Monday, January 31, 2011

This weeks menus

Last week wasn't that great of a week. We ended up getting pizza on Friday night and eating out on Saturday night. As such, we didn't have the salmon or the shrimp penne. Those have now been pushed back to future days. Hopefully we do better this week.

This weeks meals will be:

Tonight is Country Style Ribs in the Slow Cooker and Cole Slaw.

Wednesday is Italian Sausage, pepper, and onion fake bake with garlic bread.

Friday is Roasted Chicken, cornbread dressing, and corn.

Sunday is Superbowl munchies! Coconut Shrimp with dipping sauce, chicken wings, pan fried onion dip and chips, cheese and crackers, and something sweet (no idea what though). I may also add some jalapenos poppers for myself as mom would never eat them!

Monday is whatever I decide I want while I am at the store as I only have to cook for myself.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Pot Roast

So I am mixing things up from my original menu and plan. Tonight was supposed to be Salmon Fillets over Couscous, but I am changing that to Pot Roast. It's cold, rainy, and it's supposed to start snowing soon. So I decided I wanted something warm, filling, and rich for dinner tonight and Pot Roast just fits the bill.

I use a recipe that my mom taught me and it is the recipe she has used since I was a kid. It's not something you can make quickly and takes a decent amount of time to cook. However, it is SO worth the time and work.

So today I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes EVER. This is my mom's recipe and one I hope to continue to make forever.

Mom's Pot Roast

  • 3-5 lbs Chuck Roast
  • 1.5 lbs of Carrots, cut into even sized chunks (keep them decently large as they cook a long time)
  • 1 lg Onion cut into quarters
  • 10-12 medium Red Potatoes cut into even sized chunks
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 5 Beef Bullion Cubes
  • Water
  • Corn Starch

-Use a Dutch Oven or Large Cast Iron Skillet

-Preheat the Oven to 350

-Season the Roast. Sear in the Dutch Over or Skillet in Vegetable Oil until all sides are browned. Remove the Roast from the pan.

-Put the Onions into the pan and allow to brown. Add a small amount of Water in order to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

-Put the Roast back into the pan. Add the Beef Bullion Cubes and enough Water to come 3/4 of the way up the Roast.

-Put the pan into the over and cook, covered, for an hour.

-Add the Carrots to the pan and more water if needed. Put the pan back into the oven for an hour and a half.

-Add the Potatoes to the pan. Put the pan back into the open for half an hour.

-Remove the pan from the over. Remove the Potatoes to a bowl and the Carrots and Onions to another bowl. Remove the Roast to a plate.

-Put the pan on low heat on the stove. Make a mixture of corn starch and water. Add this mixture to the juices and water in the pan and bring to the boil. Add mixture until the thickness of the gravy is to your liking.

-Serve the Pot Roast and Potatoes with the gravy. Serve the Carrots and Onions on the side.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu starting 1/24

So, I've been gone a few days. Things are starting to get busy again in my life thanks to school and other reasons. Hopefully I can handle everything going on in my life without falling on to bad habits.

You see, I am a stress eater. When I get stressed out I find something to eat and it is usually something that has a lot of fat or sugar in it. Luckily, I don't have a lot of that stuff in the house anymore so it's a bit harder for me to do this. I still need to stop doing it though because it throws off my whole day and makes me feel worse then I did before.

So, meals are getting moved around and changed due to changes in schedules. Here is what the menu looks like for this week:

1/24 Teriyaki Chicken (crockpot), Salad, Rolls
1/26 Salmon Filets, Couscous/Rice, Asparagus
1/28 Pot Roast, Carrots and Onions, Potatoes
1/30 Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce, Garlic Bread
1/31 Tangy BBQ Ribs (crockpot), Cole Slaw

Also, I am moving my grocery days to Wednesdays instead of Mondays. I hate going to the grocery store on weekends and Mondays I have a night class so I would be rushing to get the food in the slow cooker on time. I need to eat at about 4-4:30, so the food has to often go in before 10 AM or so. There is no way I could get up, get ready, go to the store, and get back in time to put the food on. So, now I am going to the store on Wednesday mornings and buying groceries for Wednesday through Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Soup's on!

I have classes tonight, so I have soup in the crockpot. This way I can eat before I leave for class and then mom can come home from work and still have a hot meal without much work on her part. Tonight is Minestrone Soup with fresh bread that I picked up at Earth Fare the other day.

Soup is actually pretty difficult for me to get recipes for. So many of them have a ton of tomatoes and I just can't have that much tomato (due to medical issues). This recipe only contains one small can of tomato paste for the whole thing, which is a lot less then I normally find for Minestrone or Vegetable Soups.

Minestrone Soup (based off of a recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, cliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version)
  • 1 (24 oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1(10 oz) bag frozen green beans
  • 2-3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 2 Tbsp italian seasoning
  • Water to fill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup small pasta
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

-Use a 4-6 qt slow cooker

-Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil until tender

-Combine all ingredients, except pasta and cheese, in slow cooker

-Cover and cook 4-5 hours on High (or 8-9 hours on Low)

-Add pasta 1 hour before cooking is complete

-Top individual servings with cheese

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This weeks menu

Tomorrow is grocery day! So, here is my meal list for next week. It has changed a bit from when I posted the menu list for the next couple of months. Part of the reasoning was due to my class not meeting yet on Monday because of the holiday. Another reason is because I cleaned out the freezer the other day and decided we need to do our best at eating from it. I had to throw away WAY too much food because it had been in there way too long. So, we need to do better at that as it will save us money. The less I have to buy at the store, the better!

I am also trying to work on using coupons and the ads better to try and save money.

1/18 Honey Mustard Pork Chops, Angle Hair Pasta, Glazed Carrots
1/19 French Toast, Sausage, Cantaloupe
1/20 Minestrone Soup (crockpot), Fresh bread
1/21 Salmon with Couscous/Rice
1/23 Marinated Steak, Baked Potato, Salad

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tonight's Dinner

I am going all out for dinner tonight and making a HUGE delicious meal for myself and my mother. We are having Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Corn Fritter Casserole. YUMMY!

Corn Fritter Casserole is one of my favorite side dishes to make with a wide variety of meals. It does great in the place of stuffing or potatoes and has a decent amount of vegetables in it to make it healthier. That is not to say this side is healthy by any means. It is definitely a sinfully delicious side.

Corn Fritter Casserole (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • Cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 375°.

-Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

-Stir in onion, bell pepper, whole-kernel corn, and cream-style corn; mix well.

-Add muffin mix stirring until well combined and just moistened.

-Pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

As a note, if you like things spicy you can dice up a jalapeno and add it when you add the onion and bell pepper. It would make this a bit more like a Mexican version of the recipe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

One of the reasons I offered a year ago to do most of the cooking is because I was tired of having the same thing every week. Spaghetti and meat sauce, steak and baked potatoes, plain baked salmon and canned asparagus... I was simply getting bored and wanted to try new things. So now, when I make spaghetti, I actually WANT spaghetti. This time I am making meatballs instead of just a meat sauce.

Spaghetti with Meatballs (adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Dried Parsley to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Good quality tomato sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound spaghetti


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

-Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

-Allow the vegetables to cool

-Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak. Squeeze out the excess milk before adding it to the bowl of cooled onions.

-Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper.

-Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands until just mixed together (don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough). Divide into 10 equal pieces and shape them into 10 nice looking meatballs.

-Heat oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes.

-Put them into a baking dish and spoon some of the tomato sauce over them. Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil.

-Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

-Serve meatballs over spaghetti and the rest of the sauce, along with additional grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tonight's dinner

It's snowing. It'll stop here and there and then pick up again. Roads are going to be horrible come this evening and I hope everyone gets home safe.

Cold and snow makes me think of chili, stew, or soup. However, since I can't really have tomatoes anymore, I had to find a new chili recipe.

And I found a wonderful one!

So tonight's dinner is going to be White Chicken Chili with a Cornbread Crust.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 cans of navy beans (19oz)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth (14oz)
  • 1 can mild green chilies (4.5oz) ----> if you don't like heat, use 1/2 this
  • 1 can white corn
Cornbread Crust
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package cornbread mix (6oz) ----> I use Jiffy as I like the sweetness
Sour cream, optional, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-In a dutch over, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

-Add the lime juice, cannellini beans, chicken, broth, and green chilies, and stir until just combined.

-Remove from the heat and set aside.

-In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, butter, and cornbread mix, and blend well.

-Pour over the chicken chili in the skillet.

-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

-Top with sour cream if desired when serving.

Hope someone enjoys this recipe as much as I do!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The rest of the day...

So, I have posted my dinner menus for the next couple of months and thought "yay, it's done!"

Then I remembered something...

One normally eats more then a single meal in a day and I have NO ideas for breakfast or lunch. As eating breakfast and lunch is pretty important to a good, solid diet, I realized I should get some ideas for those meals as well. I also needed some ideas for healthy snacks that I can take with me to classes and out and about. This way I will be less likely to go down to the vending machines for a snack.

My biggest issue though is that I get bored. I can not have the same things over and over again. I start the resent the diet at that point and usually end up eating something I shouldn't. So, I need to have a good selection that I can make easily and change up easily.

Some breakfast ideas:
- Oatmeal
+ Brown Sugar and Apples
+ Peanut Butter, bananas, and almonds
+ Brown Sugar and Peaches
+ Strawberries and Milk
+ Blueberries and Milk
- Baked Eggs
+ Spinach, mushrooms, and ham
+ Tomato Sauce, onions, bell peppers, and Parmesan cheese
+ Chicken, salsa, and feta cheese
- Homemade Breads and Muffins
- Omelets
+ Left over meats, veggies, and cheese
- Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Sandwich
- Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast with fruit toppings
- Smoothies

Some lunch ideas:
- Leftovers from dinner
- Salads
+ Lettuce: Spinach, Romaine, Mixed Greens
+ Protein: Chicken, Tuna, Steak, Hard Boiled Eggs, Deli Meats
+ Veggies: Red Onion, Cucumber, Tomato, Bell Peppers, Avocado
+ Add Ons: Beans, Toasted Nuts, Croutons, Crumbled Cheese, Crumbled Bacon, Olives
+ Dressings: Homemade Ranch, Balsamic, Oil and Vinegar
- Sandwiches
+ Bread: Whole Wheat, Sourdough, English Muffins, Pitas, Rye
+ Fillings: Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Bacon, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Tuna
+ Avocado, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions, Cheese
+ Hummus, Olive Oil Mayo, Mustard, Dijon, Oil and Vinegar

Some snack ideas:
- Fruit Leather
- Fresh Fruit
- Nuts
- Chips and Salsa
- Veggies and hummus
- Popcorn
- Fruit Bars
- Pretzels
- Cheese and Crackers
- Greek Yogurt and fruit
- Homemade trailmix

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have already made two posts on New Years Resolutions so you are most likely wondering why another one. Well, it's because I forgot to post my #1 cooking resolution for this year!

So, drum roll please...

I am going to finally get up the nerve to make my own yeast bread. This is also going to expand into the idea that I am going to bake more. Fresh yeast breads, breakfast breads, muffins, ect. I think this would really save me money and be healthier for the household.


School starts on Thursday. Not sure if I am excited about it or dreading it. Since I knew classes were coming up I decided to work on a menu for February so that I was ahead. I currently use the website Say Mmm to help lay out my menus and it works really well. However, to help myself and those who might actually read this, I am also going to post my monthly menus here on my blog. I also mean to post recipes that I find that we really enjoy... we will see how long that lasts!

So, here is my menu for today until the end of the month of January:

1/5 Chicago Style Pizza
1/7 Fajitas and Spanish Rice
1/8 Beef and Broccoli, Eggrolls
1/9 Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Casserole, Corn bread
1/11 White Chicken chili with a Corn Bread Crust
1/12 Honey Mustard Pork Chops, Angle Hair Pasta, Glazed Carrots
1/14 Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread
1/16 Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn Fritter Casserole, Rolls
1/17 Minestrone Soup (crockpot), Fresh bread
1/19 French Toast, Sausage
1/21 Salmon with Couscous/Rice
1/23 Steak Pinwheels with Sun Dried Tomato Stuffing, Roasted Asparagus, Rolls
1/24 Teriyaki Chicken (crockpot), Salad, Rolls
1/26 Pot Roast, Carrots and Onions, Potatoes
1/28 Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans
1/30 Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce, Garlic Bread
1/31 Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (crockpot), Stuffing, Corn

Now, the menu for February:

2/2 Chicken Sausage, Pepper, and Onion fake Bake, Garlic Bread
2/4 Roasted Chicken, Cornbread Stuffing, Corn
2/6 Fish and Chips
2/7 Hamburger Soup (crockpot), Fresh Bread
2/9 Roast Pork with Maple and Mustard Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots
2/11 Fried Chicken, Biscuits with Honey Butter, Corn
2/12 Italian Sausage, Baked Beans
2/14 Chicken Noodle Soup(crockpot), Fresh Bread
2/16 Mustard Roasted Salmon, Asparagus, Rolls
2/18 ??? <--- My birthday
2/20 Ribeye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
2/21 Tender and Tangy Ribs (crockpot), Mashed Potatoes, Canned Fruit
2/23 Teriyaki Chicken Noodles, Egg Rolls
2/25 French Onion Soup
2/27 Baked BBQ Chicken, Corn Fritter Casserole, Rolls
2/28 Beef Stew, Fresh Bread

And because my grocery shopping trips would run the last few February meals into the same week as the start of March:

3/2 Brunch: Amish Breakfast Casserole, Breakfast Bread
3/4 Enchiladas, Mexican Rice
3/6 French Dip Sandwiches, Fruit Salad, Broccoli Salad

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year


So, it's a new year. The year has the potential to bring a lot of good and a lot of not as good. However, that is a part of life and something one always has to deal with.

One tradition that happens at this time of year is the idea of a New Years resolution. I don't normally make resolutions because I never seem to keep them past the first few weeks. However, this year, I am making a pledge to myself. I refuse to think of it as a resolution so that I actually have a better chance at keeping it! I wrote about that in my previous blog (from December 6th).

I am hoping to start later this week.

My menu this week isn't the best due to a couple of traditions we have at the beginning of the year. However, it will get better!

Today: Apps and Snacks- quesadillas, artichoke and spinach dip, cheese and crackers, and brownies.

Monday: Orange Glazed Salmon, Roasted Asparagus, Rolls

Wednesday: Chicago Style Pizza and Hot dogs

Friday: Steak Fajitas, Spanish Rice

Sunday: Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Casserole