Weekly Menu 5/30

This weekend has left me wanting to eat a bit healthier this week.  Here is my menu with recipe links to the sources.  I used the internet for help this week. I will review the recipes as I try them.  I used my weekly grocery store circular to find healthy veggies on sale to supplement the recipes this week.

Monday--Grilled Steaks

Tuesday-- Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

Wednesday-- Chicken Quesadillas

Thursday-- Shrimp Kabobs and salad

Friday-- Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables




Blueberry Crumble Bars

I found this recipe hiding within my email from the last month.  I have been waiting for a special occasion to make this dish.  It smells wonderful and a perfect way to have a great Memorial Day!! 

Take some time to reflect on what Memorial Day means to you

Blueberry Crumble Bars

1/2 cup butter

1 pkg.  (2-layer size) white cake mix

2 eggs, divided

2 pkg.  (8 oz. each)  Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

  zest and juice from 1 lime

2-1/2 cups fresh/frozen blueberries

Make It

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

Microwave butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 to 1-1/2 min. or until melted. Add cake mix and 1 egg; beat with mixer until well blended. Press 2/3 of the mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese and sugar. Add remaining egg, zest and juice; mix well. Pour over crust; top with berries. Pinch small pieces of the remaining cake mix mixture between your fingers; press lightly into cream cheese layer.

Bake for  1 hour

Adapted from this recipe from  Kraft


Banana Bread--New Recipe

Well, it has been gray and rainy today.  I decided to bake some bread.  Banana Bread that is.  Now my house smells like a bakery and I will have a warm snack for my daughter when she comes home from school on this cool and rainy day.

Banana Bread
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 bananas mashed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream the first three ingredients together and add vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients and pour into 2 well greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Makes 2 loaves


Tavern Burgers

This recipe was a flop...So, why am I posting it you ask?  Well, here is why.  I believe that this recipe would be very good.  It flopped because my days are long and I cooked it almost 9 hours.  Most of the time this would be fine to do.  In the case of this dish however, the liquid was not enough to keep the sugars in the ketchup from crystallizing and burning.  I will try it again in the near future, but on a day I am home so that I can time the recipe to find out how long it will take in my crockpot.  Some weeks I have a love hate relationship with the appliance that is supposed to save me time. 

Here is the recipe:

Crockpot Tavern Beef
2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

1 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups beef broth or water

8 hamburger buns, toasted
In a skillet, brown and crumble ground beef; drain well. Place beef and remaining ingredients except hamburger rolls in a crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 12 hours. Taste for seasoning before serving and correct if necessary. Spoon over toasted hamburger buns.

Serves 8


Greek Baked Chicken and Tomato Orzo pasta

I made these recipes today and I must say they are soooo good.  I will definitely be making these again.  Please try these and you will not be disappointed.  Also these would be great using up spinach and tomatoes from the garden this summer.  What a great frugal idea.  Also, these recipes are almost fancy.  My husband asked me what the occasion was.


4 pieces skinless boneless chicken breast

1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese

1 tsp dried oregano

1 cup breadcrumbs

3 tbs butter

Nutmeg, to taste

Salt and Pepper

10 oz box chopped spinach, thawed

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 tbs olive or vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1 tbs oil in a skillet. Add onion and 2/3 garlic and cook until softened, 4 min. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then add spinach and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Melt butter in the same pan, turn off the heat and add bread crumbs, oregano and remaining garlic, toss.

Drizzle a baking dish with the remaining oil. Split each chicken breast across but not all the way through and open like a book. Stuff with spinach and feta, letting the stuffing overflow at the edges. Place the chicken pieces in the baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake until the juices run clear, 20 min. then serve.


Orzo with Parmesan and Tomatoes
1/2 pound orzo


2 tablespoons butter

1 cup parmesan cheese

A handful of basil leaves, chopped

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat water in large sauce pot to boil and add pasta, cook to al dente.
Melt butter in the pot while still hot and combine with parmesan cheese. Add cooked pasta to feta butter and toss with parsley and tomatoes, season with a little pepper.


Menu Plan Monday 5/23

So excited, but this week brings us to the last full week of school for my wonderful daughter.  I personally can't wait for summer.  I will have a few days of sleeping in again.  Although my body decides it wants to get up at 4:30 am every day of the week, even if I don't have to work.  Oh well, I hope we all can have some fun in the sun this year.

Menu For the week of 5/23

Mon.-Greek Baked Chicken

Tues.-Tavern Burgers--Crock pot recipe


Thurs.-Easy Mexican Chicken

Fri.-Something Grilled

Sat.-Dinner with friends

I will post recipes if they are worthy this week.  All recipes are new and I have never tried before. 

A Weekend of Baking

Well this weekend I decided to explore my pantry.  I found some rhubarb waiting in my freezer for me to use it and I also found some raspberry preserves that wanted to be used.  Here are the recipes I created with them.  Both were very good (at least according to my family)

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

1 cup flour

1 - 3 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. grated lemon peel, I just use lemon extract if I don't have a lemon, about 1/2 tsp.

1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry seedless preserves


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

2 tsps. butter, softened

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8 inch square pan. In a small bowl, combine all coffee cake ingredients except preserves; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.

Spread batter in pan. Spoon preserves by teaspoons over batter in spots. Using a knife swirl preserves over top of batter to marble.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl combine all frosting ingredients except almonds; 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tsps. butter, softened. Beat until smooth. Drizzle over the warm cake and sprinkle with almonds. Serve warm.

Rhubarb Bars

1/2 cup Butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Eggs

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar


Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter just begins to turn golden brown (3 to 4 minutes). Immediately remove from heat. Add 1 cup flour and 1/3 cup sugar; and nutmeg mix well. Press firmly into bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.
Combine rhubarb, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl. Beat in eggs with wooden spoon until smooth; pour over crust. Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar evenly over top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
I hope everyone enjoys these wonderful recipes for this week!!


Thrifty Thursday--Frugal Tips for Frugal Living

Here is a list of a few ideas to increase your frugal living knowledge.  All may not be for you, but may come in handy sometimes.  I try to live like my grandparents lived, because I know they lived through hard times and lessons learned are lessons lived. 

1. My grandmother whisked a crushed saltine with every egg for scrambled eggs. It makes a nice fluffy and tasty scrambled egg as well as increasing the portion.

2. She saved turkey and chicken bones for making broth and or gravy. When she made chicken or veal cutlets she would take and mix the breadcrumbs, flour and egg left over from the coating and fry it with the cutlets. We loved the bread crumb pancakes.

3. I save chicken broth and gravy in plastic bags in the freezer . My friend freezes chicken broth in ice cube trays and then places them in plastic bags for easy use.

4. Bacon grease can be saved in refrigerator for cooking potato hash browns or eggs. and add a nice flavor.

5. Chop up leftover onions or celery and freeze for future soups, or meals requiring some.

6. You can refrigerate or freeze leftover coffee for iced coffee or for making coffee kolattas

Spaghetti Sauce

The husband ate the spaghetti and never complained about the switch.  I am not sure he even noticed.  I really am trying to make the switch to better eating.  I will give you all my version of spaghetti sauce.  My sauce is pretty spicy, because I use a hot italian sausage for the meat.  You could substitute hamburger for the meat and it would be fine.  I do it either way, it just depends on the mood I am in when I make it.

Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 lb. italian sausage
1 jar tomato sauce such as prego
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 15 oz. cans chopped tomatoes

Brown onions, mushrooms, garlic, and meat in a skillet.  When brown, add all canned ingredients. Cook for about an hour to mix flavors. 

There it is a very easy sauce to make and cheap also.  This sauce cost me about:  $4.00 to make and will feed my family for probably two to three nights and a day of lunch.  Not a bad frugal recipe


Frugal Ideas

I did it!!!  I halved the amount of meat contained in my normal spaghetti sauce recipe.  Will my husband notice?  That is the question of the night.  I will let you all know later after he tastes it.

I have been really trying to cut the grocery bill this year.  With grocery prices rising, that has been nearly impossible.  The latest trick is to take out some meat in a recipe and substitute something else into the recipe.  Great trick because no one in my house seems to notice. 

Do any of you substitute anything in your recipes to make them cost less?  Please leave a comment telling my readers your trick!!!


It's Garden Time

Today was the day I planned to plant my garden.  With temps in the 80's, I decided it was time.  I went and bought tomato plants, brussel sprouts, peppers, and a variety of seeds.  Cucumbers, green beans, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, and radishes.  Also my herbs I have planted in previous years have all come back.  What a great start to my garden.  I hope all grows this year.  Last year, I did not have a great year for my garden.  This year I decided to test my soil and made the proper amendments.  Now I hope I have a fertile space for the garden. 

Now I need to run and plant it quick, because it may rain later tonight.  Good luck to all my gardening readers.  If you have a garden tip you want to share, leave it in the comments.  Links are always welcome in the comments section.  Have a great gardening week!!