Somehow, without my knowledge, someone put Thanksgiving on the calendar for *this* week. Eeps! I thought I had one more week in November, good thing our plans this year are simple.

Oh, and before I forget, I tried a new (better) omelet recipe instead of the one I posted last week. Much easier, fewer ingredients and we thought it was tastier. Ha! Pluses in my book. Here is the new recipe.

I am going to try to do some prep this week, as time allows. However, we have a pretty busy week in the days leading up to Thursday.

  • Grocery Shopping on Monday (need to remember to take the bird out of the fridge today!)
  • Max has a grooming appointment on Tuesday. In a perfect world, this would not be a most of the day adventure. However, the best (and most wonderful) groomer is about 30 minutes drive from our home. Just far enough that it's not worth coming home while she is taking care of him, so Emi and I end up needing to kill about 1.5-2 hours in a town where there is nothing to do. At least in nice weather there is a little park where we can take a picnic and run around. Now, nadda. This should be fun. Back to the picnic idea (in the car!) and dvd's. Hoping the day is sorta nice and not rainy, that way I can bundle us up and at least take a walk.
  • Wednesday is my (hopeful) baking/prep day. It's only the three of us, so it's not like I am planning this big elaborate meal or anything. But because it's just us, I like to make a bit of a big deal out of the holidays. It's harder, when we can't be with our loved ones at this time of year but we are pretty much getting use it to. Mostly.
  • I also want to not to have to do too terribly much on Thursday morning. One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the Macy's Parade in the mornings. Emi and I watched last year, but it went right over her head. This year, she is so into balloons and (of course) music. She will be lovin' this. Hope the talking heads keep it to a minimum, that's a big pet peeve of mine. I want to see the parade, not them.
My current plan for Thanksgiving:
  • Psycho Chicken (That's right, no turkey again this year - we like chicken so much more!)
  • Stuffing (Usually I just make a box, but this year I am SO tempted to try this. However, I wonder if Jeff can handle a non-stuffed bird? hmmmm)
  • Homemade Gravy (Seriously, I am not a gravy person {yuck!} but I love this stuff!)
  • Cranberry-Orange Sauce
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes (Just out of a can, nothing fancy - heat and add a splash of orange juice, a dash of maple syrup, a sprinkle of pecans and just a bit of brown sugar, NO marshmallows!)
  • Acorn Squash (One of our all-time fav's and I really don't make this enough.)
  • Mom's Apple Muffins
  • Grandma Ople's Apple Pie (Probably the *best* apple pie we've ever had!)
  • Pumpkin Ring Cake (Not for the day, but sometime over the weekend. It's just not possible to have Thanksgiving without something pumpkin. Yuuuuum, pumpkin.)
With all this going on, the rest of the week is going to be S.I.M.P.L.E. We still have so many leftovers from last week, and since I need the fridge cleaned out so I can shop, we are having our Leftover Buffet early in the week!

Please notice how blasted early this is up! I woke up at 4am and was not able to go back to sleep. After goofing off for too long, I decided to get this done. Woooohoooo!

Oh, and don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more MPM (later today).

  • Sunday: Leftover Buffet
  • Monday: Tuna Salad Sandwiches (left over tuna steak from Friday night dinner!), fresh bakery bread, lettuce, some kind of cold salad and probably frozen peas for Emi
  • Wednesday: Breakfast (keeping it simple!): Eggs, grits, chicken sausage, maybe toast
  • Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!
Saturday: Chicken Tortilla Bake (using some of the leftover chicken)

Original Post:
Menu Plan (November 23 - November 29)

Chicken Pockets
(Kiy Note: I have no idea how long I've had this recipe, nor where I found it. I came across it in my recipe stash while looking for something fun and different to do with leftover chicken. Keeping my fingers crossed!)

3 oz cream cheese (I use fat free)
3 T melted butter
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/8 tsp salt and pepper
1 T chives or green onions
1 pkg crescent rolls (I use reduced fat)
½ c. Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Blend cream cheese plus 2 T butter until smooth; add the chicken, salt, pepper, and chives; mix. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Spoon meat mixture into center of each triangle. Pull corners together and twist slightly and seal edges. Brush tops with reserved butter and roll in Italian breadcrumbs. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

These can be made in advance and frozen; thaw for 1 hour before baking or cook at lower temp for 30-35 min.

CrockPot Corn Bread Stuffing Recipe

From The Crock Pot Lady:

Day 318.

Dude. I so love my crockpot. It has gotten me to think out of the box, and I now have a refrigerator full of 2! TWO! kinds of perfect crockpot stuffing.

I think I need to bronze the crockpot after this year.

I've never had cornbread stuffing before, so I turned to the master: Paula Deen.

The Ingredients:

8 x 8 pan of baked cornbread (I used the Whole Foods 365 brand of GF cornbread mix)
4 slices of toasted bread (I used the GF Food food For Life brand in the pink bag)
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 beaten eggs
1 T poultry seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable!) --and another 1/4 cup if desired, later

The Directions:

I changed Paula's recipe quite a bit, but tried to keep the basics exactly the same.

I used a 6-quart crockpot. If you only have a 4-quart, toss the stuffing together in a huge mixing bowl, and then transfer to your 4-quart.

Bake the cornbread according to package directions (or by all means, make it by scratch!)

If you have a few days to let it go stale, do that. Other wise, cut into slices and bake at 300 degrees until toasty (along with your bread slices). It took about 30 minutes in my oven.

While the cornbread is toasting, chop up the onion and celery. Put the pieces into your crockpot. Add the seasoning.

Melt butter in the microwave, and mix together with 3 beaten eggs. Stir well into the veggies and seasonings in the crockpot.

Cut the cornbread and toasted bread into cubes, about 1/2 inch square.

Toss the cubes of bread and cornbread well with the ingredients in the crockpot.

Pour in 2 cups of broth. Stir gingerly to combine. The cornbread will break up more than the bread did in the other stuffing, but try to keep a few pieces whole for texture.

Cook on high for 2 hours. This can be on warm successfully for up to 2 hours.

If you'd like a more moist dressing, add another 1/4 cup of broth before serving.

The Verdict.
Tasty. Delicious.
I think we have a new member at our dinner table this Thanksgiving!

Quick Quiche

(Kiy Note: Made this on 11/20/2008, quicker, easier and tastier than my previously posted recipe. I will be using this one from now on!)

COOK TIME: 35 Min (Kiy Note: Mine took closer to 50 minutes and probably could have used another 5-7)

8 slices bacon

4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted (Kiy Note: I did not use)
4 eggs, beaten
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup all-purpose flour (suggested: ½ cup pancake mix - Kiy Note: I used Reduced-Fat Bisquick)
1½ cups milk


1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.

3. Line bottom of pie plate with cheese and crumbled bacon. Combine eggs, butter, onion, salt, flour and milk; whisk together until smooth; pour into pie pan.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, until set. Serve hot or cold.

Last week I was looking for suggestions for a crock pot meal for my boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts. Karen over at Mommy I'm Home suggested the A Year of Crockpotting's (Stephanie/The Crockpot Lady) Teriyaki Chicken recipe. Oh my! It really is as easy as it looks, more so! I dumped my frozen chicken in, dumped teriyaki sauce over it (I had some ready-made stuff in the fridge I have been wanting use up anyway - bonus!) and 4.5-5 hours later had THE most tender and moist chicken breasts ever. They didn't look like they would be (they actually didn't look all that great and I was concerned) but yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum! I posted this recipe and my notes on my recipe blog, you can find it here.

Because of my on-going issues with it getting dark at 430pm (and now, earlier!), quick and easy is my plan. Also, I am going to try to do some of the pre-prep earlier in the day (ie: for my quiches, mix up the ingredients and put them in the fridge). I wonder how well that will actually work, but I need to do something different! Although, I didn't do too badly last week. The only thing I didn't get to were the burgers last night. But, there's a REALLY great reason for it. I hope to put up a post about it early this week ... if Emi naps (which is hit or miss these days, ouch!).

Don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more MPM.

  • Sunday: Teriyaki Burgers on the grill with pineapple slices, buns, Oriental Salad, homemade baked fries
  • Tuesday: Baked Meatballs, linguini (easier for Emi to eat than spaghetti) and jarred marinara sauce with Kiy adds of: zucchini, onions, artichoke hearts and any other vege I can find (we like our marinara sauce well hidden with vege’s!), leftover Oriental Salad, garlic bread (mainly as if I don’t serve it, Jeff won’t eat the spag!)
    • I make the world’s worst meatballs. That said, I need to work on this so I am going to try this recipe. If it works, I will add it to my recipe blog. If not, I will keep looking for more hints!
  • Wednesday: Breakfast! Quick-and-Easy Quiche (made in mini muffin pans for fun), cheese grits (regular grits with grated sharp cheddar cheese added in the last few minutes of cooking), melon slices
  • Thursday: Leftover Buffet
  • Friday: Asian-Style Grilled Tilapia (but since both salmon and tuna steaks are on sale this week, that’s what we will be having), wild rice and a vegetable or salad of some kind
  • Saturday: Free Nite
  • We tend to need a night of not making dinner for various reasons. I am factoring this in my menu plan each week, but it won’t necessarily always (or often) be on a Saturday.

Original Post: Menu Plan (November 15– November 22)
Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

Special thanks to Karen over at Mommy I'm Home for suggesting this!

The Ingredients:

  • Chicken pieces - I used frozen wings and drumettes, but you can use whatever body parts you have on hand.
  • If you have bottled teriyaki sauce, you are done. Just make it the lazy way--and use about ¾ of a cup.

I wasn't lucky enough to be lazy, because we were out of bottled teriyaki, and I wasn't about to put off cooking "the best food ever."

I used this:

  • ½ cup soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free, and so is Tamari Wheat Free)
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 T sherry (I think tequila would work, too)
  • 3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic

The Directions:

  • plop your chicken in the crockpot
  • cover it up with the sauce

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. If you are using frozen pieces, it will take longer than if you are using thawed or fresh chicken. Different pieces of chicken also have different density, and that will also effect cooking time. If you are going to be out of the house, cook on low. You can always switch it to high later.

Notes from Kiy: I used 4 skinless, boneless (frozen) chicken breasts (about 2.5 pounds - they were monster breasts!) still in the frozen condition. I tossed them in the bottom of the crock pot and dumped about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of ready-made teriyaki sauce over them. Setting on low for about 4.5-5 hours. Then I took them out, covered them with foil to keep them warm. Using cornstarch and a bit of water, made a paste and added it to the sauce in the crock pot (turn it up to high or put in on your stove if you are able). Boil it for a few moments and then let it sit a few moments, nice think almost-but-not-quite gravy consistency to ladle over the chicken. YUM! The only thing I will do differently is to not use the bottled sauce, way too salty for our taste.

I am still working on my Seattle post, but wanted to get this up. With Jeff still gone, Emi and I are going to have pretty simple meals until his return on Wednesday. I have little-to-almost-nothing in the house to eat, so a grocery run is in order first thing tomorrow!

I had wanted to toss something (frozen) chicken breast based into the crock pot for Wednesday, but could find nothing that tempted me or wasn't too involved (or didn't require a cream-of-something soup, not a fav of ours). If anyone has something totally divine, please let me know! Seriously, because if not ... poor Jeff will be springing for dinner out that night. :) (Oh, and btw, I did check out A Year of Crockpotting, but nothing really grabbed me there either. Maybe it's not the recipes, but that I wasn't hungry when I was looking).

So, here is out menu for the week. Simple, easy, trying to use up a lot of what we have on-hand with just a bit of grocery shopping for fresh fruit/vege's and milk/yogurt. As always, don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more MPM.

Menu Plan for Week of: November 9 – November 15

  • Sunday: Pumpkin/Ricotta Pancakes, applesauce
    • I just add a half to three-quarters of a cup of pumpkin puree, dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Monday: Boxed Mac & Cheese, peas, pear slices
  • Tuesday: Leftover pancakes, peaches
  • Wednesday: (Jeff home!!!!) Hopefully a chicken crock pot something or else dinner out
  • Thursday: Breakfast! Eggs, chicken sausage, Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole
    • The casserole is one of the very few things I make with cream-of soups. I'd love to find an alternative but I have found nothing so far. Suggestions welcome!
  • Friday: Teriyaki Burgers on the grill with pineapple slices, buns, some kind of cold salad (still haven’t decided yet), homemade baked fries
  • Saturday: Free Nite
  • If we need, Leftover Buffet, if not …
  • We tend to need a night of not making dinner for various reasons. I am factoring this in my menu plan each week, but it won’t necessarily always (or often) be on a Saturday.

Original Post: Menu Plan (November 9 – November 15)
Um, oops. When I woke up this morning I realized it is Monday! Where did the weekend go? The weekends that Jeff has Friday off (every other weekend, and it's so wonderful!) we always end up goofing off more as we both keep thinking 'we have a free day'. Also, I had NO projects set for this weekend, which was a nice change.

Jeff leaves for Tampa on Wednesday at 430am. Ouch. He's decided to take a cab to the airport. I love this man! Although, the only reason is that we don't want to wake Emi up that early, but I will take it. Ahhh, bliss. I will get up with him, kiss him goodbye, wave at the taxi .... and run right back to bed!

We did 'whatever' for dinner last night, and for Monday and Tuesday will probably do much of the same. I am planning on Pasta with Spinach and a frozen vege for Emi for tonight. Yep, it's from last week, I didn't quite get to it. Actually, I didn't get to Marinated Roast Chicken, roasted baby red potatoes and peas either. I wasn't thinking when I set up the menu plan last week about our Forever Day celebrations (and that we'd probably want to go out to our fav Chinese restaurant - which we did), and totally forgot about Halloween and what that does to dinner. Basically, Emi had peas (of course), applesauce and a grilled cheese sandwich. I think Jeff and I had baby Snickers and Mounds bars. Oops. :)

So, I sort of have a plan for Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday through Saturday is another matter. First of all, I am planning yet another adventure for Emi and I while daddy is gone. But that, is another post! So I guess what all this is to say ... no menu plan this week!

In fact, I am not going to link up at I'm an Organizing Junkie because of that. But make sure if you are looking for more MPM's to head on over - I bet there are a lot to see!

BTW, I did indeed make Barbara's
Chili with a Little Sass and Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread. Oh my, total yum. But be warned, oh my gosh that chili recipe makes a LOT! Next time I am going to halve it, and we will still have tons of left overs!

Original Post: