Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan October 29 - November 4

Football is over :(  They had a great first season!!  They ended up second in their conference, not too bad.  I would have loved to see them win,  but there's always next year.

It's kind of a bittersweet moment.  I know my boys love to play and I sure do enjoy watching them and cheering them on,  but I'm also looking forward to a slower week.  I'm pretty sure hubby is going to enjoy not having to run somewhere EVERY night of the week.

Nice looking group of boys. 

Let's get this week started.  Fortunately,  we are not in the path of Hurricane Sandy here in the south,  but my thoughts are with my family, friends, and everyone having to brace for the storm.  We will be praying for them.  

Since the temperatures are trending down,  I've put a couple days of soup and sandwiches on the menu.  Here's what this week looks like:

Monday - Potato soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday - Baked chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet bread (recipe later this week)

Wednesday - spaghetti and meatballs, garlic parmesan bread

Thursday - homemade pizza

Friday -  vegetable soup and homemade bread

Saturday - Out to eat

Sunday - Dinner at pappy's house (hopefully)

Head on over to Menu  Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie and check out some other menu ideas.  Hope everyone has a blessed week.   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Easy Apple Pie

I'm just going to be honest here,  my apple pies at the holidays were Marie Callender's Dutch Apple Pies.

Pies are just one of my "fears".  I grew up eating probably the best pies around made by my grandma,  but mine were never even close.  It's one of those things I've just NEVER gotten right,  so I quite trying.

I still haven't mastered the crust (I still cheat there),  but I am working on them.  Since hubby is such a sport and pretty much eats ANYTHING I fix,  I'll just keep experimenting:)

Here's an easy apple pie filling I found and it turned out great.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

The crust I used is a package of Pillsbury 9 in. pie crusts.  You simply unroll one and put it in your ungreased pie pan,  how easy is that??  I'm still going to work on a homemade one though!!

For the filling:

     8 small baking apples peeled and thinly sliced (I used granny smith)
     3/4 cup sugar
     2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
     3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
     1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large bowl,  gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate.  Top with second crust.  Wrap the excess top crust under bottom crust edge,  pressing edges together to seal; flute the edges (I also need some work here,  mine wasn't so pretty).  Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.  Cover edge of crust with 2 to 3 inch wide strips of foil after first 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.
Cool on cooling rack for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with some whip cream or ice cream and enjoy.

I'm going to practice on a couple more before Thanksgiving.  Maybe I'll have them perfected by them.  Doubtful!!!

Still,  other than the looks,  it tasted GREAT!!!  The recipe is a keeper,  the presentation needs a little work!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Dumplings

Somehow hubby and I generally have the same ideas running through our minds a lot.  Guess that happens after 18 years of marriage.  This week though,  it has left me with an abundance of apples.  He bought a large bag and I bought a large bag.  I, of course, am looking at this as a good problem.  I've pulled out some recipes to use them up and apple dumplings is a FAVORITE!!

As usual,  simple is the standard.  Here's what you need:

For the crust:
      1 package of 9 in. pie crusts  (easy peasy)
For the sauce:     
      1 cup sugar
      1 cup water
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      pinch of nutmeg
      pinch of salt
      6 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the dumplings:
      4 medium tart baking apples (Granny Smith)
      1/2 cup sugar
      3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 13 X 9 X 2- inch baking dish.  

In a sauce pan,  combine the ingredients for the sauce.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon.  Set aside.  Core and peel the apples then cut in quarters.  

Roll out the pie crust and cut into four sections.  Place two apple pieces in the center of each section.  Sprinkle apples with cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Paint the edges of the crust with a little water and wrap the dough around the apples, pinching edges to seal.  Place dumplings in the baking dish.  Repeat with the second pie crust.

Pour the sauce over the apples.  Sprinkle dumplings with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture if desired.  Bake fore 45 to 50 minutes until golden.

Serve warm with some ice cream.  DELISH!!!

Tomorrow brings us an apple pie, at hubby's request!!  Hope it turns out just a yummy!!  It will be my first "homemade" apple pie.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Plan October 22-28

Good news,  I was finally able to get my front porch decorated for fall.  One task checked off on the long list of things to do!!  Honestly though,  for every thing I check off I think two more things get added.  How does that happen?

This week is keeping up the busy pace.  The good news is,  it should slow down soon.  This Friday night we will be playing for the Palmetto Football Conference championship.  While I have thoroughly enjoyed this football season,  I will welcome the break.  Not to mention,  I need to start getting ready for the holidays!!

This week's schedule includes football practice Mon, Tues., and Thursday; church Wednesday; game Friday; and work Saturday and Sunday.  With all that in mind,  the menu will once again be very simple.

Here's what we're having this week:

Monday - ravioli and tortellini

Tuesday - chicken gravy biscuits, mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn  (dessert - apple dumplings)

Wednesday - hamburgers, mac n cheese, peas

Thursday - homemade chicken noodle soup and crackers  (dessert - blueberry dump cake)

Friday - IT'S GAME TIME!!!  We'll be eating out after the game!!  I'm not sure where yet.

Saturday - Date night for me and hubby,  I'm thinking Japanese Steakhouse:)  The kiddos will be having pizza.

Sunday - Left overs or whatever hubby can come up with (probably Zaxby's).  LOL

I'm linking up at Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie.  There are so many great ideas you can steal and try out on your family.  I've got a list I'm wanting to try when things slow down a little bit here.  Hope everyone has a great week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan October 15 - 21

Ready for another busy week.  Last week I managed to keep school on track, work 2 days,  kids had clean clothes to wear, Bible Club Wednesday night, and football every other night (just to name a few).  The house is a wreck,  but hey I can't do EVERYTHING!!!!  I also had to have three sets of homemade pompoms for my three little cheerleaders!!

How Cute Are They???
The three dark haired girls in the front row are mine!!

I also made the cute little red and white tutu in the middle there.  I got orders for a couple more tutus for next week!!  I'm gonna be busy again this week!!  So,  the menu this week is super simple.

Monday - hamburgers, fries, fruit

Tuesday - salsa chicken and spanish rice

Wednesday - crock pot chilli

Thursday - homemade pizza

Friday - potato soup

Saturday - PLAY OFF GAME for the HURRICANES!!  If they win,  we're goin' OUTBACK,  if they loss,  we're heading to McDs.  LOL

Sunday - It's Pastor Appreciation Day,  so I'm fixing crock pot lasagna, salad, garlic cheese bread,  and OH  Henry Bars.

Check out Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie's for more menu ideas. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Giardino (My Version)

One of my favorite restaurants is Olive Garden.  Unfortunately,  they took my favorite dish , chicken giardino,  off their menu.  Don't get me wrong,  there are many other dishes there that I like and  I will continue to eat there.

I found a recipe online that sounded very similar.  I did a little adding and subtracting of ingredients and now have a dish that is VERY similar to Olive Garden's chicken giardino!!

Here's what you need:
       4-6 chicken breasts
       1/4 cup butter
       1 package of dry Italian salad dressing
       1 can cream of chicken soup  (you could also use cream of mushroom)
       1/2 cup of dry white wine
       5 oz. Philadelphia cooking cream Italian cheese and herb
       1 box bow tie pasta
        Vegetables of your choice (I used peas and corn this time)
Another bonus,  this is a crock pot recipe.  You simply throw it together,  enjoy the aroma all day,  and then eat up!!!

1.  Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot
2.  Combine the cream of chicken soup,  white wine, cooking cream, and package of Italian salad dressing in a bowl and pour over the chicken.
3.  Cut the butter into pats and place into the crock pot as well.
4.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours

I added canned peas and corn (drain some of the liquid) a couple hours before the chicken would be finished.  You can add whatever you like.  Next time,  I think I'll add snap peas, carrots, and broccoli.  Of course,  squash and zucchini would taste very good too.  The options are unlimited!!!  

Prepare your pasta just before time to eat.  Combine the chicken dish and pasta and serve.  Sprinkle some shredded parmesan cheese over the top and serve with some garlic bread,  delish!!!

Sorry for a not so great pic.  I didn't remember to take one until I was putting the leftovers away.  I have to work on that.

I also might mention, my 14 year old fixed this!  That's just how easy it is!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan October 8-14

What a busy weekend we had.  I agreed to work another night shift (something I haven't done in a while), got in a little nap before the boys football game, only to rush home to watch our Mountaineers play.  It was a good day, our boys won their game and the 'eers squeaked out a win against Texas.  Sunday was filled with church, food, Christmas play practice and more church.  Now,  it's back to the routine of school, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and work!!!  One of these days,  I'm going to make it a "do nothing day".  DREAMS!!!

On to the menu for the week:

Monday - Southwestern steaks, roasted potatoes, baked beans

Tuesday - steak n' gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls

Wednesday - pizza

Thursday - oven baked chicken fajitas, spanish rich

Friday -  baked shrimp (recipe to follow), caramelized squash, crescent rolls

Whoa... Melt a stick of butter in the pan.  Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried Italian seasoning. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 min. Best Shrimp you will EVER taste:)

Saturday - Pepperoni rolls, chips, fruit  It's a football game kinda day!!!

Sunday - Hubby duty - I have to work :(

For more meal ideas,  head on over to Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.  Have a great week!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reese's Cheesecake Brownies

I must warn you,  these are very rich.  You MUST love peanut butter and chocolate and love them together.  Since I do,  I enjoyed this rich dessert.  It does take a bit of prep work though which goes against my easy norm.  However,  it was worth the effort.  Here's what you need to gather:

     19.5 oz box chocolate fudge brownie mix
     8 oz package cream cheese, softened
     14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
     1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
     12 oz Reese's Pieces candy
     12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
     3 tbsp whipping cream
     12 large Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Prepare the brownig mix according to package directions.  Spread the batter in the pan and set aside.  In a large bowl,  beat cream cheese with hand-held mixer until fluffy.  Add condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the Reese's Pieces candies and spoon the mixture over the batter.  Spread evenly.

3. Bake for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown.  Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4.  While the brownie/cheesecake layer is cooling, in a double boiler melt your chocolate chips and add the whipping cream, stirring until smooth.

5.  Spread the chocolate over the brownie/cheesecake and cover with the chopped Reese's cups.  Allow to cool.  (I didn't have my PB cups chopped and therefore the chocolate set before I got them on.  I will do better next time.)  They were still pretty good.

MMMMMMmmmmmmm good.  Get yourself a big glass of milk and ENJOY!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan October 1-7


Yet another busy week ahead.  Monday and Tuesday are suppose to be rainy all day,  maybe that will give us a small break, in that football practice might be cancelled.  The running wears me out.  So thankful hubby takes a big roll in all that running,  gives me a break.

The weather is suppose to be cooler this week and with the rain,  I've put a couple soup days in the plan.

Monday - potato soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday - chicken and dumplings

Wednesday - hot dogs, french fries, applesauce (It's a workday,  keep it simple.)

Thursday - whole chicken in the crock pot, mashed potatoes/gravy, green beans, corn,  homemade bread

Friday - homemade pizza (carried over from last week)

Saturday - Out to eat after Hurricanes Football -  GO CANES!!!!

Sunday - Veggie soup in the crock pot

Head on over to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.