Also, we have found an awesome church, which also happens to be Tessa's preschool. They are offering Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes for the past 9 weeks. We have realized that this class is just what Ry and I needed. With two children in childcare, there was a lot of adjusting that had to be done. The class revolves around 7 baby steps towards financial peace. We need to work on the first baby step: Saving $1,000 for emergency savings. With this being said, we don't have a lot of wiggle room in our budget, so we are learning to accept the fact that this will be a baby step which will take us a few months, not something that will happen overnight.
Couponing is always something that I have done, but I"m really having to think about the meals I am planning and what's making it to the table and also doing double duty for me on another night. One goal I have for this year is to make my leftovers work for me. I know, I know, leftovers, yuck. But seriously, one meal lasting for another night AND you don't have to cook?! Sign me up! One suggestion is to freeze those leftovers. Today I sat down and planned this week's meals, but can also plan half of next week's meals because of the three dinner leftovers frozen in the freezer. Oh, the little things that make me do a little dance around the kitchen... Another thing I have started doing more often is buying ground beef in bulk. I'll buy the three pound package and turn one pound into homemade meatballs and freeze them, another pound into hamburger patties and freeze them, and then brown one pound to use in tacos or some recipe that calls for ground beef. This gives me three meals!
This week I have a few recipes for you to try: Pork and Chicken Sausage mini meat loaves, simple perfect enchiladas, and baked teriyaki chicken.
Pork and Chicken Sausage Mini Meatloaves (found on the Johnsonville site) When I made these, Ry said, "This doesn't look like meatloaf." He went back for seconds!
1 package Johsonville Pork and Chicken Italian Sausage (casings removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestshire sauce
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (one of my fave ingredients)
2 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in pan and saute peppers, onions, and garlic. Set aside to cool. Combine all remaining ingredients. Add pepper and onion mixture. Place in greased muffin tins. Top with marinara sauce. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through (160 degrees). Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Simple Perfect Enchiladas This is a Ree Drummond recipe. She has her own blog and now has her own show called The Pioneer Woman on Food Network. We love watching her show because of her country, simplistic ways.
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp flour
1 28 oz. can enchilada or Mexican red sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
Two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 to 14 corn tortillas
Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Beans and/or rice, for serving
For the sauce: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the canola oil and flour. Whisk together and allow to bubble for 1 minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
For the meat: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Brown the ground beef with the onions. Drain the fat, and then add the green chiles. Add the salt and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a small skillet over medium heat, lightly fry the tortillas in canola oil just until soft. Do not crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the tortillas have been fried.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Dip each tortilla into the sauce. Set the sauce-soaked tortillas on a cookie sheet. Onto each tortilla, place some of the meat mixture, black olives and green onions. Top with a generous portion of grated Cheddar. Roll up the tortilla to contain the filling inside.
Place the tortilla seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. Stir the cilantro into the sauce and ladle a little sauce over the top. End with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake the enchiladas until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle extra chopped cilantro over the top. Serve with beans and/or rice.
Baked Teriyaki Chicken (found on allrecipes) Chicken thighs and drumsticks are always affordable. Look for the 99 cent sale or cheaper and stock up!
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
12 chicken thighs (I didn't use this much, the sauce will go with whatever amount you want to use)
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.