Saturday, January 24, 2009

Meal Planning Mommies got together last weekend

Meal planning mommies got together last weekend. Pictures of what we cooked and ate are coming up in a couple of weeks.

Saturday night: Salmon Patties with Couscous

So once a week my husband has a chance to show off his culinary skills in the kitchen. Who doesn't love a man who can and WILL cook for you? Usually we have something fish related. This week we are having his salmon patties. He grew up eating these and has tweaked his mom's recipe to his taste.

Here is what you need:

Milk, dill weed, saltine crackers, 2 cans of pink salmon (boneless and skinless, 1 egg

First you need to mix up your 2 cans of salmon (drained), 1 egg, 3/4 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon of dill weed. Then add crushed saltine crackers until desired consistency (we usually use about 1 pack of saltine crackers give or take).

You then need to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours for the crackers to soak in the flavors.
After 2-3 hours has passed and you are ready for dinner. Now, heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in your pan.

Shape the salmon mixture into patties. However many patties you make and how big you make them depends on how many people you are serving. We can make 3 big patties or 4 medium sized. These would also be great as tiny appetizers.

Cook them on medium low until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with Couscous or side of your choice.

Meal cost (included couscous, excluding milk, eggs, dill and crackers): $5.00
Serves 4- cost per serving: $1.25

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friday: Reuben Chicken with Steamed Veggies

I don't know about you, but I love SAUERKRAUT! Give me a good recipe with sauerkraut and I will definitely try it out. I ran across this recipe and it appealed to me because it is more Frugal than actual Reuben sandwiches and maybe even a bit healthier. This recipe was a breeze to make and my family loved it! Even my 2 1/2 year old ate it up. Leftovers were served and gone the next day at lunch. Enjoy!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

4 chicken breasts, 4 slices of swiss cheese, 1 cup thousand island dressing and 1 can of sauerkraut.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Drain your sauerkraut

Step 3: Place your chicken in a greased pan. Notice that I used 2 large chicken breasts and a few small pieces. I used boneless, skinless but regular chicken breasts should work the same. I also pounded out these chicken breasts so that they were about 1/2 inch thick. This helps in cutting down the cooking time.

Step 4: Place sauerkraut on top of chicken.

Step 5: Place slices of Swiss Cheese on top of Sauerkraut.

Step 6: Measure out 1 cup of Thousand Island Dressing

Step 7: Pour the dressing over the cheese, spread with a spoon to coat evenly.

Step 8: Cover with foil and cook 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done and dish is bubbly.
Step 9: Cook your veggies. If you have never tried Green Giant Steamers, they are awesome! You just stick the bag in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, take it out and put in a bowl to serve! I am not paid to advertise for them, just giving my opinion from one mom to another. Also, Green Giant puts coupons out every other few months which make these close to or completely FREE!
Step 10: Take off foil and serve!

Cost of Meal for a family of 4: $6.00
Cost per person: $1.50

$6.00 for a family of 4 is so cheap! It would cost around $6.00 average for 1 person to eat dinner out and that doesn't include leftovers!

I'm done after this.

If you are a mom or know a here.

...and one more...I had to. ;)

Okay, this may be a little cheesy for some of you out there, but I have to post it. Click here if you are a mom.

I realize that this is off topic, but praying that this helps someone.

Dear readers,
Thank you for visiting our blog (many of you, regularly). Your excitement for what we are doing keeps us pulling out more fun recipes. I am very excited about some of the recipes we will be showing here in the next few weeks. Some of them will be your recipes. While filling the tummies of your family is a goal worthy of attention, sometimes we need a little soul food to remind us what's truly important, and of eternal significance.
I have been encouraged today, and these past few days really. I wanted share a song that speaks my testament for the day. I have heard it several times before, but today it orchestrates new meaning as I learn to be content with my current place in life. Some of you will relate and some of you will not, but I figure it is worth posting for those that might be encouraged by these words.

Dear ones,
Keep on keeping on. You are fabulous. You are here for a reason, and God's plan is being worked daily as you do your daily grind. Make those meals and get those winks and smiles across the table. Breathe in and out slowly and smile back at your sweet ones. God's blessings on you today, and may you feel the peace of knowing that God is in control.

Click here to listen to the song speaking to my heart today.

Thursday: Open Faced Tacos

This past weekend, the meal planning mommies got together to have a girls weekend. Not only did we have a hilarious time, but while we were out eating we couldn't help coming up with new recipes. This was one of them!
While eating at T.G.I.Fridays we noticed that the nachos we were eating were made on a taco shell that was broken in half. Our minds started working together and thus came the open faced taco! . If you are a toppings lover, like me and always get frustrated b/c there is just not enough room in a taco shell to fit all of your beloved tomatoes, guacomole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, olives etc. You will love the open faced taco! You can pile all of your toppings on top, as many as you want- the sky is the limit!
Enjoy this meal and spice it up in your own way for your family. Let us know how it goes!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

1 lb ground beef, cheese, taco shells, taco seasoning, *refried beans, *tomato, *sour cream, *lettuce, *taco sauce and *mexican rice (*Optional ingredients. Choose what your family loves!) You may have some great leftover toppings from your chop salad yesterday. If you want to make a meatless meal, the ground beef could totally be omitted and you could use the refried beans as your base.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350. Then, brown the hamburger and drain Isn't my husband great? He is my offical meat browner, he does it so well!

Step 2: Add the taco seasoning and follow directions on the packet for cooking

Step 3: If you are choosing to make rice as a side dish, start this now.

Step 4: Break taco shells into 2 separate parts and place on a cookie sheet. At first I tried cutting these with scissors and although it works that way, it works just as well to break them with your hands. I placed my thumb in the crevice of the shell and slowly worked my way down the shell break it into two. If you break one or two, nobody will know! Toss it in a baggie to use as a scooper later on for your toppings!

Step 5: Start layering your toppings on your shell. I started with refried beans

Step 6: Then I added the ground beef and cheese. On some of the shells I omitted the beans for those who don't like them.

Step 7: Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is all melted and everything is warmed up!

Step 8: After they are warmed up, add your PILE of toppings and your rice to the side. No Fork needed! Simply pick up the taco shell as if it were a nacho chip and eat away! Even my 2 1/2 year old daughter loved this idea and was able to eat with ease.
Notice it was a paper plate night for us tonight. Gotta have those nights every once in awhile to give us a nice break from kitchen clean up!

I would love to know how your family responded to this meal. Let me know if you tried it or are planning to in the future! ~

Cost of Meal for a family of 4: $8.00
Cost per person: $2.00

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chop Salad with Feta cheese and Avocado

Who dosen't love a great salad?! Everyone, right? Oh wait, not my non-vegetable eating husband! But add Feta Cheese, croutons and salad dressing and he more than willing to enjoy dinner tonight!

Here is what you need:

Romain or Iceberg lettuce (enough for 4), croutons, feta cheese, red onion, avocado, black olives, dressing, tomato and bacon bits. Of course you can delete from your salad you want to avoid and add things you do enjoy.

Step 1: Chop the salad into tiny bites. Hence the name, "chop salad." At first I thought, "What in the world is the point of chopping your salad!?" Let me tell you that having your salad chopped will greatly improve your salad going experience. Honestly! Imagine taking that perfect bite of salad where it's not just a bite of lettuce on your fork! Instead you have little pieces of lettuce, AND YOUR TOPPINGS in the SAME BITE! Trust me... you have got to try this, you may never go back.

Here is my nicely chopped salad in a bowl. I got an already mixed bag of salad that had carrots and a few extras.

Step 2: Chop your toppings: Red Onion

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Avocado right now! I am so into it and it is so good for you!

Step 3: Mix your toppings w/ your salad- add your feta, croutons, bacon bites, olives and dressing- Serve with some warm rolls (I have recently discovered Sister Schuberts rolls in the freezer section. I seriously ate about half the pan, ask my husband. They are divine!) and you are set to enjoy a delightful dining experience. *Keep any leftover toppings (including salad) you have to use as toppings for your open faced tacos tomorrow!

Here is Addie enjoying her first bite of Avocado. She truly loved it, but not as much as she loved the Feta cheese!
To add more protein to this meal try adding some: hard boiled eggs, chicken or beans! This would also be a great salad to have on a soup and salad night. Want some great soup ideas? Type "Soup" into the Search bar located at the top left corner of blogger. We have SEVERAL yummy recipes we can teach you how to make- step by step!

Meal Serves: 4
Cost of Meal: $8.00 (including toppings and rolls)
Cost per person: $2.00

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Night: Bubble Pizza

This is a family favorite and was very popular last time I posted this recipe. We have it when company comes over, when someone needs a meal brought to them or on my husband's pizza night of the week. It is so easy to make. When I cook, I like to cook- forget the recipe. This is one of those recipes that you can EASILY memorize for a night when you want to make something that is super easy and everyone loves!

Here is what you need:

Ingredients: 2 cups pizza cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand), browned sausage (you can also use pepperoni, hamburger or bacon), 1 jar of pizza sauce, 2 tubes buttermilk biscuits. *Note: I don't put veggies in this b/c my family doesn't like the veggies, but feel free to add whatever you would order on your own pizza.

Step #1: Brown and drain the meat.

Step #2: Cut the 2 tubes of biscuits into quarters.

Step #3: Put the biscuits into a bowl along with the jar of pizza sauce.

Step #4: Add the meat and any other toppings you may have.

Step #6: Mix it all together.

Step #7: Pour into a baking dish (ungreased).

Step #8: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step #9- No, I didn't forget the cheese! After baking for 20 minutes, take it out and add your cheese. Now pop it back in the over for 10 more minutes.

Now you are finished! This is so yummy it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

Cost of Meal- $5.00
Serves- 6 people
Cost per person- 75 cents per person

Pretty FRUGAL!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday: Kid Friendly Egg Salad with Crunchy Apples

I love, love, LOVE egg salad. It is one of those recipes that you usually have the ingredients for, but never think to make. Egg salad can be very versatile. You can add relish, sugar, green olives, pimentos, tomatoes etc. to make it your own.

Here is what you need for a basic egg salad for a family of four:

2 TB Mayo, 1 TB mustard, 8 eggs, salt and pepper, 1 tsp. dried dill

Step 1: Place eggs in water (enough to cover 1 inch over eggs). Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat until just simmering. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Place in a bowl of ice water to cool.

Step 2: Peel Eggs and chop. Some people divide the egg white from the egg yolk, but I just keep it all together. Anything to save a few minutes!
Step 3: Add 2 TB mayo, 1 TB mustard, salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Mix well.

Step 4: I mixed in some sliced green olives. It tasted great, kind of a sweet and salty egg salad.

Step 5: My 2 1/2 yr. old daughter, Addie, helped me make the egg salad and served herself some! She loved it! I didn't put green olives in her dish, and she didn't eat it on bread because she isn't into sandwiches quite yet. Having her just help me make it made her so much more interested in lunch and she wanted to eat it!

Step 6: Here is my sandwich topped w/ a tomato and some sliced apples.

Here is an adorable picture of my other daughter, Sophie, (11 mo.) eating some of the egg yolk. She loved it also! An important tip to remember with Egg Salad is that you can make a different type for everyone in your family just by using different mix-ins or changing the way you serve it!

Meal Serves 4
Cost of Meal: $2.00
Cost per person: $.50