The grocery money is getting low for this month, so this week I'm trying to use what we have around the house to make our meals. I don't have a lot in the freezer right now, so our meals might be a bit odd for June. For example, I did have a turkey in the freezer (I tend to buy a couple extras during holiday times when they are cheap), so we'll be having turkey dinner one night and lots of turkey sandwiches for lunches. I did make a new cake recipe this week that was delicious (thanks, Debbie!). For more menu ideas, check out Have a great week!
Sunday - out to eat (son at a friend's house)
Monday - Turkey dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans)
Tuesday - Manicotti with cheese, salad
Wednesday - Pork roast with gravy, rice, broccoli (used some of the roast I made the BBQ with last week)
Thursday - Voodoo Pasta, Peaches, Salad
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - on the road to NECC (friends staying at our homestead while we're gone)

Don't let the title of this cake fool you. I personally don't care for desserts with nuts or coconut, so if I read the title, I probably wouldn't even try this cake. But, my friend Debbie made it for our church book club this month, and it was awesome! My husband described it as "blondies in cake form", which is a pretty good description. It doesn't have any nuts in it, and the coconut part comes from the pudding. It is a moist, flavorful cake. I think next time I make it, I'm going to add a bit of Amaretto to it. :)

1 box butter pecan cake mix
1 3 oz box coconut cream pudding mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil (I use ¼ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce)
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Mix all ingredients together in mixer for about 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in oven for 45 minutes or until center is set.

We had a good time this past week. My computer workshops went well, and the Skillet concert was amazing. We went swimming at my parents' house on Saturday, and today the boys went rock climbing while I worked on eMINTS lesson plans for the coming week. I made my first messenger bag this week which I am very proud of, and I hope to make another one this week. The boy goes to band camp this week, so it's just me and the hubby. I hope you enjoy the menu. For meal plan ideas, check out

Sunday - Filets, Sour Cream and Chive Stuffed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Salad
Monday - Pasta Carbonara (didn't get to it last week), Broccoli, Salad
Tuesday - Orange-Pepper Chicken, Rice, Strawberries
Wednesday - Red Beans and Rice with Sausage (box of Zatarans low sodium and low fat smoked sausage - super simple), Peaches
Thursday - Fusilli with Shrimp and Spinach, Salad
Friday - Boys will be eating hot dogs and beans; I have book club
Saturday - BBQ Pork Sandwiches (I cook a pork butt roast in the crockpot overnight, shred it and pour in a bottle of BBQ sauce, and then let it cook again all day), French Fries, Green Beans
I know this has nothing to do with dinner, but I really wanted to share my new crafty activity. I branched out from apron sewing and made my first bag! I was "sew" excited about this project. I made my first zipper pocket ever, and the bag is fully lined. I am very proud of how it turned out. I hope you enjoy the pictures.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups orange juice
1 cup chopped celery
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
4 t dried minced onion
1 T minced fresh parsley or 1 t dried parsley
1/4 t pepper

3 T cornstarch
3 T cold water

Combine first 7 ingredients in a 3-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat juice run clear.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into cooking liquid. Cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until thickened. Serve with rice.

Recipe source: Taste of Home

So far this summer I have participated in two summer apron swaps: The Sassy Apron Swap and The Flirty Apron Swap. I have really enjoyed sewing again, and it is "sew" fun to make these surprise gifts for someone else. It's kind of like having a secret pal that lives far away that you don't know. :) Of course, it's also fun to receive a package as well! Here are some pictures of the aprons I made and the aprons I received. Enjoy!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Powered by BubbleShare

1 pound extra lean ground beef (93/7)
1 (10 ounce) can Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) can no sodium added tomato sauce
1 can Pillsbury Grands Jr. Golden Layers Flaky Biscuits
1 cup reduced fat 2% milk sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and drain if needed. Mix in a can of enchilada sauce and can of tomato sauce. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture. Pour it all in a greased casserole and bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8 at 6 WW points each

Last week's meals were wonderful. I enjoyed getting to eat so many fish dishes. :) The Padre Island Shells were wonderfuly flavorful, and my own recipe for Mexican Gumbo was outstanding. This week is a full one for us, like usual. I am teaching computer workshops almost every week this summer all day long (just finished my first week with my awesome new eMINTS4All group last week), so that makes my summer meal planning a bit more challenging than usual. Corey still has tennis and scouts this week, plus he's helping me with my computer workshops since I have very large numbers signed up for this week's classes. We are going to a Skillet concert on Friday, which is also my 16th wedding anniversary (Love you, Honey!). Here's what's on tap for this week. For more meal plans, go to

Sunday - Ultimate BBQ Chicken, Green beans, Strawberries
Monday - Macaroni and Tuna, Brussels Sprouts, Applesauce
Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas, Corn, Strawberries
Wednesday - Bubble Up Enchiladas, Salad, Peaches
Thursday - Pasta Carbonara, Broccoli, Mandarin Oranges
Friday - Out to eat (anniversary and concert - woo hoo!)
Saturday - Manicotti with Cheese, Salad, Strawberries

This is my take on a favorite from Qdoba. It is awesome and very filling!


For soup:
4 cups chicken broth
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
4 14.5 oz cans Hunt's Fire Roasted Tomatoes
½ cup chopped onion
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 cup fresh salsa
1 cup water
3 T masa flour

Other ingredients:
2 cups cooked rice (I use brown rice for added fiber)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-4 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
shredded cheddar jack cheese ( I use 2% kind)
pico de gallo
sour cream (I use fat free)
tortilla strips or tortilla chips (optional - I leave them off my portion for calorie reasons)


To make the soup:
In a large stock pot mix the chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, green chiles, and tomatoes. Add the the onion, chipotles, and salsa. Use an imersion blender to mix to a semi-smooth texture. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Whisk together the masa and water in a small bowl and add to the pot. Simmer for 30 more minutes.

To serve gumbo:
Layer the ingredients in each person's bowl as follows:
1/2 cup rice, 1/4 cup black beans, about 1 cup of soup (or more if you like)
Top with cooked grilled chicken, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and tortilla strips (optional)

Eat and enjoy!

The nutritional information below is for the soup. You will need to add additional calories, etc. for the specific items and portions you add to your bowl.

1 pound lean pork tenderloin, use one whole loin
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium garlic clove(s), crushed
2 Tbsp rosemary, fresh
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper

Place pork on a large sheet of plastic wrap. In a small bowl, mix together oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, crushing rosemary slightly with a spoon as you mix; spread mixture over pork, covering entire surface. Wrap loin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (and up to overnight).

Prepare grill for medium-hot indirect cooking or preheat oven to 425°F.

Remove plastic wrap and place pork on grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F, about 25 minutes. Or indoors, place tenderloin in a shallow roasting pan and roast until internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 35 minutes. (Note: Pork loin can be pink and juicy inside and be fully cooked, but it is important that the internal temperature be at least 160°F.)

Remove pork from grill or oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe from Weight Watchers (5 points; makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 large tomato, peeled andchopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1-1/4 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
3-1/2 cup medium shell pasta,cooked and drained
1 pound imitation crabmeat, flaked
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

In a large saucepan, saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in flour and salt until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tomato and parsley.

Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup of cheese until melted. Stir in pasta and crab. Transfer to a greased shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Melt the remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes longer until golden brown.

Recipe from Taste of Home

School's out for the summer! Well, for me, not really because I start teaching new eMINTS classes (those are the computer classes I teach) on Monday. But, it still sounds good. :-) Last week's meals were great, especially the grilled bacon-wrapped hot dogs. I will be keeping those on the summer menu. This week, the boy went to his grandparents' house so he wouldn't have to stay home by himself. He's been running a fever all weekend, and I really didn't want him to have to suffer at home alone while his dad was at work and I was teaching. Thank heaven for grandmas. :) Because the boy won't be here for meals, you will see a theme in this week's menu. I get to cook things that he won't eat! So, you will see lots of seafood on the plan. I hope you enjoy! For other meal plan ideas, check out

Sunday - Mexican Gumbo, Salad, Strawberries

Monday - Shrimp Fra Diavolo (didn't get to it last week), Salad

Tuesday - Honey Dijon Salmon and Asparagus

Wednesday - Padre Island Shells, Salad, Peaches

Thursday - Rosemary and Garlic Pork Loin, Brussels Sprouts, Salad, Mandarin Oranges

Friday - Out with family

Saturday - Burgers on the Grill, French Fries, Strawberries