This week was the last of our "lighter" schedule weeks for a while. Corey starts track on Monday which means early mornings and late nights again for a couple of months. Meal planning becomes a bit challenging with this schedule because by the time we get home from school, we are absolutely ravenous! I would love to be able to rely on crockpot meals during times like this, but we are gone for over 10 hours and crockpot items often burn. :( I am going to try a couple this week and hope for the best. When our schedule gets this tight, I do a lot of cooking on the weekends so that we can basically grab meals out of the fridge and heat them in the microwave as soon as we get home. 

This past week we had a couple of unexpected schedule changes (including free tickets to Dixie Stampede for teachers - woo hoo!), so I am repeating some menu items from last week that we didn't get to. Here is this week's menu. For more menu ideas, go to

Sunday - leftovers
Monday - Slow Cooker Steak and Pasta Soup, Salad
Wednesday - Chicken Fajitas, Fruit
Thursday - Eat out (technology night at my school and Corey has an academic team meet)
Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
Saturday - Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Burgers on the Grill, French Fries, Salad

I had a FABULOUS 40th birthday week! It started on Wednesday, the day before my birthday. It was the first sunny day that we've had in weeks, so I went outside to do day 2/week 8 of Couch to 5K. I was supposed to run 2.75 miles. I had a personal goal of running a 5K (3.12 miles) before my birthday that I hadn't publicly shared with anyone, so I was hoping that I would be able to make it. Well, I have officially gone from couch to 5K and beyond! I ran 3.75 miles, outside on a trail with hills!!! I was so proud of myself. Now I can go to weekend 5K contests with Eric and Corey and not just be a spectator. :)

On my actual birthday, my book club girls surprised me with a fondue party. I had told them that I used to do fondue parties with my friends when I was in high school, so they recreated that memory for me. They are awesome friends. :) On Friday my amazing hubby took me on a getaway weekend to Chateau on the Lake. When we arrived, the management had given us a complimentary upgrade to the vice presidential suite and had a plate of goodies and a birthday card waiting for me. Eric then had us scheduled for a one hour couples massage at the spa, and took me out for a nice dinner. On Saturday, my parents and Eric's parents came to visit and we went to Nakato for dinner. Pretty spectacular birthday, don't you think! I definitely feel loved by my friends and family. 

This week is back to normal. Corey has a couple of math things and I am hosting an At Home America party at my house on Thursday. I have a couple of new items on the menu this week - Potato Pizza (made it tonight - it was awesome) and Steak and Pasta Soup. I will post pictures later in the week. Here is the menu. For more menu ideas go to Enjoy!

Sunday - Potato Pizza, Broccoli, Salad
Monday - Honey Roasted Pork Loin, Onion Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes, French Fries, Salad
Wednesday - Out to eat (Corey has math event)
Thursday - At Home America party - Chicken Enchilada Soup, Sausage Potato Soup
Saturday - Slow Cooker Steak and Pasta Soup, Salad

This is such an easy, tasty soup!

1 lb boneless beef round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 jar (26 to 28 oz) marinara sauce
2 1/2 cups water
1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.    In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix beef, marinara sauce and water.
2.    Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
3.    Stir in ravioli. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes until ravioli are tender. Sprinkle individual servings with cheese.

Recipe Source - Betty Crocker
This is an awesome comfort food dish. My family loved it and said it is definitely a keeper.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sugar
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (I used 6 medium-size potatoes)
1 Tbsp butter
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup milk
mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Brown ground beef with salt, pepper and onions. Render fat from ground beef. Add oregano, sugar and tomato sauce. Combine potatoes and beef mixture into a 13x9x2-inch pan. Dot with butter. Stir together cheddar cheese soup and milk until smooth. Pour cheese sauce over top, but don't stir. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven, remove & discard foil. Arrange shredded mozzarella and sprinkle on grated Parmesan. Return pan, uncovered, to oven and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.

Recipe Source - Balancing Act Basics

This week I turn 40! I'm not sure that it will be any different than any other birthday, but everyone seems to make a big deal out of turning 40, so I guess I will too. :) I'm celebrating by being lazy and not cooking much. Part of it is due to a very busy schedule this week which dictates relying on some simple dinners and frozen items. I'm not a big party kind of girl, so my hubby is taking me on a getaway on the weekend, which we never do. It will be a very nice treat and I'm very much looking forward to it. Hopefully we will have time to go for a run this weekend as well. I'm starting week 8 of Couch to 5K, and did my first outdoor run on hills in the snow this weekend! I was pretty proud of myself. Eric and the dogs ran with me, which was really fun. I have a very supportive hubby. The grandparents are going to hang with Corey. Eric's parents are coming to town as well this weekend, so I get to have a nice family dinner outing on Saturday, which will be fun. Anyway, here's my wimpy dinner menu for the week. You may be wondering, "If her menu is wimpy, why is she sharing it?" Well, I just want you to know that I am a real person that does get too busy to cook every night sometimes, and that it's okay to rely on convenience items when your schedule is hectic. :) For more menu ideas, go to Have a great week!

Sunday - Crockpot Cowboy Stew (didn't make it last Friday - went out for pizza)
Monday - Chicken Alfredo (Stouffers), Broccoli, Salad
Tuesday - Grilled Pork Chops, Cheddar Potato Strips, Green Beans
Wednesday - Bourbon Chicken (from freezer), Rice, Green Beans
Thursday - My birthday! Everyone on their own (I'm at book club, Corey's at a contest, and Eric's at work)
Friday - Out for my birthday getaway with my hubby
Saturday - Out for family birthday dinner

This is going to be a quickie post due to trying to get ready to travel to a conference tomorrow. I apologize for not getting photos posted to the most recent recipes, but hope to catch up on that next weekend. Here's this week's menu. Since I will be traveling, you'll see some boy friendly stuff on the menu this week. For more menu ideas, go to

Sunday - Super Bowl Party: Chick-Be-Quicks, Meatball Pops, Cheese Ball, Pepperoni Pizza Dip, Fruit Tray, Veggie Tray, Double Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
Monday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, Green Beans, Salad
Tuesday - Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Hot Dogs, French Fries, Peaches
Wednesday - Baked Penne with Italian Sausage (from freezer), Salad
Thursday - Grilled Tilapia, Broccoli, Wild Rice
Friday - Crockpot Cowboy Stew, Cornbread 
Saturday - Grilled Chicken Salad, Fruit Salad, Garlic Muffins

2 pkgs. 8 oz. each cream cheese
2 pkgs. thin sliced pastrami or ham, chopped small
2 t. salt
2 t. worcestershire sauce
3-4 chopped green onions


Mix all ingredients and roll into a ball, using wax paper to make it easier. You may also roll the cheese ball in chopped pecans or walnuts. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with crackers of your choice.

3/4 cup crushed canned french fried onions
1 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. seasoning salt
1 can reduced fat refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 chicken breasts cut up into 16 pieces
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In a small bowl combine french-fried onions, flour and seasoning salt; blend well. Place beaten egg in a separate bowl. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each in half lengthwise to make 16 long triangles. Dip chicken into the beaten egg and the coat with onion mixture. Place one coated piece on wide end of each triangle: roll to opposite point. Place point side down on greased cookie sheet. Brush tops with remaining beaten egg. If you like you can sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.