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This Week’s Menu

Pick-Me-Up Fruit Smoothie (recipe coming Thursday)


Pick-Me-Up Fruit Smoothies (recipe coming on Thursday)
Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
Cold Cereal, Juice x 2
Baked Oatmeal, Fruit
Overnight French Toast Casserole, Fruit


Leftovers x 2
Tuna sandwiches, frozen veggies, oranges
Macaroni & Cheese, carrots, apple slices
Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, fruit
Cheese Quesadillas, frozen veggies, apple slices
Turkey sandwiches, fruit, veggies


Marinated Chicken, Toast, Frozen Veggies, Fruit
Haystacks (build-your-own Mexican dinner), Green Rice Casserole (from the freezer — I promise I’ll share the recipe next week!), Fruit
Steak, Baked Potatoes, Frozen veggies, Toast
Lasagna Casserole, Broccoli, Bread Machine Buttery Rolls
Tilapia, Mashed Potatoes, Frozen Veggies, fruit salad
Dinner at Extended Family’s House
Dinner Out

Extras: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Have you tried any new recipes recently? Share the links in the comments as I’d love to consider adding them to my list of recipes to try!

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  • Crystal says:

    Has the Green Rice Casserole recipe been listed yet? I’m so excited to try it!

  • Ann says:

    Do you make the baked oatmeal ahead of time and then reheat in the morning.
    I’m looking for some different make ahead options for breakfast and wondered how this reheats.

    • chelsea says:

      I’m not sure about Crystal’s recipe (I haven’t followed the link yet) but when I make baked oatmeal, it can sit in the fridge overnight, then I just pop it in the oven the following morning. I actually think this tastes better than simply making-then-baking, because the oats soak up the juices better.

    • Midwesterner says:

      Just tried the baked oatmeal – delicious and filling. I made a half-recipe for 4 servings, baked in a glass loaf pan. The leftover baked oatmeal, refrigerated, reheats fine in the microwave, about 30 seconds (covered) for a single serving.

  • Kristen says:

    Crystal, do you modify the recipies for the baked oatmeal and overnight French toast? It seems like they are kind of heavy on sugar and in the past I remember you trying to avoid processed sugars. Just curious…thanks!

    • Lynda says:

      This was my exact question. Just wondering if there was a variation you use to make it a little healthier. Apple sauce substitute maybe?

      • Crystal says:

        I pretty much rarely follow a recipe exactly! 🙂 I’m hoping to share my version of Baked Oatmeal soon. I’m experimenting with a few different recipes to make sure I like mine best, though, first!

  • Karla says:

    Can you please explain the Haystacks (build your own mexican dinner) I would love some new ideas to for our taco night!

    • Kristine says:

      I used to eat a lot of “haystacks.” It was a common meal at church events when I was growing up because it’s easy to prepare for lots of people. Haystacks are kind of like taco salad, but with the ingredients in separate bowls/dishes so that people can choose what they want and assemble them on their plates. Usually chips, like tortilla chips or corn chips, are used as a base, and then the other stuff is stacked on top of them–beans and/or meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, salsa, sour cream, ranch dressing, etc.

      Recently we started having haystacks at home every Sunday because the kids love them, and they’re fairly cheap, depending on what you put on them. I buy most of the ingredients at Aldi and cook my own beans. We seldom eat meat, so we use just beans–usually pinto beans and black beans. I love guacamole on them, too, but avocados are usually very expensive where we live. Aldi had a good sale on them last week, though, so I bought some extras. 🙂

  • Tracy says:

    We’ve used splenda in the baked oatmeal with success. I personally prefer the sugar but my mil likes the splenda. She only puts about a cup or so in of the splenda. We also LOVE to put fruit in it. Super yummy!!!!!

    • Tracy says:

      Sorry. I just looked at the recipe you have up, Crystal, and it’s not the same one from a few years ago. D’oh!!! Feeling a bit sheepish now. Lol

  • Noah says:

    I just made Tammy’s slow cooked herbed beef (over potatoes). It was really delicious! Plus it’s super easy!

  • peever says:

    I made this last night following the recipe exactly, only I broiled it for the last 5 minutes or so to crisp up the coating. One of my kids has been kind of eh about chicken lately and everyone inhaled it without a scrap of food leftover so they must have liked it! It was quick and easy.

  • stephanie says:

    Best budget idea for pumpkin: Grow your own! For the past 5+ years, we have been growing our own pumpkins & butternut squash. You only need 1-2 plants to be stocked for the year!
    Pumpkins: Use a sugar/pie pumpkin variety. The kids love this & they always use them to decorate at HAlloween.
    Butternut Squash: Once cooked & pureed, use exactly like pumpkin.
    Garden: the vines do take up quite a bit, but if your diligent you can control where they go. They also like to grow up standard cyclone fences. We have a very small (IMO) veg lot 8×10 & manage to pack a lot into that garden, including 2 vines of pumpkin & butternut. Check out SquareFoot Gardening books. The butternut lasts the longest if stored in a cool dark dry place (basement). I still have 4 butternuts (uncooked) left from last fall, enough to take us through the next 3-4 months. These are no-brainer plants & do not need alot of nurturing, so even a novice can grow these.
    Cook: Half, scoop out seeds, wash. Steam in a steamer for 30-40 minutes or until knife pierces flesh easily. Bake @ 350 cut side down on an oiled cooking sheet for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, cool & scoop out flesh. You will need to place in a food processor to puree. A standard blender doesn’t work the best, but a blendex or vitamix would be great. Bonus: save the seeds for NEXT year!
    Freeze puree: I freeze in 1 or 2 cup portions to use in cooking. Use as you would in your pumpkin recipes.

    • kjs says:

      I would love to know your secret for growing pumpkins-I tried it last year and they grew fine, but were NOT good for eating. I even got the pie pumpkin seeds. The children enjoyed watching them grow, but they certainly weren’t eaten! 🙂

      • stephanie says:

        I really don’t have much secrets for the pumpkins. I delegate the kids to planting those, so my youngest just pops in a seed in the garden bed.

        HOwever, I have found that the most important thing is soil. I add lots of nutrients to the soil: compost, organic matter, fertilizer, etc. & sunlight. I would also go with a reputable seed company. Many “cheap” seed companies that sell them in stores for 10cents a packet are just that: cheap & you may not have had the correct pumpkin variety in the packet. You might want to try the butternut squash. I usually get a 4 pack at the nursery in the spring & split the pack with my dad. @ plants are more than enough for us (we had about 20 butternuts last fall). They are fantastic for eating & using in baked goods. They are so sweet & tender. We love them steamed, or peeled & sauteed in a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper. GOod luck!

  • Crystal, I recently found a great recipe by Rachael Ray for homemade Sloppy Joes. I have made then twice and they’ve been a huge hit with everyone in my family. We’re trying to eat “clean” and these are great because they use maple syrup and a little brown sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Delicious! 🙂

  • Here is out Menu for the week, a full week of quick fix meals because we have a busy week ahead. I also have below my recipe for Loaded Baked Potato easy and tastes just like O’Charley’s!!

    Here is our menu:

    Here is the recipe for Loaded Potato Soup:

  • Susan says:

    I’m curious about your fruit smoothie recipe.

    We’re smoothie lovers, and we make them with frozen berries and yogurt, and that’s all. Just blender it up! Strawberries with strawberry yogurt is our favorite, but any kind of berries or other fruit with various fruity yogurt also works great. I’ve tried some different recipes, but none have ever been as good as our standard, good ‘ole berries and yogurt version.

    But I’m still open to trying out new recipes.

  • Lise says:

    Is it really green rice or is that supposed to be green bean casserole?

  • We are having a few of my favorite meals this week! We just cooked a bunch of shredded chicken and beef for the freezer so I’m using some of that!
    Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps and Irish Pasties… YUM!!!

    Recipes are linked in my menu plan:

  • Jennifer says:

    I made a double order of the lasagna casserole for the extended family this past Sunday. It was a hit!!!

  • Here’s our meal plan for the week:

    We loved oatmeal in our house but we make it overnight in the crockpot. It saves us tons of time in the morning:

  • jana says:

    i posted a recipe for tortellini soup on my blog:

    it really simple and quick and can be modified to fit your preferences. even my 4 year old liked it!

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