Menus of a Mom

Just trying to get the family fed!


Menu – Week of 10/1/12

Welcome to October! I haven’t started pulling out the fall recipes yet, but I’m pretty excited about pumpkin festivals and Halloween this month!  Fall recipes will be sure to follow soon.


Monday: Asian Chicken Quesadillas – (carryover from last week)

Tuesday: Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Wednesday: Mini Chicken Pot Pies – I got so excited about this group of recipes, I almost instituted an all-muffin pan menu this week!

Thursday: Crustless Cheddar Broccoli Quiche from Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza Night – I thought this would be fun to do with Boog.


I have to buy:

  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Egg beaters
  • Cottage cheese

I already have on hand:

  • Snow peas
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Chicken
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Asian sesame dressing
  • Tortillas
  • Sesame oil
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken Broth
  • Frozen mixed veggies
  • Salt, pepper, thyme
  • Bisquick
  • Milk
  • Oil
  • Pizza crusts
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded Italian cheese
  • Pepperoni and other pizza toppings (olives, mushrooms)

Low grocery bill this week for sure!



  • Organize the RR cabinet
  • Prep the peas for the quesadillas
  • Dice chicken for the quesadillas, casserole, and pot pies
  • Dice onions for the casserole, pot pies, quiche, and pizza
  • Cook the chicken for the quesadillas and casserole
  • Cook the quinoa for the casserole


After work: Assemble and cook the quesadillas

Late night: Prep and bake the casserole.


After work Re-heat the casserole with the help of Chef Mike.

Late night: Cook the chicken mixture for the pot pies.


After work: Assemble the pot pies and bake.

Late night: Saute the onions and broccoli for the quiche.


After work: Assemble the quiche and bake.

Late night:  Chop a bell pepper and saute it with onions for the pizzas.


After work: Make your own pizza night!

I was definitely missing my Boog when I wrote this yesterday, though she’s home now! In the meantime, I wanted to share this little discussion we had last weekend.  We were leaving Target:

Boog: Where we going now?

Me: Well, we have to go put gas in the car and then we’re headed home.

Boog: Gas?

Me: Yes, the car is hungry, so we have to go feed it some gas.

Boog: Yeah, the car needs to eat eggs.

I guess that’s why we’re having a quiche this week.  Everyone could use some eggs.



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Prepared and I Still Can’t Find My Keys

Every now and then I’ve decide to throw in a completely off-topic post AKA known as a long rambling post… Feel free to ignore.

I wanted to share a slightly embarrassing story that happened this week.  At work, my team had a lot of competing priorities and deadlines this week.  Who doesn’t, right?  So, I should preface this whole thing with a disclaimer that, my head was sort of not screwed on right, lots going on, not feeling well, feeling the pressure of not “wasting” my days off from my toddler, etc. etc.

On Thursday, I decided to quickly pop out of the office to grab lunch at a Lenny’s Sub Shop.  This is a pretty rare occurrence  I almost always pack my lunch (which shall be the subject of an on-topic post at some point in the near future) and eat at the office.

I head down the stairwell and hear a familiar voice drifting down from the floor above.  Hmm, I think that’s M – one of the IT guys we work closely with on this very LARGE project that’s been ongoing for over a year now.  Nice guy, but I better hurry up, otherwise, I’ll end up in the stairwell or out in the hot sun talking to him about this project for 30 minutes and I’m trying to duck out to grab some quick grub.

I get to the car and start backing out and I see M and W (another IT guy on our project team) and someone else I haven’t met.  Hmm, why do I get a distinct feeling they are going to Lenny’s too? <probably because it’s the closest place to the building and I know they have to be back for a project meeting at the same time I do>  Nah, what are the odds, I think.

I get to Lenny’s, which has a terrible parking situation, but SCORE! I get a spot RIGHT in front of the door of this all glass-front sub shop.  Haha, suckers behind me have to keep going and find a spot around the corner. <insert smug look of satisfaction here as I walk into the sub shop>

Standing in line, I look behind me and in walks M&W.  I’m pretty sure they were the suckers behind me.  Hey, you guys just can’t get away from me, huh?  Haha, small talk, small talk, small talk in line.  I sit down to wait for my sandwich, which I had planned to take back to the office.  This was supposed to be quick, remember?  I end up sitting and chatting with M for a bit while waiting for our sandwiches, and then I head out to the car.  The one that’s right in front of the door to the small, glass-front sub shop.  Get to the car, put my sandwich on my trunk to dig around and try to find my car keys.  Dig, dig, dig, <trying not to panic>, dig, dig.

Okay, maybe I had them in my hand when I was chatting at the table and I left them in there.  $#@!%$, now I have to go back in and let these people know that I cannot locate my keys.  Hey, M – are my keys anywhere on the table there?  No, I don’t see them, do you need a ride back?  Just let us know…

See, nice guy.  Me – oh, okay, thanks, I’ll let you know <nervous panicky laughter>

Then, I hear my name.  I turn around, OH, it’s my boss’s husband. HEY!  It’s like a party in here, everyone wants Lenny’s today!  No, that wasn’t a thought in my head.  That’s actually what I said out loud in my nervous voice as the panic starts to set in.  Then, I walked back out to the car (where my lunch is still sitting on the trunk).  I didn’t say good-bye to him or anything.  I should point out that he is also a nice guy. Mental note – mention to my boss, a very nice woman, hey, can you apologize if I was short with your husband at Lenny’s today.

So, back out at the car, in that stellar parking spot I was able to get today right in front of the door <LUCKY GIRL!>, I start thinking about this logically.  Either I left the keys in the car, in which case, I wouldn’t have been able to lock it, or they are somewhere in my purse or in the short distance between the car and the sub shop.  I go around to the passenger door, it’s locked, I peer into my windows like I’m casing the thing.

Okay, logical brain.  The keys are not in the car.  I have checked the table and now walked the distance between the table and the car 3 times.  Think.  Let’s look in the purse again.  Slowly digging around, trying to find the keys. <JUST DUMP EVERYTHING OUT ONTO THE GROUND, DO IT, DO IT.  No, keep calm, you have an audience of sub shop patrons, all of whom you know>. 

I have a new purse that I hate.  I used to have a wonderful mom purse, cross-body Vera Bradley that I bought used.  It finally died and I thought, this is a good time to get something that looks a little more professional.  Goodness gracious I miss my old purse.  Now I have a big black monstrosity that has one big section where everything gets thrown, no pockets.

WAIT.  I do have ONE pocket.  The little small pocket.  That’s where I keep a pad and tampon as a tribute to my girl scout roots – Be prepared.

You see, I never have that pocket open, unless it absolutely needs to be, right? Well, it was necessary to open it earlier in the day, and I must have felt the need to zip it closed again, right after I tossed my keys into my big black purse, walking into the sub shop.  Wouldn’t have wanted IT guys to see what was in the little small pocket, now would we?  Yep, found the keys inside the little small pocket zipped closed.

I should have just packed my lunch.

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The Old Standby – Burgers and Frrrroasted Vegetables?

Easy dinner tonight.  Turkey burgers and roasted vegetables.  I prepped the burger patties last night and got the vegetables ready to roast.  It was kind of a hodge-podge of veggies left in the refrigerator – onion, zucchini, yellow squash,  and then parsnips and, my favorite, brussel sprouts.

Today, I got home from work, put the veggies in the oven to roast on Timed Bake and went to get groceries.  Dinner done!  But, it was a good night for Boog to miss, as I don’t think she would have been a fan.  She’s the only kid I know that doesn’t like a hamburger!


Bugs, Boogs, MILs, and Some Me/Us Time

This week’s been a little off schedule.  I knew making swim class on Tuesday was going to be tough as I had a late meeting at work.  But, I thought I might still make it…until.  Yeah, I was sick on the way home.  I’ll leave it at that.

I barely made it pick the Boog up from school.  My dinner consisted of some bread and Sierra Mist (thanks Husband for picking those up).  He had a sandwich.  Boog had a super appetite – she ate 2 yogurts and two bowls of cereal, Life, to be exact.

Someone remind me again why I cook for her every night??  Sigh.

Yesterday, my wonderful mother-in-law came for a visit with Boog and made dinner so I could catch up on some things at work and rest up a bit after my little bug.    She made the butternut squash tostadas, so good.  I forgot to take a picture, but here’s what these delicious little guys look like from the last time we had them.


I also promised the recipe, so here goes!

Butternut Squash Tostadas


1 small onion, chopped coarsely

1 bag frozen diced butternut squash (you can, of course, use fresh, but what an easy shortcut!)

1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes with green chilies

cilantro (or cilantro paste as a short cut)

lime juice

chipotle pepper seasoning

tostada shells (we used baked)

crumbled goat cheese


Saute onion with the butternut squash until onion is translucent.

Add the tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and chipotle.

Heat through.

Put squash mixture on tostada shells and top with goat cheese.


Seriously, the most simple meal, but it tastes gourmet.

Anyway, so last night, my mother-in-law asked if she could take Boog home with her for a visit for a few days.  Huh?

What mixed emotions!  Now, I have to point out that my daughter is more than two and a half years old and she has never been away from me over night since the day she was born.  Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that like it’s a badge of honor – the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself.

So, even though Husband and I looked through pictures of the Boog tonight, and we of course miss her, it’s nice to have a breather.  Husband and I can have some “us” time this weekend without shelling out major bucks on a babysitter.

I was able to make dinner without any arguments or whining in the background, though I missed my little helper.  And I think she would have liked the Foil-Pack Chicken & Broccoli Dinner I made tonight.  It was super easy and pretty tasty.

It was rather nice to not have to be a role model for a night.

What’s that? Why yes, I would like to eat my dinner in front of the television.  And I can watch some trash TV with absolutely no redeeming qualities and not Fresh Beat Band?  Don’t mind if I do.

Love you Boog, but much thanks to my mother-in-law for a few days off!


Noodles and Doodles and Muffins, Oh My!

Lots to catch up on!  We’ve been busy busy.

A few weekends ago, we discovered the show Noodle and Doodle on Sprout.  It’s awesome!  Each show, they have a theme and make a recipe in the kitchen with a related craft.  Everything Boog sees on there, she says, I WANNA do THAT, so we have an endless list of project ideas. And now when we do cook or bake together, I don’t have to fight her to wash her hands first, I just tell her she has to wash them like Noodle does and she’s all over it.

On Sunday morning, we did some baking to restock the freezer with zucchini muffins and tried out these Vegetable Garden Muffins we saw on the show.  We were, um, off our baking game, big time.  Boog was really interested in baking at first, but my husband was home and had the TV on and Boog kept getting distracted, not to mention we had been butting heads the latter part of last week.  So I did a lot of the baking on my own.

We started with the Garden muffins – Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of them, but I’ll definitely be trying these out again.  The only flour I had in the house was chickpea flour, which would have worked fine except I didn’t compensate and add any leavening, so they came out a bit dense.  Also, I’d add a bit of salt to them next time.  But no worries, they were pretty good anyway, and, the best part, Boog eats them.  Ours were full of zucchini and yellow squash and topped with carrots, awesome!

Then I moved on to the Zucchini Muffins.  I had exactly 12 muffin papers, but my recipe always makes more….what to do, what to do.  I decided to use those silicone letter molds. Yes!  Thinking on the fly and now I have alphabet muffins, excellent.  Except… I forgot to set the timer on the oven.  Somehow, magically, I  checked on them and saved everything, and they came out fairly well.  The muffins were just a bit “tough” on the bottom, but otherwise, tasty 🙂



Bite-sized and perfect for little hands!

Since we had enough leftovers to cover dinner on Friday night, I made the catch-all pasta that had been planned on Sunday night instead.  Simple, delicious, Boog always eats pasta, and I cleaned out a lot of miscellaneous stuff from the refrigerator.

Lastly, tonight we had the delicious Cherry Tomato & Yellow Squash Crumble.  It came out great, and Boog ate her squash (though she passed on the tomatoes tonight).  However, I think the last time I made this, I not only chopped the ingredients the night before, but had sautéed them all and assembled everything but the cheese and bread crumbs.  I only did the chopping last night, so it took some time this evening to saute it all and then bake it.  Oops – that’s part of the reason I started the blog, so I can remember the best approach to take on these recipes.  So, now it is officially documented…hopefully I can remember for next time!

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Menu – Week of 9/24/12


Monday: Cherry Tomato & Yellow Squash Crumble 
Tuesday: Butternut Squash Tostadas
Wednesday: Asian Chicken Quesadillas
Thursday: Turkey Burgers with Roasted Vegetables
Friday: Foil-Pack Chicken & Broccoli Dinner


I have to buy:

  • Yellow squash
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tostada shells
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tortillas
  • Ground turkey breast
  • Bell pepper
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Stuffing mix
  • Broccoli
  • Bacon bits

I already have on hand:

  • Butter (actually, I use Earth Balance)
  • Bread crumbs – Nonni’s Garlic Parmesan Italian Toast + Vitamix
  • Parsley
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Frozen butternut squash
  • Ro-tel tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Chipotle pepper seasoning
  • Lime juice
  • Chicken
  • Asian sesame dressing
  • Sesame oil
  • Potatoes
  • Honey dijon dressing (using this in place of the ranch in the foil-pack dinner)



  • Organize the RR cabinet
  • Make the bread crumbs
  • Chop onions for all nights but Friday
  • Dice 1/2 lb yellow squash


After work: Assemble and bake the Cherry Tomato and Yellow Squash Crumble


After work Make the Butternut Squash Tostadas – I’ll post an actual recipe after I made them
Late night: Dice the chicken and snap the snow peas in half.


After work: Assemble the quesadillas and cook on the stove.
Late night: Assemble the burger patties and prep the roasted vegetables (potatoes, brussel sprouts, onions, parsnips).


After work:  Toss the veggies with garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and roast.  Cook the burgers on the stove.
After work: Assemble the foil-packs and bake.


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Sometimes It’s OK to Change Your Mind

I know, I know.  After the debacle with the lasagna last week, I sort of swore off using the slow cooker for anything but shredded bbq and pot roasts.  I immediately turned around and made the turkey in it on Tuesday, but that totally counts as a roast, so yeah.

I had planned to have enchiladas on Friday night, but decided to switch nights and have them tonight instead.  After having a really easy prep schedule this week and crazy times at work, no part of me wanted to cook and shred chicken last night.  So, I decided to cook all of the enchilada filling in the slow cooker today instead!

This morning, I threw diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, chicken, and taco seasoning in there with some water…and when I came home, there was beautifully cooked chicken.  I used the hand mixer to shred it and them mixed in some Greek yogurt to add creaminess.  Of course, I topped them off with some shredded cheddar cheese, with some help from Boog, and popped them into the oven.

In an overabundance of caution (since I got burned last week), I added a bit too much water, but otherwise, these were great.  This is definitely the plan for enchiladas from now on, though I will probably mix up the ingredients a little more, like some salsa verde in place of the tomatoes.  Who knows?  Now that I found a way to make these even easier, I’ll have time to think through new options 🙂