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Showing posts from September, 2014

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Fall is definitely in the air. After a very hot start to the school year, temperatures are finally hinting at the change of season. Eric and I took advantage of a free weekend with cooler temps to do our first try at camping with our motorcycle! The man we bought our original bike from let us borrow his motorcycle camper, and it was fabulous. It was so much better than camping in our tent, and we really enjoyed traveling to the campground on our motorcycle.

Now, on to the menu. Remember, now that it is just the two of us, my menus are much less detailed. We eat a lot of leftovers so that we don't waste food, plus it saves us time on busy nights. Usually one meal will last a couple of days. So, instead of listing my meals by day like I've done in the past, I'm just sharing what I will be cooking during the week and labeling it by the type of entree. Hopefully it is still helpful in providing you ideas for meals to make for your family.

Here's this week's menu. Enjo…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan (I know, shocking!)

Those of you who regularly read my blog are probably thinking I've fallen of the face of the earth. Not so! I still plan my meals for the week and cook for my family (now just me and my hubby). But, since my son went to college, my schedule and meal planning have changed a little. Just over a year ago, my husband and I got a motorcycle, and it has kind of changed our world. We are just slightly obsessed with riding, and go out every chance we get. We still love to hike and such, but we just take the motorcycle now as our way of travel. So, my weekends haven't left me with as much time to blog.

But, I couldn't sleep tonight, so I thought I'd post my menu for this week. Most things are new recipes, so I'll post photos later once I've made the recipe. I'm not going to specify days, as we eat leftovers a lot since there are just two of us at home now, but here are my meals for the week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fas…

Pumpkin Doughnuts

A yummy fall treat


1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (measure 2 cups remove 2 Tbsp)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 18 doughnut wells (3 6-hole pans).

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined (break up clumps of brown sugar with fingertips as necessary. You don't want any clumps). Add canola oil, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and using an electric hand mixer, blend until mixture is well blended. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix with electric …

Potato Ham Chowder

Nice hearty soup for fall or winter

2 cups cooked ham, diced into small cubes (I often use turkey ham)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
5 medium red potatoes (1 3/4 lb), diced into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Chives for topping
In a large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste (slightly under-season with salt as the ham and bacon will add more saltiness to soup). Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to …

Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos

A great meatless taco.

3 medium tomatoes, cored and seeded, diced* (1 1/2 cups)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
1 medium yellow squash, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
3/4 small yellow onion, chopped (scant 1 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Corn or flour tortillas for serving
Queso fresco, for serving
Sour cream and Mexican hot sauce for serving (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place first 5 ingredients in a mound on a large baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, canola oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder and salt and pepper (I used 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, but you can adjust to your taste). Drizzle oil mixture over veggies on baking dish, then toss to evenly c…

Caramel Apple Cookies

Might make a nice fall treat.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup peeled and shredded Granny Smith apple (from about 2 small)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (scant - just remove 1 Tbsp) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed but still cold
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Maldon salt for sprinkling (optional)


For the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate bowl, toss shredded apple with lemon juice, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and brown suga…

Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese

This could be an easy throw-together dinner if you already have some cooked chicken on hand and a package of frozen broccoli.

9 oz large shell pasta, dry (3 1/4 cups)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded into small bites size pieces (or get a rotisserie chicken, remove meat from bones, and dice)
12 oz broccoli florets, diced into small bite size pieces (4 1/2 cups once diced)
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups skim milk
6 oz 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1 oz Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (1/3 cup)

Boil pasta according to directions listed on package adding broccoli during last 3 - 4 minutes of boiling, drain well (reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, just in case you want to thin pasta sauce).

Meanwhile, in a pot melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook mixture stirring constantly for 1 minut…

Lemon Tilapia Parmesan

This recipe was originally a chicken recipe that someone modified to use with fish. I will put the chicken modifications in here as well, as I think it would be good both ways.


8 oz angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Fish (or chicken):
4 tilapia filets (4 thin sliced chicken breasts -2 chicken breasts cut in half cross-wise)
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup flour (original chicken recipe does not have the flour)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg and water in a shallow d…