Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 5)... A day late

To tell you how crazy this week is and just as an example of why I'm posting this on Tuesday, it's my lunch break and I'm posting from my iPhone. That's right, CRAZY week here. And not much of a menu, just too much going on!

1.30.12 - Dinner w/Leigh & Leigh for me, Chick-fil-a Freebie for Ryan before class
1.31.12 - Home Owner's Association Meeting @ Za's 
2.1.12 - Soup/Sandwiches/Chinese Takeout/whatever we can get our hands on before Bible Study & Class
2.2.12 - Sorority Alumnae Meeting @ Mellow Mushroom! (bringing to-go home for Ryan)
2.3.12 - Grilling Steaks & Baked Potatoes
2.4.12 - Supper Club at Our House - Grilling RIBS & Chicken
2.5.12 - Super Bowl Party - can't decide what to make

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 4)

1.23.12 - Bruschetta Chicken Bake & Salads
1.25.12 - Leftovers
1.26.12 - Mexican Food OUT! 
1.27.12 - Grill Out
1.28.12 - Breakfast for Dinner
1.29.12 - FREEZER CLEANOUT (We've got several Dream Dinners & Supper Swap things that need to be cooked!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 3)

Monday 1.16.12 - Parmesan Encrusted Chicken w/ Tomatoes & Spinach & Pasta Salad
Tuesday 1.17.12 - Homemade Calzones
Wednesday 1.18.12 - Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Thursday 1.19.12 - Macaroni Taco Casserole
Friday 1.20.12 - Date Night Out
Saturday 1.21.12 - Leftovers
Sunday 1.22.12 - Breakfast for Dinner

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pork Chops for Dinner!

Usually I don't link up to recipes when it's something that I either make up on my own or is a simple variation of something I've made, but these are so simple and too good not to share!

2 eggs - beaten
4 pork chops
1 cup crushed butter crackers
Garlic salt - to taste
Black pepper - to taste

Mix crackers, garlic salt & pepper together in one bowl
Beat eggs in another bowl
Dredge pork chops through eggs & then through cracker mixture

Ready to bake
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees 
Place pats of butter around pork chops in the pan
Cover & Bake for 40-45 minutes, uncover & allow to brown for 5-10 more minutes

The finished goodness

We also had sweet potato fries modified from this recipe on the side.  Yum!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

iPhone dump... what iPhone photos tell you about us...

1. my husband and i are obsessed with our dog.  we are constantly sending pictures back and forth to each other and giving voice to the awesome personality of this precious fella... for example... 

I'm a model dog... pose - pose - pose 

2. I take pics of things that I like in stores... for instance... first bathing suit of the season... and the tankini is the best thing that ever happened to bathing suits, amen?

3. I have random recipes that one day maybe I'll post, or just perhaps I wanted to see what my food looked like on camera....
4. we are dweebs.  we were SO excited that our church has a REAL life candlelight service.  when the church we grew up in built a new building, they axed the candles because of wax drippings, and it was sad.  this Christmas eve, we were so happy! nothing like silent night & sharing the light of the world
5. i have no idea how to take a picture in weird light.  but for some reason, I love this shadowy one of my two favorite boys on the beach.
6. obsessed with this face.  how could you not be?

7. i intended to post about christmas decorations.... maybe?  or just wanted to remember how the wreath looked this year?

8. this sign is why I don't think I'll ever run a full marathon.  this was a scary place.  I can't imagine having to take the left fork instead of the right.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 2)

1.9.12 - Steaks over Salad (Steak leftover from Saturday)
1.10.12 - Easy Potato Soup in Crockpot
1.11.12 - Pork Chops & Spicy Sweet Potatoes
1.12.12 - Lasagna Casserole
1.13.12 - Date Night OUT - Location TBD
1.14.12 - Leftovers
1.15.12 - California Turkey Burgers

I'm also making Oreo Balls & Hashbrown casserole for various events this week.... gonna be a busy week of cooking!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oreo Balls!!!

Well, I owe the credit for this recipe to my college roommate Elizabeth.  She didn't cook much during the year that we lived together, but one weekend, she came back from home with these little babies in tow, and my life has never been the same.  OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but they are pretty dang good.  The best part is, you need only 3 ingredients!
1 Package Oreo Cookies (or store brand works just as well... since the real thing is twice the price!)
8oz Cream Cheese, softened
Baker's Chocolate (I used white chocolate this time, but have done milk & dark chocolate before, too)
Crush all cookies using food processor, or throw them in a ziploc and crush manually.  Reserve 5-6 crushed cookies to use to sprinkle on top for decoration at the end.  Mix the crushed cookies with the softened cream cheese until well-blended.  I'm fairly convinced that the best way to do this is get your hands in there and get dirty.  You'll have black fingernails by the time you're done, but you wont spend a lot of time and energy trying to mix it with a fork/spoon. 
Once the cookies and cream cheese are mixed very well together, roll into individual balls and place on a pan or cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  What size balls you make depends on how you like them, but I'd say use a teaspoon as your measure and just start with a heaping teaspoon of the cookie mixture for each ball.  Place in refrigerator and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes.

Melt baker's chocolate in microwave-safe glass dish or measuring cup.  Drop each cookie ball into the mixture, coat with chocolate, allow excess to drip off, then place back on wax paper to dry.  Sprinkle tops with extra cookie crumbs, or if you're really fancy, drizzle with the opposite color chocolate!  You could make them festive around holidays with colored sprinkles or dye your chocolate with food coloring.... have fun with it!

Keep refrigerated until you're ready to serve & enjoy a little taste of yummy goodness.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It is hard to believe we're rolling right into another new year.  I didn't really put all my resolutions out there for the world to see last year, but I can tell you that I kept only two of them (budgeting and menu planning).   I aim to do much better this year, but mostly by setting realistic goals in a few specific areas that will help me meet some of those overall resolutions!

So here you have them...

Faith - Memorize more scripture.... Last year, I set a goal to memorize 52 scriptures, and I didn't make it very far into the 52!  In 2012, my goal is to constantly have a verse in practice, and once I have it committed to memory, add another one to the list.  If it takes me longer than a week to memorize a verse, I am not tied down to that specific "52" number.  If it only takes me 1 day to memorize, I can commit multiple verses to memory in one week.  I'll keep you posted here on how I'm doing!

Budget -  This year, we're going to stick to a weekly cash-only budget for food and hopefully that will help us to save money.  By and large, after our tithe, household bills and student loans, our largest expense monthly is FOOD!  So, here's to cutting back on wasteful spending in that area!

Health - train for and complete my 2nd half-marathon (and maybe my 3rd as well!)  Along with budgeting for food (which means cooking more, eating out less) and a routine exercise schedule, I hope to be much more healthy in 2012!

Household - figure out some sort of schedule for household chores.  Learn to get them done and out of the way, rather than procrastinate and have them pile up so that I have even MORE to do.  If anyone has any suggestions on this, let me know, cause I desperately need help in this area!

I'm resolved to tackle these four areas in 2012.... what have you resolved to do?!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 1)

We're ready to start the new year... looking to continue saving time & money by planning our menus at least one week at a time, but thinking ahead when we go to the store to next week's menu in case any ingredients or main items are already on sale (especially meat!)  

1.2.12 - Soup & Sandwiches after USC Bowl Game
1.3.12 - Casa Linda 99 Cent Tacos
1.4.12 - Crockpot Chicken Chili
1.5.12 - Leftovers
1.6.12 - Meat Loaf Muffins
1.7.12 - Dinner Club at Scott & Meredith's -- Appetizer TBD
1.8.12 - Grilling Steaks & Baked Potatoes

What are you cooking up the first week of 2012??