Honey-baked chicken

I saw this recipe on the Living on a Dime Facebook page and tried it the same day I found it because I had chicken thighs in the fridge defrosted.  It was super yummy and even my husband, a devout chicken loather, said it was “really good.”  It’s the perfect trio of yummy, easy and affordable.  I’m sure this could be put in the slow cooker as well, but I doubt it will brown up as nicely.

I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and turned them once during the cooking time because my oven has strangely placed rack holders and there isn’t a perfect middle (either closer to heating coils on top or bottom).  I also used Dijon mustard instead of the regular mustard and real butter, as I don’t buy margarine.  Plan to cook something else in the oven alongside and get it started early enough because it does stay in the oven for quite a bit.

Honey-Baked Chicken

6 pieces of chicken

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup honey

2 Tablespoons mustard

1 teaspoon salt

Place chicken in baking dish, skin side up.  Combine rest of ingredients and pour over chicken.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and brown.

Serves 4-6

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Menu Plan Monday

I can do this!  I can get back into the habit of planning meals ahead in order to manage our food resources better.  I feel much more efficient when I have a plan made ahead of time, although I’m flexible enough that I don’t mind to toss something out if plans are changed or we just feel like having something else.  It makes me feel better just having it down on paper to look at throughout the week and also really keeps me focused on what to purchase at the grocery store.

Part of menu planning is taking into account what activities your family has planned for the upcoming week and plan accordingly.  If we’ll be getting home later in the day, perhaps a slow cooker meal would be best.  If there is a special holiday, such as a birthday, we probably want a bit of a fancier meal that night.  So this week I have an errand day Wednesday afternoon and church that evening, fellowship Friday evening and a party Saturday afternoon.

In addition, successful menu planning includes using up what you have on hand, which takes us back to food management.  If I have a plan made ahead of time and grocery shop accordingly, then I am much more likely to use up what we have, rotate our pantry and freezer items and generally waste less food.  I feel terrible when I find vegetables or leftovers in the back of the fridge that I have to throw out!

Menu Plan, 1/20 through 1/25

Breakfast Choices:

  • Smoothie
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Sausage Breakfast Muffins
  • Eggs & Toast
  • New Recipe:  Breakfast Bowls (make ahead freezer food)

Lunch Choices:

  • Leftovers
  • Sandwiches ~ Lunchmeat
  • Sandwiches ~ Grilled Cheese
  • New Recipe:  Broccoli-Cheese Bread Casserole
  • New Recipe:  Broccoli-Cheese Soup

As you can see from the lists above, I don’t formally plan each breakfast or lunch.  This is what we have on hand or what I would like to try so those are the options.  Our older daughter eats lunch at school, and my husband usually takes a packed lunch that includes a lunchmeat sandwich.  Only myself and our younger daughter are home for lunch.  The new lunch recipes are included this week because I have an entire gallon-sized bag of broccoli stems to use up from taking fresh broccoli florets on vegetable trays to last weekend’s ladies’ retreat.  The new breakfast recipe is a make ahead meal for the freezer, as I am trying to build up some grab-and-go breakfast foods for the pantry/freezer so the teenager and hubby will eat something for breakfast.

Dinners:

  • Monday~ Creamy Corn Chowder (I have corn on the cob from last summer’s garden in the freezer), Herb Bread (bread machine), Peach Cobbler (slow cooker)
  • Tuesday~ Chicken Pot Pie (making extras to give away), Fruit
  • Wednesday~ Spaghetti (homemade sauce), French bread (using up loaf in freezer), Vegetable (from freezer)
  • Thursday~ Minestrone Soup (slow cooker; using up rind of Parmesan cheese block), French bread (using up rest of loaf from freezer), Fruit
  • Friday~ Free Night (Gigging for my husband and fellowship for me.  We may each have to take something for these events but not sure yet.)
  • Saturday~ Deer Roast (slow cooker), Scalloped Potatoes, Vegetable (from freezer)

I’ll post the new recipes if they are keepers!

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

I found this recipe in an email newsletter and have adopted it as my go-to vegetable soup recipe.  It’s so yummy I made it for our annual ladies’ retreat and got rave reviews over it.  And, if you are watching your caloric intake, it’s very low in calories.  You can see the original recipe with nutritional info here.

*Note:  I have made this with several different cuts of beef and also with deer (venison).  It’s always yummy so just use whatever cut you have on hand or can find.  I usually throw in a mixed Italian seasoning instead of just the oregano or basil called for.

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 12 ounces lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cans (14 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick cubes
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking barley

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add meat; cook and stir until meat is browned.  Stir in broth, onion, celery, herbs, garlic, pepper and bay leaf.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, potato and barley.  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Discard bay leaf.

Serves 8

Sausage Breakfast Muffins

I first came across this recipe when I was looking for quick, easy breakfasts for busy mornings.  I haven’t adapted the original recipe at all, and you can see the nutritional facts if you go here.

*Note:  I do not use paper liners.  I spray the pans with nonstick spray, but you could also wipe with oil or butter.  They come out of the pans just fine.  I haven’t tried a homemade Bisquick substitute, but it’s on my list.  Please let me know if you try it and pass along your recipe!  I use large eggs, whatever kind of milk I happen to have on hand, and cheddar cheese.

  • 2 pounds bulk breakfast sausage
  • 4 cups Bisquick
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 6 eggs
  • 3-1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheese

Brown sausage, crumble and drain.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together Bisquick, cornmeal, eggs and milk.  Add drained sausage and cheese.  Stir well.  Fill the muffin tins almost to the top.  Bake for 11-15 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in freezer in freezer bags.  To reheat, microwave on high for about 90 seconds.

Serves 48 (I usually get a few less because I guess I fill them higher)