Meal Plan Jan 8-14

Broccoli rice casserole or chicken spinach puffs

Chicken veggie pizza


roasted chicken

tortellini with tomato cream sauce

veggie pancit

mac and cheese

I know it seems weird that my meal plan runs Wednesday thru Tuesday.  I typically grocery shop mid-week, so I plan the menu the night before I go to the grocery store.  Yes, we eat a lot of chicken!  I have a whole board devoted to chicken recipes on Pinterest.  The original pancit recipe calls for pork but I am switching it a little and doing only veggies. I’m also leaving the chicken out of the chicken veggie pizza.  We have done at least one meatless meal a week for over a year now, but this year I am trying to work in meatless meals 2 or 3 times a week on a regular basis.  This week, I’ve got 4 planned.  The pancit, veggie pizza, mac and cheese and tortellini.  With the pizza, mac, and tortellini, we will also have a salad.

Also, some of those things listed above are meals that I have made for years, so I don’t use a recipe or I’ve posted before—like the mac and cheese.  We are on day two of no sugar as a family and so far there have been no complaints or uprisings.  I’ve made E “ice cream” with milk and frozen banana slices the last two nights.  He thinks it is awesome and I don’t think he even realizes yet that I’ve cut out sugary foods.  And we are eating tangerines like crazy around here for the last three weeks.  I am shooting for 5 fruits and/or veggies a day for each of us.  I think we are each at 3 right now.  I’ve found that the trick is that we have to start with fruits and veggies first thing in the morning.  This weekend I made 10 “smoothie packs” for this week.  (you can check out the source post here)  I didn’t add the nuts or the seeds this week.  I didn’t have the seeds and didn’t have any nuts that would work—I didn’t think salted peanuts were appropriate.  🙂   I put 1/4 C of oatmeal, 1C of frozen mixed fruit in a sandwich size ziploc.  Then I crammed in spinach to fill up the bag before zipping it closed.  They are filling.  Yesterday, I didn’t get hungry until about 1:00 and I had drank my smoothie at 7:30 while dropping the kids at school.  And even at 1:00 I just ate some cheese cubes and an apple.  I do think I need more sweetener for my taste though.  The milk I used was unflavored so I think I am going to try vanilla almond milk next week and maybe a little vanilla greek yogurt, if needed.  The Mr. was not excited about the green color of his shake.  “I don’t typically drink things that are GREEN.”  But he tasted it and then decided it wasn’t repulsive, so I take that as success!

Blessings friends,


My Christmas cookie list

Most years I spend an entire weekend baking dozens and dozens of cookies to (a) have for our enjoyment and (b) to package up to give to friends and family for Christmas.  Last year I didn’t do this, and I missed it.  But, it is ALOT of work.  And by the end, I am actually exhausted and grouchy—and I still have to clean up!  So, after prepping for the fair baking this year, and making my dough and freezing it, I have decided to do the same for Christmas cookies this year.  I am going to mix up my different doughs and then freeze them to bake in a few weeks.  

Additionally, I have so many cookie recipes that I’ve been wanting to try and haven’t.  Christmas seems like a great chance to try some new recipes.  So, this is what I have decided on so far….


chewy ginger cookies

chewy sugar cookies

chocolate chip espresso shortbread

German chocolate pecan pie bars

mixed fruit and nut cookies (I am going to use dried cranberries and chopped pecans)



Those are the ones that I am making from Pinterest.  I will also make a few that are traditional for our family and I will post those recipes later.  If you’d like to check out my Pinterest cookie board, you can look at it here.  Pinterest Cookie Board




Menu plan Nov 16 – 22

It’s supposed to be cold next week.  That means soup and crock pot meals are on the menu!!!

Saturday   Lasagna soup

Sunday      Ranch pork chops (crock pot)

Monday     Chicken enchiladas  (I make a double batch of these and then throw one in the freezer)

Tuesday     Chicken tomato soup (crock pot)

Wednesday    Grilled cheese sandwiches and any leftover soup

Thursday     Cracker Barrel chicken tenders

Friday       hmmm…don’t know…we’ll either go with some homemade pizza or pick something up

Blessings friends!


menu plan for Oct 27-Nov 1

I discovered a while back how much easier the week goes if I have a menu plan.  Usually on Thursday night, I look at the calendar for next week to see what we have going, look at the weather forecast for the upcoming week, and then go through Pinterest to figure out what I will be making for dinner.  As I plan out the menu for the following week, I also make my grocery list.  I review the recipes I will be using and list anything I need from the grocery store.  I also take into consideration anything I have on hand and/or in the freezer.

With all that said…here’s the menu for next week!

Sun:  roast and veggies in the crock pot  Here is a FABULOUS roast recipe!

Mon:  Christmas day chicken served with cous cous and green beans

Tue:  chicken chili and cornbread (I actually have these already made and in the freezer)  The link to the recipe here isn’t the one that I use—I just wing it—but it looks alot like what I make.

Wed:  Homemade mac and cheese and salad

Thur:  chicken tortellini soup

Fri:  we are getting burgers and fries—or some other take out.  🙂

Blessings friends!


Results and updates

The fair was kind of a disappointment all the way around last night.  

1st: the oldest kid told me that he has “outgrown” the fair and it is “kinda lame.”  

2nd: the youngest said that the fair “just wasn’t good this year”

3rd:  (related to the comment by the youngest) it really wasn’t good this year.  Half the food booths that are there every year, weren’t there this year.  Mr. G couldn’t even get his favorite German sausage sandwich that he gets every single year and has  for over 15 years.  (he was really disappointed).  I didn’t get my fave: roasted corn.  You’ve not tasted corn on the cob until you have one that has been roasted in the shuck and handed to you, dripping with butter, hot out of the fire.  

4th: no, first place ribbons for any of my cakes this year.  Or, as my oldest pointed out to me, “no, first, second, OR third place ribbons”  Here’s the results










E’s creation got 6th place.  He was OK with that—he and his brother thought it was yummy.  I thought it was waaay to sweet and gooey and didn’t care for it.  (of course, I didn’t share that opinion with him!)

Chocolate sheet, coconut, and pumpkin each got 4th place.  Choc sheet I’ve made before.  However, this time I baked it on a jelly roll pan instead of a 9×13.  I didn’t like it as much.  It was too thin and much drier then when I’ve made it before.  It was just OK to me this time.  The coconut is very yummy.  But I would leave off the frosting.  I only frosted it because it was a requirement of the fair rules but the icing was really gilding the lily on this one.  The pumpkin was YUM!  The cinnamon cream cheese frosting was the perfect pairing with it.  So moist!  I really liked this one alot.  This was one of the Mr.’s faves.

The chocolate layer with peanut butter frosting didn’t even place.  The cake was really, really moist, but I agree with the judges.  Something about it just was off.  I didn’t care for it.  But, it was Mr. G’s fave.  He said the pumpkin and this one were the two he liked best, but if he had to pick one it would be the peanut butter.  Everyone has different taste!

Tomorrow is bread but it’s just not going to happen for me.  I started baking today and my biscuits overcooked.  Then my yeast coffee cake didn’t rise.  I took that as a sign that I should give up on this one.  It’s OK.  I’ve got a dozen other things that I need to get done anyway.  

I’m still planning to enter cookies on Friday.  I’ve already got all the dough made.  I just have to bake it up on Thursday evening.  However, Thursday is when I start my next subbing assignment and this one lasts through the end of the month.  If it is a bad day Thursday, that cookie dough may just stay in my freezer!

Blessings friends,


4 more days til the fair

Well, technically that’s not true.  The fair itself starts tomorrow but the first day for drop off of baked items is Monday.  Cakes….that’s what is being judged on Monday.  There are 13 categories in “Cakes.” 

. Chocolate Cake-layered, frosted
2. Chocolate Sheet Cake-frosted
3. Pound Cake, unfrosted, unglazed
4. Pound Cake-frosted or glazed, with nuts or fruit
5. Yellow Cake-layered, frosted
6. Any cake containing fruit in the batter (example:
Fruit Cocktail, Dates, Plums, Pears, Etc.)
7. Any cake containing nuts in the batter
8. Spiced Cake-layered, frosted
9. Italian Cream Cake
10. Coconut Cake-any cake with coconut in the batter
11. German Chocolate
12. Any cake with vegetables added to the batter (ex.
Sauerkraut, Carrots, Pinto Beans, Etc.)
13. Any cake from a mix


That’s alot of cake!  I have a recipe that I have chosen to enter for each category, but I haven’t decided if I will actually bake an entry for each category.  I’ve got 5 cakes for sure.  

I’ve already made, and frozen, 4 batches of cookie dough (that’s next Friday).  

1.  Sugar Cookies
2. Oatmeal Cookies
3. Peanut Butter Cookies
4. Brownies – Chocolate
5. Bar Cookies
6. Chocolate Chip Cookies
7. Almond Cookies
8. Pecan Cookies
9. Molasses Cookies

I’ve got my peanut butter, chocolate chip, sugar and oatmeal doughs made.  I know I will also do brownies but I think that is it for the cookies. If you want the recipe, click on the links up there.  They are good—I hope they win!

I’m not entering any pies because I have already committed to subbing on the day they are due.  

Breads are due on Wednesday.  There are 13 categories in there too.  

. Yeast, White Loaf (plain)
2. Yeast, Whole Wheat Loaf (no white flour and plain)
3. Yeast, other kind of loaf (NO MONKEY BREAD)

4. Yeast, Pull Apart (any shape)
5. Yeast, Dinner Roll
6. Yeast, Coffee Cake
7. Cornbread (6 pieces or muffins) (plain)
8. Cornbread (6 pieces or muffins) Other: such as Sausage,
Cheese, Bacon
9. Non-yeast Muffins (6)
10. Non-yeast, Fruit Bread

I have recipes for all of those too but again, not sure how many I will actually bake.  
11. Non-yeast, other kind of loaf (no fruit bread)
12. Biscuits (6 non-yeast) (plain)
13. Biscuits (6 non-yeast) Other, such as Sausage,
Cheese, Bacon

I’ll post the cake and bread recipes for you when I finalize what I’m baking and what recipes I’m using.  

Oh! And the boys are supposed to be baking some cookies for the fair too.  Their entries have to be turned in by Saturday.  I’ll post their recipes and results as soon as I have them.  

Blessings friends,