Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Mummy Dogs

Halloween Mummy Dogs

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen and thought it was perfect for our fun weekend!  I used 8 turkey dogs instead of hot dogs and just had 4 leftover breadsticks in the package.

Here is the recipe:
•1 package 11 Oz Pillsbury Breadstick Dough
•12 whole Hot Dogs
•Cooking Spray
•Optional Garnish: Mustard And Ketchup

Preparation Instructions
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll dough and separate at perforations creating 12 strips. With knife or pizza cutter, cut each bread stick in half making two thinner strips of dough. You will now have 24 strips of thin bread sticks. Wrap 2 strips of dough around each hot dog to look like “bandages,” stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog.

About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate “bandages” so hot dog shows through for the “face.” Place mummy dogs on a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown. When done let cool a bit and add some mustard eyes. I used a toothpick and dipped it into the mustard.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning!  Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday!  Last week's budget wasn't awful. $15 at Target and $68 at Meijer.  It unfortunately wasn't my $50 goal either. I'm really going to have to work at it if we stick to that.

We have been a bit behind on our meal plans. Here is what last week's menu looked like (and what we really ate!):

Monday - Steak Fajitas (made with round steak) Chicken Enchiladas (Review: easy, husband enjoyed it, but the canned enchilada sauce grosses me out.  Will not make again without changing the sauce)
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes, Pioneer Woman Potatoes Au Grautin (Review: delicious potatoes!  Will be adding the recipe soon.  Added mixed veggies to the menu also)
Wednesday - Balsamic Chicken & Linguine We decided to make it a make-your-own kind of night. Jeremy had Totino's, I had turkey and swiss stuffed crescent rolls, and Calvin had veggies and cheese tortellini with red sauce.  Yum!  I need to do this more often!
Thursday - Pioneer Woman Steak Bites, Cheesy Garlic Risotto Balsamic Chicken & Linguine.  Delicious and easy.
Friday - Pioneer Woman Chicken Scallopine Pioneer Woman Steak Bites, Cheesy Garlic Risotto - YUM! To both.

Based on all of that, we need a week or two to eat everything I have planned but have not actually made for one reason or another. Here is the menu this week:
Mexican Monday - Steak Fajitas (made with round steak)
Comfort Food Tuesday - Cheesy ham & pasta bake
Make-Your-Own Wednesday - Leftovers, frozen foods, etc...
I'm-Ready-for-the-Weekend Thursday - Sausage & Mushroom Pizza (frozen pizza dough, frozen cooked sausage & fresh mushroom)
Thank-God-It's-Friday - Cheeseburgers, Fries, Veggies

And here is the grocery list for this weekend:
Grocery List
Milk (2) $5.00
Bananas $1.00
Buns $1.00
Mozzerella (2) $3.00
Green Pepper $1.00
Eggs $1.00
Cheese $2.50
Peanut Butter $3.00
Jelly $3.00
Sausage $2.50
Chicken $5.00
Cream $1.50
Zip loc bags $3.00
Cereal $3.00
1 lb lunchmeat $5.00
Bread (2) $3.00
Frozen Pizzas $5.00

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Turkey & Swiss Crescent Rolls

I put these together tonight for a very quick dinner when we wanted something light. 

Crescent Rolls (large can)
Deli Sliced Turkey
Swiss Cheese

Prepare crescent rolls as per package directions, but lay turkey and swiss slices on the crescent dough before rolling the crescent rolls.  Bake as directed and enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I had a $50 budget. And a husband that went shopping with me.... disaster!  We spent $96 on groceries, which included $25 for Halloween candy (good grief!) and $14 on my husband's snacks, which would not have ended up in the cart if he wasn't with me... I do have to add that I was back to the store on Saturday for a few more items that we missed, spending an additional $16 on groceries.  Ridiculous.  I do think it made a difference that we were both home all weekend, which rarely happens, and as such we did not take advantage of home-cooked meals from either my parent's or my husband's, and we did not eat out.

So this week... I have been perusing Pioneer Woman recipes, especially after finding Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich and enjoying it - and the simplicity of the recipe!

So this has become Pioneer Woman Week!
Monday - Steak Fajitas (made with round steak)
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes, Pioneer Woman Potatoes Au Grautin
Wednesday - Balsamic Chicken & Linguine
Thursday - Pioneer Woman Steak Bites, Cheesy Garlic Risotto
Friday - Pioneer Woman Chicken Scallopine

Possible Weekend Meals & Treats:
Pioneer Woman Fettuccine Alfredo
Classic Cheese Fondue
Apple Crisp
French Bread

The grocery list is a bit over $50 this week.  Let's see what we end up with:
Grocery List
Milk (2) $5.00
Bananas $1.00
Buns $1.00
Iceberg lettuce $1.00
Salted butter $2.50
Heavy Cream (3 c) $2.00
Garlic $0.25
Sharp Cheddar $1.50
Olive Oil $5.00
Yeast $5.00
Linguini $1.00
Arborio Rice $3.00
Yellow onion $0.50
White Wine $4.00
Cream Cheese $1.00
Mushrooms $1.00
Lemon $0.50
Fresh Italian Parsley $1.00
Fettuccine $1.00
2 cups Parmesan $3.00
Zip loc bags $3.00
Saran wrap $1.50
Drano $2.50
Cereal $3.00
1 lb lunchmeat $5.00
Bread (2) $3.00

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Light Potato Soup

This recipe was a light version of potato soup, one of my husband's favorite restaurant soups.  I think it tasted kind of like a big bowl of thin mashed potatoes. 

Courtesy of Prevention RD

Loaded Potato Soup from Cooking Light

4 (6-ounce) red potatoes (I used about 7 small russet potatoes)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% milk, divided (I used 1/2 skin, 1/2 whole)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 turkey bacon slices, halved
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 tsp thinly sliced green onions (omitted since we didn't have any on hand)


Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil SLOWLY (you don’t want the milk to curdle!). Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon. Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/4 cup each).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Garlic Cheddar Quick Bread

This tastes almost EXACTLY  like Red Lobster's cheddar biscuits! I loaded butter on mine and served with Baked Potato Soup.  I should have warmed the bread first to make it even better!

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Stephanie Cooks:

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

3 cups all-purpose flour
4.5 tsp. baking powder
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder (could be doubled if you like a lot of garlic)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings, divided
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, sugar, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl combine the milk, oil, and egg. Stir into dry ingredients until moistened.

3. Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Top with additional 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pioneer Woman Steak Bites

I can't believe I've never written about Pioneer Woman's Steak Bites! We have eaten these quite a few times. It's a great way to prepare sirloin steak.  The steak is perfectly cooked, and the butter sauce is fantastic!

Here is the recipe:

1 pound Sirloin Steak (without Much Gristle) OR Pre-cut Beef Tips
Kosher Salt To Taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preparation Instructions

Trim off the large obvious piece of fat that runs along the side of the meat. Next, cut strips less than 1-inch wide. Rotate the meat and cut into small bite-sized pieces. If you see any more large chunks of fat, gristle or long silvery membrane, cut them off.

Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss the meat around a bit to thoroughly coat with the seasonings.

Next, turn on your ventilation fan overhead. Heat the skillet over medium high to high heat. As the pan heats, add about 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to melt, then brown, before you add the meat.

Place some of the meat in the pan in a single layer. It should sizzle loudly when it hits the pan – if it doesn’t, the pan isn’t hot enough. Don’t stir or disrupt the meat for 30-45 seconds. You want it to sizzle and brown on one side. Scoop as many steak bites as you can with your spatula and flip them over. Repeat until all the meat is turned. Cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds—just long enough to sear the outside of the meat but NOT cook the inside.

Remove the meat to a clean plate. Add a little more butter to the pan and repeat the cooking process with the next batch just as before. Lastly, when all the meat is nicely browned and removed to the plate, pour all that browned/blackened butter all over the meat. And enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

I was perusing the website of Diary of a Recipe Addict this morning... and I ran into this recipe from Pioneer Woman!  Since we have a freezer half full of beef that still needs to be used... including cube steak which I have a hard time figuring out how to cook.... I thought this seemed worth a try! 

My measurements were a little lighter - 1 pound of cube steak (I think - 4 patties), 3 hoagie rolls that I browned in the oven, 1 1/2 small onions and no tabasco (we don't like heat).  I did add a light sprinkling of paprika. 

Here is the recipe:

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

1 whole large (or 2 small) onions
1 stick butter (I used 3 tbsp)
2-3 lbs. cube steak (tenderized round steak that's been extra tenderized)
Seasoned Salt
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco Sauce, to taste
4 whole French/deli rolls (like Earthgrains)

Slice the onions & cook in 1 Tbsp. butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.

Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with seasoned salt.

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.

Add 1/2 c. (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5-6 shakes Tabasco, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.

Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet or under broiler in oven.

To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with the other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Menu Plan Monday

Well hello there.  Menu planning again.  Last week's grocery trip was a success - $47!  And that's it!  So this week will be a success as well, I declare it!

So this week we have some fantastic meals planned.  Cheap and easy. And new!

Monday - Crockpot ham, roasted potatoes, veggies
Tuesday - Philly Cheese Steaks
Wednesday - Cheesy ham & pasta bake
Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas
Friday - out of town

Garlic Cheddar Bread
Crescent rolls with ham, cheese, apple slices

And at some point this weekend I may try this:
Light Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Grocery List:

Applesauce       1.00
Milk (2)       5.00
Cereal       3.00
Ham       8.00
Red & Green Peppers       2.00
Shells       1.00
Sharp Cheddar       2.00
Mushrooms       1.50
Bananas       1.00
Chips (A's lunch)       2.00
Crescent Rolls       2.00
Bread (2)       3.00
Lunchmeat (2 lbs)       5.00
American Cheese       2.50
Crusty Rolls       2.50
Swiss Cheese       2.00
Mozz. Cheese       2.00
Sour Cream       1.00
Green Enchilada Sauce       1.00
Tomato       1.00
Salsa       1.50

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday - courtesy of  For more menu ideas, visit her website here.

This week, we spent $33 on lunches shopping on Sunday. We have a new budget and a new month to work on it. So here goes nothing!

Budget for the month of October is $225. This will include everything - household items, diapers, dog food ... can it be done?  This week's budget is $50. I put together a grocery list based on my menu plan:

Monday - Italian Beef, Rice, Veggies
Tuesday - Homemade sausage pizza
Wednesday - Chili mac & cornbread
Thursday - Chicken alfredo
Friday - Steak, potatoes, veggies

Here is my grocery list with approximate prices. This will be for breakfast, lunches, and dinners.  Keep in mind we have plenty of beef in the deep freeze - we get half a cow each year around Christmas so we need to eat it up anyway!

Grocery List
Milk (2) $5.00
Eggs (2) $2.00
Mozz Cheese $2.00
Butter $2.50
Margarine $3.00
Peaches $1.00
Apples $4.00
Fettucinne $1.00
Alfredo $3.00
Chicken $5.00
Sausage $2.00
Light Bulb $2.00
Sea Salt $2.00
Ketchup $3.00
BBQ $1.50
Cereal $3.00
1 lb lunchmeat $5.00
Bread (2) $3.00
Total $50.00

Also... please keep my family in your prayers. We are trying to sell our home to move closer to my work & cut down on my 45-minute each way commute.  The house has been on the market for four months now, we have a realtor bringing someone in on Friday!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stuffed Bread Sticks

Also from Cooking During Stolen Moments

I had a bit of an issue with these - I messed up the cheesesticks by cutting them longwise - DUH! Also, I apparently had another problem telling "TBSP from TSP" when reading the recipe - I used 1 TBSP of sugar & yeast!  They worked out just fine anyway.  My little son LOVED them "more, more, more". 

I used the dough attachment of my Kitchenaid mixer to avoid kneading the dough. It worked out great. And I'm making another batch of the pizza dough right now for the freezer!

1 t. yeast
1 t. sugar
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. Italian seasoning, optional
2-3 c. flour
8 mozzarella string cheese sticks, cut in half
32 slices pepperoni
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
Optional topping: 2 t. Parmesan cheese, 1/2 t. each garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt

1. Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, 1/2 t. salt and optional 1/2 t. Italian seasoning. Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

2. On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle. (I don’t have any good measurements for you here besides saying not too thin and not too think.) Cut into 16 squares. At the edge of each square, place one piece of mozzarella and two pieces of pepperoni. Roll up and tuck in sides. Be sure to seal well to cut down on cheese melting out during the baking process. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until done.

3. Drizzle or brush melted butter or margarine over each mini bread stick. If desired, combine the optional topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cinnamon-Apple Stuffed French Toast

From Cooking During Stolen Moments

Even my husband liked this - and he's not one for trying something "different"! I loved it because it was a good and delicious way to use my free apples - and my son loved it too.  A hit all the way around.

We made a half batch for 3 of us - 1 sandwich each, plus sausage on the side and maple syrup to top it all.

1/4 c. butter
2 apples, peeled and cubed
2 T. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
12 slices thick, hearty bread (we used Dutch Country butter top bread)
6 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
Extra butter for the skillet

1. Melt 1/4 c. butter in a small skillet. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook 5-8 minutes until apples start getting tender.
2. In a bowl, add cream cheese and apple mixture. Stir until well combined. (This can be made the night before and kept refrigerated.)
3. Add about 2 T. filling to the center of one piece of bread. Spread out a little but don’t go all the way to the edges. Top with another slice of bread to make a sandwich. Repeat with all.
4. Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture as you would for regular French toast. Cook in a hot, greased skillet, 3-4 minutes per side.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning!  Welcome to the weekend.  The menu for next week has been planned early - last week's non-shopping experiment didn't work out so well - we ran out of snacks and sides, especially for the little one, very early in the week!  Shopping trip on Tuesday - Cub Foods $79 + Target $59 - included $10 for charity and the rest was grocery/home goods/personal goods. 

For this week:

Monday - Roast, veggies, baked potatoes
Tuesday - Breaded chicken, green beans, rice
Wednesday - Pulled beef BBQ (from leftover roast), veggies, leftover rice
Thursday - Cheesy chicken & mushrooms over pasta, caprese salad

Snacks - cheese & crackers, hard boiled eggs, nilla wafers for the husband, bananas and animal crackers for the little one

Cinnamon Apple French Toast
Stuffed Bread Sticks using this pizza dough
No-knead bread

Lunches this week & next - tuna salad on pita, chicken salad on croissant