Cooking is like love ~ It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Planning Week 2

Last weeks menu didn't go quiet as planned.  I got sick and it really messed things up but I am feeling much better and we have a new menu for a new week.

29th Pancakes
30rh Eggs with bacon and black bread
31st Sausage Cheese Muffins
1st Whole Wheat Coffee Cake
2nd Whole Wheat Waffles
3rd Oatmeal
4th Almond Pancakes

29th Shish-Kabobs with rice and salad
30th Orange Pork with Fried rice
31st Fry bread tacos with rice and beans
1st Fish tacos with cole slaw
2nd Turkey Casserole
3rd Beef Barley Soup with rolls
4th Turkey Pot Pie

The soup and pot pie are the meals that didn't get made last week and since the boys were really looking forward to them I moved them to this weeks menu.  My orange pork didn't turn out like I wanted it to so I will have to try again and continue to tweak the recipe. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Round is Overrated!

It's pizza night!  I love pizza night although it has become more challenging since the oven went kaput on me.  We are still using Grandma's roaster and it has really come through for us.  The only way to bake the pizza is on a fairly small cookie sheet so we have started making individual pizzas. 

I don't think I could make a pizza round if my life depended on it and I have decided that a squarish pizza holds more goodness.  Are you buying this?  LOL

I start out with a super basic sauce.  A couple of cans of tomato sauce, dried minced onion and garlic, pepper and a splash of olive oil.  I let it is simmer for about 20 minutes.  I will sometimes add chili powder if I think we need a little spice but tonight I left it out.  Here is the sauce.

The pizza crust is a super easy recipe I found online that I am constantly changing and adding thing to.  Tonight I added garlic and onions and a tiny bit of parmesan cheese.  Here is the link for the dough and a picture.

See all that yummy garlic?  I love garlic.  It is a good thing everyone else does too or I might be in trouble.  I topped the pizza with sauce, sliced up meatballs and a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  I used a 1 qt jar of meatballs that I had canned over the summer.  If you don't can you can use freezer meatballs (defrosted) or you can make a batch of meatballs.  Top your pizza and bake for about 15 minutes.  These pizzas are ready for the oven.  While they are baking you can make up a green salad and have a quick easy but delicious dinner.

I hate to post and run but that there is my dinner and I am hungry!  I hope you enjoyed tonight's recipe.  Please leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite pizza is. 

Yummy White Bread

I am normally not a big fan of white bread but this is pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.  This will make 2 loaves and you can get them done in just about 3 hours.  The hardest part is waiting for it to cool enough to cut.  The boys think this will make great sandwiches.  I think it will be awesome toasted with some butter and homemade jam.

White Bread

2 tablespoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of water or milk
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups of hot roll mix

Combine your yeast and warm water and let sit until the yeast is bubbly.  Add in the eggs, milk/water and oil and combine.  Stir in the hot roll mix until you have a soft but not sticky dough.  Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size.  Punch dough dough and shape into loaves.  Cover loaves and let rise again until just about doubled.  Bake at 375* for about 45 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool before cutting.

Hot Roll Mix

This mix is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  It is easy to mix up and wonderful to use.  Sunday night I used this mix to make some yummy cinnamon rolls and today I used it to make 2 loaves of bread. 

The recipe is taken from Make-A-Mix Cookery book. 

Hot Roll Mix

5 lbs.  all-purpose flour      
1 1/4 cups of sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk

Combine all the ingredients are stire until well blended.  Store in a cool dry place for 6 to 8 months.  Makes about 22 cups of mix.    

I really think you could do a combination of all purpose and whole wheat flour but I haven't tried it yet.  I am thinking I will do that for the next batch I make.  At the rate we are going through it that might be this coming weekend!  :)                              

Menu Planning

For the past year I have tried to make a monthly menu.  The biggest problem I have is sticking to the menu.  What might sound like a good idea to me at the beginning of the month sometimes doesn't sound so great by the end of the month. I found myself changing  the menu, leaving things off and then having nothing to make for dinner.  That is not good when you are on a very tight budget!

The good news is that I have found a solution that works for me.  I have been making weekly menus instead of monthly and I have no problem sticking to the menu.  Everyone seems to be happier with this new plan.

With this new plan, everyone sits down together and throws ideas around.  Using this plan makes it easier for the kids to eat breakfast on their own and has virtually elminated those dreaded leftovers that turn into science experiments in the fridge.

So here is this weeks breakfast menu:

Jan. 22  Cinnamon rolls
Jan 23 Whole Wheat Waffles
Jan 24 Pumpkin Muffins
Jan 25 Whole Wheat Pancakes
Jan 26 Oatmeal Pecan Muffins
Jan 27 Whole Wheat Coffee Cake
Jan 28 Fried Polenta with cheese

Now as far as lunch goes we have been eating the leftovers from the night before.  So far I have not had any complaints except last week when we ate all the egg rolls for dinner and there were no leftovers.  :)

Dinner menu:
Jan 22 Turkey Noodle Casserole with breadsticks
Jan 23 Cheeseburger Pizza with salad
Jan 24 Potato Soup with cheddar biscuits
Jan 25 Pork tacos with rice and beans
Jan 26 Turkey Pot Pie
Jan 27 Beef and Barley Soup with rolls
Jan 28 Fish with Brown Rice and Veggies

Everything we are making is either from scratch or from mixes that we have made.  I will be sharing a couple really great mixes this week that make your life so much easier.  I really enjoy the fact that if we make our own mix we can control exactly what goes into it. 


Welcome to my newest blog adventure.  I decided to start a new cooking blog because I am really more into cooking than crafting right now. I plan to share lots of recipes, menu ideas, and some money saving ideas.

I have to say that cooking has become a lot more fun since my youngest son has started to help.  I love watching him try new things.  He may be even more adventurous than I am.  He is not afraid to try anything and it has been a joy and a blessing to share our kitchen time together.