If you are frustrated trying to decide what to have for dinner every night let me help. On Friday, a shopping list for the next weeks meals is posted. Visit http://www.CarriesCooking.com/ each day and your dinner frustrations will be over. I hope you join me for this free, time and money saving guide.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Menu and Grocery List (Jun. 2 - Jun. 8)


Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade
Green Beans
Corn Bread
(Prep for Tuesday - Defrost pork chops)
Zesty Grilled Pork Chops
Dinner Rolls
Broccoli-Stuffed Shells (Freezer Friendly)
French Bread
(Prep for Thursday - Defrost beef)
Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos
Mexican Corn
(Prep for Friday - Defrost chicken)
Baked Chicken Fingers
Garlic Oven Fries
(Prep for Saturday - Defrost chicken)
Baked Slow Cooker Chicken
Baked Potato
Free Day

First, I want to explain what I have called the 'free day'. I have used other meal planning services and found that there was always one day that my family would eat out. The free day is the opportunity for you to either eat out, catch up to my meals, if you are behind, or make something that you or your family loves.

Second, a great suggestion was made to have one meal a week that is freezer friendly. (Thanks Andrea, from MommySnacks) You can either make the meal and eat it, make it and freeze it, or double the recipe and do both. If you have the space, it is great having a few premade meals in the freezer. Just put the meal together, don't cook it, and freeze it. Then when it is time to eat it, defrost and follow the cooking instructions.

Grocery List

Bakery Item
2 cups corn bread cubed (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
Corn Bread (Suggested Side)
Dinner Rolls (Suggested side)
French Bread (Suggested Side)

Baking Supplies
1 1/2 cups Bread Crumbs fine, dry (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1/4 cup brown sugar packed, light (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

Basic Cooking Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
2 teaspoons olive oil (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
1 tablespoons Canola Oil (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)

1/4 cup lime juice (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

Canned Goods
Mexican Corn (Suggested Side)

Condiments and Salad Dressings
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
6 dashes hot sauce (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
1/2 cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce ie. Franks Hot Sauce (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

Dairy, Eggs, and Milk
1/2 cup butter melted (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1 cup ricotta cheese (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
cheese (Suggested Topping)
Sour Cream (Suggested Topping)

Ethnic Foods
3 cups spaghetti sauce (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
Flour tortillas warmed (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
16 ounces chipotle salsa (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
Salsa (Suggested Topping)

Frozen Foods
10 ounces broccoli chopped, frozen, defrosted (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
Peas (Suggested Side)
Broccoli (Suggested Side)
Green Beans (Suggested Side)

Herbs and Spices
1 tablespoon basil (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1 tablespoon Thyme (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1 teaspoon Paprika (Baked Slow cooker Chicken)
To Taste Pepper (Baked Slow cooker Chicken)
To Taste Salt (Baked Slow cooker Chicken)
2 teaspoons basil (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
to taste salt (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
to taste pepper (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)
1 teaspoon thyme (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
to taste salt (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
to taste pepper (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)
2 teaspoons thyme (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

Meats, Fish, and Seafood
6 Chicken Breast Boneless, skinless halves cut into 1 1/2 inch slices (Baked Chicken Fingers)
1 2 to 3 pound Whole Chicken (Baked Slow cooker Chicken)
1 Beef Shoulder Roast boneless (2-2 1/2 lbs) (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
4 chicken breast skinless, boneless, haves, pounded 1/4 inch thick (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
4 - 6 rib pork chops 1 inch thick (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

Pasta, Rice, and Beans
20 large pasta shells (Broccoli - Stuffed Shells)

2 tablespoons garlic minced (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
3 tablespoons cilantro chopped, fresh (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
1/2 cup onion chopped (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
1/4 cup celery chopped (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
1 tablespoon garlic minced (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
4 scallions chopped (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)
Potatoes (Suggested Side)
1 tomato diced (Suggested Topping)
6 cloves garlic coarsely chopped (Zesty Grilled Pork Chops)

1 (14 ounce) Can Beef broth (Chipotle Shredded Beef Taco)
1/2 cup chicken broth (Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade)

Be sure to check your refrigerator and pantry for any of these items that you already have. Also, don't forget to add items for breakfast, lunch and every day items. Going grocery shopping is much easier if you have a list of everything you need. Check out the Master Grocery List to make sure you aren't missing anything.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos

1 boneless beef shoulder roast (2-1/2 lbs.)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can (14 to 14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 jar (16 oz.) chipotle salsa
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Flour tortillas, warmed


  1. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot; brown beef pot roast.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth and garlic; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
  5. Remove pot roast; cool slightly.
  6. Skim fat; reserve cooking liquid.
  7. Shred pot roast with 2 forks.
  8. Combine beef and salsa in saucepan.
  9. Cook and stir over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, adding cooking liquid as needed to keep beef moist.
  10. Add cilantro.
  11. Serve with tortillas.

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged to complete a fun post about myself. I was tagged by Carrie at Money Saving Methods.

So here it goes,

4 Things I was doing 10 years ago:

  • Dating my husband
  • Working at NCR Corporation (where I met my husband and my friend Carrie from Money Saving Methods)
  • Living in an apartment with Carrie, yes Money Saving Methods Carrie. (Carrie, have you ever told Ryan, Carrie's husband, that you would pretend to be me when you answered the phone sometimes?)
  • Taking ballroom dancing lessons. I loved it!

4 Things I was doing 5 years ago:

  • Taking my old love Ballet at a Dance studio that has adult classes. Also, taking Jazz and learning to Tap for the first time.
  • Going through IVF trying to get pregnant.
  • Built a home.
  • Still working at NCR Corporation.

4 Things I did Yesterday:

  • Finally cleaned out our camper from having slept in it at Relay. (My daughter loves the camper. She was filling it full of her stuffed animals as I was cleaning it out. She would leave the camper saying that she would be right back, go in the house and come back with an armful of toys. Then she asked that we have lunch in the camper. We had sandwiches and pretzels on paper plates! What fun!)
  • Did 4 loads of laundry (2 loads were sheets and blankets used at Relay that were in the camper)
  • Worked in my flower garden.
  • Watched my husband push our daughter on the swing while cleaning the kitchen up from dinner.

4 Shows I Like to Watch:

  • Supernatural
  • Moonlight (But, it got canceled)
  • Closer
  • 4400

4 Things I Love to Do:

  • Dance (I haven't stopped since I was 5, wow that is going on 30 years!)
  • Reading (About 2 books a week!)
  • Camping
  • Cooking (Mostly trying out new recipes! If you couldn't have guessed.)

That's it! Now I am going to tag Lee from Creative 2x Mom. Have fun with it Lee!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cornbread - Stuffed Chicken Roulade

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cups cubed corn bread
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 scallions chopped
6 dashes hot sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast haves, pounded 1/4 inch thick


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the oil, onion, and celery, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning, and thyme, and cook about 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Add the cornbread, chicken broth, scallions, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the bowl.
  7. Mix until combined, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Place about 1/4 cup of stuffing into the center of each chicken breast.
  9. Roll lengthwise and secure with a toothpick.
  10. Transfer the chicken roulades to a large baking dish.
  11. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes, until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Broccoli-Stuffed Shells

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups spaghetti sauce
20 large pasta shells
10 oz chopped broccoli, frozen, defrosted
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons basil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with olive oil.
  3. Coat the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  4. In a large pot of salted water, boil the pasta shells according to the package directions until almost tender.
  5. Drain off the water, then add cold water to the pot.
  6. Let the shells sit in the water until you're ready to stuff them.
  7. Place broccoli in food processor along with ricotta, basil, and salt and pepper.
  8. Puree until smooth.
  9. Remove each shell from the pot, gently drain off any water, and spoon in a generous portion of the filling.
  10. Place the stuffed shells in the baking pan and pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over them.
  11. Sprinkle with the grated mozzarella.
  12. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Apple Crisp

I was given a large number of apples about a week ago. I decided to make this easy dessert and thought I would share the recipe.

4 medium tart cooking apples, pealed & sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking or old fashion oats
1/3 cup butter - softened
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening. (or butter)
  3. Spread apples in pan.
  4. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
  5. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with fork.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Perfect Corn on The Cob

My family loves corn on the cob. We have had it four times so far this spring. Corn on the cob is one of those foods that makes spring and summer so great. (In my opinion, however, there are many foods that makes this time of the year so great.)

How do you pick your corn on the cob? Are you one of those that pulls down the husk to see what is inside? I was taught to firmly place the tip of my thumb into the side of the cob. If I can feel a pop then it will be a good piece. Maybe my method comes because as a child we used to grow some of our own corn.

Once you have picked the cob, how do you cook it? Growing up we would pull the husk off and throw them into a pot of boiling water, with a little sugar in the water. Now I use the microwave.

I love this new method because it is fast and I am sure there are more nutrients in the corn this way. You can just throw the whole cob in the microwave, husk and all and cook for about 3 minutes on high for every two cobs. (I wouldn't do more than 4 at a time, and put in 3 minutes rotate them and cook for another 3.) This works great except to pull the husk off is a very hot chore. Now, I have a cob steamer that goes right in the microwave. I pull the husk off and then cook in microwave as mentioned before, 3 minutes on high for every two.

It is making my mouth water just thinking about it.

How do you make your corn on the cob?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thai Chicken Thighs (Reader's Featured Recipe)

Fatinah, a CarriesCooking reader, says that this recipe is one of her family's favorites.

8 Chicken Thighs, skin removed
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
Chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place chicken thighs in slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl combine stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, cilantro, lime juice, chili pepper and ginger. Mix well and pour sauce over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.
  4. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and additional fresh cilantro.

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese


  1. Stir soup, milk, black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken and noodles in 1 1/2 quart casserole.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot.
  3. Stir.
  4. Top with the cheddar cheese.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Do I Cook When I Am In A Pinch?

Yes, it even happens to me. There are times when I didn't plan out what I am having on Sunday, or the week goes far from what I planned. Those are the times when I realize that I have nothing defrosted and nothing ready to cook for dinner. What do I do? Something that you can do to. Something so easy you will be upset I haven't shared it with you sooner.

I get out frozen chicken breasts, aluminum foil, turn the oven on to 350 degrees and then go searching for something for flavoring. I get as many pieces of aluminum foil as chicken breasts. (The aluminium foil must be large enough to create a sealed package around the chicken.) I put one chicken breast on each piece of foil. I then cover the chicken with the flavoring. (Different flavorings that I use include, Italian salad dressing, barbecue sauce, thyme, Cajun seasoning, peach jam, salsa, and many others. Just go crazy. I haven't found anything that I haven't liked yet.) Then fold the foil to seal in all of the juices and steam that might escape while cooking. Put the foil packets with the chicken inside on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven. If the chicken is frozen it will take about 1 hour and if defrosted only 30 minutes. Check the chicken to make sure the juices run clear.

Clean up is easy and the chicken is tender as it has been cooked in its own juices. You can easily cook instant rice and some veggie in the time to cook the chicken. It never fails to be a crowd pleaser.

So, next time you are in a pinch try my quick chicken dish. Tell me what flavoring you use and what you think!

Share Your Favorite Recipes With Me

A thought accorded to me this week. I am always reading other blogs and seeing where readers send information to the blogger that helps them provide information for their websites. So I thought, why not ask you to share some of your favorite recipes with me?

Do you have a recipe that you love? Include it in the comments or email it to me at CarriesCooking@gmail.com. I love trying out new recipes and would like to feature one of your recipes in my weekly menus.

So, send in your recipes! I want to see them. They can be for main dishes, sides, or desserts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amusement Park Child Safety (Off Topic)

This is obviously off topic but there are two things that I recently learned that I wanted to pass on. As a mom I have felt that terror when I couldn't locate my daughter, only to have relief when I find her standing close but just out of site. I can't imagine what it would feel like to truly not be able to find her.

First, when going somewhere with your children, like an amusement park, take a picture of them before you leave. (Be sure to include their shoes.) I plan to take a close up and then a full body picture. This way if you are separated from your child you will have a picture of them with the clothes that they are wearing. I mention to include shoes because I was told that it is easy to change your child's clothes but harder to have a fitting pair of shoes, so their shoes are often the same as they came with.

Lastly, I plan on buying Safteytats. They are temporary tattoos that have your phone number on them. That way if your child can't find you and they do find someone to help them they will have a phone number on their person. My daughter is not quite 3. I have started to teach her our phone number but she doesn't know it yet.

I hope you find this information helpful as we move into our unofficial summer season. We will have many opportunities to be outside having fun. Anything we can do to make our children safer while having that fun seems well worthwhile to me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pizza Roll

1 loaf frozen bread dough
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened margarine
1 (8 oz) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 small package sliced pepperoni
1 small onion, chopped
miscellaneous pizza toppings


  1. Thaw and roll out bread dough.
  2. Mix together egg, Parmesan cheese and margarine, and spread over dough, reserving a small amount.
  3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, and pepperoni, onion and whatever other ingredients you like on a pizza (except pizza sauce).
  4. Roll dough like you would a jellyroll and pinch together.
  5. Place fold down on a greased pizza pan.
  6. Coat with reserved egg mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help us fight cancer by supporting Relay For Life!

On May 17 and 18, I will be participating in Kettering's Eighth Annual American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" with a team of family and friends. If you are not familiar with the event, it is an overnight celebration for cancer survivors and a time to remember those who have lost their battle to cancer. Teams will be raising money for the American Cancer Society with at least one member from each team walking or running on a track for the duration of the 22-hour event. The Relay is an overnight event because Cancer Never Sleeps and we won't rest until we find a cure. Money raised during our Relay will be used for funding ACS programs, educating communities, and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

This Relay is especially significant as it was founded by my friend Lynn McGarry. Lynn lost her battle with cancer in October of 2005. I want to see this year's be the most successful ever. Since cancer affects 1 in 3 people, we all have friends and family members who have touched our lives and struggled with this horrible disease. This is the perfect way to give back to them and honor their memories. I am asking for your help.

You can help in any of 2 ways:

1) I understand that we all have charities that we support. If this is something close to your heart, you can be an honorary team member by making a donation to help us reach our team goal of $3,500. Anything would be a great help to the cause, from five dollars to hundreds of dollars! Checks may be made payable to the American Cancer Society. Or donate online (link is at the bottom of the page)!

2) Remember cancer survivors and those that have lost the fight to cancer with the purchase of a luminary for $10. Each luminary will have the person's name on it and will be placed around the lake at Delco Park. There is a lighting ceremony at dusk on the 17th where each name will be read. You're invited to come out and walk the track when the person you're honoring/remembering name is read.

If you have any questions or need a luminary form, you may email me at CarriesCooking@gmail.com. Thank you for your help!

Click here to visit my personal page.If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RelayForLifeOhioDivision?px=4012513&pg=personal&fr_id=7206

Don't forget to check out Relay's that might be in your area. You can go to www.Cancer.org to find an event in your area.

Bruschetta 'n Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 can (14 1/2 oz) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pkg. (6 oz) Stuffing Mix for chicken
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the basil and dry stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.
  3. Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in a large Ziploc bag and pound chicken until 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Place chicken top-sides down and spread evenly with stuffing mixture.
  5. Starting at one of the narrow ends, tightly roll up chicken.
  6. Place, seam sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish.
  7. Drizzle evenly with dressing.
  8. Bake 40 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
  10. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.

I freeze 4 of the chicken breasts to cook later.

Sorry For The Absence

Sorry for not posting a menu and shopping list on Friday. I have no excuse this time. I will get back to business as normal. I hope that you found a previous weeks menu in my absence.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine (or chicken broth)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet.
  2. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat.
  3. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible.
  4. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours.
  5. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus.

Freezer comment: I always have plenty left over with this dish. I freeze the leftovers and reheat it as pulled pork for sandwiches. It tastes great.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cheap. Fast. Good! (CarriesCooking with Books)

I love cookbooks! Does that surprise you? Well, I also love books in general. I used to be someone that had to own all the books I read. I wanted to have my own library. I think in my mind it was a visual reminder at how many books I read. In my mind books are knowledge and thus, maybe it was then a visual way of making me feel smart. My husband is a big fan of the library and doesn't understand my passion for owning books. His mind thought, why buy a book when you can borrow one?

Now, I am also a big fan of the library. I have gotten rid of many of the books I owned, except for classics or books I think I would like my kids to read someday. I have also rid my house of many of the cookbooks I had. I now use the internet and the library for most of my recipes.

Cheap. Fast. Good! by Beverly Mills is one of the cookbooks that I found at my local library that I really enjoyed looking through. It offered many recipes to bring down your grocery bill. There are many super saving recipes that sound great. The only reason some of them won't work in my household is that my husband doesn't really go for meatless meals. The book also give suggestions on how to save money by shopping smart.

You should check to see if your library has this book.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm Saving an Additional 10% on my Groceries!

I know, I just got finished bragging about my low grocery bill for April. Well, I hope to take it down by an additional 10% this month. How? I shop at Kroger's and right now they are offering a 10% bonus on new gift cards purchased now through the end of July. Wow! (Many stores are offering similar deals, check out MoneySavingMethods for more information.)

OK, there are a few stipulations. You have to buy the gift cards new, no Kroger Neighborhood Reward cards, and they must be in either $300, $600, or $1200 increments. After I bought my $330 one for $300 I was informed I could get up to 4 $330 cards for $300 during this time frame. This means that in addition to the 40 to 50% I save on groceries right now, I will be saving an additional 10%. Yeah!

Oh, as an added benefit, I found a Kroger gas station on the way to a National Amusement Park that my family has season passes to, that we plan to visit weekly. This means I can use that 10% savings towards gas too. And all of those 10 cents off a gallon I have been wasting for years (no Kroger gas stations are close to my house) are going to be put to good use. Now, I know everyone would be excited to be saving money on gas.

So even though my family isn't going to use our stimulus check for anything but savings, we own both our cars and pay off credit cards every month so we only have a mortgage payment at a very low interest rate, we are reaping a great benefit.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Menu and Grocery List (May 5 - 11)

I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post. A flu bug has worked its way through the family. I am sure you can imagine it make life a little more difficult.

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast
(Prep for Tuesday - Defrost steaks)
Black Pepper Steaks
Dinner Rolls
(Prep for Wednesday - Defrost ground beef)
Tortellini with Meat Sauce
Green Salad
(Prep for Thursday - Defrost ground beef)
Tacos (Freezer Friendly)
Mexican Rice
(Prep for Friday - Defrost chicken)
Parmesan Chicken
Crescent Rolls
(Prep for Saturday - Defrost ground beef)
Spinach and Oats Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Sunday (Mother's Day)
Free Day

First, I want to explain what I have called the 'free day'. I have used other meal planning services and found that there was always one day that my family would eat out. The free day is the opportunity for you to either eat out, catch up to my meals, if you are behind, or make something that you or your family loves.

Second, a great suggestion was made to have one meal a week that is freezer friendly. (Thanks Andrea, from MommySnacks) You can either make the meal and eat it, make it and freeze it, or double the recipe and do both. If you have the space, it is great having a few premade meals in the freezer. Just put the meal together, don't cook it, and freeze it. Then when it is time to eat it, defrost and follow the cooking instructions.

Grocery List

Bakery Item
Crescent Rolls (Suggested Side)
Dinner Rolls (Suggested side)

Baking Supplies
3/4 tablespoons maple syrup (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
1/2 cup walnuts chopped (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
1/4 cup bread crumbs dry (Parmesan Chicken)

Basic Cooking Ingredients
1/2 cup Olive Oil (Black Pepper Steaks)

1 1/2 cups water (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
3/4 cup water (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
1 3/4 cups water (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)
1/4 cup dry read wine or water (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)

3/4 cup rolled oats uncooked (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)

Condiments and Salad Dressings
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)

Dairy, Eggs, and Milk
3/4 cup heavy cream (Black Pepper Steaks)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated (Parmesan Chicken)
1/4 cup butter melted (Parmesan Chicken)
1 Egg (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
cheese (Suggested Topping)
Sour Cream (Suggested Topping)
2 cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded (Tacos)
1 cup Sour Cream Suggested Topping (Tacos)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)

Ethnic Foods
Mexican Rice (Suggested Side)
Salsa (Suggested Topping)
Salsa (Tacos)
12 Taco Shells (Tacos)
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)

Frozen Foods
10 ounces spinach frozen, chopped, thawed and squeezed dry (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
Broccoli (Suggested Side)
Corn (Suggested Side)
Green Beans (Suggested Side)
Peas (Suggested Side)

Herbs and Spices
4 tablespoons Black Pepper (Black Pepper Steaks)
1 tablespoon dry mustard (Black Pepper Steaks)
2 teaspoons parsley (Black Pepper Steaks)
2 tablespoons thyme (Black Pepper Steaks)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
1 teaspoon oregano dry (Parmesan Chicken)
1 teaspoon parsley flakes dried (Parmesan Chicken)
1/4 teaspoon paprika (Parmesan Chicken)
1/4 teaspoon salt (Parmesan Chicken)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (Parmesan Chicken)
1/2 teaspoon Pepper (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
1 teaspoon Salt (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
1 teaspoon Thyme Dried, crumbled (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
1 teaspoon Black Pepper (Taco Seasoning)
1 tablespoon Chili Powder (Taco Seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (Taco Seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano (Taco Seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (Taco Seasoning)
1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin (Taco Seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder (Taco Seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon Paprika (Taco Seasoning)
1 teaspoon Salt (Taco Seasoning)

Meats, Fish, and Seafood
4 small to medium T-Bone Steaks No more than 1 1/2 inches thick (Black Pepper Steaks)
4 chicken Breast boneless, skinless, halves (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
4 - 6 chicken breast boneless, skinless, halves (Parmesan Chicken)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef extra lean (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
1 pound Ground Beef (Tacos)
1/2 pounds ground beef (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)

Pasta, Rice, and Beans
1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice (Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast)
1 9 ounce package tortellini refrigerated cheese filled (Tortellini with Meat Sauce)

3 Cloves (Black Pepper Steaks)
1 large onion (Black Pepper Steaks)
1/2 cup onion chopped (Spinach & Oats Meat Loaf)
Green Salad (Suggested Side)
Potatoes (Suggested Side)
lettuce shredded (Suggested Topping)
onion (Suggested Topping)
1 tomato diced (Suggested Topping)
Lettuce Suggested Topping (Tacos)
1 large Onion (Tacos)
1 Tomato Suggested Topping (Tacos)

1 cup chicken broth (Black Pepper Steaks)
1 10 3/4 ounce can Tomato Soup Condensed (Tacos)

Be sure to check your refrigerator and pantry for any of these items that you already have. Also, don't forget to add items for breakfast, lunch and every day items. Going grocery shopping is much easier if you have a list of everything you need. Check out the Master Grocery List to make sure you aren't missing anything.

Parmesan Chicken

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine cheese, crumbs, oregano, parsley flakes, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Dip chicken into butter and then into crumb mixture.
  3. Place in a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.

Tortellini with Meat Sauce

1/2 pound ground beef
1 14 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup dry red wine or water
1 9 ounce package refrigerated cheese filled tortellini
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large sauce pan cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink.
  2. Drain off fat.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, the 1 3/4 cups water and 1/4 cup wine to the meat.
  4. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
  5. Stir in tortellini return to boiling.
  6. Simmer uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes or until tortellini are tender and sauce is of desired consistency.
  7. Add mozzarella as topping after serving.

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breast

1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
1 1/2 cups water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Mix rice, seasoning packet and water in ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2.
  3. Place chicken breast on rice mixture.
  4. Drizzel with maple syrup.
  5. Sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon.
  6. Cover and bake about 45 minutes or until juices run clear.