Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meal Planning

I have lately become obssessed with decorating/organizing blogs because I have lots to learn in both areas. I want to be organized, I love when things are organized, but I have the hardest time knowing where to start on a project. So, as I was browsing the blogs, I came across a cool tidbit in regards to meal organization - planning your menu using "theme"nights. For example, we will start doing this:

Monday - Mexican or Italian (tacos, spaghetti, etc.)

Tuesday - Crock Pot

Wednesday - Chicken

Thursday - Beef

Friday - out to eat

Saturday - out to eat

Sunday - Matt grills (but it could also be fish night)

I think this will help me when I'm trying to decide what we will be eating for the upcoming week(and, the family will know what kind of food we'll be eating). I also love this sweet menu planning decoration from my good friend, Cara. I may need to complete this craft for my kitchen!

I've got lots of great new recipes to post, so be looking for that!

I was all excited about planning our meals for the week, and so went to the grocery store with the list of what I needed, got home, and then realized that we would be out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights of this week. I'll just push back each meal a day (except Mondays). Here's what we're eating this week (and it includes some new ones) without showing the "push back." (if that makes any sense at all!)

Monday: Taco Pie

Tuesday: Pulled Pork Burritos

Wednesday: One dish Chicken meal (a new recipe, so I can't vouch for it yet)

Thursday: Mrs. Texas Casserole (another new one - I just liked the name of it! I hope it's good)

Mrs. Texas Casserole

*Ok, so I made this the other night and I was only so-so with it. It's basically a glorified hamburger helper. The noodle mixture was a little creamy so I added more cooked noodles (the recipe calls for half of a bag, but I ended up cooking most of the bag.) Matt, on the other hand, in an unprecedented event with him, at this meal as LEFTOVERS!! gasp!!!

This is another recipe out of the church cookbook that Matt’s mom got me. I saw the name and was intrigued and so that’s the main reason why I want to make this meal! Not sure how it will turn out, but you can’t go wrong with the ingredients that are in it!

Mrs. Texas Casserole

1 lb. ground beef

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

16 oz. can tomatoes (I got the petite diced)

8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 (5 oz.) pkg. egg noodles, cooked and drained

1 cup sour cream

6 green onions, chopped with tops

1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated cheese

1. Brown beef in skillet and drain. Add salt, sugar, seasonings and tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook over low heat 15 minutes, covered. Combine noodles with sour cream, green onions, and softened cream cheese. Starting with noodle mixture, arrange in layers in a greased 3-quart casserole. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly at 350.

One Dish Chicken Meal

Matt’s mom got me a cookbook for Christmas that was a compilation of her church’s members’ favorite recipes. Aren’t church cookbooks just the absolute best?!?! I found this recipe in there, and can’t wait to try it!

Chicken Dinner in One

4-6 chicken breasts

2 cans French style Green beans, drained

2-3 lg. potatoes, sliced thinly

1 pdg. Good Seasons herb and garlic dressing

1 stick butter, melted

Parmesan cheese

Season chicken (I’m thinking this is just using your favorite seasonings – I’ll try salt, pepper, and maybe a little Tony Sacheres or poultry seasoning – and place down in center of long glass casserole dish. Put green beans on 1 side of chicken. Put sliced potatoes on the other side. Mix dressing with melted butter. Pour over chicken, beans and potatoes. Sprinkle parm. cheese over all and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Taco Pie

When Cara posted this recipe, I knew that we just had to try it! It combines Matt's love of anything beef, and my love of cornbread, and throw in a few extras, and you've got a complete meal in one simply heavenly dish! (I'm all for one-dish meals - anything to lessen the amount of dishes to clean!) I added some of our faves - corn, black beans, and white kidney beans - but this is one of those meals that you can add whatever your family will eat. Speaking of whatever your family will eat, our little picky toddler will not eat this meal because he does not like when foods are all mixed together. So unfortunately, I have to make him a separate meal. But, I make the sacrifice so that I can enjoy this delicious Tex-Mex cuisine!

Taco Pie

1 box Jiffy

ingredients needed for the jiffy cornbread

1 lb. ground beef

mix-ins, drained (I did corn, black beans, white kidney beans)

taco seasoning

Mexican blended shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Prepare jiffy cornbread mix as directed.

3. Brown ground beef, drain. Add in taco seasoning and about 2/3 – 3/4 cup water. Heat on med-high for about 5 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

4. If you're using lots of mix-ins, you need a larger dish than an 8x8. You can either layer your ingredients or mix all together. I layered, but then realized that I needed a larger dish so they ended up being mixed. It did not affect the flavor.

5. Top with the cheese.

6. Spread the cornbread mixture on top (this is probably the "hardest" part, so I usually pour the cornbread mixture in sections and then spread with a spoon or soft spatula).

7. Bake for about 15-25 minutes - until cornbread is nice and golden. We probably could have pulled this out of the oven a little bit sooner than we did. Enjoy!! I also serve this with a side of Spanish rice.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stuffed Pizza

I have Dena to thank for this yummy meal! And, seeing how our family LOVES all things pizza, it’s a sure winner, and a staple in our house now!

DSC_4330 DSC_4329

Stuffed Pizza

*2 cans Pillsbury thin-crust pizza dough (sold in the slice-and-bake cookies section)

*Fillings (we like ground beef and pepperoni)

*container of pizza sauce (I’ve tried the Contadina brand and the Hunt’s – both good)

*2 cups bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

*olive oil/garlic powder/Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spray deep 9x13 pan with PAM

3. Roll out one of the pizza doughs to fit the bottom of the pan.

4. Spread dough with about 1 cup sauce (I don’t measure this – I like mine saucy so I probably use more than a cup)

5. Layer with your choice of fillings and top with cheese.

6. Roll out 2nd pizza dough (or use half of one – this is what I did to use less bread) and place on top.

7. Use a fork to make air vents in the top crust.

8. Spread a few tablespoons olive oil on top and sprinkle Italian seasoning and Garlic Powder.

9. Bake for 45 mins. or until crust is golden brown.