Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monthly Meal Plan

I know it isn't a new month but our credit card starts over on the 26th, so we base a month on that since we put everything on our credit card and pay it off each month (YAY for money off of our principal on our house). I thought that I would share my monthly meal plan in case anyone wants ideas. I would love to see yours as well.

27th (Tues) - Chicken Stuffing Casserole, Green Beans, Peas, and Corn

28th (Wed) - Church Dinner

29th (Thurs) - Leftover Chicken Stuffing Casserole, Green Beans, Peas, and Corn

30th (Fri) - Pizza or Some Sort of Take Out

1st (Sat) - Nathan's Birthday Dinner (either cook out or eat out)

2nd (Sun) - Baked Ziti, Salad, and Garlic Bread

3rd (Mon) - Leftover Baked Ziti, Salad, and Garlic Bread

4th (Tues) - Chicken Stew

5th (Wed) - Church Dinner

6th (Thurs) - Leftover Chicken Stew

7th (Fri) - Pizza or Some Sort of Take Out

8th (Sat) - Cookout at My Mom's House

9th (Sun) - Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions

10th (Mon) - Leftover Pot Roast

11th (Tues) - Chicken Parmesan, Salad, and Garlic Bread

12th (Wed) - Church Dinner

13th (Thurs) - Leftover Chicken Parmesan

14th (Fri) - Date Night

15th (Sat) - Pork Chops, Flavored Rice, and Veggies
*Pork chops - I like to marinate them in 1/4 cup honey, 1/8 cup cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1 clove garlic, minced, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce as long as I can and bake at 350. I may try a new recipe with the pork chops.

16th (Sun) - Spaghetti, Salad, and Garlic Bread
*Spaghetti - I like to saute onions, peppers, garlic, and lean ground beef until cooked, add some spaghetti sauce, and simmer as long as possible. I toss it with some cooked pasta.

17th (Mon) - Leftover Spaghetti

18th (Tues) - Chicken Noodle Dumpling Delight
(Scan through to find recipe)

19th (Wed) - 23rd (Sun) - Visiting sister and her family in PA

24th (Mon) - Italian Balsamic Chicken, Flavored Rice, and Veggies
(Scan through to find recipe)

25th (Tues) - Chicken Fajitas

Of course there could be deviation from this, but I am finding that if I plan out my meals, it really helps. I went ahead and bought all pantry and freezer items for the recipes today and hope to only get fresh stuff each week for the rest of the month.

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Most of you know about my chicken stuffing pie recipe that calls for chicken, cream of chicken soup, rice, and stuffing mix, but today I tried something different and it was "off the chain" good.

First off, I cooked the chicken (2 lbs) in the crock pot:
(The post about how I did it).

Then I shredded the chicken (basically poked at it and it all fell apart).
I added 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and about a half can of water and mixed really well.
I poured this into a baking dish.
I cooked a package of stuffing mix using chicken broth.
I put it on top of the chicken mixture.
I baked it at 350 for roughly 30 minutes.

It was heavenly. It is different from the chicken stuffing pie recipe in that it doesn't call for rice, the mixture is a little creamier since the chicken is slow cooked in the crock pot, and I cooked the stuffing rather than putting it on dry. It didn't have the crunchy consistency.

Enjoy! :)

All Purpose Chicken in Crock Pot

I am officially in love with crock pot cooking. I love how I can dump stuff in and have a nice meal at the end of the day. I found today that it is great for what I am calling "all purpose chicken." I have a ton of recipes that call for cooked chicken and I generally boil it. I'll admit I don't boil it a super long time because quite frankly, I don't have time to watch a pot. I decided to do it in the crock pot. Here's how I did it:

I tossed in a couple pounds of frozen chicken breasts in the pot. I added 2 cups of water (1 cup per pound if you want more or less) and 2 boullion cubes (1 per pound if you want more or less). I cooked it on low for roughly 8 hours and drained off the liquid. The chicken literally was falling apart and looks awesome.

I am planning to use it in my chicken stuffing pie tonight. YUMMY!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Super Easy and Yummy Crockpot Chicken & Noodles

1 lb chicken breasts
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 bag (12 oz) egg noodles (cooked)
Salt, pepper, and any seasonings you like

Place chicken breasts into the crockpot (mine were completely frozen).
Season as desired.
Add 2 cans COC soup.
Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours (I did high 4 hours).
Cook egg noodles while you take chicken out and cut it up (mine was so tender I just forked it a bunch of times in the pot to save myself extra cleanup).
Add chicken broth and cooked egg noodles.
Cook an additional 30 minutes.
Keep on warm until ready to eat.

My family loved this. I served it with green beans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Flexibility and Catching Up

I will admit, I am not the most flexible person. In a perfect world, I would have a perfect schedule for every second of my life, a perfect place for everything that I own, and do everything perfectly. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world...quite the opposite. We live in a fallen world. Life can literally change with every breath that we take. We can make plans, but they will have to change (sometimes on a moment to moment basis).

I am trying to learn to be more flexible. The more I pray for flexibility, the more God seems to be giving me opportunities to be more flexible. Go figure. ;) Today we were supposed to start a new block of school after having a week off. Due to overloading my schedule since we got home from the beach (Wednesday night - church, Thursday - CO-OP, Friday - Zoo, Saturday - candle swap at church, and Sunday - Sunday School, worship with kids, church meeting, shower, brought dinner to a friend who had a baby), I wasn't quite as prepared as I would have liked. Then last night, I got super sick and had to lay up most of the day (minus taking Luke to the dentist). Luckily Lee stayed home and helped with the kids while I rested.

Needless to say our house has been in disarray and I wasn't able to homeschool during the day. Well I finally felt better tonight, so I homeschooled at night. It worked out fine. Lee watched Nathan while Luke and I did his school work. Then I got a second wind tonight and was able to clean up the kitchen. I'll attack the rest of the house throughout the week.

I say all of this to say that we can't plan every second of life. Even if we could, how boring would that really be? I try to remember the Scriptures:

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 25:4 - Show me Your ways, Oh Lord, teach me Your paths.

I pray that as I sit down to plan my days, that I am following God's path and will for my life. I try to order my days with priorities that the Lord has given me. Do I fail? Absolutely. Do I try to do it on my own a lot? Definitely. I am thankful for God's grace and that it is sufficient for my every need.

I have also realized that I can catch up when I get behind. I can delegate and delete things that I don't need to do on my own. I try to remember, "Many hands make the work small." If everyone chips in, things get done really quickly and I don't burn out.

I hope some of these tips have helped. I would love to hear your tips on how to be flexible and how you catch up when you get "behind."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meal Plan for the Week

It's been a while since I shared a meal plan for the week because it has been a while since I have actually meal planned. I have been throwing things together or (ahhh) eating out a lot since we started back to school. We decided to get back on track this week (since we had a week off from school). I made a meal plan for 10 days and we grocery shopped. My goal was to spend $100.

Meal Plan for the Week:

Saturday -
Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday - Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions (Crock Pot Meal)

Monday - Leftover Pot Roast

Tuesday - Pizza Takeout

Wednesday - Dinner at Church

Thursday - Chicken and Noodles (Crock Pot Meal) and Green Beans
Will post recipe after I make it. :)

Friday - Lasagna (Crock Pot Meal)

Saturday - Leftover Lasagna

Sunday - Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Peas, and Corn

Monday - Leftover Salisbury Steak

We went to the store and got everything and spent $110. Not too bad. :)

Please share your meal plans or tips on meal planning.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sorry I've Been Gone

Hey Everyone!

I am sorry that I haven't posted much lately. We started school roughly 4 weeks ago and it has taken a lot of my time. I have been working on a bunch of things trying to get a new schedule worked out that includes all of our activities, school stuff, and of course, homemaking tasks. It has been overwhelming and nuts in our household and I am trying to get a handle on it. Look for posts on all of that to come. I would love to hear how you are. :)