Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Virtual Casserole Party - August 5th pickup

This is another great twist on the original batch party. It works the same as the original party in that you spread the cost of bulk shopping over several people, get a freezer full of tasty dinners and enjoy the savings, but with the virtual party you don't even have to prepare your own meals!  I do it for you!

The new casserole party features family favorite that are not available for the typical batch party. Check out the great selections available for pickup on August 5th. Just pick one meal you want to be sure to receive and tell your friends to pick one as well. Selections are due on July 26th and buy-in on the 29th.  Please feel free to message me any questions!

UPDATE: That filled up really quickly. Keep checking back for future opportunities to participate!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Starting the Back to School Stock Up

We have reached the halfway point of  summer and it is hot! Alan and Rowan are taking 8am swim lessons so that we can be away from the pool before the real heat kicks in, but it sure does make for a bunch of early mornings. I guess we will be in practice for when school starts in 6 weeks (woo hoo).    I have to say that I am getting really excited about the back to school season. In all honesty, it has been nice having the kids all home and I have enjoyed going to the movies and library and having fun with them, but I love the excitement of back to school. The smell of school supplies is in the air, PTO board meetings are being scheduled and flyers are being prepped about Meet the Teacher nights and class schedule pickups. I can't wait.

This weekend we decided to make a bunch of quick grab and go breakfast items so that we are ready for the early morning run out the door to swimming.  We also decided to make double batches of everything to stick in the deep freeze so that we will have a stockpile for when school starts up. We started off with a big batch of breakfast cookies and then decided to make some Mickey Mouse shaped Breakfast Bausage Muffins. My girls love these and had a great time making them. Alan is not a fan because of his strange dislike for cheese (crazy boy), but enjoyed helping out anyway.  The kids aren't big on the green chilis that the recipe calls for so we left those out.

Ashley browning the sausage.

Don't they look yummy?


Sausage Breakfast Muffins

1 lb cooked pork sausage
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 c. water
3 c. bisquick or other baking mix
1 can green chilis

Cook sausage, crumble into small pieces. In large bowl combine soup, water, and cheese. Stir in bisquick and green chilis; add sausage. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grandma's Hot Dog Soup

The other day I found myself missing my grandma. It has been 5 years since she passed and I still think about her often. I still remember the smell of her kitchen as my family sits at what was once her breakfast table. She had quite the flair for cooking unique meals and really sparked my interest in food.

Grandma meeting Alan


The other day I decided to make one of her favorite dishes with the kids- Hot Dog Soup. For the longest time I totally thought Grandma had made this up, but it turns out that there was an actual recipe on record for the soup.  After doing some digging I found a recipe that was really close and we tried it out. At first the kids were hesitant, but after tasting they were won over. It was great to sit at my grandma's old table and share some stories about her with her great grandchildren.

What ways do you share your family's history with your kids? For more ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen, check out Kids Cook Monday.

Hot Dog and Baked Bean Soup
2 teaspoons oil
3 beef hot dogs
1 large can (28 ounces) baked beans seasoned with onion, bacon, and brown sugar w
1 can red kidney beans - rinsed and drained
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 bell pepper, chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over med. heat. Cut the franks into 1/4 inch slices and add them to the pot. Add the green pepper to the pot in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cook until the franks start to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the baked beans with their juice, kidney beans and the broth, chili powder, and mustard. Stir well. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a moderate boil about 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hrm - What to eat this week?

Guess what? We have reached the half way point of summer here in Central Texas! I only wish we were halfway through the heat of it. Summers here tend to linger until October, but the kids go back to school August 22nd and we are all ready.

 It has gotten to hot to go outside for very long without being in the water, so this week I am making up some grilled favorites and poolside treats. Ashley starts Junior Lifeguard this week so we will be spending a couple nights at the pool heckling  supporting her while she learns her new skills.

What are you plans for the week?

Monday - Schezuan chicken with orange peel, brown rice and sesame beans

Tuesday - Beef kabobs with quinoa and grilled corn - great use of the grill and keeping the house cool

Wednesday - Pool Picnic - sandwiches with veggie dips

Thursday - Orange glazed pork tenderloin - another great grill recipe that I am looking forward to trying out. I still need to work out the sides for this one.

Friday - Leftover soup - this is my favorite way to clean out the fridge. The leftover veggies and meat are used to make a great and flavorful soup. It's usually a great light meal for family movie night!

Check out some other meal Plans at Menu plan Monday

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cooking by Letters

This summer I have ben really trying to keep my kids engaged in learning out from in front of the tv. One thing that we have been doing is focusing on letters of the alphabet. We go through 2-3 letters a week.The kids are practicing writing their letters and coming up with words that start with the letter. One activity that we are doing is cooking a recipe that starts with our letter that day.

A few items that we are going to check out are:

Apple slices with different dips.
Banana Muffins
Chocolate Chip Chickpea cookies
Egg rolls
Gooey butter cake
Hot dog soup -  favorite from my grandmother
Ice cream
Jello Jigglers
Lemon ice
Macaroni and cheese
Nacho ordinary nachos
Orange glazed Pork
Quinoa salad
Soup (alphabet of course)
Upside down cake
Venison Sliders
Watermelon ice
Zucchini Fritters

What is your favorite way to keep the kids involved in preparing dinner?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July Meal Plans

We are starting off our week with our annual July 4th bbq and birthday party for our son Alan. That's right Alan is turning 6 on the 4th of July.


It's hard to believe that it has been 6 years since this little man came into our lives.

This week we are going to be having several of his favorites and enjoying the leftovers from his b-day bbq.

Monday - Brisket, chicken, sausage and goodies! Hooray for holidays!!

Tuesday - Lunch -  sandwiches
                dinner - pick your favorite leftover

Wednesday - Lunch - noodles (Alan's favorite)
                      Dinner - Chicken Pot Pie

Thursday -  Lunch - Dippers   ham and cheese -cut into fun shapes with various veggies and dip
                   Dinner - Tacos - I love to bump up the nurition on these by adding some sauteed spinach to the  meat

Friday - Lunch -  taco salads
             Dinner - Mexican chicken soup - Tons of flavor from leftover smoked chicken and fresh salsa

Whats you plan for the week?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Virtual Party

Menus, Meals and More is now going to be offering a new option to fill your freezer….

The Virtual Batch Party

This is essentially like the typical batch party, except you don’t even have to assemble your own meals or worry about trying to coordinate a day to get together that works for everyone. I assemble the meals and freeze them for you until the pickup date. With this service you don’t even have to be in town. Imagine coming home from vacation and having a freezer full of meals to keep you going while you unpack and tackle the mountain of vacation laundry. The cost for a virtual party is only an additional $15 per person! Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in participating in a virtual party.

Batch Party Information”

Batch parties are a great way to fill your freezer with lots of great healthy dishes for rushed evenings and nights when you have other things to worry about than dinner. In my house that is almost every night!!! Most dishes are prepared by just thawing and popping in the oven or on the grill for about 30 minutes while you heat up a bagged of steamed veggies in the microwave. The recipes all serve 6 and most can be split into 2 or more containers for smaller families or lighter eaters.

How it works!

1. Choose a recipe from the selections list and let me know. Pick your favorite so you are ensured to have that one. I will make enough of your recipe for each person involved.

2. On the closing date I will make a master grocery and estimate the total bill. It will be divided by the number of participants and a buy in amount will be determined. You will need to get the money to me by the buy-in date so that I can do all the shopping. After all the shopping is finished I will add up the actual total and determine if more money is due or if you will receive a refund. Usually the estimate is really close and it is only a couple of dollars in either direction.

3. When you come to pick up please bring a box or large shopping bag to take your meals home in. If there is any money due then you will need to bring that as well.

4. You will receive one "batch" of each recipe chosen as well as copies of all the recipes and cooking instructions.