistency. Sprinkle with cheese. Simmer covered until cheese is melted.

Serves 6

Monday, June 8, 2015

Au Gratin Potatoes

3/4 T butter
3/4 T flour
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
3 medium russet potatoes (about 6 ounces each), peeled and sliced thick

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cheese sauce: melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper; stir constantly with wire wisk for one minute. Add milk stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese to the milk mixture stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Place half of the potato slices in an 8 x 8 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Add half the cheese sauce.  Add remaining potatoes, top with remaining cheese sauce.

Cover pan with foil and bake at 375° for one hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil and place pan under broiler for one to two minutes to brown top if desired.

Served four

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Salsa Chicken

1 lb boneless chicken breast or tenders
8 oz jar of salsa
1 cup cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°. Place chicken in 9x9 glass baking dish; pour salsa over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until chicken is done (165° inner temperature.) Remove from oven, uncover chicken and sprinkle with cheese; return chicken to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve over cooked rice.

4 servings

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pepper Steak

1 lb beef, cut into strips (I use beef cubes)
1 small onion, cut into strips
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp beef crystals (or 1 beef bullion cube)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (more or less to taste)
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

4 cups hot cooked rice

Place all ingredients except rice in crockpot; stir to blend ingredients. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. Serve with rice. 

4 Servings.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers (I used red), chopped
1 med tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp italian season
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup instant rice
1 cup water
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet brown ground beef; drain excess fat. Add onion, green pepper, tomato, and spices; cook until onion is translucent. Add tomato sauce and water; bring to a boil. Stir in rice; cover with tight fitting lid and remove from heat; let sit 3 minutes. Top with cheddar; replace lid and let sit additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and liquid is absorbed.

Serves 4.

I like to serve this with a salad and garlic toast. Yumm!

For a "Taco Skillet" meal, omit garlic powder and italian seasoning; add 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ham & Bean Soup

1 ham bone, with meat
1 (16 ounce) package 15 bean soup (season packet discarded), soaked overnight
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 bay leaves
8 cups water

In 5 qt dutch oven combine the beans, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and water. Add ham bone (if there's not much meat on the bone you may want to add some additional diced ham). Cover with tight fitting lid and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for 6 hours.

Add salt after its finished cooking to taste. I didn't need to add any to mine as the ham was quite salty.

Serve with corn muffins or cheddar biscuits.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Honey Butter

1 stick butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey

In a small bowl, mix butter and honey together until well blended.
If desired, cover and chill until firm. Refrigerate leftovers.


Cream Cheese & Pickle Roll Ups
Easy Calzones/Hot Pockets
French Bread White Pizza
Grandma Kathy's Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Hot Crab Dip
Soft & Savory Breadsticks
Angie's Favorite Tuna Pasta Salad
Baked Potato Soup
Chicken Salad
Creamy Lettuce
Cold Taco Salad
Cucumbers in Sour Cream
Cyndi's Egg Salad
Grandma Linda's Tuna Salad
Ham & Bean Soup
Incredibly Easy Potato Soup
Mom's Classic Macaroni Salad
Mom's Mac & Cheese Lunch
Au Gratin Potatoes
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Easy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Mom's Fried Potatoes
Pop Pop's Green Beans & Potatoes
Quick & Easy Baked Beans
Simple Spanish Rice
BBQ Pork Sanwiches (shredded)
Breakfast Wraps
Catalina Chicken
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Beef and Broccoli
Cyndi's Chili Meatballs
Cyndi's Un-Stuffed Peppers
Deep Dish Dinner Pizza
Grammy's Fried Chicken
Hamburger Pizza
Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
Maryland Crab Cakes
Meatball Sub Casserole
Mom's Favorite Meatloaf
Mom's Secret French Toast
Pepper Steak
Pork & Sauerkraut
Salsa Chicken
Super Easy French Dip Sandwiches
Baked Ziti
BBQ Beef Bake
Chicken Stew
Chicken & Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo
Crockpot Chili
Crock Pot Roast with Gravy
Incredibly Easy Crock Pot Roast
Italian Noodle Casserole
Mexican Rice with Chorizo Sausage
Mom & Cyndi's Beef Stew
Pizza Casserole
Pop Pop's Best Chili
Simple Oven Baked Ziti
Taco Noodle Casserole
Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
Yankee Pot Roast
Busy Day Cheesecake
Dirt Cake
Dr. Pepper Cake
Easy Cinnamon Breadsticks
Fun Rice Krispie Treats
Glazed Lemon Cake
Graham Cracker Treats
Grandma Linda's Banana Pudding
Make-do Danish
Miss Carrie's Cherry Cheese Delight
M&M Cookies
Monkey Bread
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Quick & Easy Cream Cheese Icing
Sugar Cookies
Toll House Cookies
Watergate Salad
Yummy Banana Bread
Awesome Breadstick Seasoning
Big Mac Sauce (Copycat)
Diane's Herbed Chicken Seasoning
Honey Butter