Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Like It Hot!

I arrived home from work today with pasta on my mind and discovered no jarred sauce in the pantry. Quickly surveying what was available I whipped up a quick marinara. The aroma was unbelievable and we could not wait to dig in. The first taste led me to rethink the ingredients (it was spicy and not just a little bit). I used two cans of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles. Now I've used these before and never had the HEAT issue I encountered tonight. So beware, those substitutions may yield something decidedly different than what you expect. We've decided spicy spaghetti is definitely something we'll try again, but I'll be in control of the spices!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - December 22

Monday - Chili (freezer meal from Angie, not yet consumed), salad, cornbread

Tuesday - My sweet baby sister's birthday and I always host her birthday dinner at her house: Spaghetti with homemade sauce, salad, garlic bread and her fave Sister's Sour Cream Coconut Cake for dessert.

Wednesday - I'll host friends after our church service and serve a smorgasbord of good eats! Cold cuts & cheeses with rolls, veggies and dip, glazed meatballs, roasted pecans, spinach dip with assorted crackers, cheese ball, Christmas cupcakes for the kiddos and Barb's Fabulous Red Velvet Cake for the grownups. Most of this can be made ahead and leaves me time to be with my friends!

Thursday - Family will arrive for this Christmas Brunch! Sausage pinwheels, Mrs. A's Brown Sugar Ham, baked cheese grits, sliced oranges & grapefruit, scrambled eggs, muffins, biscuits, jams & jellies, juice, milk and coffee.

Friday - Leftover day as I hit the after Christmas sales

Saturday - Traveling to Florida for my older sister's birthday celebration.

Sunday - Soup and sandwiches for lunch. A belated holiday meal with the Knights in the evening. I'll be taking this dessert.

Merry Christmas to all of you! This will be a busy week, so there may be no menu plan next week. If not, I wish you all the Happiest New Year ever! Many thanks to Laura for hosting MPM. Just go on over to OrgJunkie for more delicious menu plans.....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - December 15, 2008

We seem to have fewer obligations during the holidays this year, but that suits me. Here's what we are eating this week.

Monday - Crockpot Fajitas, Guacamole Salad, Spanish Rice (from a mix)

Tuesday - Bubble Pizza, Salad

Wednesday - FPSW - Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, Salad & Dessert

Thursday - Spinach & Bacon Quiche from Cardine's Month of Bacon, Salad

Friday - Possibly our supper club group will meet, if not it will be Vegetable Beef Soup, Cornbread

Saturday - I'll be doing some baking for my co-workers' gifts. Christmas get-together with the Smiths this evening. I'll be taking this for dessert.

Sunday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Tomato Soup

I appreciate you stopping by to check out my meals. Stop by OrgJunkie for lots more!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - December 8

I cannot believe we are smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season. Here's how our week looks:

Monday - pinto beans, steamed cabbage, cornbread

Tuesday - hamburgers, chips, baked beans (using leftover pinto beans)

Wednesday - Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday (beef stroganoff, green beans, salad & dessert)

Thursday - grilled chicken, rice, salad

Friday - chicken & dumplin's, green beans, corn muffins

Saturday - chili (freezer meal prepared by my friend, Angie), sour cream, cheese, chili crackers

As always, thanks for checking out my menus. Don't forget there are lots more meal plans at OrgJunkie!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - December 1, 2008

To be perfectly honest, I should not need to eat for several weeks. However, I'm sure the guys will, so here's the plan:

Monday - Turkey Pot Pie - I'll be making one for a potluck dinner and one for the guys using the last of my Thanksgiving turkey.

Tuesday - Baked Spaghetti (thanks, Angie for this freezer meal), steamed broccoli and rolls

Wednesday - Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday at church - Soup, Salad and dessert

Thursday - Shanghai Shrimp, steamed rice and egg drop soup

Friday - Breakfast for dinner - Ham & eggs, grits, orange slices

Saturday - I'm not sure what we'll have.......

As always, I thank you for stopping by and look for tons of other great meal plans at OrgJunkie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lemonade Awards

Today, I was the recipient of this great award from Simply Sweet Home, which honors blogs that represent great attitude and/or gratitude. This is my first award for any of my blogs and it came on my birthday! Wow, I'm blown away......Thanks, Jerri!

As part of the tradition of this award it must be passed on to other deserving blogs (10). Since I'm fairly new to blogging, I'm choosing 5 of my favorites. So here goes, in no particular order:

Tiffany@ But I Had a Tiara - Great menus and gratitude for all things in life.

Stephanie @ A Year of Crockpotting - I'll be hating to see the year end. I bow to the crockpot queen!

Lisha @ Apprehensive Aliment Artisan - One of the most giving, loving individuals I've ever known, I'm proud to call her my friend. She's overcome her fear of cooking (to please her crew) and has a hubby who is masterful in the kitchen.

Amanda @ The Rural Bohemian - Found this blog through my friend and I love everything about it!

Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic - Always something interesting on this blog. Freezer meals are her specialty. Who wouldn't love a girl who can make turkey cupcakes.

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs (I only had 5, sorry) which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - November 24, 2008

I'll be hosting about 25 family members on Thursday, so my plan is simple leading up to that day. I encountered a homeless family in my job this week and my interaction with them leads me to say: I am so thankful for a God who loves me, family, church family, friends, my job, a warm home, food to eat and enough of the things I need. Many in our great nation are not as fortunate. I am blessed. May you be as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday - Chicken casserole (provided by my friend, Angie), salad, corn
Tuesday - Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Wednesday - My birthday (dinner here, I hope)
Thursday (Thanksgiving Day - US) - Fried turkey, spiral ham, dressing & gravy, green bean casserole, macaroni & cheese, Joe potatoes, corn salad, broccoli salad, buttermilk salad, veggie tray & ranch dip, relish tray (featuring Wickles), cranberry sauce (yes, my family prefers the kind out of a can), rolls, sweet potato & pecan pies, carrot cake (for my birthday)
Friday - I'll be shopping, we'll be eating leftovers.
Saturday - The Game (Alabama & Auburn) - glazed meatballs, cheese dip, chips, veggies & dip
Sunday - Finish off the leftovers!

Thank you for visiting my blog. There are lots of other great meal ideas at Org.Junkie!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Honey-Pecan Pork Chops

This meal delivered once again. Tender boneless pork, panfried then topped with a honey-pecan sauce. Mr. B and I added baked sweet potaotes, green beans, and an apple-raisin salad. The Hoss opted for leftover rice instead of the potato. Comfort food at its best. Simple enough for weeknight fare yet tasty enough to serve company.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oven Fried Drumsticks

Since Mr. B is a house husband these days, he was the cook tonight. The chicken was moist and good. The Hoss ate 5 drumsticks! Looking forward to more of these nights.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - November 17, 2008

After being at my Mother's bedside for several days, she passed away on November 6. The trip we planned was put on hold so we could say our goodbyes and be with family and friends. A lot of my previous meal plan did not materialize. I'm hoping to cook at least some of the meals I have planned this week.
Sunday - Vegetable Beef Soup prepared by my friend Angie. My friends and church family have taken really good care of me.
Monday - Oven Fried Drumsticks, Buttered Rice, English Peas, Rolls
Tuesday -Potato soup & cheese biscuits
Wednesday - Eat at Church: Baked spaghetti, salad & dessert
Thursday - Honey-Pecan Pork Chops, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday - Sloppy Joes, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw
Saturday - I'm hosting our supper club: Chili with Toppings, Salad, Corn Muffins, Apple Pie with Ice Cream
As always, thanks for stopping by to view my menu plan. Don't forget to check out all the other great meal ideas at Org.Junkie!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This was supposed to be Thursday night's meal but I had a hankerin' for it today. Quick and easy to prep and the crock pot does its magic with the sauce. Cook up the pasta of your choice, add a crisp salad and garlic bread, DELISH!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - November 3, 2008 (2 Weeks)

All in all we did pretty well last week and ate what I planned with few variations, except the spaghetti . Hopefully this week will yield the same results. My plan is to do as little shopping as possible for this week since we are travelling over the weekend. That is also why you will see recipes for the end of next week as well.

On the menu for this week:
Monday - Honey-Apple Turkey Breast (modified for the crock pot), Macaroni & Cheese, Broccoli
Tuesday - Hamburgers, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Tossed Salad
Wednesday - Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday - Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday - Turkey Pot Pie (using leftover turkey from Monday) , salad
Friday - Eat at the Football Game! Go Indians!
Saturday - Tuesday Mr. B and I are away on a trip to Music City USA to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. The Hoss will stay with friends. I won't be cooking:) If any of you are familiar with the Nashville area and can recommend some good restaurants, I would appreciate it!

Menu for Week of Novmber 10:
Tuesday (11) Breakfast for dinner (eggs, sausage, pancakes)
Thursday (13) - Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Friday (14) - Shanghai Shrimp , rice and egg drop soup (unless we have a football game)
Saturday (15) - Honey-pecan pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans
Again, thanks for stopping by to view my menu plan. Don't forget to check out all the other great meal ideas at Org.Junkie!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Steak & Twice Baked Potatoes

Tonight's dinner was so good. The steak was seared to perfection (thanks Mr. B!) and the potatoes full of ooey-gooey goodness. Top that off with a nice crisp salad and some of the honey-oatmeal bread I baked earlier and you have a meal fit for a king .....or queen!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday

Yep, it's that day again, you know the's WEDNESDAY! That means no cooking for me. Instead we will enjoy the efforts of TP, as Ms. J is away to the Smokies. (Lucky woman) It's lasagna, salad and some yummy dessert!

Monday, October 27, 2008

BBQ Chicken

Okay, some days just don't work out like you plan. I arrived home to find boneless, skinless chicken breasts thawed and ready to prepare instead of the bone-in meat my recipe called for (my bad - I prefer to think someone switched the packages on me). Since I like bone-in chicken for my oven recipes, I kindly asked Mr. B if he would grill the chicken for our dinner and he consented. So I pounded those bad boys to an even thickness, sprinkled them with Paula Deen's house seasoning and some olive oil and off to the hot grill they went. Mr. B basted them with the BBQ sauce called for in my recipe at the end of the cooking time. Dinner saved:)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - October 27, 2008

I could not help myself! My good friend Lisha has been a part of this for several months and while I plan our meals I had not succombed to being part of MPM...until now.

Monday: BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Wednesday: Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday (Eat at church) Lasagna, Salad and Dessert
Thursday: Steak, Twice Baked Potatoes, Salad
Friday: Fall Festival at Mulder - Hot Dogs, Popcorn & Candy
Saturday: Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Sunday: Chili with toppings, Coleslaw
Thanks for stopping by my blog and don't forget to check out other menu plans at OrgJunkie!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Okay

Tonight we are having a super easy meal. I don't do this often but it's okay now and then to rely on those boxed mixes. I may have a few facts later or I may not.

Thursday Meal
Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls (Garlic Flavored)

No recipes needed:)

Food Fact: For a change of pace, take the entire roll of crescents out of the package, slice jelly roll style and bake.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday's that day again. You know, Wednesday! I'm a happy camper to be able to enjoy the fruits of Ms. J's labors and share a meal with Mr. B and friends.

Wednesday Meal
Scrambled Eggs
Cheese Grits (personal favorite of this southern girl)
Fruit Salad

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ms. A's Brown Sugar Ham

I am looking forward to tonight's meal. This ham recipe has got to be the best ever. Friday we were guests of a lovely couple in our supper club group. The entree' was this yummy grilled ham and the process could not be simpler. I think you will agree.

Tuesday Meal
Ms. A's Brown Sugar Ham
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Mac & Cheese (for The Hoss)
Turnip Greens
Corn Muffins

Ms. A's Brown Sugar Ham
1 center cut ham steak
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. cracked black pepper

Place the ham, sugar and pepper in a gallon ziploc bag. Seal and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Remove from the bag and grill. Delicious!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

I love chicken pot pie, especially the kind made from scratch. Tonight, I have the makings for the Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie and that's what I'm serving. Comfort foods just warm my soul during these crisp, cool autumn days! As always, you'll get the facts later.

Monday Meal
Chicken Pot Pie
Pudding Cups

Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1 can Veg-all mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix chicken,veggies and soup. Spread in bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Mix Bisquick, milk and egg and pour over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Food Facts: As I was preparing this dish it seemed to be a bit bland, so to the chicken mixture I added about a half cup of milk, minced onion, garlic powder, black pepper and poultry seasoning. To the crust mix, I added some dried oregano. The result was spectacular. Mr. B and The Hoss had two servings each and practically licked the dish. Note that tonight I used a large can of white meat chicken. Could not be easier. We will definitely be eating this again! The pudding cups consisted of sugar-free butterscotch pudding (from a mix) layered in serving dishes with crushed graham cracker crumbs. Finish with whipped topping from a can. Yummy!

Sunday Dinner

I know it's Monday, but I just did not find time to blog about yesterday's meal. We had friends join us for a late lunch which, with some careful planning, I prepared before we left for church. Saturday night I put the roast in my trusty slow cooker with carrots, celery, onions, an au jus seasoning packet and 2 cups water. I cooked it on low all night. It was perfection. The peas were from my freezer and the dessert recipe courtesy of my good friend Lisha.

Sunday Meal
Rump Roast with Veggies
Mashed Potatoes
Lady Peas
Corn Bread
Apple Pie Bites with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It was so nice to eat at home (not at a restaurant) and reminded me of those Sundays long ago when everyone gathered for the noon meal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Steak & Gravy

Fall is probably my favorite season. I also love the comfort foods that come with this time of year. Tonight will feature another menu that is a staple in our house.

Thursday Meal
Cubed steak with gravy
Mashed potatoes

Cubed Steak & Gravy
1-1/2 lbs. cubed beef steak
salt & pepper
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
cooking oil

Season steak with salt & pepper and dredge in flour. Brown in oil and place in a casserole dish. Combine soup, water and onion soup mix and pour over steak. Cover & bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Food Facts: The steak was tender and the gravy was the best I've ever made, according to Mr. B & the Hoss. I have to admit it was pretty good! Guys love meat and potatoes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday

Wednesdays, I love 'em! Tonight's menu is one of my favorites. The best part is that I'm not responsible for the preparation.

Wednesday Meal
Hash Brown Casserole
Green Beans

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Honey Pecan Pork Chops

Tonight is Bible study so I've selected this easy to prepare dish from What's Cookin'?, a publication of the Junior Service League in Alexander City, Alabama. I've tried several recipes from this book with great results. I'm sure this one will be tasty as well.

Tuesday Meal
Honey Pecan Pork Chops
Brown Rice
Green Beans

Honey Pecan Pork Chops
1-1/4 lb. boneless center cut pork chops
1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup honey

Flatten pork chops to 1/4 inch thickness. Dredge in flour, salt & pepper and cook until golden brown in melted butter. Remove from pan. Add honey and pecans and stir until bubbly. Scrape bits from bottom of pan. Serve sauce over pork chops.

Food Facts: This recipe turned out even better than I expected. It was quick and easy to prepare and the honey-pecan sauce was out of this world. I think it would translate well to boneless chicken breasts in place of the pork. Mr. B and The Hoss ate everything on their plates and wished for more. This one's a keeper! Dessert at Bible study were these yummy apple pie bites.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hot Dogs and.......

I know it must seem that we eat a lot of hot dogs. Truth is I can count on them in a pinch and since tonight is our final JV football game, they fit the bill. Tonight we are eating OM Weiners. They were BOGO a few weeks ago at our local grocery store. As a special treat, I made potato salad on Sunday to serve as our side dish.

Monday Meal
Hot dogs with chili
Potato salad

Potato Salad

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 eggs, hardboiled & chopped
1/2 cup Kraft Olive Oil Mayo
2 tbsp. mustard
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp. minced onion
salt and pepper

Peel and cube potatoes, cook until fork tender, drain. Combine the remainder of the ingredients and serve warm or refrigerate until needed. Add more mayo if too dry.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fifteen Today!

Today The Hoss turns 15. You might ask what that has to do with cooking or food. It actually has very little to do with either, except birthdays are special at our house and the birthday boy or girl gets to choose the menu. My birthday boy has chosen to eat a local Italian restaurant, Casa Napoli, for his celebration meal instead of a meal prepared by me. I am not offended that he chose this restaurant as it happens to be one of my favorites as well. Menu selections and the facts will follow later. Here's what we ate:

Appetizer - Calamari
Barb - Eggplant Parmigiana
The Hoss - Crab Manicotti
Mr. B - Fried Flounder & French Fries
Salads all around!

Food Facts: The restaurant was oddly empty this evening so the service was even better than normal. We are seafood lovers and were salivating by the time the calamari arrived at our table. It did not disappoint. Light, crispy fried with a homemade marinara dipping sauce. Yummy! The salads were the usual spring mix with olives, tomato wedges and pepperocinni. Mr. B & I had the creamy Italian dressing and The Hoss had the ranch. All their dressings are homemade and so good! The dinner portions here are huge and part of mine is at home waiting for another meal. The fried flounder was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The fries were fresh cut but fried perfectly. Mr. B was a happy man. The manicotti was full of cheese and crab smothered in marinara and topped with more cheese. The Hoss scarfed it down in record time. My eggplant was perfect as always. The prices are in the moderate to high range, but well worth it. Note that lunch prices are very reasonable and a lot of the dinner items are available at the noon hour. We skipped dessert in lieu of the birthday cake waiting at home. If you are in the mood for or have room for dessert, I recommend the Tiramisu, the Italian Cream Cake and the Pecan Cobbler. We'll be going back for sure!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday

WooHoo! It's Wednesday.....and that means no cooking for me. Tonight we will enjoy a meal prepared by Ms V as she stands in for our usual Wednesday chef.

Wednesday Meal

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vegetable Beef Soup

Today is Football Day, so it's my trusty crockpot to the rescue again. This is a basic recipe that lends itself to whatever meat & veggies are available. Corn bread muffins or saltine crackers are the perfect addition.

Tuesday Menu
Vegetable Beef Soup
Saltine Crackers
Tossed Salad

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 pound boneless stew beef or ground churck (you can also use leftover roast beef)
16 ounces frozen mixed veggies or 2 - 15 ounce cans mixed veggies
2 - 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (with or without added spices)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. worchestershire sauce
4 cups beef stock
1 cup water
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 cup macaroni (uncooked, optional)
salt & pepper

In crockpot, combine tomatoes, ketchup, stock, seasonings and water. Stir well. Add meat and veggies. If using ground chuck, brown and drain before adding to crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add macaroni during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

Food Facts: This is a tried and true staple recipe in my kitchen. The end result is dependent on the ingredients at hand, but it's always easy and delicious. The canned tomatoes I used today, contained garlic, basil and onions which gave the soup an Italian flair. As a side note, this may actually taste better the second day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tangy Chicken with Smashed Potatoes

Our football game has been moved to Tuesday, so no rushing tonight. I am preparing this dish in my slow-cooker so it will be ready when Mr. B and The Hoss get home from football practice. Again, this is a couple of recipes I've combined and tweaked for the crock pot. Make your favorite mashed potato recipe. My guys love them made with Yukon Golds and mashed with the skin on. Any green veggie will do. I just happen to have cabbage and broccoli that need to be cooked. You'll get the facts later.

Monday Menu
Tangy Chicken
Smashed Potatoes
Steamed Cabbage
Steamed Broccoli (for The Hoss)

Tangy Chicken
4 bone-in chicken breasts (cut breasts in half, if large)
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
1 cup water
salt & pepper

Spray slow-cooker with cooking spray, salt & pepper chicken and place inside. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Food Facts: I'm not too sure about this recipe. It may need a bit more tweaking or just cooking in an oven. While the guys gobbled it down, I just didn't think it was all that great. The meat was juicy and the cranberry & 57 sauces formed a gravy that I poured over the plated chicken. Potatoes and cabbage were awesome!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Friday!

Yep, it's Friday again and you know what that means.....FOOTBALL! We will be eating at home before heading off for the game. This is a simple meal that will probably be prepared by Mr. B, since he is at home today (I repeat lucky man)!

Friday Meal
Hamburgers (on the grill)
Tossed Salad

Food Fact: This was an easy, yet tasty before game meal. Once again, we had a friend of The Hoss over for dinner. They finished off the burgers and the dumplings from earlier in the week! Growing boys do know how to eat!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall weather makes me want to cook!

This weather is wonderful and it makes me want to cook and cook and cook some more! I'm really looking forward to tonight's meal. It brings back a host of memories from my childhood when my mother prepared this same menu for our family. Since this is a family favorite, you can be sure Mr. B & The Hoss won't be late for dinner. Even though I will make homemade gravy, the biscuits are courtesy of Mary B's. The facts will follow.

Thursday Meal
Salmon Patties & Gravy
English Peas

Salmon Patties

1 - 15 1/2 oz. can of Alaskan salmon (remove visible bones)
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
salt & pepper

Pour salmon in a mixing bowl (do not drain), add eggs and stir well. Add flour, salt & pepper and stir until just blended. Heat oil in a skillet to medium high, take salmon mixture by tablespoons full and fry till golden brown. Gently press into patty shape as they cook with your fork or spatula. Remove and drain on paper towels.


1/4 cup cooking oil (heat on medium)
3-4 tbsp. flour
salt & pepper
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water

Heat oil and stir in flour, salt & pepper to form a roux. Raise temperature to medium high and cook until just brown. Combine milk & water. Slowly add to roux. Lower heat to medium and stir or whisk until smooth. Let thicken and pour into a serving bowl. Serve over the rice and biscuits.

Food Facts: We opted not to make the gravy tonight....but the meal was wonderful without it. Try the salmon patties, gravy and biscuits for breakfast one morning!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday

Wow! Wednesday is here again already. I really look forward to these days. It's nice to sit down with Mr. B and my church family and share a meal I didn't prepare. The Hoss will eat after football practice. Thanks, Ms. J, for Wednesdays!

Wednesday Meal
Chicken Enchiladas
Beef Tacos
Mexican Salad
Key Lime or Cheesecake Pie

Food Fact: Food tastes much better when you share it with friends and family!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's for Dinner?

I take time each weekend to plan meals for the next week, but sometimes, things don't work out as planned. That would be the case today. Mr. B usually gets off work at 2 pm, but this week he has started working 10 hours a day with Friday off (lucky man). My meal plans for the week were dependent on his arriving home in the early afternoon, so the plans have changed. Because things change quickly at my house, I always try to have something I can prepare in minimal time for days like today. Dessert will once again be provided by my good friends at the end of our weekly Bible study. As always, the facts will follow.

Tuesday Meal
Hot dogs with Chili
Pasta salad (leftover)

Coleslaw (leftover)
Chips (for The Hoss)

Food Facts: This was a quick meal that filled empty tummies and got us out of the house on time. It's always good to have something in the pantry or freezer that will work on busy days! Dessert was Fruity Pastries at our weekly Bible study.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dumplin' Monday

My friend, Lisha, made chicken and dumplin's last week. This week it's my turn to prepare this family favorite. I cooked the chicken on Sunday and placed the broth and chicken in containers in the frig. I also prepared my dill coleslaw this morning. Food Facts will follow later.

Monday Menu
Chicken and Dumplin's
Dill Coleslaw

1 whole chicken
2 whole carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces (include leaves)
1/2 onion, cut in quarters
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
*water to cover chicken in crockpot
chicken broth, if needed
salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and clean out the inside of your whole chicken and place in a crockpot, along with the celery, carrot and onion, with enough water to just barely cover the chicken. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours. When it is finished, remove the chicken, strain the liquid, and dispose of the vegetables. Place resulting broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add additional chicken broth, if needed. Separate the chicken from the bones, shred chicken and set it aside. Make dumplings while broth heats. Add dumplings, one at a time while broth is boiling. After the dumplings are ready add the can of soup and mix well. Add shredded chicken and cook on low for a 5-10 minutes to warm throughout. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
ice water (to the right consistency)
Cut shortening into flour, add ice water to form a stiff dough. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into one inch wide strips. Pick up strips and pinch about two inch lengths into boiling liquid.

Dill Coleslaw
6 cups of shredded cabbage (bagged will work)
1 tbsp. dried dill
3/4 cup mayo
black pepper
Combine all the ingredients and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

Food Facts: Shortening will go rancid if you don't use it. Instead of the Crisco I planned to use in my dumplings, I opted for 1 stick of butter. This substitution actually made the dumpling better (IMHO). They were light but held together during the simmer process. Mr. B & The Hoss ate two bowls each and both were happy to see leftovers for later in the week. The coleslaw with its sour taste complemented the chicken & dumplin's nicely. I love fall because the weather lends itself to a lot of our favorite dishes. Until tomorrow, keep cooking.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So I didn't cook today either!

After spending much of the day coordinating the wedding of a lovely couple in our church, I arrived home about 5:30 pm. It was at that point I made my mistake. I took off my shoes and sat down. It only took minor encouragement from Mr. B to decide to seek sustenance outside the home (that and the fact I had not been grocery shopping). The Hoss and his buddy went along for the ride and the food. Our destination was a new sports grill in our town, Coach's Corner. Here's how the orders stacked up:

Mr. B - Mighty Burger with onion rings
Barb - Chicago Dog with onion rings
The Hoss - Stuffed Mighty Burger with curly fries
The Buddy - Mighty Burger with curly fries
Appetizers - Mozzarella sticks with marinara & Jalapeno poppers with ranch dressing

Food Facts: This restaurant/bar is great for the sports lover! Big screen TVs are everywhere! We arrived right before the kickoff of the AL-GA game to a not so crowded room. Soon there wasn't a free table to be seen. A big plus for me is the fact that we were perfectly comfortable taking our teenagers into this establishment. The bar area is screened from the tables and the crowd in both areas was definitely well-behaved. It's also smoke-free! Now to the big test....our server was on her toes and very friendly. She kept our (very large) glasses filled with water for the adults and soft drinks for the guys and the food arrived in a timely manner. The burgers were handmade and cooked to order, the fries and homemade onion rings were hot & crisp, and the Chicago Dog was one of the best hotdogs I've ever eaten. The appetizers were nothing spectacular but well prepared and worth the price we paid. Most of the menu items are moderately priced. If you haven't yet, give this new eating establishment (60 Village Loop) a try if you are in the Wetumpka, AL area. We'll be going back for sure!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Friday!

If it's Friday, it's football! Mr. B and The Hoss will go to the game without me. There's a wedding at the church this weekend, so I'll be working. I do plan to join them at half-time for the rest of the game. Dinner for the boys will be Wendy's and dinner for me will be Weight Watcher's Smart Ones.

Food Fact: It's perfectly okay to skip cooking every now and then!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Asian Thursday

My Thursdays are usually full so it was a pleasant surprise to find that this evening I am free from committments! That means I will be able to prepare dinner tonight and enjoy the company of my guys. The recipe I'm using is a conglomeration of several I found in cookbooks and online. Hopefully, Mr. B, will do the prep work before I arrive home. As always the facts will follow.

Thursday's Meal
Shrimp Fried Rice
Apple Blueberry Crisp

Shrimp Fried Rice
1 pound raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed - frozen works just fine)
2 cups frozen stir fry veggies (thawed)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 egg (beaten)
2 cups rice (cooked)

1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients for sauce and set aside. Beat egg in a seperate bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add shrimp, cook until pink and remove. Coarsely chop shrimp. Add garlic and onion to skillet, cook for one minute, then add veggies and cook until all are tender. Pour in egg and rice and cook until the egg is done. Add sauce and cook until slightly thickened. Stri in shrimp and cook until heated through.

Apple Blueberry Crisp
2 cups blueberries
2 cups apples, peeled and cored
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons honey

Combine the berries, and apples in a small bowl and sprinkle with one tablespoon flour; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8 X 8 baking dish. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons flour, and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the coconut, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside. Spoon honey over fruit, then sprinkle with the flour mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes then serve warm.

Food Facts: 1. Fried Rice - Cook the egg in a separate pan, then add to fried rice at the very end. Also, you will need to double the sauce recipe except for the red pepper flakes. All in all this dish was very good and easy to assemble once the prep work was done. 2. Crisp - Mr. B. declared this dessert "just about perfect". It was just sweet enough with addition of some whipped topping (out of the know the ones teenagers grab from the frig and eat straight from the can as a snack). I would like more veggies, but The Hoss said there were plenty in the dish already. I believe this one may show up again on the dinner table.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Front Porch Sittin' Wednesday

I don't cook on least not for the majority of them in the last seven years! Wednesdays, I step back and let Ms. J work her wonders in our church kitchen, then I sit down and enjoy a time of food and fellowship with my church family. It reminds me of the times we spent as children on the porch (front or back) visiting with friends, family and neighbors. Those visits inevitably involved food in one form or another. Wednesdays at Mulder give me the feelings I felt back then, feelings of being surrounded by people who truly love and care for one another.

Wednesday Meal
Chicken Pot Pie

Food Fact: Sometimes it's not all about the food, it's about the people we share the food with..........

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Twisted Tuesday

Tonight my family will join several others for Bible study. This means, once again, the meal must be quick and easy. Our main course tonight is courtesy of 101 Things to Do with a Crockpot, as was Monday's entree. The recipe actually calls for crushed pineapple, but my pantry yielded chunks, so that's what I used. The crescent rolls are Pillsbury. Mr. B will prepare the rice and be the salad chef for the meal.

Tuesday's Meal
Polynesian Pork Chops
Rice (Make extra for Thursday)
Tossed Salad
Crescent Rolls

Polynesian Pork Chops
4 or 5 lean pork chops
1 cup Barbeque Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
8 ounces crushed pineapple

Season chops with salt and pepper. Place in bottom of crockpot that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Combine barbeque sauce and undrained pineapple and pour over chops. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is another new recipe, so the outcome is unknown. I'll post the Food Facts later!

Food Facts: This recipe really needs the crushed pineapple. I'm thinking it would melt into the sauce while the chunks just had a decidedly different taste. Other than the weird chunks, this meal is a success. Mr. B did an excellent job on the rice, salad and rolls, too! He also polished off the food on his plate and packed a lunch from the remaining chop. The Hoss ate his but it's hard to tell if he liked the food or was in one of his 'eat everything that doesn't eat me first' modes. I was pleased with the results for the most part. The taste of the meat and sauce was yummy (minus the weird chunks, of course), the rice was perfect and the salad and rolls rounded out the meal nicely. Now off to Bible study where my good friend supplies dessert. Check out her food blog, too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Mania

It's Monday and that means football in our home. So a 6 pm game means dinner has to be quick or prepared in advance (love those crock pots). Since the beginning of school, I've tried to plan our meals, both as a cost-saving idea but a time-saving one as well. Today's menu is a twist on a recipe I found in 101 Things to Do with a Crockpot. While I love to cook, I'm not averse to a little help from prepackaged foods, hence the stuffing for tonight's meal. I'm also blessed to have a husband who doesn't mind finishing the meal for me. This is an untried recipe so I'll let you know later how it turns out!

Monday's Meal
Crock Pot Chicken Bake
Cornbread Stuffing (from a box)
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce

Crock-Pot Chicken Bake

5 or 6 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 ounces of evaporated milk
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Spray crock pot with non-stick spray. Place chicken in bottom of pot. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

Food Fact: This definitely needs to cook only 8 hours on low and no more. The chicken was a bit dry, but Mr. B who loves his chicken fried, ate it without complaint and even packed leftovers for his lunch. The Hoss ate with the football team tonight. I, however, loved the meal with all the flavors of fall melded together. The only thing missing was the apple pie!