Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We are celebrating Advent for the first time as a family this year. I was not familiar with Advent but had seen Advent calendars and wreaths here and there. So I began a search on-line to find out more about it. There is a lot online so I suggest you google it and find out more about it too, if you are like me, and didn't grow up in a household where this was practiced. I'm too cheap to buy an Advent wreath, so we are using an existing votive holder that I already had, as we move through the month. Maybe, next year, when finances are better, we will buy an Advent wreath with the correct colored candles. lol

We are also trying to do something Christmasy (my word) every night. We started out with putting up the tree and doing some decorating. We will do things like listen to Christmas music and hymns, have Bible reading and prayer together, drive around town to view the Christmas lights, watch Christmas movies together, do Christmas baking and cooking together, address Christmas cards, watch a local parade, attend our church's Christmas music program, help stuff socks with goodies to give to the homeless, (a church sponsored activity), etc. But, most importantly, concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas.

How about you? Do you do anything special to prepare for Christmas? Do you have any holiday traditions?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu for week of November 28th

Monday, 11/29

B-Cereal and Milk
L-running errands so may get something out
D – Tuna Egg Foo Yung for Hubby – Not sure about me???

Tuesday, 11/30

B-Eggs, Bacon, Biscuits
L-Turkey Dawgs, Veggies, Chips and Dip
D-Spaghetti Casserole, Salad

Spaghetti Casserole

(Makes 2 casseroles, 6 servings each)

16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta
1 ½ pound ground beef (I use ground chicken)
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 c. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, cook beef, drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat. Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8 inch square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole 350 degrees 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in fridge overnight. Remove from fridge, 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed.

Wednesday, 12/1

B-Pancakes and Sausage
L-Leftover Spaghetti
D – Chicken/Fish and Tots or Fries

Thursday, 12/2

L-Soup and Sammie
D – Freezer Meal-Cheesy Chicken Bundles, Rice, Frozen Mixed Vegetables, Rolls

Friday, 12/3

B-Oatmeal and Yogurt
D – Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole – Double this recipe

* 1 pkg (14-oz) Mac and cheese deluxe
* 1 lb ground beef (I use ground chicken)
* 1 pkg taco mix
* ¾ water
* ¾ cup sour cream
* 1 ½ c shredded cheese
* 1 c salsa

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Make noodles according package directions. Brown ground beef. Drain and rinse. Add water and taco mix. Simmer according to package directions. Drain noodles. Add cheese sauce and sour cream. Mix well. Layer in a greased casserole, ½ noodles, meat, 1 c cheese, rest of noodles, salsa. Bake covered for 15 minutes remove cover add cheese and bake 5 minutes more

Frozen directions: Thaw completely in refrigerator and bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes adding cheese the last 5 minutes. Or cook in microwave for 15 minutes, stir add cheese and cook for 2 minutes more.

Saturday, 12/4

B-Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

2 c. Bisquick
2 T sugar
1 egg
2/3 c. water or milk
Streusel topping (below)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease round pan. Mix all ingredients except topping; beat vigorously 30 seconds. Spread in pan; sprinkle with topping. Bake 20-25 minutes. 8 servings.

Streusel topping: Mix 1/3 c. Bisquick, 1/3 c. packed brown sugar, 1/ 2 t. cinnamon, and 2 T firm margarine until crumbly.

D – Freezer Meal-Lasagna Roll-ups, Salad, Garlic Bread

Sunday, December 5

L-Since we were out of town for Thanksgiving, I'm making a dinner at home today so, Turkey Breast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Stuffing, Yams, Green Beans, Cranberry Crunch and Rolls

Cranberry Crunch

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup margarine
1 can whole cranberry sauce

Mix first four ingredients; spread half on bottom of greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Next spread the cranberry sauce. Cover with remaining oat mixture. Bake 350 degrees 45 minutes.
D-Clean Out Refrigerator Night

That's my week. How about you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

South Carolina week

We are in South Carolina this Thanksgiving week so I didn't post my menu yesterday. I brought several freezer meals with me. Sunday we had Cavatini with Garlic Bread Sticks and a Spinach Salad. Yesterday we had Chicken Cordon Bleu, Corn on the Cob and Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. Today we will be having Jody's Chicken and Noodles, more Salad and Rolls. Wednesday we will have White Chicken Chili with all the fixings and Turkey day we are eating at Cracker Barrel. Friday we will clean out the fridge! I brought Butterscotch Banana Bread from the freezer as well to enjoy with our coffee in the morning and tide us over with breakfast until we went shopping.

Bringing freezer meals has made my vacation so much easier. We went to the store yesterday and bought breakfast and lunch items and a few things to round out my freezer meals. This saves us a lot of money. Plus this is much yummier than most things we could find at the restaurants.

I am thankful we were able to get away for this trip. Hubby had BP gift cards he had earned to pay for our gas and I had some baby sitting money put back to pay for some expenses. God is good! I am so thankful for his provision to us during Robert's unemployment. Keep praying for him to be given a job soon!

Have a super happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Menu for week of November 15th

Okay, so we all have had colds. Actually, still have colds. So, I didn't stick to the plan last week. I did make some of the meals. I really liked the Breakfast Crescents. The whole family enjoyed those. I made spaghetti tacos for Robyn's sleepover. Those things were just plain messy. And trying to put the boiling hot spaghetti into those crispy corn taco shells, was plain difficult! What are these? A joke? Thank you icarly.

So here's the plan this week:


Breakfast-One Eyed Sailors (this sounds good to my stuffed up nose) and Juice
Lunch-Soup (we've been opening a lot of cans of Progresso and Chunky soup around here)
Dinner-Hamburger Helper (made with ground chicken), Green Beans


Breakfast-Cereal and Milk (Blueberry Mini-Wheats)
Dinner-Spaghetti Casserole (recipe below)-freeze 1/2, Salad


Breakfast-Toast with Peanut Butter and Sliced Banana
Lunch-English Muffins with Egg, Ham and Cheese
Dinner-Freezer Meal-Taco Soup


Breakfast-Oatmeal and Yogurt
Lunch-Freezer Pizzas
Dinner-Breakfast for dinner (probably something with Pancakes)


Breakfast-Sausage and Cheese Muffins
Lunch-Soup and Grilled Cheese
Dinner-Chicken and Dumplings, Broccoli Cornbread


Breakfast-More Sausage and Cheese Muffins on the road with our coffee to go and headed out of town. Yipee!!!

I am taking plenty of meals from my freezer to eat at our condo while we enjoy a week a way. My plans are to bring: Cavatini, Jody's Chicken and Noodles, White Chicken Chili, Chicken Bundles and a Banana Butterscotch Bread from the freezer. This will free up more room for me in the freezer as well as make my meal planning on vacation a breeze. And we will eat at Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving Day.

Spaghetti Casserole

(Makes 2 casseroles, 6 servings each)

16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta
1 ½ pound ground beef
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 c. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, cook beef, drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat. Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8 inch square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole 350 degrees 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in fridge overnight. Remove from fridge, 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed.

Have a terrific week!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu for the week of November 8th


Breakfast-Coffee Cake,
Lunch-Lovely Leftovers
Dinner-Broccoli Ham Bake (recipe below), Salad


Breakfast-Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (extras to freeze), Yogurt
Lunch-Lovely Leftovers
Dinner-Mr. Food's Chicken Kiev, Green Beans, Rice Pilaf


Breakfast-One Eyed Sailors, Bacon
Lunch-Soup, Peanut Butter Sammies
Dinner-Sloppy Joes, Fries, Apple Crisp


Breakfast-Malt O Meal, Oatmeal, Yogurt
Lunch-15 Minute Parmesan Pasta with Shrimp
Dinner-Breakfast Crescents (recipe below), Scrambled Eggs, Fruit


Breakfast-Pancakes and Bacon
Lunch-Sammies, Veggies and Dip
Dinner-Freezer Pizzas for Hubby and I, Spaghetti Tacos for daughter and her sleepover friends (it's an I-Carly thing!), Popcorn and snacks


Breakfast-Donuts and Hot Cocoa
Lunch-Soup and Cheese and Crackers
Dinner-Cowboy Bake (recipe below), Salad


Breakfast-Toaster Strudel, Yogurt
Lunch-Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, Corn, Biscuits
Dinner-Clean Out the Refigerator Night (CORN)

Broccoli Ham Bake

2 lbs frozen chopped broccoli
2 lbs frozen hash browns (southern style - the
little cubes)
2 cups milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cups ham -- cubed (2 to 3)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Spread hash browns in two greased 9x13 inch baking dishes. Sprinkle chopped broccoli and ham over hash browns. In separate bowl, blend soups and milk until smooth and pour over the casseroles. Wrap baking dishes, label and freeze. Place cheese shreds in two smaller freezer bags and attach to baking dishes.

To serve: Thaw. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
16 oz. pumpkin
1 ½ c. oil
2 t. soda
2 t. b. powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
12 oz. mini chocolate chips

Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Add flour and spices. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into 24 greased muffin tins. Bake 400 degrees 15-20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from tins.

Breakfast Crescents

8 crescent rolls (refrigerator type)
8 sausage links
8 slices cheddar cut into thin slices

Cut a slit lengthwise across the top of each sausage link, then stuff each with 1 slice cheese. Place cheese side down at wide end of crescent triangle. Roll and place cheese side up on ungreased baking tin. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Cowboy Bake

1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 10.oz can tomatoes
1 C frozen corn kernels
pinch of chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C of your favorite cheese, grated.

For topping:

1 8.5oz package of corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes in oil.

Add chicken and brown, then add tomatoes, corn, chili powder and salt. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into the pie pan.

If serving, same day:

Top with grated cheese. In a mixing bowl, prepare muffin mix according to package. Spread evenly over chicken mixture and bake for 30 minutes.

If freezing:

Reserve cheese in sandwich bag and do not mix corn muffin mix until the day you serve. Lable, freeze with baggy of cheese. To serve, thaw, top with mix and cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Something for your left over ham :)

2 lbs ham - chopped into bite sized chunks
6 medium potatoes - peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium onions - peeled and chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded Colby cheese

Combine ham with potatoes and onions and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour cream of mushroom soup over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. About an hour before serving stir in cheese.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Okay, here's the run down.

The dryer works! Who hoo!!! I am so proud of my hubby for stepping out of his comfort zone and actually repairing the dryer. Before he was unemployed, he would have called a repair man, or just bought a new dryer. Now, since money is tight or nonexistent, he tackled the job himself. With a little research and pointers from my dad and help from a buddy to get it out of the nook and back in, viola! we have a working dryer. I was so excited last night I immediately washed three loads of clothes.

But....big but here...the washer is leaking. At first, we thought it was water coming from the dyer. It sat out on the deck under a tarp while he painted the nook and put down new vinyl tile. Hubby found a hole in the tarp and a little water got in the machine. But them we looked and the water was coming out from under the washer. So...hubby will be doing a little research on this and, hopefully, will be able to repair it as well.

He painted the remainder of the little bathroom and had quite a lot of seepage under the tape so has lots of touching up to do. Also, he hasn't removed the toilet yet, in order to paint around it and lay the remainder of the tile. Hopefully, he will get to finish this chore on Saturday as today he is out and about with his mom helping her with a genealogy quest. At some point, I want to paint the frame around the mirror and the vanity cabinet, but there is no hurry to do that. Maybe a chore for this winter or early spring?

My daughter goes on a Fall Overnight with the church this evening and she is very excited. She has never gone to camp so this will be a way to give it a try for only one night. She is taking a sleeping bag and is very excited to make new friends. As an only child, and now a homeschooled student, it is important that she make friends at church all the more.

While Robyn is gone, Robert and I are going to have a nice quite date night. I had planned on us staying home and having a candlelight dinner and maybe watch a movie together or at the very least visit our favorite bookstore and enjoy conversation over a cup of joe and then guess what? My sweet neighbor, and pastor's wife, Julie, whom you can read all about at http://comehaveapeace.blogspot.com/, brought us a gift card to Panera Bread. What a nice surprise! Now hubby and I can go there and enjoy a cup of coffee and sweet roll or soup and sandwich thanks to her generous and thoughtful heart. Thank you Lord for your gift of friendship!

So that's the run down of things going on around here. Stay tuned for the promised photos of the bathroom and laundry nook.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Election Day!

Remember to go out and cast your vote!

We are going out later in the day to vote. Right now I am just taking a break from working in my kitchen. I have my Cranberry Chicken cooking in the crock pot and have been cleaning and organizing my kitchen pantry.

I have a large pantry with two bi fold doors and a lot of things get stashed in there. It is also where I keep larger appliances and a small tool box or two, a box of batteries, extra paper towels, extra pans for freezer dinners, plastic cups and paper plates for our small groups,etc. It can get really messy. And lately, I'll go the pantry to get something, and it will not be there. Or, at least, I cannot find it. So, I thought an inventory was in order. I have already inventoried my garage freezer and I know what is down there. I just have to remember to update it when I go to the store and add to it, and when I use something in it. I find these inventories really help me when it comes time to menu plan. I am going to try to plan some menus around what I already have. I do have a hard time not buying things on sale and that I have coupons for. I will probably continue to do that while using up my stock.

Hubby is still working on our main bath/laundry nook. He has gone to buy some goof-off for a few paint mistakes and is going to paint the bathroom half today. Tomorrow, we are going to go look for a new, inexpensive toliet. Photos tomorrow.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan for week of November 1st


Breakfast - Toaster Strudels and Bagels
Lunch-Chinese Take-out
Dinner-Turkey Burgers and Fries


Breakfast - One Eyed Sailors
Lunch - Soup and Crackers
Dinner - Dump Cranberry Chicken (recipe below) Eat a serving and freeze extras), Green Bean Casserole, Corn


Breakfast - Oatmeal and Yogurt
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Lasagna Roll-ups, Salad


Breakfast - Pancakes and Link Sausage
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - 15 Bean Soup (recipe below), Super Moist Cornbread (recipe below) (freeze leftover soup)


Breakfast - Quick Crustless Quiche (recipe below), Fruit
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves (recipe below), Scalloped Potatoes (recipe below), Broccoli with White Cheddar Sauce (frozen side), Crescent Rolls


Breakfast - French Toast, Turkey Sausage
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Pizza Pasta Casserole (recipe below), Salad, Texas Toast


Breakfast - Toaster Strudels
Lunch - Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken (recipe below), Baked Beans, Creamy Potato Salad (recipe below)
Dinner - Clean Out Refrigerator Night (CORN)

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Cranberry Sauce
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Just pour the ingredients into a bag with chicken, pork or beef. Freeze. When you take the bag out from the freezer you will either dump it into the crockpot or dump it into a baking dish (some can even be dumped into a frying pan and cooked on the stove top if they are cut into chunks). 350 for 20-40 minutes depending on the size of your meat.

15 Bean Soup

* 15 bean soup dried beans package
* 1 can diced tomatoes
* a small onion, sauteed (from freezer)
* chili powder or chili seasoning packet to taste (I used 2 packets)
* ham, if desired (from freezer)

Rinse beans in a colander and check to be sure there are no stones or other debris. Place beans in a dutch oven and cover with water so that the water is twice as deep as the beans. Heat to boiling and boil for 2 minutes. Turn heat off and cover, let sit for 1 hour. Drain beans in colander and rinse pot. Place beans in slow cooker and cover with water, making sure the water is twice as deep as the beans. Drain tomatoes and add tomatoes and seasoning to beans. If using meat (ham is preferable), add now. Cook on Hi for 5 hours or Low for 8-10 hours.

Super-Moist Cornbread

2 c. S.R. Cornmeal
2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 T sugar
1/3 c. butter

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Melt butter in 8 inch cast-iron skillet in a 425 degree oven 5 min. Tilt skillet to coat evenly with butter. Pour cornbread batter into the buttered skillet. Bake at 425 deg. For 25 minutes or until golden. Remove cornbread immediately from skillet, and let cool.

Little Cheddar Meat Loaves

1 egg
¼ cup milk
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup chopped onion
1 t. salt
1 lb. lean ground beef (I use ground chicken)
2/3 cup ketchup
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ t. mustard

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add the beef and mix well. Shape into 8 loaves; place in greased 13X9X3 in. dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake uncovered 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Very tasty. Freezer Friendly. This is a Taste of Home favorite recipe.

Scalloped Potatoes

1 quart potatoes, pared, and sliced
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 T flour
1-2T grated onions
2 T butter or margarine
2 c. milk

Wash and pare potatoes; slice thin. Place half of the potatoes in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper, flour, onion and bits of butter; repeat the process. Add sufficient milk so that it can just be seen between the top slices. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes; remove cover and continue baking about 30 minutes or until tender and brown.

*with cheese-prepare as directed above; sprinkle each layer with grated cheese.

Pizza Pasta Casserole**TNT**

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion -- chopped
2 jars (28 oz. each) spaghetti sauce
1 package (16 oz.) spiral pasta -- cooked and drained
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced pepperoni

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta. Transfer to two greased 13 x
9 inch baking pans. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange pepperoni over the
top. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Bake the second
casserole, uncovered, at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Each casserole serves 8-10. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the
refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until heated
Per serving: 3984 Calories (kcal); 341g Total Fat; (78% calories from
fat); 200g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 951mg Cholesterol; 5247mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 28 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0
Fruit; 52 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : This was a big hit with everyone, from the 9 year old to her
visiting 70-something grandmother! They licked the casserole clean. The
frozen casserole took longer to cook than the recipe says. Even though I
thawed it overnight, it was still frozen at dinnertime. I cooked it for
about 30 minutes, then covered with foil and cooked another 20 min. I
used boiled hamburger/onion mix rather than browning the ground bbeef in
a pan.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Serves 6


* 4 chicken breasts - can be frozen
* 2 cups ketchup
* 4 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together all ingredients (except chicken) in slow cooker. Add the chicken, coating each piece in sauce. Cook on high for four hours. Remove chicken and shred/pull with forks. Return to pot and stir in sauce to coat. Serve on toasted buns.

Creamy Potato Salad

6 medium boiling potatoes (about 2 lb.)
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 T white vinegar
1 T mustard
1 t. salt
¼ t. pepper
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (½ cup)
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

Cook potatoes; cool slightly. Cut potatoes into cubes. Mix mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add potatoes, celery and onion; toss. Stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors and chill. Cover and refrigerate any remaining leftovers.

Quick Crustless Quiche

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup cooked ham, diced
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 -2 diced green onion, green tops only

In a mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes or until blended. Transfer 2/3 the mixture to a greased 9-in. pie plate. Sprinkle with ham, cheese, and green onion; pour remaining 1/3 of batter over the ham, etc. Be careful because the pie plate will be very full. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.