Monday, November 09, 2009

Menu Plan November 9 - 13

It's funny how quickly you become reliant on something like a menu plan. I started last week without one, and I really missed it! I did manage to pull it together, though we had takeout on Friday because I was totally uninspired. We ended up eating:

Buttermilk chicken
Apricot chicken (which I really liked, which surprised me because it's such a weird mix of ingredients!)
Apple glazed pork chops (which were nasty, nasty, nasty and I won't ever make them again!)

This week, I'm back to planning!

Today, we're having cheddar chicken and pasta bake

Tomorrow: bulgogi (recipe from Hungry Monkey)

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: buffalo chicken

Should be a good week!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Menu Plan October 25 - 30

Last week we did a decent job of sticking to the menu. Friday's jambalaya didn't happen, because I forgot I had to work early and didn't get home in time to get it in the crockpot. I think we ended up going out for teriyaki instead. I did finally get that orange chicken made, and hubby HATED it. I'd love to give it one more go (it was too sweet and needed more vinegar), but he said that he'll never eat it again, so I guess that's out. I was really looking forward to having a somewhat healthy alternative to Panda Express, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

We've finally hit the rainy season (I look forward to the return of the rain all summer long), and it's comfort food, comfort food, comfort food for me! So here's the plan this week.

Sunday: I made Swedish meatballs and spaetzle. So good. I think I could eat this every day! I made a double batch, using half ground beef and half ground pork, and it made enough meatballs for three meals for our little family. My 10 month old couldn't stop eating the spaetzle. She loves her carbs!

Monday: Scalloped potatoes and ham. I didn't have the Swiss cheese, so I just doubled the cheddar. And I made it with two cups fat free half and half and one cup of milk, and it was so rich and wonderful!

Tuesday: Beef Stew

Wednesday: Hamburger Casserole

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Stuffed Peppers

Please remember to visit for more great menu ideas!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pad Thai

I made this for dinner tonight. The original recipe came from Hungry Monkey, but I tweaked it a bit so here's my version.

Sauce (makes enough for two batches):

12 T tamarind concentrate (sour soup base)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
6 T fish sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

If your tamarind concentrate is free of seeds, just mix all the ingredients together, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

If your tamarind still has some seeds (mine did), put it in a wire mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the water through it. Press it through the sieve with the back of a spoon, scraping the underside frequently, until all of the tamarind has been strained and just the seeds remain. Mix in remaining ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

The remaining sauce can be frozen.

Pad Thai (serves 4)

2 large chicken breasts, diced
1/4 cup canola oil
8 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
2 large eggs
1/2 recipe pad Thai sauce
1 T. minced garlic
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts, blanched for 1 minute in boiling water
lime wedges
chopped peanuts

Soak the noodles in hot tap water for 30 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute chicken in 2 T. oil until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside, and add remaining 2T. oil to the pan. Add eggs and scramble. Add noodles, chicken, sauce, garlic, scallions, and bean sprouts and stir well until all the sauce has absorbed.

Serve with lime juice squeezed over and peanuts sprinkled on top.

Menu Plan October 19 - 23

Fall is in full swing and I couldn't be happier about it! Yesterday we cleaned out most of the garden (the pumpkins are still there - does anyone know if pumpkins keep ripening once the vines are dead?) and picked the apples from our tree. Today I'll be trying my hand at crockpot apple butter , and I'll probably try to make some applesauce too. We didn't get a lot of apples, but since they're all 6 - 8 inches in diameter, they go a long way!

Here's the menu for this week:

Monday: Pad Thai (I'll be using a recipe from Hungry Monkey, which is an absolutely fabulous memoir/cookbook!).

Tuesday: Taco salad

Wednesday: Orange Chicken (yes, this has been on the menu for about a month now, and I'm bound and determined to finally make it!).

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: slow-cooker jambalaya

As always, go to for more menu possibilities than you ever imagined!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan October 12 - 16

Well, last week's menu plan went kaplooey on me. I'm not even sure what we ate - I do know that I picked up Panda Express on Friday because my morning got completely away from me and hubby just wasn't in the mood for chili dogs, my "no time to cook" standby. So, here's hoping this week goes better. It's a busy one, so there's lots of easy stuff on the list!

Monday: Bulgogi with sesame rice and fried cabbage (I just use the bulgogi part of the linked recipe, though the rest sounds good too!

Tuesday: chili (picked up some buffalo meat today just for this. Should be good.)

Wednesday: slow cooker chicken soft tacos

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: spaghetti with meat sauce

You know the drill. Go to for tons of fabulous menu ideas!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Menu Plan October 4 - 9

All day long I've been trying to plan my menu, and now that I'm sitting here at the computer, my mind has gone totally blank...

What I really need to do is get out my cookbooks and reenergize myself. I look up recipes online all the time, but there's something about dragging out the cookbooks (I have about 200) and having a good read that makes me all warm and fuzzy and ready to be inventive in the kitchen again.

Oh, and I am totally celebrating the return of casserole season. I love casseroles. Hate putting them together, they usually seem so time consuming, what with all the boiling of noodles/potatoes/rice/whatever, and chopping of the onions and other vegetables and such, but I love, love, love eating them!

So here's what I think this week will look like:

Sunday: taco salad
Monday: Swedish meatballs and spaetzle (I think the little one's going to love spaetzle. She's a carb girl, just like her mommy, and is way into eating noodles and such these days).
Tuesday: slow cooker orange chicken
Wednesday: tuna casserole
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: possibly more leftovers, based on the menu, though if there aren't enough, I'll make chili.

As always, visit for more fabulous menus!

Last week's menu

Once again, I missed the menu planning boat, but we had some good meals so I'm going to record them anyway! Now, I just have to remember...

Monday: I was home, and we had errands to run, so we ended up eating out.
Tuesday: Turkey Tetrazzini (using this recipe, but with turkey instead of chicken)
Wednesday: beef stew and corn muffins
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Ham and Potato casserole

Good stuff! Now, to plan this week's menu!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu plan September 20 - 25

Well, the weather here is a little mixed up this week. One day it's fall, the next we're back to summer again. So it's a little hard to know what to fix, but I think my kitchen is heading into fall regardless. I like cooking fall food so much more than summer food!

Sunday: Sweet & sour pork
Monday: creamed tuna on biscuits
Tuesday: stuffed peppers (the filling is in the freezer from the last time we made it)
Wednesday: chicken cacciatore (the sauce for this is also in the freezer from last time - love the whole "cook it once/eat it twice thing!)
Thursday: Slow cooker chicken soft tacos
Friday: thinking about chicken paprikash, but we'll see!

Always remember to head to for more great menu ideas!

Last week's menu

I didn't get my menu posted ahead of time last week, but let's see if I can remember what all we ate (this is important because I find myself looking back at these posts more and more when I'm trying to figure out what to make!).

Monday: BBQ pork sandwiches (didn't get them made the week before)
Tuesday: potstickers (I really need to make some potstickers and put them in the freezer. The frozen ones at the store are SO expensive and my recipe is really good!).
Wednesday: Chicken and noodles (I used this recipe, except I added onions, garlic, and celery to the cooking water, and stirred in sauteed mushrooms at the end).
Thursday: leftover chicken and noodles
Friday: tacos

Monday, September 07, 2009

Menu Plan September 7 - 11

Wow, I guess it's been a long time since I've posted a menu! Truth be told, I haven't been planning menus. I've missed them. But, for some reason, for the last few weeks I just haven't been able to wrap my head around a plan. I've decided I hate hot weather cooking - it's so much easier to think about casseroles and crockpots when you're cooking ahead, and they definitely don't lend themselves to hot weather!

Fall is in the air, and we're having a very busy week this week, so it's a simple, easing back to comfort food menu for me.

Tonight: grilled steak, baked potatoes, corn
Tomorrow: corned beef hash
Wednesday: chili dogs
Thursday: creamed tuna on biscuits
Friday: barbecue pork sandwiches (the meat for this is already cooked and in my freezer, and if I remember at some point what recipe I used (I made it a couple of months ago), I'll post it or post a link (if it was online) because it was REALLY good!).

Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Menu Plan August 2 - 7

Ok, ok, so it's not Monday anymore. But I had my menu figured out by Monday, so I'm calling that close enough!

Sunday: we had my parents over for dinner - grilled pork tenderloin, smashed red potatoes, tomato & fresh mozzarella salad, steamed green beans

Monday: buttermilk chicken, rice, peas

Tuesday: chicken and black beans

Wednesday: spaghetti

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: turkey burgers (the same turkey burgers from last week - I didn't make them then).

As always, visit for more great ideas!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan July 26 - 31

After about a three week hiatus, I'm back on track with menu planning. And it's a good thing, too - I've definitely missed it! Our schedule requires me to be super-organized about dinners, and lately I've been back to my old habit of standing in the middle of the kitchen thinking "uh.......uh......uh.....what are we going to eat tonight???" It's really frustrating.

Things have changed a smidge for us in the eating department lately. Hubby got his cholesterol level back from the doctor, and it wasn't good. Not terrible, but he needs to start exercising and change his diet. This is challenging - he's pretty picky and he likes what he likes. But I'm going to do my best to help him out by cooking a little better.

My plan to just buy the "orange tag" discount meat at the store has been working out well. Lately, between that and a couple of bags of frozen chicken tenderloins a month, we've been able to eat pretty well, and I can get the "natural" or organic meat for just a little bit more than I'd pay for the regular stuff.

With that, here's our menu plan for the week:

Sunday - BBQ chicken pizza

Monday - pork fried rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday - grilled sausages (I found some chicken sausages with spinach and feta that I can't wait to try), oven fries, salad

Wednesday - taco salad

Thursday - turkey tenderloin (I got a great deal on a pre-marinated lemon pepper tenderloin, on sale plus it had an attached coupon!), boiled potatoes, steamed broccoli

Friday - turkey burgers, tater tots (tots aren't the healthiest but I'm not going to waste food!).

And remember, for tons of great menu ideas, visit!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Slow-cooker chicken soft tacos

Made these for dinner last week. They could easily be turned into enchiladas by using the sauce on top and baking them!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
flour tortillas
shredded cheddar
shredded lettuce
sliced olives
sour cream

Put the chicken in a small crock pot. In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, chiles, onion, Worchestershire sauce, and spices. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for three hours or until the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from pot, chop or shred, return to pot and let rewarm for five minutes.

Serve on tortillas with toppings (these or your personal favorites!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting up

I've decided to start getting up earlier. Up till now, unless we needed to be somewhere, I've basically been going to bed about 11:00 and getting up when Caitlyn does, usually between 7:00 and 7:30. This usually means I get a full night's sleep. But, it also means I'm not really getting much done around the house during the day, and believe me, there is stuff to be done!!!

So, I'm now setting my alarm for 6:00. You'd think that would mean that I would go to bed earlier, right? Uh, no...somehow, I just can't get myself there. So, I lose an hour of sleep. I can sleep in on the weekends! Of course, if Caitlyn starts getting up in the night again, things might change, but for now she's sleeping through so I'm ok.

Yesterday, I got up and got the dishes done and something else, which I can't remember. Today I spent way too much time on the internet (there's my problem right there!), and then got the diapers hung out on the line and called to exchange a pair of diaper pants that were sent in the wrong size. Not nearly what I wanted to accomplish but now that I got a bunch of internet time out of the way, hopefully I can focus more on the house while she naps today!

And, now she's awake...hello, new day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pizza Casserole

Made this for dinner tonight. Even hubby liked it. It's nice because it's the kind of thing you can easily personalize to suit your own tastes. I pulled a recipe out of Parenting magazine and made it my own.

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 loaf good crusty bread, cubed
2 cups shredded mozzarella (about 8 ounces)
1/4 pound pork sausage, cooked
1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped
1 small can sliced olives
1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted ones because I like the flavor)
5 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
fresh basil, shredded (optional)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms until softened. Place in a bowl with bread, cheese, meats, olives, and tomatoes. Mix to combine. Place in a greased 9x12 casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, basil, and oregano. Pour evenly over the bread mixture in the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

About 20 minutes before baking time, pull the pan out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cover and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan, if desired.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

menu plan June 22 - 26

Here we are, another week already. The month is flying by!

Monday: Pizza casserole (from a recipe found in Parenting magazine)

Tuesday: Tamale Pie

Wednesday: Cranberry pork chops (in the crock pot)

Thursday: leftovers, if we have enough, otherwise I'm trying to find my recipe for cabbage roll casserole!

Friday: Either leftovers (if we didn't have it Thursday) or cabbage roll casserole (if we did!).

Don't forget to go to for many more menu ideas!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pantry Challenge Update

Ok, first of all, someone needs to tell my grocery shopping brain that the whole point of a pantry challenge is to use stuff up, not replace it as quickly as you pull it off the shelf! Part of it is my hubby's fault, I think - he made me this awesome pantry inventory system, complete with a bar code scanner, so as soon as I use the last of something, it automatically adds it to my shopping list. And, well, if it's on my shopping list, I *must* buy it. Time to start leaving the list at home from time to time!

It's some weird psychological thing - you'd think I went hungry as a child or something (which I never did, except for the one night I got in trouble and Dad sent me to bed without dinner), because I have this almost compulsive need to fill the pantry and have four or five of everything on the shelves. Never mind that the grocery store is only a mile away!

I forgot that, right before I announced this pseudo-challenge, I gave my mom a Costco order (I'm not allowed to have a card because I'll spend too much (obviously), so she does my shopping for me), so we're well stocked up with tuna fish, Minute Rice, and ketchup, too!

At any rate, for the most part, I've been making stuff that doesn't require new purchases or special ingredients. This week, I didn't buy any meat at all except lunch meat, and last week, the only meat I bought was a package of chicken breasts that were on sale for $1.49 a pound.

And yet I've still managed to completely blow my budget for the month out of the water. I think I need to adjust my budget - now that Caitlyn is eating, I'm buying mostly organic produce (she eats mostly fruit), and I try to buy organic other stuff when there isn't too great a difference in price (so no dairy, yet, except yogurt, which is the exact same price as the regular stuff for some reason). That adds up fast.

In the meantime, we only ate out once this weekend, instead of our usual 2 - 3 times, and with all the menu planning I've been doing since I've been back at work, we rarely eat out during the week. So that helps the budget tremendously!

So I guess this pantry challenge update wasn't much of an update, more a bunch of ramblings from a woman who thinks too much about food and really should go to bed, huh? :-)

Menu Plan June 14 - 19

Here's the plan for this week!

Sunday: kielbasa and cabbage

Monday: lemon balm chicken (using pesto made from the lemon balm taking over my herb garden!)

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: tuna casserole

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: stuffed peppers (I have the filling already made and in the freezer, so this is a super-quick and easy dish).

Be sure to visit for many, many more menu ideas!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

For Kimmer - hamburger ideas

I've been thinking about Kimmer's comment about what to do with ground beef during my pantry/freezer challenge. The more I think about it, the more ideas I come up with, which then promptly leave my brain, but here are some to get you started. I have recipes for most of these, which I can post if you need them!

- hamburgers (of course!)
- chili
- veggie beef soup
- stroganoff
- hamburger gravy on biscuits (I love this but hubby won't eat it so I never get to make it)
- tamale pie
- hamburger casserole (hubby's mom's recipe - a concoction of beef, noodles, tomato soup, veggies, and cheese)
- nacho dip
- beef and bean burritos
- Hamburger Helper (I use the box on lazy days, but there are a ton of recipes out there on the internet for homemade ones)
- chili mac
- spaghetti and meatballs (or just meat sauce)
- Swedish meatballs (this recipe is already posted on the blog)
- sloppy joes (another favorite of mine that hubby won't eat...sigh...)

And that's all I can think of at the moment (and it's getting awfully close to my bedtime), but I'll post some more as I think of more!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Menu Plan Monday June 8 - 12

Well, here we are, another week already! Last week's menu plan was seriously messed up - first we ended up being away from home at dinner time two days in a row, because my car had to go into the shop, and then I lost my grill because of new patio construction. Who knows how long it will be before I get my grill back (it's in the shed till the patio cover is built), and I'm sure going to miss it!

Anyway, here's the plan for this week (and tonight we had creamed tuna on biscuits, by the way!):

Monday: Swiss steak

Tuesday: Pineapple chicken

Wednesday: Hamburger casserole

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: meatball subs.

Sounds like a yummy week!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I know it's only Sunday, but I'm ahead of the game. What can I say?

Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Hamburgers

Wednesday: Broccoli and cheese calzones (I'm modifying them a bit, though!)

Thursday: Hamburger casserole

Friday: Leftovers.

Now, I know Thursday is supposed to be leftovers night, but my desire to use up a bunch of stuff before it goes bad has pushed it off to Friday. I'm sure we'll survive, LOL!!!

Head on over to for more great menus from other bloggers!

Budgeting, meat, and a (sort of) pantry challenge

Tomorrow is June. A new month, another chance for me to get serious about sticking to our budget and tracking our expenses. It needs to be done. Hubby has a layoff on the horizon - we don't know when, but sometime in the next year, year and a half. Which means we need to sock away as much as we can, while we still can. Mainly, this means that I need to quit buying so darn many groceries, because we do pretty well in all the other areas!

I used to track our budget from my first paycheck of the month, rather than the first day of the month. Now that my paychecks don't matter so much, I'm going to go by the calendar. It's all put together and ready to go, I just have to do it.

Like I said, grocery shopping is my biggest weakness. I can easily plunk down $150 a week for groceries, and that's basically for the two of us. Needless to say, we have a very well stocked kitchen, but we also waste a lot of food because I lose stuff and don't remember that it's there. Well, that has to change. I need to keep better track. Thursday I'm cleaning out the freezer, and all the old meat that was never repackaged (I should *always* repackage my meat!) is going in the garbage (Friday is garbage day). And then, we start over.

But first, a pantry challenge of sorts. Today while I was grocery shopping, I found a bunch of clearance meats, with a sell-by date of tomorrow. I didn't go completely crazy, though I wanted to! I did, however, get six meals worth of ground beef, three meals worth of pork chops, and a very nice looking round steak. This, of course, represents even more meals, when you consider leftovers.

So, for the month of June, we're living on this, plus another bag of chicken tenderloins (we eat a lot of chicken tenderloins because they cook so fast), plus whatever else is in the freezer. My challenge will be to combine these with things that we have in the pantry (and there's a lot to work with there!). So, I'll just be making meals with what we have on hand.

This means that my grocery budget for the month will be spent on perishables - dairy products, fresh produce, and bread, mainly. The rest of the budget I can use for sale and coupon items. Hopefully this will help with the rotation - getting rid of some older food while making room for some more inexpensive purchases. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I'm sitting here with a kitchen full of food and no inspiration about what to make with it! Grr... We've reached that juncture in the weather where it's too hot for a lot of the make-ahead things we're used to (stews and casseroles and such), and yet there's no time to cook in the evenings, so what do we eat???

At any rate, here's the plan for this week, I think!

Monday: Chicken fajitas
Tuesday: dinner out - we have to be across town at rush hour to sign our wills, no way we'll make it home for dinner!
Wednesday: shredded pork sandwiches
Thursday: chicken sausage casserole
Friday: grilled chicken and potatoes (I have the day off - four day weekend - woo hoo!).

Visit for a ton of great menu ideas!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This week's menu

Not bad, figuring out my menu when the week's half over!

Let's see...

Monday: we had an Italian chicken concoction (chicken, diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, Italian seasoning, and Italian cheese blend) that I threw together in the crock pot, with baked potatoes and steamed cauliflower.

Tuesday: Potstickers and green beans

Today: honey mustard pork tenderloin, rice, some kind of veggie

Thursday: leftovers smorgasboard

Friday: shepherd's pie (made with leftover roast beef)

Oh, and I don't plan weekend menus because I never know what they will bring!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Lunch tote giveaway

Erin over at $5 dinners is giving away a designer lunch tote from Spring Los Angeles! I have one - these things are so cute and so well insulated!

Go here - to enter...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

This week's menu

Well, well, well. I think it's high time I got back to blogging again! Things have been, well, a little hectic lately, and all my blogging time has been spent on Caitlyn's blog, instead of mine. After all, I did cease to exist on December 9, and someone named "Caitlyn's Mommy" took my place in the world, LOL!

I've been back at work two months now. Hubby works from 5:00 to 1:30, and I work 2:00 to 6:00, which means that I'm making dinner about 10:00 every morning so we can eat it about 7:00 every night. The good news is that we're far too frazzled to eat out, so we're saving a ton on food! Now, if I can just curb my compulsive grocery shopping habit...

Anyway, each week I make up a weeknight dinner menu. Sometimes I stick to the days, sometimes things get rearranged a bit but most weeks, we stick to it. Here's this week's:

Monday: Leftover pizza (we had Papa Murphy's tonight)
Tuesday: Tacos (happy Cinco de Mayo!)
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie (utilizing the leftover roast beef from last week)
Thursday: Chicken Ziti
Friday: Pizza-stuffed meatloaf

Hubby's not going to be very happy - I'm trying out two new recipes this week - the chicken ziti and the meatloaf. He's a little gunshy about new recipes ever since the creamed salmon fiasco of 2002, which I will never live down...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's long been my hope that, once I'm only working half time (and, of course, now that I'm home full time), I'll actually be able to stay on top of the housework. Naturally it's much more tempting to sit on my butt in front of the TV all day, what with all the excellent crime drama I've been recording (gotta love TNT for having Cold Case, Without a Trace, AND Crossing Jordan all on on a mostly daily basis!). But, alas, I need to be an adult (not to mention that, at two months old, Caitlyn's already becoming quite the TV junkie, and that needs to stop!).

So I've been pondering what a daily schedule would look like for me, between baby care, self care, hubby care, house care, and, well, watching TV (oh, and keeping up wiht email Facebook, and Myspace). That's a lot to pack into a 24 hour day! Here's the basic gist of it so far:

4:00 or 5:00 a.m. - get up with Caitlyn. Feed, burp, pump, and feed me.
5:30 a.m. - back to bed with Caitlyn.
8:30 a.m. - up again. Feed, burp, pump, and hang out with Caitlyn till naptime.
10:00 - naptime. While she sleeps, I take a shower, start laundry, empty dishwasher, eat, and (once I go back to work) do dinner prep.
Noon - wake up Caitlyn. Feed, burp, pump, etc.

This is where things get fuzzy. Right now, if she wants another nap, she gets one, and I get to do some housework. If she's ok, then we can go run errands. I start dinner about 4:00 or so and make hubby's lunch for the next day at the same time.

Once I go back to work, this is when we'll be leaving to meet hubby and make the kid swap. Then I'll go on to work, and I won't get home till 6:30. Then it's dinner, feed Caitlyn, put her to bed, and have a little one on one time with my hubby before he goes to bed way too early (since he'll be starting work at 5:00 a.m. once I go back). Then it's off to bed to start it all over again.

Honestly, once I go back to work, I'm not sure when errands will get done, when housework will get done, or whether I'll actually be able to pull off a dinner that hubby can just "toss in the oven" every day. It's going to take a lot of planning and creativity, that's for sure!

Every day, I wish more and more that I could just stay home and take care of my little family. We thought for a while that might be a possibility, but until the economy settles down and hubby's job is more secure, that's just a pipe dream. Sigh...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

baked potato and cauliflower soup for one

Made this for lunch the other day. Good stuff! It would be good with cheese added, too - I was going to and forgot.

1/2 c. chopped cauliflower
1 medium baked potato, diced
1/2 T. butter
1 cup milk (I used half milk and half fat free half and half for a richer taste)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch celery seed
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

In a medium saucepan, steam the cauliflower in a bit of water until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine, and cook until heated through. Eat as is or process in a blender (or with a stick blender) to make it thicker.

three cheese scalloped potatoes and ham

I finally made scalloped potatoes and ham that wasn't runny! Yay! This made enough for hubby and me, with a tiny bit leftover.

1/4 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. dry mustard
1 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
1 oz. swiss cheese, sliced
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups chopped ham
2 medium potatoes (peeled if desired), thinly sliced

In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. Stir in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, and dry mustard, then add the cheese and stir until melted.

Put a little bit of the sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish, and then add a layer of sliced potatoes. Sprinkle a layer of ham on top of the potatoes, then add another layer of sauce. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce on top.

Cover and bake at 350 for one hour. Remove cover and bake for an additional 20 - 30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

getting back into the swing of things...

Ok, ok, so I fell off the face of the earth for a while. I think it's to be expected. But, I'm slowly getting my bearings and getting back into the swing of things (now, if I could just get my kid to sleep on a normal schedule, we'd be good).

Over the past couple of weeks, I've started to settle into my new role as housewife (yes, I'm still going back to work in, gulp, six short weeks, but only half time so I'll be doing more, er, something around the house). Well, if you know me, you know that food is about the closest thing I have to a passion in life (well, besides Caitlyn), so I decided to get back into my routine by tackling some menu planning. Most days, I now have time to cook a real meal for dinner, which is great. There's nothing I detest more than coming home from work and being too tired to cook.

But now, I can make dinner an all-day affair - chop stuff after one feeding, saute stuff after another, and on it goes. Ok, it's not really THAT bad, but I do have more time to spend on these things!

Last week, we had:

manicotti (two meals - if I'm going to all the trouble to make it, I make a ton!)
salsa verde casserole
stuffed peppers

and, we ate out a few times (have to get it out of our system before I take an income cut, LOL!).

Here's what's on tap for this week (not necessarily in this order):

hamburgers and oven fries
scalloped potatoes and ham
chili and cornbread
creamed tuna on biscuits
teriyaki chicken
baked ziti
tamale pie

Of course, chances are we'll eat out at least once, so we won't eat ALL of these things this week, but we have it if we want it.

So now, I have the meal planning back on track, and I've managed to conquer the laundry (including the cloth diapers, which are, in fact, as easy as disposables - no pins!), and now I just have to work some housework into the mix. Ugh... :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best blog ever, and Happy New Year!

Everyone HAS to visit cakewrecks. Have I mentioned this before? I have yet to read a post on this blog without laughing out loud, and yes, on occasion, tears have come into my eyes.

Oh, and happy new year! I hope everyone had a safe a fun New Year's Eve. We skipped our annual trek to my sister-in-law's because hubby is sick. He went to bed at 10:30, and Caitlyn and I rang in the new year over a bottle of milk. Actually, I didn't even pick up on the fact that it was midnight until I heard the fireworks going off in the street. Yeah, I'm observant like that, LOL!