Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh how I love French Bread Pizzas

The plan was to make Italian Beef Sandwiches tonight, but I decided to switch it up.  French Bread Pizzas were just what we needed!  In fact, we were so happy to be having them for dinner that we made them at 3:00, instead of waiting until the "normal" dinnertime.  And you know what?  We do that a LOT!  When it's just me and the kids home for dinner, we'll eat dinner around 3:30 when everyone gets home from work / school and then just have a snack around 6:00 before they start the whole bath/bedtime thing.  Reversing snack and dinner works just great for us. 

I'm sure everyone knows how to make French Bread Pizza, but in case you don't.... here's how we do it. 

French Bread Pizza


French Bread (we used french rolls, since we had planned to do sandwiches)
Pizza Sauce  (you can get a huge #10 can at Sam's for less than $2.50)
Italian Seasoning
Toppings of your choice


1.  Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Slice your bread the long way, like you would to make a sandwich. 

3.  Hand over the bread to each family member to make their own.  (I LOVE dinners like this!)

4.  Everyone can spread sauce, cheeses, seasoning, toppings to their liking.  Once they've loaded up their pizzas, plop them all on a baking sheet and toss into the oven for about 12 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. 

See that one with huge chunks of pineapple?  That's Taylor's.  :)

Tater Tot making her pizza

Mr. Mudpie pouting on the couch.  He thought when I said "come to the table!" that dinner was already done.  haha!!  Apparently make-your-own is not his thing.

TJ waiting for his to be done

Sorry, there are no pictures of the finished pizzas.  Oops!  We were all really hungry and I didn't think to take a picture until it was too late. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan - 3/29 - 4/2

Weekly Menu Plan
3/29 - 4/2

Monday  (use it up night!)

Italian Beef Sandwiches**, Edamame Salad, Strawberries, Pineapple

** Italian Beef Sandwiches:  Shredded pot roast (from the freezer) and grilled onions piled on an italian bread roll and smothered in melted cheese. 


Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad


Firehouse Subs - Kids Eat Free Night!


Orange Chicken, Sticky Rice, Broccoli, Dessert Wontons**  

** Dessert Wontons:  I take pre-made wonton wrappers and fill with a quickie apple pie filling (finely chopped apple, sugar, cinnamon, ginger).  Fill wontons, fold into a triangle, deep fry until crispy and dust with powdered sugar.  sooooo delicious!


Dinner at the cabin! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan - 3/21 - 3/26

Weekly Meal Plan

3/21 - 3/26

I've got a house full of stomach virus people (except me for now), so it will be crackers and applesauce for them and Chicken Lettuce Wraps for me.


Pork Chops, Twice Baked Potatoes, Kids Choice of Veggies


Eat on the road.  Going to visit my new niece Bryce!!!


Easy Baked Tilapia, Breaded Shrimp, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Kid's Choice Veggies


Pioneer Woman's "Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich"    sooooo good!  you MUST try this one!  


Go Out! to celebrate our anniversary that was last weekend.  Anyone want to babysit??? 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew-in Accomplishments

As expected, I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to done.  I'm happy though -- I got the 3 items I needed for today done.  Here's a look at them...

Crayon Roll for Barak:

Owl Pillowcase for Abby:

Horse Pillowcase for Aly:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Effortless Pot Roast

By request, here is my favorite Pot Roast recipe for the crock pot.  I haven't made this in a while... I'll have to make it next time roasts go on sale!

Effortless Pot Roast


2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 cups water
5 - 6 lb pot roast

*** If you have a small family and only want to do a 2 - 3 lb roast, just use 1 can of soup, 3/4 cup water and the onion soup packet.  Although, I don't know why anyone would cook a 3 lb roast, when they could cook a 6 lb roast in the same amount of time.  Leftovers can be frozen and are awesome used instead of ground beef in some tacos the next day.  But then, I've said before that I'm a cook-in-big-batches kind of girl. 


1.  In a bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water.

2.  Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.

3.  Cook on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours - the longer the better. 

If you like a thick gravy, you can thicken the juices with a little cornstarch/water mixture right before serving. 

Friday Night Sew-In!

Tonight, the girls at Handmade by Heidi and Crafty Vegas Mom are hosting "Friday Night Sew-In".  It's a night, once a month where you dedicate the evening to working on some projects on your crafty to-do list.... sewing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, whatever.

The plan is this:   tonight you work on your projects, Saturday you post pics or blog about them, and Sunday they are giving away some goodies!  Want to join in too?  Go HERE to sign up. 

My Sewing List for tonight, in order of importance:

  • Owl Pillowcase   (Abby's birthday - need for tomorrow!)
  • Horse Pillowcase (Aly's birthday - need for tomorrow!)
  • Crayon Roll  (Barak's birthday - need for tomorrow!)    are you noticing a procrastination trend, here??
  • Cushion Reupholstery Project
  • Hooded towel

Since I won't be starting until around 7:30, I'm guessing this is where I will run out of steam.  If I have enough energy, I want to work on these:

  • Finish cutting fabric for Cabin Quilt
  • Baby Shoes (2 pair boy)
  • Burp Cloth (3 boy)
  • Prep supplies for some hand sewing projects to take on our camping trip

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crock Pot Taco Soup (Just for you Lara!)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I *heart* my crock pot.  It gets used and abused a lot around here.  Today, the crock pot was kind enough to cook a pork roast for me so that I could turn it into Cuban Sandwiches. 

At 5:00 I arrived home to a cranky husband and two hungry kiddos.  Because I had taken 5 minutes earlier in the day to load the crock pot, I had homemade Cuban Sandwiches on the table within 15 minutes of arriving home.  (It would have only taken 10, but there were a couple meltdowns and one poop incident.)  And as a bonus.... I have leftover pork for tomorrow night!

One of my favorite crock pot soups to make is Taco Soup.  Quick, easy and cheap.  And if that's not good enough -- it freezes great.  Freeze any leftovers in individual servings for when you need a quick lunch or hearty snack. 

***** This is one of those meals that I consider a "pantry meal", meaning I almost always have all of these ingredients in my pantry.  Having about a dozen pantry meal recipes at the ready is crucial for every home kitchen.  You never know when you might get sick and not want to shop, have a sudden pay loss, or even a natural disaster.  This meal could easily be made over a camp stove (just omit the perishable garnishes).  As someone who grew up in the land of hurricanes, it is a survival instinct to have food on hand to feed my family in any situtation.  I'll step off my soapbox now.  :)

TJ's Favorite Crock Pot Taco Soup
Serves 8


1 can pinto beans
1 can white beans or kidney beans
1 can yellow corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes & chilies (I like the one with lime)
1 big (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes ** in the summer time, dice up a few overripe tomatoes from the garden
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 lb shredded chicken, ground beef or any meat you have hanging out in the fridge

handful of chopped cilantro
handful of chopped green onions

*** Optional Garnishes:  tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocados, guacamole, etc.


1.  Cook meat and drain, if not using leftovers from fridge.

2.  Add all ingredients to crock pot except cilantro and green onions.  Do NOT drain cans of veggies.  Just open the cans and dump the entire contents of cans into the crock pot. 

3.  Stir it & cover it.

4.  Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours. 
     Do NOT take the lid off!  Every time you take the lid off, it takes up to 30 mintues for the crock-pot to resume the temperature.

5.  If it's done before dinner, keep it on Warm or Low until serving time. 

6.  When ready to serve, add in cilantro and green onions.  yummy!  Let everyone add whatever garnishes they like to their bowls, and enjoy.  :) 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole (with OAMC directions!)

This is one of those great standby recipes that you can throw together in a pinch.  Or even better, keep one assembled in the freezer, so all you do is throw it in the oven!  The best part is it doesn't contain any Velveeta or Cheese Whiz type fake cheeses.  I don't know about you, but those "cheese" products scare me. 

I usually add chicken to mine so I can make it a one-dish dinner.   But it's great as a side dish too!

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
serves about 6

hmmm.... this is one of those not-so-pretty recipes.  it tastes great though!


2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 cups cooked rice (I use brown rice, but white is fine too)
8 ounces shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans cream of whatever soup
1 small onion, chopped
olive oil


1.  Cook onion in a little bit of olive oil in skillet until done.

2.  In a greased casserole dish, add all ingredients and mix well. 

3.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until hot and bubbly.

To make ahead and freeze: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (cooked rice, not raw) and spoon into one or two casserole dishes, cover, label and freeze.
From frozen:  cook 1 hour and 10 minutes or so
Thawed:  cook for about an hour

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan

First let me say.... I never intended to take over a month off from blogging.  The whole family has been adjusting to Mr. Mudpie's new work schedule, and things have been a little off here.  But I'm back now and have lots of recipes and crafty goodness to post in the coming weeks! 

In an effort to get back to menu planning on a regular basis, I will be posting our weekly menu plans here.  In the plast when I've done weekly plans, I find that we stick to most of the plan each week.  You know what?  That's good enough for me!  I plan meals around what we have in the pantry / freezers, so if we don't eat a meal one week, it can easily be shifted to the next week. 

You'll notice too, that on some days I plan a lunch, but not all days.  I usually only plan lunches for days that I know I will be busy and tempted to get fast food.  If I have a plan, I am more likely to use it instead of hitting the drive thru.  

My intentions are to post as many of these recipes as possible, after making each dish.  I make no promises though!

Weekly Meal Plan
3/14 - 3/19
Lunch - Broccoli Chicken Cheese Rice Casserole
Dinner - Smoked Sausage, Grilled Onions, Au Gratin Potatoes, Broccoli

Lunch - Brown Rice Lentil Soup
Dinner - Whole Wheat Pasta with Scallops and veggies

Lunch - **little man's birthday, so he will get his favorite:  a drive thru cheeseburger with no pickles :)
Dinner -** birthday boy's choice **

Dinner - Firehouse Subs  (kids eat free night!)

Dinner - Cuban Sandwiches, Edamame Salad

Lunch - ** no school for kiddos**  Picnic lunch at the park
Dinner - Giant Dinner Salad topped with Roast Pork