Menu Plan 6/21 - 6/27

(printable weekly menu)

I just cannot seem to get caught up this week. Between camping, doctor appointments for the kids and myself, and trying to get a few fun things squeezed in, I am just so behind. I should be getting the kids packed for their visit to Grandma's house, but I am still procrastinating in hopes the suitcase will magically pack itself.
This weeks menu is a few days late; nothing unusual there. Check out more great recipes at


Gourmet Canned Tomato Soup with grilled cheeses'

Crock Pot Meatball Subs


Spaghetti And Meatballs
(using leftover Crock Pot Meatballs; just add one more jar of sauce)

Chicken Pot Pie with Buscuit Crust


Black Bean Mango cilantro rice bowls (using chips instead of tostadas)


BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches (place shredded chicken into Crock Pot, pour in BBQ sauce, heat on low for a few hours)



Free Regal Movies Summer 2010

Regal is offering free summer movies again this year on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check here to see what movies are playing. I often forget about these things, but today my husband said, "Why don't you take the kids to see a movie?" And a light went off! It's Wednesday, so we can go to a free movie! AWESOME! So, I thought I would pass on the info to anyone who might not already know about the free movies or who maybe forgot. They are playing some old, some newer; it just depends on the day and the theatre.

How are you spending your free time this summer with the kids? I know time is already flying by for us. We seem to be extra busy this summer. I love it, but I hate it because the time goes by so quickly.

Camping French Toast

We decided to make french toast during our camping trip, but since this was not a planned meal, we did not have all the ingredients on hand, so we improvised- or should I say, my husband improvised and he did an AMAZING job. The dish turned out to be really good and we will be making it again on our next camping trip. I am not 100% on the measurements, but tried to write this to the best of my knowledge.

Camping French Toast

8 - 10 Sliced Bread
1 cup Milk
1/8 cup Coffee Cream, flavored (we used White Chocolate, but you could a cinnamon flavored creamer too)
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup Sugar or 7 packets of Sweet N Low or Equal
Butter for cooking

In an iron skillet or griddle, melt a few teaspoons of butter. Mix milk, creamer, sugar, eggs in a small bowl. Dip bread into mix and then place onto skillet or griddle. Cook until toasted on one side; flip over and cook other side until toasted. Repeat process until done. 

Gourmet Canned Tomato Soup

I made this last night after we arrived home from our camping trip to Fort Story, Virginia, which by the way was so nice. Lot's of bugs, but it was a wonderful place. I enjoyed the shade of the trees and then being able to go to the beach right down the road, and at $18 a night, you cannot beat it! This is a wonderful perk for military id card holders. I am thankful to see more amenities like this being offered to our Soldiers' and their families.

Gourmet Canned Tomato Soup

2 Cans Campbell's Tomato Soup
2 Cans Milk
1 Clove Roasted Garlic
3 Large Leaves Basil

In a sauce pan, add in soup. Rinse soup cans using milk. Add roasted garlic by smashing it against the side of the pan. Drop in 3 basil leaves. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on low. Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches. Yields 4 Servings.

I did not taste this because there was not any left for me to eat. I guess it was that good. Next time I will double the recipe. My husband could not believe how good it was and my daughter ate her bowl and mine. :) I am guessing it was a hit.

Campfire Skillet Potatoes

This is a camping favorite that we make everytime we go camping. It is just really easy and does not require many ingredients. I love cooking on an open fire. I am not sure why, but food just always tastes better. I usually limit my cooking supplies to a knife, cutting board, iron skillet, spatchla, large spoon and a small sauce pan. It keeps things simple and keeps me from going overboard. I also take adobo seasoning, seasoning salt, fresh garlic and onions if we have them on hand. For breakfast we usually make breakfast burritos, eggs and bacon, and sometimes skillet potatoes. You can make so many things in an iron skillet, something I thought everyone knew until the other day. If you have not cooked in one before, I suggest you pick one up, clean it, and rub oil on it inside and outside, place it in the oven for about 5 -10 minutes on 350 to season it and protect it. Also, make sure when you wash it to always dry it out in the oven or on the stovetop or it will rust.

Campfire Skillet Potatoes

6 Small or Medium Potatoes, sliced thin with peel on
1 Onion or 3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Seasoning Salt, about 1/2 tsp
Adobo Seasoning, about 1/2 tsp

Drizzle about 2 tbsp olive oil onto bottom of iron skillet. Add in potatoes, onions, garlic and seasonings. Drizzle remaining olive oil onto potato mixture; stir. Place foil on top of iron skillet. Place skillet onto fire pit grill (its okay if some flames are on part of the pan, but don't let the flames engulf the entire skillet. Cook for about 10 minutes, remove from fire, stir. Return foil and skillet back to fire; cook 10 more minutes. Remove from fire and check to see if they are almost cooked. If they are almost done, remove foil and continue cooking about 5-10 more minutes. Serve warm.

Tip: Bacon grease is ideal for this dish if you have it on hand. For instance cook bacon first then use grease with potatoes or save grease when cooking breakfast.

Add hot pepper flakes (bring the small packages you get from pizza places)
Salt, pepper, or garlic powder
More oil can be added.

Berry Pretzel Layer Dessert

Berry Pretzel Layer Dessert

This is a good old pot luck recipe that I keep in my recipe collection. I do not make it nearly enough. It is really pretty easy to put together. It just takes a little time because you have to wait for the crust to cool and the jell-o to set.  The original recipe was given to me in a family cookbook many years back. I have revised it a little along the way.

Crust Layer:
2 Cups Crushed Pretzels
1 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar

Melt butter, mix in sugar and pretzels. Press onto bottom of 9*13 baking dish. Use a measuring cup to smush down the crust.

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 Cups Cool Whip
1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar or white sugar

Mix cream cheese and sugar. Add in cool whip. Spread onto crust when the crust has cooled.

Top Jell-o Layer:
1 pkg strawberry jell-o
1 pkg pineapple jell-o
2 cups water
1 pkg frozen mixed berries
2 banana's, sliced

In a microwaveable bowl, place 2 cups water and heat to boiling. Mix in jell-o. Once jell-o has dissolved add in berries and banana's. Place into refrigerater and when soft set pour over cream cheese layer. Allow to set in refrigerator for a few hours.

Lessons Learned: If you forget about the jell-o and it sets up in the fridge, remove it and put it back into the microwave for a minute or two. It will liquify enough to pour over the cream cheese.

Menu Plan Monday June 14 - June 20

I am ahead of the curve this week since I am working up my menu plan for the week today instead of halfway through the week. Last week our menu changed one day because I found two packages of bell peppers on clearance. They were perfectly fine, so I just made Spicy Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers one day. I chopped up the other package and placed them in the freezer for later use. My menu is based on items we already have in the pantry, fridge or freezer. I try to build my menu around items on hand, in order to lower our grocery bill and use up what we have.

Head over to Orgjunkie to see more fabulous meal plan ideas and recipes!

(Printable Menu Plan)

Spicy Southwestern Stuffed Peppers in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Spicy Southwestern Stuffed Peppers; try saying that five times without messing up. A few years back, my sister-in-law made some stuffed peppers during our trip to Maine and they were AMAZING! I have wanted to make them ever since we left, but never could find the recipe online. I stumbled across a posting that showed a similar version to a cookbook Slow Cooker Best-Loved Recipes or something like that, so I decided to just wing it and hope for the best. It was a huge success. It was a little too spicy for the kids, but I am going to try to reduce the heat next time as well as try to make it in the slow cooker without the peppers - maybe call it a Southwestern Rice Casserole?  My biggest fear was the rice not cooking all the way through, but it did. I basted the peppers twice throughout the cooking time with the liquid from the bottom of the pot to make sure they cooked.

4-5 Bell Peppers, tops and membranes removed (keep tops in tact if possible)
1 Cup Rice, Uncooked
1 Can Black Beans, or 2 Cups Prepared Black Beans
1 Can Corn, undrained
1 Can Rotel, undrained
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup franks hot sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1 Cup Pepper jack, Monterrey jack or Mexican blend cheese

Carefully remove pepper tops and reserve. In a large bowl combine rice, beans, spices, Rotel, Hot Sauce, Cheese, corn,  and water; mix well. Mixture should be somewhat soupy. Fill peppers using a large ice cream scoop. Place peppers inside the slow cooker. Press mixture lightly to make sure its stuffed in the pepper really well. Pour an additional 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the tops back onto the peppers. Cover with lid. Cook on low for about 6-7 hours. Using a turkey baster, baste peppers with the liquid on the bottom about halfway through to ensure enough liquid gets to the rice. (I did this a few times just in case).

In order to make this dish less spicy, try using a mild Rotel or substitute tomatoes and green chili's. Instead of hot sauce, try using enchilada sauce or green sauce. I will experiment next time and post my findings. :)

Recipe linked to Tasty Tuesday's @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Free @ CVS and Commissary - Dead Deal

Skinny Cow Individual Ice Cream is on sale at CVS (06/06 -06-12) and the Commissary right now. Use this coupon (no longer available) to get it for free at CVS and for overage at the commisary.

Commissary price ranges by region .75 (East Coast); .25 overage on each

Menu Plan Monday June 7 - June 13

Menu Plan Monday 6/07 - 6/13

It is going to be another busy week of catching up and getting the kids to finish up their last week of school. I never thought I would say this, but I am actually glad they are finally getting out for summer. It has been so difficult trying to go camping and do things with them still in school. Now, we can venture out with no worries - except for wild animals of coarse. I scribbled down a few simple meals for this week since I know it will be busy busy busy...even as I type I am supposed to be getting dressed and having a day trip with the husband. Guess I better hurry. Head over to for more recipe ideas and menu plans.

Teenage Drama for The Momma

Is anyone else ready to pull their hair out over their pre-teen or teenager??? Oh my goodness! I had no idea anyone could have such an attitude. I just have to vent about this, so bare with daughter is almost 13 and she thinks she is old enough to do whatever she wants, that I am "ruining her life," that I "want her to be a robot," that her shorts are required to be really short - and might I add she has really long legs, so regular shorts are short on her already, that anything I have to say is annoying and a lecture, that I am lame, that I cannot seem to buy anything she likes. HELP!

I am so emotionally drained when it comes to the drama....why do they say "save the drama for your Momma?" Momma doesnt want the drama, so please save it for someone else. The latest dramatic event was this morning. I purchased my daughter a few pairs of cotton shorts, a tank and some flip-flops from Justice. She loves Justice and they were having a 40% off sale, so I thought, "she will love these". WRONG! She loved the shorts that were too small; the ones that will be getting exchanged for the next size up and HATED the pair of shorts that actually fit her correctly, stating "they're too long! UGH"...then on to the shoes...where she says "they're too small! I don't wear a size 2/3!" (But you do wear a size 2/3, what just happened?)  Consequently, these items will be returning to the store and she not be receiving any new clothing anytime soon. How does this even happen? Let's see, if someone was trying to give me new clothing, what would I do? Give them attitude? No way! I would be like "AWESOME THANKS!".  How does being nice quantify attitude? I think the thrift store is sounding mighty appealing right now. Maybe she will appreciate new things more if she doesnt get them for a while.

Anyone else dealing with a teenager? Got any tips? I would love to know how to survive these brutal wonderful years. Mom, if your reading this, I am so sorry for the "Whatevers", the rolly eyes, the back talk and the 18 years of drama.


Italian antipasto - pasta salad

Italiano Pasta Salad

Please excuse the photo quality. I took it this weekend during our camping trip. I made the pasta salad the day before we left and we ate it for lunch the next day. It was divine and oh so simple - music to my ears or should I say taste buds. Check out the simple recipe and let me know what you think. I picked up the prosciutto log at Costco, but I have also seen them at the grocery store.

1 box of Penne pasta
1/2 mozzarella prosciutto log, slice into large slices then quarter
Italian dressing (about 1/4 cup, or adjust as desired)
2 Green Onion, sliced
1/8 - 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
Pinch Salt
Fresh Pepper
Pinch Hot Pepper Flakes (optional) 
1 small can of sliced olives
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions; you want them al dente. Drain Pasta, rinse and place into a large bowl. Drizzle pasta with Italian dressing then add in remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Taste and add salt or more dressing as needed. For the best flavor, allow to refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Menu Plan Monday: May 31 - June 06, 2010

My menu is late as usual... Not that the world is waiting for me to post our menu for the week, but one could pretend. We just returned from our first time camping in the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway. WOW! Was that an out of this world experience. NASCAR fans are by far the most friendly and helpful people you will ever meet. The only downside was when we left on Monday there was trash everywhere. I am guessing its too difficult to put trash into a trash bag, so everyone just threw their junk all over. It was kind of sad looking around at such a nice place only to see it look like a trash dump. Maybe its a tradition, who knows...but I will continue to pick up my trash because thats just gross!

Head over to orgjunkie to see more fabulous meal ideas and more.

 Printable version of this weeks menu plan

Crock Pot Corned Beef  Reuben Sandwiches, Corn

Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Southern Style Chicken Sandwiches (Aldi), Italiano Pasta Salad

MeatLoaf Casserole (similar to my version of Shepards Pie)

BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Baked Potato, Watermelon

Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps