Menu Plan Monday - Blogiversary Giveaway!

It's hard for me to believe, but today is my two-year "blogiversary"! On December 27, 2007, I set up this blog and posted my first post. On the 31st of that same year, I posted my first menu plan. During the two years that followed I posted 414 posts and 102 menus (not counting this one)! I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with myself for sticking with my blog. It has definitely become a joke in our family. I get teased every Sunday night (in a nice way, of course) about posting my weekly menu. Both friends and family laugh when we get ready to eat dinner because they know they don't get to eat until I take a picture of the food if it's new recipe. My girlfriends joke about hoping that one of their recipes will make my blog. :) I have to admit, my blog does bring me a lot of joy. I love sharing recipes with others, finding new ones to try, and helping others find the joy of menu planning.

Last year on my first anniversary, I did a giveaway to celebrate. I thought I would continue that tradition this year. To qualify for this year's giveaway, you have to write a comment back on this post and share one of your family's favorite dinner recipes. Yes, this is my sneaky way to get some new recipe ideas. :) I will select one winner by random number drawing. The winner will win an apron handmade by me! The deadline for entries will be Saturday, January 2 at 7:00 p.m. central time. I will announce the winner on Sunday, January 3 on my weekly menu post.

Following is this week's menu. For more menu ideas, go to

Sunday - Eat out with my parents
Monday - Red Beans and Rice (Zatarans) with Turkey Smoked Sausage, Salad, Peaches
Tuesday - Spaghetti with meatballs, Garlic Muffins, Salad
Wednesday - Honey Roasted Pork Loin, Broccoli, Salad
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Homemade Pizza, Salad


His Creation said...

I am all in for this!! One of our favorite dishes I got from my mother-in-law. I am not good at sticking with a recipe and am always doing something new to what I make, even if it is the 100th time. It is called Stove Top Casserole and pretty simple, but easily modified for taste and change. You take either frozen chicken breasts or tenders and boil until cooked through, drain and cube or tear apart to small pieces. Mix 8 oz sour cream and one can of cream of mushroom soup together, pour over chicken. Then make one box of stovetop stuffing chicken flavored (on stove, or microwave) and then put on top. Bake at 350 until bubbly and stuffing is somewhat dry (to preference). Easy to double and great as a main dish!! Sara DeLawder

mrsuribe said...

Taco Soup:
1 can black beans, undrained
jar chunky salsa
1 pound ground turkey, cooked and drained
1 can corn, undrained
chili powder
salt & pepper
*instead of these spices you can use a taco seasoning packet*
Dump all in slow cooker and cook all day. You can also use frozen chicken breasts, shred when done, and make chicken tacos or nachos.

Garnish w/cheese, cilantro, sour cream

MamaFeelgood said...

Caribbean Black Beans with Coconut Curried rice and Mango salsa

Anonymous said...

Yum...I'm going to try that Honey Roasted Pork Loin!

One of our favorite dinner is green chile chicken enchiladas. Yummy!

kim said...

Congratulations on 2 years! And all those recipes - WOW!
My family's absolute favorite dinner is Artichoke Chicken. All my friends have asked for the recipe and nearly al have made it a family staple. It's so simple:

4 Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless)
1 Can Artichoke Hearts, chopped up
3/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise

Mix chopped artichoke hearts, mayo and cheese with a dash of garlic powder and onion powder. Add a dash of white pepper, to your family's taste.
Place chicken in a pyrex pan.
Top chicken with artichoke mixture.
Cook in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and topping is lightly browned.
Bon Appétit!

Unknown said...

Mmmmm... red beans & rice. Hubby & I love it - our boys, not so much!

Fave family recipe:
Homemade Pasta Fagioli soup, adapted from 30 Day Gourmet and Olive Garden
2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp sugar (opt)
1 Tbsp celery salt
1 Tbsp SWEET pepper flakes
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules (I have used beef also with success)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 can kidney beans
8 oz tomato sauce
29 oz diced tomatoes
6 - 8 c water, depending on how thick you like it

*I have also added diced carrots & diced celery- they are yummy additions if you have them on hand. I also add 1/2 lb browned ground beef and then 1/2 c macaroni or other small noodle at serving time*

I put all the ingredients in the crock pot (except the noodles) and let cook on low for 8 hours (or while I'm at work). When it's time to eat, boil noodles to desired tenderness, and drain. Ladle noodles in bowl and spoon in soup. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.


Sarah said...

Tostada Grande
1 pie crust (homemade or frozen)
1 can refried beans w/green chiles
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey or sausage, browned and drained)
1 small can tomato sauce
shredded cheese
chopped onion
chopped green pepper
jalapenos (optional)

In a greased pie pan, place crust and spread refried beans in bottom of crust. Mix together meat with tomato sauce, onion, peppers and jalapenos.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, tomatoes and salsa.

Michelle said...

One of our favorite meals is Cuban black beans and rice. I grew up eating it and in our mixed family this is something that pleases all of us. (My husband is Indian and I'm half cuban half irish)

April was in CA now MA said...

This is a recent favorite that we can't get enough of! Congrats on your two years!

Vermont Cheddar & Potato Bisque

4-5 cups potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (peel if you want)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1stick unsalted butter
1 onion diced
2 stalk celery diced
6 Tbs. plain flour
3 cups 2% milk
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ tsp. salt
Coarsely ground pepper
¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne

In a large stockpot, combine potatoes and broth. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender then lower heat.

While potatoes cook:
In a large skillet, melt butter over med-low heat. Add onions; celery and cook, stirring until translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring 1 minute. Stir into potatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened.

Add milk and cook, stirring about 8 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in mustard and about half the cheese. Stir until melted. Add remaining cheese. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Hugan said...

Love your blog! Congratulations! We have homemade pizza night every Friday. Here's a favorite of mine and Hubby:

BBQ Bacon Pizza
*1 thin crust for med. pizza (purchased or homemade)
*Your favorite BBQ sauce - enough to cover bottom of crust, leaving clean 1-inch border.
*2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
*2 cup mix of chopped purple onion, green bell pepper and green olives
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Just start with the sauce and layer everything else in order as listed. Bake at the temp recommended for your crust. SO good!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 2 years blogging! Our family favourite is 'Oktoberfest Sausage Soup' and it comes from the Schneiders website

2 pkg 450 g Schneiders Oktoberfest® Sausage
4 cans 10 oz (284 ml) cans beef broth and 3 cans water
2 can 28 oz (796 ml) diced tomatoes
1 cup dry pasta (small shells or macaroni)
1 cup diced onion
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 cup green or yellow beans, fresh or frozen
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil


Cook Oktoberfest Sausage according to package directions; cut into 1/4″ (5 mm) slices. Combine broth, water and tomatoes in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add pasta, vegetables, sausage and spices. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Serve with crusty bread and cheese

Crystal's Elite Dance Studio said...

Congrats on 2 years!! One of my family's favorite meals is 5 Bean Chili!

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) navy beans
1 can (15 oz) Pinto beans
1 can (15 oz) dark kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) chili beans
1 jar of chunky salsa (we prefer the medium kind, but mild or hot can be used)
1 jar of diced tomatoes with green chiles
garlic, salt, pepper & oregano to taste

Brown ground beef/turkey in a skillet and drain. Drain all beans and add to a large pot. Add in salsa, tomatoes and chiles, & spices. Bring to a boil on medium high heat and then reduce to low heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese & corn chips!

Unknown said...

Our family favorite is Marcus' Favorite Lasagna. We add sauteed mushrooms, onion and ground beef.
1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
2 30-ounce bags frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1.Heat oven to 350° F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in a third of the sauce.
2.Arrange 12 ravioli on top and scatter the spinach over them. Top with half of each cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce and cheese.
3.Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until bubbly.

Mary D said...

A wonderful easy dinner - the whole families eats this with a smile!
Hamburger and Macaroni Recipe


* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 yellow onion, chopped (or mixed chopped green onion greens and yellow onion - add in diced bell pepper if you like)
*1 small thinly sliced carrot
* Olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
* Dash crushed red pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
* 1 large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
* 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 2 cups uncooked macaroni (use rice pasta for wheat-free version)


1 Get a large pot of hot water heating and begin cooking the macaroni as per the directions on the macaroni package.

brown the hamburger meat on high heat then saute the onions carrots, peppers etc.

2 In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Stir only infrequently so that the ground beef has an opportunity to brown.

add ground beef, seasoning and tomatoes to the onions simmer for 5 minutes

3 In a large skillet, sauté chopped onion with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the ground beef and lower the heat to medium. Add a dash of crushed red pepper. Add seasoned salt. Add celery seed. Add canned tomatoes. Add Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the drained and cooked macaroni and parsley. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serves 4.
Bawed on a Simply Recipes recipe.

Unknown said...

Congrats to my daughter. She is very special!!!!!!!!!!!!

faitcam said...

Our favorite family dinner is
Taco Salad
1 bag of romaine lettuce
1 8 oz. bag of colby jack
1 pkg. taco shells
1 lb. of cooked seasoned beef
sour cream
thousand island dressing
assembled based on your tastes!

Debbie said...

Oh the favorite family recipe would have to be Hamburger Macaroni Casserole. The progeny (23,22,19) all ask for it every time they are home.

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole
1 lb ground beef
2 C uncooked elbow macaroni
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt/pepper to taste

Cook, brown and crumble the beef. Drain and set aside. Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and add to beef. Add rest of ingredients, mix well and place in greased baking dish. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes and serve. Make sure you get your share because it goes fast and we never have leftovers.

Tina Zickefoose said...

Taco Soup:
1 pound hamburger
1 pkt taco season
1 pkt HVR season mix
1 can rotel
1 can tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn
1 can hominy

Brown meat; add 2 season packets and 3/4 cup water; simmer; add 7 cans (undrained) to crock pot; add meat mixture; cook on low for 4-6 hours; may add a little water if you like it soupier; serve with sour cream; cheese; jalepenos; and fritos; Enjoy!

Rainey Daye said...

My husband is not a fan of rice for the most part, but he absolutely loves my Spanish rice...and the way I make it it is a meal. It's also super-easy, as it takes less than 30 minutes, most of which is unattended...and I always have the ingredients on hand.

First, grill a couple chicken breast tenderloins or one large boneless chicken breast piece (I keep a large bag of these in the freezer and I grill them on the George Foreman). While the chicken grills, heat a couple tablespoons oil in a decent sized skillet on the stovetop. Add in half a chopped onion and 1 cup parboiled rice and saute till rice has browned and onions are translucent. Add one can of Rotel, half a packet of taco seasoning, and two cups water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, till most of the liquid is absorbed. Add in the chicken (chopped into cubes) anytime in the rice cooking process that it is done grilling. Once it is dished up into the individual dishes, drizzle with italian dressing before serving (the dressing helps tone down the spiciness from the Rotel).

Kerri said...

Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 lb bacon (or bacon bits)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat. Remove bacon to cool and add chicken breasts, and saute 4 to 5 minutes each side, until lightly browned. Crumble bacon. Place browned chicken breasts in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover with teriyaki sauce and dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and top with bacon bits. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear

Erin said...

Congrats, Cindy! Hoping for an apron! Go #19! :-)
Well, our family favorite would have to be my husband's chili. He's very particular about his ingredients, and even though it seems a little odd, I've never tasted any chili I like better.
*1 1/2 finely ground hamburger (cooked and drained)
* William's chili powder (must be William's in order for it to taste like his)(we use a lot, like 1/3 cup)
*2 cans dark red kidney beans
*2 cans pork and beans (I know, that's the weird part, but it adds a bit of a sweet taste).
*1 can of chili-ready tomatoes
*1 can of petite diced tomatoes

Mix together and let simmer for as long as you would like. Yum!

Amanda said...

Hubby loves when I make honey mustard chicken tenders or my sweet'n'spicy bacon wrapped chicken tenders.

For honey mustard I coat the tenders in panko bread crumbs and bake. Make an easy dipping sauce of mustard & honey (I just squeeze them together in a ramekin until it's the right taste/texture).

Sweet'n'Spicy Bacon Wrapped Tenders - mix together about 2/3 cup brown sugar and a few Tbsp of chili powder (I don't measure anything, and it depends on how spicy you want them). I wrap each tender in a small piece of bacon (maybe 1/3 of a piece) and then coat with the sugar mixture. Bake on a rack (or broiler pan) for about twenty minutes. It's delicious, but not exactly the most health conscious recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

One of our favorites is to cook some dry black beans with a ham hock most of the day. We seasoning it with chopped onions and garlic. We then serve it with yellow rice, tortillas, and some green chili salsa.


dawn said...

I am sure glad you started this blog. I check it most every week hoping for something quick and easy that the Funderburk boys will devour. I am posting three of our favorite recipes. An easy pasta dish for summer, hot cocoa and the best chocolate cake ever.

Summertime Pasta Salad

2 Chicken breasts; boiled and cubed
2 green bell peppers
1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1 Package of bow tie pasta; cooked and drained
Parmesan cheese-grated
1 bottle of ZESTY Italian dressing-must be ZESTY!
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the peppers and carrots into bite size pieces. Once the chicken and pasta are cooked, add everything together in a big serving dish or bowl. Don't forget the makes the dish so much more flavorful. I just about use the entire bottle of dressing so that it will not get dry.
Serve with warm french bread and you have a light, refreshing summertime dinner. It is even better the next day.

Snobby Hot Cocoa

In a large container mix the following:

I box of Powdered milk
1 lb of Powdered sugar
1 16 oz jar of Nestle's Quick
1 large container of Coffee Mate

Fill a mug halfway with the mixture and pour hot water over the top. Stir and enjoy. For a minty flavor, stir with a candy cane.
Store in an airtight container after sharing some with friends! However, do not share with those who like Swiss Miss cocoa. They are not worthy of this gold is a mug.

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Put in a pan and bring to a boil the following:
1 cup water
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup Crisco
4 tablespoons of cocoa

Next, sift together
2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar
add to the above ingredients and stir.

Add in
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Stir and pour into a 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Melt together
6 Tbs milk
4 tbs cocoa
1 stick of butter
add one box (1 lb) of powdered sugar (sifted). Pour on the cake either hot or cooled.

Buttermilk substitute: 1/2 cup milk and 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

MomToEli said...

Hi Cynthia! Nice blog! Congrats on being consistent for 2 years!

One of our family favorites this time of year is soup. One that gets rave reviews by my family (dh and 10 yo ds) plus many of our friends is Chicken and Barley soup. Last time I made it it went something like this: 3 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, boiled in water with salt, dehydrated onion, some pepper and some parsley. Once cooked, chop it up and toss it in your crockpot. Add chicken broth (I also used turkey broth left from our Thanksgiving turkey) and water to give you as much liquid (you decide how concentrated you want the broth)as you'd like in your soup. I tossed in a large can of Veg-All (drained), 3/4 cup of barley and seasoned it to taste - I use garlic powder, dehydrated onions, kosher salt, pepper, basil, oregano - really whatever catches my eye at the time. Let that cook on high heat for 5-6 hours. Serve with crackers/rolls/bread and you have a nice, inexpensive hearty meal with leftovers for lunch a couple of days.

Hope you enjoy and I look forward to following you for the next two years!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love your aprons...please choose me! :) Here's a simple soup recipe that my hubby loves.

Potato Corn Chowder

1 can cream of potato soup
1 3/4 cup mild
1 Healthy Choice polish sausage, sliced
1 can corn, drained

Mix together and heat until warm.

-Lisa Detig