Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marinated Cheese and Olives

Serve this appetizer at your holiday party and I guarantee there won't be any left.   It is one of my most requested recipes.  And as an added bonus, it is really quick and simple to pull together.  Since this will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator, if I know I have several events coming up, I make a double or triple batch. 

Marinated Cheese and Olives

3/4 c vegetabel oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1 t salt
1/2 - 1 t freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 - 8 oz. package Colby Jack cheese, cubed
1 - 8 oz. package Monterrey Jack or white cheddar cheese, cubed
1 - 7 oz. kalamata olives, drained
1/2 T dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 t crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 springs fresh rosemary

Combine first 5 ingredients in a jar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously.
Combine all ingredients except rosemary in a large bowl; stir gently.  Add rosemary sprigs.  Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.  Serve with assorted crackers. 

Linked to
Sundae Scoop
Life As Mom
Ingredient Spotlight

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - October 24

We had a couple of deviations from our menu last week.  One night it was just Bubba and I after LAX practice, so we opted for a treat - Chick fil-A sandwiches and milk shakes YUM!  We aslo go a surprise when Thursday DH came home from work early and cooked hamburgers and homemade mac and cheese for us.  I'll drop the meal plan anytime when someone else wants to cook for me! 

We have a really busy week this week, with our annual Cheer Bowl competition, a Lacrosee tournament and I have Governor's Honors County Interviews.  We also have a Girl Scout event Sunday afternoon, so my Sunday afternoon cooking time will be limited.  I will be depending on my freezer stash to keep us eating at home this week.   I'll be cooking Banana-Apple Craisin Muffins,  Spinach Ravioli Lasagna and Mom's Chicken Salad.

Sunday - Chili, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Spiced Apples and Pears, Brownies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Monday - Spinach Ravioli Lasagna
Tuesday -  Crockpot Baked Potatoes with Ham and Cheese, Spiced Apples and Pears
Wednesday - Beer Chili Buns, Veggies/Chips and Dip
Thursday - with Daddy or Nanny
Friday - Leftovers before Cheer Competition
Saturday - Football Playoff and Lacrosse Tourney - probably at the ball park

For more great meal plans and menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - October 17

Our favorite recipe by far last week was Pizza Pasta Casserole.  It got a huge thumbs up from all of us.  We also LOVED Recipe Girl's Wedding Cake Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting.  YUM, YUM, YUM.  Can't wait to make them for our Halloween Party.

I am continuing to refine the Week in a Day concept.  I want to find a way to streamline the process.  It takes up a HUGE portion of my Sunday free time and since that is the only day my DH is home, I don't want to spend it all in the kitchen.  So, I'm going to focus this week on time management and see if I can't make it more faster.  I'll keep you posted.

This week I'm going to make the following on Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie filling, sauce for Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, grill Beer Bottle or BBQ chicken and make a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I also plan to assemble a couple of salad plates for lunch. If I have time, I also plan on making Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies with a twist... using cream cheese filling to make them into sandwich cookies. 

Sunday - Tilapia Parmesan, Couscous, Roasted Asparagus, Poached Pears
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Wraps (carried over from last week), Chips and Veggies with Dip
Wednesday - Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Pesto Sauce, Mashed Potaotes, Layered Salad
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Party Here - Shrimp Butter on Crostini, Meatball Sliders with Pesto
Saturday - Grill Hamburgers, Mac and Cheese, Veggies and Dip

For more great menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pizza Pasta Casserole

This is a new family favorite, as it got thumbs up from all 4 of us.   Oringally a Southern Living recipe, I changed it around a bit and it will be added to our menu rotation.
I couldn't get a picture before they devoured almost the entire dish.

Pizza Pasta Casserole
12 oz. spaghetti
1 pound mild pork sausage
2 oz. pepperoni
1 jar (26 oz) tomato basil pasta sauce ( I like Classico brand)
1 c pizza sauce (I had this in my freezer)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 c shredded 6 cheese Italian cheese blend

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Keep warm.
Brown sausage in a large skillet until no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.  Wipe pan clean.  Add pepperoni and cook until slightly crisp (about 5 minutes).  Drain on paper towel.

Toss spaghetti, sausage, pepperoni, tomato basil sauce and pizza sauce until combined.  Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with Italian cheese blend.   Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. 

Serve with salad and garlic bread for a quick, family pleasing dinner.

This is a great make ahead dinner.  I actually assembled the casserole Sunday afternoon and baked Monday night.   I also think it would freeze very well. 

Linked to Tasty Tuesday

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - October 10

We followed our meal plan perfectly last week!  Lots of family favorites on the menu and I had cooked much of what we ate ahead of time.  It either came out of the freezer or I prepared it on Sunday to have during the week.  I really loving the Week in a Day concept.  That in addition to meal planning has kept us out of the drive thru for the past few weeks.

This Sunday I am cooking pancakes, Pizza Spaghetti Casserole, Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder, Grilled Honey Dijon Chicken, Apricot Pecan Chicken Salad (for lunches) and Wedding Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting.  It should only take me a couple of hours (except for the cupcakes) to pull all this together and be ready for the week.  YEAH!

Sunday - Italian Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Roasted Carrots, Lima Beans
Monday - Pizza Spaghetti Casserole, Salad 
Tuesday - Bacon-Jack Chicken Sandwiches (using Grilled Honey Dijon Chicken), Veggies and Dip
Wednesday - Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Thursday - Honey Dijon Chicken Wraps (using leftover Honey Dijon Chicken from Tuesday), Chips and Veggies with Dip
Friday - Leftovers before the Homecoming Game
Saturday -  Depends on what time our LAX game is over, maybe out with the team?

For more wonderful menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Time Out Cowl

My Time Out Cowl for Maybe Matilda's Crochet Along

Well, I did it, I learned how to crochet and completed my first project.  I'm really glad I joined up with Maybe Matilda, her tutorials were wonderful!  If you don't know how to crochet and are interested in learning, I highly recommend jumping over the Maybe Matilda and trying it out.   I also think the pattern for the Time Out Cowl is a great first project.  I completed it in just a few days and it is ready and waiting for the first cold snap.  I did put a little twist in mine when I stitched the ends together.  I just liked the way it lays better. 

Linking to
Somewhat Simple
Delightful Order
Fireflies and Jelly Beans
Skip to My Lou
What I Made Wednesday
Well Made Wednesday

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

In honor of the first fall like days in Atlanta, I pulled out the apples and pumpkin to make one of my favorite fall treats, Pumpkin Apple Muffins.  Love these with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee while sitting on the back porch.  Perfect.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
from Southern Living Annual Recipe Collection 20th Anniversary Edition

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
3 T sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine pumpkin, butter and eggs, and add to dy ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chopped apple and spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.

Combine 3 T sugar and 1 t pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Makes 2 dozen.

Linking up to
Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight
Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom
Sweet Tooth Friday

Meal Plan Monday - October 3rd.

Again this week, I am playing around with the Week in a Day concept to make getting dinner on the table easier.  I am making Hashbrown Casserole, Broccoli Casserole, Pumpkin Apple Muffins and Broccoli Cheese Soup on Sunday to have ready during the week.   I will also be making homemade ranch dressing as well as cutting up veggies and fruit to make serving those easier.  Boo Boo has also requested that I make applesauce, so I might just throw some in the crockpot today.  It's all about easy around here, but in order to make it work, I'd better get busy!

Sunday - Grilled Hamburgers, Hashbrown Casserole, Lima Beans
Monday - Chicken Cordon Bleu, Broccoli Casserole, Applesauce
Tuesday - Broccoli Cheese Soup, Ham Sandwiches, Applesauce
Wednesday - Meatball Subs, Veggies and Dip, Chips
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - YOYO (You're on your own)
Saturday- not quite sure yet...

For more great menu plans visit I'm An Organized Junkie