Tag Archives: casserole

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 39 (09/23/13-09/27/13)

Happy Friday!!

It’s starting to feel like Fall in Maryland! YAY!! I was beginning to wonder if we were actually going to have a fall this year, considering that we were pushing 90 degree temperatures up until this past week. Lame.

Last week’s menu was fairly-well executed in the Smithstrong household. The only thing that did not happen was the chicken and noodles, despite the fact that I did actually “roast” the chicken for the recipe (I use this recipe to “roast” it in the Crock Pot, which works and tastes amazingly well). It turned out that Big Daddy ended up eating the chicken by itself anyway, so it wasn’t a total bust.

And, we thoroughly ate the heck out of the Tater Tot Casserole.

tater tot

Um yum.

In fact, I just ate the last of this for breakfast today. Yes, for breakfast. And it was delicious.

I wasn’t entirely convinced about this recipe before I made it, but it has officially been starred and bubbly-hearted in my binder so that I remember to make it again in the future. So delicious.

In addition to the Tater Tots we thoroughly enjoyed, the Toddler has been enjoying her exciting Bento-style lunches. Admittedly, it takes me a bit longer to organize her lunches in the evenings (I am not a morning-lunch-packer because I enjoy sleep too much), but it might add an extra 10 minutes to the process. Not a deal breaker for me, considering how excited she reportedly gets every day when she gets to search for the “BUNNY!/DOGGY!/KITTY!/BEAR BEAR!” in her Bento box.

I probably would’ve loved this as a child, so I’m likely just projecting…but that’s another story for another day.

If you want to read all about my Adventures in Toddler Bento Lunches, I wrote a whole post about it here. I didn’t want to bore anyone who is just here for a menu with my ramblings about making lunches for The Toddler. You’re welcome.

I had a really difficult time picking out recipes this week because of all of the delicious fall DESSERTS that are clogging up my Pinterest feed. I cannot stop thinking about pumpkin donuts, apple pie, and all things sweet and fall-y…so of course there’s no room for legitimate food in my brain. I did my best, but I really wanted to keep it simple in terms of cooking because Mama wants to have some fun (and not be testing her pregnant feet for 6-8 hours in the kitchen on Saturday/Sunday).

Hence, I searched the word “casserole” on Pinterest, and an enormous list of beautifully-constructed casseroles appeared. It’s magic, that Pinterest!

Casseroles are almost always a big hit in our house, so I pretty much can’t go wrong.

Nacho Casserole won, because really…who doesn’t love anything that resembles a taco? Just us?

Nacho-Casserole[source]

And I couldn’t get past the anticipated cranberry-orange goodness of these.

9122f-024[source]

 

Mmmmm…just try to resist the allure of the cranberries. You can’t.

So here’s the lowdown for next week:

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipes:

I’m enjoying the fact that I have just as many new recipes as I do recycled recipes lately. That means that my grand plan is working out beautifully. Less cooking! More time for fun!

Everything you need (menu, recipes, plan & grocery list) is hanging in the folder on Box.com!

beth signature

 

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 38 (9/16/13-9/20/13)

Just a quick and dirty post today, considering that it’s Sunday and I haven’t grocery shopped yet.

Let’s just say that Friday I was lazy, yesterday I was overly ambitious (to the tune of a 5 hour cleaning marathon), and today I’m playing catch up on the food-front. It happens.

But you should get excited, because there’s this.

[source]

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipes:

Optional Recipe:

 

Here’s a folder with all of the files you could possibly need for the week… Week 38 Menu, Recipes, Grocery List & Plan.

beth signature

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 33 (8/12/13-8/16/13)

Another week is over! It’s not just a cliche–time really does go by faster when you’re old(er).

And your kids grow up right before your eyes.

Screen shot 2012-08-27 at 8.13.16 AM

wagon

Seriously…it feels like that first picture was taken last week. Now I have a full-fledged toddler on my hands. It took like a WEEK for that to happen (in my brain, anyway). Isn’t it tragic that we can’t just preserve them in all of their squishy baby-ness?

Speaking of toddlers. She wasn’t a fan of Week 32‘s Ham & Cheese Stromboli. Or the Breakfast Freezer Sandwich. I thought for sure she’d eat the stromboli (since it was loaded with cheese), but wasn’t entirely surprised that she threw the breakfast sandwich on the floor. She only recently started to eat eggs, and she’ll only eat the egg from a Starbucks breakfast sandwich (but are they really even eggs anyway?). So, we’ll keep attempting to feed her some real eggs, and see if she changes her mind at some point.

For now, I’ll leave the Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches for Big Daddy…because he doesn’t throw his on the floor.

She did, however, LOVE the Sweet & Spicy Chicken (which we made non-spicy). She actually ate that twice for lunch during the week because Big Daddy and I ate all of the pork tenderloin that she was supposed to have for lunch on Wednesday (oops).

This week, I’m branching out a bit with a recipe for beef tri tips. I still have no flipping clue where I’m going to locate an organic version of beef tri tips, but I guess that’s my problem, not yours. I will find them. And if not, I’ll improvise with a different cut of beef.

Because it’s just worth it…

Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 2.02.56 PM[source]

Don’t you love how I tell you that I’m “branching out”, but it’s really just an excuse for me to eat mashed potatoes & gravy?

Yeah, that’s how it works right now.

And, SURPRISE!

Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 2.05.33 PM[source]

Guess who managed to work another stromboli into the menu this week??!! I’m sorry, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so convenient to make (and tasty). This one is even more exciting to me, since it’s a breakfast version. It kind of reminds me of the sausage bread that my mom made when I was little.  And again, I’ll probably double the recipe so I can stick a couple in the freezer. If you buy frozen dough (as I mentioned last week, I found a really good frozen organic version), one batch of dough will make 2 stromboli.

New recipes this week:

Recycled recipes this week:

Keep in mind that I DIDN’T add a recipe here for mashed potatoes to go with your tri tips. I figured that you will use your favorite recipe for those…or just eat the string beans…or choose a different side dish if you’re not a pregnant mashed potato junkie like me.

Also…I’ve mentioned before that I don’t mess with the canned “Cream of _____” gloppy soup garbage. You can use that in the Cheesy Chicken Casserole recipe if you want, but you can also easily make your own using this recipe for Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute. Amen.

Here is the printable menu, the plan, and the grocery list.

Happy weekend!

beth signature

 

 

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 28 (7/8/13-7/12/13)

It’s another lovely week! Actually, I’m not really sure how I made it thorough the past week, but I somehow managed. Apparently, the ’22 weeks pregnant’ mark is when my body decides to begin revolting, because all I’ve wanted to do is SLEEP this week! Unfortunately, I don’t have that option with a toddler at home. She wants to “GO, GO, GO!!!”

And so I do.

Just want to give everyone a heads up that I won’t be posting a menu next week (for Week 29 – July 15-July 19), because I won’t be cooking that weekend–I’ll be on my way to the beach instead! We’ll be spending the week enjoying the fun and sun (fingers crossed for sun, since it’s been raining there for approximately 2 weeks straight), and I’ll be focusing all of my time and attention on relaxing with our friends and family. Any type of extensive cooking is definitely not in the plan for me. If it requires more than slathering almond butter on bread (or crackers), it’s not part of my job description during that week.

This week, I tried to come up with two breakfast recipes that would yield leftovers that we could bring with us to ‘beach week’, since cooking is not part of the plan. I want to make sure that I’m still feeding the family healthy meals, even when I don’t feel like cooking. We will be packing a cooler to bring on the drive, which will be filled with all of the organic produce that we will need for the week (since organic produce is hard to come by at our destination). I’ll also bring a few of the lunch/dinner meals that I’ve stocked in the freezer (Friendship Casserole, My Ridiculous Mac ‘N Cheese, and Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells) so that we can heat them up throughout the week for lunches and dinners.

Here’s yet another example of why planning ahead and stocking your freezer is awesome. You only cook when you have time–so that you don’t have to when you don’t! Or in my case, when you just don’t feel like it.

Win!

So last week, I typed up the plan to make Pioneer Woman’s ‘My Mom’s Muffins’ on Friday evening, since I had plans on Sunday that were going to make Sunday a non-cooking day. It turns out that was such a great idea that I’m going to do it again this week. Not because Sunday is a non-cooking day for me, but because I like the idea of doing a little bit each day so that I don’t feel bogged down. Since I’m trying to get the freezer stocked before Baby Boy arrives, this feels like a small change that may make a difference in helping me manage time over the weekends when I cook.

This week, I’m actually bringing a few vegetables into menu. It’s a pregnancy miracle.

7686509042_840345e2f3[source]

And I can’t wait to eat this.

The new recipes this week are:

Only 2 recycled recipes this week:

Here’s the Menu, the Plan, and the Grocery List.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and let’s hope that it stops raining in the areas that have been experiencing flooding!

 

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 27 (7/1/13-7/5/13)

It’s getting crazy up in here. I realized again yesterday that my freezer is looking pretty baron. I need to get cooking (and freezing), but it’s so DAMN HOT OUTSIDE! However, I’m going to have to suck it up and do some cooking.

That said, this week is a little heavy on the freezer-stock…although it’s still very light as compared to many of my previous (spring) menus.

It includes these delicious beauties…

8949460517_70b30b2fb0_c[source]

Don’t you want to eat those for lunch next week?! They’re like Bagel Bites, only much more delicious and better for you.

This week, despite the sad state of my freezer, I’m not overdoing it. I’m mainly focusing on getting at least one lunch and one breakfast meal stocked and ready to go, which will last for several weeks into the future. I’ll probably freeze a dinner or two (weekends…or for when the baby comes) next week. I figure if I continue at that pace, alternating between stocking breakfast/lunch/dinner over the next 3 months, I’ll have a solid freezer stash ready going into the fall and winter.

Of course, that is the plan.

We’ll see how it turns out.

[…insert vision of me, on/about November 25th, with a 19-month-old slung on my back in the Maya Wrap, and a newborn wrapped to my front in the Moby…both screaming…both hungry…I’m lactating…I’m also probably crying hysterically…starving…nothing in the oven…husband is at work. So, the ultimate goal is to avoid this scenario.]

Last weeks menu was very lazily-executed on my end. I skipped a couple of recipes that were intended for the end of the week because I just honestly could not find the motivation to cook last weekend (other than the breakfast necessities and the stuffed peppers), and then I’ve been working late this week, so I bestowed the dinner responsibility upon the husband.

But, the stuffed peppers were SO GOOD! Loved them.

This week, since I’m expecting myself to fizzle and burn out again, I’m using a couple of dinner recipes that seem quick and easy. It should make everything a bit easier to execute, especially considering that I have committed to make 3 (admittedly easy) recipes for my company picnic on Sunday afternoon.

Also for that reason, I have noted on the menu that the muffins for Monday’s breakfast will be made this evening. I realize that’s ambitious considering that today is Friday, and I also have to still grocery shop (tonight), but that’s basically the only way these muffins are getting made.

Sleep be damned.

New recipes this week:

Recycled recipes this week:

Here’s the plan, the menu, and the grocery list.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 24 (6/10/13-6/14/13)

It’s raining!

That’s not particularly exciting news to the rest of the world, but hopefully the half-dead Gerber daisies on my front porch appreciate this. Sidebar: is it just me, or are we actually experiencing “April” in “June”?

More exciting than the weather: we find out what flavor baby we are having on Monday!

2013_04_11_08_28_57 crop

Any early guesses?

Yeah, me either. I vacillate back and forth based on which “gender test” I’ve taken during the week. The Chinese Gender Predictor tells me it’s a girl, and the ring/string test tells me it’s a boy…so there’s no telling what we’ve got. But, we’ll know for sure on Monday!

I know–you’re here for a menu. Sorry.

This week, only 4 new recipes because I still have an abundance of food in the freezer (mainly breakfast food), and because really…let’s not overexert ourselves, OK? It could potentially stop raining, and we may want to actually do something fun this weekend (or take a nap or 5)!

New recipes:

Oldies:

**A note about the Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak: the recipe I posted calls for 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. Since I don’t subscribe to the “cream of (insert type) soup” club, I make my own using this recipe: Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute. It takes only a few minutes to make, and it’s much better for us than that old goopy canned junk. Just double the recipe, add some chopped mushrooms and you’ll have the Cream of Mushroom soup that you need for the salisbury steak recipe. Amen.

p.s…I didn’t put the “Cream of Yuck” soup on your grocery list because I can’t support that type of behavior. If you MUST buy the yucky stuff, make sure to add it to your grocery list.

My second side note on this recipe is that it calls for dry onion soup mix. You can make your own soup mix too…as well as several other of those dry packet mix thingies. I came across a link on Pinterest a while ago, and since then, I’ve made all of the combinations mentioned (taco seasoning, dry onion soup, and ranch) with great success using spices that I already have on-hand. It’s very cool.

I’m also going to whip up some mashed potatoes to go with the Salisbury Steak…I’ll use my own recipe, but it basically resembles Paula Deen’s Garlic Mashed Potato recipe. Um. Yum. And, you can make these in advance and freeze them. They reheat lovely in the oven or on the stove top (just keep the burner on low, or you’ll burn them).

Here’s the menu (with all of the recipes attached to the pdf document), the grocery list, and the game plan.

So there you have it, kids. I’ll be running out of breakfast food soon, so we’ll probably have to make some muffins next week. Get your muffin tins ready!

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM

 

 

 

 

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 20

Happy Friday!!

I’ve seriously waited all week for today. It’s finally the weekend!

I’m starting to feel normal again. I hate to jinx myself, but I think that I am slowly approaching that wonderful “honeymoon” phase of my pregnancy. The “morning” sickness (which was really more of an “all-day” sickness) is happening less and less frequently, I haven’t been wanting to curl up in a ball on the sofa at 5:30 each day, and miracle of all miracles…I ate BEEF last night!

But then I had debilitating gas pain until approximately 2AM. So, there’s that.

Someday meat might return to the menu, but I’m clearly not ready yet.

I was informed this afternoon that a quick glance at my recent pins on Pinterest shows primarily pictures of pasta and various other forms of carb deliciousness.

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 2.55.14 PM

And…that is a very valid point. But there are some bird feeders and gardening ideas thrown in there for good measure!

This week is no less carb-centric, so I’m going to apologize in advance.

New Recipes This Week:

From the Freezer This Week:

I Don’t Have This Left in My Freezer, but Maybe You Do (yep, I just made this a category):

Here’s the full menu in pdf format, the grocery list, and the plan!

I hope everyone has a fantastic cooking-free week! =)

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 17

Better late than never??!! It’s been one of those weeks, ya know?!

Now that we’re Facebook official, I feel relieved.

13 Months

There is a baby on the way, folks. And this particular baby does not like:

  1. Meat
  2. Salad
  3. Anything that doesn’t contain at least 50% carbs

Hence, the reason why my menu plans have been positively carb-o-licious for the past several weeks. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to prepare most of the planned meals that contained meat…much to my husband’s dismay. My poor, meat-deficient husband.

Hopefully, this passes soon, because I can only eat so many crackers. I’m (sort of) happy to report that much like during my previous pregnancy, I am fully capable of eating pho several (most) days of the week. So, luckily I’m receiving some sort of nutritional value from the veggies and bone broth in that.

Hopefully, THAT doesn’t pass soon. Because mama loves her some pho!

In any case, we have several weeks to go, as I’m not quite through the first trimester yet. But, we’re excited and can’t wait to see how much more “lively” our household becomes with two.

This week is no exception to the “carb-friendly” thing that I’m experiencing these days. You’ll have to bear with me for a while until I’ve fully excited this phase.

*All from the freezer

Here’s the grocery list for 04/22/13-04/26/13 , the plan for 04/22/13-04/26/13, and the full pdf version of the menu for 04/22/13-04/26/13, which also has all of the recipes attached.

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 15

I’m happy to report that, unlike during week 13, I only had one menu casualty last week. The Breakfast Muffins never happened, but that was perfectly fine, since I had plenty of previously-frozen Apple-Pear Bran Muffins.

Oh, the benefits of stocking your freezer never end!

Besides the fact that I had plenty of food to feed my family all week, the highlight of my week was definitely my birthday on Tuesday (!!!), and the celebration that ensued on Wednesday. My sweet husband took me out for Dim Sum and to see Adam Levine…I mean…Maroon 5. It was a great night, and tons of fun.

The beautiful thing was that my lovely daughter had food to eat for dinner while we were away. Since I had my menu planned, I was also able to pack her Thursday daycare food on Tuesday evening so that I didn’t have to make it on Wednesday when we got home at midnight. Or on Thursday morning when I was severely sleep-deprived. I can only imagine what I would’ve packed on Thursday morning.

This week I’ve made it a point to add things to the menu that you can eat during the week and also freeze for the future. Out of the 6 new recipes, 5 of them can potentially be frozen for the future. Just remember that if you plan to double (or triple) a recipe so that you can stock your freezer, you also have to increase the ingredients on your grocery list.

 

No slow cooker meals this week, but only because I wasn’t in the mood for anything that I came across.

It may sound selfish, but I’m probably the most excited about making (eating) my stuffed cabbage rolls.

Stuffed cabbage

Yum.

They’re one of my favorites, and I love the fact that the recipe makes so many, so I’m able to freeze one pan for later.

Here’s the menu for 04/08/13-04/12/13 the game plan , and the grocery list.

Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list! If you don’t want to make those items, and just substitute something you have on hand instead, that’s OK too. Eventually, you’ll have the same items stocked in your freezer as me, and you won’t have to substitute at all.

Have a great week!

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 10.31.42 AM