Stuck in a rut...

How many times have you made dinner over the last 25 years?

If you made dinner every night for the last 25 years that would be over 9,000 dinners!!

Now I know I have not made dinner every single night over the last 25 years, but I know I have made many, many meals...and to be honest...I am stuck in a rut.

What should we have for dinner?

As much as I love making homemade meals for my family, I am really tired of the same things I have been making for years.

So...I got really excited when I saw this cookbook at Costco recently...

Six Sisters' Stuff cookbook

Fifty-two weeks of menus! This is exactly what I was looking for to add a bit of variety to my weekly menu...and each menu has a recipe for a main dish, a side, AND a dessert, oh yum!

Our first adventure was Menu 48...because why should we start at the very beginning...

Chicken Parmesan Crescents, Honey Cashew Green Beans...

Chicken Parmesan Crescents and Honey Cashew Green Beans

... and Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Parfaits

Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Parfaits

Not only were these recipes easy to prepare, but my family (and my neighbors that we fed that night) loved them! I loved that not only was a main dish recipe provided, but a side dish also! Each menu does come with a dessert recipe, but I am not sure if I will prepare dessert each week. But it is nice to have some options in case we have friends over for dinner.

So this week, we are going to give Menu 18 a try...Grilled-Chicken Alfredo Pizza and BLT daughter is really looking forward to this one.

If you are stuck in a rut for what to make for dinner, you might want to find this recipe book to add to your collection, A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff.

Tackle It on Tuesday: Pinterest recipes

My 'Recipes I would love to try' board on Pinterest has over 400 pins, which is the equivalent of the average cookbook. Every now and then, I like to give those recipes a try because making the same things every week just gets a little boring. This past week, I actually tried three recipes and here is what I thought about each one:

5-Ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta

5-Ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta

5-Ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta was the first new recipe I tried last week. All of the ingredients sounded wonderful! Bacon, asparagus, pasta, white wine, parmesan cheese...heavenly right? My husband loved this one, and he loved it even more the next day as leftovers. But something about it just didn't sit well with me...something about the bacon and the bacon grease. So I am thinking of changing this one up a bit with Italian sausage instead of the bacon...

Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken

Recipe #2 for the week...Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken. Again, the ingredients sounded amazing, but for some reason, the flavors didn't come through when I cooked up the recipe. I was really hoping this one would be a keeper because my husband really likes chicken for dinner...bummer!

Coconut Cream Bundt Cake

Coconut Cream Bundt Cake

After two strikes so far, I was a little reluctant to try recipe #3. But this recipe was for dessert, and really, how can you go wrong with dessert? After finding all of the ingredients I needed for this one, I must say, this was really good and will be moved to my Pinned it, tried's a keeper board!

This week, my project I need to tackle moves me from the kitchen to my sewing room...



One of the reasons we were able to participate in Civil War Reenactments is because I did a lot of sewing for myself and my daughter. It is hard to believe the layers of clothing women wore during that time period and how expensive it is to buy those items today. Right now, we don't go to nearly as many events as we used to, so I am not making near as many outfits either, but a friend of mine has asked me to sew some items for her. The plan is to finish up her underclothes before this upcoming weekend and this chemise is just one of the items I am working on. Next week, I hope to share with you about some of the underclothes ladies wore during that time...makes you thankful for modern times.

Tackle It on Tuesday: Grandmother's Garden

So last week I shared with you about my long lost Grandmother's Garden quilting project that was just begging to be completed. I was hoping to get a little further along with it than I did, but I am happy with the progress I made on it.

Progress on my Grandmother's Garden quilt project

Progress on my Grandmother's Garden quilt project

There is still a bit of work to be done, so once I finish it, I will try to remember to post a picture of the finished project.

Dinner ingredients

Dinner ingredients

This week, when I was making my menu for the week, I decided to add a couple of recipes from one of my Pinterest boards. Tonight we are going to try 5-ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta, Thursday night is Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken, and because we have some cooler weather this week, time to do a little baking and try this Coconut Cream Bundt Cake. Three new recipes seems like a lot for one week, but we are finally moving into a more normal schedule around here which gives me a little more time in the kitchen. And I love to try new recipes anyway!

Be sure to check back next week to see if these recipes are going to make it onto my Pinned it, tried's a keeper board.

Treats, Tortellini, and Chicken

This week, since the weather has started feeling more like fall here, I decided it was time to start working through my Recipes I would love to try board on Pinterest.

scarecrow treats ingredients
scarecrow treats ingredients

First up was Scarecrow Treats! Candy corns are one of my favorite fall treats, so combining them with some of these other yummy ingredients sounded like a hit to me. And it was! The original recipe calls for using a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan though. Guess I read over that part, because I made these in a 13x9-inch pan. This will work as long as you bake the cake part of the recipe just a little longer than the recipe calls for. Oh, and I did add just a few more candy corns than the recipe called for, just couldn’t resist…

chili tortellini
chili tortellini

Next, was Chili Tortellini! I just love making soups for dinner in the fall and winter. Soups always make the best leftovers for lunch the next day. This recipe came together so quickly and was so filling! I did change it up a bit. Since I wanted this to be more chili-like than soup-like, I did not add any chicken broth. Instead I added a can of water. Also, I used tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, as well as black beans and white beans. Since I doubled this recipe, I used pasta shells and cheese tortellini. My husband gave this recipe 5 stars!! It was that good!!

kitchen after dinner
kitchen after dinner

This last recipe took a little more effort than the other two combined (and used every counter available in my kitchen!)! One of the very first recipes I pinned on Pinterest (2 years ago!) was a recipe for Lemon Chicken. We all love the Orange Chicken at Panda Express, so I thought I would finally give this one a try. The flavors on this one were really good, but without help from my kids, there would have been no way I could have gotten this all together myself, unless I had eight arms. Oh well, at least I gave it a try, right?

Have you found any good Pinterest recipes lately?

BBQ Chicken Salad

13_Jul_bbq chicken salad_001_edit

I love summer! But after a week of almost 110 degree temperatures, I even get a little tired of it being so hot. And on these days, cooking in the kitchen is the last thing I want to be doing. Recently, I picked up Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate magazine at Target. You will remember me mentioning her a couple of weeks ago as one of the Compassion Bloggers that went to Nicaragua.

Anyway, one of the recipes she has in the magazine is a Chopped Bacon-Veggie Salad with Creamy Bacon Dressing. I decided to change her recipe up a bit and here is what I came up with:

  • one rotisserie chicken, shredded and chopped
  • bag of romaine lettuce
  • bunch of broccoli, chopped
  • a couple of roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • about a cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • one package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • avocado, chopped
  • bbq sauce
  • ranch dressing

Once you have shredded and chopped all of the chicken, mix in a little bit of bbq sauce (not too much, just enough to coat the chicken). Mix the lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Set out the rest of the ingredients in separate bowls. You can mix everything together at this point, but I thought it might keep better in the fridge for leftovers if we kept a lot of the ingredients separate. Have everyone assemble their own plate and enjoy!

This salad does have a lot of possibilities! I was even thinking you could add some of the following: grilled corn and/or thawed frozen corn kernals, black beans, chopped red onions, and/or chopped green onions.

Questions for you: What is your favorite ingredient in a salad? What do you like to eat on these hot days of summer?