Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan 10/25

Menu Plan

Monday: Gnocchi with Alfredo and broccoli
Gnocchi, flour, butter, milk, white cheeses, broccoli
Tuesday: Bean and Cheese Quesadillas with salad
Re fried Beans, shredded cheddar cheese, tortillas, butter, salad, dressing
Wednesday: Meatball Grinder Pizza w/ salad (something new we are gonna try I made a list of fun pizza ideas and this is the one hubby chose)
ground beef, crackers, egg, pizza crust: flour, water, sugar, yeast, salt; marinara sauce: garlic, basil, 35 oz peeled tomatoes, extra v. olive oil, salt & pepper, shredded Parmesan cheese, salad
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner with Fruit
Eggs, Bacon, toast, fruit
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Pasta, sauce, and Bread sticks with green beans
Pasta, Sauce, cheese, green beans, bread sticks: flour, water, sugar, yeast, salt, Parmesan, garlic salt, butter
Sunday: Family Dinner

Sunday, October 24, 2010

White Sicilian Pizza

I found this recipe on browneyedbaker and had to try it!

It was really good!! When I was younger my mom would make pizza without sauce for me... cuz sauce was yucky! Now I like it as long as it is smooth with no chunks in it and I still don't put very much! :) Oh and instead of tomato slices I just used pepperoni because we like our pepperoni pizza around here, and tomatoes...not so much!

The crust is thin and flaky almost like pie crust, you make it like you would a pie crust then add yeast with the water.


2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, chilled and cubed
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 tsp instant yeast

Preheat oven to the highest that it can go, mine was 525 degrees. Preheat your pizza stone with the oven if using a pizza stone.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender add the butter into the flour mixture and work it in until it resembles coarse sand. In a large measuring cup combine the water and yeast. Add water to flour and mix with a fork until evenly moistened.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and comes together. Split the dough into two equal balls and let them rest under a damp kitchen towel for 30 minutes.

If using a pizza stone, flour your pizza peal and shape the dough on that. If your just using a pizza pan then you can do it on parchment paper. Shape one piece of the dough into a 10 inch circle. Cook for 5 minutes. Repeat with the other piece of dough. I only made one pizza and froze the other dough (I froze it AFTER I cooked it for the 5 minutes, so now I'll just take it out of the freezer top it and put it in the oven for 5-10 mins!)

Take your crust out of the oven and brush with olive oil and top with cheeses, seasonings, and pepperoni, or whatever else you choose.


Olive Oil
Shredded Provolone
Shredded Mozzarella
Grated Romano
Garlic Powder
Dried Basil
Dried Oregano
Salt and pepper

Return to oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Mine only took 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tortilla Soup

My husband LOVES tortilla soup!

On our 1 month anniversary when we were first started dating I tried to make it for him from a recipe I found online. I, being the picky person I am, had never tried tortilla soup and didn't know what it was supposed taste like. It had very little flavor and had a bunch of big chunks of veggies in it. I didn't even taste it and my hubby politely thanked me and suggested we fix it up a bit :)

So when we were in Texas with his parents, we went to this restaurant where he likes it best and the following recipe is what we came up with!

Tortilla Soup

1 cup shredded/cubed chicken, previously cooked
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can white hominy
1 cup black beans
3 cups chicken broth
Cumin Powder
Chili Powder
Ground Cayenne pepper to taste (add more if you like it spicy!)
dash of garlic salt 
couple dashes of onion powder
1/4 cup sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese

Drain the cans of tomatoes and hominy and pour into a 3 or 4 qt pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken, black beans and chicken broth. Add in chili powder and cayenne pepper, I add quite a bit, just do it to the flavor that you want it. Just a dash or two of garlic salt and three dashes of onion powder... just add a little until it tastes good :) Take off of the heat and add the sour cream. Top with more sour cream (if you'd like), shredded cheddar cheese, and baked corn tortilla strips!

P.S. I eat it ALL except for the tomatoes! I really have come a long way with my picky-ness :)

Baked Corn Tortilla Strips

3 corn tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each tortilla in half, then into little strips. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, flipping half way through (I didn't time it so just check them, bake until crispy)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Plan 10/18

I make a menu for every week, which saves me time and money when grocery shopping! I started coupon-ing about a year and half ago and found that it doesn't really save money unless you have a plan for the things that you buy! I just wanted to share with you guys my menu plan for this week!

It is always horrible when you have a busy day (everyday!!) and 5 O'clock rolls around (or 6 O'clock!!) and you realize you should have started dinner already, or at least thought of what you want to make. Having a menu plan gets rid of the stress of moments like that.

It'll keep you from picking something up from a fast food restaurant, starting something and realizing you don't have some of the ingredients you need, or, if your like us, eating cereal for dinner!

This week the menu is as follows:

Monday: Grilled cheese Sandwiches with Chicken Alfredo Soup (Campbell's :) )
Bread, butter, cheddar cheese, 2 cans of Chicken Alfredo Soup
Tuesday: Bacon Potato Torte with Broccoli
2 pie Crusts: flour, salt, 2 sticks butter, water; Potatoes, Bacon, half & half, cheese, salt & pepper, egg, Broccoli
Wednesday: Leftovers (Hubby has to work until 9 pm)
Thursday: Tortilla Soup* with corn bread
Shredded Chicken, diced tomatoes, Hominy, Cheese, chicken broth, Black beans, sour cream, corn tortilla strips, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, onion powder, butter, sugar, 3 eggs, milk, flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas* (leftover corn bread)
Tortillas, shredded chicken, cheese, green enchilada sauce, cream of chicken soup, sour cream
Saturday: White Sicilian Pizza* with salad
Dough: Flour, sugar, salt, butter, water, yeast; olive oil, shredded provolone, mozzarella, grated Romano, garlic powder, basil, oregano, garlic cloves, slat & pepper, pepperoni, salad, dressing
Sunday: Family Dinner

(Every Sunday we have "family" dinner, with people who are all family... except for us... well not technically anyways, but lucky for us they've adopted us!)
*Recipes to be posted, if I in fact get around to making them! :)

The Menu Plan is not a no fail plan, but it definitely helps things run smoother. Some days we don't get home with enough time to make what is planned (or I just don't feel like it!) so we throw something quick and easy together. I assign days to meals but usually depending on how the day goes and how much time I have I switch it up, but I know that I have all of the ingredients for all of those meals!

What I do is look through my pantry to see what I have, look through the grocery store sales- pretty much I only go to Publix cuz it is awesome! (I use and for easy deal hunting, they do all of the work, it's great! ) Then start thinking of meals I can make with things I have on hand or that I can get the ingredients for cheap.

I keep my pantry well stocked with things that I know I am going to use by getting about 3-6 weeks worth of that item when it goes on sale, depending on how many coupons I have for it.

I write my menu plan in my notebook (yes, I'm THAT kind of person, you know, the kind that has like a bazillion notebooks- ok so only 3 5 subject ones right now, but I pretty much write everything down and make list after list to keep organized!)
I write down the full meal I want to make, then on the next line write all of the ingredients I'm going to need (shown above!) I then go through all of the ingredients and write down at the bottom of the page a grocery list!

This week all I have to get is a can of Hominy! Two of the meals were supposed to be made last week, but things got a little crazy because my baby girl either got the measles or had a really bad reaction to her MMR shot :( ! So I already have a lot of the ingredients that I needed. Life is Crazy all on it's own, might as well try to be prepared for the things we can be!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nourish the Children

As I have mentioned before, I am a distributor for Nu Skin Enterprise. We have a program called Nourish the Children that is feeding starving and malnourished children around the world.

It is simple to buy a VitaMeal for donation. When you purchase and donate VitaMeal through Nourish the Children, ownership will be transferred to reputable humanitarian agencies to distribute the food to important projects around the world. US distributors and customers can also purchase VitaMeal to donate to their favorite US charity, soup kitchen, or project. This is a great way to address hunger at the local level. One bag of VitaMeal feeds a malnourished child for one month and only costs $22 per bag.

We not only create these meals to donate, but we also go to some of the poorest countries and teach them to be more self sufficient. It truly is an amazing program that I encourage you to read more about it by going to

I would really appreciate it if you could help me get the word out so we can reach our goal to exceed 200 million donated meals by the end of 2010!!

Nu Skin is an anti aging, skincare, and nutrition company. "Nourish the Children may be 5 percent of what we do, but it is 95 percent of who we are"-Blake Roney, NuSkin Chairman of the Board.
"We are deeply troubled that every day children around the world are dying from malnutrition. Nourish the Children unites Nu Skin with our extensive worldwide distributor force in nourishing the world's hungry children. Our joint mission is to be a powerful force in saving children's lives.".

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were really good!! The texture is like the texture of these Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies but a little more dense.I have to admit that pumpkin scares me a little! I think it kinda smells funny. I have never tried pumpkin pie, and every time I almost convince myself to try it, I take a look at it and decide against it... I'm crazy I know! When I was working in Spanish Fork someone brought some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in to work... I tried one... and LOVED it!! No weird looking pumpkin goo made it a little easier to swallow! :)

I found this recipe on and the only thing I did different was use chocolate chips instead of butterscotch.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a small bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In an electric mixer bowl mix the eggs and sugar on medium high speed for about a minute until it is light in color and smooth

Add in the oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Mix until combined well.

On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
Scoop some dough and plop it onto the cookie sheet, doesn't have to look perfect... they are not the prettiest cookies. I used a small cookie scoop, I probably should have made them a little bigger, but oh well! Space them a few inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes if you make them small or if they are a little bigger then for about 12-13 minutes turning halfway through the cook time. They are done when the tops feel firm and don't sink in when you poke them. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5+ minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Easy Creamy Pasta

I don't usually do a lot of pasta unless it is this simple skillet lasagna or daddy's mac and cheese, mainly because when we were in Provo (and DIRT poor) it was pretty much all we ate! I got so sick of it! I really do love pasta though, you can do so many different things with it and it can make lots of quick and easy meals!!

I found this recipe on and it was really tasty!

Easy Creamy Pasta

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half (the recipe calls for heavy cream and I would still use that if you have it I just didn't have any on hand)
8 oz linguine (I used fettuccine, again just because it is what I had)
1 cup shredded chicken
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup peas
1 cup grated Parmesan (fresh would be best)

Put the chicken broth and heavy cream into a medium sauce pan and bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium/low heat. Let it simmer down until it reduces to about half (mine never thickened up much so I added some flour mixed with cold water to help it out a little) For the bacon I put it onto 2 paper towels on a microwave safe dish and cooked it for 2 1/2 minutes (thank you to my good friend Maricela for instructions on how to do bacon in the Microwave... turned out perfect!!) Then add Parmesan, peas, chicken, and bacon bits.

Poor over Pasta to serve!
For the pasta, just bring a large pot of water, salt and a little bit of oil to boil. Once boiling add the pasta and stir. If you are using fettuccine cook for 11-12 minutes, linguine will take about 8-10 mins. The pasta is supposed to be al dente, I usually cook it for a little longer because I don't like my pasta firm at all, if you are like me, just add a couple of minutes to the cook time.
Serve with some Garlic bread and you have a really quick and yummy meal!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I wrote this recipe down a long time ago and don't remember where I got it!

They turned out pretty good, but I think I'm gonna stick with store bought ones for now! :)

Flour Tortillas

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp salt

5 TBS shortening or lard

3/4 cup warm water

I used the whisk attachment on my kitchen aid for the beginning of the recipe then I used the dough hook. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and mix until mixture is uniformly crumbly. While mixing slowly stream in the water, until the dry ingredients form a ball. Knead for 30 seconds; it should clean the sides of the bowl. It should be soft, not sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Divide into golf ball sized (2 oz each... I just guessed... and didn't do a great job hehe) I made some bigger ones for burritos too. Cover with a kitchen towel and let them rest for about 10 minutes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium/high heat.

Sprinkle your surfaces with a little bit of flour and also dust the top of your ball with flour. Roll balls into thin rounds with a rolling pin (will require some arm muscles!! My arms got so tired by the end… but I’m pretty weak so that’s not really saying much)

Lay tortilla flat in the heated pan and cook on each side for about 20 seconds until the bubbles areas are browned.

Keep the cooked tortillas covered with a towel to keep them warm and pliable. Eat them while they are still warm!

On the burrito I put a little bit of leftover Chili Meat, Homemade refried beans, cheese, some hot sauce and served with sour cream, they were delicious!!