Monday, December 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/29/08

Wow! The end is in sight! Not the end of menu planning, ha ha, but the end of 2008. There is something special about turning the proverbial page and starting a new year. This happens to be an "odd" year - in that it ends with a 9. What that means for me is that it will take me 3 times as long to stop writing an 8 instead of what it is supposed to be - a 9. Weird, huh? All right - on to the menu!

Monday: Ham & Cheesy Potato Casserole & Salad
Tuesday: General Tso's Chicken, Rice, & Egg Drop Soup
Wednesday: Taco Pizza (I'm going to try to recreate Happy Joe's Taco Pizza), Salad
Thursday: Poppyseed Chicken Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday: Steaks (complements of my Dad's cows), Mushroom Rice Pilaf (I use fresh mushrooms and skip the green peppers in favor of celery), & Salad
Saturday: Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Sage Croutons, Biscuits, & Salad

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Yesterday morning I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. It is not a common thing that we have something like pancakes on a weekday morning. We usually save such meals for the weekend but with the cold weather, I thought something warm besides oatmeal was in order. I went to my favorite recipe website,, and typed in pancakes. I remembered making these one day when my wonderful husband was not here. They were really good so I decided to make them again with just a few modifications to fit what is in my cupboard.

Wheat Germ Whole Wheat Pancakes
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or substitute 2 cups milk with 2 Tbl. vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Mix all the ingredients together and fry up the pancakes as usual, about a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Serve as you would any other pancake. Here in our house we like butter, maple syrup, whipped cream and sprinkles. :)

My dh said they were great. But he likes to make his pancakes a little bit healthier. "But they are healthy!" I said in reply. He thought I had used all white flour. That is because they are very light and fluffy for using the heavier whole wheat flour, not to mention wheat germ. So give them a try! Maybe your family will not notice the extra fiber in their diet. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/15/08

Menu plan, Menu plan, Menu all the way....Oh what fun it is to write a menu plan todaaaaayyyy EH! (sung to Jingle Bells if you care to know..)

Monday: Pork Chops with Bordelaise Sauce, Roasted Potatoes & Carrots
Tuesday: Broccoli Cheese Soup with Dinner Rolls
Wednesday: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie & Salad
Thursday: Broiled Salmon, Mushroom Rice Pilaf & Green Beans
Friday: White Bean Ragu with Penne Pasta & Salad

Now, I have a request of anyone who is reading this. I love Litehouse's Ranch dressing. It really is the only ranch that I'll buy now (I get it at Sam's Club). However, I've been trying to recreate it here in my home kitchen. I really haven't come close. Does anyone have a good ranch dressing recipe (similar to Litehouse's if possible?). Thanks!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lemonade Award

My very first blog award! I am thankful to Amy at The Story of Amy for thinking of my blog when she got this to pass on. She is a fellow menu planner but her blog is also about her life and other tid-bits of information. Thanks Amy!

Here are the blogs I'd like to give an award to:

  • A Day in The Life - I go to this blog whenever I need a good laugh. Polly is a very talented writer.
  • Fluttering In The Kitchen - A new blog but I love all the recipes, we have similar tastes!
  • A Journey Down a Narrow Road - Another fellow menu planner, I enjoy Mandy's blog.
  • The Bullhorn - Different than most blogs I follow (written by a man!) but I respect Joe's godly outlook on life and his thoughts on the church.
  • And finally, I give the award to The Horn Herd, the author is a great friend who's daily life often cracks me up and gives me insight.

Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! (Okay, I totally skimped on this one - SORRY!)

3. Link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Homemade Oreos

This is my very own concoction. I think it turned out pretty well!

Homemade Oreo Cookies

1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (I used a 25 cent box of Wal-Mart's)
4 Tbls. melted shortening
1/4 cup water
3 Tbls. flour
2 Tbls. Sugar

Mix all the ingredients together with a electric mixer. Divide into three equal sections. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 thickness. Cut into circles with a lid to a spice container.

I found that using an off-set spatula will help you lift them off of the counter easier.

Bake circles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on sheets for a couple of minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbls. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter and shortening together until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla. Place into a quart sized plastic bag with the tip cut off. Pipe about 1-2 teaspoons on one of the chocolate wafers. Top with another wafer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here it is, the famous soup recipe. Well, famous in our house at least. lol I've also decided to include the price break-out just to see how much this costs. I think it is interesting to do that when I can...


1 medium onion, chopped - .60
3 cloves garlic, minced - .05
1 4 oz. can diced chilis or 2 fresh Anaheim peppers -1.00
1 Tbsp cumin - .20
2 Tbsp cooking oil - .10
1-1/2 cups corn - .44
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes - .44
4 cups chicken broth (made from chicken soup base) - .15
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken - 1.00
1 1/2 cups black beans (pressure cooked from dry) - .20
1/2 cup snipped cilantro - FREE from my garden (you can leave out if you don't like)
1 lime juiced -.30
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips - .50
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese - 1.00
Sour cream (optional)

Meal total: 5.98 (and there is usually leftovers from our family of 2 adults and 3 small children)

In a large pot, cook chopped onion, garlic, peppers, and cumin in hot oil about 5 minutes or till tender, stirring constantly. Add corn kernels, tomatoes, chicken broth, shredded chicken, black beans, cilantro. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with crushed tortilla chips & cheese. If desired, add a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/8/08

Another week and another plan. We really stuck to the plan pretty well last week. The one exception is that I made Chicken Tortilla Soup on Friday for a dear friend who had a baby. It was well received. Do you have any of those recipes that you had at say a potluck. And then you make it and people who try yours want the recipe too? That is my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. I, of course, have made some variations to it but it is still that good ole soup recipe that people love. I'll try to post it tomorrow.

Monday: Pepperoni Calzones & Salad
Tuesday: Baked Ham, Potatoes, & CA Medley Vegetables
Wednesday: Curried Coconut, Chicken, & Sweet Potato Soup (pretty adventerous, eh?)
Thursday: Creamy Ham Alfredo & Salad
Friday: Shrimp Tacos, Refried Beans, Chips & Salsa

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This Week's Menu Plan (a little late)

Well, I made my menu plan yesterday morning and shopped yesterday morning. I had to wait until December because our grocery budget was pretty well gone for November. I think this is due to 1). Thanksgiving 2). stocking up on meat that was on sale. So here it goes, the Menu Plan for the week of December 1st.

Monday: Mediterranean Chicken with Pasta & Homemade Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Sassy Mojo Pork, Black Beans, Fresh Pineapple

Wednesday: Italian Bean Soup with Sausage and Salad

Thursday: Pan-fried Pheasant with Wild Rice and Dilled Baby Carrots

Friday: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Bake & Salad

Sound good? What's on your menu?