Sunday, January 8, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan - January

Ok, this is something I have been working on!  The first image is just that an image to view or print.  Scroll down for the excel file that has attached grocery list and you can edit.

Still tweaking a bit but posting for those that asked.  You should be able to download a copy in excel and edit to suit your family's favorite meals.  The second sheet has an ingredient list and although setting it up may take a bit of time.... once you do it you can save and quickly update next month without having to enter everything in again!   You can then print the recipe list each month prior to your grocery trip.... This is my first month doing it this way.... And really I have already shopped for my January meals for the most part.... I will tweak the list as I go, adding or reformatting if needed.  I am in the process of posting my recipes to this blog too for reference....

I shop the bulk of my items by month.... Meats, canned goods, dry goods, cleaning products, etc.  In between I grab produce, milk, and bread as needed.  We also have spaghetti of some sort every Tuesday.... Sometimes it's spaghetti and meatballs, sometimes meat Sauce... sometimes with salad, and different breads.  Wednesdays we eat at church.  And most weekends I don't "cook", per se, but we eat up the leftovers from the days prior, or if there are none it's Soup/sandwich or pull something from my freezer stash.  Many Sundays we will eat out as well....

My goal for 2017 is to do this each month and then in future Years it won't require much to adjust for new dates! I am also starting something new in my little family assigning a cooking night to the kids.... They were excited about this and wanted to work in pairs.  So my boys are teaming up and my daughter is pairing up with daddy!  Hopefully this will help them all be more proficient in the kitchen, give me a break once a week from the cooking part at least!.... and perhaps they will gain a new appreciation for all my efforts!  I have printed the monthly page for the fridge and also keeping a copy in a binder that I am keeping as reference!  I am also highlighting the kids cooking night!

Anyway I hope this may provide some inspiration to you!  Feel free to copy and use/amend to suit your family, etc.  My kids won't be cooking at your house though LOL!

Cherry Dump Cake

SUPER easy!!!  SUPER yummy!!!   My favorite is Cherry, but you can substitute any other fruit pie filling of your choice.... You can even use fresh or frozen fruits like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries!

Put the ingredients into a 13x9 pan in this order:
1 Large Can Cherry Fruit Pie Filling
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (dry)
1 stick butter, cut into slices

That is it!  Bake 45-50 minutes on 350 in oven!  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish!! YUM!

Boston Market Copycat MeatLoaf Recipe

3/4 cup ketchup
2 1/2 TBS BBQ sauce
2 TBS sugar

3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder

2 1/2 lbs ground beef

2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs

1, Preheat the oven to 400 F
2. In a large bowl, stir together the ketchup, bbq sauce and the sugar; set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture.
3. With your hands, mix in the remaining ingredients in sauce mixture.
4. Form the mixture into a loaf and placed into a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. (If you don't have a loaf pan, that's ok - I use a rectangular pan and that works fine)
5. Bake, COVERED, for 35-40 mins.
6. Uncover and drain the fat from the pan, then slice the meat loaf while still in the pan.
7. Drizzle the reserved tomato sauce mixture evenly over the meat loaf.
8. Bake, UNCOVERED, for an additional 30 mins or until cooked thoroughly.

Orange Glazed Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 egg
2 TBS oil
4 TBS Orange Marmalade
4 TBS Soy Sauce
2 TBS White Vinegar
2 Oranges or clementines
splash of orange juice

  1. Prepare Meatballs and cook: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the garlic, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, bread crumbs, and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Thoroughly combine and form into golf-ball-sized meatballs. Heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pan. Cook, rotating to brown all sides, for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness. (can also cook in oven) Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2.  Make the glaze: Wipe out any burned bits from the pan. Returning it to medium-high heat, add the vinegar, orange jam, remaining soy sauce, and a splash of orange juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Return the meatballs to the pan. Reduce until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Roll the meatballs to coat them in the glaze.
We like to serve with white rice and broccoli!  And with the 2 oranges remove skin and divide into segments and serve with it!.  The kids LOVE this!!!  

Teriyaki Pork Loin (Crockpot)

This is a stable in our house!  I usually use a 2-3 lb pork loin for my family of 5 and this gives us plenty for seconds/leftovers or lunch the next day!

  • 2 TBS oil
  • 2-3 lb whole pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (hot or cold doesn't matter!)
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste 
  • (optional) add Tony's Chachere's Creole Seasoning for a little kick!

  1. Put oil in crockpot.  Then Porkloin.  and all other ingredients.
  2. Cook on Low for about 4-6 hours, turning 2 to 3 times during the cooking time to ensure even doneness. Internal temperature in the tenderloin should reach 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).
  3. Remove tenderloins from the slow cooker and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. If desired, spoon liquid over slices when serving.

    You can thicken the sauce to make a nice gravy with a little cold water and flour.  I usually serve this with egg noodles or rice and a veggie or two!

Cheeseburger Pie Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef
  •  1 diced onion
  • 3 to 4 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 5 cups beef broth (I use water and beef base)
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2 cups shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese (Velveeta is good too)
  •  2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. In a large pot, melt 1 TBS butter over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables and beef , until beef is brown, drain grease.
  2. Stir in basil and parsley. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Melt the remainder of butter and stir in flour. Add the milk, stirring until smooth.
  4. Gradually add milk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Juniper Berry Oil and Night Terrors

JUNIPER BERRY is one of my favorite oils!

     My oldest has had night terrors
since he was about 18 months old. at first they were very infrequent. When he was school age they came more often.... somewhere around 7 or 8 yrs old he began having them more frequently and I tried to learn anything I could to stop them from occurring. Routine, schedule, sleeping enough, eating and drinking properly, etc etc. If we stuck to routine we could mostly keep them away but if he stayed up at a friend's house too late I was doomed! His night terrors would come exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes into his sleep pattern. He would scream in terror, someone was trying to kill him, or me, it was always frightening to go thru and there was little I could do to console him. Some nights they would occur another hour and 20 minutes later... it was exhausting to say the least....
     As he got older and bigger they were scarier because it was much harder for me to contain him. He fell off the top of his bunk bed during one episode.... I could go on & on.
      After I got into essential oils and heard Juniper berry could prevent night terrors from occurring I was skeptical but intrigued. After all this was my sleep that was getting messed with too! I did more research and was willing to try it so I ordered it and waited for the opportune time to try this oil. After a spend the night with his friends... when he of course stays up too late, gets up too early and is overly stimulated! We applied a drop diluted with fractionated coconut oil to the bottom of his big toes and swiped across the forehead for good measure. NO NIGHT TERROR!! Time and again when his routine is off or a lack of sleep we turn to juniper berry... He is now 13 and will ask for it or just go to my box and ask me which one is for night terrors? It has been over a year since we first got juniper berry and I will never run out... Life changer!
      Now there are also several other uses for juniper berry. It is a very detoxifying oil, great for kidney and bladder support. It is a diuretic and will flush your system. I use this oil often with my condition that I have and in times of retention. Very cleansing and purifying.
    If you have any questions about essential oils, health concerns,  or would like to learn more about some amazing specials please Contact Me