Back to School 2012-2013

I have long since decided that I am never going to be an every day blogger.  Heck, I won’t even say I will be a consistent blogger of any kind! I do, however, know I can commit to posting here randomly :)  It is back to school week for my oldest two kids- fifth grade and second grade.  Wow time flies!!

Our menu for this back to school week:

Sunday:  Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Monday: pizza out due to a meeting

Tuesday: Best Ever Beef Dip Sandwiches, fries, veggie

Wednesday: eat at church

Thursday: Taco Casserole

Friday: leftover buffet

The taco casserole recipe is from a cookbook my son’s school did for a fundraiser last year.  I will post the recipe with a review later in the week.

I have already started working on next week’s menu.  I am trying to use up some meat we have in the freezer so it will be sort of a freezer challenge week.  As always, you can get great menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday- a great place for ideas and inspiration.

Menu Plan- Week of Jan 9th

First of all, I would like to say that we did a pretty good job of sticking to our meal plan last week.  We made a few changes and edits but that is what I love about menu planning – I already have the ingredients for most of my week so if I want to swap out a thing or two I can.  We are allowing ourselves one meal out on the weekends, so Friday we decided to exercise that option and have Chinese takeout.  Other than that, I did such a good job sticking to last week’s plan that we get to start this week off with leftover buffet!!  This is great because Monday is our Cub Scout night which means we aren’t home until late plus tonight we plan on watching the BCS National Championship game and I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.

Monday- leftover buffet

Tuesday- Pizza Penne Bake

Wednesday- church supper

Thursday- Creamy Chicken Tacos

Friday- Pepperoni Roll Ups

Weekends for a while will mostly be leftovers and soup/sandwiches with me cooking a meal or two if we are home for most of the weekend.  I don’t really nail down a solid plan until I know for sure what our activities are going to be.  I try to keep plenty of stuff on hand that we can make a quick meal out of.

What’s your menu for the week? Share yours and get other great meal planning tips over at Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday

Recipe Review- Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Last night we had the Crockpot Barbeque Chicken from our meal plan I posted on Monday.  Sorry I don’t have any pics but I have lost the battery charger to my camera and am waiting for my new one to arrive.  We really enjoyed this chicken.  I had read some of the comments on the recipe post and did thicken the sauce with cornstarch.  While we served the breasts as our main dish, I can see where it would be great shredded and served on buns.  The boneless, skinless chicken breasts can get dry in the slow cooker so next time I am hoping to try with either some bone-in breasts or with some legs and thighs.  I can say for sure though that we will be making this one again.

Thanks to the sweet men and women at my church, FBC-Abbeville, I will not have to cook tonight but can sit down and enjoy a nice bowl of beef stew with a side of cornbread.  It is great to have a church that offers a Wednesday night meal because it gives me one night that I for sure don’t have to plan or cook.

Menu plan + recipe review

I am working on my menu plan for this week. Since we are adjusting to some new routines, it is not carved in stone yet. I will give you my working plan for the week though-

Monday- Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Tuesday- Crockpot BBQ Chicken and veggies
Wednesday- beef stew and cornbread (at church- I don’t have to cook this one)
Thursday- Hamburger Casserole
Friday- leftover buffet

The weekend is still a work in progress however, but I think my husband has volunteered to defrost some steaks and grill. Also, I promised my 6 year old that we would have chicken Alfredo at some point as well.

Over the Christmas holiday, I made an easy and delicious Pizza Dip. I got the recipe from my sister and am happy to share it with you here:
Pizza Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

3/4 -1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 c pepperonis, finely chopped
1/4 c scallions
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
Tortilla chips

Soften cream cheese: preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend with mixer first 5 ingredients. Lightly grease 9 in pie plate and spread mixture.
Sprinkle pizza sauce evenly on top, then toss pepperonis and scallions on top.
Bake for 10 minutes – remove and sprinkle mozzarella cheese – bake additional 10 minutes.

Can be mixed ahead and refrigerated before baking.

I usually double it to take to parties. Also, you can play with the seasonings a bit when blending the cream cheese and sour cream. I never measure, I just add until it tastes good to me. It has been a big hit every time I have made it.

This blog and I

We have an on again off again relationship, I guess. I am back at work for the first time since starting my maternity leave in September. Since I haven’t had to be a working mom and a new mom yet, I let things like meal planning fall by the wayside. Now that I am a working mother of three, I best get back to business. Tonight we are having an old favorite Slow Cooker Taco Soup. Hopefully in 2012, I will do a better job of chronicling my never-ending quest of meal planning and meal budgeting. I have several recipes that I have made lately that I will try and review here, and I finally have a decent camera so hopefully I can provide some pictures of the things I cook. Also this year is the challenge for mama to watch those calories while still providing great meals for her guys (and gal). Hopefully tomorrow I will have our menu for the week and a review of a great dip recipe that I made for a few parties over the holiday season.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Summer is here

Wow I didn’t realize just how long it had been since I have posted here. I am the world’s worst blogger for sure. So much has been going on and our spring semester was just insane- record snowfalls, soccer, baseball, t-ball, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and church commitments have kept us on our toes. Added to that is the fact that we are expecting our third child (another girl) at the end of September. I have to say that I have been letting the inmates run the asylum so to speak and have not really done as much cooking over the past few months as I wanted to (combined with the fact that for several weeks the sight and smell of most foods was making me sick). Now that school is out, my Scouting commitments are on hiatus for the summer, and t-ball and baseball are winding down, I thought I better pull out some recipes and get back in the kitchen.

One of my favorite blogs out there is A Year of Slow Cooking. This week Stephanie posted a link for Slow Cooker Creamy Tacos. Anyone that has ever read my blog knows that I hate to turn on my oven in the summer as it is, so this was right up my alley. Here in Mississippi, we are already experiencing temperatures in the high 90s which to a pregnant mamma sweating at the ball fields feels like 200 degrees. I consulted my friend Mary and she has given the Philadelphia Cooking Creme her seal of approval. My hope is to make these tacos sometime over the weekend for a quick and easy meal.