Category Archives: Meal Planning

Crockpot Meals

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Below are links to some of our favorite crockpot meals. I love to use my crockpot as I can just throw something in there in the morning and forget about it until dinner time. It’s so easy to do. If you haven’t been using yours then I suggest you pull it out of the closet, clean it up, and get ready to enjoy some delicious meals.

10 Basic Instant Pot Techniques

Boston Baked Beans

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken and Veggies

Crock Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

Crockpot Chicken Joes

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Crockpot Italian Chicken

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Crockpot Taco Soup

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole: Crockpot Version

Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Fix It and Forget It Crockpot Chicken

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mom’s Oven Stew

One Pot Slow Cooked Chicken Dinner

Pizza in a Crockpot

Root Beer Slow Cooker Pork

Shredded Beef

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Slow Cooker Kraut & Sausage

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Thanksgiving in a Crockpot

Crockpot Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Casseroles

Casseroles are so easy to put together and usually feed a crowd. Below are links to some of our favorites.

BBQ Chicken and Pasta Bake

Briarpatch Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes Casserole

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Chicken Divine Casserole

Chicken Mexicana

Chicken Pot Pie

Chili Dog Casserole

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Easy Burrito Casserole

Easy Chicken Casserole

Easy Pork Chops w/Rice

Eggplant Parmesan

Hamburger Casserole (Serve with a salad and buttered bread)

Impossibly Easy Pizza Bake

Meatball Sandwich Casserole

Another version of meatball sandwich casserole

Mom’s Oven Stew

Pizza Mac N Cheese

Popover Pizza

Poppy Seed Chicken

Quick and Easy Burrito Casserole

Red & White Pasta

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

Tater Tot Casserole

Chicken Dishes

I can usually find some really good deals on chicken so we do eat a lot of it around here. My kids love chicken so that’s a good thing. Below are some of our favorites.

Alice Springs Chicken

BBQ Chicken and Pasta Bake

Cheddar Chicken

Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes Casserole

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken and Veggies

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Chicken Cordon Casserole

Chicken Divine Casserole

Chicken in a Biscuit

Chicken Mexicana

Chicken Pillows

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken  Tamales

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Crockpot Chicken Joes

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Crockpot Italian Chicken

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Crunchy Chicken

Easy Chicken Casserole

Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Fix It and Forget It Crockpot Chicken

Oven BBQ Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Skillet Chicken

Spicy Chicken and Bowties

Spicy Chicken Breast Caprese w/pasta

Thanksgiving in a Crockpot

Fish and Seafood Dishes

We love fish. We love to catch fish and eat them too! A couple of my older kids have a seafood allergy so I may not have too many of those on the menu but occasionally I will stumble across a meal that I just have to try. I give warning to the older kids so they know to keep away.

Baked Salmon

Salmon Patties

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

Fish w/Honey Mustard Sauce

Oven Fried Chicken

Note: I will admit that sometimes I cheat when this pops up on the calendar and use Shake-N-Bake if I find it on sale.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs of chicken tenderloins
  • 1-2 c. milk.
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T . seasoned salt
  • 3/4 t. black pepper
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine

Place thawed chicken  in a bowl with enough milk to cover. Let soak for 20-30 min.

Preheat oven to 400. Place butter into a 9×13 pan and put pan into the oven to melt the butter.

Mix the seasonings and flour in a large bowl.

Shake excess milk off of chicken and dredge each piece in the seasoning mix.
Place chicken into the pan.

Cook for about 20 min turning each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.

December 11-17, 2016 meal plan

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forget to set something out or put something in the crock pot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

Sunday

Breakfast:

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Lunch:

PB & J w/fruit

Dinner:

Oven Fried Chicken, Baked sweet potatoes, slaw

Snacks:

cupcakes


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner:

Pintos, hoe cakes, greens

Snacks:

Popcorn


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Bean Quesadillas w/leftovers

Dinner:

Tater Tot Casserole, Veggies

Snacks:

PB Toast


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Muffins

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Dinner:

Chili Dog Casserole, salad, chips

Snacks:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Pancakes

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner:

Salmon Patties, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Peas

Snacks:

Fruit


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

Lunch:

ramen noodles, grilled cheese

Dinner:

Sweet N Sour Meatballs, Mac N Cheese, Veggies

Snacks:

Boiled Eggs


Saturday

Breakfast:

Bagels w/cream cheese, fresh fruit

Lunch:

tuna salad sandwiches, fresh veggies

Dinner:

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, Steamed Asparagus, Steamed Red Potatoes

Snacks:

Russian Tea Cakes

Polar Express Party

This our annual family Christmas get together. It is based on ‘The Polar Express’ movie. We have so much fun with this every year and it just gets better and better. It has become a fun family tradition here that everyone looks forward too!

Unfortunately we are not having a party this year but the following pics are from previous parties. I also have a Polar Express board and a Polar Express ‘Fish Fry’ 2015 board on Pinterest.

I will continue to update this page as I can. I may be able to add menu ideas as well. Last year we had a Fish Fry as the weather was really nice. Just have fun with it and build on it year by year.

Here is an example of the Facebook invitation I send out:

‘All Aboard! Our annual trip on the Polar Express Train is scheduled and plans are being made. We hope to see everyone there. Make sure you wear your PJs and get your tickets to board the train! We’ll have lots of food, hot chocolate, crafts, games, and of course a viewing of ‘The Polar Express’. I’m still trying to get through to the North Pole to see if maybe we can arrange a visit from Santa too!’

We always have lots of food and special treats which include chocolate covered marshmallows. Use sprinkles to decorate them and small stirring straws as handles. We also dipped pretzel sticks in chocolate and decorated those as well:

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We also have a ‘gingerbread’ decorating activity, among other activities, and each child gets to decorate a house or in this case a train. I used graham crackers and Homemade Buttercream Icing to make the trains. I make them a few hours before the party so the icing has time to set up a little before the kids try to add decorations.

I usually fill several small pastry bags with icing (no tips just a small angled cut at the end) and have an assortment of candies for them to decorate with.

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These were some of our party favors one year. Small pastry bags, red pom poms, hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows, and brown pipe cleaners for the antlers. Use a black marker to make the faces. So cute!

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Paper conductor hats. The black conductor’s hat is worn by our ‘conductor’ when he comes through to punch the tickets for all of our ‘passengers’. I bought the hat at Dollar Tree one year. I used scissors, some sparkly ribbon, a couple of buttons, and a hot glue gun to transform it into a conductor type hat.

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Of course a visit from Santa will make any party extra special. I bought a Santa Outfit from Oriental Trading a few years back and it was well worth the investment. This unhappy child is the same one who has been begging to see Santa this year! (This picture is hard to see but we also had a couple of elves who joined us for the festivities as well. Those outfits were also bought from Oriental Trading.)

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You can also have a cookie exchange, a ‘Guess how many candies are in the jar?’, a gift exchange, or anything else your heart desires. These are just a few of the ideas that we have done. I was trying to locate some pictures from last year’s party but my phone died around Christmas last year so those pics may have been lost.

I try to have some small gifts as party favors. For the kids it might include train whistles, wind up trains, small games, coloring books, or a small stocking of treats. For the adults I usually have a variety of pocket calendars, small bottles of Bath & Body works products (that I find on sale), small games, or hand made items like jars of hot cocoa mix.

There are some more pics of some of the decor that we used from Oriental Trading on the Polar Express ‘Fish Fry’ 2015 . We went with a ‘Winter Wonderland theme’ and I plan on building on that theme through the years to come. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. Just do what works for you.

After showing some of these pics to a friend last night I got so excited that I am thinking of doing a low key party for the kids this weekend. Just seeing the smiles on their faces is motivation enough for me to pull something together really quick. I’ll be sure to do another post on that. Now where can I find a Santa on such short notice?

Refried Beans

So easy to make with leftover Pintos.

Ingredients

  • 2 T oil
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, minced (optional)
  • 2 -3 c cooked pinto beans
  • 1 t cumin
  • salt to taste

Directions

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and onion until brown 4 to 5 minutes.

Add Pintos and seasonings. Stir and cook until beans are heated, about 5 minutes or so.

Use a potato masher to smash beans to desired texture. Serve while hot.

Russian Tea Cakes

I got this recipe from an old friend during a holiday cookie exchange. These cookies are very delicious and very pretty too. I like to make them around Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 t vanilla, or you could use almond extract for a slightly different flavor
  • 1/2 c plus 1 T powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir in flour, pecans and vanilla until well blended. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-14 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheets and cool slightly on cooling rack.Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and return to cooling rack to cool. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Steamed Red Potatoes

The kids can help wash the potatoes for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. dried parsley

Instructions

Wash potatoes well and cut off any large blemishes. Place in pan with butter, water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with liquid from the pan drizzled over top. Serve hot.

Larger potatoes can be used but will need to be cut into smaller chunks.

Steamed Asparagus

The kids can help with the rinsing and breaking off the ends. My kids think asparagus taste like green beans.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs asparagus
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • lemon pepper, if desired

Instructions:

Rinse the asparagus, break off and discard tough ends. (Just snap off the woody end where it breaks easily.) Cut each spear into 2 or 3 diagonal slices. Fill a medium saucepan half way with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and simmer for 2 minutes; drain and place in  a bowl. While hot, toss asparagus with remaining ingredients. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Salmon Patties

My kiddos really didn’t care for these when I first started making them but now they do ask for them from time to time. Salmon is a great source of protein and is full of other very beneficial nutrients that we need. you can read more about the health benefits of Salmon here.

Salmon Patties

Ingredients:

  • 1- 15oz can of salmon, undrained
  • 1 c. bread crumbs or crushed crackers (try using crushed pork rinds or oatmeal for a lower carb version)
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • dash of lemon pepper seasoning, optional
  • 1 egg, optional
  • oil or butter for frying

Directions:

Use a fork to mix together salmon, bread crumbs, egg (if using) and seasonings. Use hands to form into small patties, set aside.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Fry patties, in small batches, until crispy and brown on both sides.
Makes about 8-10 patties.


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