Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

End of September/ Start of October dinner plan

I haven’t made any blog posts for awhile. We had some family emergencies and stuff to deal with for awhile. I’m back with a list of dinners starting today.

Frosted meatloaf, vegetables

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, corn salad
Lentil soup, bread

Chicken Souvlaki, rice, salad

Grilled chicken, broccoli, potato

Pork roast (pork carnitas), sweet potato

Medditerranean chicken skillet

Empanadas, salad

Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes

BLT sandwiches, fruit

Chicken enchilada casserole


Shawarma, french fries

Ravioli, salad

French toast, fruit

Turkey breast, potato, green beans

Reuben sandwiches, french fries

Breakfast casserole, fruit

Fassolatha soup, bread

Buffalo chicken penne pasta

Chicken fajitas

Sesame chicken, vegetables, rice

Chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes

Sloppy joes, salad

Turkey noodle casserole

Potato soup

Spaghetti, pull apart cheese bread


Black bean potato nachos

Chicken planks, cabbage salad

Grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup

Chicken parmesan casserole

Chicken curry, rice

Macaroni and cheese

Strawberry Cheesecake Baked Oatmeal


Edited to add some recipe links.

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Blackberry Dumplings

This week Hagbard brought home a bunch of blackberries from the farmer’s market. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them but when I mentioned blackberry dumplings Hagbard was very excited. Today I made blackberry dumplings for breakfast. So good!


I used this recipe->
The recipe has some reviews that suggest adding water to boil the berries. I often look at reviews and follow suggestions but I don’t think water is necessary in this case at all. The berries release a lot of juice as you heat them. My dumplings turned out fine without adding additional liquids.


Look at all the liquid the berries produce!


Plop the dough on top and cover pot.


After cooking.

This was very tasty and sweet and took about 20-30 minutes total to prepare and cook. Great for a dessert… or breakfast if you are like me!

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Chicken Planks & Greek Cabbage Salad

Tonight we had battered chicken planks and a Greek cabbage salad.


The chicken is a copycat Long John Silvers chicken plank recipe. I think it tastes pretty close to the restaurant version. I didn’t alter the recipe at all.

The Greek cabbage salad is based on one from Kalyn’s Kitchen. There are lots of great recipes on that blog. It is focused on tasty low carb recipes so if you follow a lower carb way of eating it is a great recipe resource.

I had cabbage to use up as well as part of a red onion and some feta cheese . The original recipe did not have onion. I used dried herbs because that is what I had. I made it a few hours in advance.

Greek Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

4 T olive oil

3 T red wine vinegar

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp dry marjoram

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste

1/8 tsp lemon pepper seasoning or to taste

Mix oil and vinegar together and pour over cabbage and onion. Toss all ingredients together. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Makes about 4 servings

Verdict: Everyone likes the chicken. Hagbard put his chicken and cabbage salad together in pita bread and thought they made a tasty sandwich. Amethesto didn’t eat the salad. I thought the salad was tasty and super easy to make. I think it would be better with some grilled chicken rather than battered chicken.


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Meal Planning: July 2016 Dinners

For this month’s meal plan I don’t think I put anything that was new to my family. I spent a lot of time just staring at a blank paper. I guess I’m just feeling some summer apathy.

  1. fish, hush puppies, fries
  2. spaghetti, salad, breadsticks
  3. chicken thighs, corn salad
  4. lentil soup, rolls
  5. grilled pork chops, cabbage, baked beans
  6. pancakes, fruit
  7. taco salad
  8. sesame chicken, vegetables, rice
  9. ravioli, salad
  10. chicken & biscuit casserole
  11. black beans & rice
  12. scalloped potatoes & ham, salad
  13. batsaria
  14. cheeseburgers, grilled potato, fruit
  15. falafel
  16. grilled sandwiches
  17. tomato basil cream chicken
  18. chili, corn bread
  19. pork carnitas
  20. scrambled eggs
  21. grilled pizza, salad
  22. chicken curry
  23. Parmesan portabella orzo, salad
  24. chicken fajitas
  25. bean soup
  26. bbq pork sandwiches
  27. zucchini boats, garlic bread
  28. Greek potato stew

Hope this gives you some ideas! Check the blog throughout the month for recipes and details.

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Fun Food For Kids

Years ago a young Amethesto received a book titled Silly Snacks: Family Fun in the Kitchen.

It had been forgotten on the shelf for quite awhile but she was flipping through it recently and wanted to try the “bugs and grubs” recipe. Sounds pretty gross but it is really just cocktail sausages wrapped in dough with pretzels stuck in for legs. Whew!
This would be great for young bug enthusiasts, nature themed parties or homeschool units, or even Halloween. It is simple so kids can help out easily.
My plan was to make a batch of crescent roll dough but a migraine struck me and I was not up to doing anything for quite awhile today. Just opening and closing my eyes hurt so no way was I making dough! Hagbard ran to the store and bought 2 cans of crescent roll dough- 16 oz of dough if you are making your own.

Grubs and Bugs
12 oz cocktail sausages (32 links)
2 cans crescent roll dough (8 oz each)
Thin pretzel sticks

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease baking sheet.
Cut triangles in half. Roll sausage up in dough triangle. Place on baking sheet.
For bugs- break pretzel sticks in half and insert 3 on each side of body for legs.
Bake 11-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 32 bugs and/or grubs.

We are having these with baked beans (bug eggs?), salad and fruit.

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Beans: Ham & Bean Soup, Tomato Bean Salad

I have two bean recipes to share today.

The first is a great simple salad with tomatoes, red onion, and chickpeas. This is great for summer potlucks and using tomatoes from the garden.  The recipe comes from the Taste of Home magazine years ago.

Tomato Bean Salad

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced thick

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 can (6 ounces) medium pitted ripe olives, drained and halved

1/2 cup olive oil

5 to 6 large fresh basil leaves, snipped or 1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill 3 hours or overnight. Serve cold.

When I make this salad I just chop the onion and cut the tomato smaller instead of having big slices. You can do whatever you prefer. Today I used kalamati olives. We had this for lunch today accompanying chicken breast.

My second bean recipe is for the slow cooker. I combined 2 recipes. They are both good as they are but I think they are better together. The slow cooker is great for beans and great for not heating up your kitchen on a warm day.

Slow Cooker Ham And Bean Soup

1 lb dry white beans (Great Northern or Navy)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1/2 lb carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 lb cubed ham

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dry rosemary

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp paprika

1 T parsley, chopped

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp paprika

1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt

5-6 cups water

Rinse and soak beans overnight. Drain.

Put beans and other ingredients in slow cooker.  Add enough water to cover- about 6 cups. Cook on low 8 hours or until the beans are tender. Mash some beans to thicken soup if you like.

If you want to use already cooked/canned beans- increase the amount of beans. Add enough water to cover. Drain and rinse canned beans before using.

1 pound dried beans = about 7 cups cooked beans

Use 4  (15 oz) cans of beans to equal 1 lb of dry beans





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Thai Chicken Pizza


My basic pizza crust recipe comes from I’ve been using it for 15 years now. My preference is to use 1 tsp honey instead of white sugar and I let it rise for 1 hour. I divided it in half to make 2 thin crust pizzas about 10″-12″ across.

Hagbard and I have been talking about trying different pizzas. Once upon a time he had a Thai chicken pizza at a restaurant far away. I found some recipes through Pinterest but none seemed exactly right to him. He said absolutely not to carrots on pizza but maybe to bean sprouts or zucchini. I was unable to get bean sprouts so I used my spiralizer device to make zucchini noodles (zoodles) and put some of those on the pizza. I had some leftover grilled chicken. I found jarred sweet chili sauce and peanut sauce at my local store. The amounts I am giving are for 1 medium pizza.

Inspiration recipes:

Thai Chicken Pizza
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 c sweet chili sauce
1/4 c peanut sauce

3 oz cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 cup yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 c zucchini noodles- cut into about 4″ pieces
1/4 c slices green onion
1 c shredded mozzarella
1 T crushed peanuts

Preheat oven to 425°F.
If you are using pizza stone put it in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.
Prepare pizza dough and roll out to about 12″ circle. Transfer dough onto warm pizza stone. Mix together sauce ingredients and spread on raw dough. Sprinkle with cheese and other toppings. Bake about 15 minutes.

Verdict: Somewhat spicy but not too spicy. Different but tasty. Hagbard said it was pretty close to what he had before. He experimented with putting some bbq sauce on a piece and really liked that combination. I think one recipe used a coconut sauce drizzle on top of the cooked pizza and that might be fun to try in future.

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Sausage Stuffed Potatoes

A couple of years ago Hagbard decided to try beer making. He got a kit from Midwest Brewing Supply. It was fun to try but we aren’t really drinkers so we have boxes of bottled beer. I want to use some up so I went looking for recipes that use beer. I found a recipe for Oktoberfest Potato Skins that also used sauerkraut. I also had excess sauerkraut that needs to be used so this seems like a great idea.
I searched the dairy and deli section of my local store. My local small town store does not have gruyere cheese. They did have one big block of white cheddar cheese so I triumphantly grabbed that. That was the only difficult ingredient for me to obtain.
I don’t remember what kind of beer Hagbard made and it wasn’t labeled. Just use whatever beer you like I guess.
In the original recipe you are instructed to scoop out the potatoes and discard that or use it for something else. That seemed ridiculous to me so I just mashed the potato and mixed it with the filling.


Sausage Stuffed Potatoes
4 russet potatoes
2 T cooking oil like canola or peanut
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bratwurst sausages, cut into circles
1 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 c beer
2 T butter
1 c shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 c sauerkraut

Heat oven to 350°F.
Wash and dry potatoes. Poke a few holes. Spray with cooking spray or rub with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
While potatoes are baking heat 2 T oil over medium heat. Add bratwurst slices and brown 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and chop into smaller pieces and set aside. Add onions to pan and cook 20-25 minutes stirring frequently.
Add chopped bratwurst pieces back to pan along with beer, sauerkraut, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until slightly thickened. Set aside.
Cut potatoes in halves. Scoop out flesh leaving 1/4- 1/2″ border. Place skins in baking dish and brush with some butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mash potato flesh with 1-2 T butter and mix with sausage mixture and half of the shredded cheese.
Fill each potato half heaping full with the mixture. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. 3-4 servings.


Hagbard and I really liked these potatoes. Lots of good flavors and very filling. Amethesto did not join us for dinner. I don’t think she would try this because so many things are mixed together.

One bottle emptied… now to find more recipes that use beer!

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Slow Cooker Black Bean & Rice Soup

This week I made black bean and rice soup in my slow cooker. I found two similar recipes for inspiration.

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Rice Soup
2 cans (30 oz) black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 c salsa
3 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano
1 T chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 c long grain white rice
1/4 c lime juice
Put beans, tomatoes, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, salsa, broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder, coriander, paprika in 3.5 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Turn cooker on high and add rice. Cook 30 minutes or until rice is done. Add salt and lime juice and cook 5 minutes more. Makes 8- 10 servings.

Hagbard- Tastes like chili. Would eat again. (Yes, you will because we have a bunch!)
Amethesto- It’s okay. (High praise from her.)
Lounmoun- Easy to prepare. We’ve been eating the leftovers and it reheats well. We discussed blending it but decided we preferred it chunkier.

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Meal Planning: 28 dinners for June 2016

Planning for this month involved more input from Hagbard and Amethesto. I asked them each to suggest 4-6 things they wanted to have for dinner. Amethesto immediately requested falafel again. That was a big hit from May!

In June we are going back to eating meat for dinner although there will be some meatless meals. We eat soups year round you will notice because I like soup and it is economical.

My birthday and Father’s day are this month so Hagbard and I are getting a joint gift of a new grill. We’ll probably start grilling more foods after we get that. Our old grill was also a birthday gift to me about 9 years ago. I know some women who leave outdoor cooking exclusively to men but I think grilling is a lot of fun and I do most of it at our house. Something to look forward to!

There was a suggestion that I include recipe links in my meal plan posts. There are a couple of things that I am not sure which recipe I will use so I am not linking to anything or  just linking to my inspiration recipe.

  1. eggs, fruit crisp
  2. potatoes stuffed with sausage , salad
  3. Thai chicken pizza
  4. chili, sweet cornbread
  5. burritos, Mexican street corn salad
  6. chicken thighs, mushrooms, mac & cheese
  7. fish, hush puppies, fruit salad
  8. Greek potatoes, salad
  9. stuffed bread with pastrami, muenster, caramelized onion
  10. omelet rice, egg rolls
  11. Mexican meatball soup
  12. chicken legs, Make-You-Strong spinach, baked potato
  13. battered chicken planks, cabbage salad, tator tots
  14. Chicago dogs, pasta salad, buffalo cauliflower
  15. spaghetti, breadsticks
  16. pinwheel stuffed steak, baked potato, lemon pepper zucchini
  17. General Tso’s chicken, stir fry vegetables, rice
  18. Greek potato stew
  19. tacos
  20. chicken sandwich, spicy roasted cauliflower with tahini
  21. Big salad
  22. falafel, tzatziki sauce, fries
  23. pigs in a blanket, cabbage salad, strawberry pineapple papaya smoothie
  24. french toast, fruit
  25. ham and bean soup, bread
  26. quesadillas, salad, chips, salsa
  27. ham, broccoli, mashed potatoes, baked beans
  28. tomato basil cream chicken, pasta

Hope this gives you some ideas! Check the blog throughout the month for recipes and details.


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