Now that we are empty nesters, I've noticed that we've changed our eating habits a bit. I will make a meal, and we will eat that same thing for a couple of days. Both of us love leftovers, so it never bothers us, and it makes it easier to eat at home instead of eating out when you know you have food ready to reheat as soon as you get home. So, this week, instead of posting the days we will be eating certain things, I'm just going to post the meals I plan to make. Some things will just be grilled items, so they will not have a recipe attached. Feel free to mix and match as you please. ;)

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

Two Packet Roast and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad
(we will get two or three meals off of this, and will probably be able to freeze some as well)

Tator Tot Surprise, Salad, Applesauce
(another one where we will get multiple meals and leftovers for lunches)

 Grilled Salmon (no recipe, just season and throw on the grill), Green Beans, Salad, Strawberries

For more menu ideas, visit  

This is maybe not even recipe-worthy, but it's an easy way to make great roast for open-faced sandwiches, etc.

Beef arm roast or chuck roast (or whatever roast you like)
1 packet Au Jus mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup water (if you wish)

Put roast in slowcooker. Sprinkle with both packet mixes. Add in the water if desired. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until done. Shred with fork and serve with juices.

A yummy, rich treat!


For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer:
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake Filling:
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

For the cookie layer whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda, folding into the dough with a rubber spatula; do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips until combined.

Press half of the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan. It will be a thin layer, so use lightly moistened hands to press the dough into a thin even layer, filling in any holes with a bit of cookie dough from the bowl.

For the cheesecake filling, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Spread the cheesecake filling over the layer of cookie dough in the pan.

Using the remaining cookie dough, flatten tablespoon sized amounts of cookie dough in your hands into flat disc shapes, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Place these discs over the top of the cheesecake layer, pressing very lightly to adhere them to the cheesecake layer. It’s ok if there are small spaces; the entire top doesn’t need to be completely covered just make sure it is mostly covered with cookie dough.

Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled, 1-2 hours. Cut into squares and serve. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Makes: a 9×13″ pan, about 24 bars

Recipe Source - The Little Spork
This is a very yummy chicken and rice soup. It makes a huge pot, so I freeze individual portions for my lunches.


1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp flour
6 cups less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
2/3 cup chopped carrots
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, chopped
14 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pkg. Uncle Ben's long grain rice & wild rice combo
1/4 cup brown rice
8 oz mini portabello mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp light sour cream 
salt and fresh pepper, to taste


Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat, add onion and saute until soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and saute another minute.

*Add chicken broth, water, carrots, garlic, celery, brown rice and chicken thighs, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add wild rice mix along with it's seasoning packet, long grain rice and mushrooms and simmer on low, covered 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks, return to pot, add sour cream and more water if too thick, adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve.
*Instead of using the chicken broth, I actually cook my chicken thighs in my slow cooker with 6 cups of water for about 4 hours. I remove the chicken, shred it, and put the cooking liquid and shredded meat in the stock pot after sauteing the butter, onions and flour. 

Makes about 12 cups. 
Recipe Adapted from Skinnytaste