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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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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Cheesy Black Beans And Rice

Beans and rice are great kitchen staples and an easy meatless meal. For tonight’s dinner I combined two recipes. I opted to make a less spicy version as some members of my family prefer milder food. Adjust spices to taste.


Cheesy Black Beans And Rice

2 c cooked rice

2 T cooking oil

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 c frozen corn

1 1/2 c water or broth

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp dried thyme

3/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1 bay leaf

15 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed

10 oz can diced tomatoes

1/4 c salsa

1 1/2 c shredded cheddar

Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, and corn. Cook until onions are translucent. Add water or broth and salt, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Add black beans, tomatoes and salsa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in cooked rice and 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c of cheese on top and let it get melty.


Hagbard and I enjoyed this version of beans and rice. It was very easy to put together.


April 2016- Dinner Plans

I’ve been working on my meal plans for April. This time Amethesto is supposed to cook a couple of our meals so I had her select some things she wanted to make. She chose grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, and chili with homemade cheesy crackers. She isn’t very interested in cooking but I feel it is important for everyone to know how to cook something for themselves. She chose some very basic things that she has eaten many times before which I think is great for a beginner cook to do.

Some of these 28 meals will be completely new to us and some are old standards.

  1. French bread pizza, salad
  2. Fassolatha, bread
  3. Sausage alfredo bake, salad
  4. Chicken fajitas, seasoned rice
  5. Veggie burgers, pasta salad, fruit
  6. Stir fry, rice
  7. Buffalo chicken penne pasta, broccoli
  8. Mini calzones, salad
  9. Potato soup, bread
  10. Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, roasted potato slices
  11. Fish, hasselback potatoes, corn
  12. Chicken & biscuit casserole
  13. Ravioli, zucchini
  14. Big salad, fruit crisp
  15. Mexican pizza, fruit
  16. Slow cooker chicken & dumplings, salad
  17. Asian chicken wraps, rice
  18. Pan roasted pork chops, potatoes and green beans
  19. Eggs, sweet potato fritters, fruit
  20. Potato and sausage goulash
  21. Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread
  22. Pizza quesadillas, salad
  23. Chili, cheese star crackers
  24. Chicago dogs, French fries
  25. Chicken tacos, Spanish rice
  26. Scalloped potatoes and ham, green beans
  27. Beans and rice, cherry hand pies
  28. Stuffed bread, salad

A couple of themes are: soup, pizza in different forms, casseroles, wraps or sandwiches.  I wanted to use my slow cooker a few times. I’m trying to think of more interesting side dishes but feel that is a weak point for me. I just default to salad when I can’t think of anything!

Check the blog throughout the month for recipes and details.

Previous months meal plans:

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Spring Break Outing

This week Hagbard, Amethesto and I went to Tuttle Creek State Park just north of Manhattan, KS. It was a cool, cloudy and quiet retreat. We hiked a trail and enjoyed the lake view.







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“Hey there! It’s me.”- Spring

A present from my home to yours.


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Memories: Home Economics

I was thinking about what I want to do with this blog. I don’t really want to just post recipes and nothing personal. Lately I’ve started listening to podcasts while working in the kitchen and one that is really interesting to me is The JV Club with Janet Varney. On the podcast Janet talks with a female guest usually about their teen-early adult years. It has really made me think about my teenage experiences, my teenage daughter’s experiences and life in general.  Check it out.

Inspired by that podcast, I’d like to post about some of my memories occasionally. I was a quiet, introverted, shy, artsy, nerdy girl growing up. Art, reading and cooking were my big interests. I also liked roller skating. I was convinced I’d have rocket powered roller skates as an adult instead of cars. As an adult I concede that cars are more practical and probably safer.

If you read the About Me section you know that although I was interested in cooking from a young age and the results were not always very good. I don’t think my mom appreciated me making a mess in the kitchen. I recall her saying more than once that I could help best by leaving her alone while she cooked. She also wanted me to do silly things sometimes like put my book down and go play outside. I think she was most comfortable with me in the kitchen as I became a teenager… or she just gave up!

Home economics was still a thing taught at schools when I was growing up. I don’t think it is now. I was in junior high in 1986-1988. My  junior high school offered a home economics class. Most girls and a few boys took it. For one section of the class you learned to sew and the other section was cooking. In 7th grade the sewing project for everyone was an apron. In 8th grade you had to choose a clothing pattern. I chose a skirt and learned to hate sewing a zipper in and the seam ripper. The sewing teacher told us stories about someone getting their hand caught in a machine. I still think of that and shudder every time I sew. I don’t remember anything we cooked in the cooking section. I remember being lectured on stuff like food safety and cleaning but not actually cooking. Maybe we made toast.

In high school (1988-1992) the home economics classes were divided up. You could take Foods, Sewing, and Personal Development I believe. Personal Development was a class where kids got to carry around a bag of flour or an egg for a pretend baby. I didn’t take that or sewing. I took Foods every year. In my freshman year the first thing we were going to cook was a pudding pie. I was really anxious as I had only made instant pudding. I begged my mom to practice making a cooked pudding at home before the class. Class day came and I was feeling more confident.  The pudding pie turned out to be instant pudding in a graham cracker crust. I felt kind of dumb and let down. We did eventually cook actual foods using an actual stove. Time limits were something of a problem. We learned to read through our recipe before cooking. We had to copy the recipe out onto an index card. We had to make a shopping list for every recipe. We learned to put dishes in a sink full of soapy water and clean up as we cooked.

The Foods class was a bit like a club. A lot of people took it year after year. We interacted more than other classes so it was fun. One time we had kind of an open house for other students and teachers to come sample snacks we had made. My partner and I made cheese straws for that.

I think it was my junior year that one of the boys in my class killed himself. He had been drunk and was playing around with a gun and shot himself. It was the first time a kid I knew died. Many kids were drinking and stuff and it didn’t seem like a big deal. He had always been a really lively, jokester person in the class. It was very shocking… maybe that is why I still don’t like drinking, drugs or guns. The school counselor came and talked to our class and I remember people crying and just feeling kind of sick and hollow.

Well, that got serious and sad.

My mom was working at a store when I was in high school and my dad worked 2 jobs. My older brother and sister had jobs. I started cooking dinners for the five of us. I would read cookbooks but mostly made what my mom told me to make- meat, potato, canned vegetable. It was not a meal without a potato! I think timing, anxiety, and perfectionism were problems for me to overcome in the kitchen. I don’t know if home economic classes made me a better cook than I would have been without them but definitely left me with some ideas and habits that I carry with me still.



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Smokestack BBQ/Tandoori Style Chicken Inspiration

I had chicken thighs to cook for dinner tonight with sweet potato and corn on the side. This morning I was thinking about what to do to the chicken. I took inspiration from two recipes. The first was a recipe for chicken wings that first appeared in Saveur magazine in their June/July 2011 issue. I’ve never actually made the recipe for wings  but have used the spice combination on grilled chicken breasts before. The second inspiration recipe is for Tandoori Style chicken.  Hagbard and I love this chicken but Amethesto doesn’t like Indian food.  I still make it of course.

My chicken mixture:

1/4 c plain yogurt

1T peanut oil

1T lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground sage

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1-2 lbs chicken thighs (I had bone in thighs with skin on today)

I jabbed the chicken with a sharp knife all over. I put the thighs and yogurt in a plastic baggie and put it in the refrigerator to marinate all day. I would say let it sit in the mixture 4-10 hours before cooking. Dump it out in a baking dish when you are ready to cook. Put it in a 425 F oven for 40-45 minutes. Walk away until it is done. That’s it.


Ready to go in the oven.

I put one sweet potato and one white potato in the oven along side the chicken. They took about 20 minutes longer because that sweet potato was big! I didn’t do anything special to prepare the potatoes- just washed them and poked holes in them.

While things were cooking I did a workout. When things were almost done in the oven, I  came back and put a couple of frozen mini corn cobs in a pot on the stove. I followed the package instructions and brought it to a boil and then reduced the heat slightly and cooked covered for about 10 minutes.

When the sweet potato was finally done I took the skin off and sliced it. I topped these medallions with some butter, salt and pepper. I split that sweet potato between Hagbard and myself.  The white potato was for Amethesto.  The corn cobs got some butter and salt and were shoved on thick skewers because all but one of our corn holders went missing. Corn-on-a-stick is kind of fun though.

The verdict from everyone was that the food was tasty tonight. I think the sweet potatoes were a good side dish to the chicken. A crispy salad of some kind would probably be great with this also.

A question that is pretty common on weight loss forums is how you can eat with your family when you are the only one watching your calories so I took pictures of all of our plates tonight. I skipped the corn tonight and had less butter on my sweet potato.

Not drastically different tonight. It fit my calorie goal and filled me up.

If you are watching sodium you could cut the salt down or try it without. If you wanted to use chicken breasts  you might need to adjust the time you cook this.


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Reviving this blog!

It’s been about 6 years since my last post here. Terrible blogger. Still cooking and meal planning though.

Hagbard was working full time as well as being a full time student but is done with school now. I’m still packing his lunches for work though. Little Lulu is almost 16 years old and wants to be called Amethesto in the blog now. She is still homeschooled and eating most meals at home. We moved toward eating less beef and more chicken or meatless dishes. We eat out very rarely. I’ve lost about 25 lbs in the last year just watching calories using My Fitness Pal but not doing a special diet otherwise.

I plan a month’s worth of dinners at a time now and will start posting them. I don’t usually plan lunches or breakfast because I don’t cook breakfast and lunch very often. We eat leftovers or easy to grab things like sandwiches, yogurt, or cereal.

We’ll see how long I can keep this going.

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Beat the clock!

I totally overslept this morning so was making Hagbard’s lunch very quickly. I didn’t even have time to make coffee!

I had visions of doing a box with some rice balls and rolled omelet today but it was not to be. Today Hagbard has a pbj sandwich, ravioli, dried fruit, cheese, and some noodles with peanut sauce. He has a class tonight and won’t get home until around 10 PM so hopefully it is enough.

Tonight I will make pizza for dinner.

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