Monday, October 1, 2012

Dinner Time

This isn't the type of meal you will see in my house right now

One area I have wanted to improve on recently (ok, really the last 8 years since being married and in charge of cooking) is meal planning.

I have attempted many times to meal plan for the week, never sticking with it.

I don't necessarily love cooking, I do it because my family needs to eat.

I would rather spend time decorating my home, but that doesn't fill bellies.

Right now I cook
as healthy as I can
as cheap as I can
as quick/easy as I can.

I appreciate healthy meals, don't want a bunch of processed food. Our food budget is tight (I do stay home and this is an area we really try to save on). 

Let's face it, little ones don't allow me to spend hours in the kitchen prepping an amazing meal.

And to be real honest, even though we sit together for Family dinner most nights, I wouldn't call them the highlight of my day.

One kids is whining she doesn't like it (she hasn't even tried it and will not have any other options besides what is placed before her, I will not be a short order cook).

The other little one either says "NO" and shoves his plate away, or eats what he wants and then proceeds to dump the remaining food on the floor (we are actually making progress here as he is starting to hand the plate to me when he is done).

Steve and I try to have conversations, but that doesn't always happen too easily. 

So I feel like at this stage of life, I don't want to spend hours slaving over a made-from-scratch meal, just to have it not appreciated. 

All that to say, for the sake of my husband I really want to be better about being prepared for meals and actually cooking them.

So I need your help please. 

What are easy (somewhat healthy) meals that you make that your family loves?

Any venison recipes would be greatly appreciated as I have a freezer full of venison and hunting season has once again begun.

I would make soups all winter long, but Steve has asked for a little more variety, I have married a meat and potatoes man while I am a lettuce wrap kind of girl. So we are trying to find things that work for our family.

So any suggestions and links to recipes would be great!

Thank you friends :)


  1. I eat low carb, but my family loves this one. It's cheap and easy. I made this recipe up based on meat and potatoes eaters. Lol! I call it Cheesy Sausage Potato Soup. You'll need potatoes, garlic salt, onion, shredded cheddar, milk or heavy cream (I use cream), black pepper, and 2 packages of Ekerich skinless smoked sausage. Cut and peel a collander full of potatoes into big cubes, rinse and toss in a 5 or 6 quart pot. Add one sliced up yellow onion. Fill with water just covering potatoes and garlic salt. Bring to a boil and boil till water looks milky and potatoes are done. Add sliced up sausage, milk, and a big handful of cheese. Sorry, but I have been a stay at home mom so long that I don't measure this stuff lol. Don't add to much milk though. It will be to runny. I like cream, because its thicker. Do not boil the milk, if you use that. Set burner to low and stir in the cheese. This is quick and easy. I have tons of recipes, and will try to share more as I have time. :+)

  2. I'm not a meal planner either, but I DO love to cook! I have posted quite a few yummy & easy recipes on my blog. Take a look, pick & choose as you wish!! Good luck!!

  3. Have you checked out the blog Iowa Girl Eats? She has a lot of amazing recipes that are (somewhat) healthy and the couple I've tried are excellent!

  4. I'm all about the crock-pot these days because it's easy with kids. A few of our favorites:


    *Chicken Tortilla Soup (not really a soup though- so thick and full of meat)

    4-6 chicken breasts
    1 jar corn and black bean salsa
    1 can rotel
    2 cans corn
    1 can black beans

    Dump it all in the crock-pot and let it cook for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from the crock-pot, shred with two forks, and stir back into the pot.

    Top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. We like to scoop it up with tortilla chips and the kids will usually eat it because it involves the chips.

    *pork tenderloin. Mix together one packet of onion soup packet with one jar of apricot preserves and about 1/2 cup of water. Put the pork tenderloin in the crock-pot and cover with the preserves mixture. Cook for 6-8 hours. I usually add some brown rice and a salad and call it done.

    One last thing my kids and us like to eat are chicken tacos. Chicken breast in the crockpot with taco seasoning packet and water. Cook all day and shred chicken. Use it for tacos or quesadillas or sometimes we make nachos with the chicken too. Super easy.

    I make chicken pot pie a lot too just because I can put it together during nap time and cook it later, but it is easy at dinner time with the kids because all you have to do is pop it in the oven. I usually make 1 or 2 extras to freeze so I can have them for another week.

  5. Erin,

    Here is a site full of Crock Pot Recipes ( Make these when you have time and let it cook all day, plus you usually can freeze the ingredients, then make when needed.

    Make Spaghetti with Venison meatballs/meat sauce. My mom used to do that and it was always so good.

  6. Taco Ring
    A pretty quick one that I do is Taco Ring (I've made it with venison too).
    Cook beef/turkey/venison just like you would taco meat once the meat is cooked add the seasoning, not much water, and a good handful of cheese.Then in a circle baking pan unroll and place the wide end of 2 packages of crescent rolls together overlapping a bit (it makes almost like a sunburst pattern with a pretty large hole in the center). Then place a large spoonful of the taco meat mixture into the large section of the crescent roll. Once you have filled them all take the pointed end and pull it over the meat tucking it under the wide end of the crescent roll. Once you've done all of them you create a circular pattern that looks a bit like a wreath. Bake as it states on the crescent roll package and then top with your favorite taco toppings. The longest part to me is browning the meat, everything else goes pretty smoothly. I've had friends that have used 1 crescent roll to make personal taco wraps for their kiddos, this made it easier for the kids to eat since it's a knife and fork kind of taco.

    I love putting chicken or beef in the crockpot w/ different seasoning to put with veggies or anything like that. I make my own chicken broth to make chicken and yellow rice w/ the chicken cooking all day in the crockpot.

    Hope these help.