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Showing posts from April, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Winging-it Week!

It seems like the last few weeks my meal plans have been pretty wimpy. I keep blaming it on my busy schedule, and I hate complaining about being busy. I'm honestly thankful that I have so many wonderful things in my life that keep me busy. But, that being said, I'm going to have to admit to a wimpy menu again this week because of my busy schedule. We hosted a before-and-after prom party for my son this weekend, which required my husband and I to pull an all-nighter for the first time in years. I am way too old for that! ;) I did make a pretty fabulous dinner for the kids, though. Be sure to check out my chicken cordon blue in puff pastry recipe and the fabulous vanilla mousse cheesecake we had for dessert.

I have three days this week at school where I have subs because I have to attend various activities, and I have evening obligations each night. So, this week, there are no recipes on my menu! I know - shocking! This week is "winging it" week. You've all had t…

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Puff Pastry

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
flour for rolling out dough
1/2 of a package puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed according to package directions
4 slices (1 ounce each) cooked deli ham
4 slices (1 ounce each) Swiss cheese


Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle the work surface with the flour. Unfold the pastry on the floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 14-inch square and cut it into four squares. Top each with one slice ham, one slice cheese and one chicken breast half. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture. Fold the corners to the center on top of the chicken and pinch the edges to seal. Place the pastries …

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

I made this for my son's prom party for dessert. It was a very yummy cheesecake. The mousse topping makes it extra scrumptious.

Ingredients: 40 NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened, divided (I used reduced fat)
1 cup sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 eggs
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
Directions: Heatoven to 325ºF.

Mix wafer crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 pkg. cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 50 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely in pan.

Beat remaining cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer in large bowl until blended. Whisk in COOL WHIP; spread over cheesecake. …

What's for Dinner Meal Plan

I must apologize to my regular readers for my post/menu this week. My son was very sick last week and missed the whole week of school, which meant I missed the whole week of work. And, now I'm at my annual library conference. So, my post is going to be short, and my menu is pretty basic and boring since I had to prepare for being gone. I do have a quick funny story to share, though. At my conference today, I had at least five people at various times throughout the day, come up to me and proclaim, "You're my dinner lady!" Totally made my day, and gave me a good laugh. I'm used to people recognizing me as conference presenter, but not as being the "dinner lady." Fun stuff!

Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. :)

Sunday - Chicken and Noodles (See note below on how to make), Green Beans, Salad, Strawberries

*To make chicken and noodles: Bring 1 quart of chicken stock…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

The hubby and I actually had a weekend at home! And, boy, were we productive. The menu plan and grocery shopping were completed before 7 am Saturday morning. We cleaned house, did seven loads of laundry (including folding and ironing!), we mulched our trees, we got prom stuff taken care of for our son, and man, did I cook! I made a bunch of turkey sausage patties and flash froze them for breakfasts. I made 16 dozen chocolate chip cookies and got them in the freezer. I made 8 loaves of banana bread (including one very yucky one). Be sure to use my Brown Sugar Banana Bread recipe or my regular Banana Bread recipe. The healthy one is terrible!

This time of year for school teachers is kind of crazy. We have lots of testing at school, tons of field trips and assemblies, and all of this makes the schedule all out of whack. It also makes the kids a bit crazy. ;) As I planned my menu this week, I tried to take into account all of my after school meetings and trainings, and I selected things t…

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was a bit of a disappointment to me. It's a pain to have to stand there and stir the pasta for 20 minutes, and it comes out chewier than I would like. I had to add at least an additional cup of milk to it, and I used about 2 cups of cheese total. I don't think I will be making this one again.

2 cups elbow macaroni or shell pasta
2 cups skim milk , plus more if needed
1 T butter (optional)
1/2 cup grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a large sauce pan, add the uncooked macaroni and milk (and butter if you choose to use it). Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, turn down to low. Stir frequently for 15-20 minutes until the milk is mostly absorbed and the pasta is tender. You can add more milk if needed. Do not allow the milk to boil. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and taste. Add salt and pepper if desired. Se…

Chocolate Chip Blondies

Nice, chewy bars that are quick and easy to make.

Ingredients 1/2 c. butter, softened 1 1/2 c. brown sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. Baking powder 1/2 tsp. Salt 1 c. chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first four ingredients together. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips after mixed. Spread in a 13 x 9 inch greased pan. Cook for 20-25 minutes until barely brown on the edges. 
Recipe source - Miranda Snowden

Healthy Banana Bread (a.k.a. Yucky Banana Bread)

I am only posting this recipe to show that not everything I make turns out to be a keeper. This recipe was bookmarked on several people's Pinterest pages the last few weeks, so I thought I would give it a try. Well, it was horrible! It DOES NOT turn out like the picture that is shown on the original recipe site. Because it's made with whole wheat flour, it's very dense and grainy. It may be healthier, but it does not taste that great. Unfortunately, mine is going to go to the birds. I'll stick with the less healthier banana bread that tastes great. Here's the recipe, though, in case someone else who likes dense, grainy bread wants to give it a shot.

Ingredients:2 cups whole wheat flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup sugar free applesauce3/4 cup honey2 eggs, beaten3 mashed overripe bananasDirections: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate …

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

This is similar to my normal banana bread recipe, but uses brown sugar instead of white. It's nice and moist and very tasty.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce (you can also use 1/2 butter if you wish instead of applesauce)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together applesauce and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter weekend. It was beautiful here in Southwest Missouri. I'm going to have to do another quickie post this week. Lots of extra activities going on for our family, so leftovers will be a key component to the menu.

Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. :)

Sunday - Rotisserie chicken (from the grocery store - great when in a time crunch), Leftover mashed potatoes, green beans, strawberries

Monday - Pork Roast (cooked in crock pot), Mashed Potatoes and gravy, Oven Roasted Asparagus, Salad

Tuesday - Crockpot Ham, Corn and Potato Scallop, Salad, Strawberries

Wednesday -Grilled Sundried Tomato Chicken, Green Beans, Salad, Applesauce

Thursday - Boys make tacos (I have book club), Peaches

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Grilled Salmon, Grilled Asparagus, Salad, Strawberries

For more menu ideas, visit

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Ugh! Allergy season is here with a vengeance! We have had the most amazing temperatures here in southwest Missouri the last couple of weeks. It feels more like summer than spring. The bad part of everything blooming early is all of the pollen in the air. I'm feeling pretty yucky, so I'm going to keep this post short. We have a short week at school this week since it's Easter weekend, so I'm looking forward to the extra day off. Maybe my allergies will take the day off, too. ;)

Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. :)

Sunday - Stuffed Pork Chops, Oven-Roasted Asparagus, Salad

Monday - Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, Green Beans, Salad

Tuesday - Spaghetti and Meatballs, Broccoli, Salad

Wednesday - BLT Sliders, Strawberries, Salad

Thursday - Date Night

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Eat at Mom's

For more menu ideas, visit