Monday, June 23, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 6/23/14

Welcome to the last week of June! Everything is coming to an end.. well school-wise at least lol! Loking forward to some new beginnings that will hopefully happen soon :\

Monday:  Impossibly Easy Quiche
Tuesday:  Weight Watchers Chicken and Cheese Casserole (didn't make last week)

Wednesday:  leftovers

Thursday: beef stew in the crock pot

Friday: leftovers
Saturday and Sunday:  leftovers or something

Dessert of the Week:  Not sure!

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 6/16/14

I need to get over this cooking funk. Too much exhaustion and stress. I feel like it will be months before we know what is going on with Jeff's job! I really want to enroll the kiddo in gymnastics and swim lessons but until we know what is happening in the fall, all the expensive extras are not happening! :(

Monday:  leftover french toast casserole for J - the kiddo and I are going to a picnic
Tuesday:  Weight Watchers Chicken and Cheese Casserole

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake

Friday: leftovers
Saturday and Sunday:  who knows!!!

Dessert of the Week:  I have some stuff I made for Father's Day that wasn't good enough to bring, but will be ok to eat this week.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 5/26/14

I hope you all are having a good Memorial Day weekend! Please take the time to remember a service person.

Monday:  leftover pizza

Tuesday:  Impossibly Easy Hot Dog and Cheese Pie

 Wednesday:  Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Oven Barbecue Pork Chops
Saturday and Sunday: I am part of a multi-family garage sale, all day Sat and Sun so leftovers or something from the freezer is what's for dinner!

Dessert of the Week:  We seriously still have Easter candy. We have been really good about doling it out, and whike I am nowhere near sick of it, I do jsut want to eat it and be gone!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Italian Easter Bread - Daring Bakers April 2014 Challenge

Italian Easter Bread
The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.

Making bread is my "thing." I have loved to bake bread since I was young. So this month's challenge (ok, technically last month's!) was right up my alley. I had never made Easter bread before and was pleased to find out it was easy to do and tasted delicious!! Mt braids ended up HUGE, and they wer a little underbaked.... same for the eggs. BTW I dyed them using Kool Aid, since they were touching something edible.

Italian Easter Bread
recipe from The Italian Dish
makes 6 individual loaves

  • 1 package Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1.25 cups scalded milk, cooled to room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3.5 cups flour (approximate)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs (raw - do NOT hard boil them first!)
  • sprinkles
 1. In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm (not hot) milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook.   Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Add flour until the dough is not sticky anymore.  Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead.

2. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

fat little braided dough circles
3. Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid", pinching the ends. Loop into a circle.

4. Place on a greased baking sheet or line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again.

and the eggs were nestled all snug in their braids

5. Brush each bread with beaten egg wash. Put on the sprinkles. In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg.

6. Bake at 350 degrees until golden - about 20 - 25 minutes. Cool on rack.

Italian Easter Bread - Halloween style!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of April 28, 2014

Monday:  Chicken Nuggets and Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken Bubble Up Pizza from last week

 Wednesday:  leftover bubble up pizza

Thursday: Cheesy Italian Beef Bake

Friday: leftovers

Saturday and Sunday: Saturday is the services auction, so we won't eat a big dinner. Sunday we will be going out for lunch so dinner will be snacky foods.

Dessert of the Week: so. much. Easter.  candy!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 4/21/14

Easter was a success!!


Well, hi there! The past few weeks of craziness have finally ended. No more birthdays, holidays, surprise parties, house guests (love), spring break.... etc! Back to boring ole life lol Hope that everyone had a good Easter!

Monday:  leftovers from my birthday dinner
Tuesday: J. has to go back to work so it will be something quick from the freezer

 Wednesday:  He will either get good news or bad news on Tuesday, so we will go out to dinner to celebrate or to commiserate!

Thursday: Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Friday: BBQ Chicken Bubble Up Pizza

Saturday and Sunday: Saturday is up in the air. Sunday will be leftovers or maybe pizza!

Dessert of the Week: so. much. Easter.  candy!

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 3/17/14

Breaking out the spring Menu Plan Monday banner! Too bad we are stuck in endless cold and freezing weather! Thankfully today's snow is supposed to stay south of us... we are going to get the freezing temps though YAY. (not)

This is a strange week for us... we are getting into our busy time so the menus for the next month or so will be a bit different!

Monday: we are not Irish, but I have not met a holiday meal I haven't liked ;) Actually, I don't like corned beef or cabbage lol Jeff is also working all day, but i still want to make something St. Patrick's Dayish... So it will be Shamrock Shaped Pizzas
Tuesday: not sure... I think I might head to a cookbook for this one.

 Wednesday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday: We are going into the city to see Aladdin :D And eating dinner at Schnippers

Saturday and Sunday: Saturday we are seeing Divergent (YAYAYAYAYAY!) and taking the in laws out to lunch.  Sunday, who knows!!!

Dessert of the Week: I am attempting cookie decorating for E's birthday cookie cake, so I baked cut out cookies to decorate today. Wish me luck!!

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 3/10/14

Monday: leftover pork chops
Tuesday: salsa chicken over potatoes (using leftover salsa chicken from last week)

 Wednesday: something from the freezer

Thursday:  quiche

Friday: GOING TO SEE THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE!!!! So we will either order pizza before we go or eat on our way there, since the theater is aways away.

Saturday and Sunday: who knows!!! I try not to cook on weekends.

Dessert of the Week: I made cookies yesterday!

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 3/3/14

 Well, last week was a bust! I had a horrible bad cold, and I am still feeling it today! I had to cancel my Disney party, too. :( Cooking did not happen! But after 2 weeks off, I need to get back into gear and into a schedule again.

Monday: hot dogs... still not up to cooking!

Tuesday: Banana Bread Pancakes (for Shrove Tuesday)

 Wednesday: Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops w/Au Gratin potatoes

Thursday: Salsa Chicken

Friday: leftovers

Saturday and Sunday: who knows!!! I try not to cook on weekends.

Dessert of the Week: I need to start practicing decorating cookies for the kiddo's birthday! Any tips appreciated ;)

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 2/24/14

And we are back from vacation!!! It was such a great time, and the perfect thing to escape winter :D I will post pictures soon. This is the week after vacation panic, when supplies are low, and I am too tired to find recipes! Gotta get to the grocery store, but here is a temporary plan.

Monday: Getting our taxes done today (we canceled 2 weeks ago due to snow!!) - so it is the traditional Bobby's Burger Palace dinner

Tuesday: Pasta, maybe a baked ravioli dish

 Wednesday: apps for dessert

Thursday: something from the freezer!

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday and Sunday:  My #disneyside party is Saturday so I need to figure out what to make lol!

Dessert of the Week: need to make my daring bakers dessert!

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 2/10/14

Not really feeling the menu plan this week. So much to do this weekend before we go on vacation. Plus a few restaurant trips planned... I guess it is gain 10 pounds before vacation week LOL We rarely go out to eat, so this week will be a real treat!

Monday: Friendly's with the in laws - church fundraiser

Tuesday: something from the freezer with Cracker Barrel Copycat Carrots

 Wednesday: Possibly Cheesecake Factory (gotta spend those gift cards!!)

Thursday: Getting taxes done, so it is our traditional dinner at Bobby's Burger Palace!

Friday: pizza and Deep Dish Brownie Sundaes for Two

Saturday and Sunday:  vacation!!!

Dessert of the Week: WW cupcakes (cake mix and pumpkin)

Find more menus at Org Junkie!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cheerios Celebrates Their First Ever Big Game Commercial Spot!

Picture from

So, how was that Super Bowl? lol Sad, I know. I am not a huge football fan, but it was still a bummer to see such a blow out. I watch the big game for the commercials. One of my most favorite commercials was the Cheerios one - starring the adorable girl from their other commercial. It was such a sweet moment between a dad and his daughter. And it was also the very first big game commercial! you can watch it at  in case you missed it.

 Cheerios is also partnering with a non-profit organization called The Family Dinner Project to bring you The Family Breakfast Project, which provides tips, recipes and activities to help families connect over breakfast. For a limited time, you can download a buy one get one free coupon. The coupon is valid only until February 15th, and limited to only one million prints, so be sure to download it here right away.

Be sure to visit to join the Family Breakfast Project!

This information was provided to me from myblogspark

Monday, February 3, 2014

Menu Plan monday - Week of 2/3/14

Ugh, there needs to be a MPM banner with piles and piles of snow! It is snowing now, is supposed to snow Wednesday and they are talking about a LOT of snow this weekend! Ahhhhh!

Monday: leftover easy pull apart pizza bread

Tuesday: Since school was cancelled Monday, Jeff has extra rehearsal tonight so dinner will be whatever you can find!

 Wednesday: tacos

Thursday: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Friday:  leftovers

Saturday and Sunday: The musical is Friday and Saturday (weather permitting!) so this weekend will be leftover type stuff.

Dessert of the Week: either WW cupcakes (cake mix and pumpkin) or banana bites

Find more meal plans at!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tree Cake - Baumkuchen (January Daring Bakers Challenge)

The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

Tree Cake - Baumkuchen

Well this challenge did not work too well for me! For some reason my batter was really thick, and in using a 10 inch springform, the pan was just too big.  So my layers were too thin, and the sides almost burned and the bottom was pretty hard yet the inside wasn't fully done.

Tree Cake - Baumkuchen
You can't really see the layers - but I did get in 9 of the 10! Then the chocolate glaze was wayyyyy to thick. I tried to thin it out, but it was still incredibly thick. You can see how thick it is in the above pic.

Tree Cake - Baumkuchen
See how dark the edges are? Oh well. It still tasted REALLY good - moist with a slight almond flavor. And as a bonus - I made my own marzipan! Maybe that had something to do with the thickness of the batter, not sure, but I was still pretty proud of myself!

homemade marzipan! Woo!
I won't include my recipe here, but if you want it, lmk, and I will post it!

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 1/27/14

Last week's meal plan went off without a hitch! The stuffed shells were soooo delicious! 

Monday: leftover pizza

Tuesday: Mama's Spaghetti Casserole

 Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Friday:  leftovers

Saturday: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (or dinner out with the in laws)

Sunday: Super Bowl!!! We are going to have some snacky appetizers and easy pull apart pizza bread at halftime

Dessert of the Week: for the Super Bowl... birthday cake dip with nilla wafers and pizza crumb. YUM!

Find more meal plans at!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shortbread Sugar Cookies

Shortbread Sugar Cookies - so festive!

Last week we got a pretty big snowstorm - 11 inches! My wonderful husband went out to shovel, all by himself. Yes, I am lucky that most of the time I can stay warm and comfy inside while he is out in the cold doing the physical labor! He said the snow was at least pretty light and fluffy, but was also surprised and grateful when our neighbor with a snow blower came over to help clear the driveway. So I knew I had to give him some homemade goodies as a thank you. I already had some fudge, but wanted to round it out with some cookies. These cookies hit the spot - decadent and crumbly, with fun sprinkles. They are also very easy to make, though it takes a long time to bake and cool.

Shortbread sugar cookies right out of the oven and so good!

Shortbread Sugar Cookies
based on the recipe by Chelsa Bea

1 cup sugar plus 1/8 cup
4 sticks of butter (1 lb.)
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
ginger or zest of lemon or orange
sanding sugar (in place of the 1/8 cup sugar)
(whatever else sounds yummy!)

Preheat oven to 250°.

Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment.
Cream together 1-cup sugar and all butter. Once creamed,, slowly add the flour, then the cornstarch, then salt. If desired, mix in ginger, lemon or orange zest.
Pat it into baking pan.
Bake for 1 ½ hours at 250°.
Remove shortbread from the oven, but leave the oven on.
Cut into smaller pieces, cutting down the middle then cutting across into sections. Sprinkle cookies lightly with remaining sugar (or sanding sugar), until they are evenly coated.
Turn the oven off. Place pan back in oven for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and allow shortbread to cool, in pan, for at least 20 minutes. The cookies will be very fragile when they first come out of the oven and will easily fall apart if handled. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 1/20/14

I am a little bummed that I did not do a menu plan last weekend... I actually bought meat?!?! and made some amazing pork chops! Gotta refine the recipe before I post it. I also made a dessert from an old church cookbook that my mom gave me, from the very first church I ever attended. I want to make some recipes from there throughout the year, This week it is supposed to get really cold, so I am going to make some soups and warm stuff.

Here are my food resolutions this year...
~ Do at least 8 Daring Bakers Challenges. I have already done this month's! It will be posted the 27th!
~ Make a few homemade items such as granola bars, applesauce and bread (which I have made before) etc!
~ Post a recipe a week - and find a new photo sharing site to more easily upload pictures
~  Save our favorite recipes and remake them! I am so bad at making recipes more than once! Also write down the favorites ones and cookbook ones to keep them all in one place.

We'll see exactly how well that goes :) I know I need to narrow them down to some specific items.

This week is a regular week, with nothing going on the weekend. Last weekend was insane, so I am looking forward to some down time!

Monday: Hamburger Stuffed Shells (halving recipe)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Potato and Corn Chowder

 Wednesday: leftover chowder

Thursday: Crock Pot Pizza Chicken

Friday: leftovers

Saturday and Sunday: pizza, hopefully!

Dessert of the Week: I THINK and HOPE that we will finish all of our Christmas junk this week. It's so sad... I bought less than usual but we still have so much! We are eating in moderation :D

Find more meal plans at!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 1/6/14

 Rushed plan this week... somehow the weekend got away from me, even though we didn't do too much! Net week I will be sharing my food and meal related resolutions!

Monday:  leftover pizza, with lots of veggies on the side

Tuesday: Kraft Recipe Makers

 Wednesday:  leftovers

Thursday: chicken quesedillas
Friday: something from the freezer

Saturday and Sunday: no clue!!

Dessert of the Week: nothing... I am doing dietbet, and DH is on plan with me. So we are cutting back on sweets this week!
Find more meal plan at!