Monday, June 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We seem to be doing a lot of the same stuff nowadays. Grilled Burgers, Grilled Chicken, Grilled London We sure do love to grill!

Our Menu this week is....
Slow Cooker Chili Verde / Jazzed up Black Beans
Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Marinade Grilled Chicken / Salad / Pasta Salad
Grilled Tenderloin / Roasted Potato / Brussels Sprouts
Frozen Pizza / Salad

for more great menu idea check out

PS I have TONS of recipes I'm working on posting. If only the day had a couple more hours in it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Lots 'O Grilling!

Josh LOVES to grill so I take FULL advantage of this in grilling weather. It's so nice to get a break from having to slave over the stove.

So, here is our menu this week...with lots 'O grilling!

Grilled Mushroom Swiss burgers / Grilled Potato Wedges / Salad
Slow cooker Chicken Tacos / Spanish Rice
Grilled Dill Salmon / Garlic&Butter Rice / Salad
Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken / Baked Potato / Edamame
Hamburger Gravy over rice / Corn

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I've been away and boy have I paid for it. I've been lazy and haven't meal planned for the last two weeks and ya know what happened, there were a LOT of days I never got dinner on the table, lol. It was a reminder as to why I do plan out our meals. If I don't, we end up living on sandwiches. I also noticed my grocery bills were a lot higher because I was wandering around the store just picking up stuff here and there (and I was hungry...BIG MISTAKE).


So, I'm back to planning.

Here is what is on our agenda this week.

Pasta with Tuna and Red Pepper / Italian Garlic Bread
Grilled Burgers / Roasted Potatoes / Vegi
Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken / Garlic&Butter Biscuit / Rice
Slow Cooker Pork Chops (Not sure how I'm going to do these yet) / Mashed Potato / Salad

For more Menu ideas check out

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Another Monday, another Meal Plan :o)

Here is what is on the Cooley Menu this week.

Grilled Hamburgers / Fruit / French Fries
Hamburger Gravy over rice / Edamame
Italian Smothered Steak / Salad
Grilled Chicken / Roasted Potato / Salad

...and a predicament I was having. I haven't posted any new recipes because I have been doing such simple meals. I thought, "I don't need to post that spaghetti recipe, it's a total no-brainer to make.".. however, Josh informed me that even if they are simple recipes I should still include them in the, what will eventually be "family cookbook", because the boys won't know exactly how to make that super simple grilled chicken we do. So, I'll be back to posting recipes...even if they are super simple, non original, and to me a total no-brainer.

For more great menu ideas check out

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Another week, another meal plan :o)
This week seems to be full of meals I never got around to making.
Whats on the agenda this week...

Shrimp Stir Fry / Rice (Didn't get to this last week)
Teriyaki Salmon Fillets / Roasted Potatoes / Vegi
Spaghetti and Meatballs / Salad
My night for family dinner night...Pulled Pork Sandwiches / Chips / Coleslaw / Fruit Salad
White Chicken Chili / Garlic Bread

Wish me luck, hopefully I get all these made :o)

For more great menu ideas

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bacon Chili Crock Pot Roast

I looooove to do roasts in the crock pot so I have a lot of different variations on the same method. This one is sooooo sooooo good. It's probably one of my families favorites. It's got a little kick because of the green chilis and the bacon gives it a smoky flavor. So Yummy!!!

(I had helpers in the kitchen on this day, so I missed a lot of pictures, oops.)

Whatcha Need...
Bacon, 4 slices crumbled
Beef Roast
Handful of baby carrots (Not pictured)
1 can green chilis
1/4 cup water (Not Pictured)
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 tbsp flour. (Not Pictured)

Whatcha do with it...
Place Roast in crock pot and season with...McCormick Hamburger Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper.

In a small bowl mix the can of chilis, water, chili sauce, and flour. Poor mixture over roast. Top with the cooked bacon and some carrots.

Cook for 8-10 hours on low

Viola, ya got dinner. PS. This makes an AWESOME gravy to put on top. So flavorful.
We served with a quick bag salad and some apple slices.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tri-Tip Sandwiches

Yummy tri-tip as a sandwich. This was a super easy dinner. All I had to do was roast the tri-tip in the oven and pull out a bag of chips and carrots. Viola, nothing could be easier.

Whatcha Need...
Sandwich Buns
Seasoning for Tri-Tip was...McCormick Hamburger Seasoning, Little Olive oil rubbed on it, salt, pepper and garlic powder
(No pic, sorry)

Whatcha do with it...
Pre-Heat Oven to 425
Season Tri-Tip and place on a roasting pan.
Roast for one hour.

When it comes out of the oven, it looks like this...

Slice and put on sandwich buns. Top with whatever sandwich fixins you like. IMG6040

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Another week, another meal plan. Quick meals are on my to do list this week and with the weather supposed to be nice also some BBQ :o)

Shrimp Stir Fry / Rice
Crock Pot Roast / Salad / Mashed Potato
French Dip Sandwiches w/left over roast / Chips / Strawberries
Grilled Chicken / Tortellini Salad / Edamame

I have a couple of recipes to post and I'm making it a goal to get it posted by the end of the week.

For other meal plans check

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sloppy Joe Casserole over Biscuit

This is a really good Sloppy Joe recipe. It takes no time to throw together and it's got a little tang from the mustard and so much better than the canned sloppy joe sauce.

Whatcha Need...
1 lb 93% ground beef
Onion, chopped (I use half)
Can of Condensed Chicken Gumbo Soup
Can of Condensed Tomato Soup
Celery Seed
Worcestershire Sauce

Whatcha do with it..
Brown Hamburger and onion

Once Hamburger is browned add the Chicken Gumbo and Tomato Soup, about 1 Tbsp of Mustard and Worcestershire Sauce, and 1 tsp of celery seed. Bring to Boil and then drop temperature down to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

I really like to put it on biscuits, but anything works.
(I tried really hard to make this look pretty, but it's just not possible. So, don't let looks deceive sure is good.)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (A little Late)

LOL, I can't believe it's already Wednesday. I have been meaning to post my meal plan, but I just never got around to it. It must have something to do with having three kiddos under four. HA, HA, HA! is the plan :o)

Smoked Pork Chops / Rice / Vegi
Chicken Cesar Roll-Up / Chips
Teriyaki Salmon Fillets / Salad / Vegi (I'll post recipe)
Super Easy Nachos
Easter Dinner is at my Mom's house and I'm bringing an ice cream cake from Cold Stone.

For more menu plan ideas check!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm baaaaaack! Meal Plan Monday

After taking some time off from menu planning because of the addition of this handsome little fellow...

I'm back to meal planning and continuing this journey of completing a family cook book!

I am so fortunate that for the first month and a half I had help from my wonderful family and they would come over and make meals, which we would all enjoy together. Paired with a lot of "fend for yourself" nights, a couple of dinners that we brought home, and some quick throw together meals we made it through the first two months.

However, you can only get that kind of wonderful help for so long and I'm back to meal planning and cooking. Good thing is with Spring in full force here in Sacramento it's BBQ season (woop, woop!). We also decided since we all enjoyed those family dinners so much we are going to make Thursday nights a family night and we'll all go to my moms house for dinner. Thanks MOM!!! That's one more night that I don't have to cook!

Here is what is on our Menu this week.

Grilled Hamburgers / Baked Potato / Vegi
Italian Smothered Steak / Salad
Grilled London Broil / Cheddar Cheese Potatoes / Vegi or Salad
White Chicken Chili

For more menu plan ideas check!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Still no baby...Hmph. I know I can't really be too upset, it's not like I'm overdue or anything. My official due date isn't even until 1/26, but I just really really had a feeling that this little boy was going to meet us before 1/11.

Oh well!

This is what I have planned for our family this week...

I usually plan on making four meals a week. Two nights a week we usually fend for ourselves and I always have a stock of frozen burritos, ramen, canned soup, sandwich fixins, frozen pizza, mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or salad for us to choose from, and then one night a week is usually a left over night or if Josh and I are lucky we get out together.

I'm very happy to report that groceries this week totaled $80. This is $20 under my weekly budget. Lol, not great...I know I can beat that, I'll try harder next week!!!

Sloppy Joe Casserole over Biscuit / Vegi
Slow Cooker Pork Roast / Mashed Potato / Vegi
Tri-Tip Sandwiches / Chips
Chicken Soup / Some kind of Bread

Check back in the week for recipes and for more menu planning ideas check out

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Slow Cooker Onion Pork Chops

This is a super duper easy meal and it's done in the crock pot so it takes NO time to prepare. The pork chops turn fork tender slow cooking all day and the juice makes a really nice gravy to put over chops.

Whatcha Need...
Thick cut pork chops (I used three)
Lipton Onion Soup Packet
1/3 cup of water
Salt and Pepper

Whatcha do with it...
Season Pork Chops with Salt and Pepper and place in slow cooker
Mix the Lipton Onion soup packet and 1/3 cup water together and poor over pork chops.
That's it!!!!

Cook on low for 7-8 hours and viola ya have dinner!
(We served with good ole Stove Top stuffing and Corn)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

I'm jumping on board with some bloggers who are doing a pantry clean out.(Link Here... Eat from the Pantry Challenge.) It would be a good idea for me get our pantry and freezer down to nothing and restock. This will also help me save $$$ while I'm out with Jacob. The official pantry challenge is to spend 100$ for the entire month. I know I won't be able to do that (and I honestly don't know how others do it!) so I'm doing my own version of a pantry clean out which means using and planning with what I have on hand.

I actually think I have enough meat in the freezer to last about two months, woo-hoo! My plan to stock the freezer while out with baby worked...and well, let's be honest as soon as JJ comes, cooking won't be top priority so the meat in the freezer may last even longer. I am really hoping to put the crock-pot in good use though so we aren't living on sandwiches for the next two months.

When I go shopping on Sunday this week I'll report back how I did. If I report back, even if I'm the only one who will ever know, maybe I'll feel more accountable to actual do what I plan on doing.

Here are a couple of photos of the pantry and freezers. I'll post pictures again after the challenge to see if I did good or bad.

*Pantry Cupboard*

*Indoor freezer, I usually stock this one with the quick go-to meals*

*Outdoor Freezer, stocked with meat and poultry*

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Ok, here it goes. I had to do some of my favorite spicy dishes this week, in case Baby Jacob decides to make his appearance. I usually try to eat pretty bland the first two weeks while I have a newborn in case they have a sensitive tummy and have gas. I don't want to add to their pain since I nurse my babies.

The day we brought Justin home from the hospital our family ordered Round Table Pizza and I ate some pepperoni pizza and some garlic twists. My poor baby was up all night with stomach pains. I didn't know what the heck was going on since it was my first baby, but I soon realized that Justin had a sensitive stomach and I had to watch what I passing to him through my breast milk. Spicy food gave him the worst gas, as did garlic. It was a long 6 months before his stomach toughened up and I could eat spicy food again.

The day we brought Jackson home from the hospital we ordered Subway, lol. I didn't want a repeat of Justin. Although, I would soon come to find that Jackson had a tough tummy from the beginning and I was able to eat whatever without much reaction from him. If I ate really acidic food he would act up a little, but nothing like my Bean.

So, the fear of bringing home a baby with stomach issues is in the back of my head and I know that I may have to eat more bland if this little guy also has stomach sensitivities so I added some of my spicy favorites this week in case it's the last time I have them for awhile.

I usually plan on making four meals a week. Two nights a week we usually fend for ourselves and I always have a stock of frozen burritos, ramen, canned soup, sandwich fixins, frozen pizza, mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or salad for us to choose from, and then one night a week is usually a left over night or if Josh and I are lucky we get out together.

Pork Chops / Stuffing / Vegi (Didn't get to this last week.)
Chili (Recipe Here) / Cheese Bread (Recipe Here)
Taco Dip (Recipe Here)
Complete Chicken Dinner in the Crock pot (Recipe Here)

Check back later in the week for recipes and for more ideas on meal planning visit

Friday, January 1, 2010

Chipped Beef

This is a meal from childhood. I can almost hear my dad say, "Oh, we're having Sh** on a shingle for dinner?" when the smell of this hits my nose. I'm not sure why the military folks call this Sh** on a shingle?!?! This is a really inexpensive meal to make. I mean really inexpensive. It has to be under 3$ for the entire meal. This is a comfort meal for's creamy and full of flavor...the cayenne gives it a kick you don't really expect. I usually serve it over bisbuits, although traditonal recipes call for it to be served over toast (hence the shingle, I suppose.) I always make green peas to accompany it, because it's what my mom did and sometimes you just don't mess with a good thing!

Whatcha Need...
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups warm milk
About 8 oz of beef. I usually buy the budding lunch meat.
1 pinch cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

Whatcha do with it...
In a medium pan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Bring to a boil, stir in beef. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper heat through and serve over biscuit.

Viola, there ya have it. Can easily be done in under 15 minutes!!!