February 6, 2010

February Personal Day Plans

Hi everyone. I'm busy working on projects for upcoming releases so I don't have a project prepared for today. Instead I thought I'd talk about my February personal day coming up on the 19th. Now I could easily spend each of these personal days just working on my scrapbooks. But I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit.

So this month I'm going to work a little bit on my scrapbooks, catching up on some journaling I need to do and work on a few layouts to finish up 2009. For the rest of my personal day, I'm going to work on some meal planning. I know many of you might be saying, *What, you wanna cook on your day of fun?* Actually yes, I love to cook. And I love to collect recipe books and search for new recipes. I just got a new cookbook from Books Are Fun that comes to our library so I'm excited to try some new recipes. And maybe some from my Pioneer Woman cookbook too.

So what will I be doing? I'm not much on freezing meals because I fear that what goes in the freezer will get forgotten and then will get freezer burnt. So I do a little bit of freezing and then prepare the rest of the meals fresh on the day we eat them. I don't' know exactly what meals I'll pre-plan but I know that I'll be browning up a lot of ground beef seasoned with onion and spices.......to use for tacos, spaghetti, Mexican food, etc. I'll probably bake up a lot of seasoned chicken breasts too for these little pizzas and wraps I like to make. A few baked items like brownies, cookies and muffins will be on the list too. I might make a double batch of my mom's BBQ meat balls to keep in the freezer...one of the few meals I like to freeze. I also like to chop up a bunch of onions to keep in the freezer.

Between now and the 19th I'll be collecting recipes, making a grocery list and developing my menus in some sort of printed format that I can keep on hand. I plan to share some recipes with you too. And if you have any great recipes that use basics like ground beef or chicken, I would love for you to share them. Low fat meals would be a bonus.

I'm excited about my personal day this month. It feels good to be on top of the game and have some menus planned in advance. So tell me, did you take your personal day in January? If so, please feel free to share what activities you did.

Okay, heading out to basketball games now........have a great day everyone.


Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,

First of all I have to say I LOVE your blog and have been an avid follower for some time now. Your art is FANTASTIC and your recipes are even BETTER!! Keep up the good work!

I have a recipe you might like to try although it isn't low fast it is great and freezes really well.

Cheesy Chicken

6 lbs. Chicken cooked in chicken broth and shredded.
In a crock pot add 12 oz chicken broth, 2 lbs cubed Velvetta cheese, Lowery's seasoning salt, salt and pepper to taste. Combine and stir until cheese is melted. Add your shredded Chicken and heat through. Serve on buns.

I made this for a scrapbook get together for 20 girls and every girl LOVED them and I took the leftovers to work and everyone loved it there too so this is a real winner recipe. I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as we did!!


Suzanne said...

Hi Michelle, Have a great time at the games! Here is a recipe that I tried and we loved it! It is super easy to make:


Hope you like it!

Cynthia said...

Hi Mish,
My family is super hard to cook for lots of allergies and sensitivities. So our church meals just don't work for us. I'm looking at an open elbow surgery soon and I've been making my own list. A great book that I use is Once a Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson & Beth Lagerborg.

I don't use their recipes but the whole idea that she puts forth about how to go about the planning of freezing your meals is awesome.
Your library should be able to get it for you. If not I can send you my copy.
Here's a couple of sites that help me http://www.once-a-month-cookingworld.com/index.php
Good luck Cynthia

Josie said...

Sounds to me like you'll need a personal week to get all that accomplished!! Love your blog, so inspired by all your creativity!! ~J~

Melisa Hunter said...

Thanks for sharing all of your great card creations! So inspirational!

Here's a good chicken recipe:

4 chicken breasts
1 can of mushroom soup
plain yogurt (fill the can up to measure)
juice of one lemon
2 minced garlic cloves
fresh chopped cilantro (to taste)
2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the uncooked chopped chicken breast (you can brown it a bit if you like). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Serve over rice or pasta. This is so yummy!

Mindy said...

I love to make Chicken Pot Pie Filling and freeze it. You know w/ roasted chicken breasts pulled of bone and shredded, peas, carrots, onion and tiny diced potatoes a white sauce and you have several meals to put in 2 1/2 to 3 cups filling in freezer quart bags. Then all you need are the roll out crusts and you have many meals. Have FUN!

Shelly said...

Chicken and Broccoli Pie

1 1/2 cups Green Giant® frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained (from 12-oz bag)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken breast ( I used canned Chicken Breast)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup Bisquick Heart Smart® mix
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs or 1/3 cup fat-free egg product

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Layer broccoli, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the chicken and onion in pie plate.
2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, salt, peper and eggs with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Now this is a scrumptious casserole. It is super simple and, best of all, it's a huge pan of bowl-you-over goodness that will feed the entire family…and then some!
Prep time 10 minutes; Cook time 40 minutes; Total time 55 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions small diced, about 3 cups
2 jalapenos, stemmed and minced, optional
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta cooking water
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
5 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (28 ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, broken with your hands, with juices
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound medium cheddar cheese
Sour cream for serving, if desired
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart soup pot. Add onions, jalapenos (if desired), and 2 teaspoons of the salt and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano, and garlic and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and ½ cup of water, stir, and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened to chili consistency, about 20 minutes. Taste and add 1 more teaspoon salt, if needed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

These are my two new ones and my kids love them both! Next time I make the Chicken and Broccoli I am going to put it in a casserole dish so I can use the whole bag of broccoli and can of chicken.

beth said...

I love recipes too! My biggest struggle is working all day and then trying to think of what to make for dinner - looking forward to your recipes!

Here's one of my favorite soup recipes:

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup:

Make a package of wild & long grain rice (I use a box of Uncle Bens) - follow directions on the box

5 cups chicken broth (large can)
1/4 cup butter
1 large carrot - chopped
1 med. onion - chopped
2 ribs celery - chopped
1/4 lb mushrooms - sliced
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken - chopped (I love using the Perdue chicken shortcuts)
1/4 cup dry sherry

Melt butter in Dutch oven and add carrot. Cook and stir about 3 min. Add onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook and stir 3-4 min until tender. Remove from heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth.
Gradually stir in chicken broth (I use the entire can but you be the judge). Boil and cook 1 in until thickened. Stir in chicken and sherry. Reduce heat to low - simmer uncovered until heated through. Add cooked rice.

I put this into individual containers and freeze it - it is a nice filling soup. Mmmmmmmm

Enjoy and thanks for all the wonderful work you do - I LOVE this blog.


Anne-Marie said...

Good Morning Michelle,
I as well LOOOOVE your blog and all the wonderful inspiration that you provide! I am excited to see what you do on your personal day on the 19th and what recipes you make. I wanted to share with you that I love my pioneer woman cooks book and the cowboy calzone on pg 114 is a hit with my family. I made a double batch and put a bunch in the freezer for the kids to take for lunches. I freezed them after they have been baked so all they have to do is heat them up in the micro. Next I am going to experiment with different fillings chicken, steak, etc...
Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend! Your girls are awesome thanks for sharing them as well! Anne-Marie in Salem Oregon

Jill S, N Ireland said...

Have you tried Nigella Lawson's Ice-cream Cake? It's delicious, so easy and yet quite impressive for a dessert! It's also full of calories!!

Unknown said...

Love your PTI creations, Michelle. And I love these food blogs, some as much for the great writing as for the recipes. I love to cook, too--cooking and cardmaking are exquisite creative outlets!

Anita said...

Love your blog. It's usually one of the first places I go when I sit down at my computer each day.

Here are a couple of Weight Watchers recipes I use all the time. We really enjoy them.

Chili Mac Casserole
3/4 cup uncooked macaroni
9 oz. Honeysuckle 99% lean ground turkey breast (I use 1/2 of the package)or you can use extra lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. tomatoes, petite diced
16 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz. kidney beans, drained
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp chili powder (more if you like things spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Cook macaroni according to package and drain. Spray a pan with cooking spray and cook the turkey, onion and garlic and drain, if necessary. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir til thoroughly mixed. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and add chili mac mixture. Cover and bake 375 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 - 8 minutes till bubbly. Leftovers warm up nicely.

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken
4 chicken breasts, thawed
2 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Combine soups and garlic powder (do not add any water) and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Chicken is so tender is falls apart. This is good served over noodles (because of all the cheesy sauce), but if you're really sticking to WW, noodles aren't something you eat a lot of :(

If you try out any new recipes on your personal day, please share with us. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Love your stuff! It's a great mix of family stories and crafting. Your designs are terrific. My January personal day was a mini spa day and February will be a day with the family at Sea World. I'm trying for some activities other than crafting - a little unusally, but I need some picture taking events! I look forward to the recipes you use on your personal day. Thanks for sharing.

Lorri said...

Since I quit working last November every day is becoming my personal day. The kids are adults so I don't have to do alot for them. My biggest achievement was to organize meat in my freezer and write it down on a list. I then go to the list every night or morning and pick my meat and figure out the rest to go with it. If I need to shop I run up the street (I don't live in the country). I did do a super purge of my scrap area, bought a new unit to store everything in instead of having it in several containers. Now I just opened up my Esty store to sell some of my cards.

Denise Young said...

Love your blog... I vivist quite often. Can't get enough...hahahaha
Love your personal day ideas... I need to get planning days from just me.
I saw on TV the other day a family in the Cleveland, Ohio area that planned their meals 1 yesr in advance. Can you believ that? They were a very young family with 3-4 kids. She organized a menu (kids involved) and bought meat and veggies every two weeks. She'd buy bulk or stock up when the meat was on sale. She did similar to what you wrote- browned her meats and seperated for meals like spaghetti, chili, tacos, etc...
I think it is a clever idea. Good luck.

I have a great crock pot (easy) recipe if you are interested.

Tasty Shredded Chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen
1 bottle of Kraft Italian salad dressing

Place chicken (frozen)in crock pot, pour entire dressing bottle on top. Cook 4-6 hours on low. Shred chicken with fork and serve over rice, noodles or my family likes it on Kaiser rolls as sandwiches with pickles and chips.

wandykj said...

Hi Michelle,
I too love to cook! Actually my husband & fight to see who gets to be in the kitchen making dinner at night:) Here's a great recipe that cooks all day long & it very tasty for those cold winter nights.


2-4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
6 cups Swanson chicken broth
3 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper (to taste)
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 (48 oz) jar Northern Beans
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped

Place all into a large crock pot & cook on High: 5-6 hrs. or Low:7-8 hrs.

When ready to serve place into a bowl & put a spoonful of sour cream on top, then sprinkle with shredded colby jack cheese.

Hope you all enjoy this one!


Samantha said...

I like to throw chicken breasts in with a marinade and then freeze in a gallon bag. As it thaws, it marinates. Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar is my favorite. I also will make several smaller lasagnas at a time and freeze them.

Enjoy your day!

Kimberly Ann said...

I decided that I would add one of my favorite recipes since you were so nice to share yours - and Suzanne beat me to it! Her Taco Soup recipe is very similar to mine, except I do not add the chilies or olives. Its a very forgiving recipe - you can change out ingredients to your liking. Instead of browned ground I use cooked chicken. If you haven't used this recipe you must try it at least once. If you like tacos you'll love this.
I might try to find another favorite to share since Taco Soup was already posted.

Jolene said...

One of our favorite recipes around here is SOOO simple.... but the girls really eat it up.

Easy Taco Bake

Brown one pound of hamburger. Add a taco seasoning packet as if you were making the hamburger for tacos. Prepare macaroni and cheese as per the instructions on the box. In an 8x8 dish, layer the prepared hamburger topped by the prepared mac and cheese. Add one cup of salsa to the top. Bake in a 325* oven for 20 minutes!

I am all about easy, quick meals around here... I've got a TON of recipes like this... One of my favorite cookbooks is a 4 ingrediant one that my mom gave me years ago. Every recipe in that book has 4 ingrediants or less and most of the items they use are things one usually has readily available all the time.

Gina said...

Hi Michelle

Love your blog and all your great projects, here is a really easy Taco Soup that everyone loves when I make it.

Brown 1 Pound ground beef along with 1 onon chopped
In a crockpot add the following juice and all:

1 16oz can Chilli Beans
1 16oz can Kidney Beans
1 16oz can Black Beans
1 16oz Can Corn
1 16oz Can Cream Corn
1 15oz Can diced Tomato's
1 small can green chilles
1 8oz can Tomato sauce
1 TBS Chilli Powder
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning

Add the ground beef and onions, mix everything well, cook on low at least 2 hours.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips if you like.

Hope you like it

Paula said...

Hi Mish,
I love your nickname. It reminds me of my sister Michelle. I come from a family of 11, 7 of which were girls. Not sure how or why it got started, but showhow it became the norm to call each other by one sylable names. So we call her Mich, and I became Paul. To this day when I'm in a room w/men and someone calls out Paul, I still think they are talking to me. :o) Anyway, I wanted to share something w/you. I don't have any low fat recipes, but I do have one tip I think you might like. One of the biggest changes our family has made is that we replaced beef w/turnkey. I was a little hesitant at first, and didn't think I would like it. But I have to tell you I found I enjoy it more than ground beef. We now eat Turkey Burgers, Turkey Tacos, Turkey Meat Sauce w/spagetti and yesterday had and loved Turkey Chili. My husband is a health/wellness coach, and he is the one that suggested this change. And coming from a red meat and potato guy, I figured if he liked it, I should give it a shot. Our two sons love the meals as well and odn't miss the beef. We use Jenni O ground turkey and have greatly reduced the fat intake without losing the flavor. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Kimberly Ann said...

Okay, back to post a recipe. I read Paula's post and thought of my family's favorite turkey (or chicken) burger recipe. It's actually called Russian-style Chicken Cutlets but to us they are burgers. They are juicy and delicious. The dill gives them just a bit of tang.

Russian-Styke Chicken Cutlets
(aka chicken burgers)

Serves 4

2 slices white bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup half n half
1 pound ground chicken*
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
5 Tablespoons butter, 3 of them at room temperature
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons cooking oil

1. Break bread into pieces in a large bowl. Add half n half and let soak for about 2 minutes. Mix in chicken, egg, salt, pepper, dill, and the 3 tablespoons of softened butter. Put mixture in freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up.

2. Remove chicken mixture from freezer - it will be very soft. Form mixture into 4 large meatballs and roll in breadcrumbs.

3. In a large nonstick frying pan heat remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and oil over medium heat. Put chicken meatballs in the frying pan and slightly flatten with a spatula. Cook approximately 5-6 minutes per side (burgers should be a golden brown on both sides - mine are sometimes dark golden brown ;)

*ground turkey can be substituted

Kimberly Ann said...

Forgot to add - we eat the chicken/turkey burgers sans bun. If you like sauted mushrooms in butter, they go well with this.

Ginny said...

Great choice of day, that is my bday!!!

I also wanted to say I love your daughters artwork, very talented girl!!! Congrats on her first sale, that is super awesome!

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