Menu Plan Monday and a Blogiversary Giveaway

December 31st was my 1 year "blogiversary"! I posted my very first menu online on December 31, 2007, and believe it or not, I only missed one week of menu posting when we were on vacation in Wyoming. That's quite an accomplishment for me. I often get excited about new things, go gung-ho for a bit, and then I tend to fizzle out. But, I really enjoy sharing my menus and recipes with others and know that several of my teacher buddies use them, so I don't want to let them down. :) It's great accountibility when you know that others are relying on you.
In celebration of my "blogiversary", I have decided to do a giveaway for my readers. If you read my blog, you know that in addition to cooking, I love to sew. Thanks to my blog friend Shawnee (whom I met through Menu Plan Monday, btw), I'm kind of an apron junkie and have enjoyed participating in several apron swaps throughout the year. Because aprons and cooking go hand in hand, I'm giving away an apron handmade by me. :) To enter my apron giveaway, write a comment on this post telling me your favorite recipe that you have found on my blog, or share a favorite recipe of yours (I love getting new ideas). If you have a Blogger blog, you can enter a second time by adding yourself as a follower of my blog (be sure to post a comment letting me know that did that). If you don't have a Blogger blog, you can enter a second time by posting about my giveaway on your blog (again, be sure to comment to let me know that you did this). I will select a winner by random drawing and will post the winner on my blog next Sunday night (Jan. 11). The deadline to enter is 11:oo p.m. central time on January 10. The giveaway is for those in the continental U.S. only (sorry, shipping out of the country just costs too much). Yes, I know it's shameless self-promotion, but hey, who doesn't like the chance to win something? ;)
Anyway, now on to the menu for this week. I have a couple of new recipes I'm trying this week, including one that can be a freezer recipe. For more menu ideas, check out
Sunday - Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese (new), Salad
Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Creamy Chicken Breasts (new), Rice, Green Beans
Wednesday - Comforting Chicken Soup, Rolls (from freezer), Salad
Thursday - Garlic Toasted Open Faced Lasagna Ciabattas, Salad
Friday - Grilled Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Peaches
Saturday - Balsamic Glazed Tuna Steaks (new), Basil Sesame Green Beans (new - recipe coming soon), Accordian Potatoes


Karen said...

I just made your Breakfast Bake for dinner tonite (or late supper) was yummy for me and the stragglers wuiil eat in a few minutes! I am also 'following' you now. Great giveaway...and Happy New Year!

Jen Sue Wild said...

I have seen menu plan Monday I have just never done it. Maybe this year will be my year at giving it a try since my year goal is to be a fabulous cook.

Congrats at sticking with this blog
thing for a year!!
BTW your blog is really cute i am glad you are hosting a give a way so I could find you!!

Anonymous said...

My favorite recipe of yours is the Better than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce. The sauce is fool-proof and so easy to make. My daughter calls them her "white noodles".
Thanks for the great blog and the great recipes.
I dont know how you juggle so many things and do everything so well. I wish I could!!

DeAnna Sheets said...

My favorite recipe is your chicken enchiladas. Congratulations on doing the blog for a whole year and not just starting it but continuning to menu plan Monday every week. I am excited about this giveaway. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love giveaways AND I love your aprons! :) My favorite recipe is the sausage and stuffing braid. So tasty!

Lisa Detig

Kelly N said...

I made your lasagna ciabattas (sp can't look at the recipe right now, lol) back when you posted it in August and loved it! Keep posting recipes. I love this!

Yarni Gras! said...

I haven't tried your recipes yet but I will!
here is one of my favorite recipes for a busy day. I made it up one day when I didn't have anything to 'make' and the kids LOVE it.
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken , trimmed of visible fat, cut into large chunks.
1 lb. beef sausage cut into large chunks (you can use other types of sausage too.)
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 small can sliced mushrooms
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
a tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar
Salt, pepper,
olive oil

Heat olive oil, add onion and bell pepper and saute until translucent.
Add chicken, sausage and garlic, cook covered 10 minutes...stir often to brown meat on all sides.
Do NOT strain off fat…it adds shouldn’t have much anyway.
Add mushrooms and canned tomatoes, stir well.
Cover and cook another 20-30 minutes on med to med high heat until meats are done.

Serve with penne pasta.

Jessie Keating said...


I love the Chewy Oatmeal Cookies recipe! Congrats on one year!

Janelle said...

I'm going to try the bruschetta 'n cheese stuffed chicken breasts - with the $1.19/lb. chicken breasts I got last night. Woohoo!

Thanks for the giveaway chance and congratulations on your blog anniversary! :)

Janelle said...

I'm a subscriber on Google Reader! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary!

I enjoy making chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken. I actually made a batch tonight, because we ate up our leftovers today, and I didn't have anything for lunch tomorrow!

Chicken Noodle Soup:
Cook 1 onion and 1 tbps butter 5 min.
Add celery, carrots, and some chicken broth. Cook 15 min.
Add cooked, cut up chicken (1-2 cups), 4 oz uncooked linguine, pepper, and remaining chicken broth (I use a 32 oz box for this recipe). Cook 25-30 min.

Have a lovely week!


Teresa said...

Just added as a follower!! Love your giveaway!! :)

Teresa said...

I just started reading your blog... but you've inspired me to really plan out my meals. I love to cook and I am always looking for new recipes. I can't wait to read more and try some of the yummy things I've seen so far!! :)

The Family of Three said...

I am so excited to have found your blog! And I'm in love with your shepherds pie. I have been looking for a really good recipe with a picture and I just may have found it!!! And I added myself as a follower so I can (try) to keep up on meal planning. It's rough! Thanks and happy Monday.

Marlene said...

I will be trying the Chinese Lemon Chicken. My husband and I both work so chicken (our staple protein) in a crock pot recipes work well for us. I really like the Menu Monday concept and may have to incorporate this into our lives. I am now an official follower of your blog and fellow Apronista!

Anonymous said...

Holy moley does everything look delicious! You have my mouth watering!

Have a great week,


sisjulie1 said...

My favorite recipe is for the Best-ever-Blondies. I double the recipe since I have 3 kids and they can inhale a small version. The giveaway sounds fun. Congratulations on one year.

sisjulie1 said...

I've been subscribing in google reader since METC last year, but now I'm a follower too!

Corisimo Capucci said...

Lime! Soooo cute!

Unknown said...

I love reading your blog. My favorite recipe from Menu Plan Monday is Brown Sugar Chicken in the crock pot. Not sure if it is yours but I sure appreciate your menus.

Anonymous said...

Your recipes sound delish! I'm adding you to my blog list of favorites! :)

And I posted on my blog about your giveaway!

debhmom3 said...

Oh, can I come for dinner on Friday? I love those hot dogs!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Yummy looking menu!!
Congratulations on your anniversary!! Thank you for hosting a giveaway! I love sweets especially chocolate!! so the brownie lollipops sound absolutely scrumptious!!

Unknown said...

Chinese Lemon Chicken is my favorite recipe you have posted ! Yummy stuff ! I appreciate that your menu are fairly healthy and also normal ! I never have to make a special trip to the store to try something you've posted ! And I love aprons too ! :-) I have a Winnie the Pooh and a pampered Chef denim one !

Lora @ my blessed life said...

I'm new to your blog--found you on MPM. And I'm thinking that everything on your menu this week just might be my faves!:) It all looks so good. I am definitely trying those hot dogs--I mean, grilled hot dogs AND bacon?!?!! How yummy!

BTW, I am also hosting a giveaway for my 1 yr blog-o-versary, too, so drop on by!

Jenny said...

Well I can't pick a recipe yet as I only just found your site through the Menu Plan Mondays, which I've just started doing today. A few things look good though, so I will have to try something.
Happy Blogaversary, btw!

Shawnee said...

I have had so much fun following this blog and having you involved in my swaps!! I've tried several of your recipes but cannot name a favorite. If you want a new recipes, try my Crockpot Taco Chicken. Here it is set up for freezing first:

Crockpot Taco Chicken
For each recipe, label a one-gallon freezer bag and fill with the following:

3-1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green chiles (small can)
3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (handmade, bulk or one small packet)
1 teaspoon cumin

Rinse two pounds of boneless/skinless chicken thighs and add to bag. Massage bag to combine ingredients well. Squeeze all possible air from bag, seal and freeze.

To Cook: Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Place contents of bag into crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours/high for 3-4 hours, or until meat shreds easily.

Serving Suggestion: Heated tortillas with assorted toppings: shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, diced onions, olives. Also a great tostada filling or topping for taco salad.

MrsCoach said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary!! You were an inspiration in the birth of my blog this Jan 1st. What fun I'm having! I'm making Creamy Chicken on Wednesday...too funny! Your Cheeseburger mac n cheese sounds delicious! I'm going to have to try it soon. My favorite dish of yours has to be cheeseburger pasta...I absolutely LOVE it!! See a trend here? You have so many great recipes that I share with my readers (which at the moment are pretty much my personal friends until I start "getting out there"!) They love your dishes, too. And...I love the aprons! My daughter and I have two sets of matching Jesse Steele ones, but yours are much more adorable and hip! Congrats again and "Best Dishes"!

MrsCoach said...

Just figured out how to become a follower...and I'm all signed up!

Anonymous said...

I love the Strawberry Dream Cake recipe


Guy and Julie said...

I have tried so many of your recipes and love them all. Hands down, my favorite is the chicken enchilada soup. I've made it several times for company and they always want the recipe--so I send them your way! I also loved the Bacon Cheese Pullaparts for breakfast! Thanks for doing the giveaway!

Mommyhood is Thankless said...

My mouth was watering looking at your Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese, I love that you include freezing directions!


Jean said...

I actually think I'm going to try those bacon stuffed hot dogs. They sound fantastic and different than just plain hot dogs.

Anonymous said...

My favorite recipe of yours is the broccoli cauliflower salad. I have some in the frig right now. I am trying to lose weight and that salad has been so helpful! I can eat a LOT of food for very little calories. It is SOOOOOO super nummy and so healthy. Thank you so much!

soldierdeb said...

the cheesey beer bread looks yummy!

annies home said...

i just found your blog but looks very interesting and the one recipe I found so far that I had been looking for is the porcupine meatballs

annies home said...

I am following you and just subscribed to google reader through you

Renee said...

I saw your web address on apronista. I don't make aprons (YET) But I sure love to wear them!! Mine are getting kind of ratty looking so I would love to get one from your give away!! I am intrigued by your better than olive garden alfredo sauce. It is definitely going on my list of things to make!! I love to cook and with a large family, I get LOTS of practice. Thanks lots. Renee

Anonymous said...

I for one am very glad that you didn't "fizzle" out with this blog. I check your site every week to see what's for dinner. I also enjoy seeing your apron creations. Here's to another year!

Carla said...

Love the pork medallions. I'm also a follower. Hubby just got out of hospital and I need to find a different menu. Congrats on the year.


I have to say the *Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Hot dogs sound Amazing!

My DD plays Fastpitch Softball & Most of the Year we "live" at the ball park! I am Really going to make everyone jealous this spring season, when I show up with these "hot dogs"!!

All these YummY Recipes! I will definately become a Follower of your blog:D

Three Prince Designs said...

I just started following your blog when I saw about the apron contest and wanted to say what a great idea!!

One of my favorite quick recipes is putting chicken breasts or tenderlions in the crockpot and 2 cans of sauce and let cook all day on low. The last 30 minutes break up the chicken( it should fall apart) and add a bag of egg noodles. Super easy and yummy!

Anonymous said...

Ok wow I've never been here before but a friend sent me and I must say what a cute blog. I'll have to definately add you to my blogroll. I always need supper ideas and as a busy wife and mother of 3 kids, some days it's tough to figure out. Yay! I also found Hot Artichoke Dip recipe here. Thanks. I love that stuff!

Carolyn G said...

I want to try you blasamic tuna that you have on SUnday. YUMMO!

THanks for the giveaway!

NadineC said...

Cynthia - I snapped up your Lasagna Ciabattas recipe because it sounded so quick and easy for a weeknight dinner, and it was delicious! I also added myself as a Follower on your blog.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I am so excited! I "re-found" you two days ago and have made my menu for the month, mostly from your site! My families favorite recipe is Sausage Pasta. It is: 1 lb of roll of cooked sausage (Jimmy Dean), 1 large can of tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, 1 pint of heavy cream, combined and served over noodles. (Like Spaghetti, but easier and tastes better!)

Paula said...

Found you through the Flirty Apron Swap blog. I'm a menu planner also, though I've not blogged about it. Going to have to check out your menu's.
Congrat's on your blogoversary and please enter me into your apron giveaway!

Canadian Princess said...

My favourite recipe is the Butter Pecan Coconut Cake...I love pecans and coconut and loved this cake! Thanks for all the recipes.
Sarah P

Anonymous said...

I just started following your blog in December. I got the chance to make your Porcupine Beef Meat Balls, my children loved them. I would love to win the giveaway. Thank you


Tracy said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I found your blog through Facebook and was so excited to find the menus. How fun! I also followed your new apron creations at Christmas. We had a potluck at my school and were supposed to wear aprons to serve and I don't even own one!! How sad! Thanks for the great ideas for family meals!