Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Recipes’

Upcoming Menus

Another “cook out of the pantry” few weeks…..This week, at the grocery, I had to buy lunch and breakfast foods.  In doing that, it depletes my 2 week grocery budget :/  I will be making more granola, breakfast burritos, and I may tackle some granola bars…we shall see.  I still have muffins left over from last month (they are frozen).  By doing this OAMC breakfast cooking, it will keep my costs down with buying cereal or prepackaged food.

Lunch….we still do leftovers, but lately my ravenous children have been consuming all the food that I cook at night.  I mean, I have to feed them, ya know.  Little pigs LOL  I’m going to see how far I can stretch it without going to the grocery for anything more than fruit and milk.

Week 1

Chicken and Potato Casserole, Corn pudding, and Asparagus with Feta

Zuppa Toscana & Chili

Garlic Herb Steak & Potatoes, rolls, lima beans

Ham & Hashbrown Casserole, corn, peas

Pizza (kids will have chili mac)


Week 2

Spaghetti, Artisan bread, salad



Beef & Broccoli and Rice

Chicken Cheddar Ranch Casserole, mac & cheese, green beans

Tomato Basil & Cheeseburger Soup

Week 3

Chicken Alfredo

Vegetable Beef Soup/Chicken Noodle Soup

Roast & Potatoes with mushroom gravy, corn, green beans, mac & cheese



Pizza (kids will have chili mac again)

I have enough food, in my pantry and freezer to accommodate all these meals.  I will need to get another thing of pizza sauce and some fresh mushrooms.  I also need to get buns.  To fill in, we will need fresh fruit and bread….possibly cheese because, you know….I love cheese.

The next week is Thanksgiving week and my oldest daughter’s 22nd birthday, so supper for that day (the 24th) is her pick 🙂  I’m hoping that I do not have to do grocery shopping for a couple of weeks (until the next paycheck comes through) because I’ve almost tapped out this last paycheck LOL

Rule:  Never go to the store hungry because then you buy things you really do not want/need.




Cooking Out of My Pantry Menu

So, Big Daddy does not get paid until the 30th of October….so I’m a little wonky on our budget.  I went over by $16 for our groceries, this week….that included dishwasher tabs and a case of pullups….so really, I was good on food but behind on my “misc” envelope.  I tanked that envelope because Fabulous Frannie had buy 3 get one free plus 15% off and I needed to replace some… I did 🙂

With that being said, I am cooking out of my pantry this week (and possibly next week).  I do this, occasionally to save money.  So, when I grocery shop, on the weeks that I cook out of my pantry, I do bulk breakfast foods or I buy extra cans of things that I can stockpile.  I also buy fresh fruits and veggies.



Chili and Pasta E Fagioli

Beef & Broccoli, rice

Italian Pork Tenderloin, Steak Fries, Corn pudding, Peas

Pasta Casserole, Bread (already had on hand)


Meal Planning: Off Schedule

I am a creature of habit and I have a slight OCD problem.  If I set something up, I want to follow it to a tee and if I don’t….it sends my innards into a free for all and I end up with a belly ache.

Yes….I realize that is an issue and I need to relax a bit.

This weekend, Big Daddy is sacrificing his time with us to work some overtime.  So, it is me and the kids.  That automatically throws my mojo off.  Saturdays are family time, honey do lists time, and me do whatever I’m itching to do at the moment.  Today, I’m parenting alone, making grocery lists, working on my weeks menu, going to the grocery, going to the bank (if there is time because I am procrastinating), dealing with stitches, and adult children moments.

With that I am throwing caution to the wind and I’m using up the last of my freezer meals and I’m throwing in an old childhood favorite my mom used to make.  I will have little grocery shopping to do, as I premade a whole lot of breakfast items, I do not have to buy much in the way of that (except milk and yogurt).  Lunch stuff…well, when you homeschool, that is *always* needed, but there are days, like today, that we have leftovers.  That helps.  This week, we probably won’t have any leftovers because my children are ravenous and they think they are always starving.  I still have a thing of spaghetti sauce I made and froze.  There are also 2 huge packs of chicken breasts that I need to thaw and boil.  Always always ALWAYS save your broth.  You can freeze it in mason jars and save it for soups.


Pasta Casserole (freezer meal) and french bread


Mom’s Tacos (I probably have not had these in 30 years….I am stoked)

Doro Wot & Injera for some….others will have baked chicken, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Tortellini Soup & Chili

Mississippi Roast, Mac & cheese, roasted italian potatoes, and corn

What’s on tap for your family, this week?

Pretty Successful Baking Day

I got quite a bit done on my baking day, yesterday.  Hunter helped me line the muffin tins (he did three…Noah did 33 LOL).  He was quick to be done because it was boring to him.  Oh well…no harm no foul.  I bribed him to naptime with a banana muffin.  It worked.  So everyone is thrilled.



**You can put this in a loaf pan.  Also, I doubled this recipe to make more cause I had lots of bananas.**

2 c. self rising flour

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. butter, softened

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas

1/3 c. plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

1 tsp. vanilla

I put all of this together in my giant mixer and I just let it mix.  I used a 1/4 measuring cup to dole it out into the the muffin tins.  With DOUBLING this recipe, I made 42 muffins.  I baked them at 350 for between 12-15 minutes.  I do not fill all the way up to the top because they will rise (hence the self rising flour)….I do about 1/2 full.



**Again, I doubled**

2 c. self rising flour

1 T. poppy seeds

1/2 c. butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp lemon extract OR the zest of 1 lemon

1 c. yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

2 tsp. vanilla

Throw it all together and I did the same as above.  The only major difference I saw was that this batter is DENSE.  Because it was dense, I did fill them about 3/4 the way full.  They do NOT need to be filled more than a 1/2.  I could have stretched this out to maybe 36 muffins but you live and you learn.  I ended up making 24 muffins, which is fine but I could have stretched it.  These would be good with a powdered sugar glaze or a lemon glaze over them…..


1 lb of sausage


18 eggs

Splash of milk

Colby Jack (or any cheese for that matter)

Spinach (optional)

Flour taco shells

I first chopped up my bacon finely and got that moving and grooving.  Then I added my sausage.  You can add seasoning, but our bacon is extremely salty, so I did not need to add anymore to eat. I also added my sausage.  If your sausage and bacon are store bought…might want to drain it.  Ours is “homegrown” so there is no fat.

While that was cooking away, I got all my eggs in my mixing bowl and I add a splash of milk (that’s how my Granny did it).  I poured it on top of the sausage and let it start cooking.  I then finely chopped my spinach and throw that in there.

Once it was all cooked up, I put about 2 good tablespoons in the center of my flour tortilla and added some cheese.  I rolled it up burrito style and I lined a baking sheet with them.  Once my baking sheet was full, I put them in the freezer to “flash freeze” them.  I do this so they will not stick together in my bag.  I will wrap them individually in saran wrap and then put them in a gallon sized freezer bag.

This made 48 burritos.



*I did not double*

1 1/2 c. oats

1 1/4 c. self rising flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. applesauce

1/2 c. milk

3 T. oil

1 egg white


1/4 c. oats

1 T. brown sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 T. butter, melted

Mix the muffin ingredients and put them in your muffin tins.  Sprinkle the topping over it.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Muffins


**I doubled this**

1 1/3 c. self rising flour

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. cocoa

1 c. milk

1/2 c. butter, melted

Next time I will add in shredded zucchini and oats cause this stuff is GOOD and I can hide all the “healthy” stuff and my kids will never know.

Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.


3 c. oats

3 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

**add nuts, seeds, or dried fruits**

Mix all together and bake at 300 for 5-15 minutes.  Be sure and stir often to prevent burning.  It will chunk up, so once dried, just take a fork and unchunk it.


147 muffins. 48 breakfast burritos. gallon baggie of granola later…… I am done.

When Sad…….Bake

I can’t stop the sadness….so I will squash it down and bake.  Normally, when I’m down, I organize, but as you know from previous blog posts….I am, literally, out of things to organize in my home and all my computers.

Now, I’m going to work on my master plan to cook/freeze some meals.  I’m not going to do a months worth (though the last time, I cooked in July and we still have freezer meals in the freezer and it is October *insert pat on own back*).  This time I’m working through my PINTEREST BOARDS and I cook one meal, twice to freeze for a later time.  I’m sort of jacked up on my weeks cause I went to the store without my new list…so I am working on my WEEKS 14 & 40.  I also bought some extra chili hot beans cause I have a ton of tomato juice that I canned (super easy and saves money).

Right now, Big Daddy requested spaghetti….I usually *always* have that on hand for a quick supper that everyone loves (to make it a tad healthier, I use whole grain (NOT whole wheat aka cardboard) noodles).  I bought some spiral noodles and 4 jars of spaghetti sauce (another tip to save a bit of money is do not use the spaghetti packets.  I just add my seasoning, minced onions, minced garlic, basil, italian seasoning and oregano).  I browned my meat with my seasoning, added 2 jars of spaghetti sauce (be sure to put a bit of water in the empty jar and swish it around to get all the sauce out) and I made my spiral noodles, al dente.  I mixed it all together and put it in a 13×9 aluminum pan….put some mozzarella and parm on top and froze it for a later time.  While I was doing all of that, I was also browning up more meat (for the spaghetti) and I did my regular noodles.  One dinner we ate, one dinner I froze.  It really took little extra time to to prepare both meals because they were similar.

Tomorrow, Hunter and I are going to prep some breakfast goodies.  I’ve got some sausage, ham, eggs, cheese, and flour tortillas to make a good mess of breakfast burritos.  I flash freeze them on a cookie sheet before I put them in gallon freezer bags to freeze.  That prevents them from sticking together.  I’m also going to make a mess of pancakes, granola for yogurt, fruit bars, applesauce cinnamon muffins, banana muffins, lemon poppyseed muffins, and chocolate oat muffins.  I can control what goes in my recipes versus what is prepackaged.  Plus, in the end, it saves me money because normally I would buy 3 large bags of cereal, lots and lots of yogurt (I will be making my own plain yogurt), processed fruit bars and processed granola bars.  Hunter is stoked.  I am slightly frightened LOL

He has been SO sweet the last couple of weeks….I mean edible kind of sweet….like the boy before the OMS.  His speech has suffered.  His eyes still dance.  He is still unsteady on his feet and struggles doing what is easy for most little boys.

He is still my baby and oh does he know that.  Oh does he know that he has me wrapped around his little bitty finger.  He is my warrior and so help me if he wants to help me cook….that baby can help me cook.

Wish me luck.

Week 14 & 40 Grocery List

Here is the grocery list for Week 14 & 40 You probably have a lot of this on hand.  Adjust however you’d like.

  • thyme
  • thighs
  • pizza crust
  • pizza sauce
  • pepperoni
  • mushrooms x 2
  • frozen pizzas
  • parmesan
  • mozzeralla
  • chili powder
  • soft shell tacos
  • cheddar
  • olives
  • rice
  • sour cream (large)
  • lettuce
  • saltines
  • diced tomatoes x 2
  • tomato paste
  • tomato pesto
  • block parmesan
  • beef bouillon
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onions
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • pepperoncini peppers
  • 1 packet au jus
  • 1 packet ranch
  • roast
  • red kidney beans
  • great northern beans x 2
  • zuchinni x 6
  • tube pasta
  • frozen green beans
  • spinach
  • butter
  • chicken bouillon
  • heavy cream
  • Italian seasoning
  • chicken breasts
  • tortellini x 2
  • lima beans
  • elbow noodles
  • velveeta
  • asparagus x 2
  • prosciutto
  • jiffy mix
  • cream corn
  • canned corn x 2
  • potatoes
  • green onions
  • milk
  • tater tots
  • cream of mushroom soup

Gearing Up

Since I did my Once a Month Cooking Session, back in July, I’m ready to start again.  I have had a hysterectomy since then, so one week of recovery also included generous folks helping a girl out and bringing supper to my crew.  So very thankful…..I have thoughts on that, but I will save that for another day.

My youngest has also had his second round of IVIG (immunotherapy) for his OMS (Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome), so he has had a bit of a set back…also, my daughter, who was in military school for 22 weeks), also came home.  Also, my sweet Lady is hanging on, so I am trying to spend as much time as I can with her before the Lord has her room ready.  I’m SO thankful that her boys are home (one lives out of state and one is recovering from a massive accident).  She loves them so deeply and it is such a joy to be a fly on the wall with these two…and their sweet wives 🙂  She also was a proud great Granny Jo again, when her granddaughter had her latest bundle of joy.  Lots of joy in the midst of life.  So lots going on, as usual.  It has been an adjustment with me just being tired and sore, Hunter being wobbly and unsteady, and G learning how to be a part of this family, me trying to stay with my Lady as I can… we have been keeping our heads down and just muddling through.

I do have food leftover from the last time (I know, right LOL)….so I do have a “base” of what I’m working with.  I am switching up suppers and such (using my PINTEREST boards).  As I cook, if I do not like a recipe, I immediately delete it and add a new one to replace it.  There was a pork quinoa recipe that was like eating the treads off a car…..sadly, I have another one of those, frozen…I’ll be thawing that sucker out and giving it to the chickens…I love my family *too* much to feed them that again.

What I will do, this time around, is cook this weeks of menus and double it.  We will eat on one set of meals and the other will be used either as we need it (aka when I’m over it and still have to feed the people who live in my house) or save it till for week 14 of the New Year (Weeks 14 & 40 are the same).  We shall see.

I still have the following frozen dishes:

Chicken wrapped in bacon (mashed potatoes and peas)

Cheeeseburger soup and Chili

Breakfast Casserole

Stuffed Pepper Soup and Enchilada Soup

Baked Chicken legs (roasted Italian potatoes and cauliflower/broccoli au gratin)

Mexican Lasagna

Spinach Mexican Lasagna

For this week….I am making (doubling):



Minestrone Soup and Creamy Tuscan Garlic  Tortellini Soup

Mississippi Roast (sour cream and cheddar mashed potatoes, Mac & cheese, Zucchini)

Buttery Garlic Herb Chicken & Zucchini (Au gratin potatoes, prosc. wrapped asparagus)

Cowboy Casserole (Corn Pudding & Lima Beans)

I am also going to see if my budget stretches to Weeks 15 & 41 to cook a bit more and freeze a bit more.

On tap for that is:



Easy Lo Mein (with Egg Drop Soup)

Chicken Parmesan Soup & Asiago Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup

Skillet Chicken with Garlic Herbed Butter Sauce (crispy garlic smashed potatoes, green bean casserole)

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti (Bread and salad)

My grocery list will be on tomorrow’s post (I hope).  I will also include any breakfast or lunch freezer meals.

Organizational Tip: Let’s Talk Pinterest

Pinterest.  I do not necessarily enjoy it.  It is overwhelming.  I do not spend hours upon hours scouring the pinterest boards.  I only follow my family, cause I feel like I have too. To me, it is a stressor.


I have realized that I can actually use this to my advantage.  I tried this about a year ago, maybe and it was just too much.  Too many colors, options, ideas, thoughts… mind could not handle anymore information.

I have come up with a plan.

And I love it when a plan comes together.

We shall try this again.

This time, I shall SUCCEED.

There are 52 weeks in a year.  Yes?  Yes.  I created a DIFFERENT board that started at Week 1 and ended on Week 26.  That is 1/2 the year.  I thought I might have to stab myself in the eye with a used q-tip if I had to come up with the entire year, but 1/2 the year is doable for me.

Week 1 Menu – Week 27 Menu (same board and same menu)

Week 2 Menu – Week 28 Menu

Catch my drift….all in all I have 26 boards and it covers all 52 weeks.

Now, there are 7 days in a week.  I cook on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (unless we are at church), Friday, Saturday.  I do not cook Sundays.  I went ahead and marked Thursdays as pizza night, as this is tradition, so I cook mark that off.  To help with my sanity, I allotted Fridays as EITHER hamburgers/dogs/fries night or taco night.  I altered those days, so have the year was hamburgers and half the year was tacos…..are you still with me?

Next, I chose Saturdays as soup days (my obsession is real and I am a soup whore, if you please).  I cook 2 soups for my crew cause 1 just is not enough (also we eat leftovers for lunch until it is gone…hence saving us money).

I went through the soup recipes that I had.  I reached out on fb (you can click on the FB button on the right of this page to follow me there) and from there, I compiled a list of 52 soups.  They are all different, cause I like to try new things.  I have made nearly all of them of though cause I’m always making soup.  As I picked 2 soups, I would drop them into my already made board of Week 1 Menu and Week 27 Menu…I continued on till all 26 weeks were covered.

In short, we have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday accounted for.  All I had left was Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  The existing boards I had left, with recipes was Chinese, Pork, Steak, Mexican.  I divided those out. So I had “X” amount of each to fill up my weeks.  My last big feat was to have equal amounts of Italian dishes and Beef dishes.  By the time I got done, all 26 boards had main dishes for the nights of the week that I cook.  After I got my main dishes done, I added in my side dishes.

With these boards, I will transfer over to my blog and I will comprise a detailed grocery list of what I need for my Week 1 menu.  What I will also do, is get my freezer aluminum pans, double the recipes and freeze the second one.  So by the time week 27 comes around, I will A) know what I am cooking thanks to my pinterest board and B) I will have already cooked it.  It is a win win.

There are no two recipes or weeks alike.  I have done all different stuff.  I will post my honest opinion on whether it was good or not.  I do, however, tweak most of my recipes.  I add too or take away from, so I will notate that as well.

No, I am not bored.

Yes, I do find the time.

No, my children are not neglected during this.

Yes, I truly enjoy doing things like this.

Feel free to look at my boards (again you can find my pinterest boards if you click on the icon in the right side bar and you can follow me on any social media) and use them.  My hope and pray is that this works out.

I can always take a picture of my grocery list, online, and send it to Big Daddy and he can pick up my groceries on the way home….I’m telling ya….WIN WIN.

Weeks 11 & 37 Grocery List

Head on over to my PINTEREST BOARD for this week.  This is the 37th week of the year.  I cannot believe we are that far into this year…..sigh……Anyway, I will post my grocery list for this week.  If this were week 11, there is a high chance, I would double each of these recipes (with the exception of hamburger/pizza nights).  I will do that because by the time the 37th week rolls around, I will already have food ready, so in essence, I’m only cooking 1/2 the year.  Now, I will not commit to always doing that, but if we have the extra funds, then I surely will.  I freeze things in aluminum throw away dishes, also, I use my glass dishes on occasion.  I also utilize 1 & 2 gallon freezer bags and quart bags.

I will list any changes that I make with my menus here.  If I do not like a recipe, I will delete it from my pinterest board and immediately replace it.  Most of these recipes are new.

Hashbrown Potato Soup:  The original recipe calls for carrots…my family does not like cooked carrots, so I will be omitting them.  Also, to make this low carb, use cauliflower chunks instead of hashbrown.  Replace the flour with cornstarch.  I do not buy canned chicken broth.  I either use water and chicken bouillon or I use my own broth that I have saved from boiling chicken and frozen.  Also, you can use heavy cream instead of 1/2 and 1/2.  I did, with this recipe, add a can of cream of chicken.  It is not necessary.  Since I did this in the Instant Pot, I went ahead and add about 4 washed and chunked potatoes cause the hashbrowns really had some texture but mainly just thickened it.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup:  The original recipe calls for celery and carrots.  Again, not my crews favorite, so I’m leaving those out.  You can replace the all purpose flour with cornstarch to make this low carb.  You can also replace the 1/2 and 1/2 with heavy cream.  Chicken broth….read above 🙂  I added a can of cream of mushroom soup to this.  Again, not necessary.  I also used Basil and Marjoram instead of Thyme and Rosemary (I didn’t have any).  Cheddar was also used cause it is yummy.

Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos:  I do not usually buy taco packets.  I use chili powder and cumin.  Also, will be serving this over corn tortilla chips, but you can use them in a corn tortilla or a flour tortilla and serve with sour cream/salsa/pico de gallo.

Grocery List:

20 oz. hashbrown

Chicken broth (3 or you can use water and chicken boullion)

Bacon (2)


Onion (3)

Garlic, minced


Heavy cream (or 1/2 and 1/2) Get a large one for both soups


Scallions (optional)

Carrots (optional)

Celery (optional)


Chicken breasts (I would buy 1 large thing of fresh boneless/skinless.  Each breast can be cut in 1/2.  I use 3 chicken breasts, cut in half for a meal.)


Cremini Mushrooms




Bay Leaf

Corn Tortillas

Packet of dry Ranch

Chili seasoning


20 oz. 3 Cheese tortellini

Eggs (6)



French bread loaf (cut in half, spread butter on each half with garlic, add mozzarella cheese, close it up…wrap it in aluminum foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes)

Head of cauliflower

Diced carrots

Frozen peas

Soy Sauce

Fresh mushrooms

Kale (or fresh spinach)


Vegetable stock (or you can use water and beef boullion)

Rice Wine Vinegar

Round steak or flank steak

Of course…I add stuff for burgers and hotdogs, as well as, our pizza night.







Alice’s Chicken: Brandi Style

I have had a hankering for Alice’s Chicken for quite a while.  I’m still cooking from my July OAMC but since my surgery is coming up, I’m cooking out of my pantry and fridge to help save those meals for when we need them.

I have no boneless skinless chicken because I used it all in my OAMC.  I have drumsticks but that is saved for Ethiopian food that I’m making for Jude.  I do, however, have a package of thighs.  I also have our super salty bacon from getting our pig slaughtered.  I cooked my bacon and I’m going to use it in place of adding salt…bacony taste and salty.

Once my bacon is done, I took it out of my big electric skillet and I got my chicken thighs out.  I pulled off all the skin.  If I cook it with the skin on and then put the toppings on and cooked it…it would have been rubbery.  I may fry up that skin just to chew on, though.  I laid my chicken in the little bit of bacon grease I have, top side down and I covered it.  I let it sit for quite a while on low.  I put a tiny bit of seasoning on it but not much.  I flipped it and then I sprinkled more seasoning, covered it and left it.

Once the chicken is almost done (remember it is going to cook in the oven), I’m going to take those out, saute up some onions, garlic and mushrooms.  I place my seasoned chicken pieces in a greased 13×9 dish.  I put the cut up bacon on top, next I add the mushrooms/garlic/onion mixture and last, I add some cut up fresh spinach.

In a separate bowl, I mix 1/3 c. honey, 1/4 c. mustard, 1 T Seasoning salt, and 2 T mayo.  I mix that up and drizzle it over the top of the chicken.  Last, I add cheddar cheese.  I bake this at 350 for about 45 minutes…the chicken is SO tender and the sauce is wonderful.  Like this would be a good sauce for any type of meat.

I could have taken a picture, but I did not get to eat with my crew, as I needed to check on my Lady…they scarfed it down before I got home.  I did get a plate and it was yummy!

%d bloggers like this: