Category Archives: Recipes

January Meal Plan

Here’s my humble attempt at a low-commitment way of sharing our weekly meal plans online! I will update this post each weekend of the month and hopefully it will be a blessing to you when you’re in the mood for reliable recipes that are moderately affordable and healthyish. Enjoy. (And if you want a quick shopping list creator I love using Plan To Eat!)

Also, I want to be a professional charcuterie board maker when I grow up.

January Meal Plan


We eat leftovers for lunch because we are home most days and who wants a sandwich when you can have chowder??


  • Sunday:
  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:


  • Sunday:
  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday: MYOPizza at a friend’s house


  • Sunday:
  • Monday: Shrimp & Grits w/ Green Beans
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday: Mexican out
  • Thursday: Herbed Chicken w/ Corn, Leftover Green Beans
  • Friday: Sausage Rigatoni w/ Salad, Breadsticks
  • Saturday: Stuffed Shells w/ Meat Sauce



  • Sunday: Superbowl Community Group Dinner
  • Monday: Fiesta Chicken Freezer Meal
  • Tuesday: BBQ, Corn, Biscuits, Baked Beans
  • Wednesday: MYOPizza with Volleyball Team
  • Thursday: Ham & Potato Soup with Rolls
  • Friday: Out of Town
  • Saturday:  Out of Town


  • Sunday: Kids Eat Free at Mccallisters
  • Monday: Chicken Thighs in the Crockpot with 1 can cream of chicken, 1 can cream of potato, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies
  • Tuesday: Mango Chutney Pork Loins w/ Rice and Steamed Broccoli
  • Wednesday: Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce, Salad and Breadsticks
  • Thursday: Chickfila
  • Friday: Out of Town
  • Saturday:  Out of Town


  • Sunday: Bacon-Wrapped Venison, Scalloped Potatoes and Veggies
  • Monday: Cranberry Pork Roast w/ Rice and Veggies
  • Tuesday: Kids Eat Free at Chicken Salad Chick w/ friends
  • Wednesday: Maple Dijon Chicken w/ Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Veggies
  • Thursday: Parent’s Night Out for Church/Kids Eat Frozen Pizza and Veggies
  • Friday: Chicken & Gnocchi
  • Saturday:  Out of Town


  • Sunday: Kung Pao Chicken from Trader Joe’s
  • Monday: Steaks w/ Lemon Orzo Veggie Salad, Bread
  • Tuesday: Fiesta Chicken Nachos
  • Wednesday: Jambalaya and Rolls
  • Thursday: Ribs w/ Cheesy Ranch Bacon Potato Hash, Steamed Veggies
  • Friday: Tortellini w/ Meat Sauce, Salad and Breadsticks
  • Saturday:  Weeknight Chicken w/ Green Beans and Rolls


  • Sunday: Beef Stroganoff w/ Asparagus
  • Monday: Enchiladas w/ Chips and Salsa
  • Tuesday: Tuscan Chicken Pasta w/ Green Beans and Breadsticks
  • Wednesday: Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:

5 Soups We Are Loving This Fall

If a huge stockpot of soup were a person, I’d make sure she knew she was obligated to be my best friend for life.

I mean, the therapeutic chopping, the aromatic boiling, and the soul-filling warmth… but soup hasn’t usually been a go-to in our house because Joel prefers meat and potatoes to broth. I get it. Not everyone wants Pumpkin Chicken Chipotle Soup in summer. spring. winter. and fall… but, MY cravings can be unbearable.

It used to be that every time Joel went out of town for the week, I’d hunker down with my favorite online cookbook (which has a killer Black Friday sale coming!) and hatch a plan to see if me and the kids could eat a different soup each night.

BUT… SOUP RELEGATION NO MORE! Because I have found some soups that are hearty, wholesome and have enough meat to suit my man and are welcomed at our table any night of the week.

5 soups we are loving this fall

5 Soups We Are Loving This Fall

Pumpkin Chicken Chipotle Soup (because I am literally salivating now) 

Adapted from Life In Grace’s blog–one of my all-time faves!


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 boxes of good chicken stock
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)  the smaller sized can ~14 oz
  • 3 cup cooked chicken (1 rotisserie chicken pulled) or 3 c. diced potatoes for a vegetarian option (could also use frozen hash browns)
  • 1 package of microwaveable quinoa/rice mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 t. chipotles chopped very fine (It comes in a small can in the Mexican section of the store and is packed in a heavy sauce—it has a lot of heat so be cautious. I freeze the remainder of the can for the next time I make this soup which will be about a week later :)
  • 1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. To begin, saute the veggies in the oil and butter until carrots are almost tender.   Always salt as you go along and then adjust the salt at the end.   Don’t wait until the very end to add salt or your dish will lack a depth of flavor.  Add garlic after the veggies have cooked about 5 minutes.
  2. Then add chicken stock, pumpkin, chicken, rice and all the spices.
  3. Cook at medium to high heat  for about 45 minutes to an hour or until rice is tender.
  4. Turn heat down to simmer.
  5. Add sour cream or yogurt and whisk so that no lumps remain and then add cream.   Taste and re-season. I always add more honey to balance the heat of the chipotles but DON’T leave out the chipotles.  The smokey flavor makes the soup.  It just wouldn’t be the same without them!  Enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copy Cat Soup)

Adapted from one of my favorite food blogs!


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 boxes chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. While you’re preparing the soup, you can be making the bacon by baking it in the oven. Place bacon on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and put in a cold oven. Let the temperature rise to 375 and about the time the oven is pre-heated your bacon will be crispy! Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet and cook Italian sausage until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Adapted from Life In Grace, basically I love everything she shares!


  • 3 Tbsp butter and a few swirls of olive oil (about 2 T.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 15 baby carrots, diced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 boxes good chicken stock (she–and now I always use Kitchen Basics, it’s rich and hearty and tasty)
  • 1/2 box mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie chickens are your soup’s best friend!)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few springs of thyme (could use dry a teaspoon of dry poultry seasoning instead)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt 3 T. of butter in a big soup pot, along with a few swirls of olive oil.
  • Saute the onions and carrots and add salt and pepper to taste (you will adjust the salt/pepper at the end but add some now!)
  • Add the flour and let it cook for about a minute, as you stir it around the pan
  • Add the chicken stock and stir well, to deglaze the flour bits from the bottom of the pan
  • Add the potatoes, chicken and mushrooms and cook for 10-15 on medium heat, until the potatoes start to soften
  • When the potatoes are slightly soft, add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 15 min or so and then it can sit with the lid on until you’re ready to serve. Serve with biscuits! Walmart has several great frozen options.

White Chicken Chili

Adapted from both DD and a new blog I’ve been enjoying called Grace Table.


  • 4 boxes chicken broth
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (1 whole chicken)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar of salsa verde
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and some leftover for garnish
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Stir in chicken broth, chicken, beans, salsa verde and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add yogurt, cream, honey and cilantro
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, sour cream, and/or Monterrey jack cheese if desired.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This is certainly too yummy for me to have thought it up on my own, but I can’t seem to find the source from when I posted it years ago…


  • 1 5-lb bag of potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp of thinly sliced green onions
  • 6 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp fresh chives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of cheese ( I used 1 wedge of gruyere cheese & a block of sharp cheddar–both of which I HIGHLY recommend…it provides a tangy, smokey flava’ flav.)
  • 1 package of bacon


I do this part the night before: Preheat oven to 425. Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a brush; pat dry with paper towels. Prick with a fork. Bake for 40-60 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; gently scoop pulp from each potato. Break up any large pieces. Discard skin (or add some if you like the skin.)

In a large saucepan, cook the green onions in hot butter until tender; stir in flour, chives, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir for 12-15 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add potato pulp and half the cheese; stir until cheese melts. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Make bacon as instructed.

Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Enjoy!

Okay, and one more, just because I can’t stop thinking about it is listed here…I love me some Mexican Crack Soup and it’s SO EASY TO MAKE.