Meal Planning #4

In my three posts herehere, and here, I was encouraged to continue posting my meal plans in order to help give others ideas. It’s been a while since I posted one of these.  A lot of these are Crockpot recipes because… well, I love my Crockpot! Meal Planning

Here’s my next three weeks of meal plans:

Friday, November 14: Steak Kabobs and Corn on the Cob (frozen from when it was ripe and yummy!)
Saturday, November 15: Crockpot Pepper Steak
Sunday, November 16: Crockpot Pasta Fagioli
Monday, November 17:  Vitamix Black Bean Soup
Tuesday, November 18: Bacon Wrapped Steak, potatoes, and veggies
Wednesday, November 19:  Crockpot BBQ Cranberry Chicken
Thursday, November 20: Crockpot Fajita Chicken
Friday, November 21: Homemade Enchiladas
Saturday, November 22: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Sunday, November 23: Crockpot Beef Stew
Monday, November 24:  Crockpot Sweet ‘n Sour Meatballs over Rice
Tuesday, November 25: Nachos
Wednesday, November 26: Homemade Lasagna
Thursday, November 27: THANKSGIVING at Many Water’s house!
Friday, November 28: Leftovers
Saturday, November 29: Dinner out before a comedy show
Sunday, November 30: Stovetop Stuffing Hamburger Casserole
Monday, December 1: Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak
Tuesday, December 2: Chicken and Rice Casserole
Wednesday, December 3: Leftovers
Thursday, December 4: Spinach & Artichoke Chicken Bake

I love how much it saves us when I plan meals ahead. So do you do meal planning? If so, what do you have planned?

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Mmm… Monday #16: No Bake Cookies

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
~Author Unknown

I make anywhere between 17 and 23 dozen cookies each Christmas season. I also bake bread and make homemade jam. I generally give most of them away to family, friends and co-workers. This year, I have no family and no co-workers and just a smattering of new friends in my new home state.

One of the types cookies I make pretty much only at Christmas are No Bake Cookies. I have no idea why I don’t make them at other times during the year because they are SO easy and literally only take about 15 minutes from start to finish. Oh wait… probably because I don’t need to eat them year-round 😉

I thought No Bake Cookies were pretty much something everyone made  so I never put in my recipe section here, but some of my Twitter friends said they don’t have recipes for it. So here it is:

Mmmm... total chocolate and peanut butter yumminess!

No Bake Cookies

Cook and boil the following for 1-2 minutes and then take off the heat:
– 1/4 pound (4oz) of stick butter
– 2 cups of sugar
– 1/2 cup of milk
– 3 tablespoons of cocoa

After removing from heat, add the following:
– 1/2 cup peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon vanilla (but I generally add 2 teaspoons because I love vanilla so much)
–  3 cups of quick oats

Stir well and then drop from spoon onto waxed paper. Let cool and harden. Enjoy!

See? Now wasn’t that easy?

Mmm… Monday #15: Homemade Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.
~Jim Davis

Huzzy loves carrot cake. It’s his favorite dessert. So for his birthday (and just before he left on last deployment… not this one, but the one previous), I made a homemade carrot cake for him. Complete with homemade cream cheese frosting.

This recipe came from a lovely restaurant in my hometown that has since closed down (obviously not because of this awesome carrot cake!)

Carrot Cake  

Ingredients
1/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Bake in a 9″ x 13″ greased and floured pan.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

8 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of margarine
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of confectioners (powdered) sugar

Directions

  1. Melt margarine.
  2. Beat margarine in with cream cheese.
  3. Add powdered sugar as desired.
  4. Uh… don’t put the frosting on the cake until the cake is cooled 😉

Note: This frosting is awesome, but it is sweet and rich!

Enjoy!!

Mmm.. Monday #12: Pumpkin Bread

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.
~Jim Davis

My mom made an amazing pumpkin bread last year and this year I decided to try it. It is soooo yummy, so I thought I’d share it with all of you!

Ingredients

Combine ingredients one at a time.

4 eggs beaten
3c sugar
2c pumpkin
1c oil
½ c water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 1/3 cups flour

Directions

Almost ready.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the ingredients in order, one at a time.
  3. Spray baking pans with cooking spray.
  4. Pour batter into baking pans approximately 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for approximately one hour.

    Mmmm

NOTE: This recipe makes 2 large loaves or approximately eight small ones. I filled my small loaf pans too full (I filled them to the top).

The Yummiest Crockpot Roast Ever!

When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.
~Laiko Bahrs

This is the best, most juicy roast ever!  And it’s absolutely easy to boot!

Ingredients

  • A boneless beef chuck roast (whatever size will fit your crockpot)
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I’ve used cream of celery and even cream of chicken in a pinch and it was fine!)
  • 1 envelope Lipton’s Onion Mushroom Soup Mix
  • 5 or 6 white potatoes, cut in large cubes
  • A medium or large size package of baby carrots (depending on how many you want)
  • Any other vegetables you might like. (I just use carrots and potatoes)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. The first thing I do is put a Crockpot liner in (no cleanup!). If you do not have a liner, you’ll want to spray some olive oil or cooking spray along the bottom and sides of the Crockpot.
  2. Place the roast in the bottom of the CrockPot.
  3. Take envelope of Lipton’s Onion Mushroom Soup Mix and sprinkle the entire envelope evenly over the top of the roast.
  4. Spread both cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup evenly over the top of the roast (note: you can’t mess this up…it will all mix together eventually, so don’t worry if you can’t completely cover the roast).
  5. Cook on HIGH for at LEAST 3 hours (yes, that’s right, high).
  6. After 3 hours, throw the chopped potatoes and baby carrots directly into the CrockPot. Note: if I am cooking it for longer than six hours total, I don’t throw the veggies in until about 2 1/2 hours before serving… that way, they aren’t complete mush and have a bit of firmness left to them.
  7. Cover everything in the CrockPot with freshly cracked black pepper.
  8. Cook everything on HIGH for at LEAST 3 more hours (again, yes, high).
  9. Occasionally, you may want to check on the roast, spoon gravy on the top of the veggies, or add more pepper.

Enjoy!

Mmm… Monday #11: Cream Puff in a Pan

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert.
~Jason Love

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these (thank God for auto-posting so I don’t have to actually do it on the day it posts!

This is slightly browner than what I'd like but still was awesome.

This recipe was introduced to my family from one of my childhood friend’s moms. I can’t believe I totally forgot about it until my mom mentioned she was making it. So I’ve made it twice now in the last month… once as a dessert to go with a meal I made a friend’s family after she had surgery and then again for our FRG’s 4th of July BBQ.

It’s so yummy and kid-friendly… who wouldn’t love chocolate syrup drizzled on top of whipped cream! Come to think of it, it’s PMS-friendly too!

Cream Puff in a Pan

Spread on the cream cheese, pudding and milk mixture

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 (4oz) packages of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 12 oz of whipped topping
  • Chocolate syrup as a drizzle

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

    Mmm... hungry already!

  2. Bring water and margarine to a boil in a saucepan. Take off heat and immediately stir in flour.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time. Spread onto a greased 10 x 15 baking sheet.
  4. Bake  until very lightly browned (about 25 minutes). Let cool.
  5. Beat softened cream cheese in mixing bowl until smooth, add pudding and milk. Mix until blended, spread over cooled crust.
  6. Top with whipped topping, drizzle chocolate syrup over top. Ready to serve or refrigerate until ready. I put toothpicks in top to keep foil off the topping.

Notes: My mom has tried fat free topping and it is a little runny.  I love “French Vanilla” pudding vs the regular vanilla.

Mmm… Monday #10: Pistachio Pudding Salad

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not! ~Author Unknown

Pistachio Pudding Salad, “Green Fluff” or Watergate Salad

This recipe is something that my family has always made. We call it Pistachio Pudding Salad, my husband calls it “Green Fluff” and I’ve recently found out the universal name is Watergate Salad. It’s always made in my family for the major holidays. And now for Huzzy’s birthday, too. This is one of his most favorite things ever. Ingredients

Make a paste with the pineapple juice.

1 package instant pistachio pudding mix 1 small can of crushed pineapple 1 8oz tub of Cool Whip (double everything else if if you use the larger tub) 1 12oz bag of colored mini-marshmallows (white will do, but there is a definite taste difference) 1 can of stemless Maraschino cherries (size is up to your preference)

Mix in the Cool Whip

1. Drain crushed pineapple, setting juice aside in a cup.

2. Place the pudding mix in a medium to large bowl. Add in enough pineapple juice to make a paste.

3. Thoroughly mix in Cool Whip.  Be careful not to over-mix.

4. Fold in marshmallows.

Add in the marshmallows and then the cherries!

5. Add in Maraschino cherries, either whole or sliced in half, leaving a handful for garnish and the pineapple that was set aside.

6. Garnish the top of the salad with the rest of the Maraschino cherries. Enjoy! Let me know if you make this and how you like it. I’ve found that many in the Pacific Northwest have never heard of this, but it’s a staple in the Midwest… or at least Michigan!