Thursday, June 30

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies

This is a favorite around our house!  It's quick and easy and requires very little prep this is breakfast almost every Sunday.  You might be surprised to find out that this is most loved my our 1 year old...he can finish off 2 servings himself!

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies
1 c milk
1/4 c peanut butter
1 T cocoa powder
2 T honey
2 bananas (frozen and broken into pieces)

Add all ingredients to blender in order listed and blend until smooth.  It will be about the consistency of a Wendy's frosty.

Wednesday, June 29

Better late than never!

So my menu plan is officially two days late.  Not the worst I've done on here :)  Here it goes...

Monday - we had various leftovers

Tuesday - Beefy Enchilada Bake (it was yummy...but I think I'd just assume make enchiladas and it would take about the same time...and I'd use this enchilada sauce recipe if I'd had more time)

Wednesday - Potato Corn Chowder (becoming my favorite recipe!)

Thursday - Taco Casserole (might end up just being tacos)

Friday - Boston Chicken with mashed potatoes and cheesy peas

Saturday - Cheeseburger Soup (I substitute a GF flour blend/arrowroot powder for the flour)

Sunday - Three Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

- muffins (planning to use peaches or bluberries)
- breakfast cookies (substituting a GF flour blend that includes xanthan gum for the regular flour)
- smoothies (peanut butter banana smoothie recipe coming tomorrow)
- grits with cinnamon apples

- leftovers
- mexican casserole
- bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, fruit
- corn dog muffins (experiment)

Posted as part of Menu Plan Monday at

Monday, June 20

Back on Track

Last week was C-R-A-Z-Y!  VBS all week had me getting the kids up, fed, and out of the house by 8:15, returning home around 1:00, and then nap time.  I haven't consistently been out of the house like that since I was working (December 2009).  Yikes!  We had a great week at VBS, despite the crazy schedule and I have to admit that I miss my pre-k kids :).

Onward and upward!  Because of the crazy schedule last week we had a LOT of baked potatoes...3-4 nights if I remember correctly.  Not ideal, but it was fast, gluten free, and fairly healthy.  Now we're getting back the swing of things.  Need to get my house clean this week, caught up on laundry, and cooking dinner (and breakfast and lunch) again.  This week is a lot of recipes I'm familiar with and are relatively easy to prepare.  Here you go...

Mini Crust-less Quiche
Grits (with either cinnamon apples or cinnamon-sugar)
Peach Strudel Muffins (I'm using pureed peaches for the fruit)
Giant Breakfast Cookies
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies (recipe coming tomorrow)

Tostadas with Bean Dip
Bean Dip
Taco Casserole
Cheeseburger Pie

Sun: Tilapia Corn Chowder (this was amazing!)
Mon: One Pot Spaghetti
Tues: Potato Corn Chowder
Wed: Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce
Thurs: Chicken Taco Tostadas (recipe coming soon)
Fri: Tacos with Mexican Rice
Sat: Baked Chicken and Rice
Sun: Mexican Casserole

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at  Please head over and check out all the other wonderful recipes and menus posted to get ideas for your own menu plan!

Tuesday, June 7

Baked Potato Soup (crockpot recipe)

I have really come to enjoy soup over the last year or so.  And since my husband works in an air conditioned office, he doesn't mind eating warm soup at night when he gets home :).  I have really come to enjoy soups that can be made using my slow cooker to help free up some time during the day when I know we will have a lot going on.  This is one of those great stand by recipes!

Baked Potato Soup
6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
42 oz (5.25 cups) chicken broth
1/4 c butter
2 1/2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 c milk
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
3 T parsley (I usually use dried)
8 oz sour cream
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Combine potatoes, onion, broth, butter, salt, and pepper in slow cooker and cook on low 6 hours (or high approx 3).
2.  Mix/mash potatoes until coarsely chopped.  (This step is optional, I leave it out.  I find that the potatoes are usually falling apart at the end when I stir in the remaining ingredients and we prefer larger chunks of potato in our soup).
3.  Stir in milk, cheese, sour cream, and parsley.
4.  Top each bowl with crumbled bacon (we like quite a bit for flavor, but you could use less).

To make this more frugal:  omit sour cream, bacon, and reduce cheese by 1/2 cup.

I also sometimes add about 1T of sage as I like the flavor it lends to soup.

Monday, June 6

Menu Plan - Quick and Painless

We have a busy few weeks coming up.  This week is prep week for VBS, which means my friend Michelle and I will be cutting out a lot of cute little things for our VBS class to use next week.  And, obviously, next week is VBS.  I am super excited about working with our kiddos and getting to share with them about Jesus, but I'm not super excited about the daunting task of doing that AND keeping up with my daily household tasks like laundry, cleaning, and cooking.  So I'm planning some relatively easy meals for this week and next that will let me spend lots of time with my family and less time stressing to "catch up".

So here's the plan for this week...

Monday - baked potato soup (in the crockpot) *recipe to be posted tomorrow*

Tuesday - chicken taco tostadas with spanish rice

Wednesday - baked chicken and rice; salad

Thursday - taco casserole

Friday - biscuits and gravy

Saturday - tilapia corn chowder

Sunday - bean dip (making double to share with our Bible study group)

Wednesday, June 1

Stone Soup

Have you ever read the book Stone Soup?

Stone Soup

I loved this book as a kid and was pleased to discover that the author of Miserly Meals: Healthy, Tasty Recipes Under 75¢ per Serving* also has a daughter who enjoyed this book and created a recipe to go along with it! I don't add the stone and I've made a few other changes, but it's become one of my favorite dinners to make and one of my husbands favorites to eat!

Stone Soup
2 T butter
1/2 c diced onion
1/2 c diced celery
1 c sliced carrots
2 gloves minced/pressed garlic
1 t sage
1 t basil
10 c water
1/3 c chicken bouillon
3 med brown potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 c cooked chicken/turkey (optional)

1.  Melt butter over med-high heat and sautee onion, celery and carrots.  When onion becomes almost translucent, add garlic, sage, and basil; sautee until garlic starts to brown.
2.  Add water, bouillon, salt/pepper and potatoes.  (Add chicken now also if you're using it)
3.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low and cook approx 30 minutes (until potatoes and carrots are tender).
4.  Remove from heat and serve.

I really love this recipe because it is really cheap in most seasons to find the veggies, you can substitute homemade chicken stock for the water and bouillon and use up some leftover shredded/chopped chicken/turkey.  Or you can leave the meat out for an even cheaper soup!

Sometimes we pair this with a half a sandwich or grilled cheese (when we were still eating bread)...made for a really nice supper!  This also reheats well for lunch the next day :)

*I really enjoyed this cookbook and make quite a few things from it on a fairly consistent basis.  It has recipes for things like hot fudge sauce, chocolate sauce, homemade chicken bouillon powder, etc.  I found it at our library and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a cookbook to start making more things from scratch.