We Plan Wednesday: MIL and SFIL Trip 2017!!!


We Plan Wednesday

Good morning, We-Plan-ners!

At the end of June, my mother-in-law (MIL) and stepfather-in-law (SFIL) will be visiting from Ontario.  For their visits, I start earrrrrrrrrly planning things that I hope they will like to eat.  I am not sure when they are arriving or leaving, but Josh has booked off June 24-July 4, so I planned the menu (breakast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and beverage) for each of those days.

The beauty in planning ahead means that I can make ahead.  When having guests (Tip Tuesday alert), it is best to do as much cooking as you can ahead of time in order to enjoy your company.

As I write this, I have several dishes freezing away in the deep freezer in preparation for their visit.

Also, Tip Tuesday aside, June and early July in northern Louisiana translates to one thing and one thing only:  hot and humid.  You almost pray for the 100 degree temps to burn away some of the humidity.  The more heat and cook time that is saved, the better!

June 24

Lunch:  La Madeleine’s Tomato-Basil Soup, crackers

Dessert:  Margarita Cheesecake Pie (Kraft Recipes)

Dinner:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas (Life in the Lofthouse), Jumbo Pico Salad (Pioneer Woman), rice, beans

Snack:  Churro Chex Mix (Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Beverages:  Margaritas/Limeade (Flavored)

June 25

Breakfast:  Donuts/Kolaches

Lunch:  Meatball Subs and Chips (using the meatballs from The Slow Roasted Italian)

Dinner:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, greens, biscuits, green beans

Snack:  fruit tray

Beverage:  sweet tea

Dessert:  Red Velvet Sheet Cake

June 26

Breakfast:  Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole, fruit

Lunch:  lettuce wraps

Dinner:  Red Beans and Rice, French bread, salad

Dessert:  pralines


Snack:  Crackers and Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

Beverage:  Hurricanes and mock hurricanes (or daiquiris and slushies)

June 27

Breakfast:  pancakes with toppings, sausage

Lunch:  cold cut subs, veg sticks

Dinner:  tacos, refried beans, guacamole


Dessert:  Twinkie Strawberry Shortcakes

Snack:  chips and pico de gallo and salsa (and guacamole)


Beverage:  Sangria/Non Alky Sangria

June 28

Breakfast:  cereal, toast, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  nachos/bean burritos

Dinner:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops (Debbiedoo’s), rice, broccoli

Dessert:  mini cheesecakes

Snack:  Boursin (homemade) and crackers

Beverage:  Chick-Fil-A lemonade

June 29

Breakfast:  Quiche, fruit

Lunch:  picnic lunch (Cane’s/Chick Fil-A)

Dinner:  Cannelloni (Land O’Lakes), salad, garlic bread

Dessert:  Tiramisu (Top Secret Recipes)

Snack:  Antipasto Plate

Beverage:  Italian Cream Sodas

June 30

Breakfast:  Big Breakfast (Josh’s responsibility!)

Lunch:  cold cut subs, chips

Dinner:  Pizza Rolls (Broke A Gourmet), corn, salad

Dessert and Beverage:  “Float”/”Fizz” bar

Snack:  Popcorn

July 1

Breakfast:  cereal, fruit, yogurt

Lunch:  Pasta Salad from Land O’Lakes, crackers

Dinner:  Hot Dog Bar, chips

Dessert:  Strawn’s-Style Strawberry Pie

Snack:  veg sticks and dip

Beverage:  Sweet Tea Bar

July 2

Breakfast:  Baked Crock Pot Oatmeal (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), Bacon

Lunch:  leftover hot dogs and chips

Dinner:  Chicken and Dumplins, cornbread, salad (Pineapple Cheese Salad for me)

Dessert:  Apple Pie Bake (Imgur)

Snack:  Fruit and Yogurt Kebabs

Beverage:  Arnold Palmers:  Sweet Tea and Lemonade

July 3

Breakfast:  Breakfast Burritos (the Denver Omelet ones from Tablespoon), fruit

Lunch:  Big Salad

Dessert:  Baked Ziti, rolls, salad

Baked Ziti Plated

Dessert:  Coconut Cream Cake

Snack:  Cheese and Crackers

Beverage:  Iced Coffee Drinks

July 4

Breakfast:  Breakfast Sandwich Bar

Lunch:  English muffin pizzas

Dinner:  hamburger bar

Dessert:  Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Snack:  Veg Sticks and Dip

Beverage:  Cran-Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch with Orange Slices

What are your tips for easy entertaining (food) while keeping cool in the summer?


We Plan Wednesday: When the Best Laid Plans…

We Plan Wednesday

Well, normally at this time of year, I would be in a tizzy gathering the needed components for the dual-fests at our house of Canada Day and the Fourth of July, only three days apart.

Then, Josh received his work schedule for July.

Starting Monday (if you remember the Meal Plan Monday post), he is on call through next Monday (in other words, the Fourth of July).  He works both days.

So…that is why Friday (Canada Day), Muffin and I will be dining on something I chickened out of trying last week:  the slow cooker pizza.  I figure if it fails there’s always delivery or Rotolo’s or Little Caesar’s.

On Monday, we are going to my parents’ (Muffin and I) to enjoy the hot dog bar traditional to Canada Day, baked beans (made my way), a veggie tray, and a fruit tray for dessert.

We are all looking forward to it.  A nice lazy Fourth (and then a return to home to watch the neighbor’s fireworks outside.

What’s on your agenda this holiday weekend?


We Plan Wednesday: A Possible Summer Holiday Dessert?

We Plan Wednesday

Yes, those summer holidays are right around the corner.  For those celebrating both Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4), the time to plan is upon us.

This year, because of Josh’s wonky work schedule, we will be celebrating in between the two.  Last year, if memory serves me, we had a homemade Strawn’s strawberry pie as our dessert.  Yes, it is red and white (symbolic of both Canada and the United States–well, with blue), but we are gobbling up strawberries so quickly that there is no way we will be able to spare the two pounds for a pie.

Another option is a recipe I made (but did not blog) for Cinco de Mayo.  It’s greenish, so it would also work for St. Patrick’s Day.  But, what I really like about it for the two summer holidays, is that you don’t heat up the kitchen (other than the ten minutes for the crust) in all of the craziness.

What recipe am I talking about?  Kraft Recipe’s Margarita Cheesecake Pie.

Here’s what I did:

34 Ritz crackers, crushed (a great job for Muffin! or a mama with a need to whack and crush things!)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large limes, divided

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (Resist the urge to eat this can with a spoon.  You might want to change the amount to 2 cans so you can have a can to enjoy with a spoon.  Cooks perogative!)

1/4 cup FRESH lemon juice (not Real Lemon–resist the urge)

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine cracker crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, zest 1 lime and set zest aside.  Cut zested lime in half.  Squeeze juice from lime halves.  Beat cream cheese and milk with mixer until blended.  Add lime and lemon juice; mix well.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into crust.  Smooth top.  Cut remaining lime into four lengthwise quarters, then cut each quarter crosswise into thin slices.  Arrange around edge of pie.  Sprinkle with zest.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

What is your dessert plan for these summer holidays?

We Plan Wednesday: What to Make from My Two New Cooking Maggerzines

We Plan Wednesday

Yup.  My cooking magazine obsession has expanded by two.


Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications:  Slow Cooking and Taste of Home Special Collectors Edition Church Potluck are they.  The very first thing I do when I receive cooking magazines is to go through and make a list of the recipes I want to try.  That is what I will share with you today.  Some of these will probably find their way to this blog shortly.

BHG Slow Cooker

Big Batch Granola

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Slow-Roasted Spring Veggies with Herbed Aioli

New Potato Chicken Soup

Basic Meatballs

Chicken-Chorizo Meatballs

Ham Balls

Turkey-Pork Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Beef-Pork Meatballs

Swedish Meatball Pasta Pot

Spicy Meatball Subs

Cuban Arroz

Cocktail Meatballs

Bear-Mustard Sauce

Soy Glaze

Rosemary-Fig Sauce

Sweet Mustard Glaze

Cherry Cola Glaze

Pineapple-Jalapeno Sauce

Mongolian Beef

Chinese Congee with Chicken

Szechwan Chicken/Chicken Fried Rice

Mu Shu Chicken

Chilaquiles Verdes

Pork Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Jalapeno Corn Bread

Pecan Pie

Butterscotch Fondue

BBQ Chicken Mac ‘N’ Cheese

All-American Sloppy Joes

Cheddar-Bacon Monkey Bread

Caramel-Stuffed Monkey Bread

Apple-Spiked Monkey Bread

Easy Pork Posole

Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Saucy Italian Chicken

Broccoli and Cheese Risotto

Orange Chicken Salad

Turkey Orzo Salad With Dried Cherries

Iceberg Wedge Salad

Spring German Potato Salad

Creamy Chicken Stew

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

TOH Church Potluck

Reuben Rounds

Italian Meatball Buns

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Loaded Pulled Pork Cups

Citrus Punch

Buffalo Wing Bites

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Sparkling White Grape Punch

Ravioli Appetizer Pops

Chicken Tater Bake

Chicken and Cheese Noodle Bake

Supreme Pizza Casserole

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Bake

Classic Turkey Tetrazzini

Potluck Fried Chicken

Onion Beef au Jus

Game Time Stromboli

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

Burrito Pie

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts

Pepperoni Extreme Dip

Buffalo Wing Dip

Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Savory Sausage Stuffing

Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

Freezer Slaw

Bacon Cheddar Potato Croquettes


Broccoli-Cheddar Tassies

Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Taco Shepherd’s Pie

Sherbet-Filled Angel Food Cake

Easy Cake Mix Bars

Chai Tea Sandwich Cookies

Garlic Herb Mini Quiches

Sage Turkey Sausage Patties

Sausage Egg Bake

Get Up and Go Granola

Pineapple and Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Donuts

Fiesta Corn Salad

Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

Lime-Honey Fruit Salad

Meat Lover’s Bread Salad

Tamale Cakes

Confetti Corn Bread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Brunch Loaf

Rustic Garden Herb Biscuits

Lemon-Filled Coconut Cake

Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

Cream Filled Cupcakes

Cant Leave Alone Bars

Coconut Chocolate Cake

What new recipes are you planning on trying?

We Plan Wednesday: The December 2015 Meal Plan

We Plan Wednesday

…a bit late.  I know.  I’ve just been busy prepping the 25 Days of Holiday Goodies, and I knew that the post the Wednesday before should cover that rather than the December menu.

So, here goes…

1:  Jambalaya

2:  leftovers

3:  Josh’s birthday dinner out

4:  pizza

5:  Natchitoches Meat Pies from Our Best Bites

6:  Cheesy Bacon Ranch Chicken and Potatoes from Back for Seconds

7:  One Pot Chicken Pasta with Light Basil Cream Sauce from A Spicy Perspective

8:  Muffalettas (going to find one close to Central Grocery–meat-wise, at least)

9:  Cowboy Christmas Breakfast from A Bountiful Kitchen

10:  leftovers

11:  pizza

12:  soup and grilled cheese or soup and cheese and crackers

13:  Apple and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts from Broke A Gourmet

14:  faculty dinner Christmas party

15:  taco Tuesday

16:  One-Dish Skillet Chicken Enchiladas from Clarks Condensed

17:  leftovers

18:  pizza

19:  Orange Chicken, rice, eggrolls, stir-fried snow peas

20:  Artichoke Chicken Rustigo from Cooking with Ruthie

21:  Homemade Dirty Rice from Southern Plate

22:  taco Tuesday

23:  present opening tids and bits at the LFam house

24:  Christmas Eve tids and bits at my parents’ house

25:  Christmas dinner

26:  leftovers

27:  leftovers

28:  Undercover Chicken from Call Me PMC

29:  Spasagna from Country Cook

30:  Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes from Dishing with Leslie

31:  NYE Fiesta

What’s your meals-in-process for the month of December?

We Plan Wednesday: The 2015 Edition of The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies

We Plan Wednesday

It’s that time of year again.  Before the next Wednesday rolls around, the 25 Days of Holiday Goodies (2015 edition) will have already commenced.

But before I give you a teaser taste of what is to come, here is the link from last year’s Holiday Goodies Roundup.  And a few shots to remember:











And now, for a sneak peek, subject to change:

25 Days of Christmas Goodies Button

1:  Limoncello

2:  Tiramisu

3:  Eggnog

4:  Eggnog French Toast

5:  Coconut Cream Cake (AKA Pina Colada Cake)

6:  Gifts in a Jar:  Jambalaya Revisited

7:  Homemade Sausage:  A Variation

8:  Christmas Punch

9:  Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

10:  Blue Cheese Dressing or Dip

11:  Natchitoches Meat Pies

12:  Sausage Cheese Bisquick Balls

13:  Nieman Marcus Cookies

14:  Broccoli Salad

15:  Churro Chex Mix

16:  White Sausage Rotel

17:  Sugar Cookie Frosting That Hardens

18:  Cheesy Snack Mix

19:  Yogurt Parfait

20:  Sausage Biscuit Casserole

21:  Candy Bark

22:  Salted Caramel Truffles

23:  Velveeta Cheese Fudge

24:  Mom’s Cheesecake

25:  Jezebel Sauce

I hope you enjoy the fun and the series!

We Plan Wednesday: The November 2015 Meal Plan (with Links!)

We Plan Wednesday

If you’ve been tuning in for the last few months, you know that I’ve created a meal plan for the rest of the year.  So far, I haven’t exactly followed them, but I know they are available as old standbys if I need them.  As November begins Sunday, it is now time to share the November menu.

1:  Salmon Patties (Deep South Dish)

2:  Nacho Casserole (Buns in My Oven)

3:  Bacon Cheeseburger Tatchos (Frugal Foodie Mama)  This link seems to be broken, but if you message me I will send my file to you through e-mail.

4:  Breakfast Croissant and Potatoes (Life in the Lofthouse)

5:  leftovers (It’s Thursday, after all)

6:  Chicken Ranch Pizza (Life in the Lofthouse)

7:  Crock Pot Asian Chicken (Country Cook)

8:  Easy Chicken Breasts with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (Foodie Crush)

9:  Arroz con Pollo (Make Ahead Meals Busy Moms)

10:  Taco Time Crisp Bean Burritos (Let’s Dish)

11:  Marinated Root Beer Grilled Chicken (6 Sisters’ Stuff)

12:  leftovers

13:  Slow Cooker Pizza Chicken (Heather Likes Food)

14:  dinner at hotel for anniversary

15:  snacky dinner from Central Market:  cheese tray

16:  anniversary dinner out

17:  Mexican Pollo Spud (My Name Is Snickerdoodle)

18:  Chicken and Cornbread Casserole (Bread, Booze, and Bacon)

19:  leftovers

20:  Pizza Pasta (How Sweet It Is)

21:  Frito Chili Cheeseburger (A Spicy Perspective)

22:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel)

23:  Parmesan Chicken (Broke Ass Gourmet)

24:  Avocado Chicken Enchiladas (Six Sisters’ Stuff) through their My Recipe Magic Site

25:  Eggnog French Toast (A Beautiful Mess) and Homemade Sausage

26:  Thanksgiving dinner

27:  leftovers

28:  leftovers

29:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken (Recipe Girl)

30:  Chicken Pecan Fettuccine (Deep South Dish)

How do you see your November shaping up?

We Plan Wednesday: The Halloween Edition

We Plan Wednesday

It’s that time of year again.  Halloween.  If you’ve been down the Walmart, Target, grocery store, any type of store aisles, really, you’ve seen the melee ensue.

Houses have a host of pumpkins before them.  Little boys and girls (as well as big ones, too) are readying their costumes for the season.

We host a very informal get together with my parents and a couple of our mutual friends.  Josh is the delegated person who walks Muffin around trick-or-treating.  I get to be the one who deals with the scared little ones who walk through Josh’s sidewalk or terror.

Josh loves Halloween.  I like it, too, but Josh loves to go all out on the decorating scheme.  Spider webs, creepy lighting, a spider that jumps out from its den of cinder blocks with fog.  A graveyard.

Traditionally, we have a hot dog bar with caramel apple wedges to dip and decorate.  This year, I think we are going to do the hot dog bar but with an ice cream sundae bar (that everyone usually loves).  Then, the trick-or-treaters get ready and head out for the fun.  And I don a mask and get ready for the fun of passing out candy.

One recipe I’m hoping to revive is one that didn’t quite make it to fruition last year, even though it was on the menu:  Minecraft Lava Punch.

Hope you have a Happy Howloween and a safe one, too!



We Plan Wednesday: Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday 2015!

We Plan Wednesday

I know.  I usually post well in advance of late afternoon day of a post.  And I’ve meant to post this post for a while now.

Canadian Thanksgiving is Monday.  Yikes!  I still have so much to do, and, until last week (late last week), I had not fully decided on a menu.

That’s scary, folks.  I usually have the rest of the year’s celebrations (plus holiday “goodie” cooking planned by this time).

I blame Muffin being in kindergarten.  Anyone who is around me all the time has heard that lament lately.

Anyway, here is the much vaunted menu.  Long-time readers will recognize some of the offerings from holidays past:



Pioneer Woman Make-Ahead mashed potatoes with gravy

Stuffing (White-Bread, Josh’s Mom’s recipe)

Cranberry sauce (yes, the jiggly kind in the can…gloop!)

Cranberry Relish

Ligonberry preserves (yay, Ikea!)

broccoli/cauliflower with cheese sauce (Josh’s mom’s recipe)

Pumpkin pie with whipping cream (The only part of this I’m doing anything to is the whipped cream.  I refuse to make pumpkin pie.)

Relish tray and dip

Green Bean Casserole

Yams Richard

Spinach Madeleine

Brown and Serve Rolls and Artisan Bread

Pioneer Woman’s Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Ermine Frosting


I decided to divide the workload up.  I plan to shop tomorrow evening, and do some cooking Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Cranberry Relish (because it has to sit and mellow for fun)

Green Bean Casserole (I’m cheating and doing the chinzy cream of mushroom soup one)

green bean casserole

Spinach Madeleine


Yams Richard



Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes


Relish Tray prep

Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Tea (Josh will make Saturday night)


Turkey (der!)


Broccoli/cauliflower with cheese sauce

whipped cream for pumpkin pie

Artisan Bread

We Plan Wednesday: The September 2015 Menu

We Plan Wednesday

When I sat down a few weeks ago and planned out the menu for the remainder of the year, I did so in an attempt to sketch out something useful for the remainder of 2015, knowing that once school started things were going to be busy.

Note that I said, “sketch.”  This monthly plan is not intended to be the end all and be all.  If I can’t manage to follow the weekly meal plan 100% of the time, I DEFINITELY can’t expect to do so for the monthly plan.  Life and poop happens.

That being said, I think this advance planning will alleviate the meal plan monotony that hit a few months back.  I’ve included new recipes with a mixture of old favorites hopefully leading to some level of comfort with the menu.  I tried to be seasonally conscious.  I tried not to heat up the kitchen too much in the planning for August and September.

And the kicker is, I’ve tried not to plan too much for weeks that I know will be busy.

There is a method to my madness, as the old bard once said.  I hope there is no madness in the method.

1:  Beef Nacho Pie from The Tidy Nest

2:  Mini Bacon and Egg Toast Cups from Fifteen Spatulas

3:  leftovers/scrounge

4:  One Pot Pizza Pasta from Budget Savvy Diva

5:  Happy Birthday, Mom!  (Make S’mores Granola Bars from Recipe Girl)

6:  Crock Pot Simple Chicken Spaghetti from Crock Pot Gourmet (This was planned for earlier this month, but we re-did the Houston trip.)

7:  Red Beans and Rice (in the slow cooker!)

8:  Chick-Fil-A calendar card meal

9:  Bacon, Corn, and Cheddar Pancakes from Foxes Love Lemons

10:  leftovers/scrounge

11:  Pizza Rolls from Broke A** Gourmet

12:  Crock Pot Pizza Meatball Subs (I will also make Chex Lemon Muddy Buddies from Six Sisters’ Stuff.)

13:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken from Recipe Girl

14:  Slow Cooker Easy Quiche from A Spicy Perspective

15:  Chicken Street Tacos from Life in the Lofthouse

16:  Grilled Margarita Chicken from The Slow Roasted Italian

17:  leftovers/scrounge

18:  Salmon/Tuna Patties from Deep South Dish

19:  Crock Pot Asian Chicken from Country Cook (I will also make No-Bake Biscoff Granola Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod.)

20:  Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken from The Recipe Critic

21:  Super Quick Spaghetti Carbonara from Budget Savvy Diva

22:  Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner from Deep South Dish

23:  Herbed Baked Eggs and Praline Bacon, both from Fifteen Spatulas

24:  leftovers/scrounge

25:  Pizza Quesadillas from Macaroni and Cheesecake

26:  Crock Pot Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Life in the Lofthouse (I will also make Loaded Rice Krispie Treats from Life in the Lofthouse.)

27:  jambalaya

28:  Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan from Mom on a Mission

29:  Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas from Mommy Hates Cooking

30:  Huevos Rancheros from Fifteen Spatulas

I’m very excited about this month’s menu!  I’ve always wanted to try huevos rancheros, and I never have.  I’m also excited about the carbonara, the praline bacon, and the chicken cheesesteak sandwiches.  Those are all out of my cooking comfy zone.

But the one dish I’m most hopeful about is the guacamole enchiladas.  When we go to Dallas and go to Abuelo’s, I always order the avocado enchiladas.  I hope these are just as yummy!

What’s your plan for September?