Category Archives: Recipes

Menu Monday ~ 2/7

Here’s our menu for the week…

Monday – Ham & Swiss Cups w/ Tomato Soup

Tuesday – French Toast Casserole w/ Sausage & Strawberries

Wednesday – Slow Cooked BBQ Beef Cornbread Casserole w/ Salad

Thursday – (going out to eat for our Valentine’s Day)

Friday – Smoked Sausage, Potatoes & Green Beans w/ Salad

Saturday – Baked Tilapia w/ Broccoli & Rice

Sunday – Chili w/ Corn Chips

I also plan on attempting homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate for Valentine’s Day…here’s the recipe I’m going to attempt.

Snow Day

When the snow is good, I love everything about a snow day.  I’m probably just as excited as the kids when school is called off.  I absolutely LOVE snow.  Of course, since I don’t have a typical job, I don’t have to get out in it, which as I remember is a total bummer.  Aside from that, snow is wonderful.  From the first beautiful snowflake floating down from the heavens, to packing billions of snowflakes together for forts, snowballs, or a snowman, to making snow angels while cold wet flakes land and melt on your face, to the hot cocoa after coming into a warm house & peeling wet clothes off the kids…I love it all.  Most of all, I love sharing the experience with my kids.  I hope these are the kind of things they remember forever.

Today, we bundled up – 3 shirts, 2 pants, soccer socks, hats, gloves, coats…we quite resembled Randy Parker from A Christmas Story. (I wear my snowboarding gear, so I can stay out longer…and the snowboarding boots are heavy & give me quite a workout!)

Decked out in all my layers & crazy heavy boots!

Outside, we started building a snowman, but ball #2 fell apart so it turned into a snowblob that they just climbed on.

Chubbs standing on the 'Snow Tower' aka snowman fail.

Princess2T lookin' pretty!

The kids made snow angels, attacked Pickle while she was posing for a close-up, and ran around flinging snowballs.

Froggy making a snow angel.

Pickle being attacked!

Snowball Fight!

After a little over an hour, I came in & started the 3 different versions of cocoa…gotta love having kids with conflicting allergies!  They stayed out about 15 more minutes and then were ready for cocoa.  They thoroughly enjoyed the cocoa, especially the adorable gingerbread man & snowman marshmallows!

Mmmmm...Hot Cocoa, Hot Vanilla, & Hot Cocoa w/ Soy!

Gingerbread Man & Snowman Marshmallows

Here’s the recipes for the cocoa’s I made:

Mexican Hot Cocoa – (for me and the ‘normal’ children)

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. baking cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 1/3 C milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, & cinnamon.
  2. Over medium heat, gradually stir in milk & stir constantly until hot, do NOT boil.
  3. Remove from heat & stir in vanilla extract.  Beat w/ wire whisk until frothy.
  4. Pour into mugs, garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately & enjoy!


Hot Vanilla – (for Chubbs who’s allergic to chocolate & soy)

3/4 C milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Heat milk to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min. in microwave safe measuring cup.
  2. Stir in sugar, vanilla, & cinnamon.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows & extra cinnamon if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.


Hot Cocoa w/ Soy Milk – (For Pickle who’s allergic to milk)

1 C soy milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking cocoa powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe mug.
  2. Heat to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately, & enjoy!

Menu Monday

Well, even though there are no excuses for neglecting my blog, I have done just that.  I have also neglected my routine.  My menu is non-existent, so I’m just gonna make it up on the fly.  I know what I’ve got in my kitchen, and I know what my crazy schedule consists of this week, so here it is.

Spaghetti w/ Sweet & Spicy Marinara Sauce


Homemade Pizza

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Tilapia (Haven’t tried this one yet, but since Kylie can’t have the Tilapia Parmesan figured I’d experiment a bit.)

Chicken Alfredo

Ranch Burgers

Nothing fancy, just yummies to get us by until I can get back into the groove again.  I have many things on my plate, and I seem to keep adding more without taking anything away.  I’m thinking things will calm down a bit once a few personal issues are resolved.  (No worries…nothing bad, just annoying.)  I am in the process of writing a review, I have some stuff on the way to me via FedEx to test & review (way excited!), still working on my blog layout & features, and I’m wanting to post about my coupon organizer.  Seriously, it is super nerdy, but so stinking handy.

Oh, and I almost forgot…I have reconnected with several of my old buddies from Marine Corps Boot Camp.  It has been amazing catching up with these wonderful women and seeing where their lives have gone in the past 12 years.  Some are still in the Marines kicking butt & taking names overseas, others are back home with great careers and/or families.  It’s so interesting to see how the different paths our lives have taken have essentially led several of us to the same place.  I am so proud of my Marine sisters and thankful I have found them and have been able to reconnect with them.

Menu Monday

We stuck with our menu this week with only one alteration. I made a pork roast rather than a beef roast because I was missing a key ingredient…which somehow didn’t make it onto my list.

The tofu turned out okay…I’d like to experiment a little more. Grayson loved it, which was fantastic since he’s becoming a little picky. It was mainly a texture issue…plus the fact that my sinuses were so stuffy I could hardly taste anything means that it needs another chance. This weeks menu is pretty easy…we’ll be using the crock pot a few times.
Creamy Hamburger Stroganoff (I use ground turkey in place of ground beef sometimes.)
Country Fried Steak (Tyson’s frozen) w/ Copycat Cracker Barrel White Gravy
Alfredo w/ Crab meat (over either linguine or fettuccine whichever I have on hand)
BBQ Cola Pork Roast (we had this last week, but since I didn’t post the recipe…here it is. Also, you will need 2 cans of Coke…one for the initial cooking & one for after you drain the liquid and add the BBQ sauce.)
BLT’s (I lay the bacon strips out on a broiler pan sprayed with Pam, sprinkle with brown sugar & fresh ground pepper, and bake at 400 until crispy. This usually sets off the smoke alarm because of the sugar melting down & burning in the pan, but it is delicious.)
There you have it! And you even learned I often set off the smoke alarm…I haven’t burnt any actual meals, but I really need to clean the bottom of my oven. Maybe that will be on my To-Do List in the near future. ;)

Menu Monday

Okay, I confess…we didn’t stick with the menu that much, but it wasn’t totally my fault… One night I took Trinity to Pizza Hut, another night Greg and I had a date night and ate at Chili’s (yum!), and the last off night was because one of our neighbors blessed us with several packages of pork so we had that one night. This week’s menu will carry over a couple recipes from last week, but I’m making up for it by posting TWO simple desserts for my lovely readers. =)

Turkey Cabbage Bake (I use the homemade crescent roll dough I mentioned last week, and leave out the thyme.)
What we like to call Messy Pete’s (homemade Sloppy Joe’s)
Corn Dog Casserole (carried over from last week)
Tilapia Parmesan (also carried over from last week)
Easy Crock Pot Chicken (I use Cream of ‘whatever-I-have-in-the-pantry’ Soup, and serve this over rice.)
California Rolls w/ Sweet Dipping Sauce and Baked Tofu (I typically skip the sesame seeds in the California Rolls recipe since I don’t have any, and I haven’t tried Tofu yet…just experimenting with expanding our menu!)
Fudge Crinkles (super easy 4 ingredient cake mix cookie recipe…yummy! You can use any flavor of cake mix to change it up.)
Dump Cake (simple dessert – also made with cake mix…kinda like a cobbler. I LOVE this dessert!)
Hopefully posting our weekly menu plan will give you some good ideas of how to eat on a budget, and add some new recipes to your rotation. Enjoy! =)

Holiday Recipes…YUM!

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, and Christmas in barely a month, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few of my favorite holiday recipes. =) These are recipes I have found and used over the years. I have no idea where I found most of them…backs of packages, online, magazines, etc., but none are originally mine. Of course I do tweak most of them due to my own taste or need to substitute an ingredient…if I do this, I will make a note.

Buttery Soft Crescent Rolls (Bread Machine)

1/2 C warm water
1/2 C warm milk
1 egg
1/3 C butter, softened
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
1/4 C butter, melted

1. Place ingredients into bread maker in order recommended by manufacturer: water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast. Reserve additional butter (1/4 cup) for later.
2. Select dough/knead cycle and start. This cycle should mix dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with additional butter.
4. Cut into 16 pie shaped wedges. Roll wedges starting with wide end into crescent shapes.
5. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and allow to rise for an additional hour.
6. Bake for 10- 15 minutes at 375°F or until golden brown.

*NOTE* One thing I love about these is you can make them bigger if you would like to use them for sandwiches. My husband loves to take these for his lunch filled with cheese and lunchmeat. YUM! They also freeze well.


Cranberry Mandarin Salad

1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges
1 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. orange zest

1. In saucepan, place 3/4 bag of cranberries over med/high heat.
2. Add in liquid from mandarin oranges, grate in ginger & orange zest, add sugar.
3. When it starts to thicken, mash mixture until all berries are broken.
4. Add remainder of cranberries & cook until they start to crack.
5. Remove from heat, stir in mandarin oranges.
6. Chill and serve.
*NOTE* I have never used fresh ginger or orange zest. I use 1/2 tsp. ground ginger in place of 1 1/2 tsp of fresh, and I skip the orange zest all together. (I don’t have a zester.)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pie

2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant french vanilla pudding
1 1/3 C milk
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. pie spice
4 C Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust

1. Add pudding to milk in bowl, and blend on low speed for 30 seconds.
2. Blend in pumpkin, spice and 2 cups Cool Whip.
3. Put in pie shell and chill for 4 hours.
4. Top with 2 C Cool Whip.

Egg-less Eggnog
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
6 C cold milk
1 1/4 tsp rum flavored extract
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix w/ 2 C of milk, allow to chill for 5 minutes.
2. To the mix, stir in rum extract and nutmeg, then slowly mix in the remaining 4 C milk until the mixture is a thick but drinkable consistency.
3. Chill until ready to serve.
(I can’t seem to find pictures of anything except the Cranberry Mandarin Salad, so I will be sure to take pictures of the other recipes this year and update this post!)
I will post more holiday recipes as I make them…I plan to make all the above recipes for Thanksgiving, so I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! =) Happy Thanksgiving!