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Monday, April 30, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Rearrange Things

Way back over the adult-length Christmas vacation, you know the week between Christmas and New Year's, L and J went to see a movie and I took care of a major issue that had been bugging me. 

This:
This is the bottom half of my pantry.  It was so full of stuff that it was just impossible to walk in there to get anything.  I am fully aware that I have an enormous pantry and I should never be lacking for space, but it's the goldfish syndrome--my stuff grew to fill the space. 

What?  you don't keep TWO bags of chicken feed and a plastic bin of it in your pantry?  Well that was certainly part of my problem when it came to taking up floor space.

Now you can see why I wanted to DO something about the space.  I go in there 2-3 times a day so having to look at the chaos just makes me crazy! 


Now, things are much better.  Let's take a quick tour...

Starting at the top left are canned goods, yes, they are grouped together by type--all tomoates are together, canned soups, sweetners (syrup, honey, molasses, chocolate syrup).  Moving clockwise, the baking section, a basket for chocolate chips and other small packages of add ins, another basket for oat bran and other small amounts of grains for breads, then the extra flour and sugar that won't fit into the canisters. 

Next shelf down are the breakfast foods so that J can reach them and in theory not wake me up on Saturday morning to tell me he's hungry.  Also snack foods and a full basket of candy from holiday leftovers and birthday party goodie bags; basically it is never empty. 

Then moving on down to the floor area, our paper recycling basket, only four more bottles of wine that tastes terrible, potatoes and onions in a cool place (on the concrete floor), then the recycling bin for cans and glass that I take to town when it gets full.  Can you beleive there's not curb-side pick up for that out here?  Perhaps because we don't actually have curbs.  Well don't get smart about it, we don't have paved roads either so you're right curbs on the road out here would look pretty silly. 

Next over are the chicken food and dog food bins.  Wouldn't you know that Only Dog left shortly after I purchased a brand new 44# bag, and this picture was taken.  So the dog food was sent to neighbor K for her dogs to eat. 

Almost finihsed...then we have a few bottled drinks, because sometimes you just need them and it's better to have a few at the house than to need to stop and buy them at the convenince store. 

Rounding out the tour are the small appliances, the rotisserre, waffle iron, the old hand blender--now you'd see a bright spot of green, and that completes our tour. 

What spaces do you want to redo in your house? 

Pick a small one, or a large one and I'll let you tell about how it works for you!  Or if you're shy, you can tell me and I will tell everyone else how the rearrangement works for you. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frugal Friday--Smoothies

Smoothies can be a great breakfast or anytime 'meal' espeically if you want something that is full of good things. 

You can make this a frugal option by taking advantage of fruit when it is on special and getting it ready for your smoothie so that when you have a hankerin, you're ready to quickly put one together. 

I found a dozen or so bananas on sale a few months ago when my HEB didn't sell as many as they thought they would and I picked up a bag full for $1.  I brought them home and sliced them into 1" rounds and then popped the whole container in the freezer.

I did the same thing with a few strawberries that I had leftover that were about to go bad and I knew wouldn't get eaten in time.  So instead of letting them go to waste I cut them up in 'bite' sized pieces and threw them into the freezer as well. 

When I'm ready for a smoothie I will add 6-8 slices of frozen banana to a 16 oz plastic cup (I know a picture would be nice, but I don't have one), plus some strawberries, if I remember that I have them--that's a whole other post.  Then I might add plain yogurt for a bit of protien or perhaps some protein powder, and then you need some liquid.  Others might choose to use milk here, but that idea just makes me absolutely cringe so I always use juice. 

Since my fruit is already frozen I don't have to dilute the whole thing with ice, but it will still be nice and cold and frothy and smooth. 

Then I get out my trusty new, bright green, handblender.  K, I had the brand wrong, turns out it was Cusinart.  Isn't it beautiful? 
How could anyone not think that is the most beautiful immersion blender ever?  How about that stainless steel part?  did you see the green-ness?  Then you completely understand now. 

This week I'm out traipsing around the other 'T' state for my day job.  It's fun to be with people that you usually only get to talk to on the phone.  We've had some funny conversations in the last two days and we had one about smoothies on the way 'home' from dinner tonight. 

I know I was just singing the praises of the color green, go ahead, you can scroll back up and look at it again... BUT there is a time and place for 'green' in a smoothie and it stops at the blender.  If you chose to put spinach in your smoothie, please don't gross the rest of us out and drink that in a clear glass.  We don't care that you can't taste it, we can see it.... Just sayin. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/28+


Saturday

steak
baked potatoes
salad
Sunday

grilled chicken
grilled corn
banana boats
Monday

sausage wraps
mac & cheese
green beans
Tuesday

italian roast
potatoes
broccoli
Wednesday

spaghetti bake
garlic bread
tomato/cuke salad
Thursday

summer shrimp stir fry
Friday

frito pie

Thanks to my editor, C, Tuesday night's instructions are now completed.

Saturday
Steak
Baked Potatoes
Salad

Sunday
Grilled Chicken
Grilled Corn
Banana Boats
With the peel still on, slice a banana lengthwise and push open a little.  Place a few mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips inside.  Wrap in foil and place over hot coals for a few minutes until chocolate is melted and marshmallows are puffy. 

Monday
Sausage Wraps
Mac & Cheese
4T butter
¼ c flour
2 c milk
Salt & pepper
½ tsp dry mustard
½ c cottage cheese
6 slices American cheese (no plastic wrapped cheese, please)
2c uncooked macaroni your choice of shape, cooked (measure when it’s dry then cook it)
1c grated cheddar
Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and seasonings, allow to brown slightly.  Add milk and stir until a nice white sauce forms; when it bubbles it will thicken.  Add cheeses until melted.  Combine cooked macaroni.  Pour into a casserole and top with cheddar.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 or until cheese is bubbly. 
Green Beans

Tuesday
Italian Roast
2-3lb roast
12 oz bottle of beer
½ onion chopped
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
Place onions in crockpot, top with roast, then pour beer in, top with seasoning mix.  Cook all day.  When you get home, I like to pour off all the juices into a saucepan and mix in 2-3T cornstarch, bring it to a boil and let it thicken for some yummy gravy. 

Mashed Potatoes, or rice or some other good starchy-ness
Broccoli

Wednesday
Spaghetti Bake (AllRecipes)
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (26 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.  Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Garlic Bread
Tomato & Cuke Salad
Coarsely chop tomatoes and cucumbers, dice purple onions for color, and top with your favorite dressing, or just salt and pepper if the veggies are flavorful enough. 

Thursday
--If you don’t have any shrimp in the freezer and don’t want to pay $8/lb this week, then substitute boneless chicken.  It will have to cook longer, but you’ll still get some good flavor from the mix. 

Shrimp Summer Stir Fry (Pioneer Woman)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
12 whole Jumbo Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Tails Left On
2 whole Zucchini, Sliced On A Slight Diagonal
2 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, Sliced In Half Lengthwise
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Chopped Fresh Herbs, If Desired
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic. When oil/butter is hot, add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. Do not clean skillet.  Add the rest of the butter and oil and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini slices in a single layer and cook for one minute, tossing once. Scoot the zucchini to the edges of the pan, then add corn kernels to the middle of the pan. Cook for one minute. Add grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and toss around, then add shrimp. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Serve on a big platter.
Hint: Much better after it's been allowed to cool for a bit! Yummy and refreshing.


Friday
--At its very basic you must include the first three items to make a frito pie.  If you can eat it while at a baseball/softball game then you are really having the full experience.  There’s a softball tournament you can catch in Tulsa, if you happen to be in the neighborhood.  Otherwise, perhaps you could catch a game on tv.

Frito Pie
MUST HAVES:
Fritos
Chili
Cheese, cheddar, velveeta (if you need a little extra salt after the Fritos)
-----------------
                OPTIONAL:
Diced Onions
Avocado
Tomatoes
Beans  (ok I know I lost at least one of you on that idea)
Layer it all in a bowl and enjoy. 

Grocery Ads 4/25+

Sprouts   corn 5/$1, tomatoes .99/lb (vs 1.77 HEB), avocados .88, yellow squash .88/lb, zucchini .88/lb, red/yellow/orange  peppers .88 (vs. $1 Randalls), celery y.88, broccoli .99/lb, cauliflower 1.25, green beans .99/lb, lettuce .88, apples .99/lb, strawberries$2/lb, blueberries $4, boneless chicken 1.99/lb, chuck roast 2.99/lb
HEB        apples .98/lb, blackberries 1.77, seedless watermelon $4, oranges .98/lb, whole chicken .77/lb, chuck roast 2.97/lb, chicken/pork fajita 1.97/lb, 3pack gum .99 (vs 1 for 1.39 at register).
Randalls  roast 2.99/lb, legs/thighs .99/lb, pork chops 1.99/lb, boneless chicken 1.99/lb

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weird Chicken Happenin's

Last night just before we went for our walk L and I looked in the coop and noticed that we had four eggs waiting for us.  However one of the eggs was cracked, or pecked on, but the shell section was missing from that area.  It was clearly cracked in that area.  Perhaps another bird???  Everything else was completely normal; well as normal as anything can be out here.  So he tossed the egg out and we went on our walk.  

When we returned we found this...

Just to be clear it is an egg, with a bit of poop, or #2 as J would like it referred to now.  But please notice that there is absolutely no shell around the egg.  It wasn't on the porch.  It wasn't on the torch.  It wasn't in a bush.  It wasn't on a tush.  

Even L thought this was a blog-worthy moment.

Weird huh?  Well just wait!

This morning I received a text from my neighbor, who helps with egg consumption, that her husband had cracked another double yolked egg.  This was the second this spring.  

Today we were gone all day and when we returned just after four we found this...
This was again close to the water bowl.  And if you aren't sure what you are looking at I will admit that I didn't touch it (there was LOTS of gooey-ness + #2).  Upon very close examination it appears to be a chicken embryo of some sort.  There is a little umbilical type cord that would attach to the yolk sac and the resemblance of a spinal cord and a little head.  

Please also note what is missing again... the shell!  How does this happen.  If anyone out there in blog-land has experience with this, please let me know!  

Pretty weird stuff happenin' here right?

Also missing from our place... a rooster!  Is this some sort of immaculate chicken conception?  
Has someone been having unauthorized visitors or been off tramping around?  
I thought we were running a chicken convent here.  

I have no idea what to expect for tomorrow.  

Does anyone know a good chicken ob-gyn?  I think I might need one.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Frugal Friday--Work the system

A few months ago I received a call from my Marketing Director T and she had just learned a great new secret while shopping at her HEB.  


It seems that all HEB's work this way... if you find something on their shelf that has expired--meat, bakery items, cheese, deli items, etc (anything with an expiration date) they will give you a free one that is not expired.  


Yes, that's correct.  


They see it as a way to ensure they don't sell something that isn't fresh and they are willing to compensate you for the trouble.  That may not be their philosophy exactly, but it is how it works.  


I've heard from at least two of the sisters on this topic, not that they are nuns, but that they are related...and they have regularly benefited from this policy.  In fact K's boys love to work through the bakery section and see what sort of baked goods they can find.  For these boys it is an adventure that is not to be missed.  She says they almost always come away with something.  


Their family has also benefited from finding out of date sausage packages.  


T witnessed a customer with multiple cheesecakes from the deli section that had expired and she walked away with quite a bit of free product.  Which after she explained it all to T, she was planning to put into her freezer for a later event.  


So how do you make it work?  If you find an expired item, place it in your basket along with a fresh one.  When you get to the register (please don't do this in the express lane) explain to the cashier what's up and they may need to call the CSM over, but then your fresh item goes into your bag, the expired one goes away.  


I called K this evening after I noticed some hams at Randall's were getting along toward their expiration date.  Randalls does not have this policy that I know of.  However, if the hams are getting old at Randalls they are likely getting old at HEB too.  Easter was all those weeks ago; ok only two.  


If you don't think it's worth all the trouble and time of looking through the hams.  The spiral hams are already $10 off, with a yellow store coupon, so you could purchase a half spiral ham and divide it up into weekly sized packages and put them in your freezer.  


Think it sounds complicated?  Nah... tear a bunch of pieces of wax paper about 6"in length.  Then cut the ham off the center bone, it's already sliced.  So then just place 5-6 pieces of ham on a strip of wax paper, fold over and place in a ziploc bag.  


When you are ready to have a sandwich you can take out a package, because of the wrapped wax paper, they wont stick together in the freezer with the other packets and it won't go bad while you use up those few slices.  When you are ready for more, back to the freezer you go.  


How's that for a budget stretcher?  I have yet to find anything at my store, but I am far from an early bird at my store.  I'd guess there are people who live closer who know about this already and take appropriate advantage.  Or perhaps the store employees are working their shelves more thoroughly than other stores.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/21+


Saturday

turkey burgers
lettuce & tomato
carrots
Sunday

sirloin steak
baked potatoes
green beans
Monday

shake and bake pork chops
corn on the cob
zucchini
Tuesday

pancakes
eggs
purple monster smoothie
Wednesday

fajitas
tomato & avocado salad
orange slices
Thursday

baked chicken
rice
broccoli
pineapple
Friday

hot dogs
chips
watermelon


If you are keeping a tally at home: 
moccasin    II 
rattlesnake I
At least today's were not RIGHT by the house.  Low cut grass is my friend.  


This week is all about using the fresh veggies that are on sale in the Austin area.  The early spring has the summer veggies coming out already, the summer fruits are here with the price of watermelon already dropping to $2.50, but you can still catch a great batch of citrus for a reasonable price too if you are holding longingly to the winter fruits and wishing for cooler days already.  

Saturday
This recipe is great to double and put extras in the freezer.  Form extra patties on the end of a 4-5” strip of waxed paper.  Fold over the paper and then stack all the extras in a freezer bag. 

Turkey Burgers(Taste of Home)
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium carrot, grated
1/4 cup dry red wine or Progresso ® Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lean ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
In a large nonstick skillet, saute onion in butter for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrot; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add the wine, salt and pepper; simmer for 2-3 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
Transfer to a large bowl; cool slightly. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  (if you are in a rush, you can skip this step)  Grill patties, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear, brushing occasionally with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.

Sunday
Sirloin Steak
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Monday
Shake and Bake Pork Chops
Corn on the Cob
Zucchini

Tuesday
Pancakes
We like the bisquick pancake recipe, but we like to add a dash of vanilla, a stick of melted butter (you don’t have to take the time to grease the griddle that way), sometimes even 3-4 ounces of softened cream cheese.  Then just to cut the richness, J likes it when we add chocolate chips to his. 
Eggs
Purple Monster Smoothie (Pioneer Woman)
1 cup Plain, Unflavored Yogurt (Greek is great here)
1 cup or more Fruit (your Choice - Blueberries, Peaches, Pineapple, Etc), best if frozen
1/4 cup Milk
1 dash Honey
Ice
Place yogurt, fruit, milk, a handful of ice and honey to taste all into a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste it for sweetness and add more honey if needed.
Pour, drink and enjoy


Wednesday
Fajitas
Tomato & avocado salad
Coarsely chop veggies and mix with a little ranch dressing
Orange slices

Thursday
Baked Chicken
Rice
Broccoli
Pineapple

Friday
Hot Dogs
Chips
Watermelon

Grocery Deals 4/18+


Sprouts    strawberries 1.25/lb (vs 1.48 HEB, 1.67 Randalls), blueberries 2.50, blackberries 2.50, seedless watermelon 2.50 (vs $5 Randalls), apples .99/lb, celery .99, broccoli .99/lb, tomatoes .77/lb, avocados .77, onion .50/lb, cucumbers .50, bell peppers .50, red/yellow/orange peppers .99, squash or zucchini .99/lb (vs 1.49/lb Randalls), Colby longhorn cheese 2.99/lb

Randalls      kiwi .33, beef roast 2.99/lb, pork loin chops 1.99/lb

HEB              oranges .88/lb (vs 1.49 Randalls), mango .50 (vs. 1.25 Randalls), pineapple 2.50, apples .98, corn .33 (vs .50 Randalls), green beans .77/lb (vs 1.99 Randalls), chicken breast $1/lb, pork loin roast 1.97/lb, sirloin steak 3.97/lb, beef fajitas 2.97/lb, Tyson bacon $3/lb (may be the last time we see it close to $3/lb)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Bluebonnets

We've had a wonderful season of bluebonnets and if you've been driving around Central Texas you might have noticed that some of the bluebonnet patches have been taken over by a very tall yellow flower.

I read a little about this plant in our local newspaper and the plant is called Chinese Cabbage.  After looking at the plants I would say they look more like a spinach plant than a cabbage, but I can make it work.  Anyway it seems that these plants are crowding out the bluebonnets and the invasive plant is trying to make a takeover.

We have a lovely patch of bluebonnets in the back.

Well they were lovely back in March at the end of Spring Break, but that's the last time I've been back there.  It's been a great year thanks to all the rain in February.

The grass is so tall and I'm terrified of finding a snake, or worse; it/them finding me.  We've seen lots of dead rattlesnakes on the road already, heard the neighbors telling about how many they have seen around their houses, etc..

Then there was the 3' moccasin that surprised one of us yesterday morning.  Uh, if it had been me, I would not be writing this because I would still be on the roof.

Since the snake was right by the porch, and there was a startle factor, he had to go.  Oh and he hissed at the startled party as well.

The startled party was able to figure out how to get past the meanie without calling anyone and waking them up while they were away at college.  But I heard in the story that there was some hesitation and thought at how to get around the situation and back into the house.

All of this is to say, if you put your kids in the bluebonnets for pictures, and I've certainly done it more than once,  please oh please be careful.
These were taken in 2005, can you believe how little J was?  Me either.

So back to the cabbage...Last week J and I walked up and back on our road/driveway and cut all of the cabbage we could find.  Then we piled it up into a giant pile.

Thanks to the stiff South winds on Saturday, all of that blew back up onto the driveway and into the yard.

Tonight, I was determined to make it burn, particularly because I was sure that these dried up plants
would start to drop seeds at any moment.

Matches wouldn't do the trick.  A little petrol to get things going; didn't make the difference.

This is what gave me success....an old fashioned fire starter that I learned to make in Girl Scouts.

empty TP tube + dryer lint + melted candle wax. 

I had a couple of these made up by the fireplace and when all modern methods failed I went to the trusted and true.

J did the honors of lighting the match.  We made sure everything burned up.

Tips:
1. Be careful of snakes if you're taking bluebonnet pictures
2. Cut down any Chinese Cabbage plants that you can before they go to seed.
3. Always count on a former Girl Scout to be prepared, get things started and finish the job.

P.S.  You guys send such great comments to me, I'd love for others to be able to read them too, can you post them on the blog?  Post anonymously if you'd like and sign your initial so we can guess who you are, or make up a name.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/14+


Saturday

pork chops
spinach
rice
Sunday

chicken tenders & gravy
corn biscuits
green beans
mixed berries w/ yellow cake
Monday

beans and cornbread
carrot sticks
grapes & vanilla yogurt
Tuesday

italian roast
baked potatoes
spinach salad
Wednesday

italian sausage w/peppers & onions
squash
garlic mushroom bread
Thursday

grilled bbq chicken
baked beans
corn
Friday

easy please-y meatloaf
sweet potato fries
broccoli



Saturday
Pan Fried Pork Chops
Rice
Spinach

Sunday
--Soak chicken tenders in a combination of buttermilk (or 1T vinegar + remainder of 1c milk) and ½ tsp of meat tenderizer.  It really makes the chicken moist when you cook it. 
--If you don’t want to fry your tenders, you can certainly bake them in a ‘hot’ oven; which means greater than 400 degrees.  Drizzle some butter over them for that oven fried effect. 
--If you want, you can batter up some extra tenders and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet or plate.  Then when frozen, or the next time you look in your freezer, you can drop them into a Ziploc bag so you’ll have some ready to fry. 
--Corn biscuits are SO wonderful. 
--If you don’t like the seeds in raspberries, use Polanar’s All Fruit seedless instead. 
--If you are working ahead this week you can bake potatoes tonight while the oven is on and then have fried potatoes on Tuesday instead of baked.

Chicken Tenders (Pioneer Woman)
· 1 package Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Strips (sometimes Called "tenders" Or "strips")
· Buttermilk
· 1-½ cup Flour
· 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Lawry's Seasoning Salt (or Spices Of Your Choosing)
· vegetable Oil
Preparation Instructions
Start by rinsing and drying your chicken strips. Next, in a bowl submerge the chicken strips in buttermilk for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you’d like).
In another bowl combine about 1 ½ cups flour and 2 to 3 teaspoons of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or other seasonings if you prefer). Mix this together well. Next, add about ¼ to ½ cup of buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it.
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.
Remove a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Continue coating chicken strips until they are all ready to cook.
When the oil is sufficiently heated, begin cooking the strips a few at a time. Cook them for about a minute and a half or so on each side. When golden and crispy, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Gravy
·2T butter
·2T flour
·Salt/pepper
·1c milk/cream
Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, allow it to brown slightly.  Add salt and pepper and milk.  Then stir until all of your gravy lumps are gone (this won't help with body lumps).  As gravy begins to boil, it will thicken.  Stop cooking when it looks like what your family likes. 

Corn Biscuits (cooks.com)
1 (8 3/4 oz.) can cream-style corn
2 c. biscuit mix
1/4 c. melted butter (or more)
Combine corn and biscuit mix. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead 15 times.
Pat dough into rectangle; cut into 3 x 1-inch strips. Roll strips in melted butter; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Yield 20 biscuit strips

Green Beans
Yellow cake with mixed berries and cool whip

Monday
-Hopefully you have a ham bone leftover from Easter or have one in your freezer, unless of course your freezer has mysteriously unplugged itself.  Oh, it can happen. 
-Put your beans on to soak Sunday evening and then cook all day in the crock pot.
Beans
Cornbread (we like Jiffy with 1 tsp of sugar added as it is being mixed up)
Carrot Sticks
Grapes & Vanilla Yogurt

Tuesday
Italian Roast
2-3lb roast
12 oz bottle of beer
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook all day.  Pour broth into saucepan and add a bit of cornstarch to make a nice gravy before serving. 
Baked Potatoes
Spinach Salad

Wednesday
Italian Sausage w/ peppers and onions (in skillet)
Squash
Garlic Mushroom Bread
¼ c mayo
1 can drained mushroom pieces
¼ c grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oregano
¼ c parmesan cheese
Slices of bread
Combine first five ingredients and spread on bread.  Broil or bake (if you are like me and are scared of the broiler) until cheese is melted. 

Thursday
Grilled Chicken w/ BBQ Sauce
Baked Beans (canned)
Corn

Friday
Easy Please-y Meatloaf (Kraft Foods)
2lb ground beef
1 package stove top stuffing
1 c water
2 eggs, beaten
½ c BBQ sauce, divided
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except ¼ c bbq sauce.  Shape meat into an oval loaf in a 13x9 pan; top with remaining bbq sauce.  Bake 1 hour until done. 

Sweet Potato Fries
Broccoli