This weekend I decided to cook a 23 pound turkey that I've had in the freezer for a while. I knew that I had evening activities every night this week and would have to rely on precooked items, so I figured turkey would fit the bill. We had a traditional turkey dinner today, which was wonderful! I also made turkey soup and turkey club pie. In addition to that, I have about 4 bags of cooked turkey ready to go in the freezer for future dinners. It's amazing how you can make one turkey stretch so far!

My poor son caught the flu and missed school all week. He also missed his last band competition, which was very sad. Luckily, his fever is finally down today, so life should return to normal. He even helped me with our annual apple pie baking marathon. Our neighbors were very pleased to see us at their doors today. :)

I also managed to do a little fall decorating around the house.

Here's this week's turkey-themed menu. For more menu ideas, go to Have a great week, and enjoy!

Monday - Turkey Club Pie, Salad, Peaches
Tuesday - Comforting Turkey Soup, Salad, Garlic Muffins
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - Eat out (last band performance at football game)
Friday - Pepperoni Sticks, Salad
Saturday - Eat at Halloween party
This is a fun one for Halloween parties.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced fat or fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup chopped turkey pepperoni
1/4 cup Alfredo sauce, divided
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1 pitted black olive, cut lengthwise in half
Ritz Crackers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

MIX first 3 ingredients; stir in 2 Tbsp. Alfredo sauce. Spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate. Top with spaghetti sauce.

SPOON remaining Alfredo sauce into resealable plastic bag. Cut small corner off bottom; drizzle in spiral design over spaghetti sauce. Pull toothpick through sauce to resemble spider web.

BAKE 20 min. Add 1 olive half for the spider's body. Cut remaining olive half for the spider's legs. Serve with crackers.

Recipe Source - Ritz Crackers
Note: If you make this with packaged pizza crust mix, you will need to use two packages (I've used just the cheap Wal Mart brand before).


1 batch of pizza dough (you can use this recipe or just use a packaged mix)
8 mozzarella string cheese sticks (2% milk kind), cut in half
32 slices turkey pepperoni
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 t parmesan cheese
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t Italian seasoning
Pizza sauce (for dipping)


1. Make pizza dough according to recipe directions (or package directions if you are using a mix).

2. On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle. Cut into 16 squares. At the edge of each square, place one piece of mozzarella and two pieces of pepperoni. Roll up and tuck in sides. Be sure to seal well to cut down on cheese melting out during the baking process. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until done.

3. Brush melted butter or margarine over each mini bread stick. Combine the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Recipe modified from Cooking During Stolen Moments

The fall activities continue, so this week I'm relying on lots of casseroles to get us through the week. I have computer training, the boy has the usual band and cross country stuff, and we have family pictures this week. We have the last of the band competitions this weekend, so hopefully things will start to slow down a bit. Here's the menu for the week. For more menu ideas, see Sorry for the short post, but I'm going to try to hit the sack early tonight. ;) Have a great week!

Sunday - Pork Chop Potato Casserole, Basil Green Beans
Monday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, Salad
Tuesday - Lasagna (from freezer), Salad
Wednesday - Leftovers (we have family photos this evening if it doesn't rain)
Thursday - Turkey Club Pie, Salad, Peaches
Friday - Chicken Alfredo (yes, I'm using a frozen one from Stouffers), Broccoli, Salad
Saturday - Eat out (band competition)

Saturday morning my dogs started barking in the yard. I just assumed they were barking at the coyotes like usual, but when I looked out the back, here's what I saw!

How cool is that? A balloon in our backyard! It was looking for a place to land, and ended up landing in our neighbor's yard. You just never know what you're going to see out our back window. :) I love living in a rural area.

Later that day we went to Corey's marching band contest. We only have two more weeks to go until marching season is pretty much over (other than a couple of parades). His last cross country meet is also this week. So, hopefully more sleep will soon be in our future. Here's a picture of him marching and playing his mellophone. Pretty handsome! ;)

Our meals were pretty good this week. The only new recipe was the homemade beefaroni, which was easy to make and tasted pretty good. It was a good way for me to use up some partial boxes of misc. noodles. We have lots of activities going on this week, so I'm relying on some easy staples. The weather has also gotten a bit cooler, so you will see stew and chili on the menu this week. :) For more menu ideas, go to Enjoy!

Sunday - Beef Stew
Monday - Bourbon Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, Salad
Tuesday - Chili & Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Salad
Wednesday - Crockpot Golden Mushroom Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Homemade Pizza, Salad
Saturday - Eat out (band competition)
When my husband I got married, we both had different ideas about what made beef stew. My mother made a tomato sauce-based stew, and his mother made a gravy-based stew. Neither person had a recipe, so I had to come up with my own that we would both like. We are pretty simple eaters, so you won't see anything too exciting here, but this is a really great stew that doesn't take all day to make. It's really wonderful served in a bread bowl on cold days. :)


1 pound beef stew meat, cubed
6 cups water
1/4 t marjoram
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (feel free to use more carrots if you like them)
1 bag green beans (or 1 can)
1/3 cup flour
1 cup water
salt and pepper


Brown the stew meat in a large stock pot. Add the 6 cups of water, marjoram, thyme, pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover pot and heat until vegetables are cooked through (20-30 minutes). Whisk together the flour and water and add to pot to thicken the gravy. Add in the green beans and cook until heated through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Fall is definitely arriving in the Ozarks! The leaves are starting to change color and cooler temperatures are upon us (it didn't even make it to 60 degrees today!). We have officially entered fall contest season for school activities as well. Corey had his first math contest and his first high school marching band contest this weekend. He also had a cross country meet, but couldn't be a three places at once.

Cooking my meals on Sunday saved me again last week. It was so nice to come home each evening knowing that all my meals were cooked and we just had to heat them up. All three new recipes from last week were outstanding! If you are looking for a new soup to try, be sure to check out the sausage potato soup. It was delicious! The turkey club pie and the meatball pops were also very well received by my family and will make it into the regular rotation. I also made some very yummy cookies and cream pudding.

Here is the menu for this week. The homemade beefaroni is the only new recipe, so I will post pictures later in the week. I'm also going to make a new cake that my mom made for me a couple of weeks ago. This chocolate cream cheese tunnel cake is amazing! It reminds me a lot of black bottom cupcakes. For more menu ideas, go to Have a great week, and enjoy the menu!

Sunday - Lemon Thyme Chicken, Rice, Spinach
Monday - Homemade Beefaroni, Green Beans, Salad, Applesauce
Tuesday - Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy (Jenni-O makes one you take right from the freezer and cook in the oven), Day Before Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Salad
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Mexican Gumbo, Salad
Friday - Out to eat (football game)
Saturday - Out to eat (band contest)

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix

1 cup powdered sugar
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan. Beat 2 pkg. cream cheese, the granulated sugar, egg and 1 tsp. of the vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended; set aside.

Prepare cake batter as directed on pkg.; pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture in ring around center of cake batter; cover with remaining cake batter.

Bake 45 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 min. Loosen cake from side of pan; invert onto serving platter. Cool completely.

Beat remaining 1 tsp. vanilla, the powdered sugar, 2 oz. cream cheese and the milk with wire whisk until well blended. Drizzle over cake. Let stand until set.

To make cupcakes instead, line 24 medium muffin cups with paper liners. Prepare cake batter and cream cheese mixture as directed. Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into each cup; top with 1 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture and an additional 1/4 cup cake batter. Bake 20 to 22 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 10 min. Remove from pans. Makes 24 servings, 1 cupcake each.

Recipe Source - Kraft
I had a lot of leftover pasta, so I used it to make this recipe instead of using noodles that look like beefaroni noodles. This really does taste very similar to the canned beefaroni. :)

1 lb. ground beef
2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. water
1 T. sugar
1 t. each garlic powder, salt and Italian seasoning
1/4 t. black pepper
1 lb. cooked pasta (Barilla piccolini ziti is closest in shape to traditional beefaroni noodles - I used Ronzoni Smart Taste elbows)

1. Brown ground beef in a sauce pan and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Simmer for about 10 minutes, to let the flavors combine.
2. Stir in the pasta until coated.

Recipe Source - Cooking During Stolen Moments