November Menu ~ 2013

I have to admit I’ve been slack. While the rest of the blogging world has gone Halloween and pumpkin crazy I’ve been completely denying that it isn’t September anymore. Is it just me or is time speeding up? I seriously wasn’t mentally prepared for Fall, which is CRAZY because it is my favorite time of year. While I am enjoying the cooler weather and the pumpkin lattes :) I have not done much cooking, and definitely haven’t done any pumpkin or apple baking. So this month’s menu is full of new recipes I plan to get to, with a few oldies but goodies scattered in for those days I just can’t spend all day in the kitchen. Keep an eye out for red links to appear as recipes are posted.


Recipes already linked:

Dolly’s Polish Cabbage Soup

Baked Chimichangas

Chicken Stroganoff

Poor Man’s Mongolian Beef

Ultimate Baked Beans

Baby Portabella, Wild Rice & Turkey Soup

Black Bean Risotto

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Chicken Tarragon

Cheesy Rice Fritters

Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Mexican Rice

Oven Roasted Okra

Tomato Tart on Cornbread Crust

Blueberry Cobbler

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Pineapple Galette

Caramel Praline Tart

Main Dishes:

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches

Turkey Cutlets with Tomato Cream Sauce

Favorite Chicken Enchiladas

Skinny Veggie Lasagna

Spanish Style Red Snapper

Sunday Chicken

Easy Pad Thai with Chicken

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

Breakfast & Lunch Boxes:

Oatmeal, Flaxseed & Blueberry Muffins

Fruit and Nut Fritters

Turkey Bacon & Cheddar Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Pizza Quesadillas

Apple, Goat Cheese & Honey Tarts

Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bars


Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Harvest Pumpkin Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits

Apples with Caramel Cream Cheese Dip

Crockpot Lasagna

This is an easy and delicious version of lasagna that can be made in the slow cooker. It only takes about 3 1/2 hours to fully cook so plan your time accordingly so it doesn’t burn. Also, I should warn you that this is not a low-fat/low-carb kind of meal, but it is warm and filling and so very lovely for a weeknight dinner. All you have to do is prep the meat and then let the crockpot do the rest of the work. Serve with a salad and some yummy garlic bread.


Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground meat

1/4 cup onion, chopped fine

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

salt & pepper to taste

28 oz. pasta sauce

10 oz. tomato sauce

16 oz. alfredo sauce

1 pkg oven ready lasagna noodles

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded parmesan blend

1. Brown meat with the onion, herbs, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. Drain off any grease and put in 2/3 of the pasta sauce and about 8 oz. of the tomato sauce. Combine well and heat through.

2. Spray the inside of your crockpot and put the remaining 1/3 of the pasta sauce into the bottom. Layer over the sauce 1/3 of the noodles, breaking the pieces to fit as best as you can over the entire bottom of the crock pot. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. Pour 1/3 of the alfredo sauce on top of the noodles, then 1/3 of the Mozzarella cheese. Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture over this.

4. Layer this way two more times: noodles, alfredo, mozzarella, and meat mixture. Any leftover tomato sauce should be added to these layers as well to fill in any gaps.

5. Top it all with the parmesan cheese blend then cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.

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October Menu ~ 2013

Oh, Fall, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…..

I cannot express enough how much I love this season for so many reasons.  I am essentially a cool weather kind of girl, and even though I do enjoy Summers off with the kiddos, I hate to sweat and I truly dislike the clothes. I like the jeans, layers of shirts and jackets, and trendy boots of the Fall season, not to mention the crisp air, apples, pumpkins, turning leaves crunching under your feet, and best of all Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Ah…………….

Okay, maybe the lattes aren’t the very best part of Fall but they come pretty close.

So this month I am jumping  head first into the baking season, full of deliciousness and comfort.  This is my time to snuggle down with a hot cup of spiced chai, read some good books, plan the holiday get-togethers (yeah, I have to start planning now) and cook some awesome food. Ready?

oct collage 2013

October Menu ~ 2013

Meatball Minestrone Soup

Italian Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera

Crock Pot Meatloaf

Skillet Ratatouille

Crock Pot Swiss Chicken

Dijon Dill Salmon

Not Your Typical Rice & Beans

Quinoa, Black Bean & Corn Burritos

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Peasant Soup with Rosemary Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

GF Tex Mex Polenta Pizza

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Dumplings (Pot Stickers)

Pot Roast Sliders with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Crockpot Lasagna


Spinach Squares

Carrot Mash Bake

Savory Skillet Veggies

Asparagus Feta Tart

Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread


Pizza Tarts

Mini Meaty Cheesy Quiches

Corndog Muffins

Pizza Buns

 Chicken Enchilada Puffs


Zucchini Tomato Feta Frittata

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast Cookies


Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler

 Cannoli Tarts

Pumpkin Pie Spice Whoopie Pies

Plum Crumble

Chicken Stroganoff

Here is a yummy twist to an older standard. I love regular stroganoff but we don’t eat a whole lot of beef here, nor do the boys like mushrooms. This recipe is a great sub for that lovely sour cream sauce you crave but with tender, delicious chicken and pasta instead. This is also a quick week night meal. 30 minutes tops and you’re ready for supper!

chix stroganoff

Chicken Stroganoff

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 T EVOO, divided

1/4 cup shallots or green onion, sliced thin

1 T flour

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 tsp tarragon, dried (1 T fresh)

8 oz. pasta, cooked according to package directions

1. Heat 2 T EVOO in a large skillet and brown chicken pieces until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Add last T of EVOO and cook shallots for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Deglaze pan with wine and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Reduce liquid by a third.

4. Whisk together flour and pasta water, add to pan. Simmer for several minutes.

5. Stir in creams and the tarragon. Combine well.

6. Add chicken back into the skillet and allow to simmer a minute longer.

7. Toss with (cooked and drained) pasta.

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Creamy Dijon Chicken and Mushrooms over Linguine

This was amazing. I mean it. Like something you’d get at a restaurant. And believe me I am not tooting my own horn here because this is not my recipe; I only adapted it a bit. And truthfully, once you try this you will be able to see how much more adapting you could do, such as mascarpone or parmesan or something along those lines for something a little bit more alfredo. But this was good. Really, really, really good just the way I made it.

creamy dijon 2

Creamy Dijon Chicken & Mushrooms over Linguine

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt & pepper


1/2 cup white wine

2 cups heavy cream

3 T Dijon mustard

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp tarragon

1-2 cups sliced mushrooms (your choice)

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 pkg linguine noodles, cooked according to package directions

1. In a skillet over medium-low, heat EVOO. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Cook with garlic until done. Remove and set aside.

2. Deglaze the skillet with the wine. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.

3. Pour in heavy cream, dijon mustard, tarragon, and additional salt & pepper, if desired. Combine well and simmer about 4 minutes, until thickened slightly.

4. Replace chicken in the cream sauce and add the mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

5. Cook and drain pasta. Serve chicken and mushrooms with sauce over noodles. Sprinkle toasted almond slivers over the top of each serving.

*Remove lid from skillet and let stand a few minutes if you want the sauce to be a little thicker.

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September Menu ~ 2013

This month I am including breakfast and lunch recipes/ideas because we are a brown-bag kind of family. If you’ve been reading here long enough you know that Number Two isn’t a big lunch eater anyway, so not only is it economical for me to pack lunches for the kids, it also allows me to control how much potential waste there might be.

An example of this would be to pack Two only half a sandwich, about 4 carrot sticks and a PB-To-Go cup, maybe a dozen mini pretzels and a juice box. Other days I might give him a snack bag sized portion of veggie or tortilla chips and maybe 2 cookies along with his half sandwich or other “main” lunch item. And I can’t even be sure he eats all of that, little portions as they are. So you can see how getting something nutritional yet fun and tasty in him is important to me, and let’s face it, those school lunches aren’t very nutritious (no matter what their campaign says).

I have a lot of new and exciting recipes to share with you this month! Be sure to stay posted while I’m working on them and watch for the red links to appear as I post each one.

sept collage - ribbet

Dinner Meal Plan

Skillet Ratatouille and Chicken

Oven Baked Tacos

BBQ Salmon

Creamy Dijon Chicken and Mushrooms over Linguine

Black Bean Risotto

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks

Chicken Enchilada Soup (#2)

Pan-Seared Salmon with Basil Cream Sauce

Not Your Typical Rice & Beans

Sweet Chicken Rio with Cilantro Rice

Chicken Stroganoff

Caprese Quinoa Bake

Creamy Chicken Crock Pot Tacos

Crunchy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Salmon with Pasta and Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

Chived Yorkshire Pudding

Oven Baked Potato Wedges

Chipotle Chicken & Corn Chowder

Lunch Meal Plan

Turkey and Cheese Roll-ups

Pizza Tarts

Chicken Taco Melts

BBQ Chicken Pinwheels

 Bacon and Gorgonzola Cornbread Sliders with Chipotle-Adobo Mayo

Granola Bars

Mini Bagel Sandwiches

Macaroni & Cheese / Ramen Noodles in thermos

Breakfast Menu Plan

Breakfast Cookies

Wonton Quiche Cups

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

Breakfast Enchiladas

Eggs & Grits Bowls

Waffles with yogurt or fresh fruit

Scrambled eggs with turkey sausage and toast


Chocolate Chip-Coconut Blondies


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Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream

This is one of those quick week night meals that tastes like you’ve put a bit more effort into it than you really did. If you’re crunched for time and want a hearty, quality meal, then keep this one on file. All you need are some basic staple ingredients in your freezer/pantry and you can make this in no time.

tuscan pasta

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce

1 (20 oz) pkg refrigerated or frozen *cheese ravioli

1 (15 oz) jar sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce

2 T white wine

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

2 tsp basil**

Parmesan cheese

Empty the sauce into a saucepan and use the wine to collect the rest of the sauce in the jar by covering the top and shaking.

Add in the drained tomatoes (or 2 fresh ones, diced) and the basil. **If you have fresh it’ll be about 1/2 cup. Also if you don’t like basil as much as I do and are using dried, you may want to start of with less than 2 tsp, but really, who doesn’t love basil??

Allow all of this to simmer for a bit, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cook your pasta according to directions. *I bet mushroom ravioli would be divine in this! :)

Drain the ravioli from the pasta water and fold the tuscan sauce into the pasta. Plate it up and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and extra basil on top.


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July Menu ~ 2013

Sorry my monthly menu plan is a little late. Believe it or not, I actually forgot to put one together (oops)! It’s not like I didn’t know it was July already, it’s just that I’ve been a little preoccupied with physical therapy and whatnot, but it’s here for you now :) Also, you may have noticed I didn’t do much cooking last month via my June menu so some of this months recipes will come from there.

July Menu – 2013


Romano-Crusted Chicken with Salad

Taco Cornbread Pizza

Dijon-Dill Salmon withRice Fritters and Parmesan Tomatoes


Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Four Bean Salad

Turkey Salisbury Steaks with White Bean Mash

ultimate pic

Cous Cous-Stuffed Peppers and Salad

Turkey Ragu with Creamy  Polenta

Ultimate Baked Beans

Chicken Rio with Cilantro Lime Rice

pilaf pic

Salmon and Pasta in Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

Beef Stroganoff and Pesto-Parmesan Green Beans

Garlic Tilapia with Mexican Rice and veggies

Crock Pot Meatloaf and Gravy with mashed potatoes and veggies

cous stuf pep pic

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Pineapple Galette

Harvest Bread

balsamic pic

Recipes I’m (still) working on:

Crunchy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Chocolate-Drizzled Cheesecake Cream Puffs

Spinach & Artichoke Crusted Chicken

Tomato Cucumber Bread Salad

Cow Pies (GF)

Crock Pot Swiss Chicken

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (GF)

Spinach & Goat Cheese Tilapia Roulade with Tarragon Bechamel

Mexican Bruschetta

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffins

Patron Punch

Chocolate Fudge Tart with Mint Cream

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Asian Chicken Pizza with Peanut Sauce

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June Menu ~ 2013

Holy moly, I am having a hard time believing it is June already! Don’t get me wrong, I am so ready for summer and for the kids to be out of school, but when I look back at the past 5 months, I’m like wha??? Where’d it go? And it’s not even that so much as realizing that you’re half-way through 2013 already! Before you know it it’ll be 2014 and I still haven’t gotten used to writing 2013 on my checks!!

Ok, fine, enough complaining.

This month I have a lot going on. Most times June is a busy month for this family and this year is no exception. In fact, I have even more going on than usual for June, but mostly it’s coincidence. With that said, I will be out of town for three of the five weekends, and  so my aim is make my menu as easy as possible. There isn’t much in the way of new recipes, though I am sure if I have the time I will add something else. I often do. And there are also the leftover recipes from my May menu that I didn’t get to in time, so I will most likely get to those as well. I hope you find something you like. Happy cooking and welcome summer!

june 2013

Recipes I have posted before: Bourbon BBQ Sliders, Baked Tacos, Poor Man’s Mongolian Beef, Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Tomato & Zucchini Frittata, Dijon Dill Salmon, Honey Sesame Chicken, Lobster Risotto, Chili Lime Chicken Fiesta Salad, Crispy Cheddar Chicken, Maple Mustard Chicken, Pasta Lentil Soup.

Recipes I am working on this month:

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Cole Slaw

Raspberry Martini

Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Grilled Marinated Salmon

Crock Pot Pesto-Ranch Chicken

Pear Pecan Muffins

Tuscan Pasta

Greek Chicken

Chicken Pad Thai

Chocolate Fudge Tart with Mint Cream

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Thai Dragon Noodles

These noodles are super yummy. You can adjust the heat as much or as little as you want. They went great with my Honey Sesame Chicken and gave me an awesome idea for a Pad Thai recipe (coming soon)! You can use lo mien noodles, or even regular linguine if you’d like, but for an authentic dish try these Thai rice noodles.

dragon noodles

Thai Dragon Noodles

8 oz. Thai rice noodles

2 T butter

2 eggs

1/4 tsp red pepper

1 1/2 T brown sugar

3 T soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

1 T Sriracha (rooster sauce)

2 green onions, sliced (all of it)

2 T fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In small bowl mix together soy sauce, the brown sugar, sriracha, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

3. Heat skillet up with the butter and scramble the eggs with the chopped whites of the green onions. Reserve the scallions (green bits) for later.

4. Take eggs out of skillet and set aside. Put sesame oil into hot skillet and do a real quick pan fry of the noodles. Combine eggs and sriracha sauce into the skillet with the noodles.

5. Sprinkle top with scallions and cilantro before serving.

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