October 29, 2013

Tomato Baked Chicken from Mostly Homemade Mom

Here is the link:


Easy Tomato Baked Chicken

1 lb chicken pieces, I used thighs
3/4 cup zesty Italian dressing, divided
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano, drained
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
white rice (if desired)

Pour 1/4 cup dressing over chicken and place in refrigerator to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and place in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (discard used marinade). In a separate bowl, combine both cans of drained tomatoes, 1/2 cup dressing, and garlic powder. Pour tomatoes over chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 for about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve chicken alongside rice topped with tomatoes. If using a crockpot, arrange chicken and tomato mixture the same as above and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

This was a big hit with my family, but next time I will use boneless & skinless chicken. Other than that, perfection! (We had it with pasta.)

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This recipe comes from the Rival Crock Pot Cook Book, but next time I make it, I think I will stick to the stove. The vegetables were overdone for my taste. So it is worth trying again.

2  14 1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1  14 1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 green onions, sliced
2 T dried Italian seasoning
1 T chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes (optional)*
1 t black pepper*

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, stirring to blend. Cover, cook on LOW 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta.**

*The amount of pepper made this sauce too hot for our taste, so I will cut both in half next time.
**Try cooking on stove for about 1 hour, adding squash slices during last 20 minutes

October 28, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday October 28, 2013

Good morning! As I look out my window I see a lot less leaves than last week, but there is still one tree with plenty of bright yellow & orange foliage. The house is quiet, although I heard the furnace turn on, and even though that means $$$ spent, hurray! I like to be warm. So we have come around to another Monday, which makes it time for Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom. Thank you for hosting Sandra!

The Weather
Brrr, is it ever cold. I needed to put some gas in the car this morning on my way home from seminary but had to go home first to get a coat and some gloves. I couldn't bear the thought of standing outside and holding that gas pump without protection from the cold. The highs are in the 50s, so I am thinking I can finally pack away my t-shirts and need to buy some more sweaters. In spite of the cold, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining away. It is a bright, beautiful day. As long as you are dressed warm.

Right Now
I am typing this post as a precursor to writing my grocery list and going to the store. My oldest left for his first day of work, my other three are at school, and my husband is also at work. The dog is curled up on the couch and who knows where the cat is, but I suspect he is asleep in the basement. I appreciate the quiet when I am alone in the house.

About my to do list, and how nice it is to sit here and contemplate my life and my blessings while writing this post before I start my work for the day.

On My Reading Pile
Well, let me tell you what my top priorities are: Jane Eyre and The Crucible, because my kids are reading them in school now, and I like to talk with them about it. But I haven't had a chance to read either so far.

On My TV
Not much! Our cable isn't even working now and we haven't done anything to fix it because we never have time! My husband is finishing up Friday Night Lights and I catch an episode or two with him on the weekend. We haven't even watched Glee yet. 

On the Menu
I thought I was getting away with leftovers and freezer items because my husband is going away for work, but alas, that is next week. So I had to come up with a menu.
Monday pasta with vegetable sauce*, salad
Tuesday crockpot loaded baked potato soup, rolls
Wednesday tomato baked chicken on pasta, salad
Thursday not homemade pizza, salad
Friday - Saturday unplanned

* new recipe to try, will post if a keeper

To Do
grocery shop, dishes, laundry, vacuum

Looking Around the House
There are a few things to put away and the floors need cleaning. House is full of fall/Halloween decorations.

From the Camera
These came from my yard. Just a sample of the colors outside. As I wrote on Facebook, even with their imperfections they are simply beautiful.

On My Prayer List
My kids, mom, friends.

Bible Verse
Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21, & 10:4

"For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

Did you know that in the Hebrew language there is no superlative word form? I learned this from teaching my seminary class. So when you see a word repeated three times, it means the superlative "est", as in holy, holy holy = holiest. And yet, Isaiah repeats the above phrase four times. So that we will remember! No matter what trouble we cause ourselves and others, no matter how badly we have strayed, His hand is always stretched out to us to bring us back to Him. Always, Always, Always.

Have a great week!

October 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

(image courtesy of http://www.cookingclassy.com)

This recipe came from 

  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 -1/3 C packed brown sugar (The original recipe calls for 1 whole cup but I cut it back to a little under 1/2 and think it could still use less.)
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 3 T Worcerstershire sauce
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 1 T prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
Cook beef in skillet in batches over medium-high heat until no longer pink, drain fat.
Add onion and green pepper to the pan and cook 5 minutes
Transfer meat mixture and vegetables to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients, stir well
Cover, cook on LOW 4-6 hours

My kids had this the traditional way on rolls, but I also made rice and my husband and I ate it over rice (it is a bit saucy, but that might be because I was 1/4 pound shy of 4 pounds of ground beef). I thought this would make so much (recipe says it serves 20-25 people) that I would be freezing a couple meals' worth, but we ate a lot of it that night, and are slowly eating the rest this week.

You could easily just finish cooking this on the stove, but I needed the slow cooker option because we were eating at different times that night.

Very tasty! I am making more rice and having some for lunch today : )

October 21, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday October 21, 2013

Wow, I guess it has been awhile since I have posted. I think I have a HHM post in progress from a previous week - just never got around to finishing it. How are you? We are busy in this household! We are also in the middle of a beautiful fall season. I look out my door and see yellow and various shades of orange. Here, I'll show you:

So now let's get on to Happy Homemaker Monday. Thanks to Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting. See her blog for more HHM posts and lots of inspiration!

The Weather
It is chilly (35 degrees with a high of 60), but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the leaves are bright, bright colors. It is my favorite season of the year! So I put on a sweater, a couple of layers of clothes, my fur lined clogs, and go out and enjoy it. I cannot wait for our first fire. No one has been home long enough to get one going!

Right Now
My oldest son is sleeping. He just got a new job but doesn't start training until next week, so I am sure he is taking advantage of his last week to sleep in! The dishwasher is going (forgot to start that last night) and I am gearing up for a grocery run.

How little time I have today. My kids have a half day so they are home at 12:15. I probably won't be back from grocery shopping yet, but I have to hurry because I have to bring my boys back to school for a cross country meet. They have to come home to eat though.

On My Reading Pile
A lot of books. None of it is getting read though.

On My TV
My husband is in the 5th season of Friday Night Lights, so I watch that with him on the weekends. Nothing else at the moment. Too busy to watch!

On the Menu
I am trying to switch my grocery day to Friday (last week it didn't work), so I only have a partial week's menu today. Also, we have parent teacher conferences three nights, so meals will be made in the slow cooker for multiple eating times and easy cleanup.

Monday creamy chicken and egg noodles, peas and carrots
Tuesday sloppy joes on rice or rolls, broccoli, corn
Wednesday ham with sweet potatoes and carrots
Thursday pasta with vegetable sauce, garlic bread, salad

* all of these recipes came from a Rival Crock Pot cookbook. I will share if I think they are keepers.

To Do
One load of laundry, grocery shopping, vacuum kitchen & entryways, drive son back to school for cross country meet, plan seminary lesson

Looking Around the House
It is a bit messy, but with the kids around a lot this week, there is not point in getting too crazy with the clean up, besides, I can let them do it! They have half days every day but Friday, which means they will be coming home for lunch and I will be running the dishwasher twice a day. My bathroom/laundry room is clean - that got a good cleaning and organizing on Friday. So glad to have that done. Hope to get to my bedroom this week - it is the last to get cleaned and is very neglected, and very dusty.

From the Camera
Some of my favorite people. My seminary class.

On My Prayer List
My kids (including the ones above that are not mine), my mom, my in-laws, various friends facing tough trials.

Bible Verse
Isaiah 55:8-9:  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." 

I like this verse because it helps me to trust in the Lord. When things seem impossible because of my limited sight or way of thinking, I try to remember that the Lord sees and knows all, and knows how it will work and will guide me through it. When I was asked to teach seminary I was overwhelmed. I had to leave the house at 5:30 am with my three kids in tow, teach a lesson (with the help of a co-teacher), and get them all to school (at the time they were in three different schools with three different start times). Then my car overheated and the engine was ruined. We drained our savings to buy another (used) car. Gas prices skyrocketed to $4/gallon and my annual mileage more than doubled. Finally, my oldest son had a mental breakdown and we were in the middle of that and trying to understand what was happening. Somehow we made it through, and this is my seventh year of teaching. It is the most rewarding thing I have done (outside of motherhood, but this is part of parenting).

Only the Lord knows what we are truly capable of.

Have a great week!

October 1, 2013

Monthly Menu October

Tue  pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wed  taco casserole, corn
Thu  tater tot casserole
Fri pizza
Mon  pasta, salad
Tue  chuck roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wed  grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Thu  honey glazed chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, peas