Menu Plan Monday

Here goes my Monday Plan! I don't know about you, but planning my meals helps me so much. I cannot tell you how many times in my married life that I have walked into the kitchen without a plan and it only ends in gloom and doom. This Menu plan is one of the best things that I can do for my family each week. Also, putting it in writing has helped me to see how I am feeding my crew. Veggies and fruit are good things, right? :)

Monday - Pigs in a Blanket - Hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls/macaroni and cheese
Tuesday - beef enchiladas (recipe on back of the jar)/refried beans/salad
Wednesday - pancakes and sausage/blueberries and yogurt
Thursday - Chicken Spaghetti/broccoli and cheese/crusty bread
Friday - chili/fritos and cheese
Saturday - BBQ/cole slaw - mom shopping with the gals; dad you're on!!
Sunday - guess what? taco salad!!!!

Fruit for the week: pineapple, apples and caramel, banana shakes after school

Holiday Baking:
Crock Pot Candy - Peppermint and White Chocolate
Crock Pot Candy - Chocolate Peanut

Mini Loaves of Bread - probably banana nut

The Five Posts of Branson

Twenty-four hours is all the time that we spent in Branson, MO codeword for "mini-Las Vegas Mickey Mouse style" this weekend and I have at least five posts from our time there.

The first experience I would like to share would be our time in the car. The travel time is only about three hours, but I can alway use a good snooze. I had just shut my eyes when my husband screamed, "Deer!" I thought he was saying "Dear!" so I said what? As soon as I opened my eyes I swear to you that a DEER was right in front of my side of the car and we missed it by a foot at the most. It had a full rack of horns and I am thankful that it was fast. Hansel was sad to have missed it because he wanted a deer rack to add to his hunting/camping bedroom decor. Well, the excitement gets even better from here so stay tuned to find out what else we did in the next twenty two hours.

Ok, I'm bragging!

I am two presents away from being finished with my big Christmas shopping.

The two that I have left are my son and a cousin of mine. Neither of them are that difficult, I just have not gotten to the place to buy the present. Yippee Skippee! I do have friends and neighbors to bake for, but that is it. The hard part is almost over. . .now I can enjoy my time with my family instead of being hmm. . .how could I say it politely?
Thought I would post this picture. Let's just say that my kids got inspired after watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Yeah, it's in my front yard and my neighbors are extremely thankful for us because we help their house value skyrocket with these decorations. I hope your family is having a memorable Christmas season.

Yummy Smelling Holiday Decorations

One of my very creative friends got me started on this and I my kids love to do it. . . Zesting lemons and limes. This is fun to do with girlfriends as well, but these are pics of my kids being creative.
I want to mention too (from a teacher standpoint) that this activity works with small motor skills, as well as, is very good with working with the senses. . .smell, possibly taste, and touch. . .it also lets the creative juices flow!
The how to:
  • buy a bag full of lemons, limes . . .you can do oranges as well, but lemons and limes work best.
  • Buy a couple of zesters and have your kids use rubberbands to make the design that they want to zest. It can be anything. My kids were 5 and 7 when they did this just to give you an idea at the skill level that it requires.
  • Zest out the design
  • stick cloves in the design to give it a little more umph.
  • Place in a pretty bowl for display throughout the holidays
Now this is the yummiest part. . .put the zested lemon and lime pieces in a pan with some cloves and add some water. Let it simmer on the stove to give your house the smell of Heaven. It works for this family! Check out more Works for Wednesday ideas with Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Holiday Baking Hour With Clappy Shoes

Here's the best thing you could do for your neighbors and friends. Spread the Love with cookies and candies! Guaranteed to mend any broken fences and hearts!!

Crock Pot Candy

1 lb. chocolate almond bark
1 pkg. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. oil
1 jar (24 oz.) salted or lightly salted roasted peanuts (I usually buy Planters in the jar)


In crock pot, melt bark and chocolate chips. Add oil, cocoa and peanuts; stir well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper (Pictured above with my cute dude). Cool. And it is cool to give to your neighbors! :)

An alternative and something else that I am going to make that is yummy!

Peppermint Bark:

1 lb. white almond bark
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 package of crushed peppermint; I sometime buy the candy canes and crush them, but that is a lot of work (but cheaper)!


In crock pot, melt bark and chocolate chips. Add oil, extract and peppermint; stir well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper. Cool. And it is cool as well to give to your neighbors! :)

Now my friend just gave me this recipe and apparently it is to die for so I will be making this for a Christmas party that I am having at my house.

Copycat Starbucks Peppermint Brownies

Another of my specialties of the season is this adorable Snowman.

My son helped me make this last year and we had so much fun and it was a super big hit at our Christmas party.

Ok, that is enough to keep you and me both busy for awhile. Happy Holiday Baking!!!

Menu Plan Monday

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to think about food! We ate so much last week with our friends that we are still stuffed turkeys! So here is the scoop on "The Week of Cooking Dread!"

Monday - leftover BBQ/cole slaw also leftover turkey pot pie (recipe below)

I love my own pot pie-way better than the kind you buy at the store!

1 lb cooked ckn or turkey chopped
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 can of veg all (brand name. . .located by green beans and corn in a can)-drain liquid, but keep a little
salt and pepper
2 pie crusts

Mix all of these ingredients together and pour in bottom pie crust

I get deep dish from Kroger ( cut edge off of top one and place it on top of the bottom one with ingredients in the bottom one)

Cut an X in the top so that it will not spill over.

Place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden brown on top. My kids love this recipe and ask for it a lot. Plus, it has veggies. Yay! Make sure that you let it rest for a minute because it is not only juicy, but very hot!

Tuesday - sausage and pancakes and I better add fruit before the fruit nazi's get onto me for neglecting my children. . .dad has a meeting this night

Wednesday - chili/cheese/crackers

Thursday - Mushroom-Chicken Bake, rice, green beans and rolls

1 2 1/2-3 lb broiler fryer ( I will probably use chicken thighs)
1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Drizzle dressing over chicken; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp paprika and pepper. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes basting occasionally. Turn ckn and add mushrooms; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining paprika. Bake 30 more minutes or until ckn is tender.

(Prep 6 minutes and and Cook 1 hour)

Friday - Homeschool Trip to Governor's Mansion; I will probably be tired when I come home; may go to in-laws, but if I don't. . .Grilled Cheese with Chips and Salsa

Saturday - Local Christmas Parade. . . our church always hands out hot cocoa and cookies for free because we are located on the parade path. Fun stuff! May run by Sonic or may have leftovers.

Sunday - you guessed it. . .Taco Salad

Holiday Baking- (recipes coming next week cuz I am running out of time on this post. . .lots of work today)

Peppermint Bark
Mini Banana Nut Bread Loaves-bought pampered chef mini loaf pan and will give these out as Christmas presents to friends and neighbors
More Crock Pot Candy-since we just about ate all of our Christmas presents last week! :)