Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dinner Meal Plan - Family Dinner Ideas - March

It has never been more apparent to me why I love to meal plan than it has this month. I've had many days this month when I have been on the go from the moment I wake up until late into the night. It's important to me {and to my budget} that we don't eat out just because we're busy. I like to have home cooked dinners. It's a priority to me. The only way I'm able to pull it off when I'm so busy is because I plan our meals ahead of time.

This month's tip: Take your schedule into account when preparing your menu plan. Tuesdays are crazy busy around here. So we usually have something super easy that day. Often my oldest daughter helps out while I'm running the younger ones around. If you have those days of the week that are always crazy, plan simple meals for those days. On the other hand, some of my favorite meals take a little time. I make sure to plan them on a day when I know I won't be busy with other tasks.

This is a new series I've started this year. Take a look at my January Menu and my February Menu.

March Dinner Menu Plan

As always I have included the main dish, but for a complete meal, you will need to add your favorite veggies and sides.

Here's a key:
**super easy
* easy
+ new recipe - I haven't tried it yet
^ plan ahead

Printable Menu

For almost all of the meals, I have included links to the recipe. Just click on the meal to be taken to the recipe. If there's not a link, it's because I feel that it's easy or basic enough that you probably know how to make it. However, I would love to answer any questions you may have. Please ask!

Week 1
Sunday:  Garlic Herb Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Grandma's Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chicken Parmigiana**
Tuesday: Pigs in a Blanket**
Wednesday: Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Thursday:   Taco Soup*
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Blackened Chicken and Alfredo and Homemade Breadsticks

Week 2
Sunday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and  Rhodes rolls
Monday: Chicken and Rice
Tuesday: French Toast**
Wednesday: Parmesan Tilapia*
Thursday: out of town
Friday: out of town
Saturday: Manicotti  and Homemade Breadsticks

Week 3
Sunday: Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sunday Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chef Salad**
Tuesday: Homemade Egg and Bacon McMuffins*
Wednesday: Hamburgars, Hotdogs and Frozen French Fries
Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole*
Friday: Navajo Tacos
Saturday: Aus Jus Sandwiches**

Week 4
Sunday: Sunday Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Grandma's Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chicken and Broccoli over Rice^ - Crockpot
Tuesday: German Pancakes *
Wednesday: Drumsticks & Twice Baked Potatoes
Thursday: Green Bean Casserole*
Friday: Calzones
Saturday: 7-up Chicken

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Make an easy St. Patrick's Day banner with just a few supplies and a little time.

St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that I just love. I think it has something to do with the fact that it's my birthday too :) My mom always made it fun and would pinch us as soon as we woke up. After a few years, we got smart and made sure that we wore green to bed. She always decorated for St. Patrick's Day and of course I follow in that tradition.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
As with most holidays, I like to make something new each year to add to the mix of decorations.  This is what I came up with this year. A simple banner made with duck cloth, embroidery thread and foam stickers. Super easy and cute!

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Before we get started with the tutorial, I'm going to share my first attempt. Sometimes my ideas don't work out as planned.
This was my first idea for a banner. I thought burlap would work great for cross stitching. Turns out it didn't work as well as I thought - the squares are just not very even.  And it was taking FOREVER! I gave it up quickly and decided to try something a little easier and quicker, but still with an element of stitching involved.

Want to Make your own St. Patrick's Day Banner?

You will need:
fabric {I used duck cloth canvas}
embroidery thread {DMC906 and 909 were the greens I chose}
foam stickers

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Begin by cutting your fabric into 12" X 3 1/2" pieces. Cut as many as you would like for your banner. I did 6.  Fold in half, then cut out the triangle piece at the bottom. The point should be two inches from the bottom and centered.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
I used all six strands of thread and did a running stitch around the sides and bottom of each pennant. Make sure to leave a little opening along the top for your ribbon. Next add stickers.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Finally, insert a ribbon through the openings at the top. I pinned a safety pin to the end of the ribbon to help me thread it through the fabric.

All that's left to do is hang it. I'll let you in on a little secret... I use painters tape to attach it to the mantle. I'm strongly opposed to putting holes in the mantle that my husband worked so hard to build. So painter's tape does the job, is easily removable with no unsightly holes, and you don't even notice it unless you walk right up to it and look.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
Do you decorate for St. Patrick's Day?

This banner could certainly be modified for any holiday, season or event. I'm thinking a little Easter egg banner would be darling.

You may also like:

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Million Dollar" Caramel Brownies Recipe

Hi friends! Today I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite desserts: Million Dollar Brownies! What exactly are million dollar brownies? These decadent fudgy brownies are filled with chocolate, crunchy nuts, and a creamy caramel filling.  YUM!

Million Dollar Caramel Brownies Recipe

Million Dollar Brownies are a recipe that I remember my aunt making as a kid. We got the recipe from her and made them occasionally. It was always a special treat, since we didn't get them very often.

Million Dollar Caramel Brownies Recipe

With most desserts, I love to eat them warm. However, these are definitely better when left to cool completely before eating. It's so hard to wait...

Million Dollar Caramel Brownies Recipe

For a printable recipe click here

Million Dollar Caramel Brownies Recipe:

Caramel Filling
1 {14oz} package of caramels - or about 50
1/3  c. evaporated milk
Unwrap all the caramels. Place in a microwave safe bowl and pour evaporated milk on top. Microwave until melted, stirring after each minute. Depending on your microwave this could take 3-5 minutes.

1 German Chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips together. Batter will be quite thick. Press 1/2 of the mixture into a 8 1/2 X 11 pan. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Sprinkle on chocolate chips and the pour on caramel. Then place the rest of your brownie mixture on top. I find that the easiest way to do this is to take pieces of the batter, press it flat with my fingers and set it on top. It's ok if you have places where the caramel doesn't get completely covered. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 350. Let cool completely before eating.

Million Dollar Caramel Brownies Recipe

Some more of my favorite recipes:

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