Monday, December 19, 2011

Meal Plan 25!

Well here we go again!!! Shopping shall commence on Tuesday the 20th cause that's payday... then it's time to fill our budget envelopes up again! Hopefully we can put a little bit of the money we took out for the TV and for a few Christmas presents back into savings.

I have to take a moment and recap a few recipes from the last two weeks.
The Chicken Divan was SO amazing! The only thing I changed was to add fresh chopped mushrooms. It will definitely be going on a meal plan again in the near future.
The Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops were also amazing but I have to admit - I forgot that it was a crock pot recipe until about 3pm on the day I planned to make it :) Oops. So I coated the pork chops in the ranch seasoning, seared them off in my cast iron skillet, then I poured the soup over and stuck it in the oven on 350 degrees for like 25 min. They turned out really good!
Alright, week 25 concludes my almost year long journey of meal planning! I started in March and of course took a good amount of weeks off when we moved but I never thought I'd like meal planning! Now I kind of get anxiety if I don't at least have an idea of what I want to make for the week when I'm grocery shopping... how did I ever shop before with no plan?!?! I hope I've helped someone out along the way too! :)

December 19th -25th
Arroz Con Pollo
Tacos - Do you need a recipe???? :)
Lemon Chicken Cordon Bleu - Yet another one of my new favorite blogs. This girls story of weight-loss is amazing if you have time to read it!
Henri's French Onion Soup - not sure who Henri is but this looks amazing :)
December 26th - January 1st
French Toast Casserole - for Christmas morning :)
Italian Sausage & Peppers - sauteed with mushrooms and onions. That's it!!! :)
The Grocery List
2 chicken thighs
olive oil
5 onions
long-grain white rice
chicken stock
diced tomatoes
ground beef
Soft taco size flour tortillas {x2 recipes}
black olives
taco seasoning
5 chicken breast
provolone cheese (2-4 slices)
smoked ham (2-4 slices)
2 cans Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 loaf (16 ounces) French bread
1 block (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
bacon (about 6 slices)
sour cream
gruyère cheese (3-4 slices)
crusty baguette
12 oz can evaporated milk
elbow macaroni
Parmesan cheese
3-4 italian sausages
red & green pepper

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beef with Snow Peas

This has become my "go-to" recipe lately. I love it - and it's SO SIMPLE. I originally found it on The Pioneer Woman's blog - I love her - have I mentioned that?

  • 1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain

  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry

  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger

  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed

  • 5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal

  • Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)

  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil

  • Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling

  • Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

  • In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside

    Cut the ends off peas and peel out the vieny {yes I made that up} thing.

    Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

    Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

    Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first.

    After turning it, add the first plateful of meat & peas.

    And the rest of the marinade.

    Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

    Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice. :::::DROOOL:::::::


    Pizza... My Way!

    Have I mentioned I hate pizza?

    Nooooo! I don't hate pizza in general but unless it's from Coverleaf... no thanks. I'd rather make it myself than buy something from the freezer section {which really isn't just limited to pizza?!} or from a chain pizza place. Blech.

    So I finally found a pizza crust that I enjoy AND a sauce that we like! The following recipe is most definitely our favorite pizza to make at home but I also enjoy good old homemade {or Cloverleaf} House Favorite... with Olives of course! :)

    Homemade Pizza Crust {Bread Maker}

    1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons water
    2 tablespoons oil
    3 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


    1. Place ingredients in pan in order listed or as directed per machine instructions. Select white dough cycle.
    2. When machine is finished, remove and form into crusts. Top with desired toppings and bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until crust is light brown

    White Pizza Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/16 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 garlic clove , minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil , minced

  • 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese , shredded

  • Directions
    1. Heat butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed.
    2. Slowly whisk in milk, adding gradually. Stir in remaining ingredients. Will thicken upon standing.

    For OUR pizza we top with with shredded/sliced chicken {usually leftover from a previous recipe}, 1 small onion sauteed in butter, and about a half dozen sliced mushrooms. Along with mozzarella cheese of course! YUM!




    Hello fans!

    I thought I'd give a little mid-week update on how our budget/two week meal plan is going! :)

    So far, I think we'll be ok staying within our budget. Other than the fact that our TV took a shit so we went and splurged on a new one {Merry Christmas to us!} Well, turns out that our old TV was fine. When we went to plug in the new one - it had no sound either!!! Ooops - the Dish reciever just needed to be restarted?!

    Anyway, on the 5th {for my previous post} I filled up my budget envelopes and made my meal plans through the 20th {roughly}. I ended up spending a little over half my grocery money in the first visit that should have covered all my meals plus I bought a bunch of things from the bulk section at Winco {love that section}. I also bought some lunch items for Adam. I should technically have a little less than half of our envelope money left but I don't have quite that much. I don't really have anywhere/anything planned that I need to do either though so I guess it works out?!

    I did notice from my grocery list below that I forgot to include the stuff for the Easy Barbequed Ribs... oops. So I have to make a trip to the store for the ribs - or, I might just skip them unless I have another reason to go into town.
    Have I mentioned that "town" is at the very least 20 miles away? Meaning 40 miles round trip? I just can't justify driving all that way just for ribs. No matter how good they look :)

    I'm excited to re-budget for the rest of the month next week. There's not much work in it besides putting together the meal plan for the rest of the month. I'm going to keep my envelopes the same as the first half of the month because I know we can make this work... it just takes a little bit more effort and diligence.


    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Meal Plan 24!

    I took a little break from meal planning over the Thanksgiving holiday {and the week prior}. I'm such a horrible blogger. I do really well for a few weeks and then I slack off - I always find my way back though. :)

    I'm going to try a little something just for this week and next - meal planning two weeks at a time? Just to see if it works. We've been doing this new budget {that's A LOT harder than I ever imagined} and to make our gas budget work I need to make less trips to the grocery store.. or anywhere. I'd prefer to shop once a week but if I can cut out that extra trip maybe I can find myself with something left over in my "gas" envelope?! =/

    I hate budgeting.
    If anyone has any tips/suggestions for making a budget work I'd be happy thrilled to hear them in the comments!


    December 5th - 11th
    • Orange Chicken - I'm pretty sure this is one of my all-time favs!
    • Cheesy Meat Loaf
    • Buca Di Beppo Chicken with Lemons - we went to Buca Di Beppo today for the first time and had this chicken... I'm drooling thinking about it again. I'm SO glad that I googled and found the copycat recipe!
    • Pizza - As always, I'll be making the crust :) Adam likes this white sauce, sauteed onions, mushrooms, bacon and either chicken or steak. You're welcome! :)
    • Chicken Divan - I was looking for a broccoli casserole... this one made me drool - dang Paula Deen! At least the butter is minimal?!
    December 12th - 18th
    The Grocery List {this is really jumbled... usually I try to put them in order by recipe?!}
    Bean Sprouts
    Rice Noodles
    Swiss Cheese slices
    Roast Beef
    Au Jus
    Sandwich Buns
    Ranch Dressing packet
    Pork Chops {2 or 4}
    2 cans Cream of Chicken
    2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

    Parley {bulk}
    Ritz Crackers
    Whole Chicken {I'll cook for another nights meal - not included above - and used leftovers on the pizza and Chicken Divan}
    Bread Crumbs
    Cayenne {bulk}
    Curry Powder {bulk}
    Sour Cream
    Broccoli {calls for frozen, I'm buying fresh}
    Chicken Breasts {I need 5 for the two weeks}
    Lemons - 4
    White Wine
    Ground Beef - 2lbs
    Green Onion
    Oil {vegetable and peanut if the container isn't huge}

    I think that's it?! Weird... because my list isn't much longer than normal, however my cupboards are so bare that I need almost everything on the list?! Stay tuned for how this goes!!! I'll try to update next week to see where I'm at...