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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Menu Plan 15.0

Week 15:

Okay, I admit it… I have failed all of you, my faithful followers.  I had BIG plans to help you as you approached the Holiday season (cookie recipes/holiday dinner recipes/desserts) but life became crazy busy and something had to give.  The blog was the first to go BUT I am back on track.  As we approach the New Year, I wish you all a year filled with peace, happiness, health, love and of course good food. 🙂

(For my new followers, click on the name of the recipe (not the pic) to get to the recipe details.)

Sunday – Beef Carnitas Tacos. This recipe by Cooking Light is soooooo fantastic.  It is a little more complicated.  Good for a Sunday meal.  You do have to make the Beef Carnitas first to use for this recipe.  You can buy beef carnitas already prepared at the store if you need/want to save time.  I have bought the beef from Trader Joes and it is really good.

Monday–  Happy New Year’s Eve!!   Hopefully, you are going to spend the evening with loved ones.  If you are going out for dinner… enjoy!!  If you are staying in… I highly recommend a decadent night of king crab legs w/real melted butter, scallops (sautéed in garlic/butter) and shrimp cocktail.  (my mouth is watering)  Click on the link below for more info on how to buy/cook crab legs.

How to cook crab legs??

Tuesday–   Happy New Year!!  I am going to be adding healthier recipes to the weekly menu blog so that we can have a better balance in our diets.  I have been guilty of adding ‘not so healthy’ recipes that we love to the blog and I still will but I am striving to create healthier dishes.  This may mean that I will alter a recipe to make it healthy and will give you the tips/changes or I will post healthy recipes that I have tested as is.  

Wednesday– Black beans and Chicken Breasts – This AllRecipes dish is actually for pork chops but I am recommending that you substitute chicken breasts for the pork chops for an even healthier twist.  This is such an incredibly easy, healthy one pot meal that I keep coming back to again and again.  

Thursday– Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets.   This is a crazy easy but delicious mid-week meal by Cooking Light.  It is only 5 ingredients!  It calls for Canola mayonnaise.  I had olive oil mayo and it worked just fine.  I also don’t do light Ranch.  A 1/2 cup of ranch is crazy bad for you so I just used a tiny bit to dip the fish in.  The fish has so much flavor as is.  I personally love salt and vinegar chips so I loved that crunchy taste on my fish but if that flavor is too strong for you, try another flavor chip!  

Friday–  Take a break from all this cooking night!!!  Eat leftovers, go to dinner, make someone else cook, something, anything!!  🙂

Saturday–   French Three Onion Soup.   This soup from Food Network takes a bit of work but is well worth it.  It is a far healthier version than my original post for French Onion Soup a couple of months ago.  Per serving, this soup has 317 calories, 10.5 g of fat and  357 mg of sodium.  As a crazy point of reference, my original recipe packed 618 calories per serving, 36 g of fat and 3433 mg of sodium.  Yikes.  Double yikes.  Try this one for a MUCH healthier version.  

Don’t forget to click on the link below to use the printable grocery list!  This will help keep you on track as you shop.  Hope this helps streamline your grocery store trips! The goal is for you to go to the store ONCE this week. Save time. Save $$.

Grocery List Template

and as always, here is your menu planning template to print out, write your menu and stick on your fridge.  It is super cute!!

Menu Planning Template

Happy New Year and happy cooking!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours.

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Menu Plan 14.0

Week 14:

Sunday – fettuccine with Sausage and Kale.   Lately I have been obsessed with Kale.  This recipe was too easy not to try.  Loved the combo of noodles, sausage and kale.  Especially as an alternative to spinach.  Note that on this link to Rachel Ray’s recipe, it calls for 12 cups of water.  This is a TYPO!  It should be 1/2 cup.  Also, it is a little vague how small to chop the kale.  Err on the side of smaller pieces.   I recommend adding a little olive to the fettuccine noodles after you drain them to prevent sticking.

Monday–  Fish Cakes. Yikes… okay, I admit it, the name of the recipe sounds a little ick.  This is a simple Kraft recipe that I love because you can tailor the taste by using your fish of choice.  I personally like to use crab meat. I also love to make a spicy Thai chili sauce to serve on top of the crab cakes.  I don’t have an exact recipe but basically I use about a cup of mayo, a couple of tablespoons of Thai chili sauce and I squeeze the juice out of a 1/2 a lemon.  I recommend that you make the sauce before you make the fish cakes so that the flavors have a little time to meld.  

Tuesday–  Slow Cooker Beef Stew.  This is a great mid-week slow cooker recipe.  If you really need to cut corners, you can by the beef stew kit in the produce section of your grocery store, buy the beef stew slow cooker packet in the spice aisle and call it a day.  If you have a little more time on your hands, the link above is to an easy recipe on AllRecipes that I have used for quite some time.  I serve with biscuits.  Aah, comfort food.  Easy and it smells wonderful when you get home.  

Wednesday– Breakfast night!!!  We haven’t had one in awhile.  Such a fun, family dinner kind of night.  Pancakes, eggs, toast, bacon.  Yum!!

Thursday– Mexican Chicken. This recipe from Paula Deen is not healthy.  I repeat.. not healthy.  At all.  BUT…delish. Once in a while that just has to be a priority, right???  **Recipe Notes** I use Rotel in place of tomatoes.  I cut down the soup to two cans of cream soup instead of three.  It was a little soupy the first time I made this with all three cans.

Friday– Fun family night?  Date night?  Whatev.  Just DON’T cook!  

Saturday–   Risotto with Pesto and Peas.  This recipe.  Wow.  This recipe.  At a loss for words.  After making this once, this has already become one of my most favorite recipes.  You definitely need to be a fan of pesto to dig the this recipe.  It does dominate.  BUT I am fan AND I do love it.   Really, the picture should say it all.  🙂 

Don’t forget to click on the link below to use the printable grocery list!  This will help keep you on track as you shop.  Hope this helps streamline your grocery store trips! The goal is for you to go to the store ONCE this week. Save time. Save $$.

Grocery List Template

and as always, here is your menu planning template to print out, write your menu and stick on your fridge.  It is super cute!!

Menu Planning Template

Happy cooking!

Menu Plan 13.0

Week 13:

SundayChicken Fried Steak w/Gravy – I found this recipe in the November edition of Food Network Magazine. It is a recipe from one of my most fave chefs, Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) so I knew that I HAD to try it!  I love that it is true comfort food.  Especially when served with mashed potatoes and steamed corn.  Yum!  ** Don’t skip the tenderizing step! It seems like an easy thing to skip over but don’t.  This will prevent the meat from getting too tough.  Also, make sure that you are using your silicone whisk when making the gravy directly in the pan.  🙂

Monday–  Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken. This recipe is a classic recipe from AllRecipes.  I haven’t made this recipe in a while but it is a tried and true recipe that I always seem to come back to.   With the lemon and garlic, it has a fresh light taste.   Especially for a slow cooker recipe, which in my opinion, generally tend to be heavier.  Remember to use fresh lemon juice (not bottled!).  It makes a big difference.  Substituting bottled lemon juice can leave a fake lemon taste. 

Tuesday–  General Tsao Chicken –  This is such an easy weeknight meal.  I cut up 3 chicken breasts into pieces and cook in the wok with olive oil until no longer pink.  Dump an entire bottle of Trader Joe’s General Tsao sauce.  Add red, orange and yellow peppers (1/2 of each pepper) cut into skinny strips, cook until tender, add jasmine rice (already cooked). Voila.  Easy, delicious AND cheap.

Wednesday– Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup – I love love love tomato basil soup.  This is such a fantastic recipe (I found this recipe on a great site called Today’s Mama).  My initial pull to try it was that it was a slow cooker recipe.  I am always on a quest for good slow cooker recipes. I love to serve Tomato Basil soup with croutons on top and sometimes I will add rice for a twist.  Delish!

Thursday– Spicy Bean and Cheese Burrito – I found this recipe last month in Rachel Ray’s magazine.  This is a fantastic mid-week recipe!  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  The added bonus is that it gives you a little break from meat.   I do not change anything about this recipe.  Perfect as is.  🙂

Friday– Take a break, will ya?  Order in.

Saturday–  Baked Shrimp and Feta – This recipe by Rachel Ray had me at feta.  Seriously.  If the recipe title has the word ‘feta’ in it, I either have tried or will try it.   This recipe is so simple to make.  Serve with angel hair pasta and a salad.  

Don’t forget to click on the link below to use the printable grocery list!  This will help keep you on track as you shop.  Hope this helps streamline your grocery store trips! The goal is for you to go to the store ONCE this week. Save time. Save $$.

Grocery List Template

and as always, here is your menu planning template to print out, write your menu and stick on your fridge.  It is super cute!!

Menu Planning Template

Happy cooking!