Beat the Freeze!

It got c-c-c-cold late this afternoon as we all ran out to beat the freeze!  After watching our fledgling garden produce lots of goodies this summer, we hated to lose anything tonight to the impending frosty temps (thanks for the heads up, neighbor John!)… so out we went to gather the last of the goods.


Looks like I’ll be busy chopping and freezing peppers tomorrow!

Before the cold wind hit… what a beautiful weekend!  I ditched our soup plans yesterday (I can’t do soup when it’s sunny and 70 degrees out!) in favor of this Texas Cowboy’s Pie from $5 Dinners.  It turned out great, and I’m glad to have another use for leftover roastbeef to add to my repertoire.   

Here are our menu plans for this week:

Sunday, 10/26

Weeknight Suppers

  • tuna casserole, green beans, homemade applesauce
  • potato soup, cream cheese apple muffins
  • baked round steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and green beans
  • Game night!  Yes, on Thursday… if we win, we go to the playoffs for the first time in, well… forever, I think!  (This is just our third year in Tiny Town.)  So, probably sandwiches and snacks for the road.   

Friday, 10/31 

I normally don’t plan three meals for Friday, but school is out and everyone’s home and it’s Halloween, so…

  • pumpkin pancakes (based on this recipe, but with a real egg  😉 (with chocolate chip jack-o-lantern faces designed by my sous chefs), bacon, scrambled eggs
  • homemade pizza, again with a Halloween design (think pepperoni and peppers and mushrooms) by the littles
  • fifteen-bean soup with ham, which will be simmering in the crockpot while we make our afternoon trick-or-treating rounds to the grandparents and great grandparents (how grateful I am that we live close enough to do that!), cornbread muffins, and a sampling of varied candy goodness for dessert

Saturday, 11/1   AAACCCKKK!!!  November!?!?

  • ham and cheese omelets, muffins
  • clean out the fridge
  • spaghetti, corn, breadsticks

Menu Plan Monday, 10/20

Last week’s MPM was a great resource for me this week as I planned my menu around what we already have in the house.  (My addiction to cheese really surfaces when we’re almost out!  It will have to stretch this week!)  Thanks, ladies!  Here’s what we’ll be eating…

Sunday, 10/19

  • waffles and eggs
  • snack stuff… cheese, crackers, leftovers, etc. 
  • grilled steak, potatoes, peas

Weeknight Suppers

Saturday, 10/25

  • Team Breakfast — deluxe scrambled eggs, coffee cake (haven’t found the recipe yet… anyone have one for me?), apples and dip
  • veggie beef soup — I’ll use leftover roast from Thursday (thanks, Ms. Recipe)
  • clean out the fridge

Be inspired!  Check out tons of recipes and menus at OrgJunkie!

Menu Plan, 10/13

Feeling rather adventurous this week… all of the included links (except for the taco soup leftovers) are yummy looking new-to-me recipes! 

Sunday, 10/12

  • waffles, sausage, eggs
  • leftovers (taco soup, burritos)
  • stuffed shells, green beans, garlic bread — The shells were tasty and easy to prepare.  I’m excited to have another meatless entree to add to our menu, but they sure would be good with some beef or sausage, too!

And just about an hour ago, I pulled a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake out of the oven!  Laura made me do it… she’s having a pie recipe contest over at Heavenly Homemakers and I’m tellin’ ya right now, this is a winner!  (My husband was so sad  *cough* that I had to make his very favorite dessert.  And it’s not even our anniversary… or Valentine’s Day… or his birthday!)  I’ll post the recipe Wednesday. 

Weeknight Suppers

Saturday, 10/18

Have a great week!  If you need more menu inspiration, head on over to OrgJunkie (but not until Monday morning.  Laura’s busy celebrating Thanksgiving with her family!)

Bloggy Recipes

I am all about trying new recipes, and I’ve found the blogging community to be a haven when it comes to great ones, tried-‘n-true.  My problem has been that when I see a recipe on someone’s site, I don’t always bookmark it right away.  You know, the whole “I’ll get back to that later” fantasy.  Or I do bookmark it, but I never get around to trying it. 

No more.  If you are willing to share your specialties, I want to give ’em a try!

Just yesterday I decided to work on next week’s menu plan starting now (instead of my usual weekend-menu-warrior routine).   In fact, I may get real ambitious and work a couple weeks ahead!  My new plan:  when I’m surfing through blogs and come across a recipe that I want to attempt, I not only bookmark it but I put it in my menu plan, which is in my “post drafts” section of my blog (and also on my refrigerator), and I insert the link.  Now.  If I don’t have the ingredients, I put them on my shopping list.  Now.

Now works really well for me.  Later quite often turns into never at our house.

Because we still have our family favorites, and because I’m still a Frugal Franny who likes to use up the sale stash before purchasing a bunch of new ingredients, I won’t use new recipes every day.

I think this bloggy recipe method is going to work for me!

  • eliminates last minute menu planning (aside from a few no-thinker family favorites) 
  • recipes will be easy to find on my menu plan post
  • my beloved recipe collection will continue to grow
  • my grocery list will be ready no matter which day we go to the store (because it’s never the same week to week… and sometimes it’s every other week)
  • when Laura gets crazy and posts MPM early, I’ll be prepared!

Here are a few bloggy recipes that I’ve currently got worked into next week’s menu. 

Cream Cheese Apple Muffins

Beef Stew

Pizza Pockets

Do you have one that I should add?

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more WFMW.

Menu Plan, 10/6 “The Other White Meat”

I’m not so sure “The Other White Meat” pork campaign makes it any healthier, but I’m going to hope so… somehow pork found it’s way on my menu in many forms this week.  Our love for bacon and sausage aside (yup — we go for the good stuff!), I rarely find myself cooking a pork roast.  Couldn’t pass it up this week, though.  I found a pork roast for $1.09 a pound on Friday! 

Here’s what’s on the menu:

Sunday, 10/5

  • bacon, eggs, and toast
  • chili cheese nachos/chili cheese fries (because we ran out of chips) and smoothies
  • pork roast, carrots, potatoes

Weeknight Suppers

  • pork tacos — New recipe.  I guess I’ll just simmer the taco ingredients with my leftover pork from tonight (which was really yummy, by the way).
  • BLTs, fried okra (I know, I know… but we have some ripe tomatoes that are crying for bacon!)
  • pizza braid (recipe and pictures next Tuesday!), yes — with pepperoni; darn pork sneaking itself into everything! 
  • leftovers
  • away game tonight, we’ll eat out (my kids will be SO EXCITED!) and I’ll pack some healthier snacks for the game, ie. homemade graham crackers because that will make me feel better about all the pork… and the eating out…

Saturday, 10/11

  • biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs (I know!  Sausage!  But it’s for the football team… that’s okay, right?)
  • clean out the fridge
  • taco soup — YEA for soup weather!  (and for a no-pork meal!)  The extended forecast says a high of 68!

Other Kitchen To-do’s:

  • salsa — I’ve been picking a gallon bucket of tiny tomatoes every other day for a week!  Oh, and my neighbor has tons of jalapeno peppers.  Do you have a good salsa recipe for me?
  • pigs in a blanket — scroll down the link for the recipe
  • graham crackers for the game
  • pears — I’ve got to do something with what’s left of my 5 gallon bucket of pears, if my kids don’t eat them all first… which would actually be a good thing.

Have a great week!  Be sure to stop by OrgJunkie for a plethora of menu plans. 

Menu Plan Monday – My Little Garden

Watching my little garden flourish and produce an abundance of tomatoes, pumpkins, and peppers this week, I’ve felt like I’m raising a fourth child.  The kids have a ball navigating through the plants jungle picking all the produce (lesson learned… don’t plant everything so close together!).  My littlest one tends to gravitate toward the green tomatoes, so I have to watch her carefully! 

I am so very excited about our bell peppers!  Peppers are a favorite around here to complete lots of recipes, but we especially enjoy them in fajitas and breakfast burritos.  I’m thrilled to have so many to slice and chop up for my freezer.  Only my red pepper plants got smothered by the pumpkins, so I have lots of green and yellow left.  Keeping the smug look off of my face at the grocery store this winter when I pass by the peppers priced at $1.00 or more each will be a challenge!

Here’s what we’re eating this week, as we continue to enjoy veggies from the garden.

Sunday, 9/28

  • breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, muffins (left over from yesterday’s team breakfast)
  • sandwiches, grapes
  • grilled steak and chicken, potatoes, garden salad

Weeknight Suppers

  • Tex-Mex potatoes
  • spaghetti, green beans or corn, breadsticks (Going to make my own sauce for the first time!  Any advice for me?)
  • BLTs, fried okra
  • stuffed peppers (recipe below), pears
  • Game Night!  leftovers, sandwiches

Saturday, 10/4

  • blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage (team breakfast)
  • clean out the fridge
  • black bean nachos, smoothies

Stuffed Peppers

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked rice
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membrane.  Sprinkle with salt.  Put in baking dish.  Dissolve bouillon in tomato paste and water.  Set aside.  Brown beef, onions and garlic.  Add rice, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup of tomato paste mixture and 1/2 of the cheese.  Fill peppers.  Top with remaining tomato paste liquid and cheese.  Cover and bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees. 

Have a great week!  Go visit OrgJunkie for lots and lots of menu inspiration!

Menu Plan Monday – Family Favorites

You will most definitely want to visit Organizing Junkie this week.  Her Menu Planning crew of 300 + bloggers was asked to share recipes for their family favorites!  I’m sharing two of our favorite brunch foods.  We love brunch!

We’ve got a busy ballgame week ahead.  Lance has an away JV football game tomorrow night, so he’ll need a grab-n-go supper.  Tuesday we have our first home volleyball match.  Thursday we have home junior high games; we try to eat between volleyball and football, and then Friday brings Football Homecoming!  I’m hosting a soup and cinnamon roll supper that night for out of town family who are joining us for the game.  This week will fly, and I will need to be super organized!

Sunday, 9/21

  • waffles (a family favorite!), sausage, scrambled eggs
  • sandwiches (for the kids, mom and dad weren’t hungry)
  • hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, carrots, chips (we grilled out with family after a quick fishing trip)

Weeknight Suppers

  • fried chicken strips, homemade french fries (ranch chicken wraps for adults)
  • bbq brisket, baked beans, broccoli slaw salad, squash and onions
  • baked steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
  • leftovers
  • cheesy potato soup, chili, cinnamon rolls (pregame meal for company)

Saturday, 9/27

  • sausage and ham breakfast casserole (a family favorite!), banana crumb muffins, apples and dip (team breakfast)
  • clean out the fridge
  • whatever’s left!


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil (I use canola)
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs – separated

Mix dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl mix wet ingredients, including egg YOLKS.  Combine wet and dry ingredients just until moistened.  Beat egg whites until fluffy.  Fold into batter, leaving some peaks.  Cook on waffle iron. 

Sausage and Ham Breakfast Casserole (also known as 24-Hour Omelet)

  • 6-7 slices of bread, crustless and cubed
  • 1 lb. chopped ham (or sausage, browned and drained — or  1/2 of BOTH)
  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • Mix all ingredients except butter.  Pour in 9×12 pan. Melt butter and drizzle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours). Bake uncovered at 325 for 1 hour.

    Menu Plan Monday, 9/15

    “I’ll climb in the jungle to get some more for you, mom!”

    My kids had a blast today catching up on tomato pickin’ after 3 inches of rain in a day and a half halted our harvesting for a bit.  We were back at it this afternoon, gathering apples and okra and lots and lots of tomatoes.  Found a few more bright orange pumpkins, too!

    This morning I finished off our pears by creating a healthified (is that a word?) version of this pear muffin recipe.  I got to use some of my very first batch of homemade applesauce! Here’s my new recipe:

    Healthified Pear Muffins

    • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp. soda
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup oil (I used Canola)
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 4 cups peeled chopped pears

    Combine dry ingredients in one bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in another bowl.  Mix together.  Batter will be stiff and a little dry, but don’t panic!  Fold in pears last… they’ll provide adequate sweetness and moisture.  Fill muffin tins (recipe made 24 muffins).  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

    Sunday, 9/14

    • scrambled eggs with cheese, zucchini muffins
    • cheesy potato soup, pear muffins
    • shredded beef and black bean nachos, smoothies

    Weeknight Suppers

    • beans and cornbread (I’ve NEVER eaten this meal before — ever!  Crazy, huh?)
    • cavatini (I’ll post the recipe Wednesday), corn, salad, breadsticks (new to me)
    • Mexican Chicken Skillet, sauteed squash and onions (didn’t get to this last week)
    • pizza braid, apples slices with homemade caramel apple dip
    • game night — leftovers

    Friday Post Game Party at Our House! (here’s to positive thinking that we will be celebrating!)

    • shrimp spread with crackers
    • other appetizer-type party foods as I think of them throughout the week…

    Saturday, 9/20

    • biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs (team breakfast)
    • clean out the fridge
    • out of town for a Juco football game — I’ll pack snacks for the game, including homemade graham crackers that I made for the first time last week.  They are awesome!

    Have a great week!  Steal lots of great menu ideas over at OrgJunkie!

    Menu Plan Monday, 9/8

    Here’s what we’ll be eating this week. 

    Sunday, 9/7

    • fried eggs, cinnamon rolls, oj
    • zucchini parmesean, Italian cheese bread, fried okra
    • smoothies (for the kids) homemade vanilla ice cream topped with butterscotch (hot fudge for hubby) and pecans for mom and dad  😉 

    Weekday Suppers

    • roast, potatoes and gravy, carrots
    • roast beef burritos with lettuce and cheese
    • tuna casserole, peas, apple crisp
    • Mexican chicken skillet, sauteed squash and onions
    • Game Night!  leftovers or sandwiches, snacks for game

    Saturday, 9/13

    • Football Team Breakfast:  blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage links
    • clean out the fridge
    • black bean nachos, smoothies

    In other cooking ventures… if we still have leftover roast after the burritos (one of my favorites!) I’ll make roast beef quiche for the freezer.  Also, I still have a drawer full of pears that need attention.  I’m leaning toward pecan pear muffins for the freezer because they are so yummy, but they’re not terribly healthy.  Maybe I’ll experiment with some healthy substitutions (applesauce, honey, whole wheat flour?)  And my neighbor’s apple tree will probably be ready this week.  I think I’ll make applesauce for the first time ever!  (I don’t have canning jars, so I’m going to freeze mine.)

    ** Update:  We picked apples late this afternoon and I’ve already made my first batch of applesauce!  SO EASY that I’m embarrassed I never tried it before.  Thanks, Laura, for the inspiration!

    Head on over to Organizing Junkie for more menu inspiration!

    Our Menu, 8/31

    Um… where did August go?!?

    We’ve had an awesome “foodie” weekend!  Friday night we served homemade ice cream and desserts to 60+ guests in our backyard after the football scrimmage.  (I made Butterfinger and vanilla ice cream.)  We attended Lance’s 20 year high school reunion picnic in the park Saturday night, and my annual family reunion cookout today.  (Sixty-eight people, swimming, games, burgers/chicken/brawtwurst = so much fun!!!)  I love potluck meals; especially when talented cooks share their favorite dishes.  Lance isn’t much of a salad eater, but I enjoy them, so I get to feast on all sorts of interesting salads at family cookouts.  Yum!

    Here’s what we’re eating this week.

    Sunday, 8/31

    • homemade granola  (we skipped our usual big brunch in anticipation of eating lots of food the rest of the day… we were not disappointed!)
    • I don’t know exactly what Lance and the kids ate, but here’s what I remember eating at the cookout:  grilled chicken, potato casserole, potato salad, cucumber salad, chili cornbread salad, frog-eye salad (yummy little pasta balls), a deviled egg, ranch pasta salad, and a piece of Skor cake.  Oh, and maybe a pecan tart… and lots of appetizers.  (Please… anyone else out there willing to admit that they like to sample nearly everything???)  I made the Chili Cornbread Salad and Skor cake.  Those leftovers will not be a part of our menu this week because, well, there are none.   
    • Um… I won’t be eating supper tonight  😉 
    Cornbread Salad

    Cornbread Salad

    ** The picture is from Taste of Home, but this salad really does turn out that pretty!**

    Monday, 9/1  Happy Labor Day!  No school today, so everyone’s home to eat.

    • waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs
    • banana/strawberry/orange slush, sandwiches
    • sloppy joes, baked beans, carrot sticks, deviled eggs

    Tuesday through Friday Suppers

    • black bean quesadillas (I like to add a diced chicken breast to the mixture for supper) with lettuce/tomato/sour cream, pears
    • homemade pizza, fresh fruit
    • chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, grean beans (Third time’s a charm, right?  I’ve had this on my menu for three weeks now…) 
    • leftovers or sandwiches before the first football game of the season!

    Saturday, 9/6

    • sausage and ham breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, apples and dip  (I’m feeding the football team, as I do every Saturday morning during the season.)
    • loaded black bean nachos, smoothies
    • clean out the fridge

    Have a great week, everyone!  Check out more menus over at Organizing Junkie!