Starting Menus Again

We’ve had some major things going on recently, good and bad, but also bank account draining. When we were lower on the pay scale, I always did menus because I needed to watch money closely. I’m going to start doing this again, at least for a few months to build up again.

To start, I went way back to my older blogs (that are all consolidated here) and I pulled up some of those yummy, less expensive recipes. I’ll update the blog/add recipes if I change anything, I may take some new pictures since Kaelyn & Halie are SO TINY in the old ones! Watch for updates! Until then, Here is the menu for the next 7 days, linked to my original posts. One will be different, because I’m turning my stuffed bell peppers into a soup because I’m in NC and this hurricane is yelling “Soup weather!” at us this week. So this menu is 5 yummy meals of soup, stew, and heartiness!

A Mom with a Coffee cup ‘s Menu 10/2- 10/8
Country Captain over rice
Chuck Wagon Stew
White Faux-sagne (currently links to old blog)
“Unstuffed” Bell Pepper Soup (coming soon)
Easy Chicken Stew
plus 2 nights of leftovers mixed in because the stew and soup make a lot!


Cheesy Fiesta Chicken

Kaelyn asked for this today. Apparently “Cheesy Chicken” was a hit! There is a similar recipe in the P90X cookbook but we’ve modified it for us, as usual. I am using all of the standard “ok ingredients” and rules. Like “Cheese isn’t an ingredient, it’s a condiment”. As in don’t drown your foods in cheese and other dairy based products. Just add a little for flavor and move along. Continue reading

Gluten FreeTamale Pie!

I made this “shepard’s pie” style where you make a filling and add a “crust”. I’ll definitely be making it again and SOON!!! It seems like a lot of ingredients, but I keep all these spices on hand. I can’t use pre mixed taco seasoning because it has flour in it.. big no-no on the GF diet!

For the filling:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast or 
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dry rosemary
  • 1 tsp  sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1-1.5 c favorite salsa, depending on how moist you want it

For the Topping:

  • 2 c Masa Harina
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temp (i used 1/2 salted, 1/2 unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 cups mexican blend shredded cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pulse chicken & onion to a coarse grind in food processor.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add chicken mixture and spices. Cook thouroughly, breaking into pieces.
  5. Meanwhile make tamale topping by combining dry ingredients in a dry bowl.
  6. Add broth and stir (or beat on low) until mixed.
  7. Beat butter in until thoroughly mixed then set aside. It will be thick.
  8. When Chicken is cooked, stir in corn and beans.
  9. Put filling in a 9×13″ pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Spoon tamale topping over filling then spread out. (I wound up using my fingers which was messy but easier!!)
  11. Bake uncovered at 350 for minutes.
  12. Top evenly with shredded cheese and back another 15 minutes.

We topped with chopped onion and a drizzle of ranch dressing ( I forgot to buy sour cream!!!) but it was just as good stealing nibbles with no toppings! This is the first GF recipe I made for myself so I am really excited! I hope you like it!!

NOTE ABOUT FLOURS USED: This one I only use the Masa Harina. All ground corn with a hint of lime, no “flour” types. Originally I used a cornbread mix for this that was corn meal and traditional flour. I must say I wish I had tried this a long time ago. It is SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!

Until later! Anne Marie

Second Chance Meals: Chicken Enchiladas into 15 Bean Soup

I decided I’m tired of having leftovers as leftovers. this means a slight rise to the food bll (10%??) but it also means I’ll be throwing away less food because people are sick of eating it.  So since hubby is on a business trip, I decided to test this out with the girls… and of course I used my crock pot!
Day 1: Chicken Enchiladas with “Instant” Spanish Rice
Ok, so these aren’t traditional… the point is that the kids ate them!
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 cup seasoning blend
1 cup chicken broth
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
salsa “slurry” (from food processor)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
1 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup water
sour cream (optional)
First run through the food processor until desired consistency:
Salsa, seasoning blend, chicken broth
Next, put in the crockpot:
Chicken breast ( I left whole to shred), salsa mixture from food processor, spices, and enough water to cover slightly.
Then, cook on high 6 hours or on low 10. You want this to fall apart. After cooking, remove the chicken from crock pot to a plate.
Add ”corn starch slurry” to the crock pot by mixing together corn starch & water (before adding to pot). Stir well, turn crock pot to high and cover. This will thicken the sauce.
Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite size pieces. Set Aside (and start on rice if making – see below).  When sauce thickens, add the chicken back in and toss to coat.
Serve on tortillas with sour cream.
“Instant” Spanish Rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp chicken tomato bouillon (check the Mexican food section)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups instant white rice
IMPORTANT: Do NOT add salt! The bouillon is enough!
In a small pot bring first three ingredients to a boil. When boiling, add rice, stir, and cover. Turn off heat and allow to sit 10 minutes then fluffing with a fork.
Day 2: Chicken enchilada 15 bean soup
Hopefully you read this in full before starting. After you get over the “stuffed myself on chicken enchilidas” feeling, wash your crock pot and fill it up with water. Rinse a bag of dry 15-bean soup blend and put in the crock pot TURNED OFF to soak overnight.
1 bag dry 15 bean soup blend
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (think “Rotel”)
1 cup seasoning blend
Leftover enchilada chicken
Salt (to taste)
First, drain and rinse the beans and return to crockpot.
Next, run through the food processor until desired consistency:
Seasoning blend and diced tomatoes
Then, add all ingredients to crockpot with enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Stir together and cook on high 6 hours then on low or warm till dinner. I recommend no less than 4 hours.  The longer you cook this, the tenderer your beans will be. This is great for putting on before running out to work. And it smells soooooo good when you get home!
Serve as is or add in a little left over rice and a dollop of sour cream.