Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May Menu Week 1 (vegetarian!)

So for the month of may we are eating vegetarian. First time ever for us as a family. I am interested in seeing if this helps our picky eaters (ahem everyone but me) branch out and learn to like new foods.

Now since we don't have a ton of vegetarian recipes we make on a regular basis, I am making a menu plan. It will be the only way we don't eat Mac&Cheese from a box way too often. Snacks will consist on popcorn, granola bars, fruit, cheese cubes, peanut butter lollypops, etc. I will not list them seperate.

Saturday May 1:
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes
Dinner: Lentil Tacos (will need to cut back on seasoning), grapes, sliced cucumber

Sunday May 2:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast
Lunch: Bean Burgers, french fries
Dinner: Veggie Pie

Monday May 3:
Breakfast: cereal, milk, fruit
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Dinner: Shepherd's Pie, fruit

Tuesday May 4:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Lemon Pepper Pasta (minus the spicy)

Wednesday May 5:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Black Bean Nachos
Dinner: Taquitos, guacamole, salsa, chips

Thursday May 6:
Breakfast: peanut butter toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Pasta with Alfredo, veggie, fruit

Friday May 7:
Breakfast: breakfast burritos
Lunch: Beans and Rice
Dinner: Fried Rice with Japanese 7 spice (if I can find it)

Subject to change, but at least I got the planning out of the way. Off to work on the grocery list so we can go grocery shopping!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Garden Update

Photo from

I cleared out the square foot garden in preparation for planting. The soil is about soft enough to work. Once we add a few bags of composted manure to the top, I will plant lettuce and spinach seeds.

Also, we started seeds indoors yesterday. We have two varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, sevreal different herbs, and wild strawberries. I am most excited for the wild strawberries. They will go out front and fill the place that currently houses weeds near the curb. That probably means they will be eaten by the neighborhood riff raff, but as long as they think they aren't strawberries I am home free. As you can see in the photo, they aren't like typical strawberries you buy in the store.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We have had a bit of the sickies going around. That means we have eaten a lot of frozen pizza, Mac&cheese from a box, and spaghetti. Oh yes, its exciting times around here. Thank goodness I am gonna get some more food in the freezer. We have almost used up the food from my cooking day in December. Plus, what is remaining are things not loved by the establishment (as in my husband). I gotta find me some good Chinese food freezer meals. I guess that will be my goal for the weekend when I might have time to do things. You know, other than the middle of the night after feeding the baby.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken cabbage stir fry

More chicken. I must be in an eating slump. I mean, I have a theme! Anyway, cabage has been on sale, and bok choy (also called Chinese cabbage) is great in this dish, but I have made it plenty of times with regular green cabbage. In fact, the first time I made it, I used cole slaw mix that I had forgotten about. Poor cabbage.

2 cups cooked chicken
1/2 head of cabbage or coleslaw mix
2 tsp canola or vegetable oil (not olive oil, it needs to get hot)
1-2 tsp fish sauce (clear stinky sauce on the Asian aisle of most large supermarkets)
1 Tbs soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Shred the cabbage. For the truly lazy, buy coleslaw mix. I prefer the slaw mix since I never know what to do with the other half of the cabbage.

Heat the a wok or large skillet on medium high. Add the canola oil and warm it. Then dump in the cabbage. Toss it around with tongs until the colors get nice and bright and the cabbage softens.

Add in the fish sauce and stir the whole mess around. Open the windows cause this stuff is fragrant and the husband will start complaining about dinner not being 'good.' Once the cabbage starts getting browned bits on it, add the chicken and soy sauce and heat them through. *For those that like the heat try adding sriracha sauce, its a garlic-y hot sauce.*

I always eat my stir frys with rice. Its the Asian in me. No, I am not really Asian, just adopted by a college roommate's family. She would encourage me to use pork loin instead of chicken. I would probably agree to if I didn't have so much chicken in the house.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guh, guh, guh Garden!

So on Valentine's Day we had a nice romantic evening...ordering seeds on the internet. Yes, we are THAT romantic. Anyway, we ordered from Baker Creek cause I wanted to try some hierloom stuff and I figured Missouri was local (well as local as you can get when ordering seeds on the internet).

I was going to actually inventory the seeds, but apparently its bedtime and someone is whining that the light is on. Little whiner. I will do the inventory and the plan for the squarefoot garden, as well as my container plants soon. I love to dream of the non-frozen Tundra.

The seeds arrived THREE days after we ordered. With Monday being a holiday, I say these people ROCK. Now if only it would get warm enough that I feel ok dragging the kids outside. Oh, and I will have to want to be outside too.

March 1st I will be planting our sugar snap peas. Yes it will still be cold, but pea seeds don't care. They germinate when it warms up. Oh, and March 1st isn't a promise. I have a 6 week old and a 2 year old. Plus with my luck it will be snowing that day. As soon as i can work the soil I will be out there encouraging the toddler to run in circles and wear herself out. I need me some dirt therapy.

*now back to your regularly scheduled program*

PS, Baker Creek, if you want to show us the love and give us things we don't mind. For any readers out there...we didn't get any compensation from Baker Creek since they only know me as an order of random seeds made over the weekend. But I might be one of the few people that are planting beet seeds, so perhaps they do know me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chicken Farmer's Pie

I know, strange name. Its really what happened one night when I had cooked a bunch of chicken breasts and wanted something that could work in the freezer. Thus Chicken Farmer's Pie was born. Its not really a pie, but that's ok.

1 - 1.5 lb cooked cubed chicken breasts (2-3 cups if that helps)
1 (16 oz) bag of frozen broccoli
1 (10 oz) cream of broccoli soup
4 cups cooked mashed potatoes
Paprika to garnish
2 T butter, optional

Mix the chicken, frozen broccoli, and cream of mushroom soup together. I find cream of broccoli soup to be extremely stinky, and almost pitched the whole thing then, but decided to hope for the best.

Put into a 9x13 pan. Top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes until hot and the potatoes and paprika start to brown.

Add a couple of table spoons of butter to the top, if desired, right out of the oven to melt.

To make for the freezer. Don't bake it. Cover and freeze.
To serve: Thaw. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes (it takes longer chilled than when you make it room temperature).

Verdict: Strange, but good. Go figure. Awfully white on the plate though.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marinated Asparagus

Its just about time for asparagus to be in season. There is a local pick your own farm that we went to last year in April/early May. Yum, asparagus. Way better fresh than canned.

From All You magazine, November 2004
Serves 6, about 5 spears each

2 lb fresh asparagus
2 T olive oil
1 t sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 t red pepper flakes

1. Snap off woody ends. Place asparagus in enough water to cover. Boil for 3 minutes or until tender crisp and drain.
2. Plunge asparagus in ice water. Arrange in a 9x13 baking dish.
3. Wish together olive oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Drain before serving.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 2/8

Breakfast: cereal, milk, potato ham pockets (from freezer)
Lunch: Chicken Noodle soup...from a can I am so original.
Dinner: Loose Meat tacos...which in our family is hamburger on tortillas with cheese (more toppings if you are the adventurous type)

Cooking ahead: 6 chicken breasts in the crockpot. Will make chicken tamale casserole and test is for OAMC freezer cooking.

Breakfast: cold cereal for Alice, oatmeal for me
Lunch: chicken nuggets or strips or something, baby carrots, naval oranges
Dinner: stroganoff!

breakfast more cereal, gah those cheerios
Lunch: chicken tamale casserole from the freezer
Dinner: OAMC meal from the freezer

breakfast: who do I list this?
Lunch: mini meat loaf
Dinner: Fish sticks and fries

Lunch: tuna sandwiches
Dinner PIzza!

Just another Manic Monday

I hate Mondays. *sigh* But since its here, I will just deal.

I am working on purging a bunch of my old magazines and stuff that have recipes on them. As well as cookbooks that I never use. That means I will probably enter in some recipes. But if I can find the recipe on the magazine's website, I might just make a post that has links. Typing up a recipe takes a while.

Plus I am doing lots of purging, so I don't want to waste precious non-child time typing up recipes.

I also have to do some cooking to see if I can convert some recipes to freezer meals. Can you tell I have decided cooking is no fun? Well, I have. Maybe I need some more motivation or something. I don't even know if I like the name of this blog. Perhaps I will change it.

I just realized I almost posted this to our family blog. Oopsies.

Anyway, I am off to pitch some more know until the trash cans are stuffed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

French Hunter's Chicken

Its Freezer Food Friday! Find more recipes at

Based on "Chicken Chasseur" from Classic Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals.
Serves 4-6

1/4 tsp ground thyme
salt & pepper tot taste
1/2 c flour
1.5 lbs chicken breasts cut into 3rds
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
8-10 baby carrots thinly sliced
1 rounded tsp sugar
2 med onions minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 c chicken broth (substituted for red wine)
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped (can be frozen first)

Mix thyme, salt, and pepper into the flour. Coat chicken in the flour. Discard any extra flour. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken 4 minutes on each side, then remove from pan.

Put carrots in pan, sprinkle with sugar and cook 1 minute. Add mushroom and onion and cook 3-5 minutes to soften. Add chicken broth and cook to reduce by half. Add tomatoes and tarragon, gently stir in. Top with chicken and simmer 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked.

Serve over a buttered pasta.

For freezing, complete cooking. Cool and put into a zip top freezer bag. Freeze. To serve, thaw and reheat on stove top, in microwave or in crockpot on low. Serve over buttered pasta.

*If you are doing a big cooking day: make the sauce (starting with 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter) and add the sauce to already cooked chicken in a freezer bag.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Menu Plan 2/1

Breakfast oatmeal, Alice cheerios
Lunch: ummm
Dinner: Hamburger casserole

Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: tuna salad, peas, grapes
Dinner: m&ms, gold fish, snacks (oops)

Breakfast: cereal, boiled eggs!!!
Lunch: chicken nuggets, french fries, salad
Dinner: Baked Potato Bar - potatoes, chili, broccoli, cheese sauce, spaghetti sauce, sour cream, salsa, MEAT

Breakfast: cereal?
Lunch: Egg salad sandwiches, baby carrots, grapes
Dinner: Spring rolls - chicken and shrimp, spinach, baby carrots, shredded, cucumber?, pear slices, orange slices

Breakfast: ham potato pockets
Lunch: Enchiladas from freezer
Dinner: Burgers w/ homemade buns, oven fries

Breakfast: bacon egg & cheese croissants (homemade)
Lunch: Fish sticks, fries, fruit
Dinner: crock pot meat over mashed potatoes with green beans on the side

Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: Mac& cheese w/ hamburger, veggie
Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole over rice

Freezer Inventory 2/2/10

Deep Freezer:
Ham Potato Pockets - 8
Banana Bread - 1
Chocolate Chip coffee cake - 1

Steam in the bag veggie mix - 2
Edamame in shells - 2
Broccoli - 1.5 bags

Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole - 2
Baked Spaghetti - 1
Baked Rigatoni - 1
Farmer's CAsserole - 1
1/2 carton of fish sticks

ground turkey - 1lb
BLSL chicken breast - 10lbs
Turkey - one giant!

Kitchen freezer:
2lbs yeast
2 cans juice
steamer corn - 2 in butter sauce, one plain
Green beans - 2lb bag
Santa fe blend veggies - 1/2 bag

Chimichangas - 2
bean & rice burritos - 16
pot stickers - 4
Cooked hamburger - 1lb

Salmon Fillets - 3
Pork sausage - 1lb, + on pkg heat & serve links
Hamburger patty - 1
"Beef" Patty - 9

Enchiladas (4 to a pan) - 4 pans
Chicken cordon bleu cass - 1
Farmers casserole - 2
Spaghetti in pink sauce - 1
Hamburger casserole (labeled spaghetti) - 4

In fridge:
bacon - 2 lbs
Crescent roll tubes - 5
biscuits in a roll - 1
Cream cheese - 2.5
Shredded cheese - 3 or 4 bags
American Cheese - 10 slices
6oz baby spinach
1 lb american salad mix
5 dozen eggs
5 gallons milk
3/4 jar Herdez salsa
1/2 pint sour cream

Pantry perishable:
5 lbs potatoes
3 lb onions
8 lb naval oranges
3 apples
2 Red Anjou pears

Once A Month Mom Contest!

I am excited for this. Clearly, I posted with nothing in this post. And now that I am feeding Thomas and the lights are on, Alice has run off to find a book in her room, I can try and think.

I have started making my OAMC recipe list based on the tutorials from Tricia. I know I will end up booting a couple of recipes, but they are still on the list right now.

I have several breakfast items. I find breakfast hard to do because we don't really eat those kinds of breakfasts. We stick more with cereal. Partly because Alice loves cereal.

Lunches are supposed to be heat and serve (microwave perhaps) things. I need 4 things on my list, I think I have 5 or 6. I will narrow things down after I get a good list of foods together.

Dinners are things that require more prep. I suppose its the easier option except I want to stay away from pasta. It has been my downfall in our freezer meals. I mean, sure some of the dishes are good, but I am so sick of pasta. Its amazing how I could never see another bowl of pasta and it might be too soon. Ok, that's not true, but I really don't want to make a butt load of pasta in the next menu. So I am trying to stay away from it. Or at least sticking with pasta that isn't cooked (like stuffed pastas that can be made while the pasta is uncooked, then frozen and cooked.

I can't wait to see what sort of results I get with these. I should ask if we are converting a recipe for the freezer, if I need to find another post, or make a post on my blog with the freezer directions. I suppose I can just leave notes about the recipe with how to make ahead and freeze. I just need to try a few of these recipes and see how they freeze.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Baking Homemade Bread!

Today I made homemade bread. It has 5 minutes left in the oven and it smells divine. And yes, I made the easy bread...that is white bread. I meant to make whole wheat bread using the recipe over at Preparedness Matters, but when I went to open the container of whole wheat flour it smelled a little off. It has been about a year since we ground whole wheat flour. Ok, not that long. But, it has been a few of months with it setting on top of the fridge right by a heating vent.

Anyway, instead of having Daniel tromp around in the snow to the garage to dig out the wheat grinder, then clean the spiders and dust from it...I modified the recipe.

Whole Wheat Bread in 1:20
Based on the recipe at Preparedness Matters blog
6 cups all purpose flour (I used the white flour from church food storage)
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup high gluten flour
3 cups very warm water
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 teaspoons of salt

Mix 3 cups flour with gluten,yeast and warm water; mix 1 minute. Cover bowl and let sponge 10 minutes.

Add oil, honey or sugar, and salt, Quickly add remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough forms a ball and cleans from the sides of bowl (depending on humidity). Knead 7-10 minutes. Roll into 2 or 3 loaves (depending on pan size). Preheat oven to 200 degrees and put the loaves in. Rise dough in oven until double, 20 - 30 minutes. Leave in oven. Turn heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from pans to cool. Coat with butter.

Yum! Simple complex carbs! (Remember when only plain sugar was considered simple carbs? Yeah, I think they now include white bread in the simple carb category.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Freezer(s) Inventory! 1/26/10

Deep Freezer:
Ham Potato Pockets - 9
Banana Bread - 1
Chocolate Chip coffee cake - 1

Steam in the bag veggie mix - 2
Edamame in shells - 2
Broccoli - 2 bags
Green Beans - 1 bag

Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole - 3
Baked Spaghetti - 1
Baked Rigatoni - 2
Farmer's CAsserole - 1
Supreme Pizza - 1
1/2 carton of fish sticks

hamburger - 1lb
ground turkey - 1lb
BLSL chicken breast - 10lbs
Turkey - one giant!

Kitchen freezer:
2lbs yeast
2 cans juice
steamer corn - 2 in butter sauce, one plain
Green beans - 2lb bag
Santa fe blend veggies - 1/2 bag

chicken burritos - 4
Chimichangas - 6
bean & rice burritos - 20
chicken nuggets - 6 or so
pot stickers - 4
Cooked hamburger - 1lb

Salmon Fillets - 3
Pork sausage - 1lb, + on pkg heat & serve links
Hamburger patty - 1
"Beef" Patty - 9

Enchiladas (4 to a pan) - 4 pans
Chicken cordon bleu cass - 1
Farmers casserole - 2
Spaghetti in pink sauce - 1
Hamburger casserole (labeled spaghetti) - 4

In fridge:
bacon - 2 lbs
Crescent roll tubes - 5
biscuits in a roll - 1
Cream cheese - 2.5
Shredded cheese - 3 or 4 bags
American Cheese - 10 slices
1 serving of pasta in pink sauce
salad mix - 2/3 of a bag
1/2 cucumber
1 serving chicken cordon bleu

Pantry perishable:
5 lbs potatoes
3 lb onions
8 lb naval oranges
8lb apples

I didn't include things like pop (cause its not part of a meal and we rarely have any) or milk, since its sort of a beverage and will be easily used without worries.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday!

I need to start doing this. We recently got a chest freezer and filled it in anticipation of having a baby at the beginning of the year. Well the kid is here, he is 3 weeks old, and I am getting burned out on the freezer meals (too little variety due to miscalculations on how far the food would go).

SO here is the plan...subject to change since it appears we have caught a cold bug and dealing with a newborn and a snotty cranky toddler mean sometimes things change.

Monday: Burgers & fries
We have 3 hamburger patties and half a pound of fries in the freezer. We will eat the burgers on bread. DH and DD will probably have cheese on theirs, mine will be sans cheese but with ketchup. Not high on the veggie list, but again, dealing with sick people so my hopes aren't high.

Tuesday / cub scout night: Frozen sausage pizza, green beans, 1 can mixed fruit or pineapple from pantry
Its gotta be easy on Tuesdays.

Wednesday: Casserole from freezer, corn in butter sauce
I am going to inventory the freezer once DH gets home and I am not covered in children. I think we will eat a hamburger whole wheat pasta dish that DH says tastes like lasagna with less cheese (though I think that is an unfair assessment, its hamburger, diced tomatoes, some cheese and whole wheat pasta).

Thursday / relief society meeting: Mac&cheese and hotdogs (?), peas
I saw a pack of hot dogs in the freezer, and unless DH refuses to eat them now that he is trying to lose weight, I will thaw them and we will eat them Thursday night.

Friday: pizza night!
We have lots of crust mix, spaghetti sauce and cheese. SO I will just have to pull out some precooked hamburger to make hamburger pizza

Ham&potato pockets - microwaveable ease
Boiled eggs - I just need to boil some to have on hand
Cereal - we only have nasty sugar cereal left
Toast & peanut butter
Sausage tvp gravy and whole wheat biscuits (saturday breakfast)

Whatever is in the fridge

Friday, January 22, 2010

Shephard's Pie - Freezer Food Friday

Anyway: this can be made ahead. Makes a great one dish meal if you are lazy, or add a salad and its an even better meal. For more Freezer Food Friday recipes, go visit What A Crock!

Shepherd's Pie - makes a 9x13 pan or two 8x8 pans

1.5-2 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced small
1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
2/3 cup beef broth
1 T corn starch
1 lb bag of frozen mixed veggies - thawed

For serving day: make mashed potatoes, or use leftovers

Label freezer bag first! (Freezer instructions at end).

Brown hamburger. Saute the onion with the hamburger until soft (or in a bit of olive oil if bulk cooking). Take off heat. Add mixed vegetables. {NOTE: you can add the frozen bag to the hot meat and it will thaw, but if you cook the meat in bulk just add thawed veggies to the cool meat.} Let cool.

Put meat mix in freezer bag. In a small bowl mix 1/3c beef broth, 1 T corn starch, and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce until corn starch is dissolved. Tip: The corn starch won't clump if you dissolve it in cool broth/water. Pour gravy in bag.


To serve: Thaw meat mix. Place in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes and a little paprika on top. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes (potatoes will brown slightly). Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

For the potatoes: Mix up 3 cups of mashed potatoes from instant potatoes. Microwave 1-2 small starchy potatoes to mash and add some texture to the potatoes. (Its optional, but people will believe its all homemade potatoes and you can have some more nutrients from skins.) You can really as as little or as much potatoes as you want, as long as the meat mix is covered. It is also fun to add a sweet potato or some cooked carrots for color or add some cooked cauliflower for more veggies.

In our house, this is a dish that is considered: would be better without onions. But try it with before cutting them. My husband is just really sensitive to the taste of onions. Even onion powder makes things less yummy.