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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hectic Week Ahead

This week is starting out to be a busy one.  Last night was my treatment so I put the roast in the slow cooker before I left for work.  After my treatment I microwaved some store bought mashed potatoes and heated up some of the leftover cabbage and corn casserole.

Tonight we will eat out because we are trick or treating at the mall with Lily and April.  Tomorrow night will not be chicken casserole because I don't have any chicken to cook it with.  So we will have to have something else.  Not sure what, just yet but will figure that out. 

Thursday night we will grab a bite out because we are taking a class on Cattle Nutrition and don't have time to go home before the class.

Friday night is my normal grocery shopping night, but I may try to get that done earlier in the week so I can get some other things done Friday night.

Saturday we will begin painting the kitchen the go to Lily's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.

Hopefully next week will be a little slower with more time spent at home working to get things ready for Daniel & Larissa's visit and the family Thanksgiving dinner we are having the Sunday before Thanksgiving. 

Here is my recipe for the Roast Beef and gravy we had last night:

1 Chuck roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can beef broth
1 packet Au Jus mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet onion soup mix (or raw onions0
Salt & garlic pepper,

Rinse roast, add salt & garlic pepper to taste.  Place in slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients together with 1 soup can of water. Stir until blended. Pour over roast and cook on low for 8 hours.  I usually strain the gravy before serving. This makes a really nice brown gravy.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak and Menu

Last night's dinner was another new recipe (2nd for the month of October) the Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak.  We weren't impressed.  There didn't seem to be very much flavor and the texture of the meat was a little mushy.  Here is the recipe and what I actually did:

2 pounds lean ground beef (I used 1.5 pounds)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk (I used a little less since I wasn't using as much ground beef)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I really didn't measure)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I didn't measure)
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup (I used 1 cream of chicken and 1 cream of mushroom) 
1 (1 ounce) packet dry au jus mix
3/4 cup water
I also added some dried onions to the gravy mix 


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and milk using your hands. Shape into 8 patties (I only had 6 patties).
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the patties in flour just to coat, and quickly brown on both sides in the hot skillet. I browned the patties the night before and put them in the fridge til the next morning.  Place browned patties into the slow cooker stacking alternately like a pyramid. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, au jus mix, and water. Pour over the meat. Cook on the Low setting for 4 or 5 hours, until ground beef is well done.        
I didn't feel as if it was going to have much flavor without some onions so I added the dried onions.  The flavor wasn't bad and if it had been just that I would keep experimenting with this recipe but we just really did not like the texture.

Here is my menu for the next week:

Wednesday: Slow cooker chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday: Pork chops, stove top Mac & Cheese, pork & beans
Friday: Out
Saturday: Family birthday party I have to make Corn Casserole and Apple Dumplings
Sunday: Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Monday: Pot roast
Tuesday: Out trick or treating with April & Lily
This week doesn't really have any new recipes but this apple dumpling recipe is YUMMMMMMMYYYYYY.
Have a great day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

As yesterday was Thursday and my menu called for the Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken I tried it out.  So that is one of my new recipes for October.  It was really good, but I didn't exactly follow the recipe.  So here is the recipe with my modifications.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
4-6 frozen chicken breasts (I only 3 breast but they were pretty large and enough for the two of us)
Bag of frozen peppers and onions (I had frozen bell peppers from my garden so I chopped up half an onion the night before and threw it in the freezer. So I added them and some of the bell peppers.)
Pkg of taco seasoning (next time I will probably use a packet of the hot Taco Seasoning or my homemade Taco Seasoning.  I felt that it could have used a little more heat.)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used 98% fat free)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (I used my home canned tomatoes with jalapeno peppers.  Since this was my first year doing them they were a little on the mild side which may have been why the whole dish wasn't quite spicy enough.)
Place frozen chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Top with frozen onions and peppers. Mix cream of chicken soup and Rotel tomatoes together and then pour over the top. Cook on LOW 6-7 hrs. Serve over cooked yellow rice.

I did cook yellow rice and when I put it on my plate I added a little nacho/taco cheese and a little Italian cheese blend.  Then put some of the juice on top of my rice and mixed it up.  It was very good and I will definitely be making this again.  I also made some re-fried beans.  Next time I will serve some warm tortillas with it.

All in all I'd say it was a success and something outside the "rut".  

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting Out of a Rut

Sometimes I feel like I am getting in a rut with my cooking.  It seems like I cook the same few meals over and over.  It feels like we eat chicken, pork, ground beef and then start over, chicken, pork, ground beef.

With a zillion ways to cook chicken & ground beef, it doesn't seem like I should get in a rut. But I do. So to combat the rut, I have decide to try at least 3 new recipes a month.  I will try to start posting my menu for the week and include recipes (especially the new ones).  I haven't determined which day I will be posting the menu but will try to be at least a little consistent.  It is easy for us to get off our schedules and grab a bit on the way home. And we eat out a lot on Friday nights since this is the night I do most of my grocery shopping. Can't shop hungry.  I like to shop on my way home so I don't have to come back into town on the weekends.

Here is my first week of menus:
Tuesday-out with April & Lily
Wednesday: Hamburger Stroganoff & Green beans
Thursday: Slow Cooker Mexican chicken, yellow rice & broccoli
Friday: out
Saturday: Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup
Sunday: Oven BBQ ribs, Roasted Onion Potatoes & Stewed Cabbage
Monday: Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak, Rice, peas

I will include the recipe for the Beef, Barley & Vegetable soup after I actually make it.  Because I will have to write down what I do as I am making it in order to share the recipe with you.

Here is my recipe for Hamburger Stroganoff:
1.5 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% fat free)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat free)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Soup can water
2 large dollops of sour cream (I use fat free)

Brown ground beef and onions with salt & pepper.  While browning bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles.  When ground beef is cooked through add the flour and brown for 1 minute. Do not drain the ground beef.  Add the soups and 1 can of water.  Add ketchup & Worcestershire sauce.  Stir and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and is well incorporated.  Drain noodles and return to pot you cooked them in.  Pour hamburger mixture on top, add sour cream. Mix well.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Does Fall get you in the mood for change?  With the change in the weather, the changing leaves and landscape, it sure gets me in the mood for change. We have been cleaning out everything!  This weekend Greg started cleaning out a shed that we really haven't touched since we moved in 8 years ago. It was the shed where we just threw everything we didn't know what to do with when we moved in.  Going from a home that had over 1800 square feet with closets everywhere to one with only 1500 square feet and not one single closet was a challenge. So a lot of stuff just got throw into this shed.  This weekend it got cleaned and straightened.  We hauled a whole truck load of stuff to Good Will and found some things we had been wondering what happened to and some things we thought we had given to the kids but guess what? They were still there. But now there is a lot more room in that shed.

I have been going through clothes and have donated several bags to Good Will. It's a big change for me to actually get rid of things.  I keep thinking "I might need that." or "As soon as I get rid of it, I'll wish I had it."  My mother couldn't throw anything away and I guess some of that rubbed off on me.  But I am changing. I guess if I haven't used it in 8 years, I won't miss it.

We are getting ready to do some painting, the kitchen and bathroom need to be repainted.  I can't seem to decide exactly what it is I want to do in the bathroom.  I really like the border, shower curtain and curtains I have now.  But it is time for a change so I guess I'll keep looking for ideas.

We also changed our china hutch.  I found a really cheap, nice older one like I had been looking for, so here is a picture of it.


Monday, October 1, 2012


The weather is definitely changing here.  Along with the weather change, is the beginning of the beauty of autumn.  The leaves have begun their change and the hills are beginning to be dotted with slight changes in the color of green. They are beginning to look slightly yellowed, with little tiny bits of red showing here and there.  The sky has turned the bluest of blues and we've had several days when there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  Goldenrod is blooming along the road sides and many untended hay fields are alive with purple Iron weed, white Queen Ann's lace and yellow Goldenrod.  God is the perfect artist.  The beauty he creates is unmatched by anything man made.  So even though I am protesting that it is getting colder I am really loving the beauty around me.

I have most of my fall decorations up inside the house and outside of the house. This past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch and had a really good time.  We played on the play grounds with Lily, April & Pete and took the hayride to the pumpkin patch. When we got home I made a pot of farmer sausage, potato & kale soup from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. It was very yummy.

The garden is winding down, I have picked most of the tomatoes after a recent cold snap. We are still getting a few peppers and basil. We did well with green beans and corn, but didn't get hardly any Zipper Cream peas. The deer finally learned that they are quite tasty, so there was none left for us.

I hope everyone is having a Happy Fall and making memories with their families.