Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

This is going to be a busy week.  Dentist appointments (first one for my 2 1/2-year-old!), the carpets are getting cleaned (baby is finally crawling, really can’t put it off any longer!), and I’m leaving my husband alone for the weekend (what a treat!), because I’m packing up the kids and taking them to my friend’s house for the weekend.  It should be a crazy, fun, weekend with 6 kids between us.  Ahhh!  

On top of all this, I’m prepping for our upcoming trip to Disneyland!  This will be the boys’ first trip, and the baby is staying with my parents.  My in-laws, and my brother and sister-in-law will be coming, too.  I will never again be spoiled with so much adult supervision for my children.  I simply cannot wait!

Because the week is already going to be busy, I have a very simple menu on deck.  Nothing fancy, but family favorites all around.

Monday:  Tacos (Still have not gotten this on the table, in two weeks!)

Tuesday:  Homemade Pesto Pizza (using pesto and pizza dough recipe from Simple Bites)

Wednesday:  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Soup

Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner – Scrambled Eggs and Overnight Forgotten Coffeecake  (trying to use up leftover buttermilk in the fridge!)

Friday:  Off to my friend’s house for the weekend, so husband is on his own with leftovers or whatever he can find.  🙂

What’s going to be on your dinner table this week?

For more menu ideas, check out I’m an Organizing Junkie!


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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 as told in 12 photos.

6:30ish to 7am:  Boys wake up.  I force my eyes open.

7am:  Breakfast of banana bread with cream cheese, fruit, and milk.

8am: Teeth Brushing antics

9am:  Time to wake the baby so we can take CW to Kindergarten.  Poor thing!

10am:  A little quality time with the Potty Seat

11am:  Following Big Brother now that we’re mobile!

12pm: B Dog gets some quality time alone with the toys.  No big brother to annoy him share with.

1pm:  Nap time.  Shoes and truck safely stowed.  Together.

2pm:  While little siblings sleep, play time for the Big Brother, CW.

4pm:  Backyard water play.  Summer lives on for a few more days.

6pm:  Dinner for the boys: macaroni and cheese (K has already eaten she’ll be asleep shortly).  I cook the broccoli with the pasta.  Time saver.  I rock.

7pm:  We have just entered the Lego phase in our house.  I already have a love/hate relationship with them.

8pm:  A little Thomas the Tank Engine before bed.  See, I can be a Fun Mom.  Note the sleepy eyes and big belly.  Love that.

8:30pm  Bed time for the boys.  The baby has been in bed already for approximately 2 hours.  Aren’t I lucky?  Sweet dreams, babies.  I love you.

For more Ordinary Day posts, check out Baby Rabies.

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I’ve been following along, and lurking in the shadows at Laura’s Menu Plan Monday roundup at I’m An Organizing Junkie for a long time now.  I’ve menu planned (off and on) for almost a year.  It is by far one of the most simple ways you can 1) save money 2) be more organized and 3) save time.  Plus, it almost assures you that you will try new recipes.  I’m finally linking up!

So, here’s what’s on our menu for the week:

Monday: One Pot Spaghetti

Tuesday:  Homemade Pizza – here’s the recipe I’ll use for pizza dough for the rest of my life! Scroll down in the post to find it.

Wednesday:   Tacos

Thursday:  Oven-Fried Chicken 

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner – scrambled eggs, fruit, and Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread (photo and recipe from Joy the Baker)

I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat this?  I may have to make a double batch!  

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With three kids, dinner time at our house can be a flurry of activity.

“Sit down!”. “Don’t spill your milk!”. “Do you want broccoli or green beans?”. “Ok, ok, it’s almost ready!” These are often heard, much repeated phrases around the dinner table and kitchen. To make the witching hour a little less chaotic, I rely on this recipe quite a bit, especially in the winter. It is super easy to make, gives my crock pot a rest, and pleases everyone (well, there’s no pleasing my picky eater, CW, but we’re working on that one).

I found the original recipe from Lynn at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. She actually adapted her recipe from Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie. And, now I’m giving you my version. It’s totally delish. For real.

First, go grab your ingredients:

Dice your onion and throw it in a large pot with your ground beef (or ground turkey).

Once the meat is browned, drain off any fat and add your garlic. My opinion is a little garlic is never enough. Let that simmer for just a bit, but be careful not to burn the garlic! Next, add your broth, spaghetti sauce, and water. Your pot will look awfully soupy at this point.

Go ahead and bring ‘er to a boil. Then reduce the heat and add your noodles. I typically use a mixture of half regular spaghetti noodles and half whole wheat noodles. No one knows the difference, and I sleep a little better at night.

Cover it and let it thicken on low heat. When you’ve let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, it should be nice and thick, like this:

You might find you need to add more water, and give it an occasional stir. Once it has thickened to your liking, serve it up with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

This is a very hearty, flavorful, comfort food. I know, I know, it doesn’t have any fresh vegetables, and I’m even using jarred spaghetti sauce (audible gasp!). But, it makes it easy, and really delicious. We always serve it up with a fresh vegetable or salad, and some yummy bread.

One Pot Spaghetti

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic (at least!) minced
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth (or more, to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 10-12 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into pieces
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot with a lid, cook meat and onion together until the meat is browned, and onion is soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Drain any fat off, and add garlic.
  3. Add broth, spaghetti sauce, and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add noodles and reduce heat.
  5. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir occasionally, and add more water as desired.
  6. Serve with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe found here.  I love Ina’s recipes, and have several of her books.  I adapted this one for summer grilling. I also used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I always have these in the freezer, and they’re a healthier alternative.  Of course, when you slather them in the Basil Butter . . . well they’re just plain delicious.  There, I said it.


4 boneless sinless chicken breasts

5 ounces herbed goat cheese

20 whole fresh basil leaves, divided

For Basil Butter:

6 T butter

fresh basil leaves


Chop up your fresh basil leaves.  This way it’s done before you get the raw chicken out and on your cutting board.  The Pioneer Woman has a beautiful tutorial called (what else?!) . . . “How to . . . Chiffonade Basil” .  Check it out. Her pictures are so much prettier than mine.

Next, cut a pocket into each chicken breast.

Slice the goat cheese into four thick slices, and insert (squish!) one into each chicken breast.  Stuff a generous amount of your yummy basil into each pocket while you’re at it.

At this point, you can cover tightly and refrigerate for a few hours before grilling.  Don’t you love having the prep done before dinner time?

Before you grill, prepare your Basil Butter for basting.  Um, YUM.  To do this, simply combine the rest of your fresh chopped basil with some very soft butter.

Side note . . . I soooo wish I could take pictures like this one, from PW.  Didn’t I tell you hers were prettier?  I mean, really, it’s gorgeous.

Anyway . . . here’s what your butter should look like.  You can also prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate.

Now, baste your chicken (both sides) and grill it up!

This is a seriously easy, and equally delicious dish.  Friends will think you’re high-brow because you a) stuffed your chicken breasts and b) used goat cheese.  You will a) bask in the loving glow of your friend’s adoration and b) sip wine leisurely because your prep was done well in advance.  You are so smart!


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